by Neil Carleton
They arrived one by one, some in pairs, and others as family groups. Many walked or biked. It was a remarkable sight from downtown to see so much red heading for the Almonte Old Town Hall. More than 300 people came to publicly protest the unacceptable environmental, heritage, and economical risks to the community of the proposed Enerdu hydroelectric project.
Many residents arrived well before the scheduled noon gathering time wearing red shirts, hats, and other apparel.
Protesters of all ages walked from the Almonte Old Town Hall through the downtown area, then returned by the community’s three bridges over the Mississippi River.
From home crafted to professional design, signs were an important expression of the community’s concern in Almonte today..
Mobile messaging was evident at ground level too.
The Enerdu protest included a marine component with participating residents wading, kayaking, and boating.
Television and print media were on hand to interview residents about the controversial project, and report on the protest. CBC TV reporter Hillary Johnstone (left) listens as a model of the proposed Enerdu project is explained.
Nathan Rudyk (right) is interviewed by CTV reporter Stefan Keyes along Almonte’s popular Riverwalk.
In a symbolic gesture to let the municipal and provincial politicians know that they had ‘dropped the ball’ on this issue, Canada flag beach balls were released from the top of the bridge. Volunteers worked downstream to return the balls to shore.
On more than a few lips today was the need for a strong message to be delivered to the Premier. Who at the municipal level, it was asked, would pick up the ball?