Letter to Editor re: McClintock Rd., Algonquin Highlands quarry application
Why would Algonquin Highlands want an aggregate quarry on Crown land within 400 meters of pristine Harvey Lake?
As a fourth generation member of the Dorset community, cottaging at Otter Lake, I am deeply concerned by the application to establish a new 34-acre quarry on McClintock Road in direct contravention of Algonquin Highlands’ Official Plan.
Aggregate quarries are serious disrupters. The environmental risks are extensive, well known to everyone and difficult to reliably mitigate and monitor. Roadway deterioration and road safety related to heavy truck haulage on minor roads are taxpayer and citizen concerns.
These disruptive issues are given serious consideration in the township’s Official Plan. But this new quarry application, seemingly exploiting a Crown land loophole, is running roughshod over the Official Plan. Why are our local laws in place if they can be so easily ignored?
I recognize that the township, county and province have a responsibility to carefully develop resource based industry alongside the “cottage industry.” But at what cost? Quarries, if needed, must be appropriately sited on major highways in areas with proven minimal environmental risk, and in accordance with our Official Plan.
Muskoka Region and the Ontario Escarpment have vigorously protected their Official Plans. Algonquin Highlands and Haliburton County must do the same. Why should cheaper gravel and private business profit be acceptable trade-offs for environmental preservation, the quality of life in our community, recreational property tax contributions, and the integrity of our local laws?
Please say no to the McClintock Quarry.
W. J. Crago