PROTECTING Our Escarpment
PitSense is a community of people organized to respond to proposals for further increases in the number of aggregate operations in Caledon.
We are opposed to the continuing 'Domino Effect' growth of open pit mines and quarries in the agricultural and rural residential areas of the Niagara Escarpment and UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

Ecology - in other words natural capital - used properly can also give you the jobs that you seek.

                                  ... Pavan Sukhdev

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Copyright © 2010-2018 PitSense Niagara Escarpment Group Inc.
All rights reserved
Globe& Mail - June 1, 2011
An article by Martin Mittelstaedt reports on a new initiative to make aggregate operators more responsible. Excerpts below. For full article click HERE.

"The effort by the company is an attempt to defuse some of the vociferous opposition from community groups that typically accompanies almost all new gravel pits being proposed in Canada, and at many existing quarries."

"In the past year, Ontario regulators have rejected two proposed quarries, one in the Caledon area on the outskirts of Toronto and another near Guelph."

"Sustainable rocks may seem like an oxymoron, given that gravel is blasted out of open pit mines, but Mr. Galloway is convinced it’s possible, if quarries are placed in areas where the potential for environmental harm is minimized and operating practices avoid affecting neighbouring land owners."

"The certification process would be overseen by an independent, non-profit entity, Socially and Environmentally Responsible Aggregates, to which all quarry operators in Canada would be able to submit facilities for evaluation."

M E D I A  &  M E S S A G E S

This is the place for topical articles of interest
and commentary from our visitors.
Also see our What's New page.
Comments received regarding the PitSense 'Full Cost Accounting' and MPAC initiative -

"I applaud you in this initiative ..."  - D.F.  Caledon
"I am very encouraged with your meeting with the legal team." - B.T.  Caledon
"Glad to see things are moving forward in this tangible way." -  A.V.  Caledon
"The PitSense group is doing a terrific job for the residents of Caledon." - H.S.  Caledon

 See update HERE
CBC Interview with Ruth Grier and Bill Saunderson in which they point out that Ontarians consume 17 metric tonnes of aggregate per capita each year, while in the UK the consumption is only 4 metric tonnes per capita, due largely to aggressive recycling, substitution and conservation policies.
PitSense believes Ontario must move in the same direction.

Elmira Independent - August 11, 2010
Gravel pit fight continues - "... despite concerns of increased gravel truck traffic and noise, it's the financial impact that residents may fear the most. It's a growing concern for local homeowners, especially in Conestogo, where residents say property values have already fallen since the submission of the gravel pit applications."  "...  nine homes are for sale near the golf course that aren't moving, one sold for more than $100,000 less than the original listed price, and a buyer backed out of a purchase at the last minute after finding out about the impending pit applications."   "...  agents recommend listing homes significantly below their property value." 

To read full article Click HERE
CBC Radio 'The Current' -  October 28, 2011
An important part of the PitSense Mandate is what we call "Full Cost Accounting". That means that ALL costs to society - both on an individual and governmental level - should be accounted for in any legitimate business plan. But it doesn't end there ...

Increasingly, economists are advocating putting nature on the balance sheet ... a concept called "natural capital". On one side of the ledger, ecosystems perform invaluable services like flood control, pollination, carbon sequestration and water purification. (One estimate suggests insect pollination is worth hundreds of billions of dollars globally. The economic value of the Canadian boreal forest has been pegged at 700 billion dollars annually ... just by being there.) On the other side of the ledger, the world's top 3,000 companies do 2.2 trillion dollars in environmental damage a year according to one estimate. These costs are particularly problematic when it comes to non-renewable resources like aggregate.

There are a number of prominent people working in this area - names like Pavan Sukhdev and Amory Lovins. Recently former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has become
a major proponent of bringing natural capital on to the national accounts. 
He joined CBC radio for an interview from his office in Montreal.    Listen HERE
Who are our elected representatives working for?

"If you check the legislative documents establishing the existence and legislative authority for a government institution - i.e. the Municipal Act – on the roles of Council and the Head of Council, there is a clear definition of our elected officials’ responsibility toward the citizens of Caledon.
In particular, Section 224(a) to represent the public and to consider the well being and interests of the municipality; and Section 226.1(d) participate in and foster activities that enhance the economic, social and environmental well being of the municipality and its residents. 2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 101. It is clear the poor operation of a strip mine and the associated failure of the Ministry of Natural Resources inspectors to oversee the license conditions negatively affects “the well-being and interests of the municipality” and fails to “enhance the economic, social and environmental well-being of the municipality and its residents”."
... Don MacDow, from the 'Opinion' section, Caledon Enterprise January 3, 2012 ​ Full letter HERE

" ... not our process, says the town. Not legally obliged to give you notice, says the ministry. And the residents are left wondering again, who is it that works for me?"
... Matthew Strader discussing Tottenham Pit expansion, Caledon Enterprise, Dec 24, 2011 Full article HERE

Published by Ontario Farmland Trust. "Special Aggregate Issue" featuring story on Melancthon Quarry application. See article HERE
April 2, 2012      Article reports Water fears of residents near proposed pit expansion

"Palgrave resident Dean Williamson, who lives on Highcrest Road, south of the Tottenham pit location at Mount Wolfe Road and Highway 9, is taking his concerns to the ministry after receiving a failed water test from the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion. He’s been advised to boil his water before consuming it.."

... from an article by Matthew Strader in the Caledon Enterprise
February 29, 2012   Aggregate advocate shocked by Tottenham Pit

"Gravel Watch advocate Helen Purdy believes Caledon is the victim of an ill-prepared ministry.
Purdy, a member of the advocacy organization that speaks for citizens’ rights concerning aggregate operations, has been monitoring and researching pits and quarries in Ontario for more than 20 years."

... from a report by Matthew Strader, Caledon Enterprise

" To say the least, I have found this process to be unsettling and the process to lack credibility. The information provided was inconsistent and many of the statements being made by the applicant lacked accuracy and substantiation. Much of the information required was not being provided."
       ... Caledon Councillor Richard Whitehead in Letter-to-Editor, Caledon Citizen Full letter HERE

Caledon is unique on the global scale — Green, beautiful and mostly unspoiled by human activity. Melville is a lovely community on the Credit River in the Greenbelt. Caledon Council, our elected representatives, backed a plan to spoil it.

Full Caledon Citizen letter-to-editor HERE

February 24, 2014 - The Provincial Government released to the public the new Provincial Policy Statement that contains a surprise clause that would permit Class 3 Industrial processing of demolition debris "within operations". PitSense and 8 other community groups released a statement to the media outlining our serious concerns.

Click on letter to enlarge >>
May 15, 2014 - Will another gravel domino fall? Mono residents sound the alarm ...

< Click image to enlarge
The Concerned Residents Coalition in Rockwood are actively engaged in opposing the proposed ‘Hidden Quarry’. They recently delegated to the Guelph Eramosa Town Council, with some encouraging success. One of their main pursuits is to have the quarry proponent engage in a proper Economic Impact Study and the Council has agreed to require one. The proponent in this case, James Dick Construction Limited, is of the view that if the social and environmental impacts are minimized, there will be no adverse economic impacts on residents or the Township. CRC disagrees, and their Council has listened. Click HERE to read the full media release. >>