Community Members Fight Back

Tuesday, 10 August 2010 19:00 Mike Epp

The Peterborough NDP have been getting a lot of emails lately from people in the community who aren't usually involved in politics. The bad news is they're worried by what our government has been doing these past few months. The good news is they want to do something about it! And they're demanding that we do something about it too. Please email us if you want to share any stories, insights, or demands you have that can help us make Peterborough and Canada better for everyone.


Good News from Millbrook, and Planning with CAPP

It is always great to have good news to report!

Thanks to a huge groundswell from residents of Cavan Monaghan, and beyond, the council voted August 3 against piping water from Millbrook to a proposed mammoth mixed development project in Fraserville south of Peterborough. It took a year, but the forces of light were ultimately successful.

Although outside our provincial and federal riding boundaries, the issue was just too serious to ignore. Independently, and through the local Council of Canadians branch, our members were at the forefront of this fight. Particular congratulations should go to Fraserville resident and former NDP riding exec member Catherine Kaye who was tireless in the fight.

Jane Zednik, an artist in Campbellcroft, kicked off the campaign last September calling attention to a 12 kilometre pipeline that was being planned to divert water to the Fraserville casino, Kawartha Downs which was to be expanded, along with an entertainment complex, hundreds of residential units, a golf course, hotel, recreation centre, community centre, big box stores, industrial enterprises, a “complete community in the official plan.” She posted an online petition and the drive to halt the project began.

Ms. Zednik noted that: “If the groundwater levels are lowered by the pumping out of the millions of liters of water needed daily from Millbrook, it could affect wells for miles around,” including Bewdley, Garden Hill, Pontypool and Springville.

Ms. Zednik says: “We believe that the amount of water required will have a detrimental effect on the environmental integrity, economic viability and social fabric of the community. By using the water and wastewater system that currently supplies the town of Millbrook, the capability for sustainable growth and new development in Millbrook and the surrounding area will come to a halt. As a result the town will not prosper, instead, it will die.”

Councillor Fern Armstrong who represents Millbrook on the Cavan Monaghan Township introduced a motion at the council meeting to kill the water diversion project outright. She said she was affected by the 2,000 names on the protest petition. Three of the five councilors supported it, so it was successful. Reeve Neil Cathcart and Deputy Reeve Brian Bartlett voted against it.

CAPP Planning Meeting

Peterborough New Democrats have also been participating in a group which was formed following the shameful proroguing of parliament by Prime Minister Harper last winter. It was called Canadians Against the Prorogation of Parliament and it organized meetings and one very strong downtown demonstration. It is not aligned with any political party and it is discussing some very serious issues.

Now renamed the Coalition Advocating Political Participation (or CAPP), its next meeting is Monday, August 16 at the Silver Bean Cafe in Millenium Park.

The meeting call comes from activist Jo Hayward Haines:

At a recent Coalition Advocating Political Participation meeting (formerly Canadians Against the Prorogation of Parliament), we talked about how to move forward with our mandate of ensuring that democratic principles and practices are alive and well in our culture. Many ideas got generated. In the wake of the recent G20 debacle, we thought it would be interesting to gather examples of democracy deficits in our society. With this as our focus, and in view of the need to sustain interest and maintain pressure on politicians to listen and respond, we're thinking about having a poetry slam on this theme: The Democracy Deficit, or something of that nature. (We're on the lookout for democracy - where is it??) Music would be crucial, as well.

SO - will you join us? We need all social/environmental justice and peace groups to plan together. Actually, we're in this for the long haul - we want to stage a series of events to enliven the subject and make it pivotal on getting responses from our governments on crucial issues, such as climate change and its environmental/economic effects, health care, education and so on.

We have scheduled a first all-group planning meeting for Monday, August 16 at noon at the Silver Bean, Millennium Park.

Please RSVP so we can count you in.

In solidarity,


Jo Hayward-Haines