A ‘regressive document’

March 12, 2014   ·   0 Comments

Re: Provincial Policy Statement (PPS 2014)

The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) is the statement of the government’s policies on land use planning. It includes policies on key issues that affect our communities, such as:

• he efficient use and management of land and infrastructure

• rotection of the environment and resources

• nsuring appropriate opportunities for employment and residential development, includingsupport for a mix of uses

The PPS is an extremely powerful document that is issued under section 3 of the Planning Act:

“The Minister, or the Minister together with any other minister of the Crown, may from time to time issue policy statements that have been approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on matters relating to municipal planning that in the opinion of the Minister are of provincial interest.”  and all decisions affecting land use planning matters “shall be consistent with” the Provincial Policy Statement.iiii

“A decision of the council of a municipality, a local board, a planning board, a minister of the Crown and a ministry, board, commission or agency of the government, including the Municipal Board, in respect of the exercise of any authority that affects a planning matter, (a) shall be consistent with the policy statements issued under subsection (1) that are in effect on the date of the decision; and (b) shall conform with the provincial plans that are in effect on that date, or shall not conflict with them, as the case may be.”

It is developed ‘behind closed doors’, without review in the legislature, effectively supercedes and takes precedence over legislation, and requires municipal plans to conform. It is because of this extraordinary power that we are concerned about the surreptitious process by which it is created and how weak or absent, are the justifications for many of its clauses.

The Ontario PPS 2014 was developed over several years and ‘approved’ on January 29, 2014. It was not released to the public or posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) website until February 24, 2014 and will come into effect on April 30, 2014. As far as we know the EBR posting should occur before approval, not a month after.)

PPS 2014 allegedly “involved extensive consultation with members of the public, municipalities, Aboriginal communities and organizations, and stakeholders  during two phases — the first in the fall of 2010 and the second in the fall of 2012. n the latter consultation, the government released draft PPS policies.

PitSense sees PPS 2014 as a regressive document that does not reflect the priorities of those citizens and groups who made submissions during the comment period. In fact we believe it will make matters MUCH worse with regard to aggregate policies! It leaves in place the 2005 clauses regarding ‘close to market’ and ‘no demonstration of need’. In addition it adds the following ominous clause:

“ Mineral aggregate resource conservation shall be undertaken, including through the use of accessory aggregate recycling facilities within operations, wherever feasible.”

As far as we can determine this clause was not in the draft documents that were available for comment. It appears to have been slipped in at the last moment and we can only assume that it was the result of lobbying by the aggregate industry.


PitSense, along with numerous other groups, questions the wisdom of locating Class 3 Industrial operations for re-processing of toxics-laden demolition debris in close proximity to our aquifers and our residences.

On March 6, 2014 PitSense submitted an urgent letter to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing expressing our concerns, along with supporting attachments. That letter and the documents that accompanied the letter are available on request.

We believe this is an extremely serious and urgent matter. We see this as a ‘Trojan Horse’ clause which will lead to situations reminiscent of Walkerton or worse – remember Love Canal? – occurring in pits and quarries across Ontario, with no oversight by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). Pits and quarries are the only locations specifically exempted  from MOE guidelines regarding Class 3 Industrial operations, which is why we believe they are preferred by the aggregate industry for locating such operations!

We call upon the citizens of Ontario to speak up against this dangerous clause.

PitSense Niagara Escarpment Group Inc.

Don MacDow, President

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