AWARE Simcoe calls on province to prevent destruction of world’s purest water
News release from AWARE Simcoe
The Ontario government has granted CRH Canada a 10-year permit to take water from the recharge site of the world’s purest water.
“This is part of a continuing pattern of politicians allowing multi-national corporations to deplete our planet,” said Anne Ritchie Nahuis of AWARE Simcoe. “It has to stop!”
In its January 15 2021 decision, posted on the Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO), the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks does not even touch on a key request from Tiny Township, that no further licenses be issued in the area until a comprehensive study by renowned hydrogeologist Dr. John Cherry and other leading groundwater experts is completed and can be taken into consideration.
“These scientists want to study our water because it is so unique,” Ritchie Nahuis said. “The world needs to know what it is about the trees, the soil, the sediment – the geology that contributes to this amazing natural filtration system. We can learn from what nature has built here. But the province is prepared to allow its destruction.”
AWARE Simcoe calls on Ontario Environment Minister Jeff Yurek and Natural Resources Minister John Yakabuski to take control of the situation, and halt any action until the Cherry study is completed.
Ritchie Nahuis also appealed to local MPPs Doug Downey and Jill Dunlop for their support.
“This is the water First Nations, cottagers, local residents and supporters from across the province fought to protect,” she added, noting that wells in the area have been tested for 20 years by Dr. William Shotyk of the University of Alberta and found to produce the cleanest water on record, cleaner than 4,000-year-old Arctic ice.
In 2009, the groundswell of opposition halted construction of the Site 41 landfill site.
But at around that time, problems began to show up in some of the area’s spring-fed, naturally flowing wells. This was when owner KJ Beamish Construction Ltd. gained provincial approval for an expansion of the quarry on French’s Hill, the upland area that provides the filtration that makes the water exceptional.
For the first time, Ritchie Nahuis said, residents near the pit who rely on groundwater began reporting elevated silt in wells, local streams and springs, and fluctuations in groundwater levels. “First there was a decline and then some major occurrences of flooding,” she said. “These concerns were largely ignored by the province.”
This created a lot of hardship for area residents, she added. “Even though the connection between the pit operation and the impacts on wells is disputed by the province and the pit owners, reports from geoscientist Wilf Ruland demonstrate links between the commencement of aggregate washing & operations at the Teedon Pit and issues in regards to process, accountability and inaccurate data.”
The environment and natural resources ministries have steadfastly supported continued expansion of the aggregate operations for Sarjeants, KJ Beamish Construction Ltd, and Cedarhurst Quarries. And now CRH Canada Inc., headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, has applied for another expansion.
A total of 5,246 submissions were received from the public regarding the CRH application.
In its decision on the ERO, the ministry sets aside the major concerns, as it sees them, expressed by the public, ignoring the findings of Dr. Shotyk as well as the Tiny Township request to await further scientific investigation.
Ritchie Nahuis called upon citizens to contact the ministers, their MPPs (across the province) and municipal councillors and urge them to get further licensing and expansion halted. “We need to come together to save the water – again.”
The ministry’s decision was posted on January 15, 2021. There is a 15-day appeal period.
An appeal is being considered by the Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations (FoTTSA). They have taken the lead in legal opposition to the CRH expansion, which is presently before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. The Canadian Environmental Law Association is acting on FoTTSA’s behalf.
“Please contribute to FoTTSA’s legal fund,” Ritchie Nahuis said. “Saving the planet doesn’t come cheap – we have major forces aligned against us.”
Interac e-transfer: email@example.com
Cheque made out to FoTTSA and mailed to: Treasurer, 42 Haslemere Road Toronto, Ontario M4N 1X6
Any question contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Get in touch with:
Doug Ford Premier of Ontario – email@example.com 416-325-1941
MPP Jill Dunlop , Simcoe North – firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 705-326-3246
MPP Doug Downey email@example.com Tel. 705-726-5538
Hon. John Yakabuski Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 416-314-2301
Hon. Jeff Yurek Ministry of Environment, Conservation & Parks
email@example.com Tel 416-314-6790
AWARE Simcoe Teedon PTTW Tiny submission Jan 26 2021