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Friday, May 24, 2024

Trent Lakes rejects moratorium request

BY MARNIE CLEMENT

Trent Lakes Council did not pass a Notice of Motion this week calling on the Ontario government to put an immediate temporary moratorium on all new gravel mining applications.

The motion was introduced by Councillor Peter Franzen.  It asked that the government consult with First Nations, affected communities independent experts and scientists to chart a new path forward for gravel mining in Ontario.

Councillor Franzen said that 40 or 50 other Ontario municipalities have already passed the motion and that a report from the Office of the Auditor General concluded that the province does not have effective systems and processes in place to ensure compliance with the Aggregate Resources Act.

“I think this helps us protect our environment,” Franzen said.

Deputy Mayor Carol Armstrong said that although the motion has merit she was not going to support it because Dewdney Mountain Farms currently has a complaint against Trent Lakes before the Superior Court of Ontario and they are asking for $15 million.

In December 2022, Trent Lakes council turned down the quarry’s application to use Quarry and Ledge Roads as a haul route after the municipality found out that a portion of the route is privately owned and the quarry did not have permission to use it.

“The allegation is this council is anti-quarry,” she said.  “My concern is that passing this we will put ourselves at greater risk of losing that case.”

Mayor Terry Lambshead said this was a great motion but it could financially jeopardize Trent Lakes ratepayers.