Laurentian Valley calls MPP’s request “big brother” tactic 0
Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski
The ball was thrown back into the Township of Laurentian Valley’s court in regards to H&H Aggregates increasing its aggregate license.
According to Mayor Jack Wilson, Renfrew-Nipissing- Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski approached him to allow the local business to have a one-time annual tonnage increase at its French Quarry on Stafford Third Line.
Township councillors called the move a “big brother” tactic.
“Ever since we received this it has annoyed me. It is reprehensible,” said Councillor Debbie Robinson. “It is reprehensible that our MPP asks the mayor to get involved.”
“Mr. Hoffman told us that project was done,” noted Coun. Robinson. “A week later the ministry shuts him down.”
According to Coun. Robinson the MNR shut the quarry down because H&H had extracted more than its approved licence of 100,000 tonnes.
H&H Aggregates had been supplying material for the CFB Petawawa helicopter pad project, but the quarry was shut down at the end of June because the company had extracted more than its approved licence.
The company is in the process of seeking approval from the Ministry of Natural Resources to increase its allowance from 100,000 tonnes to 250,000 tonnes.
“As far as I am concerned they have dug a hole. They have created a political mess,” said Coun. Robinson. “I don’t think we should be playing the game. I think we should hand it back to the minister and let them figure it out.”
Councillor George Hodgkinson voiced his agreement with Coun. Robinson.
“I am siding with Coun. Robinson. I was quite annoyed. They knew what our reaction would be. It is a ‘big brother’ approach,” said Coun. Hodgkinson.
In the spring, H&H Aggregates held a public meeting where ratepayers came out to express their concerns about the application being approved. Mr. Hoffman also visited the township’s chambers on June 19 where councillors said he told them the company had completed the project.
“I understand the economic side, there is stuff to be built, but they knew they were going over,” said Coun. Hodgkinson.
Mayor Wilson recalled, “My understanding is that 26,000 tonnes is what they are looking for.”
In regards to the application Councillor Allen Wren said, “I really would like the ministry to know this municipality is not going to give favourable comments. We as a municipality don’t want this to go ahead.”
Mayor Wilson longed for the way quarries were ran in the past.
“To me, in my position if a quarry is approved you dig from it till it’s done.”
The final approval for H&H Aggregates’ licence to be increased lies in the hands of the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Cyndi Mills is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist