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My View: The community that could
ST MARYS CEMENT ANNOUNCES
DELAY IN SENDING REGISTERED LETTERS
20 DAY NOTIFICATION OF OBJECTORS
St Marys Cement announced on November 11, 2009, that the company will be waiting until after the New Year to deliver the registered mail (20 day notification of objectors letter) to residents.
"The company now expects to send out the registered letters beginning the week of January 4, 2010, with the end of the 20 day period falling at the end of January."
The company will position this change as giving our Communities additional time to both consider the response letter mailed out to us and for us to prepare our response to it. And as an added benefit, it has been stated that the revised process timeline will not interfere with the upcoming holiday season.
While we will never know for sure exactly why St Marys Cement changed its plan, the facts are that they set out the original timeline for this process, and that the dates for the holiday season haven't changed. What does appear to have happened, is that St Marys seems to be missing it owns dates.
The company told us in Community Newsletter #9, dated Fall 2009, that we should expect three pieces of mail this autumn. First, the newsletter would arrive - which it did for most residents in the third week of September. It was to be followed two to three weeks later by the second item, a response letter to the objections we sent in. This letter arrived for some residents at the end of October, but this was over 5 weeks since the newsletter was distributed. The response letter was then supposed to be followed two to three weeks later by the third and final item, a registered letter. The registered letter would trigger the 20 day official notification period. As objectors, we would need to reply within the 20 day period, or our objections would be considered withdrawn. Given the delays already experienced in the original plan, it would appear that the 20 day response period would now fall during the holiday season. We believe this is the reason that the company has now delayed the mailings until January 2010.
St Marys could not manage to execute its own consultation process on time. Yet, St Marys Cement expects us to trust it to plan, construct, open, operate and rehabilitate a massive open pit mine.
As a community, we will be organized and ready to confirm our objections, whenever St Marys Cement sends the registered letters.
Please keep watching your e-mail and checking the community website (www.stopthequarry.ca) for further information and instructions. As support in January 2010, you can expect template objection renewal letters and a FORCE public meeting, along with drop-in centres and drop off locations, so that we can assist with the signing, collection and delivery of our objection renewal letters to both St Marys Cement and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Let's make it our collective New Year's resolution to stand up for our community and to reaffirm our objections to this outrageous proposal, in full force!
(We remind everyone reading this information to think of those in our community who may not be connected to the internet and ask that you take steps to ensure that they have access to this information. Perhaps you could drop it by their home, or perhaps you could print several copies and take it with you to services this weekend. We will succeed by working together; let's do everything we can to make sure everyone can stay involved. Thanks.)