Overview

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.

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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.

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  • Sustainable Electricity Practices - Nov. 19, 2016

    Our Partner Mulmur Mono Citizens' Coalition

    Presents........

    mc2-nov-2016

  • Canada's Water Crisis & What We Can Do - Nov. 7, 2016

    Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition

                            Presents:

    maude   

     

  • Sprawl Brawl - Nov. 24, 2015

    Presented by Environmental Defence

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    Join them for an evening of insight and lively debate with panelists:

    Joe Vaccaro, CEO, Ontario Home Builders' Association
    Don McCabe, President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture
    Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental Defence
    Kevin Eby, former Director of Planning, Region of Waterloo

    Referee: John Barber, journalist and former Globe & Mail columnist.

     

     Space is limited. Register to attend. 

    Full details.

     

  • Impact of Water Taking Operations - Nov. 11, 2015

    Impact of Water Taking Operations in Wellington County

    Presented by.......

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    National Farmers Union 

    Date: Wed. November 11, 2015

    Time: 7:00 PM

    Where: Alma Bible Chapel, 59 Peel Street East, Alma 

    Speakers will include the:

    • Guelph Chapter of the Council of Canadians
    • Wellington Water Watchers

      For more information, please contact Patrick Brown at 519-323-2338.

  • NDACT Chair Speaks in Paris, ON - Nov. 30, 2013

    Concerned Citizens of Brant

    Public Meeting

    Date: Sat., Nov. 30, 2013

    Time: 1:00 PM

    Location: Paris Fairgrounds

    http://ccob.ca/

  • How The Mega-Quarry Was Defeated - Dec. 2/13

    Featuring: Danny Beaton & Carl Cosack

    dec-2-event-web

    When: Monday, December 2, 2013

    Time: 7 p.m.

    Where: Main Program Room, Main Branch Guelph Library, 100 Norfolk St., Guelph


    Admission: No charge

    Presented by: Mike Schreiner and Friends

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    “There aren’t a lot of victories these days, but the mood-altering blocking of the monster quarry in Melancthon Township in potato country a year ago was a brilliant model of how to get stuff done. The alliance of urban ecos, farmers, foodies and chefs showed the power of partnering, bridged the messy city-country divide and ulti­mately triumphed over a Boston-based hedge fund… Plus, it made the point with its five-day trek and mass soup-athons that protests can be jubilant and very digestible – and that determination and positivity are our best weapons.”

    Read more at:http://gangoffour.ca/tag/melancthon

    and: http://mikeschreiner.ca/

    and: http://www.guelphmercury.com/events/4225773--how-the-mega-quarry-was-defeated/


  • Foodie Drinks - Nov. 12, 2013

    DATE:  Tuesday, Nov 12

    TIME:   7pm-10pm

    PLACE: Quail, 1055 Yonge Street. (Rosedale station)

    Our friends at Food Forward are hosting a special evening of fun and conversation. Join us next Tuesday evening (Nov 12th) for "Foodie Drinks"!   We'll be chatting about Food & Water First and learning more about the campaign to protect the Pickering Lands

     

  • Shelburne gets behind Food and Water First

    The Town of Shelburne has been added to the growing list of municipalities stepping behind the Food and Water First Campaign.

    The North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Taskforce (NDACT) is leading the charge for the Food and Water First Campaign, which is an effort to change policies that allow rezoning that compromises of food and water sources.

    “Food and Water First is essentially phase two in stopping the mega quarry,” NDACT co-chair Shirley Boxem told Shelburne council on Monday (Nov. 4). “Even though that application has been withdrawn by The Highland Companies … our food and water is still at risk.”

    NDACT was created with the mandate to stop Highland's' quarry plans in Melancthon as well as influence change to the province's Aggregate Resources Act (ARA).

    With the quarry application withdrawn, the group is now focusing on ensuring legislation exists to protect Ontario’s edible assets. The Township of Melancthon already endorses the campaign.

    Toronto Coun. Josh Matlow also introduced a motion asking Canada’s largest municipality to support the campaign recently.

    Boxem said the campaign’s goal at this point is gaining as many eyes and ears as it can.

    “The primary aim is really to help build a critical mass,” Boxem said. “It’s to help spread the word. Elected officials are clearly not putting this as a priority. It’s not on their radar.

    “This is just not something they’re looking at very seriously.”

    Shelburne Mayor Ed Crewson didn’t take that as a personal attack, but he did explain to Boxem that many elected officials rely on funding from developers, who in return, expect land.

    “I’m just saying as an explanation, when you have developers funding 75 per cent of elections … there’s some expectation of reciprocation,” he said.  

    That wasn’t the only time Crewson and council challenged Boxem during her presentation.

    Council labelled the motion as too “soft” and needed reworking in order for the town to know exactly what it was they were signing onto.

    Specifically, it was the mining of aggregates below the water table that Coun. Walter Benotto wanted to see added to the motion.

    “It needs to be very specific,” Benotto said. “If you want to stop people from mining aggregate under the water table, you should say that in your motion.”

    The motion was then reworked by Benotto, which was then given the thumbs up by council.

    Food and Water First Campaign continues to plan to spread awareness across the province.

    By Todd McEwen
    Published in the Orangeville Banner, Nov. 6, 2013

  • NDACT Chair, Carl Cosack Speaks with Law Students - Nov. 21, 2012

    osgoodehalltorontoOsgoode Hall's Environmental Law Society Presents:

    A Talk with Carl Cosack

    Carl Speaks with the Environmental Law Students at Osgoode Hall

    When: Wed. Nov. 21, 2012

    Time: 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM

    Where: Room 1003, Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen St. W.,Toronto

    Click here to see poster. (1.01 MB)

     

    Photo Credit: http://www.osgoodehall.com/
  • Community Theatre Visual Arts Workshop - Sat. Nov. 24, 2012

    Digging Deep for designs.

    This workshop will proceed as planned.

    Come and have your say about the proposed mega-quarry, pro & con & undecided.

    All interested individuals & groups are welcome to get involved.

     

    dig-deep-webA free workshop series.

    This is the last workshop, of the first phase in co-creating a community play, about the proposed Melancthon Mega Quarry.


    Visual Arts Workshop:

    Date: Sat. Nov. 24

    Time: 1:30-3:30

    Location: Honeywood United Church (basement) on 2nd Line West, just north or CR 21.


    Create paintings and drawings about the proposed mega-quarry with local visual artists Sandi Wong and Nikki Cosack, at the Honeywood Church. All ages (kids & adults) welcome. No experience necessary. Pre-register, by emailing dale@hsfx.ca if possible, or just show up. For more about Sandi: www.sandiwongartist.com

     For more about the community play, click here.

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  • Community Theatre Song Writing Workshop - Sat. Oct. 27, 2012

    Digging Deep for stories, songs, designs and dances.

    Come and have your say about the proposed mega-quarry, pro & con & undecided.

    All interested individuals & groups are welcome to get involved.

     

    dig-deep-webA free workshop series.

    The first phase in co-creating a community play about the proposed Melancthon Mega Quarry.


    Song Writing Workshop:

    Sat. Oct. 27

    1:30-3:30

    Write a song about the proposed mega-quarry with professional songwriter James Gordon, at the Honeywood Schoolhouse. No experience necessary. No need to pre-register. More about James: http://www.jamesgordon.ca

     

    For more about the community play, click here.

  • Community Theatre Story Gathering Workshop Sat. - Nov. 3, 2012

    Digging Deep for stories, songs, designs and dances.

    Come and have your say about the proposed mega-quarry, pro & con & undecided.

    All interested individuals & groups are welcome to get involved.


    dale-hamilton-thA free workshop series.

    The first phase in co-creating a community play about the proposed Melancthon Mega Quarry.



    Story Gathering Drop-in:

    Sat. Nov. 3

    10am-5pm

    Drop in any time between 10 and 5. Free refreshments. Bring your stories and photos about local history and your thoughts about the proposed mega-quarry (pro & con & undecided), with professional playwright Dale Hamilton, at the Honeywood Schoolhouse. More about Dale and community-engaged theatre: www.communityengagedtheatre.ca

     

    For more about the community play, click here.

    Also see the article from the "Orangeville Citizen".

  • Community Theatre Dance / Movement Workshop - Sat. Nov. 10, 2012

    Digging Deep for stories, songs, designs and dances.

    Come and have your say about the proposed mega-quarry, pro & con & undecided.

    All interested individuals & groups are welcome to get involved.

     PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE

    dig-deep-webA free workshop series.

    The first phase in co-creating a community play about the proposed Melancthon Mega Quarry.

     

    Dance/Movement Workshops:

    Sat. Nov.10

    Times: 10:00 to 11:30 children 4 to 11yrs

     1:00 to 3:00 youth 12yrs and up & adults


    potluck lunch if you would like to stay 11:45 to 12:45

    Create dance/movement pieces about the mega-quarry with local dancer/choreographers Ayrlie MacEachern & Sarah Felschow, at Clearview Canyon Studio (Singhampton). No experience necessary. Please pre-register by calling Ayrlie at 705-444-0550 or  mayrlie@hotmail.com  For more info: http://www.motuso.com and http://www.nianow.com/ayrlie-maceachern

    DIRECTIONS to 
    CLEARVIEW CANYON STUDIO  
    Singhampton, Ontario
    For those coming from Creemore:
    • go through Glen Huron to County Rd.124
    • County Rd.124 south
    • when you approach Singhampton there is a 50 sign.
    • turn left at the 50 sign on Milltown Road.
    • take your next left on Ewing Road
    • take your next left on Nottawasaga Sideroad 17/18
    • our place is on the left - 9172 emergency number
    • approx. 15 min.

    For those coming from Collingwood:
    • County Rd. 124 south
    • when you approach Singhampton there is a 50 sign.
    • turn left at the 50 sign on Milltown Road.
    • take your next left on Ewing Road
    • take your next left on Nottawasaga Sideroad 17/18
    • our place is on the left - 9172 emergency number
    • approx. 20 min.

    For those coming from Shelburne:
    • County Rd. 124 north

    • when you approach Singhampton there is an Ultamar gas station
    • at the next gas station XTR/liquor store turn right on Milltown Road.
    • take a right on Ewing Road - which is just after a tight bend to the left
    • take your next left on Nottawasaga Sideroad 17/18
    • our place is on the left - 9172 emergency number
    • approx. 25 min.


    Phone Number 705-444-0550 Ayrlie


    For more about the community play, click here.

     

  • November 27, 2011 - Call to Action

    Weekly Call to Action November 27, 2011

    ACTION:  Send a Letter or e-Mail to Ontario’s Minister of the Environment

    Congratulate Mr. Jim Bradley on his new position and introduce him to the mega-quarry proposal.  Ask for clear and concise guidelines from the MOE in how the public can be engaged in the pending Environmental Assessment.

    Sample letter – print or copy and paste this letter, and adapt to taste

    email: minister.moe@ontario.ca

    Ministry of Environment (ON) Info

  • Sun. November 20, 2011 - Gravel Watch Meeting

    Mega Quarry is on their agenda

    When: Sunday, November 20, 2011

    Time: 8:30 AM - 12:00 Noon

    Location: Puslinch Community Center

     

    Mega-quarry proposal in Melancthon.

    a) Huge amount of publicity; much activity

    b) Environmental assessment (EA).

    Click here for more details and directions.

  • Carl Cosack and Michael Stadtlander - Tourism Ambassador of the Year Award Nominees Wed Nov 16

    Tourism Ambassador of the Year Award through the Headwaters Tourism Association

    A Taste of Tourism

    When: Wednesday November 16, 2011

    Time: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

    Location: Dufferin County Museum and Archives, Northeast corner of Highway 89 & Airport Road,
    Rosemont, ON L0N 1R0

    For award results go to: http://www.ndact.com/index.php/foodstock-2011/266-foodstock-wins-2-tourism-awards

  • "An Insignificant Harvey" - Movie and a Beer - Special Screening

    An Insignificant Harvey

    Date: Tuesday November 8, 2011

    Time: 8:00 PM - 10:30 PM

    Location: Gayety Theatre, 116 Collingwood St., Suite 201, Collingwood, ON

    There will also be a short film about the proposed Melancthon Mega Quarry, before the main attraction film.

     When Harvey crosses paths with a stray husky his life begins to change.

    Premier Screening: Toronto, Friday, November 14, 2011

    For full list of screening venues, click here.

    NDACT will have an information booth at the Gayety Theatre, Collingwood.