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Special Delivery of over 4,000 letters of concern made to Midland Town Hall

Wednesday, November 30th 2011 12:39:17pm

Media Release

Opposition to proposed outdoor industrial waste site focus of Midland march

November 30, 2011 - Midland, ON) Unpleasant weather did little to dampen the spirits of walkers who trekked from the Martyrs' Shrine to deliver over 4,000 letters of concern to Midland Town Hall. The letters were in opposition to the outdoor waste site proposed to be built at the doorstep of the Martyrs' Shrine and Sainte-Marie among the Hurons.

Today is the last day for citizens to register written concerns about the proposed waste site before the issue is considered by Midland Town Council on December 7th, 2011.

The Martyrs' Shrine and Sainte-Marie among the Hurons are the two largest tourist attractions in the area, bringing in 180,000 visitors annually and employing 127 people throughout the year. Should the waste site be built as proposed, a noise assessment suggests it would spoil the peace and beauty of the heritage and religious sites.

Father Peter Bisson of the Jesuits in English Canada stated: "There is significant concern about the impact of noise associated with day-to-day operation of the waste handling facility on the contemplative nature of both sites."

Letters of concern were written by Midland area residents, as well as a wide range of supporters of Sainte-Marie and the Martyrs’ Shrine from across Ontario and Canada. A handful of letters came from outside the country, including a letter from the Vatican.

The letters were personally received at Midland Town Hall by the Mayor of Midland, Gordon McKay.

Father Bisson observed, "It would have been best for all had the Martyrs' Shrine and Sainte-Marie among the Hurons been properly informed and involved as neighbours, as we have been since 1926. Obviously, at least 4,000 people recognize the importance and value of this site remaining a quiet site for contemplation. The community support we have received has been overwhelming. I thank each walker, volunteer and letter writer."

Father Bisson concluded by saying, "We wish the Mayor and Council best wishes as the Christmas holidays approach and trust that they will consider the full implications of the decision before them."

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For photos of the march, interviews, or more information, please contact:
Don Huff, Environmental Communication Options, at 416-805-7720 or huffd@ecostrategy.ca