The Green Party of Ontario (GPO) believes that the proposed Highlands Companies’ Melancthon quarry application should be subject to a full Environmental Assessment (EA) under the Environmental Assessment Act of Ontario.
To qualify for such a Full Environmental Assessment, the mega-quarry must be designated as a “major commercial or business enterprise or activity” under the Environmental Assessment Act. The proposed mega-quarry would be the largest in Ontario’s history. It would manipulate about 600,000,000 litres of water every day (roughly 100,000 times more than an average “major residential development”) which equates to approximately 25% of all water consumed/used in the Province each day. This mega quarry is clearly a major commercial or business.
The GPO’s position is that the Highlands Companies’ Melancthon Quarry Application should be subject to a federal Joint Panel Review under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in conjunction with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. The quarry's potential impact on fish habitat in the Grand, Saugeen, Nottawasaga, Pine and Beaver Rivers, the First Nations interests in this region, and the potential implications of the North America Free Trade Agreement on this project all justify a joint Panel Review.
The GPO is committed to revising the Aggregate Resources Act to give protection of groundwater, surface water and farmland a higher priority than is given to aggregate extraction. We support increasing royalty fees for aggregate extraction to encourage the reuse and recycling of aggregates. Class 1, 2 and 3 farmland in Ontario should be protected from development and protected for sustainable agriculture.
The Green Party of Ontario believes that corporations and unions should not be able to make political contributions in Ontario as this influences the development of policy and decision-making that is not in the interests of the people of Ontario. Proponents of the mega quarry have made such donations.
The Green Party of Ontario's vision is to build a financially, socially and environmentally sustainable province now and for the future. Preservation and protection of our farmland, water resources and natural heritage is essential to realizing this vision.
Rob Strang, P.Eng.
Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Ontario
Green Party of Ontario Candidate for Dufferin-Caledon