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 Wednesday, 11 May 2016 14:17
- Hits: 56
Province Suggesting Changes to Adopt Recommendations of Crombie Panel
In the spring of 2015, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry initiated a co-ordinated review of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan.
We are pleased to inform you of the release of changes to these four plans and invite you to provide input. These proposals were informed by the feedback we received from the public, municipalities, Indigenous communities, stakeholders and the Advisory Panel appointed to propose recommendations on how to make the plans better.
Please visit our website at www.ontario.ca/landuseplanningreview to find Shaping Land Use in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, a guide to proposed changes to the land use plans and the four proposed revised plans. Information on how to provide input, as well as the dates and locations of public open houses will also be available on our website.
The deadline to provide input on the four proposed revised plans is September 30, 2016.
We would like to sincerely thank all those who participated in the review so far. We look forward to receiving input on how to further improve the plans and continue to strengthen and support communities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe and Greenbelt.
The news release and backgrounder can be viewed here.
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
17th Floor, 777 Bay Street
Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
Suite 6630, 6th Floor, 99 Wellesley Street West
- Published on Thursday, 28 April 2016 16:41
- Hits: 99
The provincial and federal governments have teamed up to invest $5.1 million to update Ontario's soil map.
Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Jeff Leal, the MPP for Peterborough, made the announcement Friday at Hawthorne Ridge Heritage Farm in Douro-Dummer Township.
Funds will be invested over the next two years, with Peterborough County allocated $875,000 for aerial mapping, data collection and field logistics and staff.