TORONTO, March 27, 2019 /CNW/ - The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) on March 29, 2019 will be holding a meeting with the Aggregate Industry. The Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (OSSGA) will likely be presenting their "Untangling Red Tape" proposal. The OSSGA wants less scrutiny and interference from government or other interested parties. All this as the MNRF considers reforming the aggregate industry. Unfortunately, the public is not invited to the meeting to make statements or simply observe. However, the public can respond to targeted questions on an Ontario website.
That's just not good enough, it doesn't give opportunity to discuss risk of harm to the public and the environment.
Residents aren't saying there is no need for aggregate. We have 5,000 Pits and Quarries in Ontario. The issues raised by communities are dismissed as NIMBYism (not in my back-yard thinking) or fear mongering. They are neither; communities are worried about their wellbeing and the environment.
The MNRF is the largest benefactor of aggregate and has the influence to rebuild an antiquated supply chain management system that is at odds with communities who find themselves opposing applications. Why? Because it is based on a "close to market" supply chain strategy that might have made sense 50 years ago, when there was no GTHA.
This meeting demonstrates Corporate Interests come before Public Interests. Since the public is not invited, the Minister should ask each industry member to define their Social Responsibility Statement to protect the public and environment from harm?
If Premier Ford and Minister Yakabuski, want to reform the aggregate industry they should start here:
- Scrutinize every application with strict focus on public and environmental risks.
- Only aggregate companies benefit from "close to market" strategies. Identify and develop a sophisticated supply chain that is less intrusive and consistent with Premier Ford's promise to protect water and the greenbelt.
- Do not allow aggregate licenses to be approved in areas with 50 plus homes within a 3-kilometre radius.
- Introduce new technology to monitor air, water, dust, noise and blasting. Monitored by the MNRF, paid by aggregate operators, with oversite from all other government agencies.
The Premier and the Minister know that reform requires vision, leadership, good governance and placing public interest before corporate interests.
SOURCE Association of Citizens Together In Our Nassagaweya
For further information: Doug Tripp, President, CRC, 226- 820 -5085; George Minakakis, President, 416-460-4333