Saturday, April 2, 2011


I can NOT believe that Highlands overlooked this little hole (pun intended) in their economic argument.  Their application states 465 jobs, 300 trucking and 165 other jobs.

They don't mention that the 300 trucking jobs will be for people who own their own trucks, because their plan does not specify that they will be owning a trucking company.  The trucking jobs will clearly not be local jobs, nor will these drivers stop to pick up some groceries or buy lumber or visit the dentist or eye doctor.

Nor does Highland mention the impact on local existing prosperous businesses.  Does Murray Fines think anyone will do the trek to Shelburne to buy a bag of nails and risk their lives with that many trucks on the road?

How many-3,600 in and 3,600 loaded out. 24/7 except on stat holidays.

Does Johnny's pizza think anyone is going to traverse the 124 trail at any time, day or night, to buy a pizza?  Ha, I say, Ha.

Nor does Highland mentions that most of these 165 other jobs will be replacement jobs for the ones already employed through their agriculture operation.  So net gain in local jobs, less than 100.

And yet no economic impact statement on existing business.  I am pretty sure Honda and KTH won't be happy with competing with another 7,000 trucks on the road a DAY, working in their just in time operation that they do.

Since people started figuring this out, Highlands AFTER they submitted their application and originally posted on their site, has now posted a link about "Hiring local first" policy. 

Wonder if that is a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights?  I guess we shall see.


  1. One other interesting oversight to consider....
    The traffic study uses a "worst" case scenario ("worst" for us, "best" for Highlands!) that puts 150 trucks per hour in and 150 trucks per hour out of the quarry, 24 hours per day, seven days per week AVERAGE.
    Now I have seen enough of the construction industry in the GTA, at all hours of the day, for every day of the week, to know that there are not many project sites that work 24 hours per day, and even fewer that will work on a Sunday. There are not that many aggregate- hauling truckers that run through the night, whether it is a larger firm or an independent, since there is no active site to ship to. So I would expect that there would be a much larger volume of trucks during the day than their study puts forward to come up with a daily average of 150 per hour.

    Another thought... there is no firm figure of tonnage expected to be shipped in the report. They give the figure 10 million tonnes at one point (which would give the quarry a 100 year lifespan according to their reserve estimates and I would guess that this figure would be excessively long timeframe even for the shrewdest hardcore, yet still mortal, capitalist), but say that the amount shipped will be market-driven, hence the seeking of an "unlimited" license. The traffic study does open the door to more trucks on the road saying that if the PEAK hour volume exceeds 150 trucks, then intersection improvements and road widening will be necessary along #124 down to #89.

    150 trucks per hour average each carrying 40 tons would be a 52 million tonnes per year output which would give the quarry a 20 year lifespan, which would certainly be a more agreeable timeframe for a greedy investor.

  2. Don't forget about the rail. They could be out of here in 10 years or less.

  3. I agree. I don't buy these "look how many jobs will be created!" promises anymore. I'm not saying jobs are not important but I feel the vast majority become glossy-eyed at the mere mention of "jobs" and quickly lose focus of the main plot. (I reflect back on the 2010 announcement of Walmart's expansion plans in Canada with 40 new Supercentres and the thousands of jobs they will create... destroying the fabric of Canadian towns one store at a time... I digress). It's like the politician who gets themselves elected with promises to lower taxes. We vote them in without understanding the true long term consequences of their (our!) actions. There is a cost for everything folks - ie, there is no free lunch.
    This Melancthon Quarry plan is an outrage. Seth Klarman (and the families you represent), you should be ashamed of yourself(ves).

    I appreciate your blog. Keep up the good work!