TORONTO, March 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Minister James Bradley and others may be called as witnesses in St. Marys' judicial review of the Ontario Government's decision to kill the proposed Flamborough Quarry.
St Marys Cement Inc. (Canada) alleges that the McGuinty government was politically motivated when it used a Minister's Zoning Order and Declaration of Provincial interest - for the first time ever in a quarry application - to kill the Flamborough Quarry.
Despite an exhaustive FOI request by St Marys, the government records that were provided did not contain any scientific evidence that the quarry would compromise the watershed, water quality or quantity, wetlands, or the natural environment or any scientific reason to deny St Marys the right to a fair and impartial hearing on its quarry application.
"It is unfortunate that the hurdles we have faced have cost the community, the justice system and St Marys considerable money," said St Marys CBM Aggregates President Richard Olsen. "All we asked for is to be allowed to go through the normal, established, stringent approvals process that has served Ontario well for a long time."
Liberal MPP Ted McMeekin held onto the riding of Ancaster - Dundas - Flamborough - Westdale by about 4,500 votes in the 2011 election, increasing his winning margin of 3,300 votes in the 2007 election, even while McGuinty's government lost 17 seats and was reduced to a minority.
St Marys is undertaking a number of other legal steps to assert its rights:
- In response to the Government of Canada's decision to deny it benefits under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for a Chapter Eleven arbitration, St. Marys VCNA, LLC, US parent of St. Marys Cement Inc. (Canada) and a US investor, is pursuing another NAFTA claim and a Judicial Review to the Federal Court of Canada. St. Marys alleges that Canada unilaterally withdrew these rights without any hearing or due process and in violation of the express treaty terms of the NAFTA. St Marys is seeking damages of not less than $US275 million in compensation for the loss, harm, injury, loss of reputation and damage imposed by various governments.
- SMC is appealing to Ontario Divisional Court to set aside a recent decision by the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) which denied its application for a Permit to Take Water (PTTW). This permit is needed to conduct pumping tests required for the Ontario Municipal Board hearing into St. Marys' quarry licensing application. Previous tests under a now-expired PTTW, conducted by an independent, external firm and supervised by governments and community members, showed that the quarry would have no discernible impact on the quantity or quality of the local community's water.
The timing of the hearing of these actions cannot be predicted with certainty.
There will be no further comment by St Marys at this time while these matters are before the courts.
For copies of the claims:
Daniela Minicucci 416-848-1462