Wednesday, May 5, 2021


I have many times written about the nasty problems for nearby residents and landowners when a gravel pit comes knocking. I have often heard the Aggregates Resource Act referred to as a "cudgel" in that it flat out allows gravel pit proponents a cakewalk towards the rezoning and other administrative hurdles they often require to proceed with their proposals. Essentially it simply allows the proponent to buy the reports and studies indicated by either the municipality involved, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) or sometimes the Region of Waterloo. From what I have seen it makes little difference if the property that they have bought is not zoned for extraction or even if that location is flat out meant to be a natural area, part of a groundwater recharge area or near environmentally sensitive areas. All "protections" are relative and expert consultants are merely a nickel and a phone call away willing to prostitute their knowledge and expertise for a share of the economic pie (i.e. $$$$$$$). Make no mistake it's all about money and politics and both are usually overwhelmingly on the proponent's side. Hell you don't think that the Aggregate industry donates to the Liberals and Conservatives out of the goodness of their hearts do you? .................................................................................................................................... Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following article written by Leah Gerber and titled "Maryhill residents want $17M liability fund for gravel pit". There have been two notable exceptions to the rule that proponents always win, formerly courtesy of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). One was in Puslinch and the other that I know of was the proposed Hunder Pit located very close to the Golf Course subdivision in Conestogo. The replacement for the properly known as biased OMB is LPAT or Local Planning Area Tribunal. To date I have no knowledge that they are any better than the OMB which they replaced. In fact I believe that the Jigs Hollow gravel pit located just outside Winterbourne was sold out by that Tribunal. Firstly Woolwich Council sold out their residents several years back by permitting the zone change to an above water table pit and then LPAT gave the O.K. for a below water table amendment. It is my understanding that most attempts to stop new pits are really in effect thinly veiled attempts to simply tighten up the incredibly loose and unenforced (by the MNR) rules, regulations and laws that currently exist. In other words usually it's a lost cause but local residents have a right to be seriously offended and angry by outside parties lowering their property values and harming the local environment all for these outside parties greater financial gain.

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