We are destroying farmland in Melancthon to dig up rock to pave over farmland in Caledon.

This whole process would have been nipped in the bud if the Liberal or Conservative governments had placed food security, farmland and the interests of Ontario’s citizens ahead of the interests of the development industry. If there weren’t loopholes to allow development on farmland and if farmland was given a higher priority in our laws, regulations and policy statements, this whole fiasco would not have happened.

Rob at the megaquarry rally on July 17

The only reason this mega-quarry is even contemplated is because of the ill-conceived growth plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe area which will draw millions of people to the region by paving over tens of thousands of acres of farmland. Given that the Toronto region has the longest commute times in North America, this will make life and business much harder for GGH residents while starving the rest of the province of the cultural and economic development it needs.

Farming is one of the few elements of our economy which will be employing people, exporting goods and making a vital contribution to our economy hundreds of years from now. The government shouldn’t need years of study to see what is obvious to the people of Ontario and in particular people of Dufferin-Caledon. It is a very stressful time for local residents who should be able to have faith that their government will put laws in place that will protect Ontario’s farmland and farming communities.

Green Party Calls for Full Environmental Review of Mega-Quarry

August 29, 2011

The Green Party of Ontario (GPO) believes that the proposed Highlands Companies’ Melancthon quarry application should be subject to a full Environmental Assessment (EA) under the Environmental Assessment Act of Ontario.

To qualify for such a Full Environmental Assessment, the mega-quarry must be designated as a “major commercial or business enterprise or activity” under the Environmental Assessment Act. The proposed mega-quarry would be the largest in Ontario’s history. It would manipulate almost 600,000,000 litres of water every day (roughly 100,000 times more than an average “major residential development”) which equates to approximately 25% of all water consumed/used in the Province each day. This mega quarry is clearly a major commercial or business enterprise.

The GPO’s position is that the Highlands Companies’ Melancthon Quarry Application should be subject to a federal Joint Panel Review under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in conjunction with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. The quarry’s potential impact on fish habitat in the Grand, Saugeen, Nottawasaga, Pine and Beaver Rivers, the First Nations interests in this region, and the potential implications of the North America Free Trade Agreement on this project all justify a joint Panel Review.

The GPO is committed to revising the Aggregate Resources Act to give protection of groundwater, surface water and farmland a higher priority than is given to aggregate extraction. We support increasing royalty fees for aggregate extraction to encourage the reuse and recycling of aggregates.  Class 1, 2 and 3 farmland in Ontario should be protected from development and protected for sustainable agriculture.

The Green Party of Ontario believes that corporations and unions should not be able to make political contributions in Ontario as this influences the development of policy and decision-making that is not in the interests of the people of Ontario.  Proponents of the mega-quarry have made such contributions.

The Green Party of Ontario’s vision is to build a financially, socially and environmentally sustainable province now and for the future. Preservation and protection of our farmland, water resources and natural heritage is essential to realizing this vision.