Ontario: Huge quarry to increase food prices?

“While we have municipal boundaries, the impact on our environment and access to food don’t… It would be in the heart of some of the last remaining agricultural lands in the Toronto region – Toronto, being the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, has an integral interest in the land surrounding our city.” – Toronto Councillor Josh Matlow.

Immigration has caused massive increased demand for housing, and it seems illogical that we are prepared to tolerate such staggering losses of productive farmland in Ontario and elsewhere to meet that increase. 

Paving over Grade A farmland to build housing can never be a good idea, particularly if the need for more housing can be regulated by cutting back on immigrants and refugees.

A friend told me over forty years ago that some day, Highway 401 would be built up all the way from Toronto to Oshawa. And he was absolutely right. When I moved to Oshawa in the spring of 1994, there wasn’t that much residential development east of the Rouge River.

Riding on the GO train then was a real treat.  The several mile stretch between Ajax and Whitby was beautiful, with plenty of deer, foxes and other creatures to be seen in the summer. One Spring years ago I saw so many deer I thought the farmer had let the cows out. Now it is cause for celebration to see just one.

We are destroying our beautiful province, and as our much-needed farmland is lost to us, food prices have been rising and can be expected to continue doing so.

We are becoming dependent on others for our food supplies, and this will give the Americans a powerful lever to use against us when they decide to take our natural resources for themselves. Which they will, at some point in time.

Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.

Jeff Goodall.

Toronto councillor steamed over plan to dig up potato farms

Toronto Sun

Don Peat: August 30th, 2011

Councillor Josh Matlow wants the City of Toronto to dig into the Melancthon Mega Quarry fight.

Matlow will ask councillors on the executive committee next week to demand an environmental assessment of what would be the second-biggest rock quarry in North America before it is built in the Township of Melancthon, north of Toronto, near Shelburne.

“While we have municipal boundaries, the impact on our environment and access to food don’t,” Matlow said Monday, explaining why he thinks the city should get involved beyond its borders. “It would be in the heart of some of the last remaining agricultural lands in the Toronto region – Toronto, being the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, has an integral interest in the land surrounding our city.”

The rookie councillor is asking Mayor Rob Ford and his inner circle of councillors to pass a motion asking Ontario’s environment minister to designate the proposed 937-hectare quarry a major commercial or business enterprise or activity under the environmental assessment act, making it subject to an environment assessment before it can go ahead.

Matlow said his constituents brought the issue to his attention.

He pointed out “stop the quarry” signs have popped up around the city.

Because the quarry is being built on potato farms – the land is renowned for its potato-growing qualities – Matlow warns there will be an impact on spud lovers in the city because the area provides around 50% of Toronto’s potatoes.

“If anyone in Toronto likes buying potatoes at a reasonable price, they will support (this motion),” Matlow said. “Mayor Ford speaks a lot about protecting the interests of taxpayers. (This quarry) will hit Toronto consumers right in the pocketbook.”

While he admits his motion may not receive the executive committee’s attention, Matlow said it is something every councillor could support regardless of their politics.

“This isn’t a right wing thing, this isn’t a left wing thing. I hope to convince the mayor and his executive that this is something in line with their agenda,” Matlow said. “I’m not suggesting we spend a single tax dollar on this.”

See original here.