Mike Schreiner visits Teedon Pit
Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner and Simcoe North Green candidate Valierie Powell join water protectors at the Teedon Pit -AWARE Simcoe photo
AWARE News Network
Some 30 people turned out to welcome Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner who made a flying visit to the latest front line in the Ontario-wide battle between aggregate companies and residents intent on protecting their water.
“Water for people and for communities has to come first, above all other uses in Ontario,” Schreiner told the crowd that gathered at the entrance to Dufferin Aggregates’ Teedon Pit on the Waverley Uplands, near Elmvale north of Barrie.
The permit to take water process needs a complete overhaul, he added.
“Especially really clean water,” interjected local water watcher Anne Nahuis.
“The cleanest water in the world!” Schreiner agreed, referring to tests that have shown the area’s water to have tested cleaner than Arctic ice. “I don’t even understand how a government can allow one of the cleanest waters in the world to be threatened like this.”
Schreiner expressed gratitude to the Anishinaabe people of the area who took a stand in 2009 to stop Dump Site 41, paying credit to Vicki Monague who alerted him to the renewed threat to the water.
“Your fight that’s happening here is a fight that’s happening all over the province,” he said. “And it’s because our provincial government is not protecting our water. And that has to change.”
He noted that the reason a hedge fund chose to come to Ontario and buy up farmland in Mono and Melancthon for what became known as the megaquarry was that Ontario has the weakest rules governing aggregate extraction of any jurisdiction in North America. “I’m not against aggregate, Scheiner said. “I am against the irresponsible abuse of inadequate legislation that doesn’t protect our water and our farmland.”
Green Party supporters urged those present to pressure the NDP and Conservative parties and the media consortium that oversees the upcoming leadership debates to ensure that Schreiner is part of them. Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne said yesterday that the Greens should be included. Link to petition