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CCC report on Walker quarry OMB hearing

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In Clearview
Jul 23rd, 2011
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Final bill for citizens estimated at $610,000
Clearview Community Coalition newsletter July 18 2011
Before I sign off for the summer, I’d like to bring you up to date on the progress of the hearing, outline the fund raising yet to be done, and once again, I’d like to thank you for your outstanding support and financial commitment to the Clearview Community Coalition’s participation in the hearing process.  
As you know, it was an extremely expensive and time consuming endeavour, but without the presence of the Clearview Community Coalition, it’s very likely that there would have been pressure on the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) to settle, as they did in the Dufferin Milton Quarry application.  It would have been very difficult for either the NEC or the citizens to carry the torch on their own.  Walker was successful in garnering the support of the municipalities of Clearview and Simcoe so, it doesn’t seem fair, but, it was your amazing dedication and generosity that kept us in the game and made sure that the Walker application has had to undergo the scrutiny of a hearing, the scrutiny that such a complex application requires, and the scrutiny that we hope will result in the refusal of the application. 
THE HEARING
Our legal team and experts have written a very convincing final argument.  The last step in the hearing process will be Walker’s written reply.  Then at the end of the month the three members of the Hearing Panel will begin their review of 139 days of testimony from 25 expert witnesses, seven lay  witnesses and many participants including the Conservation Authorities, the Blue Mountain Watershed Trust and several individual citizens.   In addition, the Parties have submitted a total of more than 1000 pages of written final argument.  I have no doubt that the evidence and arguments, brought forward by the Niagara Escarpment Commission, the Clearview Community Coalition, Emelia Franks and the many participants opposed to the application, will provide the hearing officers with solid grounds on which to recommend refusal.   
The conclusion of CCC’s written final argument reiterated the concluding testimony of CCC’s Land Use Planner, Mr. Tony Usher. 
“Mr. Usher testified that he could not provide the Board with any recommendations for approval of the applications because they are “too deeply flawed to fix up or dress up” for reasons which include the following:
·        Removal of significant natural heritage to an extent such that it is impossible to plausibly demonstrate no negative impacts
·        An attempt to compensate for that removal using “net gain” approaches inconsistent with the PPS
·        An AMP which should not be relied on to demonstrate no negative impacts and which even as an implementation document fails to offer adequate confidence or security
·        A road settlement on every part of which significant negative concerns have been raised
For these reasons, Mr. Usher concluded that there are no acceptable variations or alternatives to Walker’s proposal. Every variation would retain too many of the proposal’s fundamental flaws.
Consequently, for all the reasons described above, the CCC respectfully submits that the Joint Board:
recommend to the Minister of Natural Resources that she refuse the proposed Niagara Escarpment Plan amendment,
recommend to the Minister of Natural Resources that she refuse to issue the proposed development permit,
refuse the proposed amendment to the Township of Clearview Official Plan, and
direct the Minister of Natural Resources to not issue the quarry licence.”
FUND RAISING
A number of you have indicated that you are considering a donation.  For some, it is an additional donation, and for others, it will be a first time donation.  As of June 26th, CCC had raised $510,000 in donations and pledges – a remarkable indicator of community and widespread support for the preservation of Clearview’s unique natural heritage – the Niagara Escarpment.  Our experts and legal team are submitting their final invoices; we are grateful for their patience, but we hope to pay down our debt as soon as possible.  Please donate if you can.
We estimate that our final bill will be $610,000 so ….
………we need to raise an additional $100,000. 
If you are planning to make a donation, please see the attached “to donate” page.  As you know, donations are tax deductible.  Pledges are also welcome for those who would like to pledge an additional donation for the 2012 taxation year. 
……..and the fight goes on!  RURAL ONTARIO IS UNDER SIEGE!
Groups to the east, west and south of Duntroon are fighting to protect the rural landscape from industrialization by corporations who propose to exploit the region and destroy the natural heritage that makes this area unique within the province. 
to the east – Wpd, a wind turbine company, proposes to erect eight, 500 foot, turbines north and south of CR 91, west of Stayner, around the 6th line.  These giant turbines will be in the viewshed of hundreds of homes built along the escarpment and in the Nottawasaga Valley, and they will be in the viewshed of the Bruce Trail destroying the amazing vista that hikers seek to experience when they visit the area.  Please see the attached, “Wpd Wind Turbine Project” and write or call to register your views.
Creemore Echo Article: http://www.creemore.com/story1.asp
to the west – The MAQ quarry application hearing will begin on August 10, 2011.  This quarry is immediately to the west of the Walker application, immediately west of the Niagara Escarpment.  The proposal is to dig another below the water table quarry on a 247 acre site and extract at the rate of 1 million tonnes/year for 46 years.
http://www.greymatters.info
to the south – there is a “mega” quarry proposed on farm land west of the Niagara Escarpment in Melancthon township, north of Shelbourne.
Thank you for your tremendous support.  CCC wishes you a relaxing and enjoyable summer!

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