OTTAWA – David Tilson, Member of Parliament for Dufferin-Caledon, today escorted Environment Minister Peter Kent on a tour of the site of the proposed Highland Companies mega-quarry in Melancthon Township
“I wanted Minister Kent to see first-hand what’s at stake with the mega-quarry,” said Mr. Tilson. “Until you see the land that is under threat and get a feeling for the size and scope of the project, you can’t really grasp what’s being planned for Melancthon.”
Mr. Tilson has presented nearly 30 petitions calling on the Minister to order the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to conduct a full environmental assessment on the project. Mr. Tilson will continue to present petitions when the House of Commons reconvenes in the fall
“Minister Kent knows what the residents of Melancthon are asking for: they want the federal government to conduct a full environmental assessment,” noted Mr. Tilson. “As a result of this tour, Minister Kent now has a better appreciation of what Highland has planned in Melancthon Township. I hope this will lead him to conclude that an environmental assessment is warranted. The Minister deserves thanks for taking the time to come and see the site in person.”
At over 2300 acres, the proposed mega-quarry would be the largest quarry in Canadian history. Situated on the “roof” of Ontario, with the headwaters of several major river systems flowing in all directions, the area is particularly environmentally sensitive. The mega-quarry would delve down more than 200 feet, well below the water table, and would necessitate pumping over 600 million litres of water per day, in perpetuity, out of the pit and back into local aquifers. That’s the equivalent of the daily water use for over a million Ontarians.
The area is home to some of Ontario’s most productive farmland, producing over half the potatoes consumed in the Greater Toronto Area. The Honeywood silt loam is well known for its special qualities and ability to retain moisture.