A Brief History of Lincolnville

• Lincolnville was settled by Black Loyalists in 1784, after the 3000 acre “Thomas Brownspriggs” land grant promised to them by Queen Victoria was never honored.

• Black families who were driven from their promised land and moved further inland away from the white population.

• They were forced to become squatters and took claim to a barren rocky piece of land, what is now called the community of Lincolnville.

• In 1941 the first school was constructed, educating children to grade six.

• In 1965, a Consolidated school was constructed in Lincolnville, which was to encompass white children from a neighboring community, however, the Municipalities of Guysborough and Antigonish changed it’s county boundaries to insure that white children would not attend, thus making the school segregated.

• Lincolnville school, although not recorded, was the last school in Canada to “officially” close its doors to segregation, in 1983. • Since 1974, the Black community of Lincolnville has been fighting against the unconsensual situating of landfills next to their community –placing their health and rights in jeopardy.

• Having to squat for promised land they were driven from, facing differential treatment through the segregation of State institutions, and suffering the consequences of undemocratic decisions that impose environmental burdens on a population, are only symptoms of a much larger cause: racism and, more specifically, the government’s racist policies.

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Environmental Racism?

• Environmental Racism can be defined as the intentional situating of hazardous waste sites, landfills, incinerators, and polluting industries in and around communities inhabited mainly by people of Black descent and First Nation people, as well as the working poor. Environmental racism is also used as a political tool to displace a group of people off their land for elite economic gains.

• Minorities are particularly vulnerable because they are usually seen to have limited resources from having been pushed down by a system of economic exploitation and political exclusion; they are therefore not expected to fight back against the poisoning of their neighborhoods. Race is the most significant variable associated with the location of hazardous waste sites.

• Despite a 1992 Human Rights Commission recommendation clause which stated that “No more landfill sites within certain radius of African and Native Community,” a Dalhousie study conducted in 1996 found that over 30% of African Nova Scotians live within a 5km radius to a waste dump. This figure has since been precipitated increasingly.

• Provincially, environmental racism is a standardized process that has become systematically reinforced throughout the history of Nova Scotia including: Africville (1960’s), Lincolnville landfill (1974), East Lake Landfill (1992), Halifax wastewater treatment plant in (2002), and again in Guysborough (2006).

• Locally, there is a long history of placing dumps in the backyards of Black communities within the Municipality of Guysborough; these include Sunnyville, Lincolnville, and Mulgrave.

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Two Generations of Dumping Racism on Lincolnville Residents

• In January of 2006, Municipality of Guysborough opened a second-generation landfill at the site of the old dump near Lincolnville, a black community. This facility is equipped to handle waste from 17 different municipalities in Nova Scotia.

• As of 2006, all municipalities in the province are required to dispose of waste in second-generation landfills. These dumps have special liners that are designed to prevent runoff, allegedly protecting the surrounding environment.

• The landfill site is not new to the community of Lincolnville. A first-generation landfill has been in operation for the last twenty-five years. What’s new is the “2nd Generation “ site, built alongside the old one to satisfy the provincial government’s waste management strategy.

• In its first month of opening, 55,780 tonnes of solid waste was received at the 2nd generation landfill; over the last few years, thousands of tonnes of hazardous waste have been bull-dosed into a hole in the ground.

• The landfill site will be extended from its current 25 years of usage by an additional 20 years, totaling a minimum of 45 years in operation near a community that does not want it.

• As of this date, the Municipality of Guysborough has not signed off on the closure of the 1st site with Natural Resources, and appear to have no interest in closing it.

• Site Director say, “it’s expensive to site a landfill and using the old site would eliminate that expense”.

• For the first 25 years of operation, the old site has had no supervision. top

Lack of Political Representation Guysborough Municipality:

• Lincolnville residents have been struggling to be heard by political 'representatives' that are refusing to listen to them, let alone represent them.

• On March 15, 2007, Concerned Citizens of Lincolnville requested to make a presentation at the municipal council meeting on April 11th, 2007.

• On April 9th the group received a response, dated March 27th, that denied the Concerned Citizens of Lincolnville the opportunity to present, a decision that goes against the municipality's own bylaws.

• On April 11, 2007, over 30 people (the vast majority Lincolnville residents) attended the Council Meeting. At the point in the agenda that would normally be allotted to outside presentations, community members interrupted and began making a presentation; halfway though the presentation, all but two of the council members walked out. Municipal Councillor:

• Sheila Pelly is Lincolnville's representative on the Guysborough Municipal Council. There have been several indications, however, that Pelly does not adequately represent the concerns of Lincolnville residents, specifically regarding the landfill.

• Pelly's failed to attend Concerned Citizens community meetings regarding the second-generation landfill on August 19th, 2006; October 21st, 2006; November 18th, 2006; and March 10th, 2007.

• On March 24, 2007, residents of Lincolnville were denied the use of their community centre for a meeting regarding the landfill by the executive body of the Lincolnville Community Development Association, of which Pelly is a part. The meeting was to begin at 1pm and Pelly did not respond to her invitation to the meeting until 7:30 pm of the evening of March the 24th.

• On November 11, 2006, Pelly interfered in a community health survey being conducted by a professor at NSCAD and a member of the Save Lincolnville Campaign. Pelly contacted various households in the community and instructed people not to participate into the health survey. Despite numerous calls for research into health problems in the community and the impacts of the landfill, no official investigation has been done.

• Pelly has repeatedly insisted to the media that only a few members of Lincolnville are against the new landfill, despite petitions and community meeting attendance that showed that is not the case. For example, almost half of Lincolnville residents attended the Council meeting on April 11. Community Liaison

• Alonzo Reddick is supposed to act as a liaison between Lincolnville and the Guysborough Liaison Landfill Site Committee. However, Reddick has failed to adequately represent the community.

• Reddick failed to attend Concerned Citizens community meetings regarding the second-generation landfill on August 19th, 2006; October 21st, 2006; November 18th, 2006; March 10th, 2007; March 24th, 2007

• During the second-generation landfill site process, Reddick would have had first hand information regarding the direction taken by the municipality of Guysborough. This information should have been shared with the community as a whole. The controversy surrounding the 2nd generation landfill site could have been avoided by dealing with the project in an open and transparent manner. top

What Can You Do? JOIN OUR CAMPAIGN: We are embarking on a province-wide campaign to send a clear message to municipal and provincial levels of government, including the Guysborough Municipality and Natural Resources Canada, that enough is enough – we are tired of this trend. We are now seeking endorsements and supporters to increase public awareness of this issue throughout Nova Scotia.

• Sign our petition or write a letter.

• Mobilize in your community for a province-wide day of action being called soon.

• Assist our background research towards a public inquiry to be held around the failure of the political process around properly informing and involving the residents affected by the landfill development.

• Help us assess the environmental and health effects of the Lincolnville Landfill.

• Speak out against environmental racism in your community!

• Get in touch with the campaign: savelincolnville@nspirg.org

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