To the editor:

To all citizens of Champlain and area, be advised that as the lone supporter of the Colacem cement plant  I am not daunted by the reception afforded my presentation at the October 17 public meeting.
Emotions were expressed repeatedly and in my opinion, the absence of logical thought prevailed. The same can be said through out the entire process thus far since originally announced.
The most disturbing aspect to me is that seemingly intelligent individuals have accepted the statements released by Action Champlain as gospel without doing their due diligence of independent research.
In response to some of the topics at issue, I offer the following for your own scrutiny:
Health – The Medical Officer for Eastern Ontario requested Public Health Ontario to review the effects from cement plant operation in L’Orignal. The review comprised of 20 studies (including some of those mentioned by Action Champlain) and concluded in their published release of August 2016. The summary states “limited information was found about health effects related to community exposures to cement plant operations and similar industries. In the studies reviewed, a casual relationship between the proximity to a cement plant and an excess risk of cancer and other health effects could not be established. However, health impacts were identified in the surrounding communities, including specific cancers (i.e., lung cancer, colon-rectum and NHL) and respiratory diseases. The health impacts found in these studies may not be generalizable to the community in L’Orignal as emissions from cement plants vary significantly based on inputs, meteorology, and pollution controls.”
Land –  The “rural” designation of excess and or marginal land was formally used when a defined use was undetermined. As an example, the lands subject to rezoning application, provided a mix of permitted uses from agricultural, veterinary establishment, pit quarry, etc., thus the vague designation. The “Farmington Loam” soil while providing good drainage, in this specific location has a shallow depth and the substratum of limestone thereby high lightening the limitations and impracticality of agricultural use. I believe, at one time, a local sporting group used the property for firearms target practise.
Employment – Small businesses do contribute the best opportunity for employment, however the establishment of a major industry accelerates the development of enterprises for supply and service facilities as auxiliary and complimentary to that industry.
Value – We value our quality of life, however it has to be affordable. With Federal and Provincial deficits exploding out of control and the demands we place on our municipality for services and maintenance of our infrastructures comes with a high price tag. We have a choice, pay with the revenues from industrial development or pay with the collapse of our community. Please realize that progress no matter how unpalatable to the few, will benefit the community as a whole.

Jim Walsh
L’Orignal, On.