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Mayors get ‘fairly non-committal’ response to aggregate concerns

Mayors of Springwater, Tiny and Tay, along with Midland and Penetanguishene, submitted letter to province explaining five concerns toward proposed policy amendments
Teedon Pit entrance at 40 Darby Rd. in Tiny, as seen in this 2021 photo.

Tiny Mayor David Evans says north Simcoe municipalities have no plans to abandon their hopes for better water protection when it comes to aggregates.

“I know this is an ongoing issue, the control of aggregate extraction and the impact that it has on our water in North Simcoe,” said Tiny Mayor Dave Evans at a recent committee of the whole meeting.

He spoke in response to a late-January return correspondence to the five municipalities from Natural Resources and Forestry Minister Graydon Smith, who assured the group that their comments were being considered regarding the Environmental Registry of Ontario post, adding that ministry staff will continue to review received feedback.

Evans urged interested residents to look at the ministry response included in the meeting agenda.

“The letter itself, you’ll see, is fairly non-committal at best,” he noted.

“We are still following (and) monitoring this issue,” Evans reinforced. “We meet four times a year and it’s always on our agenda, so it’s something that we’ll continue to push, and make sure that (we will) minimize any impacts that it may have on our water moving forward.”

Water remains one of the main priorities of Tiny Township, just one of five North Simcoe municipalities who penned a joint open letter of concern to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry changes to aggregate policy last year.

Prior to a mid-year deadline for comments on the changes to the Aggregate Resources Act, the mayors of Tiny, Tay and Springwater townships along with Midland and Penetanguishene submitted a letter explaining their five concerns toward proposed policy amendments.

In the letter, the joint mayors wrote: “We believe that the expansion of self-filing activities and the new policy on amendments to existing aggregate approvals may have significant implications for various aspects that we hold dear.”

Those concerns included hydro-geological protections and management of the local “exceptional groundwater resources”, the impact of increased truck traffic and that toll on infrastructure, noise issues, monitoring and enforcement of site operations, and impacts to natural heritage features and ecology.

In August, Tiny council directed staff to prepare a report for a future meeting which explored the implications of the legislative changes regarding changing of approvals under the Aggregate Resources Act and supporting policy.

Archives of council meetings are available to view on Tiny Township’s YouTube channel.

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Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Derek Howard covers Midland and Penetanguishene area civic issues under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada.
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