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CORE Burlington Delegation To the City of Burlington, Public Meeting—Sept,18.2023


From Gord Pinard, President:


Good evening Chair and Members of the Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility Committee - Thank you for providing this opportunity to share our concerns with you about the Nelson Aggregate expansion application.

  • My name is Gord Pinard and I am here on behalf of CORE Burlington, a local volunteer organization, with over 1200 active supporters who share concerns about the proposed Nelson quarry expansion.

  • You can see from the participation here tonight the extensive community opposition to this expansion application.


Despite the 2004 expansion application from Nelson, that was unanimously rejected by the Joint Board in 2012, here we are again with another application for the Burlington quarry, that creates unnecessary risk to our community and the natural environment.  We must collectively fight hard to stop this permanent destruction of Burlington’s greenspace.


CORE Burlington, with the assistance of our expert consultants, has identified 6 key areas of concern:

  • We are concerned about Air Quality and the flawed and overly optimistic assumptions that lead to an under prediction of the impact on the local community.

  • We are concerned about the risk of Flyrock associated with blasting because of incorrect modelling that ignores the safety factors designed to protect the community.

  • We are concerned about the impact of the Transport Trucks and Heavy Haul Trucks using our rural roads creating an unreasonable risk for the pedestrians, cyclists and motorists that use these roads every day.

  • We are concerned about the Natural Environment and the improperly scoped impact assessment of lands adjacent to natural heritage features which need a much more comprehensive ecological assessment.

  • We are concern about the oversimplified approach used to assess the expansion impacts on local Ground and Surface Water which creates a threat for those who rely on this source of water

  • And we are concerned about the Final Rehabilitation plans that are based on nothing more than a conceptual drawing involving perpetual dewatering and the importation of ~200,000 truckloads of inadequately tested waste construction fill


In addition to the specific concerns identified by CORE Burlington, the JART has identified a long list of issues, across 16 different categories with over 600 issues that remain unresolved and echoing many of the CORE Burlington concerns.

  • Rather than working to resolve these very real issues with the local authorities and their experts, Nelson chose to prematurely abandon the process, that they agreed to up front, and initiate the OLT process, presumably expecting to be held to a lower standard and a more expeditious decision.  

  • We cant allow the hard work of the JART and the community to be wasted and must ensure the OLT process holds Nelson to the same high standard that local authorities set for this application review.


Unlike many other communities that are facing a quarry application, we have the unique opportunity to see the future for Burlington.  

  • We have over 70 years of experience with the Nelson quarry in our community and they plan to integrate the current operation with the two new mine sites in the application.  

  • The existing crushing, screening, storage, loading, unloading, trucking and asphalt production will continue exactly as they operate today.  In fact the only material change to the current operation is the blasting activity will move closer to the community and the production rate will increase.  

  • The issues we experience today will exist with the expanded operation, in fact they will get worse, as they have bigger and more frequent blasts, more truck movements and pump more water.

  • We can’t rely on the modelling from the application, that experts agree have numerous flaws that make the conclusions in the application reports questionable, and why do we need to, we have lots of real life operating data to guide us – just ask your constituents

    • Loss of and contamination of well water, flyrock near misses, toxic dust clouds, excessive importation of waste construction fill, foundation damage, truck safety infractions and the list goes on . . . 


Nelson Aggregate has proven itself to be an operator and neighbour that is not concerned for our community’s safety and well-being – they continue to tell us they are one of the most heavily regulated industries in the province and the community can rely on that regulation for protection.

  • Those who have registered complaints with Nelson would beg to differ.

  • In fact, CORE Burlington filed an official complaint with Nelson, the MNRF, and the MECP in June of 2022 for the release of a toxic dust cloud during a routine blast.

    • The follow-up by Nelson and the regulators was inadequate and no material changes to the community impact were realized.

    • There were no consequences for Nelson and an incomplete response to the community

    • We have a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding between the MNRF and the MECP, that clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities and the process to be followed in response to an event of this type – despite multiple follow-ups, the prescribed process was not followed.

    • The expectation of regulatory compliance by Nelson and enforcement by regulators is not something we can count on and is not an effective protection for the community.

    • This lack of regulatory accountability was not acceptable in the past and certainly not acceptable in the future.  Nelson’s historical non-compliant operation clearly demonstrates they must not be trusted with another operating license.


The City of Burlington promised a decision on this application based on a proper evaluation of the facts, including the JART technical review – an approach fully supported by the community.  We have patiently waited and supported Council through the process.

  • Now the science has spoken and it is clear that approval of this quarry expansion application would expose our whole community to heightened and unnecessary risks 

  • This is a fight for a healthy and safe future for us, our children and our grandchildren


I have here a petition, signed by 1,377 community members from Burlington and the surrounding area who oppose the Nelson Aggregate expansion application, with the following specific requests of Burlington City Council:

  • Oppose the application by Nelson Aggregates for an expansion of its gravel mine on Mout Nemo.

  • Designate sufficient resources to ensure funding for staff and external experts for full and comprehensive participation in the Ontario Land Tribunal hearing.

  • Explore all feasible options to prevent expansion of the Nelson Aggregate’s Mount Nemo quarry, including permanent protection of the natural heritage features, functions and species, especially the endangerd species and their habitats on the Mount Nemo plateau.


We trusted you to make your decision based on facts/science – Well, the facts are in and they are irrefutable 

  • We need our elected officials to fight for the future of Burlington and vote to oppose the Nelson expansion application 

  • And we implore you to make the right decision by taking a leadership position at the OLT, to say NO to the Nelson Aggregate expansion application. 


Thank you for your time tonight!

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