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Ride to halt Dump site 41 (Posted On: Friday, August 21, 2009)

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Simcoe County resident and York University student Shaun Hodgson and friend Rob Weller will ride over 100 kilometres in support of a one-year moratorium on construction of Dump Site 41.

The two cyclists, along with any one else who wishes to join them, will leave Dump Site 41 at 10 a.m. on Sunday, August 23 and expect to arrive at the Ontario Ministry of Environment office at

135 St. Clair Ave. W. in Toronto on the afternoon of Monday, August 24. Simcoe County Council is to meet Tuesday and Wednesday August 25-26 to vote on a moratorium, along with other Dump Site 41-related matters. 

Shaun has participated in two volunteer projects in Latin America, working with inner-city youths and child workers. He has co-chaired the Georgian College branch of World University Services of Canada and managed various projects with Georgian Students for Environmental Awareness and Research. Shaun spoke of the Bolivian “Water War” at a conference on the UN Millennium Development Goals.

"What the water war in Bolivia demonstrates is that it is possible to change people’s lives, collectively,” Shaun says. “Even if our enemy is very powerful, he is not invincible.” Shaun welcomes anyone and everyone to join him on the ride in the defense of water and life, in support of the aboriginal protest at Site 41 and a one- year moratorium.

The controversial DS41 issue has been a part of Shaun’s life for several months.  Shaun has participated in the marches, showed support at town meetings, slept with one eye open in front of the gate, replenished water supplies for the camp, prayed during the ceremonies, stood shoulder to shoulder during the rallies, shared among our brothers and sisters during the Saturday potlucks, and passed out leaflets.

This is a protest that has bought together farmers and First Nations people, environmentalists and church groups – all united to defend the Earth that they depend on and feel such a strong connection with. It has been over one hundred days of protest for the natives camping across from Site 41. What started out as the sacred fire burning in the open air in a clover field has mushroomed into one of Canada’s top environmental issues.

We the coalition to stop dump site 41 are a part of a growing chorus of voices that are calling for a one-year moratorium for  public hearings and to allow for an independent scientific assessment of the model used to grant the permit, which has never been made public. In addition, it is the Federal government’s responsibility to consult native peoples in matters that affect their way of life and well being.

There has been a serious lack of disclosure and transparency from Simcoe County politicians, the Ministry of the Environment, and consultant Jagger Hims Ltd. (now Genivar) for over 20 years regarding verifiable test results, including the Modflow data. The Modflow is still being withheld from the Community Monitoring Committee, even after repeated requests through the freedom of information commissioner.

“Much has been learned in Canada and around the world about the need to protect watersheds and water basins since DS41 was chosen,” Shaun notes. In 2006, recognizing the crucial need to protect Ontario’s water resources, the government passed the Clean Water Act, which states that stopping contaminants from getting into our drinking water supplies is the first line of defense in protecting our environment and our health.

Shaun Hodgson contact: 705.794.1191

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