OCCUPY WATERFRONT: 'Cabane' set up at tank site

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Geoff Stephenson, left, and Mark MacDonald at the site of a shed being used to house protesters near a waterfront tank project in Cornwall.

By Steven Smeall

CORNWALL, Ontario - A group of volunteers being led by former city councillor turned community activist Mark MacDonald have set up shop outside the site of chemical tanks on Cornwall’s waterfront.

The group has set up a portable shed, the same one used for the popular 'Cabane a Sucre' festival in Cornwall, in front of the entrance and hopes that by doing so that more attention will be drawn to what’s going on with the tanks.

“We set this up in protest because the politicians need to take control of the situation,” said MacDonald. “So far they haven’t done that.”

The group is upset that there has been no action from the city apart from a stop-work order and negotiations that have not achieved an agreement to see the project halted.

MacDonald was joined on Tuesday by Geoff Stephenson, who is running for city council.

“Our local government dropped the ball on this,” said Stephenson. “Nobody knew anything and suddenly construction started. Are you meaning to tell me that our local government didn’t know about this until construction started?

“This is a perfect example of what’s wrong. No one is in charge.”

Trillium Distribution has chosen to ignore the orders and this week is expected to renew construction at the site.

The group plans on remaining at the site for the next few weeks to raise awareness.

“Are we going to blockade it? We have to confer with the other people who have been involved so far. This is the first step,” said MacDonald.

MacDonald and Stephenson both agreed that if the tanks were to become operational that it would only spell trouble for the city.

“There is going to be 30 trucks going up and down this road each day once everything is operational,” said MacDonald.

“They’re human beings for god’s sake,” said Stephenson. “They’re going to be on the door step of this chemical storage stuff. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to be there.”

MacDonald stated he plans to make a statement Thursday at noon at the portable shed located on Harbour Street. 

Geographic location: Cornwall

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