OSSGA welcomes report on ARA review
October 31, 2013, Mississauga, Ont. — The Ontario Stone, Sand &
Gravel Association (OSSGA) welcomed the Report on the Review of the
Aggregate Resources Act that was tabled in the Ontario Legislature on
October 30th after a lengthy review process by the legislature’s
Standing Committee on General Government.
October 31, 2013, Mississauga, Ont. — The Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (OSSGA) welcomed the Report on the Review of the Aggregate Resources Act that was tabled in the Ontario Legislature on October 30th after a lengthy review process by the legislature’s Standing Committee on General Government.
“The report recognizes the critical role that Ontario’s aggregate resources play in building the transportation and community infrastructure that sustains our way of life in Ontario – especially as the GTHA continues to grow,” said OSSGA CEO Moreen Miller. “It also balances a number of complex land-use planning and related issues with the reality that geography has pre-determined the location of this limited, non-renewable aggregate resource.”
Miller, who made a deputation before the legislative committee during its review of the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) emphasized OSSGA’s continued willingness to work with the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ontario Government as it addresses topics raised by the report and implements recommendations. “We have a strong track record as a trusted partner because we want to be a part of the solution,” said Miller.
Miller pointed to work already being done by a group of mayors from the Top Aggregate Producing Municipalities of Ontario (TAPMO) and OSSGA members on the aggregate levy – an issue that the report raises.
The report also delves into licensing procedures, public engagement, promoting recycled aggregates and a host of transportation issues. Miller said it’s too soon for OSSGA to have formulated a position on each of the 38 recommendations contained in the report. However, OSSGA is keen to work with the Ministry of Transportation on the transportation issues detailed in the report, including the future potential of alternate transportation of aggregate via ship and rail.
According to Miller, the report’s acknowledgment of the interface between aggregate operations and agricultural lands is a step forward. “We’re pleased to see that rehabilitation of land back to agriculture following aggregate extraction is referenced in the report. We must continue to dialogue with farmers about how we can do a better job of managing areas in rural Ontario where agriculture and aggregate operations co-exist.”
The Standing Committee on General Government commenced its review of the ARA in March 2012 and held public hearings in Toronto, Orangeville, Kitchener, Kanata and Sudbury, Ontario. The committee also toured 12 operating and rehabilitated aggregate sites throughout the province. While the committee’s work was halted when the Legislature was prorogued in October 2012, the review was reconvened in April 2013 culminating in the report.
The last major revisions to the ARA were made in 1997.