Keep informed of our status by giving our latest newsletter a read. The closer we get to our day in court, it is so important for our community to feel united in our fight.
Democracy in action!
Do you remember a couple of months ago, when so many of us submitted our objections to the Ministry proposing updates to the Land Use Compatibility Guideline? The suggested changes would have removed the burden of proof from (for example) a quarry to demonstrate why it should be approved, and instead placed the onus (and expense) on the municipality to demonstrate why it should not.
We felt that if this burden of proof must fall to the municipality, then they should not be forced to pay to undertake the requisite studies for these applications. This could be financially catastrophic to a small municipality such as ours, in that it would clearly be easier and cheaper for the township to approve ill-advised development simply to save taxpayer dollars. Additionally, while much was discussed in the proposal about protecting Sensitive Land Use from noise, dust, etc., there would still have been an implicit grandfather aspect to automatically approve a major facility if it were near an already-approved major facility; i.e. prioritizing aggregate over our community. In our case, this would have made it easier for Fowler to have the proposed new quarry approved.
Great news: the MECP did not go forward in changing the Land Use Compatibility Guideline which would have been helpful to quarries, industry, etc. and bad for communities like ours. Evidently, there were over 500 comments, and as a result, "... the Ministry has decided not to move forward with this version..." See the full details of the proposal, the comments, and the decision here.
This is positive news as we are only 4 months away from our day in court. Let's hope the OLT similarly takes into consideration that communities should come before quarries.
The very comprehensive comment (below) written by Planner Mark Dorfman for Ramara Township to submit would have carried significant weight with the MECP. With an appreciation of his expertise and fact-based evidence, it was Dorfman's report on which we based our community's version.
Together, our voices were heard - thank you everyone for submitting a comment!
It all comes down to this:
Those of us who submitted objection letters three years ago would have received this correspondence today from the Ministry of the Attorney General, providing us with the specific dates, and video conference link to our proverbial day in court.
This is the big LPAT hearing (now known as the OLT, or Ontario Land Tribunal), toward which we have been working so hard!
For those that did not receive it, the PDF is below, and includes dates, times, and the online meeting link. We hope everyone will attend for a front-row seat to witness the culmination of our efforts: the research, the awareness-raising, the networking, the letter-writing, the government-lobbying, the fundraising, etc., all to protect the health and safety of this community, our environment, and our water.
Day one of the hearing will be Tuesday, February 21, 2022 at 10am, and is expected to last 25 days. We hope that you can join to observe the online meeting for as much time as you can spare, as it would be so important for the OLT to see that there is a community behind the objections, and decide in our favour.
Unless you are seeking party status (names of all parties are listed on p. 9 of the attachment), you do not need to respond to them or register. RLA is representing our community jointly with Ramara Township - we just need you to watch and (silently) cheer us on!
So mark your calendars, and stay tuned for updates on this page, in our Facebook group, and via email.
As we enter the home stretch, we thank you for your continued support. We are all in this together!
July 15th, 2021 @10am
Our last online Case Management Conference before the Ontario Land Tribunal hearing has just been announced. It is right around the corner, on Thursday July 15th, 2021, at 10am.
Please join us for a front-row seat to the discussion pertaining to our day in court (5 weeks actually), set to commence February 21st, 2022. Key players in attendance will be lawyers for all parties and objectors, members of Ramara Council, and township staff.
Your presence will demonstrate to the OLT (formerly known as LPAT) that none of our neighbours want a quarry in the middle of our community for an additional 76 years, twice the size as the current quarry, 22m closer to Rama Road, and 15m deeper into the water table.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Hot off the press! Please take a moment to read our latest newsletter as an update to our challenge. This also serves as a chance to connect with everyone in the community, because it is so hard to do that these days!
This notice was updated on March 31, 2021 to advise the public that there has been no change to the status of the proposal and it is still being considered. No additional opportunity for comment is being provided for at this time.
This notice was updated on October 29, 2020 to advise the public that there has been no change to the status of the proposal and it is still being considered. No additional opportunity for comment is being provided for at this time.
Letter from the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal
Due to impacts of COVID-19, we recently received correspondence from the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal regarding the operational changes the Tribunal will implement pursuant to the Government of Ontario’s Emergency Order, dated March 20, 2020.
Please note that while the LPAT hearing will be on hold, Ramara Legacy Alliance will not be. There is plenty to be done in the coming months to prepare for the hearing.
There is more than one way to stop a quarry
Ramara Legacy Alliance is proud to lend our increasingly loud voice to Ontario Nature, who has invited us to join their army of 96 esteemed organizations in a letter to Minister Steve Clark, copying the Minister of Finance, and the MNRF. Check out our logo on the last page, among the other heavy-hitting environmental organizations! The 2-page letter succinctly reminds the provincial government of its duty to protect Provincially Significant Wetlands.
In response to peer reviews, the ecologists behind Fowler's Natural Environment Report state:
"All wetlands on the subject property have been treated as if they were identified as Provincially Significant and protected as such."
Here is the most recent version of Fowler's site plans for the proposed new quarry. You might need your reading glasses for this - talk about fine print.