Our Meetings with MPP Parm Gill and Liberal Candidate, Sameera Ali
(for the riding of Milton and North Burlington, which includes Mt. Nemo)
In the Spring of 2022, CORE Burlington met with MPP Parm Gill, and then with Sameera Ali, Liberal Candidate for the Ontario Legislature. Our meeting with Mr. Gill was on March 15th, and with Ms. Ali on May 20th. We followed-up both meetings with almost identical emails (see below), confirming in writing the concerns that we had raised during these two meetings. We also provided both Mr. Gill and Ms. Ali with a list of 'tools' identified by CORE Burlington's environmental lawyer that could be utilized at the provincial governmental level to stop Nelson Aggregates' application for blasting new gravel pits on Mt. Nemo.
We asked both MPP Gill and Candidate Ali to respond in writing to our list of tools, and indicate which tools they supported.
We emailed our follow-up letter to Mr. Gill on April 8th. He responded on April 13th with what we felt was a generic response, with no affirmation of our specific concerns, or an acknowledgement of the tools we suggested. Not satisfied with this response, we emailed Mr. Gill again, on April 15th, reiterating that we had specific requests for his assistance. As of May 30th, we have not received a reply to our second email, from Mr. Gill.
We emailed our follow-up letter to Ms. Ali on May 20th. She responded on May 27th with this letter.
Excerpt from our follow-up email to MPP Parm Gill and Liberal Candidate, Sameera Ali
...As noted in our meeting: our community has been through this once before when Nelson Aggregates submitted an application back in 2004 to increase their mine on Mount Nemo. After an eight year battle, and an investment of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, hundreds of thousands of dollars of community donations, and thousands of volunteer hours expended opposing Nelson’s 2004 application, Nelson was unanimously denied a license to increase their mine, by the Joint Board in October 2012. We trusted the process and the process said an unequivocal “NO”. You can imagine how shocked and upset we were then when, a mere seven years later, in the fall of 2019, we learned that Nelson was going to put us through that same expensive and exhausting process yet again. I believe you will agree, that “NO should mean NO.”
Not only has the process let down the community, but the proposed application creates unnecessary risk to the community and natural environment by licensing increased gravel mining capacity in a province that is already grossly over-licensed relative to the demand. Across Ontario, there are more than 5,000 pits and quarries currently licensed, and in total, those operations are capable of producing 13 times the annual amount of gravel that Ontario utilizes per year.
Specifically, this quarry application:
Threatens human health from the negative impacts on Air Quality
Threatens people and property from Flyrock created by blasting
Threatens the Natural Environment by;
Permanently destroying Prime Agricultural Land
Destroying and interfering with Endangered Species habitat
Threatens Ground and Surface Water quality and quantity
Increases Road Safety risks associated with heavy truck traffic
Inadequately addresses Final Rehabilitation plans
It is time, after over 70 years of gravel mining, to stop the permanent destruction of the Mount Nemo plateau once and for all. We would like to confirm that, if elected, you will enact the appropriate provincial regulation(s), to protect the community and the natural environment. We are advised by our legal counsel that you and your government can use the following regulatory tools to stop this application:
Niagara Escarpment Plan Designation: The Province of Ontario, can initiate an NEP Amendment, adding to the already existing designations of NEP “Escarpment Natural Area” and “Escarpment Protection Area” on the Mount Nemo plateau, as was recommended by the Commission in the 2015 Plan Review under David Crombie; or
Regulation under the Greenbelt Plan policy: A change to the Greenbelt Plan policy could increase the quarry “no go” boundary to include Burlington, defining “settlement areas” to include the Mount Nemo hamlet and surrounding residential areas; or
ARA Regulation for Flyrock: The Province can amend O. Reg. 244/97 as follows: “28. A licensee or permittee shall be prohibited from blasting if a sensitive receptor, residential community, or road traffic is located within 500m”
Are you able to commit to any of these tools?
President – CORE Burlington