Minister, it’s time to protect food and water

Dear Hon. Minister David Orazietti: 
It is time for your government to take action to protect local food and water. Each day that your government fails to revise the outdated Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) is another day that Ontario’s food and water is not protected.
 
I urge you to push the Standing Committee on General Government to complete the review of the ARA. Since you served as Chair of the Committee during the ARA hearings, I hope you share my urgency in completing the ARA review. I’ve attached the letter I sent to the Committee earlier this week.
 
A number of people took time from their busy lives to share their concerns regarding the ARA with the Committee. Many individuals and communities are forced to speak out on pits and quarries at their own expense because the ARA needs updated. They should have their concerns respected and reflected in the final report and recommendations. 
 
It is clear from submissions made during hearings on the ARA and from my travels across the province that the people of Ontario are deeply concerned that aggregate extraction takes priority over the protection of local food and water. Updating the ARA is an essential step in managing competition for finite resources — water, farmland, aggregates. It is important for the health of our economy, environment and communities.
 
The time for action on the ARA is now. As the Minister responsible for the ARA, it is your duty to ensure adequate protections are in place for local food and water. Please don’t let the people of Ontario down by failing to act on this important issue.
 
Also attached is my written submission to the ARA hearings. It contains a number of recommendations to improve the ARA and strengthen protections for local food and water. I’m happy to discuss the Green Party’s recommendations with you anytime.
 
Minister, Ontarians want to put local food and water first. They want you to take action to protect food and water now. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Mike Schreiner
Leader
Green Party of Ontario