Congregations Celebrate Cancellation of Mega Quarry

In November 2012, the company behind a proposed mega-quarry in Ontario pulled its proposal, citing lack of support from the community and government for its cancellation. The quarry would have been deeper than Niagara Falls and six times bigger than Toronto’s Hyde Park.

Unitarians from across the country have been involved in stopping the proposal; in the letter below, Donna Tranquada from the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto and a volunteer with “Stop the Mega Quarry” movement, expresses appreciation for the combined efforts.

“Thank you so much for playing such an active and significant role in stopping the proposed Highland mega quarry. From the very beginning, March of 2011, members of [Unitarian congregations] were determined to protect the prime farmland and precious aquifer at risk. You held information sessions, wrote letters, participated in rallies and planted the now-famous Stop the MegaQuarry lawn signs in your yards. You were part of a remarkable grassroots campaign. Together we prevented the largest quarry in Canadian history from being excavated on the best farmland in the country and at the headwaters of five river systems. But our work is not yet done.

‘Highland still owns 8,000-acres of the rarest agricultural soil in Canada. The company could re-apply for a quarry in a few years and we’ll have to do battle all over again. This is why we must continue to fight for changes to the Aggregate Resources Act and the Provincial Policy Statement. Currently, prime farmland is not protected and we are losing it to aggregate operations and other development at an unsustainable rate. We believe the rarest agricultural land in the country and source water regions deserve the best protection. They are vital to our very existence and Ontario’s thriving $33-billion agri-food sector. We’re now asking the provincial government for a Food and Water First policy so that food and water are given priority in land-use planning. We hope you will continue to work with us towards this legacy for our province. And get ready for Food and Water First lawn signs. They’ll be popping out of the ground this spring!

Once again, thank you for your hard work and wonderful support.”