Photo by lodewijkB | flickr.com

How important is Ontario farmland to you?

After Highland Companies recently submitted a proposal to open a limestone quarry covering thousands of acres of our finest Class 1 agricultural land, many are stepping forward to help protect it. 

The proposed 2300 acre pit would be located in Melancthon, ON, North of Toronto and would be the largest in Canada.  This area is where 90% of Toronto’s potatoes are currently produced. An analysis of how the quarry would affect our ability to produce local food and the effect it would have on food prices and agricultural jobs has not been carried out.  In fact, a Provincial Environmental Assessment has not been completed, nor is it required by our current laws.  This does not seem sufficient to ensure we are able to produce and access fresh, local food in the future! 

Additionally, the proposed quarry is deeper than Niagara Falls and would greatly affect the quality of water in the surrounding watersheds.  Being located at one of Ontario’s highest points, it is where several major rivers such as the Grand, the Nottawasaga and the Pine originate. Noise and dust pollution will likely deter neighbouring farmers from continuing to produce food as the quarry requires over seven thousand trucks each day to transport limestone.  That means 300 trucks an hour passing local farms, houses and businesses.  This would increase carbon emissions as well as the need for more roads and infrastructure which would further degrade nearby wildlife habitats.

The fight against the mega quarry is gaining momentum, with the upcoming election it is a good time to let politicians know how and why you object to this proposal.  Over 70 of Canada’s top chefs are hosting a cook out to stop the mega quarry and are expecting over 20,000 guests. 

To find out more about this pay-what-you-can event and many others check out “STOP the quarry” on Facebook.  For additional information about the quarry, visit the links in the references section below.

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AuthorAndrea Hitchon