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News Archives


Monday, November 28th, 2005
Winter Lawn Sign Policy in Effect

Winter conditions are upon us once again.  We ask that you please take care of your lawn sign. At $5.00 a sign, and with hundreds of signs in the Community, we all have a sizable investment in them. We’d like to suggest the following steps to keep your sign in good condition:

Thursday November 24, 2005
Province Releases Proposed Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe

The Ontario Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal (PIR) released the Proposed Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe for public comment.  The Plan is authorized by the Places to Grow Act 2005 and is the growth management complement to the Greenbelt Plan.  The Plan is designed to guide decisions on a wide range of issues - like transportation, land use planning, housing, and urban density levels - in the interest of promoting both natural heritage protection and economic prosperity.  Comments are due by January 27, 2006. Read the full plan at www.placestogrow.ca The Plan will likely receive mixed reactions.  Some people will feel the proposed density levels are too high and will result in multi-story buildings near lower density residential areas;  others will feel they are too low and will still permit sprawl.  Some people will argue against the proposed transportation corridors;  others will feel the planning process will take too long to meet the needs to move people and goods throughout the area.  The reality is that many details are yet to be finalized.  Technical assessments to finalize built boundaries, areas for greenfield housing development, employment lands  and other fundamentals as well as detailed sub-area assessments are months away and "the devil will be in the details".  PIR has indicated that the target for completion of this work is 8 - 12 months.    Of note for our communities, and areas that will be reviewed for response to the government's initiative, are:

Tuesday November 1, 2005
Ontario Environment Commissioner Releases 2004/5 Annual Report

Ontario Environment Commissioner, Gordon Miller, released his 2004/5 Annual Report called "Planning Our Landscape".  It contains a range of information, conclusions and recommendations of interest to our communities as we continue our opposition to the Lowndes Holdings' Corp. application.  To read the full report, visit http://www.ecoissues.ca/index.php/List_of_Annual_Reports Topics of interest include:

October 31, 2005
Provincial Government Moves to Defend Greenbelt and Protect Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve by Closing Loophole on Conservation Easements

The Provincial Government signalled its intention to defend the Greenbelt's environmental and agricultural integrity from challenge.  On October 31, 2005, the Minister of Natural Resources introduced legislation to protect the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve.  The legislation also strengthens the Conservation Land Act so that conservation easements that are placed on lands " in perpetuity" are in fact honoured "in perpetuity".

Pickering Council was proposing to permit development on the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve even though it is regulated as part of the Greenbelt Plan and had also been subject to 99 year conservation easements.  Read the full press release (86 KB) and backgrounder (87 KB) for more information.  Read the reaction (42 KB) of environment and community groups who are members with FORCE in the Greenbelt Alliance.

October 28, 2005
FORCE Steering Committee Members Meet with City of Hamilton Officials for Carlisle Quarry Application Progress Checkpoint

FORCE Steering Committee members met with City of Hamilton Officials on Tuesday October 25, 2005 for a progress checkpoint session regarding the proposed Carlisle Quarry application.  In order to frame the discussion, a letter outlining Community issues was pre-circulated to the City ( read the letter - 116 KB).

Attending the meeting from the FORCE Steering Committee were Graham Flint, Chair and Spokesperson, Michael Brazeau, Bonnie Lendrum, and Jan Whitelaw.  Councillor Margaret McCarthy also strongly represented the Community interests.  City staff participating from the Planning and Economic Development Department were Tim McCabe, Stan Holiday, Raymond Lee, and Steven Rowe, Aggregate Application Advisor to the City.

Overall, the working relationship with the City of Hamilton continues to be positive.  Discussion at the meeting itself was open, honest and respectful.  Based on the pre-read letter, 4 key discussion areas were put forward.  They were:
The application was not complete at the September 2004 submittal date and remains incomplete.

The following key agreements were reached:
A major focus of discussion during the meeting was the slow progress in processing the application and comments from the Proponent's Team that part of their strategy is to wait out the Community opposition.  Some key take-aways for the Community that we have to continue to manage through are that:

FORCE continues to urge the City to use all means possible to resolve this matter for the residents of this Community in a timely manner and to effectively manage those portions of the process which are more directly under its control . FORCE will be continuing to explore all options to successfully resolve this matter for the community in as short a time frame as possible.

Unfortuntely residents and business owners in the Community need to be prepared for a long battle.  A final decision could very well take many years to resolve.  As we were told at the June 9, 2004 Community Meeting, examples in other communities have taken upwards of 5 to 7 years, with some cases still awaiting resolution. This is not new news to us but we do need to remind ourselves of it and take this into account as the application process at times accelerates and then stalls.  We need to continue to plan our activities - community education, expert analysis, legal strategy, fundraising and community events -  to be ready for each stage.  We can't  and won't let the perception of a Proponent with deep financial pockets defeat the legitimate concerns of the community.

We need to continue to stand together.  Together, we will succeed!

October 18, 2005
Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation Launches Greenbelt General Public Awareness Campaign

What produces food, cleans the air and feeds local streams with fresh water? If you answered Ontario's Greenbelt, you are almost alone. Baseline research undertaken by Environics for the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation demonstrated limited public awareness of our Greenbelt and its benefits. As a result, the Foundation, an independent organization announced in June 2005, has launched a direct advertising campaign and a website to begin to address the situation. ( Read the full Hamilton Spectator article - 139 KB). Other programs and partnering efforts - to educate Ontarians, to help restore and enhance the Greenbelt's natural environment, and to support agriculture, the grape growing and wine industry, and tourism - are under development and will be announced over time.

The Foundation's mission is to "promote and sustain our Greenbelt" as a beneficial, valuable and permanent feature enhancing the quality of life for all residents of Ontario. Three priority goals have been established - the first, being to increase public awareness of our Greenbelt and to increase public engagement and participation in Greenbelt activities. Public pride in our Greenbelt will help to defend its environmental and agricultural integrity as the Greenbelt faces development pressures from applications before current and future municipal and provincial governments.

To learn more, visit www.greenbelt.ca.

Friday, October 14, 2005 - City Managers Office

The Medical Officer of Health for the City of Hamilton has lifted a boil water advisory (BWA) that was issued on October 11, 2005 to all users of the Carlisle Municipal Water Supply.

Corrective action was carried out and the safety of the Carlisle Municipal Water Supply has been verified to the satisfaction of the Medical Officer of Health.

Normal use of the drinking water supply may resume.

Prior to resuming normal use of the Carlisle Municipal Water Supply, residents are asked to do the following:

  1. Discard all water filters that may have come in contact with your water supply on or since October 9, 2005. Disposal of Reverse Osmosis filters is not necessary.
  2. Discard ice and any juices/drinks/food made with tap water (that was not boiled for at least one minute) on or since October 9, 2005.
  3. Empty and flush appliances that use tap water that may be ingested or come into contact with utensils (dishwashers, fridges with ice makers and water dispensers, water softeners, etc).
  4. Flush all cold water taps for five minutes.
If you have any questions regarding your health, associated with the Carlisle Municipal Water Supply, please call at 905-546-3937.

Other questions regarding the Carlisle Municipal Water Supply should be directed to 905-546-4426.

Friday, October 14, 2005 - Flamborough Review Article
Trace E. coli found in two Carlisle wells

All Carlisle residents are under a boil water advisory, after city workers found trace levels of E. coli bacteria in the community's water. According to Eric Mathews, Manager, Health Protection for the city, two routine water samples showed the bacteria, which originate from fecal matter. One test showed three cells per 100 ml, while the other showed one cell. Levels must be at zero to be considered acceptable. Read Full Article.

Summer 2005
FORCE Activities Update

Summer is now unfortunately behind us, and everyone is busy catching up and settling into fall routines. The same holds true for FORCE. Here is a summary of our activities over the Summer.

Summer 2005 demonstrated to us how the aggregate application planning process will ebb and flow. Sometimes it will be very visible and public, requiring actions by FORCE supporters and generating lots of media attention, and sometimes it will be invisible and seemingly inactive.

The City of Hamilton's process continues to move forward, though at a very slow pace, with respect to the Carlisle Quarry application. The City's Peer Review Team commenced its work once Lowndes Holdings Corp. finally posted their bond. We expect to see the first results of that work this sometime fall.

In the meantime FORCE was involved in a number of activities. These included:

In addition to the activities highlighted above, FORCE volunteer canvassers have been busy throughout the summer meeting with community residents and businesses securing financial commitments and distributing lawn signs. Please contact FORCE at info@StopTheQuarry.ca to make your 2005 financial commitment or order a lawn sign, if you have not yet done so.

The Steering Committee has also continued to meet every two weeks to plan and oversee execution of both short and long term activities as well as monitor the work of our Experts

If you have feedback, questions or time that you can volunteer to help, please contact FORCE at info@StopTheQuarry.ca.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Ontario Government Commits to Protecting Drinking Water at its Source in Speech from the Throne

The Hon. James K. Bartleman, the Lieutenant Governor, delivered the Speech from the Throne, an address that is the parliamentary convention for opening the next session of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, on October 12, 2005. "Strengthening Ontario's Economic Advantage" contained specific references to protecting drinking water for Ontarians. "Your government is determined to protect Ontarian's health by cleaning up the air they breathe and protecting the water they drink...It will protect drinking water by introducing legislation, as recommended by the Walkerton Inquiry {ed. note: held following the Walkerton tragedy), that would protect drinking water at its source." To read the full Speech from the Throne, visit www.premier.gov.on.ca/news/event.php?ItemID=5227&Lang=En . (Note: Scroll to the bottom of the page for text and video versions.)

Drinking water source protection is an important initiative and one that could further raise the approval hurdles for the proposed Carlisle quarry. Our Community supports early introduction of the new law, along with timely consultation and passage. We will continue to make representations and submissions as necessary. Through our actions we will hold the government accountable to the protections recommended by Justice O'Connor in the Walkerton Inquiry, to the protections recommended by the Technical Expert and Implementation Committees, and to the commitment pledged in this Speech from the Throne.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Boil Water Advisory Issued for Users of the Carlisle Municipal Water Supply

The Medical Officer of Health for the City of Hamilton has issued a Boil Water Advisory for Carlisle residents who are served by the Carlisle Municipal Water Supply.  The Boil Water Advisory became effective at 5 p.m. on October 11, 2005, until further notice.  It was issued as a precautionary measure due to the detection of bacteria in the municipal water supply. The Medical Officer of Health has strongly urged residents not to drink the water or to use it for rinsing food, preparing food and beverages, or doing dishes, among other uses.  Read the full Carlisle Boil Water Advisory (57 KB).

Circumstances like the Carlisle Boil Water Advisory, on the heels of the recurring water restrictions, remind us that drinking water systems are complex systems, both in terms of quantity and quality.  Their safety is fragile and risks to our clean drinking water must be avoided.  The proposed Carlisle quarry would pose risks and that is why our Community is opposing the Lowndes Holdings Corp. application. http://www.hamilton.ca/CityDepartments/PlanningEcDev/Divisions/Planning/Development/FlamboroughQuarry.htm

Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Aggregates Industry to Launch PR Campaign to improve its image

The aggregates industry is launching a public relations campaign to improve its image and to educate the public about the need for aggregates for use in road building, home building, and infrastructure like schools and hospitals.  The campaign is being undertaken in support of industries position that there is a looming "shortage" in aggregates and hence the need to continue to develop quarries in areas like the Niagara Escarpment, Oak Ridges Moraine and the newly establised Greenbelt.  Read the full Toronto Star article (37 KB).

FORCE has been clear that the Community opposing the aggregate application by Lowndes Holdings Corp. is not anti-aggregate nor anti-road.  However as the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario reports, there is no shortage of rock, sand or gravel.  What we have as a society are choices to make about from where we extract these resources and how much of them we use (as compared to adopting a reduce, reuse and recycle strategy for aggregates).  The local Community has chosen to oppose the proposed Carlisle quarry because of among other issues; its impact on our drinking water, the impact on the area woodlands and wetlands, and the haul route impact on our rural roads.

Friday, September 30, 2005
Community Puts its Concerns About Lowndes Holdings Corp.'s Poor Communications on the Official Record

The Community has put its concerns about Lowndes Holdings Corp. poor communications on the official record with the City of Hamilton. Lowndes Holdings Corp. has never been pro-active in its communications - for example providing the community with information before on-site activities happen - but over time, even answers to requests and questions from the Community have stopped. A request for a site tour for the Community's experts has been outstanding since September 2004. FORCE Chair, Graham Flint, has written to Stan Holiday, the Senior Planner assigned to the application to register the Community's concerns and to ask that they be placed as part of the public record for consideration as part of the application review process. Read the full text of the letter. (90 KB)

Friday, September 30, 2005
Local Road Rehabilitation Work by City of Hamilton Does Not Mean Lowndes Holdings Corp.'s Application for Proposed Carlisle Quarry is Approved
Road work and black top resurfacing by the City of Hamilton is set to begin on the 11th Concession East from Milburough Town Line and across Centre Road to Hwy #6. This work is not related to the Lowndes Holdings Corp. application for the proposed Carlisle Quarry and does not mean the application has been approved. The City determined that routine maintenance was not enough to maintain the condition of the road and that some capital investment in the road was required. The 11th Concession East is not the Preferred Haul Route for the Lowndes Holdings Corp. application. The work being done and the investment being made on the 11th Concession East by the City does not meet the structural, grade and other changes that would be needed to the road to carry the number and weight of aggregate trucks specified in the Proponent's application.

As reported in the May 4, 2005 Latest News, 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."

Saturay, September 18, 2005
Ontario Minister of Natural Resources Denies Aggregate Application North of Belleville

In a recent decision, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources, David Ramsay, denied the aggregate application submitted by Palu-Corbelli Corp. for a proposed granite and gravel quarry in Southern Ontario near Mellon Lake, northeast of Belleville. The denial, issued in May 2005, was made on the basis that the public interest of environmental protection outweighed the economic benefits of the quarry activity. It is viewed as a first and real precedent by many environment and conservation groups under the current Aggregate Resources Act. FORCE is reviewing the precedents established by this decision. To learn more about Mellon Lake and the decision made there, read the Ontario Nature article. http://www.ontarionature.org/onnature/dept_earthwatch.html

Friday, September 16, 2005
Flamborough Chamber of Commerce "Business After Five" Event to be held at site of Proposed Carlisle Quarry on Wednesday September 21, 2005 -- FORCE planned protest will "stand down"

The Flamborough Chamber of Commerce (FCC) will host a "Business After Five" event at the site of the proposed Carlisle quarry owned by one of its members, Lowndes Holdings Corp. "Business After Five" events are for networking among FCC members. The session is an informal "come-and-go" event with no formal presentations.

FORCE has strongly raised its objections to the FCC holding this social event at the site of the proposed operation, which does not have planning nor operating approvals, and has made the point that doing so could be interpreted as implied FCC endorsement of the controversial quarry project. FORCE Chair and Spokesperson, Graham Flint, met with Past-President, Jamie Kleven, and Executive Director, Arend Kersten last week. A full and frank discussion was held.

The FCC Board of Directors is now on record as noting that there is a very specific and prescribed process that both the applicant and opponents must follow. It is urging all parties to participate in this process with courtesy and respect. The FCC Board will consider what, if any, position the FCC should take only once the City's Planning Department completes its evaluation of the Lowndes Holdings Corp. application and issues a public report.

During the discussion FORCE also reiterated our opinion that the FCC has provided the proponent with considerable advantage through the decision to grant them membership to the FCC even though they currently have neither an ongoing business to represent nor are residents of our community, and we remain disappointed with that previous decision.

Based on the FCC position of record and improved open communications between the two organizations, FORCE has decided to stand down its planned protest at the site during the upcoming event. Download Open Letter to The Flamborough Chamber of Commerce Board (73 KB).

Thursday, September 15, 2005
Joint Agency Review Team Public Information Meeting regarding Nelson Aggregates Proposal on September 21,2005

The Joint Agency Review Team (JART) - made up of representatives from the Region of Halton, the City of Burlington, the Niagara Escarpment Commission, and the Ministry of Natural Resources - is hosting a Public Information Session regarding the Nelson Aggregates Proposal on Wednesday September 21st, 2005. The session will be held at Kilbride Public School located at 6611 Panton Street. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a presentation beginning at 7 p.m.

The session represents an opportunity to see a similar application process to what we will be facing firsthand and an opportunity to support the Community represented by PERL (Protecting Escarpment Rural Land). FORCE will be monitoring the session.


Together We Will Succeed!