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 Monday, 04 November 2013 17:36
- Hits: 899
To Your Keyboards!
We have drafted a template letter for you to send to the members of the Standing Committee on General Government in response to the report on the Aggregate Resources Act.
Please add your own thoughts/expertise/experiences. Form letters can be ignored and our concerns about the review of the ARA must not be dismissed!
- Published on Friday, 15 March 2013 20:34
- Hits: 799
Do you know where your food comes from?
It gets one thinking.
Presented by Hellman's, 2010
- Published on Saturday, 09 November 2013 08:00
- Hits: 63
The North Dufferin Agriculture and Community Taskforce board is meeting this week to discuss what measures, if any, it can take to counter what it views as glaring omissions and the weak language of the Aggregate Resources Act review recommendations.
- Published on Friday, 08 November 2013 20:01
- Hits: 64
Our provincial government has missed an opportunity to protect a vital part of Ontario’s economy.
The recently tabled review of the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) fails to put any importance on protecting agricultural land of any class.
However, the province’s agriculture industry contributes about $34 billion to the economy and supports more than 740,000 jobs across Ontario.
Farmer Brent Preston explained the financial value in farmland best during the ARA review committee’s stop in Orangeville.
“I only produce eight or 10 tonnes of salad a year on my farm, but I can produce salad in perpetuity,” Preston said. “You can only mine a tonne of gravel once.”