By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – Protesters marched from MP Guy Lauzon's office to city hall opposing controversial storage tanks on Cornwall's waterfront Saturday afternoon.
Chuck Charlebois, chair of Groupe Renaissance Group, led over 50 people down Pitt Street as several protesters from Akwesasne followed in a truck waving flags.
"It's a continuation of seeing what people don't want, and it's very clear in this case it's no tanks," said Charlebois. "We want that message to always be clear and on the table to federal and provincial negotiators. That's why I come to these events."
Chris Malone attended the peaceful protest with his two sons, Kial, 9, and Cameron, 12. It wasn't their typical outing, but all three we're glad to march as a family.
"It's important because it's about their future," said Malone. "They didn't let the taxpayers of Cornwall know."
Crowd members from Akwesasne described the addition of calcium chloride storage tanks located near the Cornwall Harbour as unwanted eyesores. "We're here to support our neighbours," said Don Tahontsison. "We feel their voice should be heard."
Not even a week before the protest Charlebois sat with members of the city, Akwesasne, Trillium Distribution (owners of the tanks) and the federal government to discuss the direction of Cornwall's waterfront.
"We've been meeting and that's been hard since discussions didn't exist. They're listening now," he said.
Charlebois still feels blindsided and can't fathom how the upper levels involved expected to win the approval of local residents.
"It doesn't make any sense at all since we just got rid of five storage tanks from the same ministry. How can that happen?" he said.