In 2011, The Highland Companies, filed an application with the province for the largest quarry in Canadian history on the best farmland in Ontario and at the headwaters of five river systems. The mega Quarry would have sprawled across 2,316 acres and would have plunged 200 feet below the water table on a 15,000 acre plateau of Class 1 farmland. The massive open-pit limestone quarry would have put rare agricultural soil and precious water resources at risk in Melancthon Township. A large and diverse group of rural and urban residents launched a Stop the Mega Quarry movement. It was a success.
On November 21, 2012, The Highland Companies announced it was withdrawing its Mega Quarry application and plans for a rail corridor through Dufferin County to Owen Sound. However, the fate of the land and water was unknown. Highland Companies still owned 6,500 acres of Class 1 farmland and could re-apply at any time.
Then on July 16, 2013, Bonnefield Financial, an investment firm specializing in acquiring farmland, bought all of Highland's land. Bonnefield's president, Tom Eisenhauser, announced the fields will continue to be farmed. After many years of uncertainty, it seems the best agricultural soil in the province and its bounty are safe for the time being.
While the Melancthon fields may be secure, Ontario's prime farmland and source water regions remain vulnerable. The present Provincial Policy Statement and Aggregate Resources Act still allow non-farming development on land and water that sustain us. Until legislation is changed, these vital resources are still at risk.
We must now ensure that our source waters and prime agricultural lands are protected, and not at risk of being destroyed.....thus the beginning of our:
Food & Water First campaign, round 2 of 2.
- Published on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 07:52
- Hits: 176
Save the Date!
Food & Water First Public Meeting
Guest speakers - Tom Eisenhauer, CEO of Bonnefield, and Steve Peters, Executive Director of the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors.
Master of Ceremonies - Zoomer Radio’s Dale Goldhawk
To be held Saturday April 5 from 9:30 am - 11:00 am
Location: Centre Dufferin Recreation Complex,
200 Fiddle Park Lane, upper level, Town and Country room,
Shelburne, ON L9V 2C9
Admission is free.
Seating is limited.
Please register your name and number of people attending.
- Published on Monday, 24 February 2014 13:54
- Hits: 77
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Announce:
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is pleased to announce the release today of the new Provincial Policy Statement, 2014 (PPS, 2014).
The new PPS, 2014 comes into effect on April 30, 2014 and contains the province’s policies concerning land use planning for Ontario. It provides a strong and clear foundation for land use planning and development in Ontario. It is the cornerstone of Ontario’s land use planning system, as all planning decisions are required to be consistent with these policies.
The new policies give better direction for supporting healthy active communities, strong economies and the responsible management of resources in a clean and healthy environment.
The PPS, 2014 recognizes that different regions of the province face different challenges and provides clear direction and additional flexibility to help all communities prosper, including northern and rural communities.
We have also prepared two complementary draft documents for discussion. These highlight the policies in the PPS, 2014 that affect planning in Northern Ontario and rural Ontario, particularly those that have been added or revised since the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005. The discussion period for these draft documents ends April 25, 2014.
The PPS, 2014 and the draft Northern and Rural primers are available for download at www.ontario.ca/pps
- Published on Saturday, 22 February 2014 11:32
- Hits: 61
As you'll recall, we were deeply disappointed in the review of the Aggregate Resources Act which was completed by the Standing Committee on General Government last fall. Despite excellent recommendations made by several agricultural stakeholders, the ARA report contained no protection for prime farmland or source water regions. Instead, it focused on the sketchy scenario of rehabilitating pits and quarries to farmland.
The Ontario government has now responded to the Committee's report and appears to have listened to the many concerns we raised. Here is a detail from the government's response which was tabled in the Legislature yesterday. While we still have some distance to travel, the last comment, in particular, is promising.
Thanks to your letters and e-mails, it appears the government is paying attention. We're getting closer to creating a lasting legacy for our province and future generations.