First Nations people in northern Ontario are being joined by non-Natives to oppose a plan to send 20 million tonnes of garbage to the north over the next 20 years.
Toronto city council voted to approve the controversial $1-billion contract on Oct. 11.
“Toronto has now officially declared war on northerners,” said Grand Chief Carol McBride of the Timiskaming First Nation in a report from Southam News.
The contract with the Rail-Cycle North consortium would see Toronto’s waste loaded onto trains for a 600-kilometre trek to the former Adams mine near Kirkland Lake, Ont.
Kirkland Lake city council wants the garbage as a way to generate revenue.
The province ordered Toronto’s existing garbage dump to close in 2002. The current dump is on the outskirts of Toronto, in the heartland of political support for the Conservative provincial government.
Now, it’s up to the federal environment minister to decide whether to order an environmental assessment.
But federal officials were already very involved in a provincial environmental assessment that approved the site in 1997.
Opponents of the plan say the provincial assessment ignored key issues, like how the millions of litres of polluted water to be sucked out of the mine will be treated before it is returned to a nearby waterway.