Ted Arnott, MPP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2015
Government needs to address approvals process for new pits and quarries
(Queen’s Park) – The approvals process for new pits and quarries is a controversial process, and the Ontario Government needs to update the rules, says Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott.
Mr. Arnott rose in the Ontario Legislature on June 1 to highlight to problem and to urge the Minister of Natural Resources to take action.
“Nearby residents are often concerned about the impact that a proposed quarry or gravel pit will have on their groundwater, the environment, and property values, as well as the impact that the gravel trucks will have on their local roads and infrastructure,” Mr. Arnott told the Legislature. “Local municipalities often have no choice but to spend hundreds of thousands of ratepayers’ dollars responding to these applications. They rightly question the huge cost of dealing with applications, including appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board.”
He acknowledged the anticipated need for aggregate.
“However, the reality is that if we are going to build anything in Ontario, whether it’s schools, hospitals, roads, or bridges, we need the aggregate that is extracted from pits and quarries,” said Mr. Arnott.
Mr. Arnott’s remarks in the Ontario Legislature were to follow up on a comprehensive, four page letter he wrote to the Minister of Natural Resources on April 22nd.
“On April 22 , I wrote to the Minister of Natural Resources, urging him to update the Aggregate Resources Act, and strike the right balance between our need for resource extraction and our concomitant need to protect our environment,” said Mr. Arnott. “In my letter, I wrote that the approval process should be scientifically-based, open, and transparent; should ensure that people have a meaningful say, and that the adjudication of disputes is independent, impartial, and not cost-prohibitive.”
In his letter, Mr. Arnott offered a number of constructive suggestions.
“I also outlined a number of suggestions that I believe can improve the process, following up on many of the recommendations made almost two years ago by the Standing Committee on General Government in its review of the Aggregate Resources Act,” he said.
Mr. Arnott believes that the Minister of Natural Resources needs to take action to address the problem.
“This is an important issue for many people in Wellington-Halton Hills,” he concluded. “I urge the Minister to carefully review my letter and tell this House when he will proceed with the changes he’s promised, consistent with the recommendations of the Standing Committee.”
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