rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Stand up for Southgate in fight against sludge plant

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

The community of Southgate, Ontario is fighting to stop a sewage sludge treatment plant from being built there, beside a wetland and a few hundred meters from the local elementary school. Unfortunately, their Mayor and Council appear to be going out of their way to help bring the plant -- and hundreds of tonnes per day of Toronto sewage sludge -- to the tiny community.

Real democracy requires transparency and when elected officials meet corporate interests quietly, behind the scenes and "in-camera" (which actually means no cameras or members of the public are allowed to know what is discussed) there is no chance that democracy will be served. This is a common occurrence in the battle between the residents of Southgate and their elected officials.

Now, Southgate Council has asked the courts to require that their own citizens provide a $15,000 security deposit before they can proceed with a challenge to the building permit which Southgate Council gave the sludge plant. If the Southgate Public Interest Research Group (SPIRG) cannot come up with that $15,000 to guarantee paying their own Council's legal bills (if they lose) the appeal will not be heard! The Conservative Party of Canada tried unsuccessfully to crush the robocall court case with this same tactic -- happily their request for a $250,000 guarantee was rejected by the court.

For the people of Southgate who have already fought so long and spent a small fortune, this requirement for a $15,000 guarantee may as well be ten times as much. They simply cannot manage it on their own on top of all the other costs associated with the fight. This is their last chance to use the courts to stop this unwanted sludge plant from being forced upon their community. Please consider making a donation: http://www.stopthewastepark.com/

The Council of Canadians is in full support of the community's opposition to the sludge plant and calls on the Ontario government to order a complete environmental assessment of the project.

More info:



Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.