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Ontario MPP questions if community sentiment was disregarded on cement plant


April 25, 2022
By James Morgan, freelancer, The Review.ca

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One member of Ontario’s legislature is questioning whether community sentiment was taken into consideration on a proposed cement plant.

Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Amanda Simard questioned Minister of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks David Piccini about a proposed Colacem cement plant near L’Orignal, Ont., on April 14.

Simard contended that the environmental compliance approval issued by the minister was based on “erroneous data” provided by the proponent of the project. In a letter to the minister, she had requested the ministry review the approval and revoke the approval.  

“Will the government do what is necessary and reconsider the decision, yes or no?” Simard asked . 

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“I would be happy to sit down and have a meeting with the member about that specific issue,” responded Piccini. 

The minister said decisions are made based on expert advice from scientific staff within the ministry.  

Simard responded by saying Piccini had earlier written back to her and refused to reconsider the approval. 

“I want to stress the community is fiercely opposed to this project and has been for years, spending time, energy, and money fighting this project,” Simard said. 

The MPP noted Premier Doug Ford consented to the cancellation of a quarry project in Campbellville, west of Toronto because it was unpopular with area residents. She questioned why the cement plant near L’Orignal is not being cancelled for the same reason. 

“Will the government do the right thing and stop this project, yes or no?” Simard pressed. 

“I wrote back to her refusing to overturn a decision,” Piccini replied. 

“I didn’t refuse an opportunity to sit down and meet with her,” added the minister.

(The Review.ca)