Highland Companies has met significant citizen opposition for several years when it applied for a licence to mine 2,316 acres of prime farmland in Melancthon Township for limestone. Due to the significant size and scope of the quarry plans, it was dubbed a “mega quarry” among its opponents.
“This is excellent news for Ontario, and it’s a testament to the true power of collective lobbying when a group of citizens come together,” says Mark Wales, President of the OFA. “OFA is a strong advocate for the protection of prime agricultural land for food production above all other uses, including aggregates extraction.”
The OFA recently filed a position on the Provincial Policy Statement that governs the province’s Aggregate Resources Act – a piece of legislation meant to balance the need for aggregates such as sand and gravel with the protection of other important resources such as water and agricultural land.
“The Melancthon site is of particular interest because not only is it prime agricultural land, but it also contains a specialty soil known as Honeywood soil that is unique to that area,” Wales says. “OFA strongly advocates that as a province Ontario must minimize activities that lead to a loss of our agricultural lands. This is a significant win for Ontario.”
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 37,000 farm families across the province. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA works to represent and champion the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is the leading advocate for Ontario’s farmers and is Ontario’s voice of the farmer.