Local Press Releases


John Milloy is the Only Barrier to Local Input on Aggregate Review

May 16, 2012

KITCHENER — With public hearings on the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) wrapping up today, Michael Harris is calling on Kitchener-Centre MPP and Liberal House Leader John Milloy to put people ahead of politics.

“On May 9th the Committee conducting the ARA review passed a motion asking the PC, NDP and Liberal House Leaders to authorize additional hearing dates and locations across the province including here in Waterloo Region,” said Harris. “Unfortunately, John Milloy and the Liberals are playing politics with the aggregate review and have failed to commit to supporting additional consultations.”

As the Liberal House Leader, if John Milloy doesn’t support additional hearing dates and locations, the public consultation process will end at 6pm today.

During the recent election, as the Liberal candidate, John Milloy stated in the September 22nd edition of the Kitchener Citizen that he has, “built solid ties with a wide cross section of our community and has been a strong voice for Waterloo Region at Queen’s Park.”

“Mr. Milloy’s failure to endorse the Standing Committee’s request to extend hearings and add local consultations means that he’s taking away Waterloo Region’s voice,” said Harris. “Based on the number of current and future aggregate applications in our communities, local residents and stakeholders expect their MPPs to put their interests ahead of political gamesmanship.”

While the Liberal House Leader remains silent, the Liberal party’s rhetoric machine is working over-time. In fact, as recently as May 9th Liberal party websites were stating that, “Ontario Liberals are listening to community concerns regarding the mining of aggregates inOntario and will act on those concerns.”

“Today I’m calling on John Milloy and the McGuinty Liberals to set aside the rhetoric and work with the NDP and PC House Leaders to authorize the Committee to do its work,” Harris said. “This review must be a priority for all MPPs in Waterloo Region – not just Progressive Conservative ones.”

BACKGROUND

Aggregate Resources Act Review timeline:

May 162012 – PC Natural Resources Critic and Standing Committee member MPP Laurie Scott again put forward another motion to extend public hearings and conduct consultations across the province. The motion read:

Whereas the Government and the Minister called for a legislative review of the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA);

Whereas stakeholder and public interest in the legislative review is high;

Whereas the Standing Committee on General Government (herein “the Committee) has had overwhelming response vis-à-vis interested parties in wanting to present and speak before the committee;

Whereas it is essential that any legislative review of the ARA needs to include holding public hearings and conducting investigations and studies in communities that actually produce and/or process aggregates or aggregate by-products;

That the Committee inform the Government House Leader that the Committee wishes to extend the number of days of public hearings for the legislative review of the ARA in Toronto and from place to place in Ontario to hold meetings and hearings and investigations once the House Rises.

May 16, 2011 – As of 6pm today all public hearings will be completed even though the majority of over 80 applications received for delegate status were declined. The status of the requests and the future of public hearings remains in limbo pending the Liberal House Leader supporting the May 9th Committee resolution supported by both the NDP and PC Caucuses.

May 9, 2012 – The Standing Committee tasked with the review of the Aggregate Resources Act passes a PC motion to extend public hearings and conduct consultations across the province.  The motion read:

That the Standing Committee on General Government (herein “the Committee) extend the number of days and hours of its public hearings for the Aggregate Resources Act and that the Committee undertake the following:

1.    Seek the authorization from each of the House Leaders of the recognized parties in the House to permit that the Committee be able to sit so as to hold public hearings and investigations after the House rises during the month of June, and that it be able to sit as many days as the Committee deems necessary to hear from the public and concerned stakeholders; and,

2.    Seek the authorization from each of the House Leaders of the recognized parties so that the Committee may be able to travel from place to place in Ontario for the purposes of holding the aforementioned public hearings and that such locations in Ontario, include but not be limited to: Windsor, London, Region of Waterloo, Brampton, Barrie, Durham County, Peterborough, Ottawa, Sudbury, Sault Saint Marie and, Dryden; and that other locations be agreed upon by the sub-committee as necessary, with particular consideration being given for the regions of the Province of Ontario whereby the communities are impacted by the Act; and,

3.    That during the aforementioned hearings that the committee, in addition to holding public hearings also be able undertake to visit and tour various aggregate resource facilities, processing centres and/or quarries that are: in current operation; and/or are proposed to be in operation; and/or are no longer in operation; and/or facilities that have been “rehabilitated”.

May 7, 2012 – First meeting of the Standing Committee reviewing the Aggregate Resources Act meets and begins hearing from interested parties as part of the review. Based on the timeline for public consultations, the only public notice in province-wide newspapers appears.

May 4, 2012 – In preparation for the first meeting of the Standing Committee on General Government, a Sub-Committee met to determine the way forward on the review. During this meeting it was determined that only four dates for public hearings, all in Toronto, would take place on May 7th and 14th from 2pm to 6pm and May 9th and May 16th from 4pm to 6pm.

March 22, 2012 – The review of the Aggregate Resources Act receives all-party support in the Legislature. The review will be conducted by the Standing Committee on General Government.

December 6, 2011 – MPP Michael Harris submits a formal request to the Minister of Natural Resources asking for specific details on this review.

September 20, 2011 – Just 17 days before the provincial election, the Liberals announce as part of their seat-saver program a review of the Aggregate Resources Act. No details on when the review would take place, what would be reviewed or the impact of the review on existing applications was provided.