Published on Monday, 06 August 2012 12:15
Notes from Donna Baylis, one of NDACT's Extraordinary Volunteers
The presentations from the various aggregate industry representatives are wonderfully orchestrated. Key assertions are:
- ARA is not broken but can be tweaked.
- Close to market is good policy.
- Licence approval process must be streamlined; transparent and efficient.
- Changes to ARA must avoid undermining the economic health of Ontario.
- Sunset clauses are bad policy.
- Aggregate levy can be increased (equitably) but funds must go to MNR oversight and not into general government coffers.
The Hansard from the Kitchener-Waterloo ARA Review hearing (9-Jul-2012):
The Hansard from the Ottawa ARA Review hearing (16-Jul-2012):
- Committee pledges to write letters to Municipal Engineers Association of Ontario, ROMA and the City of Toronto (non-AMO) to ask the organizations why they do not make greater use of recycled aggregate product.
- Committee makes a request as suggested for a "list of licensed aggregate extraction sites that have had a significant negative impact on the environment over...the past 50 years and what those negative impacts were." In addition to get the data in two forms: quantity and as a percentage of the total number of licences operated during that time frame. And to determine "of the sites that did have a significant negative impact on the environment, which ones occurred during the extraction phase and which ones occurred from the after-use?"
- Rehabilitation - Ms. Laurie Scott notes that conservation authorities (CAs) are reluctant to take on quarry sites that need rehab.
The Hansard from the Sudbury ARA Review hearing (17-Jul-2012):
- Committee visited Lafarge, Gore Bay (ships to Toronto, Windsor and USA - 75% of cost is transportation).
- Committee asks what percentage of recycled product does Sudbury use in its road construction program?
- MTO holds 700 permits in Ontario on crown land.
- MTO is held to a different standard than private operators.
- 25+ provincial and federal regulations apply to aggregate licences.
- Location of operation (southern vs northern vs eastern Ontario, etc.) makes a difference re: operating efficiencies and challenges.
- Aggregate industry is the only road user to contribute directly to infrastructure costs.
- As it stands, tonnage fee increase would not apply to First Nations or MTO operations putting agg. industry at a disadvantage.
- Committee asks for research on agg. import operations: What are levies? Do they have sunset clauses? Recycling? Timeframe to get an approved licence?
It was interesting to note that several industry speakers had the opportunity to present at two different hearings.