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2004 Annual Report

Welcome - Our Story - Steering Committee - Not-For-Profit Governance Report - Community Commitment Report
Financial Statements - Excerpts from Relevant Reports - FORCE Public Activity Report - Acknowledgements


March 2005

Dear FORCE Supporter,

Together we have already come a long way on our journey to defeat Lowndes Holdings Corp. but we still have a long way to travel. We can succeed, and together we will succeed. Ten months ago, we were a collection of citizens outraged by the prospect of a large scale limestone quarry ruining our rural way of life. Today we are a community of concerned, and much better informed, citizens who are effectively leading a campaign against an aggregates developer who appears to be both persistent and determined. We promised that our anger would turn to conviction, and our conviction into action, and that’s exactly what we have done.

Our activities of the last ten months fall into three categories: Fact Finding, Case Building, and Relationship Making.

While many of us have had some exposure to city by-laws and zoning regulations, it isn’t everyday that a citizens’ group needs to understand the process of applying for permission to establish a large industrial mining operation. In conjunction with our legal counsel, we have done that and while the procedure is complex, we now understand both the players and the processes. With this understanding, we know when and where we need to engage in order to be successful. We also have collected boxes and boxes of reports and studies that will be relevant to our fight. We can now present the right facts, to the right people, at the right time.

To those of us who live here our case was obvious. This proposed industrial operation is an incompatible land use with the existing rural and agriculture residents. But what we have been able to do is connect the various rules and regulations in order to make our case within the legislative framework. Knowing that digging a several hundred acre large hole, 40 meters in depth, will affect our wells is common sense; but to be effective we needed to get an expert to quantify that fact and express it in terms of the regulations that govern watershed management. We have hired experts to do that for groundwater management and several other key areas. We have our case, and it is strong.

Finally, we have made relationships. We have expressed our concerns to officials in the Town of Milton, the City of Burlington, the Region of Halton, and the City of Hamilton. We have introduced ourselves to both politicians and city staff who are responsible for this matter. They have listened to us and in many cases they have echoed our concerns. We have met with members of the Provincial Government and made written and oral submissions on several occasions. In fact, we were invited to present in front of the Committee studying the Greenbelt Legislation in order to make our case that the Greenbelt Legislation should apply to this proposed development. We have met with agencies such as Conservation Halton and the Hamilton-Wentworth Federation of Agriculture.   All the key players know who we are, why we are concerned, and how we plan to fight this intrusion into our communities.

Lowndes Holdings Corp. has time and money on its side; we have the facts of the situation on our side. Many of the officials that we have spoken to have commented, of their own free will, on the challenges that the proponent will face in getting this development approved.  But despite even the restrictions of the Greenbelt Plan, Lowndes Holdings Corp. has not withdrawn its application. It is business as usual for them. That doesn’t deter us. We understand the process, we have the facts, and we have built the relationships required to get our side of the story out.

We are ready for the fight. This is about a business venture for Lowndes Holdings Corp., a way to make a profit. For us this is about our families, our children, and our way of life. In many ways, they may have underestimated the calibre of our people and the commitment we have made to protect our homes, farms, and families.

The City of Hamilton has assembled a team that will evaluate the Lowndes Holdings Corp. application. It will be months before that peer review process is complete. They will then need to go through consultations with surrounding Municipalities and Agencies, and then conduct formal Public Meetings. Only after all that will the matter go to the Hamilton City Council for a decision.  Even if the City of Hamilton rejects the application, Lowndes Holdings has every right to appeal the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board. That would require FORCE supporters to expend even more volunteer time and commit more dollars to this fight. We will do that of course, because giving up is not an option!

We have chosen to prepare an Annual Report, as we feel an obligation to report back to the Community, to acknowledge the implicit contract we struck when neighbours began to commit funds and volunteer time to this campaign. This report contains both the story of how FORCE came to be and how a citizens’ group has been able to challenge a proposed large-scale, below the established groundwater table, aggregate development. You will find evidence of what we have achieved together in the form of quotes from the various reports on the quarry application. We have included an excerpt for our audited financial statements to show where our money is being invested.

This Annual Report is a summary of our successes thus far, with your continued support those successes will continue.

Together we will succeed!

Graham Flint
FORCE Chairperson


Together We Will Succeed!