Saturday, March 31, 2012


I note someone has asked on facebook for Minebuster to provide details of getting Mayor Adams to talk about the train issue.

So far Orangeville has blocked all attempts for anyone to make a deputation to their Council about the rail issue.

I believe what it will take is a concerted email campaign by Orangeville ratepayers to demand that Orangeville Council hold an information meeting open to the public to provide details and answer questions.

Dufferin ratepayers should also undertake a concerted email campaign to County Councillors, which by golly also includes the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Orangeville to hold a public information meeting on the same day and time as Orangeville's.

You know, save the taxpayers some money by holding a joint meeting.

In order to get around all the nuances of how they have a meeting and provide tailored information only and not answer questions this would be my suggestion for the email:

email address:
with the subject line: Sale of Orangeville Rail line:

Mayor and Council
I am a resident of the Town of  Orangeville
I understand that there is a legal agreement for the Town of Orangeville to sell the Orangeville rail line.
I have been unable to find factual information on this proposal and as such I feel that I am not properly informed about this issue.
As this could have potential impacts on my property value, health and safety, quality of space, reduced recreational opportunities, impacts to business operations, I would ask that the Town of Orangeville, in conjunction with the County of Dufferin, hold a meeting, open to the public which will enable the elected officials and staff to explain the details to the public, followed by an open question and answer session.
I look forward to a early response.

email address:
with the subject line: Sale of County Owned Rail line:

Warden and Dufferin County Council
I am a resident of the County of Dufferin
I understand that there have been discussions about a possible sale of the County owned portion of the rail bed.
I have been unable to find factual information on this proposal and as such I feel that I am not properly informed about this issue.
As this could have potential impacts on my property value, health and safety, quality of space, reduced recreational opportunities, impacts to business operations, I would ask that the County of Dufferin, in conjunction with the Town of Orangeville hold a meeting, open to the public which will enable the elected officials and staff to explain the details to the public, followed by an open question and answer session.
I look forward to a early response.

Any responses you get, be sure to post on facebook or under comments on this blog.

And don't forget, if you are a resident of Orangeville, you are also a resident of the County of Dufferin-be sure you send an email to both Orangeville AND the County!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


My ah ha moment came today when I was reading this article.

I now know Highlands/Baupost did their water modelling for the proposed 2,300 acre, 200 foot below the water table open pit limestone mine.

The scientific secret is called Brainless slime-works on road modelling too.

Click here:

Monday, March 26, 2012


This time the major award goes not to yours truly, but rather to a truly deserving organization.

The North Dufferin Agricultural & Community Taskforce (NDACT) is the recipient of one of five $1,000.00 awards granted in the Greater Toronto Area by Ecospark.  Details here:

Disclaimer: NDACT does NOT support this blog or blogger or this blogger opinions, but this blogger is a huge supporter of NDACT!!


Attention All Nottawasaga Steelhead Members Partners and Friends
I will be on AM 740 Radion this Wednesday March 28 at 11:30 AM
with Dale Goldhawk on Goldhawk Fights Back.

The Topic to be discussed is:

"The Mega Quarry, Review of The Aggregates Act, and Habitat Protection"

Harper Government to Eliminate Habitat Protection Provisions in the Canada Fisheries Act.
To date the Harper government has shown little regard for the protection of the environment and over the past few years has supervised the almost total elimination of enforcement of the habitat protection and the pollution provisions of the Canada Fisheries Act (Sections 35 and 36 respectively).
During the Cohen Inquiry in 2011 data was presented to show that pollution and habitat violation investigations have been greatly reduced and convictions of violations in BC and indeed throughout Canada is now almost non-existent.

The Fisheries Act of Canada was put in place in 1868 and is one of the oldest and most tested pieces of environmental legislation in the world. In 1975 many people worked hard to get a proper section added to the Act to protect fish habitat in Canada.

Section 35 (habitat protection) was passed by Parliament in 1976 and has been extensively used across Canada over the past 36 years. In B.C., the Federal and BC governments largely quit enforcing the pollution and habitat sections of the Act in favor of allowing industry to self govern their own environmental project’s ‘needs’ and monitor their own self compliance. This has proven to be a disaster wherever it has been attempted elsewhere in the World. by Otto Langer

Gary Christie
President, Nottawasaga Steelheaders
Visit our website at
Help us... put a little back.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


"Let him who hears say, 'Come!' Whoever is thirsty let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life" (Revelation 22:17).

Saturday, March 24, 2012



Contents of official plan

16. (1) An official plan shall contain,

(a) goals, objectives and policies established primarily to manage and direct physical change and the effects on the social, economic and natural environment of the municipality or part of it, or an area that is without municipal organization; and

(b) such other matters as may be prescribed. 2006, c. 23, s. 8.


(2) An official plan may contain,

(a) a description of the measures and procedures proposed to attain the objectives of the plan;

(b) a description of the measures and procedures for informing and obtaining the views of the public in respect of a proposed amendment to the official plan or proposed revision of the plan or in respect of a proposed zoning by-law; and

(c) such other matters as may be prescribed. 2006, c. 23, s. 8.

Second unit policies

(3) Without limiting what an official plan is required to or may contain under subsection (1) or (2), an official plan shall contain policies that authorize the use of a second residential unit by authorizing,

(a) the use of two residential units in a detached house, semi-detached house or rowhouse if no building or structure ancillary to the detached house, semi-detached house or rowhouse contains a residential unit; and

(b) the use of a residential unit in a building or structure ancillary to a detached house, semi-detached house or rowhouse if the detached house, semi-detached house or rowhouse contains a single residential unit. 2011, c. 6, Sched. 2, s. 2.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Clearly they should be notified about the Tater Award and the esteemed recipients, myself included!!!


On Thursday, six months after the Liberals committed to a review of the aggregate resources act, the province followed through, announcing the legislation would be strengthened by an all party standing committee.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


See, see how you get sucked in with a headline!!

No wonder the National Enquirer makes a fortune.

Here is the rest of the story.....

Ontario Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli issued a statement saying Queen’s Park will respect council’s decision on LRT.

This was about how the Province will respect Toronto Council's decision on LRTs over subways, well because of course a municipality knows what is best for their own municipality.

Except of course when it comes to the locations of turbines and a 2,300 acre, 200 feet below the water table open pit limestone mine situate on Class 1 agricultural land.

Then, well, not so much.  Big brother needs to tell us what is best for the big wallet picture.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Grand opening news that is.

According to MP Peter Kent, you are personally invited to join him on March 25th at the Grand Opening of his New Community Office located at 7378 Yonge St. Thornhill from 2pm to 4 pm.

Click here for details:

As per the invite, take something for the food bank, preferrably bottled water and potatoes.

Be respectful, no ifs ands or buts.

You might want to wear your stop the quarry buttons, take your stop the quarry sign and if you have a chance to question him, please ask him how many cards he received requesting that he implement a joint panel review on the Highlands mega quarry application for a 2,300 acre 200 foot below the water table mine (bigger than Niagara Falls) to be situate on the water source of more than 1 million Canadians located in Ontario.

Thanks.  And get pics too-please be sweet and tweet! #MegaQuarry


Farmers are really the stewards of the environment and must be given credit.

If you were hoping it was Melancthon Council that delivered that message, you would be wrong.

We do know our Council went to OGRA/ROMA.

What happened, who did they speak with, what was the outcome?

You wouldn't know unless you were in attendance at the March 1, 2012 meeting which started at 9 am where Mayor Hill gave a verbal update.

No report has been tabled yet on the agenda/minutes but it IS on file at the municipal office. 

Not sure why it would not be a written report on the agenda so people who have to work could read it and not trouble staff for a copy.

And this is NOT sarcasm, staff are swamped.  Probably more than 50% of admin time in any municipal office is spent fulfilling provincial reporting requirements.

So I have to ask why Council are not submitting these reports in advance and they would be included on the agenda like everything else that is dealt with at a meeting. 

For gods sakes even questions have to be submitted in advance.

It is the obligation of a government to be open and transparent, not the obligation of ratepayers to run around and have to chase down information.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


The swamps are alive with the sounds of peepers.

March 18 no less.

Must be some sort of record.

And for Highlands, who don't really have a lot of farm expertise, my father used to say you could not plant until the peepers had been froze three times.

So we have heard them once, they need to be froze twice more, then Highlands, you can start planting.

Provided that is, you have secured a line of credit.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Enjoy the weather, a cold one, some gardening and outside stuff.

And if you have some time, attend Church tomorrow in Alliston at 10.30 am (Victoria Street right beside the rail tracks).

The Chair of NDACT will be speaking about the quarry and the implications for everyone.  The Church will be making a donation to the cause.

The United Church in Shelburne under the leadership of Reverend Edward Bellsmith was certainly breaking new ground when he, at the urging of Marni Walsh, held a series of sessions on environmental issues facing the congregation and the first session was the Mega Quarry.  So thanks to them and the Trinity United Church congregation for showing leadership!

And special thanks to the Alliston United Church for their support!  Please support them.

And if you are wondering if you will see Minebuster in a pew that day, clearly not. 

I am afraid should I step across the threshold of a place of worship that I would be smited. 

I know Hill and Knowlton, Daniher, Lowndes and others have prayed for that so I shan't take the risk.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Hot off the presses, just got this email:
Last year you helped achieve 130,000 signatures on the Avaaz petition in less than 48 hrs which was instrumental in the provincial government passing a regulation ensuring the Melancthon Mega quarry go through an environmental assessment.

This is unheard of in Ontario and in aggregate applications.

NOW your help is needed to ensure the Federal government undertakes a rigourous process. So far they aren't listening.

At the very least their concerns should be railways, water and food security, being sued under NAFTA...and more.

Please sign this new petition ASAP to let the Feds know you are concerned.


Some of you might remember a little kerfluffle at the County level over Highlands levelling forests in Melancthon. (you can search this site with the word tree and find out more than you ever would want to know about the shenanigans)

The County of Dufferin had a little something called a tree bylaw.

Some citizens didn't know about it, like the local Landowner Association and Highlands.

Some other citizens knew about it and starting calling and emailing in 2009 asking then demanding the County ENFORCE the bylaw that they all collected salaries in researching, drafting and enacting.

Melancthon citizens were stymed at all turns with their pleas to County staff until they went the political route.

And then the leaves hit the fan.

Long and short of it is, the County has been grappling since 2009 to develop a new bylaw.  Paying their expert staff to research, draft, research, draft, etc. etc. etc.

In the end, they came to the conclusion that Melancthon residents asked for in the first place-just enforce the bylaw you have in place.

Article in full:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Linda Jeffrey MPP for Brampton-Springdale was appointed as Minister of Labour and Minister Responsible for Seniors in October 2011.

You may remember her from her previous appointment as the Minister of Natural Resources.  During her tenure there she advised Melancthon elected officials at the 2011 OGRA/ROMA conference in Toronto

 "get constituents thinking about rehabilitation, “because this will not be going back to agriculture, but maybe you could get a nice golf course.”

So take a looky see at her website now where she is touting:

Protecting Ontario's Family FarmsNew Risk Management Programs Biggest Policy Change In 30 YearsOntario's family farms can now count on stable financial support to weather unpredictable times so Ontarians can keep enjoying healthy, locally grown food.

If you would like to email her to ask about the inconsistencies in her actions and statements, her email is:

Monday, March 12, 2012



MARCH 9,2012

World is eyeing Canada’s resources – and Harper government is ready to sell
By Kate Harries AWARE Simcoe March 9, 2012
Canadians should prepare for an unprecedented assault on our resources, Maude Barlow warned on Wednesday.
“There’s a free-for-all coming, I feel it,” the chair of the Council of Canadians told an audience of 200 at Georgian College in Barrie. “What is coming is an assault on every tree in our country, on every fish, on every mineral and every fresh-water source,” she said.
The reason:  Europe and China, having exhausted their own resources are in tight competition to lock down access to raw resources elsewhere in the world. That is the purpose of trade agreements that enshrine the right to profit over the rights of communities to protect their environment and manage their own affairs.
CETA, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Trade Agreement, sets the stage for the world’s largest water utilities to claim the right to have municipal contracts here opened up so private corporations can run our water systems.
Baupost, the American hedge fund that is behind the Highland Companies mega-quarry proposal at the headwaters of five Southern Ontario rivers, could use the North American Free Trade Agreement to challenge the decision of whether the project is allowed to proceed, or challenge for compensation.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is all too ready to sell out, Barlow said. One example: AbitibiBowater’s Chapter 11 challenge in 2009 to be paid for water and timber rights granted by Newfoundland a century earlier. The rights were contingent on the company’s operating a mill that it had closed after declaring bankruptcy; Canada had good grounds to defend its sovereignty, Barlow said. But in 2010 Harper agreed to settle the action for $130 million. Paying the money was bad, Barlow said, but setting the precedent was worse.
Now, the Harper government is intent on reducing the power of the federal environmental assessment process. Barlow pointed to the Northern Gateway pipeline that is proposed to carry bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to the port of Kitimat in B.C. – “punching a hole through the Rockies” – to be transported by supertanker to Asia.
The National Energy Board hearings into the plan have started. Last month, as thousands of opponents lined up to make the case against the pipeline, Harper went to China, accompanied by Patrick Daniel, the head of Enbridge, the company that hopes to build it.
It was a signal that the environmental assessment is irrelevant, Barlow said. “What he’s saying to the Chinese government is, ‘You will get this oil.’ "
Among the problems we face:
-Massive pollution of essential groundwater sources
-Disruption of the hydrologic cycle by displacement of water – and consequent desertification
-The purchase of huge parcels of foodlands by wealthy corporations and governments
-The disappearance of a vibrant and alert mainstream media…
The outlook is grim.
Still, Barlow is optimistic. People are prepared to stand up and defend their land, she said.
Locally, the battle lines are being drawn. Midhurst residents told the meeting of the plan to turn their village of 3,500 into a town of 30,000 and the intended consequences for Willow Creek and the Minesing wetlands. How to fight it?
It’s about the water, Barlow responded. As humans, when we open our eyes to the issue, we get it at a fundamental level.
“When you fall in love with a body of water, when you touch the water and become committed to it, I think it makes a huge difference.”
A number of Melancthon farmers who are fighting the mega-quarry were present – among them David Vander Zaag.  With only 1.5 per cent of the population engaged in farming, there’s a lack of understanding that has critical public policy consequences, he told the meeting.
“People don’t know what’s the difference between just normal land and extremely good land. There’s a real risk to us as a society because we eat three times a day and yet the policy makers don’t understand “ The difference between vegetable land and grain land is that five times more food can be grown on vegetable land.  But only a tiny proportion of Ontario’s agricultural land (1.5 per cent of the land mass) is vegetable land (.0006 per cent of the land mass).
Losing that land to quarries or sprawl will be a catastrophe. “How do you get that word out is my worry for the future,” Vander Zaag said. Barlow paid tribute to the role farmers play in society. ”For us and for other species, you take care of the water, you are the backbone of our country.”
She noted that the federal government is intent of doing away with supply management, a system that helps match production to demand for a number of food commodities.
The global trade in food is a problem, she said.  “When you are bringing in foodstuffs that you could be growing in your local community and you’re only doing it so that the farmers will be competitive with each other, keeping prices down and killing the small family farm - that’s the wrong model, for health, for nutrition, for communities, for farmers, and it’s the wrong model for water for sure, because it’s destroying the water.”
Simcoe County’s proud history in defending water is an example for the struggles ahead, she said.   “We fought and won a wonderful battle at Site 41,” she said, to applause. It was a struggle that had been waged for more than 20 years, but came to a head in the summer of 2009 when Simcoe County began construction of the first cell of Dump Site 41.
Barlow joined the opposition that year and played a pivotal role in the campaign that led Simcoe County Council to kill the dump. The victory, she recalled, was the result of a coalition of farmers, First Nations people, youth, local residents and cottagers, and it was built on a shared commitment to non-violent and respectful protest. “We need to remember the lessons of Site 41 – the way the First Nations knowledge and traditions and worldview were honoured and became the basis for the struggle.”
Jonathon Shore, media t 705-812-0643
AWARE Simcoe is a citizens’ group that works for transparency and accountability in government and to protect water, the environment and health


Spring is around the corner, bird presence is increasing and your help in spotting the bird species that are found in the  proposed quarry area would be appreciated.

Please travel around the quarry application site  and take inventory of what you see, where you spotted it ..written down, dated and witnessed.

Please contact, with your findings.

Map of the proposed quarry for reference.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Some more "misinformation" by Hill and Knowlton:
"The vast majority of this province is prime agricultural land, so if that were the criteria, there'd be really no digging in the province," she said, adding the areas which aren't prime farmland are not the same as where the resource is located.

Truth is:
Only 0.5 per cent of Canada’s land is classified as Class 1 agricultural land. Fifty-two per cent of this is in Ontario. Over 18 per cent of Ontario’s Class 1 farm land has been developed. Since the 1951 census, in Central Ontario alone, 49 per cent or 1,897,000 acres of farm land have been lost to agricultural use. (Source: Farmland in Ontario – Are we losing a valuable resource?, Ontario Farmland Trust)


An article in the paper today with some odd statements made by Highlands newish spoutsperson spokesperson Lindsay Broadhead of Hill (of Beans) and Knowlton.

Firstly she states:
She says Highland will use a method which involves pumping water out of the quarry and into wells. The wells then flush into the water table, which essentially recirculates the water.  She says this method is new to quarrying.

And then she goes on to attack the locals with this statement:
She says during time of purchase there was as much transparency as the sellers wanted

Click here for entire article:

But in an April 14, 2011 article from the Orangeville Citizen, Highlands advised:
Highland plans on using a recharge system in the Melancthon quarry similar to the one currently operating successfully in Milton.

Click here for entire article:

So if I can give you some advice Linz, can I call you Linz? I have been involved in this since the beginning and I know you are relatively new, so let me give you some tips.

Last time someone retained by Highlands tried to personally attack the residents of Melancthon and Mulmur it didn't divide and conquor the community nor help Highlands cause. 

Here are a couple of examples of misguided Highlands high handedness: trying to buy a debt of someone who refused to sell out and the little YMCA fiasco.  Neither worked in favour of Highlands.

It might be a little out of your comfort zone, but maybe try a new approach based on honestly and integrity, it is working wonders for NDACT.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


"City Council of Pennsylvania’s capital city, Harrisburg, voted to file for bankruptcy was the latest in a long series of federal mandates, bad luck, and poor planning that has plagued the city since the early 1970s.
The Harrisburg Resource Recovery Facility, less elegantly referred to as “the incinerator that burns money,” was built in 1972. The estimated cost to build it was $15 million and was sold to the city based on projections that it could burn enough trash to generate sufficient steam to be sold to cover its costs and debt service. But unexpected repairs required additional financings so that by the time the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered it was emitting unacceptably high levels of dioxins and shut it down, the city owed $94 million for the facility. "
Entire article here:
And another article here:
Ah hell, just google Harrisburg Pennsylvannia incinerator and read all the articles.
And then just for fun, everywhere the word Harrisburg appears, substitute Dufferin County...and be very afraid.


Over 100,000 hits, thanks to all.


A 2,300 acre 200 foot below the water table mine.

Two different perspectives:

For a municipality it is a money pit:

For a US Boston based hedgefund it is a glory hole:

Word of advice, don't google images for glory hole at the public library-awkward!!

Monday, March 5, 2012


From an email received today:
Stop the Mega-Quarry events are ramping up! This week:
Maude Barlow talks Mega-Quarry - Wed. March 7, Georgian College Theatre, Barrie at 7:30pm.

Neil Clifford Art Show - Thurs. March 8, Wychwood Barns, Wychwood Avenue (south of St. Clair), Toronto. Identify yourself to Neil as a Stop the Mega-Quarry activist and Neil has pledged to make a donation to the cause. Link:
Of particular note is the following large event:

July 28 - First annual "StoMp the Mega-Quarry" Run/Walk/Bike to protect the land at risk.

See also:

Upcoming Events:

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Paul was one of Melancthon's first activists.

He helped to lead the fight against the mega dump back in the 80's.

He was one of the first to challenge local politicians and hold them accountable.

He was a great guy, great sense of humour.

The County has established an award in his honour.

Sumissions must be received by March 31, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012


Letter to the editor in the Orangeville Banner about the Stanton Hotel says Highlands demolished another home this past week.

Anyone have any intel on that?


The newest version of Melancthon's contract planners Official Plan has been posted on the website at this link:

"The Council of the Corporation of the Township of Melancthon is requesting the Public to provide written comments on the March 2012 Draft Official Plan by 12 noon on Thursday, March 29, 2012. The written comments which will be provided to Council in their Agenda Package (and posted on the website) will be reviewed at the Thursday, April 5, 2012 Council meeting at 1:00 p.m. when Jerry Jorden, Township Planner will be in attendance to further review the Draft Official Plan. If you have any questions, please contact Denise Holmes, CAO."


Highlands has made offers to purchase all the CN rail lines from Orangeville through to Owen Sound, an economically depressed former Great Lakes port where they can ship the aggregate across the world follow that with a pipeline to export water.
This is not the first time Baupost has gone after the water according to Joyce Nelson’s article ‘Beware of Private Water Speculators’ published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. In 2007 under the name Costal Management Resources, Baupost Group purchased 25,000 acres of ranch land in Southern California.In January 2007 The Santa Barbara Independentreported that Baupost “is seeking to purchase a massive amount of state water rights from the Carpentaria Valley Water District”.
According to Nelson, Baupost is using a “buy and hold” strategy where investors count on “eventually leasing the water back to those who can pay for it, or selling the water to government for local needs”.

By Zack Ruiter

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Whoot, whoot.

Only 436 more views and we will have achieved 100,000 views since this blogs launch in fall 2009.

I do have to thank Hill (of) Beans and Knowlton.

Since they found this site, the stats are through the roof!!!

And for the faithful few who have followed from the beginning.



Hot off the presses (from some other blog).

Wo while Minebuster isn't the first, I can assure you I won't be the last blogger to post this:

A London city councillor crossed the line when she called the employer of a blogger who criticized councillors over city budget cuts, one observer says.

So if you were thinking of retribution on Minebuster, please don't call U.I.-no point!!  Can't fire me from pogey.