Take action to protect the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Park

We need you to speak out against a controversial quarry that could threaten vital habitat, wildlife species and groundwater!  The deadline for comments is this Thursday, July 23rd.

A proposed granite quarry, if approved, will operate just outside of the boundary of Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Park, Ontario's second largest park south of Algonquin.  This park is one of the most diverse and least disturbed natural areas found in Central Ontario, containing more than 50 landform vegetation patterns.

Giofam Investments Inc. is proposing to mine 200,000 tonnes of granite annually, and will require a “Permit to Take Water of 8.1 million litres/day”.  The impact that this industrial activity will have on wildlife corridors will be devastating, and this tremendous water taking will have severe consequences on both water quality and quantity in the region.

Our provincial government has made a commitment to improve biodiversity and to protect source water and groundwater; destroying contiguous wetlands and forest habitats that are dependent on groundwater sources contravenes several promises and objectives that have been clearly outlined by the Liberals.

We need your voice to help convince the Ministry of Natural Resources that this quarry license should be denied!


Please see our template letter below.  You can copy and paste the template to form your own submission - please change the letter to reflect your own personal views as this will have a greater impact with the decision makers.  To read the posting on the EBR or to submit your comments on-line through their website, please click here.  Remember that the government, by law, has to consider each comment submitted through the EBR - this is a valuable tool for voicing concerns about environmental values!  Take action by this Thursday, July 23rd.

Contact Earthroots' Senior Campaigner, Josh Garfinkel, if you have any questions or require further information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 416-599-0152 x15

 

Paul Cutmore
Aggregate Inspector
Ministry of Natural Resources
Field Services Division
Southern Region
Peterborough District Office
300 Water Street - Floor 1
PO Box 7000 - South Tower
Peterborough, Ontario
K9J 8M5
Phone: (705) 755-3110
Fax: (705) 755-3125

Dear Mr. Cutmore,

Re: EBR Registry Number 010-6875

As a citizen of Ontario, I feel privileged to reside in a province that holds such a diverse and extensive network of parks and conservation reserves, accounting for nearly 10% of the land base.  Despite this network of protected areas, our province is still home to roughly 1/3 of the country’s species at risk, and biodiversity loss is taking place at an alarming rate.  The significant decline in wildlife habitat as well as the threats to intact wilderness and biodiversity, have meant there is an even greater urgency to enact stronger protection for our protected areas - spaces which are supposed to act as refuges for wildlife, and in particular, for species that are facing extinction.

I am strongly opposed to industrial activities that threaten Ontario's protected areas and do not support the creation of a crushed granite quarry just outside of the boundary of Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Park, Ontario's second largest park south of Algonquin.  Allowing a massive mining operation within five hundred metres of a unique and sensitive ecosystem will cause irreparable damage to the scenic beauty, uncontaminated lakes, and the abundance of wildlife that exist within and around its boundaries.  This park is one of the most diverse and least disturbed natural areas found in Central Ontario, containing more than 50 landform vegetation patterns.  

Quarries and open pit mines are very destructive: all the soil, plants and trees found in the extraction area are removed, the temperature and chemistry of surrounding streams are altered, natural habitat is eradicated.  There is a high probability of endangered species and species at risk in this region therefore protecting biodiversity as well as maintaining natural corridors and connectivity is very important.  The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) should be doing everything in its power to protect all the natural attributes of this area, instead of considering industrial activities that will threaten them.  

Giofam Investment Inc.'s proposal calls for mining 200,000 tonnes of granite annually will require a “Permit to Take Water of 8.1 million litres/day”. The impact that this tremendous water taking will have on both water quality and quantity will be devastating.  Groundwater is the only source of potable water for all of the homes, neighbouring farms and businesses in the area, making this proposed mining operation a public health risk.  Giofam currently plans to monitor wells within a one kilometre radius of the quarry.  This means that as few as three properties may have their wells tested annually - this is not adequate.  If water quality and quantity are to be sufficiently monitored, the well monitoring needs to be carried out in at least a three kilometre radius.

Water produced from dewatering the open pits will be fed into nearby watercourses, which will then flow into the Cranberry and Head River watersheds.  If granted, Giofam's Permit to Take Water will be equivalent to the average consumption of approximately 10,000 households (based on Environment Canada’s published per capita residential consumption in Ontario of 260 litres per day, three persons per household).  In addition to the risks of pulling millions of litres of water out of the ground, discharging this amount of water into the Cranberry River poses a huge threat to the vital watershed, as much as doubling the flow rate during low flow periods in the summer.

The new Clean Water Act ensures protection for our drinking water at its primary source and promises to prevent problems before they occur.  If something transpires, there is no ‘Plan B’ for our drinking water; protection of our water resources is priority and law; therefore it must take precedence over a proposed quarry.

The impacts on local residents as well as the integrity of farms and surrounding communities cannot be overlooked.  Blasting, dust, noise, vibrations, lights, truck traffic, fuelling and maintenance will have a profoundly negative effect on the environment.  Furthermore, in the early stages of site development, granite will be moved to an Uxbridge quarry site for crushing into gravel; granite dust contains silica, a designated hazardous material, adding another risk to this already unhealthy and unsustainable operation.

The MNR must stop issuing below-ground water permits to the aggregate industry, and Ontario must reduce its demand for new aggregate.  We must not forget why we have provincial parks in the first place - they meet a number of objectives:  protection, heritage appreciation, recreation, and tourism.  If quarries are permitted right beside our parks, these values will certainly be compromised.  An area so important as Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Park should not be classified as “protected” if a massive quarry is allowed on the outskirts of its boundaries, destroying contiguous wetlands and forest habitats.

It is imperative that you deny this quarry licence.  Approval of this proposal will critically affect public health and the quality of the natural environment.

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this process.

Sincerely,