Are­na draft for ce­ment plant mee­ting


L’aré­na de Vank­leek Hill se­ra le site de la der­nière réunion pu­blique du 18 mai concer­nant un pro­jet de ci­men­te­rie dans le can­ton de Cham­plain. Or­ga­ni­zers of a pu­blic mee­ting about a pro­po­sal for a ce­ment plant near L’Ori­gnal ex­pect to have a big crowd show up for the event. So they’re going to hold the mee­ting at the Vank­leek Hill Are­na.

The Uni­ted Coun­ties of Pres­cott-Rus­sell (UCPR) plan­ning de­part­ment has sche­du­led the pu­blic mee­ting for May 18, star­ting at 6 p.m. The pri­ma­ry pur­pose is to al­low Cham­plain Town­ship re­si­dents, and others near­by, to ex­press their opi­nions about Co­la­cem Ca­na­da Inc.’s contro­ver­sial ce­ment plant pro­ject.

“Eve­ryone has the right to ex­press an opi­nion,” said Louis Pré­vost, UCPR plan­ning di­rec­tor, when he confir­med the mee­ting date to coun­ties coun­cil du­ring its April 26 re­gu­lar ses­sion.

Co­la­cem Ca­na­da wants to build its pro­po­sed plant on a site about five ki­lo­metres west of L’Ori­gnal, but the com­pa­ny first needs a re­zo­ning amend­ment to the UCPR Of­fi­cial Plan (OP). Cham­plain Town­ship coun­cil vo­ted against the re­zo­ning amend­ment re­quest but UCPR coun­cil sup­por­ted it.

Now the whole is­sue goes be­fore the On­ta­rio Mu­ni­ci­pal Board (OMB). Co­la­cem Ca­na­da fi­led an ap­peal to the OMB against Cham­plain Town­ship coun­cil’s de­ci­sion while a lo­cal com­mu­ni­ty group, Ac­tion Cham­plain, has fi­led an OMB ap­peal against the coun­ties’ vote.

Cham­plain Town­ship mayor Ga­ry Bar­ton, who is this year’s UCPR war­den, sta­ted that the aim of this month’s pu­blic mee­ting at the are­na is to al­low all re­si­dents of the town­ship and neigh­bou­ring com­mu­ni­ties a chance to voice their opi­nion about the ce­ment plant pro­po­sal.

“We will sit and lis­ten as long as we need to,” Bar­ton said. “The pur­pose of the mee­ting is to hear the pu­blic’s com­ments on the is­sue.”

—pho­to Gregg Chamberlain

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