(North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Taskforce, Inc.)

We are an incorporated, not for profit, entity which was formed in January 2009 by concerned citizens from Melancthon and Mulmur Townships.

The NDACT executive board was formed by a group of volunteers nominated by community members.

At the inaugural meeting, members of the community gathered to voice their concerns and to find out more about The Highland Companies plans regarding the more than 6,000 acres of prime agricultural land that they had amassed as of that date. Up to that point in time, and for a lengthy period of time afterwards, Highland reiterated to the community that they had been acquiring large tracts of agricultural land solely with a view to creating a world class farming operation, but residents were highly skeptical.

By the date of the meeting, there was a growing suspicion in the area that other plans were afoot, although the applicant would not clearly admit so. There was significant evidence that the applicant was undertaking activities that were inconsistent with its stated intentions (of just being interested in potato farming) including well testing and drilling, archaeological studies, woodlot and fence row clearing and the demolition of homesteads. Highland stated that these activities were merely to improve their farming operations.

NDACT / Food & Water First Announces New Chair

We are pleased to welcome....

Alia Jalbert as our new Chair.

Alia, a former NDACT Board Member, has replaced former Chair, Shirley Boxem. Shirley will remain as a regular Board Member.

Congratulations to all! 


NDACT Board Members

Chair: Alia Jalbert

Vice-Chair: Brian Bell


Carl Cosack

Ralph Armstrong

Ted Metz

Tom Long

Shirley Boxem

Karren Wallace

John Gruetzner

Secretary: Karren Wallace

Treasurer: Tom Long

web: www.ndact.com

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NDACT Appoints Two New Board Members

We are pleased to announce the appointments of Karren Wallace and John Gruetzner as our new Board Members.

Karren Wallace is our current Secretary and has finally agreed to sit on the NDACT Board. Welcome Karren!

  • Karren was born and raised in Dufferin County on a potato and beef operation in Melancthon.   She was lucky enough to raise her three children, who are now great young adults, across the road from where she grew up.

  • Her professional background is in law and government, having started her career as a law clerk working at firms in Shelburne and Collingwood.  She transitioned into municipal government which is a natural fit. After several years at various municipalities, including Mapleton, Grey Highlands, Shelburne and New Tecumseth she accepted a position with the provincial government as a Municipal Advisor at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. 

  • Her portfolios included Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program, municipal election lead, $26 million Holland Marsh Drainage project, public speaking, education and training to elected officials and staff on various pieces of legislation impacting municipalities.

  • In 2009 she became active in the mega quarry battle and some of the those first unorganized meetings were held at her kitchen table in Melancthon.  When NDACT was formed that January day in 2009, she worked behind the scenes in assisting NDACT with strategy, legislative research, contacts at the province, without violating confidentiality rules with her employer.

  • In 2014 she accepted the nomination as the Green Party candidate for Dufferin-Caledon and increased the Green Party’s profile and increased the vote for the party to 16%. In late 2014 she returned to municipal government, and is now employed a the Clerk in the Township of Wellington North.  Her education is in law, municipal government and human resources.


John Gruetzner brings a wealth of business experience to our Board. Welcome John! His credentials follow:

  • the principal and founder of Intercedent, a Canadian business and investment advisory firm founded in 1988 and focused on Asia

  •  served as the head of the Canada China Business Council in Beijing.

  •  worked for the National Broadcasting Corporation, De Laurentis Entertainment, and Filmline

  • received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto 

  • was an Executive in Residence at the University of Manchester Business School

  • one of the 24 founders of the China Policy Centre being formed in Ottawa.

  • won a Medallion from the Governor General of Canada in recognition of his contribution to the bi-lateral relations between China and Canada. 


Carl Cosack, NDACT Chair, Steps Down

It is official...

At the November 13, 2014 NDACT Board Meeting, Carl Cosack stepped down as Chair. He was voted on as Chair, November 5, 2011, replacing NDACT's first Chair, Dale Rutledge.

Shirley Boxem was voted on as Chair, leaving the Vice Chair position vacant at this point.

Carl will continue to provide invaluable support by remaining on the NDACT Board.

Thank you Carl, for your your boundless energy, and tireless effort in moving our issues forward and into the limelight. 


NDACT Welcomes New Board Member

NDACT is pleased to welcome...

Alia Smyth as our newest Board Member.

As a retired officer with the Canadian Armed Forces, her experience in planning, administration and training make her a valuable asset to our Board.

Welcome Alia and thank you for stepping up!