A good description of a Melancthon drive by is on the AWARE Simcoe website and here it is in its entirety:
AWARE Simcoe June 30 2012
Melancthon residents asked an all-party committee of MPPs who were holding a hearing on the Aggregate Resources Act review in Orangeville on Wednesday to visit the proposed mega-quarry area. At the 11th hour, they agreed. Local farmers scrambled to be ready to greet them and were waiting in a group by the side of the road when the MPPs' bus arrived. And drove past them. And headed up the road, turned round and drove right past them again.
The MPPs were not interested in talking to the residents, not interested in getting off the bus to experience the fertile and beautiful land that's to be devastated by the mage-quarry. But earlier in the day, the MPPs visited four quarry sites. People in Melancthon are infurated by the lack of respect. The following is an account by a volunteer with Friends of NDACT (not a member of NDACT) who asked not to be named, with a link to a CTV news report of the hearing. (A link to the transcript of the hearing wil be posted when available.)
When is a tour a tour?
We have gathered more details about last night's rather odd "tour" of the proposed mega quarry site by the MPPs reviewing the Aggregate Resources Act. After announcing to applause at the Orangeville hearings that the Committee would tour the site once the session ended at 6:30pm, it was understood the MPPs would visit the rare farmland which sparked the review. When the hearings concluded, the chairman MPP David Orazietti, was asked where the committee was going to stop. It had been expected the MPPs were going to accept an offer to visit one of the large farms adjacent to the proposed site.
To everyone's surprise, Mr. Orazietti replied that they would not be stopping in the area but were going to see the site. When asked how they would know the location of the mega quarry site as there are no signs, he said "We know people, who know people."
Meanwhile, a small group of farmers and residents gathered at the side of the road in front of the farm, thinking the bus might stop for directions and they could meet the MPPs. Standing with them was a TV crew from CTV Barrie. They all watched as the bus carrying the MPPs drove past them heading north on Highway 124, turned around up the road and then passsed them again heading south. True to their word, the Committee didn't stop. Their "tour" lasted minutes. The MPPs missed an opportunity to visit a farm at the epicentre of the most controversial quarry application in Ontario history. CTV Barrie captured the bus driving by.
This was not a proper tour by any standard. Earlier in the day, the Committee visited four quarry sites -- some operating, some rehabilitated. If the MPPs can visit four quarry sites they should be able to find the time to visit one farm. The review of the ARA has focused on the ongoing conflict between aggregate and agriculture. To, once again, ignore the agricultural side of this debate is unacceptable.
So, the following questions need to be asked of the MPPs on the Committee:
Why drive by the very farmland at the centre of this controversy and not stop?
Why visit four quarry sites and not visit at least one of the farms adjacent to the site of the largest proposed quarry in Canadian history?
When will a proper, on-the-ground tour be conducted of this farmland? The review of the ARA will not be complete or comprehensive without a clear understanding of the potential impact on prime farmland, water resources and the surrounding environment.
Below is the CTV Barrie report from the hearings. The footage of the MPPs bus driving up the highway and back aired at 11pm last night, but we don't have it on a newscast.
NOTE TO READER: Sylvia Jones was on that bus. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org