Questions From Our Readers

Answered by NDACT Chair, Carl Cosack.

Posted 9/4/12

Question: MP David Tilson is encouraging people to petition the federal government to do a federal environmental assessment.  It was our understanding that this was a bad idea given the two year limit on federal environmental assessments.  Could you clarify?
Answer: NDACT continues to pursue the FEDERAL EA because it covers some aspects that the already ordered PROVINCIAL EA might not address.The scrutiny of the Federal EA triggers, (cold water fisheries is the main one, train transportation, Great Lakes shipping, trans Watershed water movement , First Nations Consultation) are not proponent driven, like they are for the Provincial EA, but studied by independent  experts.
We fully support David Tilson,  Michael Chong, (PC'S), Matthew Kellway, Craig Scott, Peggy Nash (NDP), Caroline Bennett (LIB), and Elisabeth May (Green) to bring Federal attention to this type of development and the rules that allow these applications. In the big picture, this issue of resource protection is a non partisan issue and will transcent party politics. For David Tilson and Michael Chong to have been as strong as they have been in Ottawa to call for the Federal EA has really shown some leadership.
When we toured the federal Environment Minister Peter Kent around, he made it clear that this is an issue. NDACT has submitted to the federal government that Mega Quarries should be part of the projects deserving of an automatic federal EA. Since the new EA legislation is currently being reviewed, there is time to get it included. The two year time limit for federal EA's is okay. I am sure that if technical and factual studies are not completed in time, that any particular review will get extended.
In the end, NDACT's main concern is not that we just extent the timeline of the Highland Companies proposal review, but that we elevate the facts surrounding this insane proposal and that it will be rejected, based on those facts.
So, please sign David Tilson's petition, he deserves all the support we can give him on this file.

 Posted 8/8/12

Question: Are all members of NDACT, including yourself, volunteers?   

Answer: The Board members are volunteers as are our fabulous support network. These people who Chair meetings and committees, organize the signs and tables at markets and events, manage the website and the publicity are all volunteers. And they also volunteer at events. I am proud to say that every dollar we raise goes to paying for expert help as is needed.


Question: What did you mean when you said, "Just because we fight fair, it doesn't mean we don't fight?"   

Answer: This has been an exceptional public engagement, province wide with expertise offer freely and solutions being proposed to make the ATA an act, that will truly serve the people and reflect the changing values of society. These values are  "Food and Water First", protecting Prime Farmland to feed the city and protecting "Source Waters" everywhere. People everywhere have been engaging in the way society should engage. In policy making, politicians need to listen to this and reflect this populous effort by passing better legislation.

 If politicians do not, the fight to preserve such valuable resources like farmland and water will undoubtably turn much less civil. Our civil engagement should never be interpreted as a sign of weakness or lack of resolve, rather as proper democracy and a sign of strength. 


 Question: What lessons have you learned so far in the fight against Highland?  

Answer: We have a voice. Greed will not succeed.   Lessons are endless. Everything about this application is wrong as it doesn't serve the people of Ontario. It is rape of land, resources, communities and just plain bullying. National or International interest does not matter. Society demands better from its business and its polititians. Let us all build a better world. We just need to care. We already have the technology, knowledge and tools. All we need to do, is participate in building the world that we want.


Question: You have a lot of support from artists, various organizations, and concerned individuals.  What does this support mean to you, and has this brought the community closer together?  

 Answer: Unbelievable support with a common vision and the will, to work for a better future by so many. This is not about any particular group or neighbourhood. This is the lightning rod to build a better Ontario. The community has grown and old divisions between rural and urban are fading. We know we all need to eat and have access to clean water. We are learning from each other and making each other better. What a great future awaits us if we can just open our eyes and ears and look past our own noses. The movement is a great sign for that. 



Question: What can people who oppose the proposed mega quarry do to help prevent it from being built? 

 Answer: Do what you do and spread the word. Log onto the website and check out the most current "Call to Action". Write your MPP and MP and put them on notice that they work for us, not us for them. We need political leadership from them, and better decisions. Put up a sign, support event like our August 12th "Paddle the Grand" or October 21st "Soupstock". Numbers of people at rallies count. Publicity and spreading the word is vital.