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Annual General Meeting

March 20 2022

Report To AGM 2022 Click here to Download

Agenda Click here to download

Oxford Country Trails Council



Ingersoll Santa Claus Parade 2021

The OPAL Alliance gives thanks for a long and successful fight to the community. 
Thank you to all those that came out and braved the cold.

WE WON NOV 18 2021

Thank you to all the volunteers and the City of Ingersoll as well as Bryan and his team.


June 1 2021

Hello, all Zorrans

As you are aware, it’s been 9 long years that people have opposed the dump that Walker wants to build in Zorra. From our first meeting in the Embro Community Centre where John Vanthof, a farmer from northern Ontario and leader of the group which successfully stopped the Adams Mine dump, to the round of small group meetings in church basements and  halls in 2013 in multiple communities, OPAL has engaged in fact-based, informative and respectful dialogue with the community and municipal leaders. You told us all the reasons why it must be NO to Walker. Often that was at ReuseapalooZahas, great waste prevention and resource recovery events, and nice social occasion too, in the days when our health was safe doing these.

We want to continue that relationship based on mutual respect for people and the public’s input. Walker has yet to renounce their plans to dump 17.5 million tonnes of trash from outside Oxford into the Thames River headwaters and the groundwater source of our drinking water. We know that you can be persuasive.

What is attached is a long, long list of reasons, put together by experts hired by Zorra and other municipalities, to reject the dump. It also has direct phone numbers and email addresses for the Zorra Council members who, when eventually asked for permission by Walker to build the dump, need both your support as constituents and the facts as you see them to say NO to Walker. As the attached suggests, you can pick a few that are dearest and clearest to you.

To make a call or create an email will take about 10 minutes of your time. The dump with be a risk for 100s of years. It’s a good time investment for you to prevent it.

Please read the attachment and have a chat with decision-makers.

Thank you.  

For more information, contact OPAL’s president, Bryan Smith, at bryasmit@oxford.net.

The OPAL Alliance, while it includes multiple partners, is not associated with Max Kirby or The Fixers Group.

BILL 197 UPDATE - Zorra Township

At its January 21st meeting, Zorra Council adopted a motion asking the Minister of the Environment to re-open Bill 197. Currently, local communities have the right, according to Bill 197, to say “No” to Walker’s dump plan. Re-opening the bill puts us at risk. Click link below to access the press release.

Bill 197 Press Release Jan 21 2021


Environment Minister Jeff Yurek and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Ernie Hardeman joined local politicians and volunteers who have been fighting against a proposed landfill in downtown Ingersoll to celebrate Bill 197.

Yurek Hardeman Ingersoll July 16 2020


Plant a sign against the dump on your property. We keep getting requests for these and can provide a standard lawn sign, signs double the standard and easy to install on a fence with zip ties, a four-foot by four-foot sign for a busy location and even a 12 by 8 foot banner. Be sure to include your full address as well as sign size in your email to bryasmit@oxford.net

  • Talk to elected officials about what they are doing or can do to help stop the dump.

ZORRA Mailer - Check your Mailbox


Zorra Mailer June 2020



May 6 2020



Saturday Feb 29th 1:30 PM Walker Take a Leap Event

Update April 5 2020

Hello all,

COVID-19 continues to change our daily routines and I hope you are holding up well through the disruption. No doubt you have heard of cancellation after cancellation. OPAL has a few more –

  • Our AGM has been postponed until an all-clear from health authorities or we find a technology to bring us together virtually and virus-free.  

  • ReuseapalooZaha in Embro, slated for April 25th and even mentioned in the  Village Voice as "tentative" is now cancelled. The community centre there is closed until further notice. Our partners, the Thamesford Lions, are almost all in the age group most at risk.

  • The Tillsonburg Home and Garden Springfest, which for the past several years has been an occasion for us to explain the dump fight we are in and to gain solidarity among fellow Oxfordians and visitors from Norfolk, has been cancelled by its organizers. Our thanks to Bev and Dave who organize it. They are sad to miss the event and all the people who stream through the arenas, but want to ensure they all stay healthy.

  • Bonnie has posted on Facebook that the weekly sign waving events will halt.

 On the other hand,

  • You might be noticing more anti-dump signs on lawns. Contact-free drop-offs of signs continue. Let us know at bryasmit@oxford.net if your sign has disappeared or faded past reading in the 8 years it may have been on your lawn. We'll get one to you.  Make sure we get a complete street address for you, including fire numbers if you reside rurally.

  • Our Alliance partners, the Oxford Coalition for Social Justice have just sent an innovative idea to the Minister of the Environment, Mr. Jeff Yurek, that would divert tonnes of plastics from dumps. That would reduce the need for dumps dramatically and mean that the current private and public ones could handle all of Ontario's waste until better systems are put in place. Cheers to them.

  • There is a "pause" in the Environmental Assessment comment period. After intense pressure from three community groups and three local mayors, Walker paused the consultation. They have not provided any indication whether or not, once restarted, it will have the same number of days. Given Darren Fry's comments in the Sentinel-Review that the community had more than enough time for comment, this is something to watch.

  • Minister Jeff Yurek remains available by email at minister.mecp@ontario.ca if you have comments for him. The number of letters has fallen dramatically as we have ceased face-to-face meetings and sharing of pens. Remind Mr. Yurek why you oppose the dump.

 Most importantly, stay

  • Physically isolated as much as possible

  • In touch via telecommunication of any kind so you are not socially cut off.

  • Healthy.


 Bryan Smith, President  OPAL Alliance

Nov 17 2019

Christmas Parades

A HUGE THANKS to all our participants in the Ingersoll, Tillsonburg and Woodstock Christmas Parades!

 In particular THANKS to;

 Linda Ulch (of the Oxford Coalition for Social Justice),

 Dr. Tom Mayberry, the walking physician,

 Phil Howard, the parade crew organizer,

 Bonnie and Neil Dennison for delivering a banner and cheering loudly in Ingersoll,

 Greta Roberts (for photo) and Ken Westcar for reinforcements in Woodstock,

 Peter Croves for challenging Dr. Tom as the tallest wiseman,

 And last, but very much not least, Bryan Smith for making it all happen.

Nov 9 2019

Environmental Risks Ingersoll Ontario

Great turnout. Thanks to all who attended and contributed!
Excellent, very informative speakers.

Helpful discussions - both group and individual, with many new connections made and relationships developed.

Excellent organization, leadership.

Many books purchased and signed by authors, and letters to Queen's Park signed.

Quality victuals!

A few takeaways:

- as citizens we must advocate for ourselves - the health of our communities and the value of our properties

- business is business and exists to make a profit and will seek to do so in any way it can

- government most often tries to provide infrastructure, balance the books and seek economic growth, and may or may not advocate for protection of its constituencies'/residents' personal or collective interests

- advocating for protection of health and property values is usually very difficult and requires good leadership, communal cohesion and effort, persistence and patience.

- diminution (the loss of property values due to a perceived threat or negative, should be one of the main issues addressed in any Terms of Reference or Environmental Assessment of any proposed project that will affect the community

- we need participation from all interests and age demographics in efforts to protect our communities. Must address the fact that most participants are in the top third of the age demographic and find ways to attract/encourage the participation of the the bottom two-thirds, who are affected equally, if not more.

Bryan Smith President

Oct 31 2019

Contact The Province

"The Province wants input on how to save taxpayer dollars and make life easier for you".

"Tell them to stop considering the Beachville dump application now!"

You can help by visiting their site

Copying and pasting the prepared texts into the two matching boxes on the province's web page. I

f you wish to add your own comments please be respectful and objective.

Clicking the “Submit” button on the next page once your done.

Taking less than 5 minutes to do this will amplify our opposition to the Beachville dump and tell the Province how it can save money and make life easier for people in Oxford County and beyond.

Details and sample text from here:. http://www.opalalliance.ca/downloads.htm


Oxford People Against the Landfill

Oct 21 2019

Hello OPAL Alliance Volunteers!

On November 9th, OPAL invites all dump-fighters to Trinity United Church in Ingersoll at 1:30 for a brilliant session with

* Bob Burtt, investigative journalist and author of "No Guardians at the Gate", the story of Elmira, a community which the Ministry of Environment did not protect. Wonder what happened to their water? He will tell!

* Ben Lansink, real estate appraiser and author of the Lansink Report on home and property values in face of high traffic roads, dumps and other perils. Prices are trending which direction? He knows! 

* opportunities to buy Bob Burtt's amazing books and have them autographed. You'll want to buy "rare Moments" and hear about his plan for book #3

* opportunities to buy Dr. Poh-Gek Forkert's "Fighting Dirty" so you too can read how communities have come together to defeat dumps

* light refreshments offered by wonderful local bakers

* multiple ways to take action, including signing letters to the Minister of the Environment, Mr. Jeff Yurek, to encourage him to the take the next step and deny Walker the dump; donating to OPAL; getting your name on the OPAL Alliance email list to keep you up-to-date with information on our dump fight

* a chance to meet your neighbours and show solidarity with them against the dump.

We look forward to seeing you on November 9th. Mark it in your calendar now. Entry is free, and if you want to bring friends who also want to fight the dump, we'd love to see all.

I look forward to seeing you there. There are more details on the attached flyer. Have a look. Share it too please.

See our EVENTS page for further details

Bryan Smith, President OPAL Alliance


Climate-change and human-health related costs can no longer be externalised by business and industry if our quality of life and social equality are to be preserved or enhanced. Historic solutions to modern problems need to be questioned and quantified. An in-depth understanding of the issues related to the Walker Industriesproposed dumpproject in Beachville will enable factual dialogue and a search for better alternatives.

Kenneth Westcar Woodstock, Ontario DOWNLOAD NOW


Sept 14 2019

SWEABURG Reuse-A-Paloozaha

Thank you to all that that helped as volunteers, donated and came and took home some fantastic treasures.


Sept 9 2019

Hello OPAL friends and dump-fighters!

 1. The attached photos show you some of the people who have been appearing at our sign-waving events every Friday. This week, Friday, Sept. 13th, we will be at the intersection of Beachville and Embro Roads, right on Walker's proposed haul route. Join in making a statement: No Dump! Meet at 3:00, select a sign from the brilliant ones Bonnie has made, or use your own.

 If driving by, sound the horn, stop to chat, wave. Most of all, be very careful at this already very busy intersection. The truck traffic and ruts in the road are already a challenge.

 If you are looking for a copy of Dr. Poh-Gek Forkert's Fighting Dirty, the story of communities who won against a dump, there will be some available for sale.

2. On Saturday, Sept. 14th, at the Sweaburg Lions' Ball Park Pavilion, it's Reuseapaloozaha, starting at 8:00 am and running until close to 2:00 pm. Don't miss out on the fun. It would be great for you to come volunteer. It would be wonderful for you bring some things you wish to see reused. It would be fabulous for you to find treasures. Directions are attached too.

If you have a teen in tow, we can sign off for the mandatory high school volunteer hours too. As usual, all who come get a treasure too.

 Reuseapaloozaha will also have lots of letters for you to sign against the dump. Take action twice, by participating in the event and by telling Minister Yurek to say no to the dump.

 Cheers,  Bryan Smith, President OPAL Alliance

Aug 26 2019

Dear friends,

 OPAL continues to remind the government of its commitment to stop the dump made in the 2014 election. Here are a few ways that you can help:

* Join us for a sign-waving. This Friday Aug 30th, we are in Thamesford on Dundas Street near Tim Hortons.. Bonnie will bring lots of signs. You can borrow one.

* Drive by the sign-waving, sounding your horn or waving at us in a friendly manner. It helps other people get the message too.

* Stop by the Farmers' Market where we will have letters to the Minister of the Environment for you to sign. They remind him that "we ain't going away", as one loyal dump-fighter said seven years ago when the fight began. (By the way, he still opposes the dump actively). Pick up a copy of "Fighting Dirty" there too. We are selling them to support our fight.

* Ask family or friends in London to tell their City councillors and their MPP that they are worried about leachate from Walker's dump coming downstream to them. London needs to advocate on behalf of its citizens in this battle, too.

 Recently, Walker announced an indefinite delay on their submission of documents to the Minister for approval. Since five scientists have told us (and the Minister) that there is no safe way to build a dump, we think that's the reason: Walker is stumped. Additionally, Minister Yurek lives in the riding that contains the Green Lane dump in Southwold township. He knows it stinks and has said so in public. We'd like him to say that about Walker's plan too. We're encouraging him to do that, and with your help, it should happen soon.

 We continue to seek funds for our water expert, Wilf Ruland, to help us deny Walker's claims that drinking water can be safe in the presence of a dump. We know that all liners leak, and "Fighting Dirty" shows us the disastrous consequences when they do. If you wish to donate but don't frequent the markets, drop us a cheque made out to OPAL at the address below.

 OPAL Alliance, c/o S. Fleming, 205 George Street, Ingersoll, Ontario, N5C 1Z5


Thank you for all your support.  Sincerely, Bryan Smith, President, OPAL Alliance


Setting up for Flag Waving Beachville Ontario. Thank you to all those that came out or honked their horn. THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER

Thanks to Bryan AUGUST  Ministry Letters now available for download from our web page.

Summer 2019 Newsletter Now Available.


 UPDATE JUNE 25 2019


 It is summer and a great time to be outdoors. Breathing fresh air and enjoying the sunshine are precious to us, after a long wait through ice-storms in winter and rains falling in spring. Naturally, we don’t want our opportunity to be in the garden or a nearby park to be spoiled by the stench of Walker’s rotting garbage. So, around the BBQ, there is still time in conversation to remind ourselves and each other of the need to fight Walker’s plan for a dump alongside the Thames River.

 One way to remember our resolve to stop the the dump  is to have a look at www.opalalliance.ca where our newest newsletter appears. Click the link and have a look. It’s on Facebook and at local vendors too!

 If you are wanting to take action to help stop the dump, you can! Here are a few simple ways.

 1. Visit the market on Saturday morning, in Ingersoll or Woodstock, to sign some letters to the Minister of the Environment. Despite the change of name in the job, all letters count and you can continue to send them in. Mr. Yurek inherits the duty from Rod Phillips to consider our community’s opposition to the dump. Remind him of that.

 2. Send off a quick email to Mr. Yurek at minister.mecp@ontario.ca telling him what you value in the community, like summer days with friends or the splendid Canterbury Folk Festival, and naturally opposing the dump that would prevent our community’s enjoyment of summer events.

 3. Join us for the last sign-waving of the month of June at King and Whiting, near the Independent, this Friday at 3:00. Bring a sign or borrow one to wave; stroll by and say “Hi” or cruise by in the car and wave through the window. That will help all others, neighbours or visitors, understand how much you oppose the dump. If you need to find the schedule for summer and early fall sign-waving events, go to the OPAL Facebook page or www.opalalliance.ca

 Thank you. Enjoy summer.

 Bryan Smith, president

OPAL Alliance

 PS: If you are looking to donate to help stop the dump, donation boxes are at both markets weekly, or you can drop a cheque in the mail to OPAL, c/o S. Fleming, 205 George Street, Ingersoll, N5C 1Z5.

ReuseapalooZaha in Embro

 It was a windy start to the day, April 27,  but did not deter the bargain hunters at ReuseapalooZaha in the Zorra-Embro Community Centre. For the opening time at 8:00 to close down at 2:00 people came to share and to hunt bargains. There was furniture: a pair of chairs lifted from a helper’s hands as he carried them in. There were dishes: a full set of mugs were put to immediate service by 4H for warming cuts of coffee (after a careful washing, of course). The cat cage came and went; the pet dish disappeared. BBQs, ovens, toasters and other metal was hauled off to help the Lions in Thameford. Three people split the piles of tiles. And clothing! What an attractive display of clothing hung on the racks.

 The OPAL Alliance was out in force: The OPAL board, members and volunteers appeared; Transition to Less Waste was first off the mark in the morning, and came to help pack down; the Ingersoll District Nature Club put on a great show of solidarity; Oxford Green Watch came and went as needed. The Oxford Coalition for Social Justice enlisted its members too. Earning hours for volunteering, five students helped, hauled and hefted start to finish. All understood that reusing is a great alternative to trash going to dumps!



Produced by Ken Westcar  Best Viewed on You Tube CLICK HERE

What's wrong with a Mega-Landfill in Oxford?

Our Health & Environment 

The proposed landfill site threatens not only the health of the inhabitants in the three nearby communities of Ingersoll, Centreville and Beachville, but also environmentally significant areas such as the Centreville Conservation Area. The landfill would create millions of litres of toxic leachate and would be situated in fractured limestone near the aquifer. The risks to our drinking water and health are too great should something go wrong.

Economic Devastation 

A significant drop in the property values of nearby residents is expected. Lost revenue from a decrease of visitors to shopping, festivals and events is also predicted by area business owners. To add to this injury, the economic cost to repair roads roads, etc, due to traffic coming and going to  a landfill of this size is still unknown, but would be shouldered by area taxpayers. Legacy costs if it leaks would be immense.

Quality of Life 

The impact on our quality of life with the introduction of foul smelling air, particulate, and gasses, as well as an unsightly mountain of trash will be devastating. Instead of being a "Community in Bloom", our area would be an unwilling host to a rumbling motorcade of 340+ garbage trucks per day. Our reputation as a green, natural place to live would be forever be ruined if Oxford County, "The Dairy Capital" became "The Dump Capital".
Is this a done deal? How can we stop it?

Not even close to a done deal 

We've heard from some members of the public who think this landfill proposal is already done and there is nothing that can be done. Nothing is further from the truth! Walker industries has a long way to go before getting approval to dump 850,000 tonnes of trash a year in Oxford County. Our research has shown us that in every case where a proposed dump has been turned down it has been in large measure due to the activism of the local residents. We still can stop this!

Where this proposal is right now 

Right now Walker Industries, the company proposing to build the landfill within Carmeuse Lime's quarry site, is working through an official Ministry of Environment process. Currently, Walker is producing work plans for what they call their "preferred alternatives". The public has repeatedly rejected these. OPAL is fully engaged in this process with the support of, CELA (The Canadian Environmental Law Association) and Intends to refute Walker's submission to the MOECC (Ministry of Environment and Climate Change), so that the Minister will refuse their dump proposal. 

OPAL Alliance acts to protect our community and to ensure that Oxford County remains a great place to live and grow. As concerned citizens, we are engaged in the fight to stop locally unwarranted land uses. Our mission is to stop the dump Walker Industries would impose.