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G&R dump: civil society calls for a cleanup

NGOs and Allied Groups United Against Environmental Racism on Indigenous Lands

Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier François Legault, 

 

As you may have been informed by your respective ministries, the G&R Recycling facility in Kanehsatà:ke, Québec, has been reported to contain toxic waste without permits or precautions(1) to prevent spillage into the environment. Health experts cited in local media and the Toronto Star(2) identify this waste as a threat to human health. The longer this waste sits unmanaged and untreated on Indigenous land, the greater the threat to all adjacent communities and waterways connecting with the St. Laurence seaway.

 

Evidence from documents obtained through Freedom of Information Requests establish that Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Québec Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques have been aware of the presence of toxic waste on the site since 2019. In spite of this, neither the federal nor the provincial government has taken decisive action to secure the site. Instead, they have consistently redirected responsibility to one another, leading to a persisting danger for local residents with no clear roadmap for cleanup.

 

G&R is no isolated incident. In 2019, the United Nations rapporteur for human rights and hazardous substances stressed that Indigenous Peoples are “disproportionately affected” by toxic waste. At Grassy Narrows, much of the population suffered from Mercury Poisoning. At Fort McMurray, First Nations communities continue to bear the brunt of the energy sector’s activities. 

 

At a time when Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is a national dialogue, actions must follow words to alleviate the historic and systemic mistreatment of Indigenous communities. We the undersigned in this network are calling on you today to mobilize the vast resources of the federal and provincial governments to immediately secure and decontaminate this dump site in Kanehsatà:ke and others like it.

 

We also ask the federal government to re-introduce Bill C-230(3), as reported by committee in the last Parliament, and seek the agreement of other parties to proceed to third reading before the end of the year.  If passed, this bill would reveal the discriminatory effects of environmental policy-making and, we hope, avoid further instances of unregulated and dangerous waste sites on Indigenous lands and adjacent to the homes of the country's racialized populations.

 

Concretely, as an immediate display of good faith and commitment to Reconciliation, we demand that the federal government coordinate with the Province of Québec and Band Council to develop a plan to clean up the G&R facility with a publicly-available timeline and milestones. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

(Signatories below)
 

Current Signatories:

  • 350 Canada

  • 350 Montreal

  • Action cancer du sein du Québec / Breast Cancer Action Quebec

  • Action Environnement Basse Laurentides

  • Amnesty International Canada (English Speaking)

  • Amnistie internationale Canada (francophone)

  • Association des étudiant.e.s diplômé.e.s du département d'histoire de l'Université de Montréal (AÉDDHUM)

  • Association québécoise des médecins pour l'environnement (AQME)

  • Black Environmental Initiative

  • Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment/ Association canadienne des infirmières et infirmiers pour l'environnement (CANE-AIIE)

  • Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment

  • Canadian Coalition for Environmental and Climate Justice

  • Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (SCFP)

  • Centre justice et foi

  • CFMS HEART

  • Chrysaliid Design

  • Ciel et Terre

  • Climate Justice Laurier

  • Climate Justice Montreal

  • Climate Pledge Collective

  • Coalition Alerte à l'enfouissement Rivière-du-Nord

  • Coalition Verte / Green Coalition

  • Collectif La ville que nous voulons

  • Com'femme

  • Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain-CSN

  • Créat’heure Éducative

  • David Suzuki Foundation / Fondation David Suzuki

  • DAWN Canada

  • Divest McGill

  • Earth Action Inc.

  • Eau Secours

  • Eco-Art Workshop Program

  • Environmental Defence

  • ENvironnement JEUnesse

  • Équiterre

  • Extinction Rebellion Québec

  • Fédération des femmes du Québec

  • Fondation Filles d'action / Girls Action Foundation

  • Fridays for Future Toronto

  • Front commun pour la transition énergétique

  • Front commun québécois pour une gestion écologique des déchets (FCQGED)

  • Gidimt'en Checkpoint

  • GreenFaith Montreal

  • Groundswell Projects

  • The Hudson Food Collective

  • Ilot centre de crise de laval

  • Indigenous Climate Action

  • Indigenous Land Defence Across Borders

  • Intre-G Productions

  • KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

  • L'R des centres de femmes

  • La CEVES

  • Le Collectif Soignons la justice sociale/The Caring for Social Justice Collective

  • Les enjeux de l'insecticide Bti sur la biodiversité

  • MARE (Mouvement d'action régional en environnement)

  • Mères au front

  • Mères au front Rosemère et les environs

  • Mères au front de Rouyn-Noranda et leurs alié.e.s

  • Mères au Front Vaudreuil Soulanges

  • Montreal Quaker Meeting

  • Mouvement d'éducation populaire autonome de Lanaudière (MÉPAL)

  • Mouvement d'éducation populaire et d'action communautaire du Saguenay-Lac Saint-Jean (MEPAC)

  • Mudgirls Natural Building Collective

  • Mutant Akademy / Revolt Motion

  • Nature Canada

  • Nature Hudson

  • No More Silence

  • Nova Scotia Voice of Women for Peace

  • OPIRG Toronto

  • Organisation of Urban Planning Students at McGill

  • People's Health Movement Canada - Mouvement populaire pour la santé au Canada

  • Planners Network-Montreal Chapter

  • Pour le futur Montréal

  • Pour Nos Enfants / For Our Kids Montréal

  • Prevent Cancer Now

  • Projet accompagnement solidarité Colombie

  • Quit RBC / Lâche RBC

  • Ralliement contre la pollution radioactive

  • RAVEN (Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs)

  • Raven Knits Design

  • Recherche Indépendante de retraité.e.s en Écologie

  • Regroupement d'éducation populaire en action communautaire des régions de Québec et de Chaudière-Appalaches

  • Regroupement écocitoyen de Sainte-Marthe-sur-Le-Lac

  • Relais-femmes

  • Research for the Front Lines

  • Réseau Alternatif et Communautaire des Organismes (RACOR) en santé mentale de l'île de Montréal

  • Réseau d'action des femmes en santé et services sociaux

  • Réseau des femmes des Laurentides

  • Réseau des Tables régionales de groupes de femmes du Québec

  • Réseau Québecois Action Santé Femmes (RQASF)

  • Réseau québécois des groupes écologistes RQGE

  • Save Fairview Forest - Sauvons la Forêt Fairview

  • Seniors For Climate Action Now! SCAN!

  • Sierra Club Québec

  • Small Change Fund

  • SOS territoire

  • Stand.Earth

  • Table de concertation de Laval en condition féminine

  • Table de concertation du mouvement des femmes de la Mauricie

  • Table des groupes de femmes de Montréal

  • Table régionale des organismes volontaires d'éducation populaire (TROVEP) de Montréal

  • Table ronde des OVEP de l'Estrie (TROVEPE)

  • The Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities and Community Health Project

  • True North Insight - Voie boréale

  • Union paysanne

  • Voix juives indépendantes - Montréal

  • Women's Healthy Environments Network

Notes:


1. Compilation of research on infractions and toxicity at G&R Recycling facility including links to information received in FOI requests (available on Home Page of https://www.reconciliaction.org/)    

2. Select Prior Media Coverage:


Toronto Star: Investigation Reveals Damning Contamination

La Presse: Dépotoir illégal à Kanesatake Des BPC et de l’eau « noire comme du goudron »

Ricochet: Threats, fines and fear: A dump on Mohawk land overflows with industrial waste

3. History of Bill C-230: National Strategy to Redress Environmental Racism Act

https://openparliament.ca/bills/43-2/C-230/
https://www.parl.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?billId=10866225&Language=E


 

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