On Monday, November 9th, at about 7am, a group of Shawnigan residents, incensed at the idea of a great convoy of trucks hauling major amounts of contaminated soil into the watershed, arranged the first of several planned blockades of the dumping grounds.
Working on their own and separately from the SRA, the protesters responded with what was described as a gut reaction to what is seen as a rush to dump as much toxic material as possible before the courts order a stop to the operation.
One member of the group said that it has become clear that the Ministry of the Environment plans to bulldoze the people of Shawnigan into submission and that the only recourse left is to block trucks and take a chance on being arrested.
The contract to haul toxic dirt in from Nanaimo is said to be worth around 60 million dollars.
Apparently many people plan to start obstructing trucks at the dumping facility and at various places on the highway from Nanaimo. "This escalation is needed because the SRA and the CVRD are being delayed and ignored by the Ministry. Today we only delayed about 20 trucks. In the coming days we plan to do much more", said one of the protesters.
This action is not being encouraged by the SRA who are currently in court looking for a stay on the dumping. Calvin Cook, president of the SRA, has expressed concerns for the safety of those taking this action.