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Petitions Delivered to Local Conservative MPs and MPPs Opposing Proposed Mega Quarry

Over 120 people gathered in Orangeville, Ontario yesterday to hand over petitions against the mega-quarry to the local Conservative MP and MPP.  About a dozen municipal councilors also attended, adding their opposition to that of First Nations representatives, Aware Simcoe, NDACT, veterans of the battle for Site 41, election candidates, and yours truly-the Council of Canadians.

The event was organized by long time Conservative supporters, indicating how widespread opposition to the proposed mega-quarry has become. It is no surprise then that MP David Tilson is also speaking out strongly against what would be the second largest quarry in North America.  He even references threats from NAFTA in his petition to the House of Commons calling for a federal environmental assessment.

I asked him to explain how his government’s decision to cut 40% from the budget of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency might affect an eventual EA of the mega-quarry but his response didn’t inspire any confidence.  I also asked Conservative MPP Sylvia Jones how her leader’s campaign promise to cut 30% of the “red tape” regulations in Ontario might make it even harder for communities to protect themselves from bad development.  Her promise not to touch good regulations was undermined when she expressed confidence in the fairness of the Aggregate Resources Act- making her perhaps the only person in the room who felt that way.

The McGuinty government received their share of criticism yesterday as well and I think we may see some election promises from them in the coming weeks regarding quarries in Ontario.  Whoever wins on October 6th, they will be facing a highly motivated and united community that is determined to protect its water, land and way of life.