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Letter to the Editor: Does Stratford need a glass factory?

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While Xinyi has ducked the direct question asked of it by the City of Stratford, we think it will emit significantly more greenhouse gases than the entire city of Stratford does now. Xinyi also hid the fact that at times the plant will run on diesel fuel, which will emit far more hazardous pollution than it admitted to. It requires a 100-metre smokestack to dilute the pollution enough to meet provincial standards (measured at the ground). That smokestack will dominate the skyline of Stratford, at more than twice the height of our water towers. The air quality expert we hired suggested that the planning laws of the province were not followed when the land was rezoned by the MZO.

Xinyi admits that it will consume at least one quarter of the water the entire city uses now, and that’s with only one factory. The drawings available on the city website show space for a Phase 2, possibly a second factory (and second smokestack). Xinyi officials advised that should water rationing be required in the future, due to drought conditions, that the factory would be exempt.

Xinyi put a dormitory big enough to sleep 100 workers in its plans. It was renamed as a ’emergency preparedness centre’ in the provincial MZO. But our review of other glass manufacturers found no such thing at any other site. Xinyi reduced the number sleeping at the facility to 12, so why build for 100? It is common in China that workers come from distant communities and live at the factory. Not so in Ontario.

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