World Water Day: Time to protect Guelph’s water

March 21, 2014 
Honorable Jim Bradley
Minister of the Environment
Dear Hon. Minister Bradley:
Tomorrow is World Water Day: the perfect time for us to commit to action to protect our water. 
Last year your Ministry decided to approve an amended Permit to Take Water (PTTW) for River Valley Development’s (RVD) quarry, known popularly in Guelph as the Dolime Quarry.  
The City of Guelph has applied for a Leave to Appeal of this decision because of the threat this decision poses to the quantity and quality of Guelph’s water supply. The City has asked for four conditions which would protect Guelph’s source water: 

  • water pumping at the quarry to be limited to the “current historic average pumping rate”
  • a comprehensive long-term management plan for the quarry that protects Guelph’s water
  • an effective monitoring program
  • financial assurances and legally enforceable requirements to ensure the quarry owner – rather than Guelph ratepayers – pays for long-term mitigation costs related to the quarry’s operation.
  • On the one year anniversary of that date, in an exceptional demonstration of cross-partisan leadership, nominated candidates in Guelph from all four major provincial parties held a news conference in support of protecting Guelph’s water supply from threats posed by the operation of the quarry.

I’m deeply disappointed that 37 days later, your Ministry has still not responded to the letter from Wellington Water Watchers, which informed you of this unprecedented show of multi-party support to protect Guelph’s water. 
I find it even more disturbing that your Ministry continues to disregard the concerns of the City of Guelph and the thousands of residents who have signed our petition to protect Guelph’s water. It is time for your Ministry to correct the mistake you made by granting the amended permit for the Dolime Quarry without meeting the four reasonable conditions requested by the City of Guelph.
Minister, I appreciate your consideration of my concerns regarding the threat posed to the quality and quantity of Guelph’s water supply by the activities of the quarry.
The residents of Guelph will celebrate World Water Day tomorrow with activities at City Hall. I truly hope that soon we will be able to celebrate the protection of Guelph’s water with an announcement from your Ministry that the quarry will be required to meet the four conditions outlined by the City of Guelph. 
Mike Schreiner
Green Party of Ontario