News release just received:
The Ontario government is supporting growth of communities by proposing to improve the way aggregate resources are managed, ensuring a fair and balanced approach.
Based on feedback from an Aggregate Summit held in March 2019, as well as survey and email submissions, the province is releasing a proposal that aims to reduce administrative duplication and delays, and promote economic growth within the aggregate industry.
“Our communities continue to grow and to support that growth, we will need aggregates to build our homes, schools, roads and transit systems,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “That’s why we have developed a proposal that will create opportunities and support growth, while maintaining a steadfast commitment to protecting the environment and addressing impacts to our communities.”
The aggregate proposal is now available on the Environmental Registry of Ontario for public feedback. Key proposed changes include improving access to aggregates within road allowances; clarifying jurisdiction on Crown land and depth of extraction; and clarifying how haul routes are considered under aggregates legislation.
Ontario is also proposing to strengthen protection of water resources through a more robust application process for requests to extract aggregates below the water table, and will continue to review the required technical studies to ensure groundwater resources are protected.
“Ontario is committed to keeping our water clean and healthy,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “A more robust application process for proposals to expand aggregate operations below the water table will ensure continued strong protection of source water and municipal drinking water.”
“Our communities need the best quality aggregate to build the infrastructure we use every day,” said Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker. “We have a number of quarries in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound and it is vital we support our aggregate industry, so we can continue to meet the needs of our growing communities. The proposal is now available on the Environmental Registry of Ontario and I encourage local residents to contribute their feedback.”
Aggregate resources play a vital role in Ontario’s communities and economy. In 2017, Ontario’s aggregate industry generated over $1.6 billion in production revenue and supported more than 28,000 jobs in aggregate-related sectors.