Photo: People Power works! The Mega-Quarry has been stopped!

By Faisal Moola, Director General, Ontario and Northern Canada

Today is a truly amazing day. The Mega-Quarry is dead thanks to People Power.

Working together, Canadians have protected old growth forests in BC, banned toxic chemicals that threaten the health of our children, and enacted laws to save our precious wildlife. And today, we can add the death of the Highland Companies' proposed Mega-Quarry to the growing list of victories for our planet that have achieved through community action.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." — renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead

After several years of growing opposition, the companybehind the controversial proposal to blast one billion tonnes of limestone from beneath the vibrant countryside of Melancthon Township has quietly withdrawn its application.

That the quarry proposal has been stopped is most astounding because it was a truly David-versus-Goliath battle. A handful of local farmers and concerned citizens, with the support of organizations like the David Suzuki Foundation and the Canadian Chefs Congress, were pitted against a $25 billion American hedge fund.

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And last month the company got 40,000 more reasons to stop the quarry when the Canadian Chefs Congress and David Suzuki Foundation brought hundreds of chefs and farmers, along with top musicians and artists to Toronto for the splendid Soupstock celebration in protest of the Mega-Quarry.

Sure, momentum seemed to be growing, but my jaw absolutely dropped when Highland Companies announced today that it has withdrawn its quarry proposal, acknowledging overwhelming public opposition to its plan to blast a 2,300 acre limestone Mega-Quarry beneath some of the best farmland in North America.

We are absolutely thrilled that the company has respected the will of the community and the tens of thousands of farmers, chefs, artists and foodies that want to see our farmland, food and water protected.

And while we will celebrate this extraordinary victory, the Ontario government must also seize this as a clarion call to overhaul its antiquated provincial policies for aggregate mining that allowed this outrageous proposal to be considered in the first place.

We must ensure that no other community in Ontario faces the same threats to their water, food and precious wildlife from unsustainable pits and quarries.

But for now, let's just savour the thrill of victory. Together we stopped the Mega-Quarry!

November 21, 2012

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1 Comment

Nov 21, 2012
12:50 PM

Great job everybody... and yes, it is time to celebrate... and take a breath before the next aggregate application comes in for somewhere else in the province.

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