MHCA presses on to improve pit and quarry application process
May 30, 2018 – The provincial government has made good headway on resolving issues around applications to open pits and quarries and can support those gains by forming a minister’s advisory committee, MHCA president Chris Lorenc says.
The province has introduced its Planning Act Amendment Act, some key sections of which would make for fairer and more predictable rules around how municipalities now consider pit and quarry applications. Bill 19 proposes to introduce a mandatory technical review of applications, to ensure they meet the technical requirements of environmental and land-use rules and regulations.
Further, it would give the applicant a right of appeal where a proposal is rejected by a municipal council in a conditional-use application.
“We think the proposed amendments are a real improvement on the current process and procedures followed by municipalities,” Lorenc stressed. “Now, to ensure industry and municipalities can resolve or attend to concerns and issues as they crop up, we need the province to establish a permanent minister’s advisory committee, for ongoing oversight.”
That committee, composed of representatives from government, the heavy construction industry and municipalities, would flag any developing issues for the minister of Municipal Relations and the various departments engaged in the protection or development of mineral resources, including aggregates.
The MHCA recently wrote to Municipal Relations Minister Jeff Wharton, thanking him for the hard work on Bill 19, still before the legislature, and encouraging the formation of the minister’s committee as the next step.