Two years ago, during the last provincial election, the Ontario government ordered a review of the outdated and flawed Aggregate Resources Act because of the concerns raised about the proposed Highland Mega Quarry.
Public hearings were held in the spring of 2012. Many of you will remember the struggle we had to ensure those hearings were open to agricultural stakeholders, and the energy they spent preparing their excellent presentations. As well, many of you will recall the "tour" the Standing Committee on General Government took of the proposed Mega Quarry site from the seats of a bus.
Over the past few months, the Committee regrouped and completed writing its recommendations for possible changes to the ARA. Those recommendations were released this afternoon and they are disappointing.
It's a long report - complete with photos of the MPPs at some of the 12 aggregate sites they visited.
It does not contain protection for Ontario's prime farmland and source water regions.
Instead, the ARA report focuses on rehabilitation of pits and quarries on prime farmland after excavation.