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 Friday, 17 April 2015 14:38
- Hits: 9
There is a co-ordinated land review process going on right now with four key land use plans that are simultaneously being reviewed: the Greenbelt, Oak Ridged Moraine Conservation Plan, Greater Horseshoe Growth Plan and Niagara Escarpment Plan.
The future of land use in Ontario hinges on the recommendations of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) which will be guided - or at least impacted by feedback from the public. Therein lays the key to how much political will is put behind drafting good land use policy: does it matter to people / voters / consumers?
By Shirley Boxem
Published in the Orangeville Banner, April 16, 2015
- Published on Thursday, 16 April 2015 19:56
- Hits: 13
Almost 29 percent of the most productive land between Windsor and Quebec City was lost.
Almost one million hectares of prime farmland went out of food production across Canada between 2001 and 2011, says a report from Statistics Canada. From 1971 to 2011, 3.9 million hectares of farmland has been lost, an area close to the size of Vancouver.
The report, Humanity Activity and the Environment, Agriculture in Canada, doesn't site causes for the loss of farmland but urban sprawl, road building, industrial development, creation of nature reserves and even land no longer farmed because of low crop and livestock prices are well known causes.
Read more of Alex Binkley's article, published in "Ontario Farmer"
- Published on Wednesday, 01 April 2015 11:56
- Hits: 111
Ontario Co-ordinated Review for Growth Plan and Greenbelt
Deadline for comments: May 28, 2015
Four Ontario Growth Plans are under review.
These plans include:The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, The Greenbelt Plan, The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan
Documents are found at:
Our prime objectives:
- Class 1 farmland be preserved and not rezoned
- Moratorium on rezoning of Class 1 farmland be put in place
- Our source waters be protected
Have your say
There are several ways to participate:
- Share your Feedback online
- Share your views at a Regional Town Hall Meeting
- Respond to the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry posting by searching the registry number 012-3256 on the following website: www.ontario.ca/ebr
- Write to :
Land Use Planning Review
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Ontario Growth Secretariat
777 Bay Street, Suite 425 (4th Floor)
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5
Deadline for comments: May 28, 2015