Prime Minister Paul Martin met with a crowd of several dozen protesters fighting plans for a controversial contaminated soil incinerator in northern New Brunswick last week. Martin was surrounded by security as he talked to the protesters, who oppose plans by Bennett Environmental for a facility in Belledune, N.B. He said the government would assume its responsibilities in relation to the project.
At one point, the crowd began to chant and bang drums, drowning out the prime minister. He then left. He waded into the crowd after they refused an offer to have a few representatives meet with him. Martin was in the Gaspe community to talk to local leaders as part of a two-day election-style tour of eastern Quebec.
Among the protesters’ demands was a call for the federal government to impose a moratorium on the project. There have been other protests aimed at Martin about Belledune. In March, police arrested seven people who had spent about 12 hours in Martin’s riding office in Montreal demanding a moratorium.
The occupation ended when police used a battering ram to knock down part of a wall. Environmentalists and some local citizens have said the incinerator will cause more pollution in the area. Bennett calls the Belledune project an oxidizing facility and says the material that would be handled is not categorized as toxic waste under New Brunswick regulations. Half the cost of the $25-million incinerator is being spent on pollution-control equipment.
Information courtesy of the Environmental Services Association of Alberta (ESAA)
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for ESAA’S 9th Annual Golf Tournament on Friday, July 16th, 2004 at the Alberta Springs Golf Resort. The event features a 9:00 a.m. shotgun start. (The Alberta Springs Golf Resort is located just north of Red Deer, and was designed by Bill Robinson of Oregon; the course has been described as scenic, interesting, and challenging with no two holes alike.)
Contact ESAA at 780-429-6363 or email@example.com or by visiting www.esaa.org