Premier on York1: ‘..first I’ve heard…’

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford, shown here with Chatham-Kent–Leamington MPP Trevor Jones in a 2022 photo, said he recently he was unfamiliar with the York1 landfill/recycling proposal for a property just north of Dresden. (Image courtesy Greg Coulter/South Point Sun)

By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he has no knowledge of the changes proposed for the landfill at Dresden.

His comments came during a press conference in Windsor recently when he came to announce millions in funding for road infrastructure.

During the media scrum following the announcement, Ford was questioned by a CBC journalist about plans by Mississauga-based York1 to expand landfill capacity at Irish School Road and build a regenerative recycling facility.

“You know something, I’ve got to apologize; this is the first I’ve heard about it,” Ford told the reporter. “I’m sure Trevor (Jones, Chatham-Kent–Leamington MPP) knows all about it,” he said.

Ford told the reporter he “would get back to him” on the matter saying he would sit down with Jones, “have a chat, and “see if we can get some answers there.”

When speaking to the matter, the premier said he “believes in the people.

“If the people like something, we do it,” Ford said. “If they don’t, we don’t do it. It’s about as simple as that.”

Ford’s comments come on the heels of a highly publicized outcry against plans to revive the dormant landfill. The protest has coalesced into a wave of opposition, transcending all political stripes. A community group called Dresden Citizens Against Reckless Environmental Disposal (CARED) has been created to mobilize against the project.

Signs against the York1 plan line the roads into the North Kent community.

Local residents are worried about around-the-clock truck traffic and the effect the proposal will have on water wells and species at risk in the nearby Sydenham River.

North Kent Coun. Jamie McGrail said she’s looking forward to the premier’s next steps regarding the proposal.

“If he can and he will, let’s just stop this in its tracks right now,” she said.

The project in question is located one kilometre north of the 2,500-member community. The 83-acre parcel of land was operated as a landfill for the Town of Dresden prior to amalgamation in 1998. It was then sold and operated as a wood pallet disposal operation.

York1 currently has two applications before the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks to increase capacity at the site. The company is seeking permission to operate 24/7.

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