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, 17 August 2016 16:09
- Hits: 23
Shirley Boxem, Chair of the North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Taskforce (NDACT) opened their Annual General Meeting on July 28 to a crowded hall in the Horning’s Mills Community Centre.
Ms. Boxem noted that the crowd was filled with “friends and supporters” and thanked them for being there. She introduced board members and once the minutes and agenda were adopted and financial statement reviewed the meeting adjourned to focus on the Coordinated Land Use Planning Review Draft.
This review only occurs every ten years, and Ms. Boxem stressed, “As we go through policy changes, public opinion does matter.”
She encouraged continued submissions from the community, announcing that 50 per cent of the responses to the review of the Aggregate Resources Act mentioned protection of farm land and water with specific reference to NDACT’s legacy movement “Food and Water First.”
- Published on Wednesday, 10 August 2016 16:39
- Hits: 47
On May 10, 2016, Ontario released proposed changes to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan.
Due to high interest in the review and in response to requests made by several municipalities and stakeholder organizations, we are extending the deadline for comments on the four proposed revised plans to be submitted.
The deadline to provide input on the four proposed revised plans has been extended to October 31, 2016.
We invite you to provide input on the proposed changes. They were informed by the feedback we received from Indigenous communities, the public, municipalities, stakeholders and the Advisory Panel appointed to provide recommendations on how to make the plans better.
Please visit the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review 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. Comments and feedback can also be submitted through our website.
The province remains committed to making revisions to the land use plans.
We would like to sincerely thank all those who participated in the review so far. We look forward to receiving further input on how to further improve the plans and continue to strengthen and supportcommunities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe and Greenbelt.
Minister of Municipal Affairs
17th Floor, 777 Bay Street
Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
Suite 6630, 6th Floor, 99 Wellesley Street West