Justice edges forward

Dec 02, 2009

By Dale Goldhawk

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Hey, we won another one! Charges have been stayed by a Midland judge against the Site 41 protesters who were charged with mischief for the dastardly deed of protesting Site 41 – the landfill that could have contaminated the purest water in the world in the Alliston Aquifer.

The protestors were released with a condition that some could have their charges reinstated within one year if they take part in similar activities. This could depend on whether Site 41 is resurrected in some form; don’t forget the Certificate of Approval hasn’t been withdrawn yet.

The best news is that charges were dropped against Ina and Keith Wood of Tiny Township. They were first to be charged earlier this summer. Ina, 76, has had a stroke and is in hospital.

Three of the Site 41 heroes, from Beausoleil First Nation, were also charged with intimidation. We’ll see what happens to these charges.

The Ontario Provincial Police and the provincial courts put on trial 18 people on mischief charges because they irritated politicians by trying to protest the contamination by Site 41 of the the aquifer used by tens of thousands of people from Elmvale to King City.

The staying of charges is good – while not a complete vindication. I viewed these as disgraceful charges and it seemed to me that our so-called justice system was practicing selective prosecution. In Caledonia, for instance, the police and others wouldn’t even investigate serious complaints on the grounds protestors might have fought back. But the system did strenuously go after sincere, hard-working, conscientious citizens who don’t have the resources or the willingness to fight back and were only trying to prevent the rest of us from getting cancer.

Frankly, I thought it disgusting that Simcoe County politicians brought an injunction against peaceful demonstrators who didn’t like the politicians’ plan to dump garbage on top of a treasured water supply. I thought it equally disgusting that the politicians and the court system, including Crown Attorneys and police, proceeded with enforcement of a questionable injunction.

Dump Site 41 is in its dying throes, we hope, but the courts ground on to grind down those who won this battle.

In the end, justice might triumph. In the end, the people who won this fight on behalf of all of us might be hailed instead of put on a form of probation. In the end, the Certificate of Approval will be withdrawn at Site 41 and it will be dead, dead, dead, never to surface again. Won’t that be nice?

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