Open letter to House Leaders encouraging them to allow the ARA hearings to extend across the province

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May 16, 2012

Dear (House Leaders) Mr. Milloy, Mr. Bisson and Mr. Yakabuski:

It is essential that the Standing Committee on General Government (SCGG) conduct extended hearings on the review of the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) in communities across the province.

The committee members made the right decision last week in agreeing to request extended hearings outside Queen’s Park. After three days of public consultation it is clear that the issues are far too complex — and the stakes for our economy, communities and environment far too great — to seek a quick fix to revising the ARA.

I strongly urge you to grant the SCGG’s request to travel and to seek further public consultation in regard to the ARA review.
I also encourage you to expand the scope of the ARA review to include policies, legislation and regulations that affect aggregates. Infrastructure investments, land use planning, waste diversion policies, and environmental protections are just a few of the ways in which government policies affect demand for and use of aggregates.

In my travels across Ontario, hundreds of people have contacted me to express concerns about pits and quarries in their community. It is my understanding that hundreds of people have requested the opportunity to share their story and offer their input to the SCGG’s review of the ARA. They should be heard.

I urge you to do the right thing and have the SCGG conduct a broad and comprehensive review of the ARA — a review that seeks input from people across the province.

Sincerely,
Mike Schreiner

Leader

CC: David Orazietti MP, Chair, SCGG Committee
      
       Tamara Pomanski, Clerk, SCGG Committee