Protesters walked from Martyrs' Shrine to Midland Town Hall to deliver boxes containing over 5,500 letters to Mayor Gord McKay. Photo courtesy of Jesuit Fathers of English Canada

Midland given 5,500 reasons to rethink recycling plant next to Martyrs' Shrine

By 
  • December 1, 2011

MIDLAND, ONT. - Midland Town Council has 5,500 letters to read and ponder before its Dec. 7 meeting, at which it is scheduled to look again at its decision to green light an outdoor waste recycling business next door to the Martyrs' Shrine and Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons.

Forty protesters walked through falling snow Nov. 30 from Martyrs' Shrine to Midland Town Hall to deliver boxes containing at least 5,500 letters to Mayor Gord McKay. It was the last day for written submissions before the Dec. 7 council meeting.

The letters came from local Midland residents, Toronto parishes that make annual pilgrimages to the shrine and from as far away as the Vatican.

Midland Town Council quietly approved a zoning change in April to allow Recycling Specialties Inc. to use land on the Wye River adjacent to both Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons and Martyrs' Shrine for uses that would include the sorting and reshipment of scrap metal, receiving truckloads of cardboard and plastic for resale into the recycling market and other recycling related uses.

More than 200 people have joined a Facebook group called "Protect the Martyrs' Shrine/Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons." Petitions against the industrial recycling operation are circulating in Toronto parishes.

The shrine and the provincial park, which contains the remains of Canadian martyrs St. Jean de Brebeuf and St. Gabriel Lalemant, have objected to the noise and visual impact of the operation.

Letters from local Midland residents, Toronto parishes and from as far away as the Vatican were presented to the Mayor Gord McKay.

Letters from local Midland residents, Toronto parishes and from as far away as the Vatican were presented to the Mayor Gord McKay.

- Photo courtesy of Jesuit Fathers of English Canada

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