FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Don't turn important farmland into pits and quarries!
The provincial government is about to make a very important decision about where in southern Ontario stone, sand and gravel can be extracted through pits and quarries.
The Province is proposing that the industrial extraction of aggregates be allowed in important wetlands, woodlands and wildlife habitat, as well as prime farmland – on the condition that, at an unspecified time, operators rehabilitate the land…eventually.
Today, there are more than 4,000 abandoned pits and quarries in Ontario, none of which have been rehabilitated. Moreover, even if operators do undertake ecological restoration efforts, removing huge amounts of rock and gravel permanently changes hydrology and soil conditions, meaning that an ecosystem can never return to its original state.
Please join us in letting the Province know that aggregate extraction should not trump all other land uses. Farming and conservation – the need to preserve sources of clean water, biodiversity, and land for local food production – must be given equal value.
The provincial government is putting forward these changes through revisions to an important policy document: the Provincial Policy Statement. Ontario Nature is asking for critical wording changes in the Provincial Policy Statement so that significant habitats and farmlands are preserved.
Please join us in asking that:
Recommendation 1: The revised Provincial Policy Statement must clearly require protection for ecological systems. Critically, the word “shall” must be used in the following: “The diversity and connectivity of natural features in an area, and the long-term ecological function and biodiversity of natural heritage systems, shall be maintained, restored or, where possible, improved, recognizing linkages between and among natural heritage features and areas, surface water features and ground water features.” (Section 2.1.2)
Recommendation 2: Aggregate extraction is strictly prohibited on prime farmland and in specialty crop areas, without exception. (Section 2.1.2)
Recommendation 3: Aggregate extraction is prohibited in significant wetlands, woodlands, wildlife habitat and endangered and threatened species habitat, as well as adjacent lands. To ensure this, Section 18.104.22.168 must be taken out.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is currently accepting public comments. The deadline to submit a comment is November 23.
Help us push for the conservation of significant ecosystems, important habitats and prime farm land! Be sure to include the EBR reference # 011-7070.
Yours for nature,
The Conservation Team
For more information, and to post draft comments online, click here.
For a copy of Ontario Nature’s full submission on the draft PPS, please e-mail Joshua Wise, our Greenway Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send this e-mail to someone who shares your love of nature.
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