Thursday, May 17, 2012


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!


  1. Anonymous18 May, 2012

    I understand the need to speak at the ARA hearings. Clearly Melancthon is a prime example of the threat aggregate extraction and below the water mining poses. But you do realize whatever changes they make to the Act will have no bearing on Highland's proposal. Even if it gains EA approval (doubtful in my mind, but more importantly expensive for Highland) its aggregate application would subject to the existing ARA in place when it was filed. True or false?

  2. NDACT has acknowledged that fact.

    But we were also told we would never get an EA.

    We were told we would never get a review of the Aggregate Act.

    So we may be told that any amendments to the ARA won't impact Highlands application, but right now, my money is on NDACT, Highlands, not so much.

    And the fact remains the Act needs amending and other communities will benefit.

    And for that we need to thank Highlands, aka Baupost aka Seth Klarman.

  3. Anonymous18 May, 2012

    True Minebusetr. That is a good point. The anti-quarry movement has done things many had to see to believe.

  4. Anonymous19 May, 2012

    A friend who lives in Bobcaygeon has followed our battle with Highlands for the longest time, offering sympathy and support. Recently an aggregate company filed a proposal to dig a 400-acre quarry, with the potential to grow to 1000 acres, in her area. The opponents will NOT let the aggregate company roll over them; they have watched our fight and are inspired and feeling hopeful. Thanks to the greed of men like John Lowndes and Seth Klarman, the aggregate industry will NOT have it "their own way" anymore. One not-so-small thing to be grateful for....