rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Making Waves

Making Waves's picture
Analysis of Canadian water politics by the Council of Canadians' national water campaigner.

Council of Canadians' visit to the proposed quarry in Melancthon Township

| March 24, 2011
Council of Canadians' visit to the proposed quarry in Melancthon Township

On Monday, Mark Calzavara, Regional Organizer for the Council of Canadians, and I visited the Melancthon Township near the Niagara escarpment. We visited the site of the proposed Highlands Quarry, which will be the second biggest quarry in North America. Melancthon is the potato capital of Ontario. This area is the headwaters for several important water systems like the Grand River that flows into Lake Erie.

The Highlands Company began buying up land telling local farmers that they wanted to be the biggest potato producer in the province. When the community discovered that the real intention was to excavate a massive quarry 200 feet below the water table, they began to fight back.

We visited the Horning's Mills Community Hall, the proposed hall for the public meeting on the issue. The hall holds about 120 people. However, the last community meeting that Mark attended had over 300 people in attendance.

The unique type of limestone from the quarry will supposedly be sent to Panama to rebuild the Panama Canal. The Highlands Company, owned by a Boston hedgefund, expects to make billions in revenue. The massive construction will threaten the vulnerable headwaters and destroy the agricultural community that has relied on the land for generations.




Maybe not the potato capital of Ontario, but "Potato farming is the central industry in Melancthon".

Melancthon Township is well‐known for its superior potato production in Ontario. For decades farmers have been growing potatoes here, due to the township’s unique soil and micro‐climate. The soil texture and drainage of the Honeywood silt loam soil type and the cooler climate of the Dufferin County highlands provide ideal conditions for potato production found nowhere else in the province. This in confirmed in a 2010 report by soil scientist Dr. J. Kenneth Torrance of Carleton University, titled “The Honeywood Soil Series and Potato Production in Dufferin County, Ontario” (Available at: http://www.citizensalliance.ca/PDFS/Planscape‐July‐22‐Report.pdf). The unique soil and climate of the Melancthon Township potato growing area and associated clusters of farm businesses and agricultural production facilities warrant continued protection of this significant resource through local and provincial land use policy. Source

And what better way to stop urbanization than to keep the potato farms going?

As for windmill farms, they don't destroy underground water quality the way a quarry 200 feet deeper than the water table would.

Only 7 days left to comment about this on the Environmental Bill of Roghts registry site: http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?notice... And for "rain in the face" - sure we need aggregate- but let's reduce the impact of extracting it as much as we can. No "hypocrisy" in that. No need for teleportation either if we just recycle as much aggregate as other countries do.

No one wants a quarry but everyone wants streets , roads and sidewalks all of which take lime stone. So what do you do? I worked on construction for nearly 30 years and I can tell you that everyone bitchs but everyone wants the streets and sidewalks. There is more than a bit of hypocrisy in people's thinking , including a certain singer who complain about a quarry near her home. Until we perfect a teleportation machine we will need the quarries and stone they provide.

This article can not be taken seriously, Melancthon Township is not the potato capital of Ontario, and the nearest section Niagara escarpment is well over 30kms away.

The windmill farms in the area likely would have the same geographical foot print as the quarry would have thus the same amount of farmland has been lost already.

I am against the large scale quarries and corporate farms. I would like to family farms take root in this area again. I would like to see the urbanization of Dufferin County stopped, because too much farmland has been lost already.

I think the authors of this article should have take a different approach to this story.


Login or register to post comments