Green Party Opposes Mega Quarry and commits to protecting water and farmland

Green Party Opposes Mega Quarry and commits to protecting water and farmland

Lisle, Ontario – Today, Green Party of Ontario (GPO) Leader Mike Schreiner joined Nottawasaga Steelheader’s president Gary Christie to call for an end to the proposed mega-quarry in Melancthon Township. Schreiner toured the Pine River with Christie to see first-hand how local fish habitats will be affected by the proposed quarry.

“This quarry would cause irreversible damage to local water systems, fish habitats and farmland,” said Schreiner. “We must ensure quarries of this size and scope are prevented in this province to protect farmland, clean water, and diverse habitats.”

The proposed quarry site is located at the headwaters of a number of important river systems, including the Pine River. The development threatens area water systems, local farmland and raises particular concerns for fish habitats.

The Green Party of Ontario is the only party committed to stopping the proposed mega-quarry and promising specific revisions to the Aggregate Resources Act. Currently in Ontario aggregate quarries are not subject to an environmental assessment. Since 2009 area residents have organized opposition to the proposed development in an effort to protect their communities.

“Politicians at Queen’s Park have failed to make protecting our waterways a priority,” said Schreiner. “Protecting clean water is vital to protecting farms, drinking water and the fish habitats that I visited today. The other parties have passed the buck on this issue. It’s time to end the pre-packaged partisan rhetoric. It’s time to put citizens and communities ahead of special interests.”

The Green Party of Ontario is committed to:

• Revising the Aggregate Resources Act to create incentives for more efficient use of aggregates, aggregate recycling, sustainable mining practices and stronger site rehabilitation efforts. Requiring a full Environmental Assessment for aggregate applications that meet the Ministry of Natural Resource’s definition of a mega quarry (currently 150,000,000 tonnes)

• Changing the Ontario Policy Statement to protect Class 1, 2, 3 and 4 farmland. Making preservation and protection of our farmland, water resources and natural heritage a top priority in Ontario.

• Strengthening efforts to sustain farmland and farmers, including consulting with farmers, municipalities and other stakeholders on ways to expand the Greenbelt and to prevent competing land uses such as quarries and gas plants from locating on prime farmland.

For more information on the Green Party’s 5 Point Plan visit: www.itstimeforgreen.ca
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Rebecca Harrison

Director of Communications
Green Party of Ontario
(c) 905-999-5479
(e) rebeccaharrison@gpo.ca