In 2011, The Highland Companies, filed an application with the province for the largest quarry in Canadian history on the best farmland in Ontario and at the headwaters of five river systems. The mega Quarry would have sprawled across 2,316 acres and would have plunged 200 feet below the water table on a 15,000 acre plateau of Class 1 farmland. The massive open-pit limestone quarry would have put rare agricultural soil and precious water resources at risk in Melancthon Township. A large and diverse group of rural and urban residents launched a Stop the Mega Quarry movement. It was a success.
On November 21, 2012, The Highland Companies announced it was withdrawing its Mega Quarry application and plans for a rail corridor through Dufferin County to Owen Sound. However, the fate of the land and water was unknown. Highland Companies still owned 6,500 acres of Class 1 farmland and could re-apply at any time.
Then on July 16, 2013, Bonnefield Financial, an investment firm specializing in acquiring farmland, bought all of Highland's land. Bonnefield's president, Tom Eisenhauser, announced the fields will continue to be farmed. After many years of uncertainty, it seems the best agricultural soil in the province and its bounty are safe for the time being.
While the Melancthon fields may be secure, Ontario's prime farmland and source water regions remain vulnerable. The present Provincial Policy Statement and Aggregate Resources Act still allow non-farming development on land and water that sustain us. Until legislation is changed, these vital resources are still at risk.
We must now ensure that our source waters and prime agricultural lands are protected, and not at risk of being destroyed.....thus the beginning of our:
Food & Water First campaign, round 2 of 2.
- Published on Wednesday, 11 January 2017 18:56
- Hits: 43
Proposed Minor Changes to Greenbelt Boundary
To Co-ordinated Review stakeholders from Minister Mauro
I am writing to let you know that today the government opened a public consultation on proposed minor changes to the Greenbelt's boundary, as set out in O. Reg. 59/05 and the Greenbelt Plan and is interested in hearing input on this proposal.
The proposed boundary changes are shown on these maps.
The proposed changes are based on a review of requests for boundary changes submitted since the creation of the Greenbelt, including during the almost-two-year consultation period for the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review, and a review of related technical information, as well as further information provided by municipalities, conservation authorities and land owners.
The government received over 700 site-specific requests related to the Greenbelt Plans. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs reviewed those requests that fall within the Greenbelt Plan Area and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan Area.
In undertaking this review, the government was guided by a number of overarching considerations, including:
- avoiding boundary changes that would fragment farmland, including prime agricultural lands
- maintaining a robust Natural Heritage System that can be supported despite urbanization occurring in proximity and downstream to the Greenbelt
- respecting the functional connections in the Natural Heritage System
- valuing the overall objectives of the Greenbelt as a landscape
- avoiding a minimalist approach to defining the Natural Heritage System and
- being responsive to landowner requests to evaluate site-specific situations.
Requests related to the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area were not considered as part of this exercise because those requests are subject to a separate review process led by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
The consultation runs from January 11 to February 27, 2017. Any boundary changes are expected to be finalized early this year as part of the completion of the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review.
Thank you for your continued interest and engagement in the Greenbelt Plan.