Petition opposing project garners over 5,000 signatures
NEWS Oct 01, 2019 by Bambang Sadewo Milton Canadian Champion
Former councillor Cindy Lunau addressed concerned residents during the public meeting against the proposed Campbellville quarry on Wednesday, Sept. 25. - Bambang Sadewo/Torstar
Out of sight, but hopefully not out of mind.
Hoping to engage more urban Miltonians on the far-reaching impact of the proposed quarry in Campbellville, ACTION Milton, an organization that has been galvanizing support to stop the proposal, held their latest public meeting at Milton Sports Centre on Sept. 25.
“You should be concerned about the quarry even though it's six or seven kilometres away,” said Gary Williams, a hydrogeologist and one of the group's technical committee members, on how the quarry “on top of the escarpment” might affect water quality across town.
James Dick Construction Limited (JDCL) filed an application last year to operate a pit and quarry and an asphalt reprocessing plant — with a plan to extract 990,000 tonnes of aggregate per year by underwater blasting.
The blasting could see contaminants make their way through groundwater and eventually into Kelso well, a drinking water source for roughly 25,000 Miltonians.
Coun. Kristina Tesser Derksen reminded attendees of the boil water advisory in 2018, which left residents and businesses in some parts of town without running water for a couple of days.
“Imagine that being extended over weeks or even months,” Derksen said.
As part of the Joint Agency Review Team process, she said Town staff has submitted a 29-page comments to JDCL, which highlight how the company has failed to adequately address the impact of the quarry on the environment, community and the lives of people in the area.
Other concerns include potential physical hazards such as dust and flying rock, as well as congestion due to increased truck traffic on local roads and Highway 401, diminished property value, and more.
The meeting was attended by representation from all four levels of government — which Mayor Gord Krantz noted was quite a feat in itself.
“Where do you usually get four levels of government opposing anything?” he said, adding that they all support the group’s stance against the application.
Coun. Colin Best said that it’s not just politicians and people from Milton who are concerned, but also those in Halton Hills, Oakville and Burlington — referring to the motion that passed unanimously in the Halton Region council to oppose the quarry.
“Over the last 30 years, we’ve had about six quarry applications. Only one has been approved,” he added, commending everyone who comes to the meetings to raise questions and objections.
This was also evident in a petition — collected by ACTION Milton — that has garnered 5,200 signatures against the proposed Campbellville quarry.
“These signatures signify a request, not just an objection, but a request to stop this quarry,” said George Minakakis, chair of ACTION, as he handed the stack of documents over to MPP Parm Gill.
Gill, who requested the minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks to conduct an Environmental Assessment of the site back in July, promised to “introduce this in legislature” and send a copy to the minister and also to Premier Doug Ford.
On the Environmental Assessment request, he said Minister Jeff Yurek “has responded officially” and that the ministry has taken the necessary steps toward what could hopefully lead to the review.
At the same time, Gill said the provincial government has the responsibility to be respectful to the quarry application process, noting that JDCL has up till Aug. 2 of next year to fulfil or satisfy some of the objections that have been raised.
Still, he feels “fairly confident” the community will ultimately get the results they’re looking for.
Also showing support at the meeting was MP Lisa Raitt, who said she continues to “amplify the voices on this issue” by raising people's concerns in interviews with various media.
To help with the fight against the quarry, ACTION Milton plans to hold fundraiser with a silent auction and garage sale on Sunday, Oct. 27 at Country Heritage Park (Gambrel Barn), 8560 Tremaine Rd., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, visit www.ACTIONmilton.ca.