Mi'kmaq raise stakes in incinerator fight
Nov. 12, 2003
QUEBEC CITY - The chief of an aboriginal band in the Gaspé is
calling on the United Nations for help in the fight against the
building of a toxic waste incinerator in Belledune, New Brunswick.
Residents fear pollution will creep into Quebec.
John Martin, chief of the Gesgapegiag Band, said the Canadian
government is ignoring environmental commitments by allowing the
project to go ahead. The incinerator is already under construction
in New Brunswick.
See story From Oct. 15, 2003 - Gaspé considers tactics against NB plant
Martin said pollution from the incinerator is also a further threat
to his people's traditional food sources, and to their health.
He also said the Canadian government is not respecting international
environmental commitments and that agreements such as the Kyoto
Accord should protect against the incinerator project.
"Being aware of the level of pollution in the Baie des Chaleurs, to
us, it's unacceptable that we would have another industry setting up
shop," said Martin.
Bennett Environmental Inc., which is building the incinerator, said
it has developed a technology, a "thermal oxidizer process", in
which contaminated soils are treated at extremely high temperatures
to separate, remove and destroy the contaminants.
Martin said the UN may not be able to act, but he added that the
international body deserves to know Canada is breaking environmental
agreements, and should be held accountable.
"Hopefully, that will create pressure at the international level,
pointing out Canada in terms of their delinquence in regards to the
treaties they've signed," he said.
Martin said the project is going ahead despite the fact that proper
environmental impact studies have yet to be completed.