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Land purchase protects Sainte-Marie among the Hurons and Martyrs’ Shrine from impacts of waste recycling plant

Wednesday, August 6th 2014 8:50:49am

(August 6, 2014-Midland, ON) The threat of a waste recycling site next to Sainte-Marie among the Hurons and Martyrs' Shrine has been averted.

On July 25, the Jesuits in English Canada bought the site at 1001 Franke Kindred Road, (near Highway 12 and the Wye River), from Recycling Specialties Inc. The Jesuits are also the owners of the properties where the Martyrs’ Shrine and Sainte-Marie among the Hurons are located.

“We are extremely pleased to have successfully secured this site. The purchase means a permanent green buffer to further enhance the integrity of both Martyrs' Shrine and Sainte-Marie,” stated Father Peter Bisson, SJ, Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in English Canada.  “We are grateful for the cooperation of Recycling Specialties who had originally planned to develop the site and the Midland residents and neighbours who supported us."

The plan to locate a recycling facility at the location first emerged in 2011. The proposal faced an enormous outpouring of public concern, including a protest march from the Martyrs’ Shrine to deliver over 5,700 signed Letters of Concern to the Mayor of Midland. While most letters came from Midland and the surrounding areas, others came from across the country and around the globe.

“Martyrs’ Shrine and Sainte-Marie among the Hurons are two very significant destinations of pilgrimage and learning that recall the early history of contact between Europeans and the Aboriginal inhabitants,” said Father Bernard Carroll, SJ, Director of Martyrs' Shrine. “The purchase of this property is an important contribution to preserving these priceless treasures of our heritage.”

Jan Gray, General Manager of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, commented, “I am delighted by the leadership of the Jesuits in finding a solution that ensures our visitors will continue to have a peaceful experience at Sainte-Marie.”

Father Bisson added that they expect to work with local conservation organizations and agencies to enhance wildlife habitat on the site adding that, “The 180,000 visitors that come to the sites each year will be assured that the quality of their future visits will not be diminished by nearby industrial activity.”

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For more information and to schedule interviews, please contact:

Bernard Carroll, SJ, Director of Martyrs’ Shrine, at (519) 829-3431 or bcarroll@martyrs-shrine.com.
John Zurakowski, Manager at Martyrs’ Shrine, at (705) 526-3788 or jzurakowski@martyrs-shrine.com.
Don Huff, President at Environmental Communication Options, at (416) 972-7401 or huffd@ecostrategy.ca.