Feb/28/2011INTERNATIONAL GREENBELTS CONFERENCE SLATED FOR TORONTO
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is hosting an International Greenbelts Conference in Toronto, Canada,
March 22nd - 24th, 2011. Through the sharing of diverse experience and perspectives, the Conference will spark
new ideas about the possibilities that greenbelts offer, and generate new ways of tackling some of the complex
challenges in near urban farming, rural vibrancy, and protecting our ecosystems and the numerous benefits they provide. See:
Feb/24/2011 AGGREGATE MUNICIPALITIES SET TO FORM LOBBY GROUP
Caledon - Mayor Marolyn Morrison announced at Tuesday’s council meeting that the mayors of the top ten aggregate producing municipalities (including Caledon) have been invited to get together, with the possibility of forming a group to lobby the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). See:
Feb/14/11 FEARS OF CONTAMINATED SOIL IN OLD GRAVEL PIT
Toronto Star reports that residents on Oak Ridges Moraine fear contaminated wells from fill being dumped in old
gravel pit, contrary to local regulations. See:
Nov/17/10BIZARRE MOVE by ONTARIO MINISTRY of NATURAL RESOURCES
Disturbing news for friends of the Niagara Escarpment - OMNR pulls out of Ontario Municipal Board hearing
Nov/15/10ROCKFORT QUARRY REJECTED!
The Ontario Municipal Board has rejected the application by James Dick Construction Ltd.
to establish an open pit dolostone mine at Winston Churchill and Olde Baseline in the
Town of Caledon.
The PROVINCIAL POLICY STATEMENT 2005 (PPS) is presently under review.
Comments are being sought and our opportunity to have input is NOW.
The deadline for submissions is October 28, 2010. Please go to:
to read the PPS, particularly the section on Aggregates. Then go to:
to have your say on how it can be amended to better protect our Escarpment.
PIT OPPONENTS WIN
Please explore this website. It describes the battle and ultimate victory to keep
an open-pit gravel mine from negatively impacting a rural residential area.
Also please refer to their 'letters' section to help formulate and express your
concerns about proposed Escarpment pits.
PUSLINCH PIT VICTORY
News article regarding the OMB decision to block a proposed Capital Paving pit
in Puslinch Ontario
WIN for PIT OPPONENTS in BC
"Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come"
... Victor Hugo
Copyright © 2010-2019 PitSense Niagara Escarpment Group Inc.
All rights reserved
We are very fortunate to have in Ontario an area that is recognized internationally as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Large parts of the Niagara Escarpment are also designated as 'Protected' areas, with 'Greenbelt', 'Oak Ridges Moraine', and 'Credit Valley Conservation Area' status as well. We seek to make these designations truly meaningful.
Apr/30/2011SPRING/SUMMER NEIGHBOURHOOD AWARENESS BARBECUE
PitSense is holding our 2nd BBQ to raise awareness and funds. Set aside June 11 from 4pm to dusk
to 'Meet, Greet, and Eat' with your neighbours and friends who are working to protect your
Niagara Escarpment. We will also have a special GUEST ARTIST! ... SAMPLE HERE:
For more info click HERE
Mar/22/2011CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY
CIELAP has issued a report entitled: Aggregate Extraction in Ontario: A Strategy for the Future
Highly recommended reading for all concerned. (click HERE)
Our PitSense Community BBQ was held
at Don MacDow's Farm on Heart Lake Rd. Despite somewhat threatening weather the turnout was fantastic, the music was excellent, and the food was delicious. We owe a huge THANK YOU to all who bought tickets and made donations. We gratefully acknowledge the numerous sponsors and donors of door prizes and silent auction items. And of course we are blessed with capable volunteers ... THANK YOU ALL ! for more and larger pics click HERE
SEPTEMBER 11, 2011 -
Dec/1/2011 - In a groundbreaking alliance,the aggregate sector and conservation groups, led byOntario Natureand the Ontario Aggregate Forum, make common cause on a green certification standard for gravel.
February 15, 2012 - Fortune Magazine article raises awareness of Ontario aggregate issues and battle in Melancthon.Read full article HERE
NDACT reaches new heights in
MEGA QUARRY battle;
taking it to Africa's highest peak.
May 2012 - Standing Committee on General Government Review of the Aggregate Resources Act
In light of controversial proposals to expand existing pits by site plan amendments, license new pits in sensitive 'protected' areas, and create ever-larger quarries, such as the "Mega Quarry" in Melancthon Township, the provincial Legislature is reviewing the Act.
PitSense was present as an observer at the review hearings. The committee proposed that by: " ... seeking advice and gaining insight from key stakeholders, the committee will make recommendations to the government about how to strengthen the Act."
The Act, as it is currently structured, and in concert with the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), mandates access to 'close to market' aggregate, at considerable expense to private property owners and municipalities, and makes it difficult for residents to stop detrimental pits and quarries. PitSense questions whether this is still good social, economic and environmental policy.
On Friday, May 4, the Standing Committee on General Government announced that it would be holding public hearings at Queen's Park in Toronto, beginning on Monday, May 7 (4 hours), Wednesday, May 9 (2 hours), Monday, May 14 (4 hours) and Wednesday, May 16 (2 hours). Those wishing to make an oral presentation were required to contact the Clerk of the Committee by 5:00 on Wednesday, May 9. The deadline for written submissions was 5:00 pm on Wednesday, May 16. The 'public' was effectively barred from the May 7 and May 9 hearings since a favored few (e.g. MNR, ECO, and aggregate industry representatives) had been given advance notice and were provided relatively generous time allocations on those dates. There were a total of more than 75 requests to appear submitted by the May 9 deadline. Only 24 of those were selected, and given only 10 minutes each to present their views. PitSense was among the majority who were not allowed to make an oral presentation.
The extremely short notice, quick deadlines, minimal time allocations, and the absence of rural hearings made it difficult for people in the communities most affected to be heard. The committee recommended that more hearings be held and travel to affected communities be permitted. The house leaders of the 3 parties have not accepted the committee's recommendation. They appear very reluctant to seriously engage the public in this review.
the citizens of Ontario deserve better.
Links to our written submissions
are available HERE
(Part way down the page)
cartoon courtesy of Gail Prussky
The Concerned Citizens of Brant (CCOB) are objecting to a gravel pit starting operations in their community in 2012 using a license that was granted to Dufferin Aggregates in 1974 !
Province washes hands of smelter cleanup
One of the serious problems PitSense is working to address is the lack of financial responsibility requirements in the ARA and MOE legislation or in the PPS (Provincial Policy Statement). We are pushing hard for a 'Full Cost Accounting' approach including full compensation for harm. An example of the consequences of the current situation is described in this recent York Region article.
Mine clean-up rules too lax, critic says ...
When Royal Oak Mines went bankrupt more than a decade ago, it left behind a toxic legacy that Canadian taxpayers are still paying to clean up. Read full CBC article HERE
I N T H E N E W S ( for most recent news go to page 2 HERE)
October 20-26, 2012 - Caledon's Tottenham Pit owners involved in toxic oil spill and questionable activities. Palgrave residents are frustrated in attempts to obtain information and government action to protect their water wells. Confusion, contradictions, and suspected cover-ups are reported HERE, HERE, and HERE in the Caledon Enterprise. This incident, and the resulting finger-pointing and evasion of responsibilities serves to reinforce PitSense's view is that the Aggregate Resources Act and the Ministries of Natural Resources and Environment are ill-equipped, both in personnel and legislative authority, to ensure proper oversight and management of aggregates in Ontario. More pits and quarries will simply mean more such acts in the future.
We are calling on our government to revise the Act and related procedures to prevent such future human health threats and environmental disasters.
Thursday, September, 20, 2012 - Opposition growing to aggregate pits near Holstein
By Don Crosbyfor the Mount Forest Confederate
Opposition to the development of gravel pits in the Holstein area is growing, with a call for a moratorium on further approval of gravel pits until studies can be done to determine the cumulative long term social and financial effects. “My farm is hemmed in on two sides by two gravel pits. I’ve done nothing wrong. If I had known what was going to happen I would never agreed to retire in Egremont. The issue of devaluation of my property was ignored,”said resident Marilyn Ellis. Don Scott, the planner for H. Bye Construction, agreed there is no compensation for the economic effects on property values.
See full article HERE
August 9, 2013 -Capital Paving has done the right thing and cancelled plans for a pit that would have threatened the famous 'Kissing Bridge' in West Montrose. Congratulations to Tony Dowling and the Bridgekeepers group for their persistent and reasoned opposition. Capital's press release said, in part:
"While the Company truly believes that it could have operated the gravel pit responsibly and with respect for surrounding neighbours, Capital decided to acknowledge the concerns of the local community of West Montrose and the covered bridge."
August 19, 2013, Ottawa - CONGRATULATIONS! to Norma Moore and her group! Just shows it CAN be done. Residents of Braeside are celebrating after a judge upheld a 2011 court decision that said the smells and sounds caused by a temporary asphalt plant in the area were a public nuisance. A bid to rezone the area in order to build a permanent plant at Braeside Quarry was rejected by the township’s council. Norma said: “We had a common problem that affected all of us and we worked to get the evidence to bring the facts together, to make a very solid case.”
September 26, 2013, Caledon - Opposition grows against Melville pit.
Matthew Strader photo
"I’ve never seen residents so mistreated by a council like this one," Bunt said bluntly from his home, stating that his questions and email queries have gone unanswered by councillors and Town of Caledon staff.
“The resource area is not being talked about right,” he said about Caledon having certain portions of land designated as an aggregate resource area. “The council is saying it means they don’t have a choice but to do aggregate, but that isn’t true. It limits you from doing anything that would preclude aggregate. It doesn’t mean you have to do aggregate.” See Caledon Enterprise article HERE
September 19, 2013, Rockwood ON. - Concerned Residents Coalition (CRC) delegated to Guelph-Eramosa Township Council regarding financial impacts of 'Hidden Quarry' application.
"When will Guelph Eramosa Council engage a suitably qualified consultant ... to carry out an economic analysis of the impacts ...?" asked CRC representative Perry Groskopf.
See full news article HERE
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August 22, 2013, Rockwood ON. -
Guelph Eramosa Township Councillor calls
the proposed quarry "Invasive".
Concerned Residents Coalition (CRC) scientific committee chair Stephanie de Grandis said below water table blasting is "uncharted territory"
as she outlined 11 concerns.
See full article HERE
click to enlarge >
January 23, 2014, North Dumfries Ontario - Outrageous Ontario Municipal Board ruling
angers CRAND advocacy group ...
Click on image to read full press release >>
February 25, 2014, Orangeville Ontario -
Local paper editorial calls for Town to fight
Melville Pit ...
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June 7, 2014 - After the first all-candidates meeting in Orangeville it became clear that aggregate issues were prominent in the current campaign in Dufferin-Caledon. In order to better inform our Community of the positions and policies of our candidates and their parties PitSense posed a series of questions to all 4 candidates who were present at the meeting. We requested responses by June 6.
June 17, 2014 - Gravel Pit proposed west of Guelph. Tri City Lands Ltd. wants to open a 42-hectare gravel pit on Wellington Road 124 between Guelph and Cambridge that would extract 650,000 tonnes of gravel a year. Once again the issue of negative impacts on property values becomes an issue. See full article in the Guelph Mercury HERE
July 11, 2014 - Oxford County moves quickly on Air Quality - Local residents Suzanne Crellin and Reed Elliot spearhead an effort to get proper testing and monitoring of air quality near Beachville. The meeting featured Dr. Ray Copes from Public Health Ontario and Oxford’s medical officer of health, Dr. Douglas Neal. “Dr. Copes is an expert in environmental and occupational exposures, and his involvement in the new air monitoring plan gives us some hope that despite MOE shortfalls, our board of health and Public Health Ontario will be able to collect enough new information to protect the public,” Crellin said. The citizens group hopes that this initiative will succeed and set a strong example for other gravel-producing counties across the province.
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