May 13, 2022
Canada’s Leading Ecologist Says Integrity of Mount Nemo Threatened by Quarry Proposal
One of Canada’s leading ecologists, Mr. Gord Miller, M.Sc., has added his voice to the group of experts calling for better protection of the sensitive ecological features surrounding the proposed Mount Nemo quarry site.
Conserving Our Rural Ecosystems of Burlington Inc. (“CORE Burlington”) has retained a team of experts to meet with the Joint Agency Review Team (“JART”) and provide further technical insight for their evaluation of Nelson Aggregate’s (“Nelson”) application.
In a report prepared for CORE Burlington, which peer reviewed the Natural Environment Technical Report (“NETR”) prepared for Nelson’s application, Mr. Miller unequivocally stated that more work needs to be done to protect Mount Nemo. According to Mr. Miller, the NETR is a “pro forma approach to an environmental impact analysis which ignores the most salient aspect of this land use proposal and its full potential environmental impact.”
Of the greatest concern to Mr. Miller, is the proposed western expansion area of the Burlington Quarry, which he says would “completely remove that ecological corridor” linking the northern and southern parts of the Mount Nemo plateau.
“This corridor is a critically important natural heritage feature of the Mount Nemo landscape the loss of which may severely impact the ecological integrity of the whole plateau. Recognition of the importance of this corridor calls into question the viability of the license expansion project. Consideration of the issue cannot be disregarded without a full analysis and sound rational science based argument” says Mr. Miller, in his peer review comments.
Nelson applied for extensions to the west and south of the Burlington Quarry near Mount Nemo in May, 2020. The proposed extensions would increase the size of the quarry by a total of 78 hectares, destroying what is now prime farmland and a golf course, and would increase the extraction limit to two million tonnes per year. Nelson’s application is currently with the JART for a review of the application’s technical details.
The threat of Nelson’s Burlington Quarry on the ecology of the area is not new to CORE Burlington or JART. A previous application by Nelson was denied by the Joint Board (the predecessor to the Ontario Land Tribunal) in 2012 due to the threat posed to the habitat of the endangered Jefferson Salamander, who have known breeding ponds along the boundary of the proposed site.
Sarah Harmer and Protecting Escarpment Rural Land (“PERL”) were opposed to the original application and are allied with CORE Burlington in advocating for the protection of the ecological biodiversity of the Mount Nemo plateau.
For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
David Donnelly, Donnelly Law, (416) 722-0220
Gord Pinard – Spokesperson, Conserving Our Rural Ecosystems of Burlington Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org