I would like to draw readers’ attention to how the controversy in our town has been represented to other communities by Mayor Brian Milne.
Here are his words quoted last week in the Toronto Star: “It’s too bad a small group of scaremongers refuse to consider a reasonable debate.”
Considering the range of people opposed, and the number of them… considering the high number of signatures on the petitions, the public meetings, the delegations, and the lawn signs, is it possible that Mayor Milne believes that the opponents of sewage sludge processing in Dundalk amount to nothing more than “a small group of scaremongers?” One can only speculate on how that could be.
This much is clear. Through their actions, Mayor Milne and his council have precluded the option of a reasonable debate. They negotiated land sales for commercial waste processing projects in secret. To those secret deals they attached binding agreements to support the commercial proponents through the regulatory approvals process. Then, they allowed Southgate staff to send “willing host” communications to the Ministry of the Environment. All this happened before the residents of Dundalk were informed about or consulted on these projects. When the deals were announced, they were presented to Dundalk residents as “a done deal.”
It’s not possible to settle issues by means of a reasonable debate if one side insists that the outcome must be determined in their favour before the conversation begins. No reasonable opponent could submit to such terms.