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Thursday, November 5, 2009 - Flamborough Review
St. Marys responds to objection letters

Members of a grassroots citizens' group opposed to a quarry proposal in northeast Flamborough are giving a cool reception to objection response letters from St. Marys Cement (SMC). Graham Flint, chair of the group called FORCE (Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment), said Tuesday that the letters fail to address residents' concerns and provide only "empty promises and assurances" about what the aggregate company will do to lessen the impact of the proposal on neighbouring residents.

Read the Full Article (31 KB)

Thursday, October 29, 2009 - Halton Compass
Force has residents out for a night on the town

FORCE (Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment) Held its fourth Annual Gala Evening to Celebrate "Friends - A Vital FORCE in Our Community..

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - Hamilton Spectator
A FORCE to be reckoned with

This David is armed with more than a slingshot.

Flamborough's stop-the-quarry group FORCE is up against an industrial Goliath in St. Marys Cement, owned by a Brazilian multinational with annual revenue of $13 billion from cement, concrete, mining, metals, pulp, paper, orange juice, specialty chemicals and more. It even owns a bank.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009 - Ontario Environment Commissioner Releases 2008/9 Annual Report

Ontario Environment Commissioner, Gordon Miller, issued his Annual Report titled "Building Resilience". When we think of resilience, we generally think about the ability to bounce back from pressure. The Report documents that ecologists also use the term resilience in nature and they have developed a sophisticated interpretation of resilience and a field of study called resilience theory. For ecologists, resilience is the ability of an ecosystem to tolerate disturbance or disruption without totally collapsing and becoming something else; it is an inherent capacity to repair or rebuild. The ECO explains why we should pay close attention to this idea and apply it to the real environmental issues we face as a society. The report illustrates how some of the ecosystems we rely on may be losing their resilience and equally how it is important for citizens to be involved to protect our environment in terms of our societal resilience.

The ECO notes that citizen groups fighting to protect natural areas can be easily intimidated because of the greater economic resources available to proponents, because of unequal power positioning with the approvals process favouring the development industry, and because of the legal tactics used against groups. The Big Bay Point development proposal and the proponent's attempt to seek costs at the OMB is cited as an illustrative example. The ECO believes that citizen groups need to be put on a more equal footing with proponents and protected from the threats of SLAPP suits and similar legal manoeuvres. He makes recommendations for legislative change to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

The ECO also continues to document his ongoing concerns about the extraction of sand, gravel, and stone, and the key issues that are not fully addressed by the aggregate licensing and land use planning processes. The ECO again cites the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry application by FORCE and his recommendations that the government reconcile its conflicting priorities between aggregate extraction and the protection of identified natural heritage and source water protection features and that the government develop an early screening mechanism to weed out development proposals with these conflicts (report page 21). He talks about the Southern Ontario landscapes that are becoming pockmarked with pits and quarries, eventually becoming clusters of flooded holes and altered aquifers. He wonders if MNR is overestimating the resilience of such ecosystems. Are they likely to bounce back or are they being pushed beyond a recovery threshold? The ECO offers recommendations for a regional landscape based planning approach that incorporates assessment of cumulative socio-economic and environmental effects. He also calls for MNR to use its Statement of Environmental Values (SEV) when considering permits and licenses under the Aggregate Resources Act.

Topics of interest include:

To read the full report, visit http://www.ecoissues.ca/index.php/List_of_Annual_Reports. The full report and supplementary materials can be downloaded.

Thursday, September 24, 2009 - Flamborough Review - Letter
Objecting to St. Marys' numbers

Re: St. Marys set to respond to rejection letters, Review, Sept. 18

Thank you for the ongoing commitment of your staff to reporting the battle that our communities are having with the proposal from St. Marys Cement to develop an industrial open pit mining operation on the 11th Concession in Flamborough.

The most recent article quotes a representative from St. Marys Cement who deconstructed the numbers of objections received by identifying that the 1,185 received represented 617 addresses.

Read the Full Letter (81 KB)

Saturday, Septemer 19, 2009 - Hamilton Spectator
St. Marys' response under fire

St. Marys Cement says it will respond within weeks to all 1,200 formal objections to its proposed quarry at 11th Concession East and Milburough Line.

The move, announced in a community newsletter, surprised the anti-quarry group FORCE, which expected the company first to do groundwater testing deemed necessary by a number of public agencies, including the Ministry of Natural Resources, which issues aggregate licences.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009 - Flamborough Review
St. Marys set to respond to objection letters

Residents in northeast Flamborough will soon be receiving a community newsletter from St. Marys Cement (SMC) alerting them to the aggregate company's next steps in support of its application for an aggregate licence for the proposed Flamborough Quarry.

But even before the newsletter arrived in the mail, Graham Flint, the chair of the citizen's anti-quarry group FORCE (Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment), was criticizing the company for "accelerating the process" without first meaningfully addressing the community's concerns about groundwater and transportation impacts of the proposal.

Read the Full Story (30 KB)


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