Friday, March 1, 2013


Dundalk's Last Stand against Big Waste?

On behalf of the community of Southgate, and in particular, the residents of Dundalk, we at SPIRG (the Southgate Public Interest Research Group) want to thank and congratulation NDACT on your stunning victory, and also for the interest, concern and kind support you have shown towards our situation - one that we believe (along with the David Suzuki Foundation and others) could have negative consequences on the foodland and water in our area.
In a February 2, event hosted in Owen Sound by the Grey Bruce Peace and Justice Coalition, we shared the stage with Ramani Nadarajah of the Canadian Environmental Law Association to discuss SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation). The story yielded front-page billing in the Owen Sound Sun Times. In that story Southgate Mayor Milne responded to the event by asserting: “his council has never attempted to discourage SPIRG from public participation in the democratic or legal process.”
What we did not know at the time (but Mayor Milne certainly did) was that he, his CAO and Southgate’s Bay Street lawyers were in the process of throwing a new financial hurdle in front of the Southgate citizens opposed to the anti-democratic imposition of waste disposal and processing industry on theresidents of Dundalk.
By the time he spoke to the press, the affadavit had been sworn, and the motion drafted, to require SPIRG to cough up $15000 in cash by March 9th, or abandon the appeal of the Lystek building permit ruling. That appeal is the only possible off-ramp for the people of Dundalk to avoid a torrent of Toronto’s sewage sludge arriving in Dundalk – up to 600 tonnes per day.
You have had a hard fight with the mega-quarry – and deserve a rest. But the same burning sense of injustice that has brought us this far in the fight with big waste (and all its local agents) compels us to ask if you can see fit to support us in our emergency fund-raising drive.
If we did not need to, we would not ask this of people who live such a distance from Dundalk. But those people on the front line of this fight have dug deep over and over to raise the tens of thousands absorbed by planners, disbursements, and legal defense. We’ve raised it through penny drives, yard sales, benefit concerts, trivia nights, bottle drives, door to door canvassing and a few leadership-level gifts. But that money is gone and now we need more in a hurry.

We have a convenient on-line donation form at:
If you can see it in your heart to pay it forward on this one, we may yet prove together that the waste industry, just like the megaquarry, is not more powerful than democracy.
James Cooke
Vice-President, SPIRG

PS – to learn more about this issue, and SPIRG, visit our website:


  1. Laughing "that pubic discussion is a political duty" on the SPIRG website (25-Feb-2013 Special Issue of Common Ground - Now in Circulation). However, not laughing about needing to raise funds to meet the pre-emptive motion for costs prior to an appeal. That means only the rich can appeal. WTF?

  2. You can MAIL a donation payable to SPIRG c/o Doyle Prier 072188 Southgate SDR 17, R.R.#2, Dundalk, NOC 1B0