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Algoma Mills ceremony Saturday supports Blanding's Turtle fight

Ceremony to be hosted by Marly Day and a potluck feast will follow
Blandings turle
Blanding's turtle. Source: / Ian Dickinson

The march towards the creation of a gravel pit on crown land adjacent to Lake Lauzon in the Township of the North Shore continues.

That progress is much to the chagrin of many area residents, including many people living at Serpent River First Nation.

Township Council approved a zoning change for a tract of land that permitted it to be used as a gravel pit by southern Ontario- based Darien Aggregates, in 2019.

Since then the issue has become something of a moot point due to softening of quarry approval regulations by the Ford government.

Rhonda Kirby is inviting the public to her family home on Pronto Road on Saturday for a Harvest Moon Ceremony themed to support ongoing efforts to thwart the quarry and protect the environment.

"We would like to thank all of you who have supported us in our efforts to challenge the proposed Darien quarry over the past years," she said. "We continue to do what we can and are still waiting for a decision regarding the Ontario Land Tribunal but the odds are stacked against us."

She said the environmental group North Shore Environmental Advocates Inc. is thankful for those who have supported the quarry-challenging efforts over the years.

The group is awaiting a decision regarding the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) but believes the odds are stacked against them. Indigenous community consultations are expected to take place at the OLT in October.

"We don't want Darien Aggregate's promises to be the only story that they hear," Kirby concluded.

The ceremony at the Kirby home, 1339 Pronto Road, will start at 2 p.m. It is being hosted by Marly Day, a local First Nation elder, in an effort to protect the Blanding's turtles and their wetland habitat from the quarry development.

To get to Rhonda and Tom Kirby's residence take Pronto Road north off Hwy 17 at Algoma Mills to the end of the pavement, then turn left into their driveway.

There will be a potluck feast later in the day.

If you are looking for a place to stay in the area Saturday night, call Janice and Gary Gamble at 705-849-0129.


About the Author: Brent Sleightholm

As a reporter, Brent has covered everything from amateur and professional sports, to politics, entertainment, police and courts, to human interest stories and government issues
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