Métis Nation of Ontario Opposes Site 41



    SIMCOE COUNTY, ON, June 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Métis Nation of Ontario
(MNO) expressed supporttoday for the Council of Canadians and its efforts to
have Simcoe County halt construction of the North County Landfill - known as
Site 41.
    "The Métis Nation of Ontario wants to add its voice to the growing chorus
of individuals and groups who are strongly opposed to Site 41," said Gary
Lipinski, MNO President. "We endorse the plan by the Council of Canadians to
pursue appropriate legal action aimed at halting construction activity at the
site."
    The site of the future North Simcoe Landfill is in the Georgian Bay
Traditional Harvesting Territory of the Métis of Ontario. It is situated in
the midst of a significant watershed and a leak has the potential of
contaminating not just the pristine groundwater at the site, but as many as 13
lakes in the Georgian Bay area. In addition to MNO opposition to the landfill,
Nature Canada, the Chiefs of Ontario, the Dairy Farmers of Ontario and many
others have already protested development at the site.
    Métis in the region are represented by the Saguingue, Grey-Owen Sound,
Georgian Bay and Moon River Métis Councils. Pauline Saulnier, Regional
Councillor and Chair of the Georgian Bay Traditional Territory Consultation
Committee says, "our local Council supports the efforts to stop construction
of Site 41 and wants to remind governments at all levels of its legal
obligation to consult and accommodate Métis on activities that have the
potential to adversely affect Aboriginal rights or interests."
    While Saulnier is concerned about the lack of consultation with the Métis
on Site 41, she is expressing optimism about the plan to ensure that a
situation like this does not develop in the future. MNO,through the Georgian
Bay Métis Consultation Protocol signed between the local Métis Councils and
President Lipinski, will work with the Municipality of Simcoe County and the
province to provide input into the five year land use plan currently being
developed by the County.
    "The need for governments and industry to consult Aboriginal people on
industrial and commercial activities in the province is still relatively new,"
says Lipinski. "MNO has worked with the province and local Métis Councils to
develop a framework for consultation that will ensure that the interests of
Métis who continue traditional harvest practises are considered."
    For more information on Métis consultation in Ontario:
www.metisnation.org/consultations or contact Hank Rowlinson at
hankr@metisnation.org.




For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview: Melanie Paradis,
Director of Lands, Resources and Consultation, Métis Nation of Ontario, (416)
977-9881, melaniep@metisnation.org; Pauline Saulnier, PCMNO Region 7
Councillor, (705) 549-4410


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