Photo: Parm Gill, MPP, Milton and Linda Sword, Milton resident
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On Tuesday, October 23 members of Concerned Residents Coalition (CRC) signed a public letter to Premier Doug Ford asking him to direct the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, newly appointed John Yakabuski, to meet with community leaders in Guelph Eramosa Township and Halton Region at the Minister’s earliest opportunity. CRC presented the letter to Parm Gill, MPP for Milton who will deliver the letter to the Premier.
The purpose of the proposed meeting with the community is to discuss the application by James Dick Construction Ltd. for a quarry license to extract aggregate at the “Hidden Quarry” site 1000 metres from the town of Rockwood in the Paris Galt Moraine.
At a recent community meeting, Doug Tripp, CRC President, informed the packed hall: “There are more than 6000 licensed pits and quarries in the Province of Ontario according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.* These pits and quarries are licensed to extract in excess of 2 billion tonnes of aggregate per year. This licensed extraction capacity exceeds the 180 million tonnes that is consumed in Ontario each year by more than a factor of 10.”
Tripp continued, “Since Ontario legislation does not require companies to report on the reserves that exist in the sites which are licensed to them, nobody but the industry really knows the quantities of aggregate that remain in existing pits and quarries. Realistically, it will be a decade or more before any new quarries are required.”
CRC Board member, Linda Sword, also underlined one of the potential impacts of mining 100 feet below the water table, “If approved The Hidden Quarry application presents significant risk to our community and our environment. Our experts tell us that the quarry could introduce surface to groundwater conduits, (echoing the Walkerton experience) and potentially contaminate private wells and Rockwood’s Municipal Well # 4.”
Summing up, CRC Chair Alex Kanarek stated, “There is a stark choice here for the provincial government to make. Will Minister Yakabuski allow Greg Sweetnam and James Dick Construction Ltd. to profit from the destruction of our community and the environment in order to excavate an unnecessary quarry or will the Minister decide to protect our community’s safety and well-being? Minister Yakabuski needs to come to our community and promise us he will decide ‘for the people’ and not for Greg Sweetnam.”
The Concerned Residents Coalition is scheduled to appear at an LPAT (formerly OMB) Hearing beginning on May 21, 2019. CRC has been studying the implications of a quarry in this location since 2013. At this time, the other Parties to the Hearing with objections to the proposed Hidden Quarry are Halton Region and the Town of Halton Hills. Guelph Eramosa Township Council is currently reviewing the risks to groundwater given concerns about potential contamination of a Rockwood well.
Photo: CRC Board members with signed letter: l – r Harry Wilson, Michele Dawe, Doug Tripp, Stephanie De Grandis, Linda Sword and Alix Mabee
* AGGREGATE RESOURCES ACT REVIEW, SUBMISSION TO THE STANDING COMMITTEE, Dr. LARRY JENSEN, PHD Geoscience
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