For Immediate Release: OCTOBER 11, 2022
Nelson Aggregates Abandons Public Review of Quarry Expansion on Mt. Nemo
Nelson’s abrupt exit comes after considerable public expense
Burlington--Nelson Aggregates filed notice of an appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) abruptly abandoning the unfinished government Joint Agency Review Team (JART) review of their application for expansion of the crushed rock quarry on Mount Nemo.
Halton Region, the City of Burlington, Conservation Halton, the Niagara Escarpment Commission, and residents, all identified, through JART, serious technical issues with the quarry expansion proposal, and are not yet satisfied with the responses from Nelson. Considerable time and public expense have been invested in JART, but Nelson clearly did not want to see the process through to the end. “It’s discouraging the applicant has chosen to appeal rather than continue to work through the multi-agency review process” said Marianne Meed Ward, Mayor of Burlington. “This severely limits the ability of the public to participate, unless they have significant resources to attend the tribunal as a party. This also takes decision-making out of the hands of locally elected officials, our staff, and the community and shifts it to a single, appointed tribunal member. It’s yet another example of why the Ontario Land Tribunal needs to be reformed and ultimately eliminated in favour of democratic, evidence-based decision-making, especially on matters such as these that would have permanent, lasting impacts on the rural community", added Meed Ward.
“Nelson should have finished the JART process and let the people’s representatives on Burlington Council and Halton Regional Council make a decision on the company’s second attempt to blow another massive hole in Mount Nemo”, said David Donnelly, lawyer to CORE Burlington/PERL.
“Once Nelson agreed to proceed with JART, the public had every right to expect the Nelson quarry application would be put forward at a public meeting and to a vote of Councils on the JART review of the proposed Official Plan amendments. Nelson has a right to trigger this appeal and waste government time and taxpayers’ money, just as Council has the right to ask the province to now shut it down. Nelson lost at the Ontario Joint Board in 2012 fair and square and now they have deliberately ‘short-circuited’ the JART public review process, by filing the appeal to the OLT.” Donnelly added.
“The proposal to expand the Nelson quarry is not worth the risks” said Sarah Harmer. “Let’s remember that a very similar proposal to expand the Mount Nemo quarry was rejected by the Ontario Joint Board in 2012. No quarry then should mean no quarry now. It is unfair that the community and the municipal governments must once again spend precious public resources protecting Burlington’s Mount Nemo and Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment. I encourage everyone who cares about safe drinking water, biodiversity loss and protecting farmland to tell their local candidate for the upcoming municipal election that it's time to protect Mount Nemo's ecological integrity and the health and safety of Burlington residents from Nelson Aggregates."
Nelson is applying for an approval of an extraction area of 50.4 ha, an area the size of 62 Canadian football fields, to allow the mining of 30 million tonnes of aggregate.
Information on how to talk with candidates for municipal Council about the proposed Nelson quarry expansion is available here.