OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada is fuming about the use of Build Canada Fund money to burn garbage in Haines Junction, Yukon.
The village – the Gateway to Kluane National Park – plans to burn the region’s garbage using Build Canada Fund money secured by the Yukon Government to implement part of its solid waste management action plan.
“Incineration is 20th century technology that converts garbage into other unwanted substances many of which are harmful to human health, such as carcinogens found in the emissions and heavy metals in the toxic ash,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
“The Build Canada Fund is intended to create a stronger economy, strong and prosperous communities, and a cleaner environment. Constructing incinerators with this money seriously undermines the goals of the Build Canada Fund.”
Leader of the Yukon Green Party Kristina Calhoun has expressed overwhelming support for the concerned community members of Haines Junction who are asking the mayor and council to say 'no' to incineration.
“The wasteful burning of garbage is unhealthy and unsustainable for our environment and our economy,” Calhoun stated. “We need only look as far as Mount Lorne to be reminded of that community's fight to remove its incinerator.
“As we continue to burn waste, we might as well be burning money. Diverting waste by recycling, composting, and reducing consumption are much better methods for managing our waste and resources. Diverting waste also creates far more jobs for Yukoners in their communities.”
The Yukon Green Party considers a 75% diversion rate to be entirely attainable and the best fit for Yukon.
In 2009, the Yukon Government undertook an extensive review of its solid waste operations with the objective of modernizing and improving solid waste management in the territory. The review revealed that Yukoners were strongly opposed to the burning of waste; that diversion should be paramount to disposal, and that waste management alternatives should be developed.