It’s been two years since the Ontario government announced a review of the outdated Aggregate Resources Act, but we’re inching ever closer to seeing a report on possible revisions. As the outcry over the proposed Highland Mega Quarry escalated in 2011, the Liberals agreed to our request for a review of the ARA. Public hearings were held in the spring of 2012 and the Standing Committee on General Government heard presentations from both agricultural and aggregate stakeholders. Revisions to the ARA will stem from those presentations. Those who spoke up for agriculture recommended that prime farmland and source water regions be protected from all aggregate operations. One MPP on the Committee commented at the end of the Toronto hearings: “Clearly, there’s an urgency to protect prime farmland.”

The ARA report is still being written and should be tabled in the legislature sometime this fall. Once the report is presented, it becomes public and that’s when we’ll see whether our concerns were addressed. The Committee could also ask the government to respond to its findings within 180 days. We, of course, will respond in a much shorter time period!


Some encouraging news about young farmers and their passion for growing food. A CBC report features several young people who are drawn to the land and the career it can provide. Not only is it critical that we protect Ontario’s rare agricultural soil, we must also make it viable for our farmers to keep it in production.