Citizens Against the Dump digging in for the long haul on ED19
JOHNSTOWN - They're organized and they are ready to move quickly.
That was the gist of the Citizens Against the Dump (CAD) meeting held here on Friday evening. The proof was in the pudding as the group, faced with a much larger crowd than earlier anticipated, successfully managed to move the scheduled meeting venue on short notice. Originally designated for the Cardinal Youth Centre, the meeting was redirected to the South Edwardsburgh Community Centre in Johnstown.
The necessity of the location change came to fruition as close to 200 residents, some from as far away as Elizabeth-Kitley Township filed into the room in support of the fight against the United Counties sale of a land parcel in Edwardsburgh-Cardinal, known as ED19, proposed to become a privately-owne d landfill.
CAD Chair Kyle Johnston briefed the assembled crowd with updates on the history of the site as well as elaborating on a variety of legal and environmental avenues available as options in the battle, offering the audience a glimpse into the extensive groundwork the grassroots group has garnered in the past few weeks. Reports on advice, offered from a number of high-level advocates, detailing the best course of social action and litigation was outlined before Johnston opened the floor to questions.
"We need to be organized, and we need to be smart," Johnston stated, expressing the value in continuing the group's aggressive communication strategy. "This (the proposed landfill) can, and will, be stopped. We are on the right side of this. This isn't just an issue Edwardsburgh-Cardinal is concerned with...this is a regional issue."
Asked if the township council may support assisting the group with imposing an injunction against the sale, Johnston deferred to Edwardsburgh-Cardinal Councillor Michael Barrett. The ward-three Councillor informed the crowd that he had made a similar request at the February 27 Council meeting, one that failed to get support from the majority of his fellow council members.
"I will put that motion on the table next Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting," Barrett said, indicating that Councillor Karie Smail would undoubtedly second the motion and receiving a round of applause. "I don't suspect we would get the third vote," he concluded.
Barrett and Smail were the only members of municipal council present at the gathering.
The next leg on CAD's plight is planned attendance at the United Counties Council meeting hosted in Brockville on Tuesday, March 7, at 9:00 a.m.
Look for complete coverage in Wednesday's print edition of the Prescott Journal.