Cornwall ON –
Earth Matters has received a note from a concerned reader who is very concerned about an open pit mine which has been proposed in Melancthon Township on Hwy 124, just north of Shelburne.
The Highland Companies (owned by a Boston Hedge Fund) has filed an application for a 2,300 acre aggregate mine. It would be the largest quarry in Ontario and the second largest in North America.
This is prime agricultural land and the Niagara Escarpment runs along its border. The Council of Canadians has been working with local groups to help stop this open pit mine from being created because of the extraordinary impacts it will have on the community, the watersheds, Ontario’s food supply and on the drinking water of more than one million people which originates in this area. Clearly a case of Profit versus Food and Water.
The Highlands company started buying farmland in Melancthon several years ago saying they wanted to become the province’s largest potato growing operation, which made sense to local farmers as the area is well known for its particularly high quality soil and micro-climate. About one quarter of the all the potatoes eaten in the Greater Toronto Area come from there. After many local farmers had sold their farms the real motives of the company became apparent. Under that rich and rare soil is a fortune in high quality limestone worth upwards of eight billion dollars. The company no owns around 8000 acres of land and has applied for permission to mine 2400 acres.
There is little doubt that they intend to excavate the entire 8000+ acres. To do so, Highland will strip off all that precious soil then blast their way down more than 200 feet below the water table. From the area around the proposed mine site spring the headwaters of river systems that are important drinking water sources for more than one million people downstream.
The Nottawasaga River, the Grand River and the Pine River systems will all be threatened by the mine’s 600 million litre per day dewatering pumps. Massive amounts of toxic demolition explosives will be used to smash the limestone and hundreds of dump trucks per hour will enter and leave the site, 24/7. The company claims that this is all allowable under Ontario’s aggregate extraction laws both those laws couldn’t be more favourable to the industry or more rigged against communities that want to protect their water.
Please get involved.
Demand an extension to the ridiculously short 45 day period allowed for objecting to the quarry. Send an email to Premier McGuinty, email@example.com
by April 26th asking him to extend the comment period on this project to August 26th allowing all parties the time to study the 3000+ page Highlands Company application.
Join the Facebook group “Stop the Quarry” www.Facebook.com/no.mega.quarry
Your support and immediate attention will make a difference
Your comments are encouraged and welcome below or to firstname.lastname@example.org