I just heard about your fight to stop a dump in Oxford County. We had a similar experience of a dump that was being proposed in Ashfield Township in Huron County in the early 1990’s. I was in charge of the media. I had been a writer for a local weekly paper, the Lucknow Sentinel.
We won the fight to stop the dump. It happened because we kept the issue alive long enough for the whole citizenry of the county felt sorry for our plight. When everyone in Ashfield township and also many of the citizens of the county would ask the Reeve and all the council members “Joe, what the hell are you guys doing up there in Ashfield”, the dump idea was pretty much finished. I think they tired of their neighbours coming up to them and questioning them about it. From there Huron Council only find a way to save face to end it.
The thing you have to keep in mind is that the Achilles heal of most all politicians is that they like the power, so they want to get re-elected. I would hit the where they hurt. Write up a petition that directly and clearly states that the undersigned will never vote for anyone that votes in favour of allowing the building of the new dump. This is for your local council and also for provincial members if they will not express their opposition to the dump. If your local newspaper is on side write an open letter to each member of the council to declare their intention, and name your Provincial Member and get him/her to declare their opposition. Can you imagine the effect on elected officials if 5000 people or more say they will not vote for you ever again if you don’t oppose the dump. Elections are often won or lost with less than one thousand votes.
Thinking back, you know that not all members of Council are in favour of the dump. Ask them personally how you should go about to stop it. They will not approach you, but if you approach them they may give you good advise. Remember to keep it confidential if they do speak to you. Former members of council may be another good resource of information.
Who is down river of the Thames that relies on the water for drinking etc. Get them into the fight. Hit the decision makers from every angle possible. The dump in Ashfield had gravel on one corner, and right below it was an underground river. The underground river flowed in the direction of the town of Lucknow. So we went to Lucknow Council and let them know what may happen to their water source. They then went to Grey County and so Huron Council had both Lucknow Council and Grey County down their throats. We did luck out with that little gift, but we did have to take advantage of the opportunity.
Don’t shake just branches, shake the whole tree. You don’t know where the fruit will fall. In other words, take your fight in every conceivable direction, you don’t know what person or group you will be inspired to help you in your fight.
Contact me if you would like to speak more. I don’t know all the circumstances of the area.