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News Archives


Tuesday, May 31, 2005
FORCE Annual Meeting draws hundreds to Lawson Park

The FORCE annual meeting attracted a full house to Lawson Park last night to learn about the quarry application status and the successes in the first year of our opposition. The message was clear that we simply can't let the 8th largest quarry in Canada establish itself in our neighbourhood. With over 1000 gravel trucks per day traveling area roads, dust and noise from blasting and crushing, and millions of gallons of water per day pumped out of the same aquifer that provides water to your family - the consequences would be devastating.

The crowd had an opportunity to review much of the technical (Hydrological, Ecological, GIS, etc.. ) work commissioned by FORCE to date and get a better understanding of the work that lies head. The threat of the proposed quarry continues and despite excellent progress in opposition much more work remains. At the conclusion of the meeting the community demonstrated its resolve by making direct commitments of an additional $38,000 of new opposition funding. Thank you to all who attended last night.

Together We Will Succeed!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - Burlington Post Article
Quarry proposal at heart of meeting

A meeting will be held next week by a community group opposing a quarry proposal in Flamborough. Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment (FORCE) will provide information about its first year of opposition, the case against the quarry, the application's status and the next steps. Read full article: http://www.haltonsearch.com/hr/bp/story/2804370p-3247431c.html- This article is no longer available

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - Milton Champion Article
Anti-quarry group scheduled to meet Monday

Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment (FORCE) members have scheduled a meeting for Monday to mark the one-year anniversary of the group's creation and discuss the events of the past 12 months.

When news broke on the Victoria Day long weekend in 2004 about a planned application for a limestone quarry in Flamborough, the group of concerned and outraged citizens banded together to fight Lowndes Holdings Corp. Read full article: http://www.haltonsearch.com/hr/mcc/story/2799675p-3241591c.html- This article is no longer available

Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Things You Can Do - Participate in Conservation Halton's E-survey regarding its Draft Strategic Plan

Conservation Halton is in the process of completing its final consultation with key stakeholders and the public about its draft Strategic Plan - Towards a Healthy Watershed.  The draft Plan has 3 key goals:

  1. to create a watershed with healthy ecosystems to protect the health and quality of life of its residents
  2. to provide quality and financially sustainable recreational opportunities and
  3. to strive for excellence in the area of governance and management, including financial stability.

The plan's first key goal is supported by the draft plan's strategic directions for implementation.  The first priority is watershed management programs to ensure the protection of life, property and natural systems.  Priority actions outlined include leading the development of the source water protection plan for the combined watersheds of Conservation Halton and the Hamilton Conservation Authority.

Source water protection is a key issue for our communities, in general, and in the face of the proposed Lowndes Holdings Corp. quarry application, specifically.  The Technical Experts Committee Report on Source Water Protection to the Ontario Minister of the Environment explicitly delineated a list of threats of provincial concern to drinking water quantity and quality. Topping that list were aggregate developments that penetrate the water table and/or aquifer, thereby increasing vulnerability in a direct pathway to current and future drinking water sources. Conservation Halton has expressed its concerns about the potential implications for groundwater quantity and quality in preliminary reports about the Lowndes Holdings Corp. application.  FORCE supports Conservation Halton's leadership on source water protection efforts in our area. 

Conservation Halton held an open house during Earth Week and is conducting an on-line survey about the draft Plan. To participate in the e-survey, visit the Conservation Halton website at www.conservationhalton.on.ca and click on the Review our Draft Strategic Plan icon.  You will then be able to download a copy of the draft plan and/or participate in the on-line survey by selecting the appropriate links. The survey only takes about 10 minutes and includes multiple choice questions and questions where you rank the responses on a numerical scale in order to show your level of agreement or support.  Let's show our conservation partner how we feel about their important role in protecting our drinking water.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Truck Trips Chart

Compare the proposed quarry truck trip traffic with that of the Flamboro Quarry on Broack Road.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Where does the proposed Carlisle Quarry rank amoung Canada'a largest?

Where does to proposed quarry rank? Click here to view a chart that lists the largest quarries in Canada as measured by millions of tonnes of aggregate produced per year.

Friday, May 20, 2005 - Flamborough Review Article
FORCE renews for next stage of quarry battle

Victoria Day weekend last year sent shockwaves through rural subdivisions in Flamborough's northeast corner. That's when residents of the area learned that an out-of-town developer, who had been buying up properties along the 11th Concession Road East near Milburough Line, was proposing to build a large quarry in their neighborhood. Read the Full Article (129 KB)

Friday, May 20, 2005
Updated Process FAQ's

Monday, May 16, 2005
FORCE Posts Volunteer Want Ads to Build Organizational Strength for Ongoing Success

A key success factor in any organization is its people management. For volunteer organizations like FORCE, people management is especially important. We want to avoid burn-out, fill gaps, improve community responsiveness, expand activities, and ensure strong leadership over time. As a Community, we have laid the foundation for FORCE through our first year of activities. We now want to ensure we take the time to effectively plan our people requirements for ongoing success. Similar battles against proposed aggregate developments have taken 5 years or more before resolution. In order to deliver against the Community’s opposition to the proposed Carlisle quarry and to ensure strong succession planning, volunteer want ads will be posted periodically on the website. This first set of volunteer want ads is being posted for consideration in advance of the upcoming Community Annual Meeting. We are, indeed, fortunate to have such a diverse talent pool in this community from which to draw. Please check the (69 KB) volunteer needs against your skill sets, interests, and time availability. Together, we can succeed!

Friday, May 13, 2005 - Flamborough Review Article
Haul route key part of quarry planning

There aren't many areas of agreement between proponents and opponents of prospective quarry sites, but where the Lowndes Holdings Corp. Quarry is concerned, opposing sides agree that the haul route is one of the most important aspects of the operation. And, they also agree that it should be identified early in the planning process. Read full article: Read the Full Article (131 KB)

Wednesday, May 4, 2005
FORCE Annual Meeting scheduled for Monday, May 30, @ 7:00 pm at Lawson Park

All residents are encouraged to attend the FORCE Annual Community Meeting on Monday, May 30, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm at Lawson Park. A complete summary of all activities and up coming plans will be discussed. Learn about the impact the proposed quarry will have on our communities, talk to the committees, get involved.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005
FORCE releases 2004 - 2005 Annual Report

We have chosen to prepare an Annual Report (HTML or PDF -1.5 MB), 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 from our audited financial statements to show where our money is being invested.

This Annual Report (HTML or PDF -1.5 MB) is a summary of our successes thus far, with your continued support those successes will continue.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005
Local Road Rehabilitation Work by City of Hamilton Is Not Related to Lowndes Holdings Corp. Application for Proposed Quarry

The City of Hamilton Proposed 2005-2014 Capital Projects chart (download document - 79 KB) shows rural road rehabilitation work for local roads in Ward 15, including some $600,000 in 2005 for the 11th Concession East between Milburough Townline and Hwy 6. The rehabilitation and resurfacing of these roads is necessary and is not related to the Lowndes Holdings Corp. application for a proposed aggregate development.

Richard Andoga, Acting Senior Project Manager, Infrastructure Programming, Capital Planning & Implementation Division in the City of Hamilton Public Works Department clarified the purpose of the local road rehabilitation work in May 2, 2005 e-mail correspondence with Councillor Margaret McCarthy. He wrote that "The road rehabilitation was first included in the 2005 capital budget submission. We annually review pavement management data along with input from Road Maintenance to determine the rural rehabilitation priorities. Concession 11 was identified as a concern, and therefore forwarded to the Capital budget. The proposed quarry application was mentioned and a concern, however due to the application being questionable, our feeling was that due to the condition of the roadway we could not continue to just spend maintenance dollars on this road."

Monday, May 2, 2005
Greenbelt Act Does Not Stop Quarries

On February 28th 2005, the Provincial Government announced the Greenbelt Plan 2005. This Plan completes the legislation which protects a broad swath of natural and agricultural lands in the Golden Horseshoe of southern Ontario. Many of our Communities, and in particular, the site of the proposed Carlisle Quarry, are included under the umbrella of Greenbelt Protection. In part due to the proactive activities by FORCE, this protection has been extended to pending Official Plan amendment applications for aggregate operations, submitted after December 2003, but not yet approved. This decision places the Quarry application made by Lowndes Holdings Corp. under the new Greenbelt restrictions.

Read the full article.

Monday, May 2, 2005
FORCE posts Independent Auditor's Report on its 2004 Financial Statements

FORCE made a commitment to effectively manage the Community funds raised to support the fight against Lowndes Holdings Corp. Those funds were to support the operations and investments required to oppose the application for a proposed aggregate development near Carlisle. Consistent with that "contract" with the Community, and in conjunction with the governance structures setup for our not-for-profit corporation, a resolution was adopted appointing independent auditors - MDP, Martyn Dooley & Partners, Chartered Accountants. The full Auditor's Report for FORCE's 2004 Financial Statements (416 KB) is now available.

Friday, April 29, 2005 - Flamborough Review Article
FORCE gearing up for next stage of quarry battle

In the face of a greenbelt plan that doesn't provide an outright ban on new quarries within the protected greenbelt area, a grassroots citizens' group in northeast Flamborough is gearing up for the next stage of its battle against a quarry proposed for the 11th Concession Road East near Milburough Line.

FORCE (Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment) is calling in the troops and regrouping even though its chairman Graham Flint acknowledges that it may be another three to four months before the battle over the quarry heats up again. In the meantime, the citizens' group will not be idle. Read full article (127 KB)

Monday, April 25, 2005 - Hamilton Spectator Article
Battle lines have been drawn on bid for Flamborough quarry

One of the biggest land use battles in Hamilton history is shaping up over plans for a huge limestone quarry in northeastern Flamborough.

"I think it is one of the biggest issues ever, bigger than any the former Flamborough council had to look at," Ward 15 Councillor Margaret McCarthy said yesterday. "The magnitude of this is going to be evolving as time goes on. God forbid it goes in." Read full article.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Information Report Re: Lowndes Holdings Corp. Application Presented at Hamilton Planning and Economic Development Committee

The Hamilton Planning and Economic Development Committee members received an information report regarding the proposed Lowndes Holdings Corp. Quarry and its proposed review process from the Planning and Development Department at their regular Committee meeting on Tuesday April 19th. (Download Report - PDF - 2.4 MB).

FORCE participated as a delegate to the meeting. Chair and Spokesperson Graham Flint presented FORCE's comments on the report. The report provides a foundation for moving forward and FORCE embraces approaches, such as the Combined Agency Review Team (CART), in order to ensure thorough evaluation of the application. FORCE continues to state its view that the application is weak in terms of methodology and content. Substantive issues related to drinking water impact, ecological impact, and haul routes, among others, remain inadequately addressed. A concern is the municipal role that will be played during application review: will the application be evaluated and a decision rendered or will the process facilitate the application progressing from a failing to a passing grade? FORCE also noted its appreciation of the development of the process flowchart included as part of the Information Report. It is a useful tool to understand the sequence of milestones and process. FORCE is concerned that there are no target working timelines associated with the chart and there is a risk that the process could drag accordingly. Bob Long of Long Environmental addressed the Committee on behalf of the proponent. Of note, Long indicated that the application is complete.

The Committee's report will be received for information only by Hamilton City Council on Wednesday April 27th. FORCE representatives will attend to monitor the report and discussion.

Thursday, April 14, 2005
FORCE attends Flamborough Chamber of Commerce Meeting with the Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing

The Flamborough Chamber of Commerce (FCC) hosted a by-invitation only meeting with the Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing, John Gerretsen. The meeting was set-up in conjunction with MPP Ted McMeekin's office. The FCC invited a range of its members with interests covering matters in the Minister's various portfolio of responsibilities, including the Greenbelt Plan. Attendees heard the Minister's perspective on issues before a question and answer session. Graham Flint, Chair of FORCE, attended at the invitation of the FCC, as a guest of FCC member, justenvironment, represented by Jan Whitelaw. Lowndes Holdings Corp., an FCC member, was in attendance and was represented by Sherry Yundt and David Lowndes. FORCE appreciated the opportunity to meet the Minister firsthand and to understand his perspectives.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005
FORCE meets with the Hamilton Wentworth Federation of Agriculture (HWFA)

Graham Flint, Chair of FORCE, and Dan Curran-Blaney, Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and HWFA member, and Coordinator of Technical Volunteers for the FORCE Steering Committee, met with the HWFA Board on April 12, 2005. The meeting was a follow-up to a presentation made to the HWFA in August 2004. The purpose of the April 2005 meeting was to update the HWFA on the proposed quarry application, to outline the City of Hamilton's proposed review process, and to discuss HWFA's next steps in opposition to the proposed aggregate development. The HWFA first signalled their concerns with the proposal during the fall 2004 and at that time made a request of the City of Hamilton to participate in the decision making process. FORCE and HWFA's goals align around the preservation of viable farm land and responsible land stewardship. As a result we are working together to support our local communities' opposition to the proposal. Thanks to HWFA for their ongoing support of our communities and their local members!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Google Imagery

Explore the proposed quarry location using new Google satallite imagery .

Friday, March 11, 2005 - Flamborough Review Article
FORCE asks council to reject Carlisle quarry plan

Tougher aggregate development rules enshrined in Ontario's greenbelt protection plan may be enough to halt plans for a 238-acre (96-hectare) quarry in north Flamborough. Members of a citizen-based advocacy group called FORCE (Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment) think so.

And so does local MPP Ted McMeekin.

The Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot Queen's Park representative confirmed Monday that he holds the same view as FORCE chairman Graham Flint - namely, that the application for the Carlisle area quarry has little or no chance of proceeding in light of protection given to the local countryside by the recently-passed greenbelt legislation.

"Given the policies that have been put in place, given the natural heritage and water source concerns, I honestly can't see it moving forward," McMeekin said.

Read full article (128 KB)

Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - Milton Champion Article
FORCE celebrates final greenbelt plan

Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment (FORCE) are celebrating the provincial government's final Greenbelt Plan released last week during a press conference in Kleinberg. The Greenbelt Plan's specific rules directly impact FORCE's fight against Lowndes Holdings Corp.'s application for an aggregate quarry in Carlisle in a favourable way, according to Graham Flint, FORCE's spokesperson. Read full article: http://www.haltonsearch.com/hr/mcc/story/2620417p-3038375c.html- This article is no longer available

Friday, March 04, 2005 - Flamborough Review Editorial
Just how strong is Greenbelt?

A grassroots citizens' group which has waged a constant battle against a developer who wants to put a quarry in their rural Flamborough neighbourhood. Members of FORCE, or Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment, feel the legislation is strong enough to stop the proposal in its tracks. Read full article: http://www.haltonsearch.com/hr/fp/opinion/column/story/2611386p-3028200c.html- This article is no longer available

Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - Hamilton Spectator Article
Greenbelt law may kill Carlisle quarry

Liberal„ MPP Ted McMeekin says a proposal to build a controversial quarry in the Carlisle area has been nixed by the Ontario government's new greenbelt law. His was one of many reactions and viewpoints to the law, which was revised with maps and policies this week by the Liberal government after being passed into law last week. Read full article.- This article is no longer available

Tuesday, March 01, 2005
CHCH News coverage of Greenbelt Plan announcement

CHCH News interviews FORCE Chair Graham Flint regarding the impact of the Greenbellt Plan on the Quarry application. Download video and watch file with the CHCH News story (Windows Media File - 6.5 MB).


Together We Will Succeed!