Axle Weight Pilot Project Finished August 26, 2019
The objective of the pilot project was to develop a database that will help standardize the way allowable gross weights and axle weights are collected, stored and used for compliance.
TEMPLATE Letter for Members to Use to Submit Responses to ERO Posting on Growth Plan February 13, 2019
The government has submitted a proposal to make Modifications to O. Reg. 311/06 (Transitional Matters - Growth Plans) made under the Places to Grow Act, 2005 to implement the Proposed Amendment to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017. OSSGA has made the point to the government that the current policy framework is not working. Approvals for new mineral aggregate operations in Southern Ontario are taking up to 10 years to complete the process. There are too many overlapping policies and inconsistent approaches between the Provincial Plans, Regional Official Plans, Local Official Plans and Conservation Authority policies regarding the management of this essential non-renewable resource.
Specification Alert February 6, 2019
Please be advised that there have been changes made to Aggregate Specifications for OPSS 1002, April 2018. This revised specification has been included in several MTO tender documents recently, most notably MTO Contract #2018-2024, Hwy 400 & Hwy 89 Interchange, Closing Feb. 14, 2019 and has raised concerns with many suppliers.
Avenues Winter 2019 Issue Now Available! February 5, 2019
The newest Winter 2019 issue of Avenues Magazine is now available online!

Ontario Superior Court Upholds Duntroon Expansion Decision, Dismissing Judicial Review Sought by NEC

July 11, 2013

In reaching its decision yesterday to reject the Judicial Review request, the panel of three Justices of the Divisional Court unanimously agreed that all legislation and policies had been fairly and reasonably applied, the facts well-considered and no legal errors were made by the Consolidated Hearings Board in reaching its majority decision last year.
A Judicial Review is different from an appeal of a case in that it seeks to challenge a decision on the basis of a legal error. Writing the court’s judgment, Justice Katherine Swinton was unequivocal, “The decision of the majority of the Joint Board [Consolidated Hearings Board] reveals no legal error is reasonable, given the governing legislation and policies and the evidence before it.”
The Justices also rejected the noise impact argument put forward by the Clearview Community Coalition (CCC), a local citizen’s group – noting that it is unrealistic to compare noise to a hypothetical scenario of no existing Duntroon quarry and that Walker had presented expert evidence of the steps taken to minimize noise along the haul route.
The NEC and the judgment reaffirmed key factors that weighed in the Consolidated Hearing Board’s initial approval of the Duntroon expansion:
  • the positive history of the existing quarry
  • the lack of negative impact on the use of water supplies from the existing quarry
  • the continued presence of natural heritage features in close proximity (reforestation of adjacent areas that would create habitat in the same forest)
  • the proposed continued use of the established haul route – including its noise mitigation efforts
This decision also upholds the Consolidated Hearing Board’s interpretation of the “no negative impacts” test of the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) and related provisions in the Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP) to protect unique ecological areas. The court’s written judgment concluded, “[the] NEC has failed to identify any conflict between the NEP and the PPS, nor has it shown that there would have been a different outcome if the approach suggested by it had been adopted because the NEP is more stringent than the PPS.”
This refers to the extensive reforestation of lands, proposed by Walker, within and adjacent to the extraction area. The court agreed with the Consolidated Hearing Board’s assessment that the boundaries of natural features are defined by their ecological characteristics and functions, not by property ownership – as the NEC has argued.
The NEC was also ordered to pay $15,000 in legal costs to Walker and $5,000 to the County of Simcoe and Township of Clearview jointly.
According to the company’s website, Walker’s Duntroon Quarry expansion application earned the support of the Township of Clearview, the County of Simcoe, the County of Grey and many local citizens because Walker listened to people in the area and worked to minimize environmental and noise impacts to the greatest extent possible – well beyond what was required by legislation and policy. Local residents and officials also recognized significant economic benefits would result from the proposed quarry expansion, including new jobs, increased economic activity for local businesses, as well as the ability of the municipality to source aggregates for their own use from a local business.
Millions of dollars in road improvements, financial support for Clearview Township’s acquisition of environmental lands and tree planting were other local benefits promised by Walker Aggregates and cited in the court’s judgment.
This Ontario Superior Court decision concludes a decade-long approval process which included the longest hearing on record for a quarry expansion – 139 days and 36 expert witnesses.
For further information:
News release from Walker Aggregates on the court’s decision:
Full text of the Court’s decision: