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Oxford Coalition

Dear Ms. Nheiley,
I’m writing to officially declare the opposition of the Oxford Coalition for Social Justice to the application from Nelson Aggregate to blast two new open-pit mines in Burlington’s escarpment.

As its name implies, the Coalition is located in Oxford County, the location of over 70 pits and quarries, active, dormant and abandoned. As its names also implies, the Coalition seeks social justice, and so is opposed to the threat to the quality of life and of the environment which quarrying represents to the Escarpment, an UNESCO World Biosphere site.

The risks from aggregate extraction are too great to:

  • sacrifice the natural environment in north Burlington, including wildlife, streams and woodlands, or  to justify a loss of resilience in nature and in humans.

  • threaten ground and surface water as well as the wetlands whose filtering capacity is well known.

  • allow the noise, dust and fine particulate matter which have significant human health impacts, the last of these clearly noted by Dr. Ray Copes, formerly of Public Health – Ontario and now at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School, which can result from the inbound and outbound truck trips, the running of equipment on site, as well as blasting.

  • permit the possibility of potentially contaminated fill being added to Nelson Aggregate’s current quarry site and the threatening impact this could have on the future safety of well water.

  • consider the permanent destruction of 124 additional acres of prime farmland and green space in our increasingly urban GTHA.

  • Calculate  the promise of a distant, future park in the current quarry site to offset the destruction of these precious open lands in Burlington’s backyard when the aggregate industry has a long history of applying for and receiving amendments to their site plans after decades of what they call interim use.

In Oxford, faced with an existential threat, an unwarranted land use which would replace the rehabilitation plan of a quarry with a dump for 17.4 million tonnes of trash, elected representatives in the Town of Ingersoll took a stand. I hope that yours will too.

In solidarity,

Bryan Smith
The Oxford Coalition for Social Justice
c/o 70 Glenn Avenue N. Sweaburg
RR#1, Woodstock, ON
N4S 7V6

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