Goulet delegates: Stop any expansion of the Nelson Quarry

By Pepper Parr

May 22nd, 2024



Roger Goulet has been around the battle to bring an end to the Nelson Quarry from the very beginning.

He delegated at City Council, representing Protecting Escarpment Rural Land (PERL) speaking to the resolution to the province requesting that they deny Nelson aggregates expansion into Mt. Nemo

“Perl is a non profit non charitable corporation established in 2005. We last delegated at council in September on the Nelson aggregate proposal, which was denied by this council. Pearls mission is to advocate for long term protection of the Natural Heritage Systems. Pearl supports this resolution because it’s the right thing to do.

One of these was enough for the people in rural Burlington. Is a bylaw creating a Heritage Conservation District the best way to prevent any quarry application – or is there a larger objective being sought?

“Nelson aggregate spokesman have stated that they could end operations in 30 years, but threatened to continue their industrial processing for 50 years. They have said that they are considering expanding into underground mining under the plateau. What do we believe? 30 years, 50 years 100 years? Nelson been quarrying on the plateau for over 100 years. Do we allow our plateau to become the mount Nemo mega crater?

“The Mt. Nemo Plateau has been rezoned and re designated numerous times. Since 2009, the City of Burlington, Halton Region, the Niagara Escarpment, and Pearl have all asked the province to re designate the whole of Mt. Nemo plateau to a higher level of environmental protection.

Roger Goulet

“Now, some 14 years later,we are again asking for a different future for Burlington’s mountain. It is widely accepted that the Mt. Nemo plateau is ecologically, geologically, culturally and historically significant. Some would say unique.

“We must chart a new future for our rural treasure. One without a heavy industrial footprint and its negative impacts. Many rural residents did draft a rural vision, calling for a return to more natural, gentler land uses.

“The Nelson Aggregates Mt. Nemo quarry needs to be fully rehabilitated as per their existing site plan, ending the plateaus industrial area era and making way for an ecologically sustainable future. Not blasting out more quarries not getting someone else to create a huge amusement park. A park below the water table if you can believe it. It is time to let this mountain with its key features, its species, its life giving aquifer and its habitants to recover.”

Ward 3 Council member Rory Nisan agreed with the Goulet delegation asking “what advocacy would you like to see from the City of Burlington when they hopefully support of this resolution? Requesting the province to deny the application and establishing long term protection sure, but what other advocacy would you expect from us?

The shaded areas are lands Nelson Aggregates wants to add to the property they will mine.

Goulet responded: “I can step back to the 2009 – 2010 timeframe, where the city brought the same resolution forward. It was passed unanimously. It was followed up by a specific requisition or request of the province to re designate the plateau.

“The city then took the leadership to take that resolution forward to Halton Regional Council, where it passed unanimously as well. At a subsequent Niagara Escarpment commission meetings, the Mayor and Councillor Taylor, at the time, made delegations to the Niagara Escarpment for them to support the re-designation of the Mt. Nemo plateau.

“So using that prior 2009 2010 approach, I would see it appropriate for you to do the same. This resolution needs to be approved by the province. That’s where we were stopped last time.

This is the geography of the Mt. Nemo Plateau. The orange markings are what Nelson Aggregates was seeking in 2012. They have since expanded the area they want to quarry with the current application

Goulet adds: “We even got the Niagara Escarpment commission to do two things, one to declare from the Commission, a resolution to ban all new quarries on the Niagara Escarpment as passed in 2014 and 2015. They passed another resolution, I think it was 2015.

“Over the last few years, it’s starting to get a little complicated. They passed another resolution, almost the same as the one you’re passing today to ask the province to re designate; this was done through the 2015 –  2016 major plans review of the Greenbelt and the Oak Ridges moraine.  That went forward into the province for their decision.

“Nelson Aggregates came back in 2017 with a new plan that did not adopt these new designations. We have a long road to go to get the province to move on this re designation after many many years of trying make an argument to demonstrate that. That is the appropriate thing to do.”

Nelson Aggregates was asked for a comment on the two delegations.  They said:  “Burlington is going to need a source of aggregate to build the homes, roads, hospitals and schools for a growing population, and we are comfortable that the Ontario Land Tribunal will agree with the many studies that show the quarry expansion can meet those needs in an environmentally sustainable manner.”



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2 comments to Goulet delegates: Stop any expansion of the Nelson Quarry

  • Perry Bowker

    Why don’t we ask our MPP to add her weight to the request to the province?

  • Joe Gaetan

    Excellent delegation Roger, you have been a steadfast and consistent supporter of ending the expansion of quarrying on this sensitive area of our province. Where are all the dont touch the greenbelt politicians and people? Or was that just political posturing?

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