As pressure continues to mount against the North Simcoe Landfill, an irresponsible waste dump that “was set up with a 1950s mindset,” a delegation from the Hoskanigetah (Six Nations Men’s Fire of the Grand River) warns about the possible re-opening of another dump site: the Edwards landfill, just outside of Cayuga, Ontario.
According to the CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group, “the Edwards landfill contains highly toxic material from an old resin plant in Cayuga which was dumped there in the 1950s, along with other medical, industrial and commercial waste.”
For several years now, members from the Six Nations community have been working alongside the non-native environmental coalition, HALT (Haldimand Against Land Transfers), to make sure no more waste is added to the dump.
Historically, they’ve taken the same approach that activists and the Council of Canadians are now taking with the North Simcoe Landfill: namely, they’ve filed legal challenges and, whenever trucks arrived to pile on more waste, they physically blocked access to the dump site. Fortunately, the trucks always turned back.
Their reason for opposition is straightforward, and too familiar for indigenous people in Canada: There are a number of serious health concerns among people living in the region of the Edwards landfill and several other nearby dump sites believed to hold waste from the former Resin Plan.
Commonsense (and basic human rights) tells us that each and every report should be investigated by the government and that the sites themselves, particularly the Edwards landfill, should be remediated.
Unfortunately, like the radar contamination sites effecting the Mushkegowuk Cree Nation, it just hasn’t happened.
And now, the Hoskanigetah warn, preparations appear to be underway for the landfill to receive more waste in the near future.
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