Action Champlain has not given up. The citizens group continues its opposition to the Colacem cement plant and on February 22, asked Champlain Township to call for an independent, third-party evaluation of the project and that the municipality would also call upon the United Counties of Prescott-Russell to support the request for an impact assessment. These requests should be supported by three tiers of government, according to Action Champlain.

A third ask by Action Champlain was that Champlain Township would refuse approval of the Colacem site plan agreement until such time as the company agrees to submit a plan that outlines how it will reach a 40 per cent reduction in their greenhouse gases by 2030–and net zero by 2050.

Gary Champagne addressed council on behalf of Action Champlain, which contends that local elected officials who early on voted in favour of the project, failed to fully appraise “the negative impacts on the environment, the ecology, and the health of the lands, waters and lives of all concerned.”

Looking only at the prospect of increased employment and economic benefits, Action Champlain holds that a cost-benefit analysis, with a review of the pros and cons and socio-economic impact on the region’s people, should have been done.

Cement plant project was not fully studied: Action Champlain

Champlain Township gave Action Champlain $50,000 as the citizens organization pursued an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board, which later became the Land Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), objecting to the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR)’s approval of a zoning change which would allow the Colacem plant to proceed. Colacem appealed Champlain Township’s decision to reject the zoning change requested by Colacem. The two hearings took place simultaneously in late 2020 and in 2021, LPAT ruled in favour of the Colacem cement plant proceeding.