Confrontation between OPP, rural landowners
Ontario Provincial Police and rural landowners had a confrontation Wednesday over the construction of septic treatment tanks near a dairy farm in the Upper Ottawa Valley.
Four members of the Ontario Landowners Association have already been ordered not to communicate with one another after they put up a blockade that halted construction of a sewage pilot project in Horton Township, just outside Refrew, last week.
Association President Jack MacLaren and members Ed Kennedy and Larry and Cindy Reid also face charges of mischief in addition to the communication ban.
"The response of Horton Township is to use the police to charge us, versus sitting down and having a talk with us and saying 'how can we solve this problem?'" MacLaren told CTV Ottawa on Wednesday.
Larry Reid who owns the dairy farm near the proposed septic tank construction site says he has several worries about the pilot project, which has been approved by the Ontario Environment Ministry.
"If the water gets contaminated, our livelihood is ruined," said Reid.
Although the project has provincial backing, 83-year-old Beulah Reid says the plan wasn't approved by her or her family.
"I feel they're just doing it for spite because we're living here. It just looks like they want to shove you down," she said.
MacLaren says the association will continue their protest and will obey the communication restrictions until the charges are either dropped or their case goes to trial on Aug. 13.
Until then, he says they won't stop fighting to end the construction of the septic treatment tanks.
"It's just the idea that across from your family home are 20,000 gallons of human manure. Who would want that? Would a good neighbour do that to you, I would say not," he said.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's John Hua