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FORCE was pleased to learn about the agreement announced yesterday between the Province and St Marys Cement whose objectives appear to be to resolve the numerous outstanding legal and tribunal cases between them and to insure that no quarry is built in North East Flamborough.

"We have always said that no reasonable person would approve a new Greenfield quarry in this location. Today, it appears that no reasonable person has," said Graham Flint, Chair and Spokesperson of FORCE.

"We are very pleased to hear that the Ontario government and St Marys Cement have taken steps to resolve their differences. Doing so protects our drinking water, natural environment, homes, farms, schools and businesses – things our Communities have been fighting for. This also addresses the uncertainty that has been hanging over our Communities for so long," Mr. Flint went on to say.

The Community is thrilled with the concrete steps, using conservation covenants on title – where the government and the company are on the same page. They mean our Communities would be protected from any proposed quarry now and for the future.

"We’re obviously ecstatic, but we just learned about this agreement and want to understand it fully," added Flint. "We want to understand exactly what a conservation covenant is, how it works, and how it will be enforced now and into the future, apparently by the City of Hamilton."

"That being said, we applaud the Wynne government for working to bring this conflict to a mutual resolution so early in her term," Mr. Flint noted. "We recognize the tremendous efforts of our local MPP, the Honourable Ted McMeekin, who has strongly and persistently represented our Communities from the beginning".

Importantly, our Communities have been assisted by all levels of government and members of all political parties. We genuinely thank Ted Chudleigh, MPP for Halton (PC), and Andrea Horwath, Leader of the NDP, for their support, as well as our MP, David Sweet (CPC). Additionally, thanks go to the municipal councillors in Hamilton, Halton, Milton and Burlington, as well as the conservation authorities and their staffs. Finally, FORCE wishes to thank the thousands of residents and other supporters who united together to present a common voice and a professional and substantive case.

"We think the company made the right decision today too," said Flint, recognizing new executive leadership at St Marys Cement. "We’ve clearly had our differences in the past, but appreciate the different approach to earning a social license to operate and hope to have discussions with the company about future alternative uses of the land."

We note that the agreement was negotiated between the Ontario government and St Marys Cement. That being said, it is important to stop the ‘money bleed’. With all due respect to lawyers, the money spent, and staff resources that have been directed to this issue at all levels of government, tribunals, and courts – federal, provincial, regional and local municipal governments, conservation authorities, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT), the Ontario Divisional and Superior Courts, the NAFTA tribunal - could be better spent on other priority areas.

"We can tell you as a community group, we have spent over one half a million dollars and were looking at hundreds of thousands to possibly millions more," Mr. Flint noted. "All parties – government, company, and community – will now be able to move forward and focus their resources positively on other priorities.

"We will do our homework and have a proper final celebration in the spring after we dot the ‘i’s" and cross the "t’s", concluded Flint. "It’s a nice way for our families to start the March Break."



Together We Will Succeed!