- Published on Friday, 15 November 2013 01:25
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Food and Water First
Early comments regarding the ARA Review,
We are all fired up, and stronger now than we were at the outset of this discussion. Please, stay engaged and let your views be known, after all, it was your involvement that drove the Highland Companies’ decision to withdraw its Mega Quarry application and sell its land. You will be instrumental once more in driving proper policy change.
The Mega Quarry application was made because Baupost (Highland) determined that Ontario has the weakest regulatory environment governing resource extraction in Canada, enabling anyone to pillage the very resources Ontario needs to drive parts of its own economy. This issue of reviewing the antiquated ARA was never about aggregate. It was always about better planning.
In order to function properly, and to focus its energies on its priorities, aggregate producers require a social license, legislation and policy that govern their activities around resource extraction in Ontario. OSSGA had a huge lapse in judgment. Instead of helping to create a document that would lessen rural strife and being a responsible corporate partner, OSSGA members will continue to be challenged by communities in which they want to do business and will have to defend their businesses. Instead of doing better and voluntarily recognizing that Prime Farmland and Source Water Regions should be off limits, OSSGA has clearly belittled the efforts of thousands of Ontarians who have so reasonably engaged in this policy development process. The public at large will continue to withhold that social license until there is modernized legislation.
Nothing in the ARA review document would prevent another Mega Quarry application tomorrow, destroying forever thousands of acres of our most productive farmland and putting the control of unbelievably vast amounts of Ontario’s fresh water under foreign control!!!
The new legislation has to recognize Prime Farmland as a strategic provincial resource.
The new legislation has to protect Source Water Regions by eliminating industrial extraction in those regions.
As an engaged public, both urban and rural, we have had all kinds of assurances from MPPs that the thousands of people had been heard. Now is the time for those MPPs to act, not just speak.