March 26th, 2012
The Honourable Premier Dalton McGuinty
Office of the Premier, Queen’s Park,
Your good office and the Ontario government have received a number of detailed briefs formally and informally that technically document local, provincial and national concerns should the Melancthon Mega-Quarry be permitted to operate.
Simcoe-Grey Federal Liberal Riding Association would like to first express its appreciation for the province under your leadership imposing a full environmental impact assessment on the project. As fellow-Liberals, we share your concern for the environment. We also share a mutual interest in constructive solutions that protect the environment and still create jobs.
Therefore, we propose that your government kindly please consider the following:
1. That the Province of Ontario develop a plan supported by regulations, fees and incentives for recycling of aggregate by the year 2020 to be a minimum of 25%; (The U.K is currently 24%)
2. That the Province of Ontario work with the construction industry and Ontario’s colleges and universities to develop construction and engineering processes that reduce the overall consumption of aggregate used in buildings and roads;
3. That the Province of Ontario work with the National Research Council, local construction firms, universities and venture capital to develop alternative sustainable construction materials to replace aggregate;
4. That the Province of Ontario commit in a public/private partnership to exploration work to locate aggregate in less environmentally sensitive areas of the province;
5. That the Province move to legislate that purchase of agricultural land includes a waiting period of 5 years before permits for alternative uses can be applied for unless that new and different purpose is disclosed at the time of purchase.
6. That the province continues to work with industry and key environmental NGO’s to develop the framework and then tighter regulations on the extraction of aggregate in Ontario.
This six point plan will have a positive impact on Ontario’s environment; permit the up grading of our housing and infrastructure and position Ontario to sell its knowledge in sustainable construction worldwide
The most immediate of our policy suggestions is:
The Province of Ontario cancel Highland’s plan to develop the Mega-Quarry.
A second but less attractive decision is to place a moratorium on a review of the application until 2025 to permit the formation and implementation of a sustainable aggregative strategy for Ontario to be in place.
The risks associated with the Mega-Quarry to the ground water compared to the benefits simply do not warrant this project being developed at this point in time. We hope, as a fellow Liberal and our Premier, that you share this view.
President of the Simcoe-Grey Federal Liberal Riding Association