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2007 Annual Report

Message from Chair - Water - Cool, clean and clear - for now - Environment - Wetlands and Woodlands (a.k.a. "Marshes and Forests") - Haul Route - Truck Traffic - Health - Protecting the Water We Drink and The Air We Breathe - Concluding Comments - Financials - Volunteer Committee - Public Activity Report - References

Haul Route - Truck Traffic

In the spring and fall my children like to ride to school on their bikes. Before they leave in the morning I check for helmets and spot check their safety sense - which side of the road to walk on/ride on, and what to do if a car or truck comes too close.

If this quarry were to become a reality I think parents would require their children to take the bus both ways, every day. Essentially we would be banning walking and cycling. How crazy is that? I'm not even confident that children would be safe on the buses, not when I hear the volume of truck traffic that is anticipated. I've seen how fast big trucks move on back roads, and I know how many stops there on each bus route. It's a recipe for tragedy. We have to stop this quarry from ever getting started.

ST MARYS has now completed three Public Information Centres (PICs), and successfully increased the community's ire each time. The first one held at the Royal Botanical Gardens, twenty kilometres or so from the affected area, offended the community because of the distance and the failure to hold a meeting format. The second PIC, at the Carlisle Golf and Country Club had as many people standing for 3 hours as there were sitting. And the third PIC, advertised as open only to residents who registered in advance, was designed as a workshop with facilitators at each table to help citizens fill in a booklet which used questions designed to assist St Marys select a proposed haul route. The process was rightly perceived by citizens as an effort to co-opt their agreement. A motion to adjourn the meeting was made and over 150 registered citizens left the building, along with the dozens who had not registered and who could not get in to the meeting.

Our community has done an extraordinary job of responding to the PICs. These sessions have been held after work hours, either at some distance from Flamborough or during the middle of winter. Yet, we see attendance in the hundreds. Despite the personal obstacles individuals overcame to attend the PICs they consistently identified deficiencies, errors and gaps on posters, and posed probing questions from the floor.

If the PICs are used as a performance measure of good process management, the proponent has failed. They have also fallen short on measures of neighbourliness. We are reminded of the 40 boreholes drilled without permission on rural roads surrounding the proposed quarry site, and of the evasiveness of their traffic counters when asked for whom they are working. Conversely, our community has excelled in neighbourliness. It's through the vigilance of neighbours that the boreholes and shoddy repairs were identified. And it was curiosity that led citizens to ask traffic counters who their client was. We commend the City for being responsive by attending to each of these issues, and addressing them with the proponent.

ST MARYS controls the rate and quality of this application process. They have been given an extensive ‘to do’ list by the Combined Aggregate Review Team. So we ask why a firm that profiles itself as "a caring and responsible company, and a good neighbour" is managing its processes in a manner that our community experiences as thoughtless at best, and disrespectful at worst.


Together We Will Succeed!