FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2021
Xinyi Canada Glass indefinitely suspends Stratford factory
STRATFORD, ON - Xinyi Canada’s decision to indefinitely suspend its proposal to build a float glass factory in Stratford has been met with relief by citizens and groups opposed to the project.
“I am very grateful the City of Stratford and Xinyi Canada have come to this conclusion,” says artist and local resident Loreena McKennitt, who is also the founder of Wise Communities. “It was the wisest decision. I think we have all learned a great deal through this exercise and we hope to take the lessons learned into the future.”
The proposed project dates back to 2018, when Xinyi, select city officials, investStratford, and provincial and federal representatives launched the local initiative. The citizens of Stratford were totally unaware of the project until a public announcement was made by investStratford in October 2020. Shortly thereafter, local opposition to the project mobilized. Rallies, vigils, letter writing, and other forms of protest took hold, garnering media attention far beyond Stratford.
Opposition came from many corners, including the Perth Federation of Agriculture, First Nations communities, voices of labour, environmental groups and individual citizens. In July 2018, the township of Guelph-Eramosa had voted to reject Xinyi’s application to build a glass factory in its region.
“It is regrettable that Xinyi is taking the position that the collapse of the project is due to ‘misinformation and falsehoods spread by small opposition groups,’ and ‘radical insinuations’ made with ‘overt hostility’. Let’s remember, we were also not the first community to turn this project down,” says McKennitt. “I hope Xinyi will come to learn, when they get past this point, that it was citizens standing up for their community, their democracy and the future health of the planet, for which none of us can take for granted.”
One of the last steps citizens hope to see taken is for the province to revoke the Minister’s Zoning Order issued for the project. “We trust this is forthcoming,” says McKennitt. “In the meantime, we will continue with our civic improvement initiative, which Wise Communities is advancing. We hope our community will not have to be put through an ordeal like this again and we look forward to moving on from this point, stronger and wiser for the experience."
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