Groups of environmentally concerned citizens gathered in the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie – in Ontario, Canada and in Michigan, U.S. – on Nov. 23 for coordinated rallies to protest Noront Resources’ planned ferrochrome production facility for Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
“I know of people in Marquette, all over the state of Michigan, who are concerned about the building of this facility,” said James McCall, Sault Michigan resident, speaking to SooToday.
About 20 protesters gathered on the U.S. side at 1 p.m., intending to stay at that location until 6 p.m., the group including professional environmentalists and members of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
“Today’s event is all about the U.S. side’s opposition to the building of the ferrochrome smelter. The probability of it being built is high at the moment. From my understanding of ferrochrome and the smelting process, it’s worse than asbestos and lead put together,” McCall said. “It’s a major carcinogen. It’s bad. There shouldn’t be any processing plants on the St. Mary’s River, bordering any water source on the Great Lakes.”
“We’re people from all walks of life, coming together for this purpose. We’re going to be standing here to raise awareness, because I was surprised at the number of people (in Sault Michigan and area) who had no idea of what is being planned over there in Sault, Ont.,” said Tomantha Sylvester, a Sault Michigan resident and Sault Tribe member.