Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.


Stop the Melanchton Mega Quarry

Torontoist: This video about the proposed mega quarry in Melancthon, Ont. was created by Kate Heming and Andrew Sheppard to highlight the work of the North Dufferin Agricultural Community Taskforce, a citizens' group fighting the project. For more background, read Hamutal Dotan's comprehensive report on the quarry and its potential impact and check out photos of a recent protest. Follow @nomegaquarry on Twitter to keep up with developments.[via @kateheming]

Write a letter here: Stop the Melancthon Quarry: New deadline, July 7?
Read David Suzuki Foundation letter here

"The Highland Companies, owned by a US based Hedge fund operation with offices in Boston, has advised they will file for an aggregate licence imminently upon their completion of technical studies. The application will be for a quarry with extraction approximately 200 feet below the water table. The Highland Companies has indicated that their initial application will be for an extraction license covering some 2,400 acres, which would make this one of, if not the, largest below the water table mining operation in Canada.

The Highland Companies has amassed landholdings in Melancthon and Mulmur Townships, in the County of Dufferin, of over 7,000 acres of prime agricultural land. When amassing their land holdings, they had previously stated that they wanted to be the biggest potato farming operation in Ontario. However, evidence of significant core sampling, well testing, tree cutting, archaeological and other studies that have been conducted on the lands have all been consistent with pre-testing for aggregate/limestone extraction. The Highland Companies is presently clearing the land on a daily basis, burning and removing homes and barns that have been in place for generations. The Highland Companies have demolished and/or have permits to demolish structures on 28 properties and the total assessment on these properties is $6,951,751.00 million. The landscape is truly altering already.

At the October 15 meeting of Council Mayor Fawcett confirmed that any loss in the tax base due to the demolition of these homes on properties owned by The Highland Companies would be borne by all the remaining taxpayers. Melancthon Council has the authority to instantly stop the demolition by passing a bylaw under Section 33 of the Planning Act and also to designate these homes under the Heritage Act but have chosen not to, despite pleas from ratepayers.

Not only are ratepayers going to be paying for this, but the repercussions of this mine could seriously and adversely affect the water, the landscape, the community, surrounding agriculture land use, and with the potential to cause disastrous environmental scenarios for decades. The effect on deer, wild turkeys, migratory birds and other native wildlife will be irreversible. This open pit mine will take some of the best agriculture land in Ontario out of production and is in a location that is recognized as one of the primary sources for water recharge feeding the Nottawasaga and Grand Rivers. The repercussion of tampering with this water could affect over a million people that are downstream from and served by these watercourses."

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