The provincial riding of Dufferin-Caledon in Ontario includes the site of the proposed 2,316-acre open pit limestone mega-quarry in Melancthon Township. The quarry would blast 60 metres (deeper than Niagara Falls) beneath the water table and use approximately 600 million litres of water per day.
With a provincial election on October 6 in Ontario, it’s important to know the positions of the parties/ riding candidates on this controversial quarry. After all, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has said in reference to this issue, “There will be a provincial election in October and we have tens of thousands of members in Ontario – and they love to vote.”
LIBERALS: The Orangeville Citizen reports this evening, “Dufferin-Caledon Liberal candidate Lori Holloway, reflecting the concerns of her constituents, has announced her strong opposition to the proposed mega-quarry in Melancthon. ‘The more people I talk to, the more apparent it becomes, that this mega quarry just doesn’t make sense,’ she said. …’The potential impact on the water table is simply too much to risk’, she added. ‘Water is our most important resource; we can’t live without it, and have to do everything we can to protect it.’ …Holloway supports an “environmental assessment, to fully examine the potential impact on the water supply, to give the public more time to be consulted, to bring forth additional critical evidence, plus add a consideration of community and social impact.” This article can be read in full at http://www.citizen.on.ca/news/2011-08-25/Local_News/Holloway_states_position_on_Melancthon_Quarry.html.
CONSERVATIVES: The Citizen has also reported that Dufferin-Caledon Progressive Conservative MPP Sylvia Jones has expressed – weakly – concerns about the quarry. According to a report, “Ms. Jones brought up the issue in the Legislature in June. Noting that the application is the largest of its kind in Ontario’s history, she asked Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey whether the ministry had the staff and expertise available in MNR to review the quarry bid.” Her June 1 statement can be read at http://www.sylviajonesmpp.ca/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=2OJ6Mlc6i8U%3d&tabid=56.
NEW DEMOCRATS: It’s unclear at this point where Dufferin-Caledon NDP candidate Joe Pereira stands on the issue. A search of news article and his campaign website at http://www.joepereiraformpp.com/news-/ does not show his comments on the quarry as of yet. However, in late-April, NDP leader Andrea Horwath said in the legislature, “A US-owned company wants to build North America’s second-largest open-pit mine next to the Niagara Escarpment and amidst the headwaters of rivers that provide drinking water for over a million Ontarians. Farmers, citizens, aboriginal people and environmentalists oppose this planned quarry, which will destroy thousands of acres of prime farmland.” More on this at http://www.aware-simcoe.ca/issues/aggregate/1799-aggegate.html.
GREENS: In mid-August, the Citizen also reported that Dufferin-Caledon Green Party candidate Rob Strang is opposed to the quarry. On his campaign website at http://www.robstrang.ca/, he states, “I will take action against the proposed Mega-Quarry that helps wealthy hedge fund investors while it hurts our land and our water.”
All-candidate debates have been scheduled for September 7 in Shelburne at Grace Tipling Hall and September 14 in Orangeville at the Westside Secondary School.
The most recent Ipsos Reid poll indicates that 38 percent of Ontarians think Conservative leader Tim Hudak would make the best premier, 33 percent believe Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty is the best choice, while 24 percent support NDP leader Andrea Horwath. A Nanos poll indicates 30.3 percent support for McGuinty, 28.7 percent for Hudak, and 12.2 percent for Horwath.
This week, Wilfrid Laurier professor Barry Kay projected the Progressive Conservatives winning 51 seats (up 26 seats from their current standing of 25), the Liberals winning 41 (down from 70), and the NDP winning 15 (up from 10).