Fighting the obvious 

June 6, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

I had a conversation with an environmentalist of my acquaintance, who was inviting me to attend a protest against the (really) incredible plan to dig another quarry in the forested heart of Caledon, the Forks of the Credit. This Day of Acton is taking place this Saturday, June 8. It begins with a gathering at 11.30 a.m. in the hamlet of Cataract. There will be a march to Charleston and Main Street to protest the quarry, which is followed by refreshments and fun in Cataract.

Importantly, this is the launch of the self-guided tour of the proposed quarry area to give a good idea of what will be destroyed if the quarry is given a license to proceed.

June 8 is the beginning of the tour to June 16 where you will learn about the wonderful things to be found here in the heart of the Headwaters. There are ballots for prizes to be awarded for your participation.

Forks of the Credit Preservation Group tells us that the Brazilian conglomerate owned by Votorantim Cimentos, CBM St Marys, otherwise known as VC/CBM St Mary’s is the company proposing to blast and excavate “a hole over 80 feet deep and below the water table. This quarry would be situated on 798 acres of forest and farmland in the heart of the Caledon Greenbelt and Greenlands System in Peel.”

CMB has 60 quarries in Ontario.

Why is Caledon, with some of the loveliest green belt scenery, precious waters, the best farmland in Ontario and an abundance of wildlife, some endangered but all essential to the well-being of this bit of the planet under such pressure?

There are already 23 licensed active aggregate pits and quarries of 19 pits and four quarries, overwhelming 6,150 hectares, we are told, producing enough gravel and aggregates to meet needs for decades.

The Credit River is one of three rivers, with the Humber and Etobicoke Creek, forming the Headwaters that provide water to Lake Ontario. Plans for the new quarry are set to destroy another 768 acres of Caledon Greenbelt and Greenlands System by digging below the water table to 80 feet. The quarry will irretrievably impact the lives of thousands of residents and impose, additional dust contamination and increased truck traffic.

It seems there is no end to the protests there are to support and support them we must. The grassroots initiative, the people in the streets, impressive with their passion and determination to protect this vital land have and must continue to march for all the intended assaults on this land, our country and the wider world. 

If your home and children come under attack, would you not protect them? If illogical and even criminal assault on what you value was proposed, would you say no? Sometimes, these projects to tear apart what we value are made for the sake of other values – for only mindless profit, hidden by faulty logic – how we cannot manage without more gravel, more gas and oil, more bad management. They tell us how important are the jobs created by these unnecessarily destructive industries.

Unnecessary? Yes, because it shows that this quarry is not needed where enough aggregate is already being provided. There is plenty of evidence that the proposed Highway 413 is a desperate waste of money as not being at all a benefit to traffic movement. However, it is sure of the very extensive harm, once again to this very valuable and fabulous land, here in southern Ontario.

Heat pumps are better hookups for Enbridge’s dirty fuel, yet hookups are being installed on our dime.

Hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles (check out Toyota) are better than gas or even electric.

Hey, what about this: what if, one day when all the highways are packed and the smog is high and gas prices are high, is there really a plan to safely – for the environment – dispose of car batteries when there done?

Let’s say that on that day, by somehow an amazingly well-conducted plan, all the traffic stopped. All the roads, all the towns, all over, let’s pretend, the area for 200 kilometres around Toronto …stopped. And every driver got out of the vehicle, holding a sign saying “I protest …” and about the issue concerning that person most. It is quite a list after all.

Without violence but some day soon, in a way that makes a real impression on the people who run this province, this bit of the world, that moment has to come and soon.

Do we care about our kids?

How much?

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