Invited by Gravel Watch Ontario

     We’ve had our heads down putting the spring issue together for publication, and this week it’s at the printer so we’ve been able to look up and get out. Last night we attended a meeting in Puslinch put on by Gravel Watch Ontario. This group is a coalition of citizen groups and individuals with the mission to act “in the interests of residents and communities to protect the health, safety, quality of life of Ontarians and the natural environment in matters that relate to aggregate resources.”

     The two speakers at last night’s event were Beatrice Olivastri, CEO of Friends of the Earth, which is dedicated to campaigning on the most urgent environmental and social issues of our times, and Anastasia Lintner, staff lawyer with Ecojustice, formerly Sierra Legal Defence Fund.

     They talked about various legal strategies that have and have not worked, but focused on a Supreme Court case triumph involving St. Lawrence Cement of Quebec, and how being a neighbour to an unwanted development can now be an important element in court challenges.

     Many people in the audience are currently fighting quarry applications and gravel operations. Aerial photos by Gravel Watch show great big pits and scars on the landscape, which are screened at ground level by berms and trees. Statistics presented by Gravel Watch show that we are “addicted” to gravel, using more than any other country. While we all like and need stone for roads, driveways, gardens and properties, it must be possible to get what we want in less harmful ways.

     What are your concerns about aggregate and what are some solutions?

1 Comment

  • As a member of a community group who is attempting to get a quarry application denied, I know first hand at how difficult it is to raise the money required to be an active player in the government’s decision to allow a quarry. Small bands of local residents all over Ontario are trying to get their voices heard in a process that is heavily weighted in favour of the applicant. Only a few are able to raise the ‘million dollars’ required to be a party at an OMB hearing or a Supreme Court hearing. The process is flawed and needs to be changed. GWO is working hard on this and can use your help.

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