Heather Lareau is ticked - Meridian made her personal email address public. Ouch!

News 100 greenBy Staff

February 27th, 2018



Fernand Coderre and Heather Lareau

Fernand Coderre and Heather Lareau half a football field away from where Meridian wants to mine shale.

Heather Lareau is ticked – and Heather is not a woman one wants trifle with. She is a West Haven Drive resident whose home is one of those “too close for comfort” residences that is half a football field away from where Meridian Brick wants to begin mining for the shale that goes into the manufacturing of brick.

Meridian recently sent out a Newsletter that had her personal email as part of the content. Ouch!

We will let Ms Lareau vent on this one.

“It is unfortunate that my personal email has been shared with the community at large. However, since you have made this a public forum, as a “private” citizen and resident of Tyandaga, I would like to make some brief personal comments regarding your Newsletter where you make everything appear just peachy, for a lack of a better term. (Not to make matters worse, I have blind copied all the recipients from your email in order to protect their privacy)

“I would like to start with you statement regarding our health concerns.

TEC Excavation equipment

Imagine this thing digging away half a football field from your house – early in the morning?

“The airborne emissions assessed from the facility were crystalline silica and particulate matter; specifically respirable, inhalable and total particulate matter and covered three time periods, a one year scenario, with the Centre Quarry only, a six–to-15-year scenario involving the Centre and East Quarries, and a 16–to-25 -year scenario affecting the East Quarry only. They are predicted to be less than accepted health-based benchmarks, even under worst-case conditions.

“A predication is a forecast of what should happen, not what could happen. Each Phase of the quarry brings the dust and noise closer to the residential area. Should there be an easterly wind, then WE predict there will be more dust and more noise and more health concerns.


There are three quarries – the one on the left and the one in the center are close to being depleted. The quarry on the right is the one that concerns the West Haven residents.

“Considering that you will eventually be excavating within a 1/2 of football field (50 m) from Westhaven Drive, combined with easterly winds which you don’t account for, your company is certainly underplaying the impact from the dust that we will continuously inhale and have to deal with on a daily basis. There are many families with young children in this area as well already compromised seniors who will be exposed to this dust on a daily basis. This said it affects ALL whether we work, live, go to school or play in the area

“You also say you will be monitoring the dust with a monitoring system which will produce reports for various government agencies and residents. Unless you place a monitor within 50 metres (1/2 a football field) of the operating quarry how will you know what level of dust we are dealing with? From what we have discovered, the closest fixed air monitoring system is 4 km away from the quarry. How accurate can this be?
“Will the public receive daily reports of the level of dust? Or will we have to fight for this information on a continuous basis?

“If the levels exceed the regulatory benchmark, does that mean you will immediately stop excavation. What would your next step be? Less excavation? Cover the quarry with a tarp? Increase your set-back?

“If the dust exceeds the acceptable level you say you will mitigate. What is your mitigation plan and what does that mean?

“Your comments regarding Salamanders. You state the area you are about to commence clear-cutting is not conducive to salamander habitat. Considering in the spring and fall, salamanders make their way across the neighbourhood into people’s swimming pools, (from an area not conducive to salamander habitat), this to us indicates the possibility of the endangered type salamanders

He isn't exactly pretty but nevertheless plays an important role in the local environment. Comes in different colours as well.

The Jefferson salamander: He isn’t exactly pretty but nevertheless plays an important role in the local environment. Comes in different colours as well.

existing in all areas of the future east quarry. One photograph taken by a resident in their pool, the salamander clearly appeared to be the dusky salamander; which is also on the endangered species list. Tail clippings from another drowned salamander was confirmed to be the asexual female type Jefferson Salamander

“Progressive Rehabilitation. You say you are taking earth from where you clear-cut and fill in where you have already excavated. How is this progressive? It will take decades, well beyond our life-time to rehabilitate this land to its current state. Bottom line, the Carolinian Forest is gone. If the West and central quarry is any indication of what your rehabilitation looks like, the chance of ever seeing a forest during our life-time is impossible and probably won’t exist for generations to come. Is this what we are bequeathing to our future generations? I promise to tell my great grandchildren how at one time Burlington was called Burlington Green and that the environment of this city was at one time lush and healthy.

“Noise is a great concern to this neighbourhood. Half of a football field, which again is only 50 feet (same as your original described setback). Having an operating quarry within 50 feet of home and schools will have a PREDICTABLE negative impact on the health of every resident on WHD and beyond. Please read the article from The Hamilton Spectator last week that stated constant noise can cause cardiac and mental health issues.
“Last point I would like to make is that all your studies and reports that you are referring to are produced by and paid for by YOU, Meridian. If you stand behind your results, please allow a peer review of all of your studies.
“I challenge the Mayor and Councillors to step up and do something to support and protect the tax paying citizens of Burlington. I have heard many times this is a Provincial Matter. Then represent us at the provincial level. You will have more influence than the many residents of Burlington who are spending their hard earned money and all their spare time trying to preserve the environment in YOUR city. Walk the talk.

TEC Nov 16-17 crowd

The Tyandaga Environmental Coalition (TEC) is not just a bunch of cranky seniors – it is a broadly based group of people who turn out for meetings and support the cost of the legal challenges.

“I also challenge you, Meridian/Aldershot quarry to truly be a good neighbour and stay as far away as possible from the residential area. Half a football field away now or 30 years from now is inconceivable to this community. The destruction of 35 acres of forest and 9,000 trees certainly does not support an environmentally conscious sustainable program. I concur with all the environmentally concerned people of this city that the loss of the greenspace and the wildlife who habitat within, is heartbreaking. However, the protection of the health of the residents in this development MUST BE a priority as well.

“I encourage Meridian to consider other options for the complete Aldershot quarry while retaining the existing greenspace.”

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2 comments to Heather Lareau is ticked – Meridian made her personal email address public. Ouch!

  • Concerned Resident

    Well said Heather – it is a situation that the Mayor and Council seem to be paying very little attention to YET they are our elected officials and we pay them, through our taxes, to be our representatives in all civil matters especially those that affect our health and well-being!

    I also want to point out that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), who are ultimately responsible for the monitoring of the Meridian quarrying operation, have, to my knowledge, NEVER performed ANY air quality measurements or noise studies on the current Meridian quarrying operation BUT rather have relied on approximately 20-year old theoretical predictive noise and dust modelling studies that are definitely outdated and certainly open to serious questions. We can see the dust and we can hear the noise from the central quarry which is ~800 meters away so I can only imagine the noise and dust from the east quarry as it eerily gets closer and closer to the residents, in effect, a REALLY BAD NEIGHBOR.

    Finally, I also point out that to police the noise aspect of the proposed quarrying extnsion they have hired the consultants who performed the initial 20-year old Noise Study – in other words, they are policing the quarrying operation for ‘conformity’ to predictions by using the consultant that made those predictions in the first place (now that’s not too shabby for the consultant and Meridian but definitely lacking transparency and integrity and is somewhat insulting!)

  • Alyson Henry

    Excellent article outlining all health and environmental issues we are very much concerned about. The City of Burlington and the Province of Ontario continue to punt the quarry situation back and forth between each other so no one takes responsibility for protecting their citizens – the people paying taxes and needing their help.