McGuinty Government Announcement on Melancthon EA Another Blow to Ontario Business, Investment

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 2, 2011 /CNW/ - Late yesterday afternoon, on the eve of a provincial election, the McGuinty government announced it is bringing forward a regulation making Highland Companies, a member of the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (OSSGA), subject to a comprehensive Environmental Assessment (EA) for a proposed quarry in Melancthon Township.

The Minister of the Environment, the Honourable John Wilkinson, provided a statement to media yesterday stating he believed an EA was necessary for the proposed quarry after government officials reviewed technical reports and "based on a review of those reports, and because of the unique nature of the Melancthon quarry proposal."

While OSSGA recognizes the government's authority to call for an EA, the association believes the province is changing the rules on its own land use policies to satisfy a very vocal opposition as it prepares for an election campaign.

According to OSSGA President Moreen Miller, "This is nothing more than pre-election politics."

"Highland Companies has undergone a rigorous and transparent process as part of its licensing application and has played by all the rules set out by the province," explained Miller.  "The government has, once again, undermined its own land use approvals process and sent another message that will hurt business and investment in Ontario."

Miller believes the decision has come at a critical time for the aggregate industry and the economy.

"Close-to-market, high-quality aggregate reserves are already becoming scarce in the Greater Toronto Area with a less-than 10-year quality supply available. This latest tactic is certain to further cause harm to our industry and kill investment and jobs," she added.

OSSGA members have been working towards finding new close-to-market and affordable aggregate sources, as well as advocating for the responsible use of its products for a decade. Aggregate is a critical component used in Ontario's roads, bridges, hospitals, schools and countless other structures and uses, including filtration. OSSGA has been leading change in environmental standards by promoting conservation, i.e., reducing, recycling and reusing building materials, for the benefit of all Ontarians, as well as engaging a diverse group of stakeholders discussing policy reform and certification through the Aggregate Forum of Ontario.

OSSGA is a non-profit industry association representing over 255 sand, gravel and crushed stone producers and suppliers of valuable industry products and services. OSSGA promotes the wise management of Ontario's aggregate resources in a manner that is conducive to conserving the natural and social environment while maintaining a healthy and competitive aggregate industry.

SOURCE Ontario Stone, Sand

For further information:

Moreen Miller, President 
Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association 
Phone: (905) 507-0711 

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Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

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