The Council of Canadians welcomes environmental assessment of mega-quarry

Media Release
September 2, 2011

Barlow calls MOE announcement on proposed mega-quarry a good start

The Council of Canadians welcomes the announcement by Ontario’s Minister of the Environment John Wilkinson that a proposed mega-quarry in Melancthon Township will be subject to an Environmental Assessment.

“More than 130,000 people have called on this government to reject the mega-quarry outright, but Minister Wilkinson’s decision is a good first step,” said Maude Barlow, Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “The community has worked tirelessly to protect their water and farmland and they should be proud of this win.  The fact that such a massive and destructive project is normally exempt from an EA shows that the regulations are far too favourable towards big business. Whoever wins the election must reform the Aggregate Resources Act. “

More than 9000 acres of prime cropland in Melancthon Township has been acquired over the years by The Highlands Companies, purportedly for growing potatoes.  In the Spring of this year, Highlands filed an application to turn 2316 acres of it  into the second largest mega-quarry in North America. The proposed mega-quarry would be deeper than Niagara Falls and destroy more than 2,316 acres of prized Honeywood Silt Loam, a rare type of soil that is particularly suited to potato cultivation. It would also require the removal of some 600 million litres of water per day to prevent massive flooding as the headwaters of five rivers are found in the vicinity.  

“The quarry endangers water and it must be rejected. Corporations are temporary. Governments come and go. The quarry will only produce for so long. But destruction is forever,“ said Barlow.

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