Escarpment residents feel they made their point - now they wait to be certain that city Council is onside and will fight hard to oppose the Quarry expansion application

By Pepper Parr

September 22, 2028



Gord Pinnard left the city council meeting earlier this week at which many of the CORE (Conserving our Rural Ecosystems) members had delegated feeling that the job had been done by his members – now to determine if Council has heard what they have to say.

God Pinnard

The event was the first time people who were not part of the CORE organization got to see what Pinnard called “a very compelling piece of evidence” – a short video showing what happens when blasting of rock inside the quarry takes place.

It is worth watching – click HERE for a link.

The next step for Pinnard and the public is – for City Council to announce that it is taking a firm stand against any expansion of the quarry. The city has said it is watching but the Mayor has yet to come out with a strong statement, waiting instead to determine just what the risk is for the City.

CORE is a party to the next OLT hearing that is to take place on the 11th of October.

City Council is expected to do a Receive and File of report of the September 18th report at the Council meeting scheduled for the 26th – the public might hear a few words on their thoughts.

On October 3rd, City Manager Tim Commisso said Council will go into a CLOSED session to talk about the position the City will take at the OLT hearing on the 11th which is a Case Management Conference where determining just what the issue is and who is going to be representing who gets set out.

CORE has a vision with the label 7G – standing for the next seven generations that they want to be able to experience the Escarpment for what it is today – not what Nelson Aggregates wants now.

CORE has between 1200 and 1300 people getting their updates and announcements of fund raising events. They have raised close to $200,000 and know that they are going to need even more. The planned Porch Pumpkin fund raiser is running now.

Order your porch pumpkin here.

Pinnard talked about some of the disappointments their organization has experienced in learning just where the responsibility for oversight on what takes place at the quarry.

The two Ministries each have Acts they are responsible for that are part of the process that regulate quarry operations. The (MECP) Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and the (MNR) Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – which at times seem to be at odds with each other.

Aggregate Resources Act governs quarry licensing and is administered by the MNR.

The MECP has responsibility for the Environment Protection Act.

When there is a complaint to the MECP, the MNR is required to investigate – Pinnard has found that an investigation either doesn’t take place or any investigation tends to miss the point of the complaint.

This little creature needed a place to breed and the then Ontario Municipal Board made sure he would have all the space he wanted. The City of Burlington shuts down portions of King Road so that the Jefferson can get from one side to the other.

There is a Memorandum of Understanding between the two but, according to Pinnard, “that document hasn’t proven to be all that useful”.

Pinnard is relying heavily on the approach the OLT will take arguing that the hearings rely upon the evidence of experts – with the wishes and feelings of residents having little to do with the decision.

Rob Northy, a lawyer with Weir & Foulds, has extensive experience at the OLT level and is fully briefed on the quarry issue.

Both CORE and the City were taken aback and very disappointed with the Nelson Aggregate decision to abandon the JART approach that was underway and appeal to the OLT for a decision arguing that the JART processes was taking far too long.

JART (Joint Agency Review Tribunal) was a bit of an awkward structure that set out many levels the Tribunal would go and called for thousands of pages of documentation.

When the last hearing was held there was tons of evidence – but in the end it was the threat to the existence of the Jefferson Salamander that won the day.

Few even knew about the creature when the Nelson Aggregate application for an expansion was made.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 comment to Escarpment residents feel they made their point – now they wait to be certain that city Council is onside and will fight hard to oppose the Quarry expansion application

  • Jim Thomson

    Now his life is full of wonder, but his heart still knows some fear
    Of a simple thing he cannot comprehend
    Why they try to tear the mountains down to bring in a couple more
    More people, more scars upon the land

    John Denver – Rocky Mountain High