FERGUS – Michael Chong, Member of Parliament for Wellington-Halton Hills, yesterday visited the site of the proposed Highland Companies’ mega-quarry in Melancthon Township with the Honourable Peter Kent, federal Minister of the Environment, and David Tilson, Member of Parliament for Dufferin-Caledon.
“I’m pleased that Minister Kent had the opportunity to visit Melancthon and see first-hand the prime farmland, river systems and natural habitat for flora and fauna, that would be destroyed by this proposed mega-quarry,” said Chong.  “I’d like to thank the Minister for accepting our invitation to come and see the scale of this project.”
The Highland Companies have proposed a 2,300 acre mega-quarry, which if approved, would be the largest quarry in Canadian history.  The proposed mega-quarry, an open pit mine plunging nearly 200 feet deep, would require pumping 600 million litres of fresh water per day, in perpetuity, equal to the amount of water used daily by almost 20 percent of Ontarians. The headwaters of several major river systems are in the area, including the Grand River. The proposed mega-quarry would disrupt the water table and affect the nearby Nottawasaga and Grand River watersheds. The Grand River watershed provides drinking water for nearly one million Ontario residents.

In June 2011, Michael stood in the House of Commons to voice concern about the proposed mega-quarry, and called upon the government to conduct a federal environmental assessment.  He continues to work toward ensuring that the federal environmental assessment process is applied to this project.
Melancthon Township contains some of Ontario’s most productive farmland, and produces over half of the potatoes consumed in the Greater Toronto Area.  The Highland Companies are controlled by the Baupost Group, an American hedge fund based in Boston.

– 30 –