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Ontario Divisional Court Rules Against St Marys Cement for Permit to Take Water

The arrival of September signals the end of summer is near and heralds the return to fall routines. So it is, not only for our daily lives, but also for our Community’s ongoing efforts to stop the proposed St Marys Cement quarry.

On August 20, 2012, the Ontario Divisional Court released a decision dismissing St Marys Cement’s appeal. The decision relates to the Court’s June 29, 2012 hearing where St Marys Cement was seeking to overturn the January 2012 decision by the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT). The ERT had concurred with the Ministry of the Environment decision to deny a Permit to Take Water (PTTW) to the company while the proposed site is subject to a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) which precludes quarrying. The Court did not agree with St Marys Cement’s challenge to the ERT’s interpretation of the Planning Act. The Court found that the site is not permittable.

This is great news! Our Community’s legal team ably represented us and articulated logical and compelling arguments. Our Community’s investment paid off – when we help to control our destiny through strategic and substantive engagement, we bring our institutional knowledge of the case and community perspective to the table, and we prevail.

Not surprisingly, however, on September 4, 2012, St Marys Cement served a Notice of Motion for Leave to Appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal to challenge the Divisional Court’s decision. This action is disappointing and frustrating to all of us. We have to wonder, even in our democratic society, how many times the company can appeal before "No means No".

Other legal proceedings are set to dominate the fall calendar, as well:

  1. Preliminary motions will begin before the Ontario Divisional Court regarding the challenge that St Marys Cement is pursuing with respect to the MZO and the Declaration of Provincial Interest (DPI).
  2. We also understand that preliminary process steps are moving forward related to St Marys Cement’s NAFTA filings.

The bottom line is that our Community’s substantive arguments are prevailing, but our victories remain under attack and need to be defended. We must continue to be prepared and ensure that we have the financial, legal and technical resources available to engage in the forums where we can make a difference.



Together We Will Succeed!