Thanks DT for this:
"Despite all of our accomplishments,
we owe our entire existence
to six inches of topsoil and the fact that it rains"
Ontario Federation of Agriculture, May 16, 2012
It was standing room only at the hearings into the Aggregate Resources Act yesterday afternoon and a huge thanks to all of you who made the trip to Queen's Park to support NDACT chair Carl Cosack!
It was the first time in the 12 hours of hearings that applause broke out after a presentation. It certainly served notice to the MPPs on the committee that the fight to stop the proposed mega quarry is vigorous and vocal. Highland's lawyer, who had been there throughout the hearings tucked into a corner scribbling furiously, ducked from the room shortly afterward.
Carl's presentation was the last of the day and the best-received. He spoke of the need to protect prime farmland from aggregate extraction and the recklessness of Highland's application to blast 200 feet below the water table. Aggregate producers told the committee they are not "water consumers but water handlers." Carl pointed out there's nothing benign about "handling" 600-million litres of fresh water every day in perpetuity. He said our water sources should be "protected in perpetuity not pumped in perpetuity."
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture also made an excellent presentation, outlining the staggering loss of farmland each year. (127-thousand acres/annually) \
When asked about the competing demands of aggregate and food production, the OFA representative responded:
"What would you prefer: a bumpy road to the supermarket or a smooth ride to starvation?"
A few chuckles at that one!
At the end of the presentations, the committee unanimously passed another motion reiterating its desire to travel the province and hold extensive hearings.
We're waiting for the Liberal House Leader to give the green-light as both the Conservative and NDP House Leaders have already agreed.
If there's a snag, we'll let you know!