By Stewart Grant
As I recently reflected in our Canada 150 edition, the arrival of the St. Marys Cement Company in 1912 has impacted our town greatly, providing scores of jobs and helping to fuel the growth of the community.
Beyond economics though, the close proximity of the quarry and plant operations to residential St. Marys is a topic of concern for some members of the public regarding issues on an environmental level.
Votorantim, the parent company of St. Marys Cement, has previously established a Community Liaison Committee in Bowmanville to address environmental-related concerns in that community, and wishes to setup something similar here in St. Marys.
St. Marys Cement wishes to strengthen its relationships with the residents of St Marys by forming a Community Liaison Committee to promote two-way communications and an ongoing open dialogue. Residents who are interested in being advocates of preserving the legacy of St Marys Cement and representing the concerns of the community are welcome.
The Committee is to meet up to four times per year. The initial meeting was held on May 16th, with the following in attendance: Town of St. Marys representatives Al Strathdee and Jim Craigmile, St. Marys Cement Plant representatives Jose Soraggi, Kara Terpstra, Vanessa Barr and Robin Manzer, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change representative Fernando Circelli, and Perth District Health Unit representative Dan Singleton. It is hoped that up to three members of the community will step forward to round out the committee.
To apply or enquire about joining the Community Liaison Committee please contact St. Marys Cement’s Environmental Coordinator Kara Terpstra at 519-284-1020 extension 235 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by July 31st.