Napanee: Why Trade Tourism and a Unique Canadian Heritage for a Mega Dump?

July 13 | Posted by Heather | The Leaky Land Blog

By Stephen Medd

In 2006, the Minister of Environment turned down a proposal by the world’s largest waste company, Waste Management, to build a mega dump in Greater Napanee because Waste Management did not understand the complex geology of the site, even after nearly a decade of trying. Regrettably, in 2012 citizens of Napanee and surrounding communities are forced to fight a new proposal even after winning in 2006.

As we gear-up for another arduous battle we often remind ourselves why this matters.

A mega dump built on fractured bedrock is an environmental risk to the water that rural people and livestock rely on for drinking. It is a liability to our region in realizing our tourism potential and promoting our unique Canadian heritage and cultures. The true strengths of our communities should not be undermined by this risky and misguided venture.

 Napanee and the neighbouring communities of Adolphustown, Deseronto, Tyendinaga Township and Tyendinaga Territory of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte played a defining role in the creation of the province of Ontario and Canada. Together we are one of the cultural cores of this country when one considers the European Loyalists and Mohawk settlements that located here as refugees of the American Revolution. Several world famous historical people have lived and worked here including Sir John A. MacDonald and Oronhyatekha.

Napanee has been voted one of the prettiest towns in Ontario by TVO and the Harrowsmith Country Life Magazine. An emerging vineyard and wine industry is starting to take root in the Adolphustown area like it has in the neighbouring Prince Edward County. In recent years Napanee’s tourism potential has been bolstered by the international exposure we have received from our home-grown music sensation, Avril Lavigne.

Napanee and its neighbours are blessed with a number of beautiful waterways within its boundaries that comprise or feed the renowned Bay of Quinte including:

  • Adolphus Reach,
  • Long Reach,
  • Hay Bay,
  • the Napanee River and
  • the Salmon River.

Our home is the eastern gateway to the Bay of Quinte, an area providing great economic benefits from tourism such as international sport-fishing.

The Bay of Quinte has already been identified by the International Joint Commission on the Great Lakes as an area of environmental concern. Discharging leachate from a megadump into the Bay will only exacerbate the existing problem.

The future of our communities needs to be built in a thoughtful and sustainable manner without sacrificing the quality of life we have come to cherish with respect to the environment; heritage; arts and culture; sports, recreation and healthy living. The proposed Richmond Landfill expansion is counter to this vision.

Let’s stand up for building our communities based on our inherent strengths and not on becoming a dumping ground for all of Ontario!

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