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Struggling for Aggregates

ASGA AGM addresses important provincial issues.


February 12, 2014
By Rock to Road

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Some rural municipalities in Alberta are having difficulties acquiring aggregates for important community infrastructure.

Some rural municipalities in Alberta are having difficulties acquiring aggregates for important community infrastructure.

Deputy Minister of Alberta Transportation  
Deputy Minister of Alberta Transportation Rob Penny provided the keynote speech at the Alberta Sand & Gravel Association AGM in Edmonton.


 

It is the reality for small towns across the province. There isn’t access to aggregate resources in the area, and the province hasn’t put a plan in place to make sure some communities don’t go without. 

At the Alberta Sand and Gravel Association AGM in Edmonton, Mike Poscente spoke about the work being done to make sure all Alberta communities have access to rock, sand and gravel. The Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties worked with Poscente and his team at CPP Environmental Corp have produced a report called Got Gravel? that looks at strategies to secure gravel for rural municipalities.

Alberta does not have public land planning strategies in place to manage gravel allocation in spite of the fact that there are gravel assets managed on public lands. Existing plans only clarify where gravel extraction can occur. As a result, municipalities can struggle to obtain the resources they need.

The AAMDC report makes five recommendations to better structure provincial resources to ensure that no communities go without. In essence, the report suggests that more work needs to be done and the municipal and provincial level to better identify need and to use that information as part of a smarter process for determining allocating of gravel resources on public land.

There are several policy shifts that are either in the works, or recently implemented, that dominated the agenda for the two-day event. ASGA’s members have been busy with changes to OHS policy and compliance, First Nations consultation practices, wetlands policy. Each issue was discussed at length with a series of interactive discussions involving government officials and consultants.

The keynote presentation for the AGM was Rob Penny, Deputy Minister of Alberta Transportation. In his keynote presentation, Penny discussed some of the challenges facing the industry in Alberta such as health and safety policies involving silica and changing policies around Water Act applications.

Penny was also quick to thank the industry for all of its hard work in providing valuable aggregate resources in a timely manner for Alberta’s growing infrastructure projects. He also took time out to commend the contractors in attendance that were involved in providing immediate resources for the many infrastructure projects that took priority in the days and weeks following the floods in southern Alberta in June.

ASGA’s new President
There was also a change at the top of ASGA. Brock Helm of Mixcor Aggregates Inc. stepped down as President of the Association and was replaced by Travis Coates. Coates has been with Lafarge Canada for nine years and currently works as a WCAN Reserve and Mining Engineer.

The two-day ASGA AGM attracted over 200 industry professionals from across Alberta.

For more information about the speakers and presentations involved in the event, visit www.asga.ab.ca .

RTR Editor speaks at ASGA AGM
Rock to Road Editor Andrew Macklin also presented at the Alberta Sand and Gravel Association AGM. Macklin’s presentation, Educating Communities on the Value of the Aggregates Industry, discussed the need to educate the community about the aggregates industry in the wake of rising NIMBY opposition in communities across Canada.

To obtain a copy of Macklin’s presentation, e-mail amacklin@annexweb.com.