Posted on Friday, September 1, 2017 at 2:50 p.m.
Mohawk Nation Grand Chief objects to cement plant project
won’t be a full hearing before the Ontario Municipal Board until
September 2018 on a controversial cement plant project near the Village
of L’Orignal. It may not even take place at if the leader
of the Mohawk Nation has anything to say about the matter.
not just a local issue anymore,” said Serge Simon, Grand Chief of the
Mohawk Council of Kanesatake, to Richard Makuch of the Ontario Municipal
Board (OMB) Friday morning in counties council
chambers in L’Orignal.
scheduled the Sept. 1 meeting as a preliminary gathering of all sides
concerned in appeals on Colacem Canada Inc.’s rezoning application for
property near L’Orignal. The company wants to
build a cement plant there and faces opposition from both Champlain
Township council and Action Champlain, a grassroots community group,
about the environmental and other impacts of the project.
who chaired the meeting, stated that the earliest date possible for a
full hearing on the matter is September 2018 with a five-week window
kept open then to allow all sides to present arguments
and witness testimony.
Chief Simon told Makuch that the Mohawk Nation was never consulted about
the proposed project. He expressed concern about the potential
environmental impact of the plant’s effluent on his community
which is located downstream along the Ottawa River. He indicated that
the issue of aboriginal rights should take precedence over an economic
“Colacem is going to have to answer some serious questions,” said Grand Chief Simon.
Section 35 of the Constitution Act concerning First Nation rights and
noted Canada is also signatory to various international law agreements
dealing with the rights of indigenous peoples.
He stated that he will contact federal Environment Minister Catherine
McKenna on the matter and also take it to the Prime Minister’s Office