Maude Barlow will be in Bobcaygeon on April 19th, at the Lakeview Arts Barn for an Earth Week Event to speak about protecting our water, fighting for our planet and the ‘Dewdney Quarry’ proposal.
For years now residents in the Kawartha Lakes Region have been fighting yet another quarry proposal in their backyard. The current proposal from Dewdney Mountain Farms Ltd. is for a 432 acre quarry, Class A, Category 4, and concrete plant just outside of Bobcaygeon. To put this into perspective, this is the size of approximately 327 football fields in a small area of the province that already has 18 other limestone quarries.
At local meetings the community came together in large showings, filling parking lots and lining streets to make sure their voices were heard. At one meeting over 500 residents from the small local communities showed up and many were turned away due to building capacity restrictions. It is clear the community is concerned, and has had enough of their backyard being turned into industrial detritus.
Residents have hired land planners, environmental lawyers and spent personal money to acquire expert’s reports to review the planned quarry, MNR license, and zoning amendment. As the local township has approved the zoning change -from rural to an aggregate resource extractor- they plan on taking their objections to the rezoning to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The three-week hearing begins on May 20.
There are many issues surrounding this proposed quarry. It will be 180m from Provincially Significant Wetland (The Nogies Creek Subwatershed) which was not taken into consideration as it is 60 metres out of the assessment area used by the MNR. This area is a Provincial Fish Sanctuary where Muskies still spawn and is within the First Nations at Curve Lake traditional hunting ground. Further, Nogies Creek is an important area for local wildlife (one of the largest deer yards in Peterborough County) and empties into Pigeon Lake, which is one of the Kawartha Lakes, and part of the Trent System. Local activist Becki Jory has also outlined that, “Not only does the quarry worry her, but the company's application for ‘unlimited tonnage.’ In a letter to local MPP Laurie Scott, she wrote, in part, ‘This quarry...is as far as I know to contain the longest haul route in the county. I am not aware of any other quarry in the area that is allowed unlimited tonnage.’”
Maude Barlow has stated, "The Premier of Ontario must give communities the legal right to refuse unwanted megaprojects. That will protect what we have for future generations and prevent these battles from starting in the first place as industry will seek out willing communities before they enter the approvals process.'"