Plans to put Ontario’s biggest quarry in farmland north of Toronto has stirred up outrage from residents, farmers and environmentalists. (MARK O’NEILL/Toronto Sun)
The Toronto Sun reports, “Plans for North America’s second-biggest rock quarry on potato farms north of Toronto have coated Queen’s Park in a dust cloud of public outrage. …Critics say pumping 600 million litres of groundwater a day into wells — which Highland Companies says is the safest process after removing sediment — will damage rivers, and 10 million tonnes of limestone extracted annually will threaten wildlife plus tourism.”
“‘Between the shocking indifference shown by the provincial government and the pure greed of the American billionaires that bought up the farmland, this will be an uphill battle,’ Council of Canadians head Maude Barlow said jointly with Avaaz. She threatened an election war unless the government quashes the March 11 licence application by Highland Companies for a 5-by-1.5 km aggregate mining operation in Melancthon Township…”
The provincial election in Ontario takes place on October 6.
“A decision is ‘years away’, said Ken Chan, a natural resources ministry spokesman. Staff will review 3,735 ‘comments’ received after the deadline for public input was extended to July 11, plus 2,051 previous ‘objections’, Chan said. Highland has two years to deal with objectors, which he called ‘a major hurdle. No licence can be approved until zoning applications have been resolved.'”
On July 11, Council of Canadians Guelph chapter members Norah and Richard Chaloner, along with Norman Wolfson of NDACT, joined with Avaaz to deliver a massive national petition opposing the proposed mega-quarry to Minister of Natural Resources Linda Jeffrey at her constituency office in Brampton.
For Council of Canadians blogs on the campaign against the Melancthon quarry, please go to http://canadians.org/blog/?s=melancthon. Please also see http://canadians.org/water/. The full Toronto Sun article is at http://www.torontosun.com/2011/07/30/between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place.