Coordinated Provincial Plan Review

The Province is undertaking a review of the Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, the Greenbelt Plan and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.  It created an Advisory Panel to provide recommendations that would inform this review.  Headed by David Crombie, the role of the Panel was to develop consensus-based recommendations to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) and to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) on ways to amend and improve the plans.

The Crombie Advisory Panel released its report, and then most recently, the Provincial Government released the proposed changes to the four provincial plans.

NEW  OSSGA's comments on the proposed changes to the plans can be found here.

The most current government information can be found on the MMAH website here.

 

Background:

The Province put in place four different plans over a 20 year period to help accommodate growth while protecting valuable farmland, water resources and natural heritage.  The Coordinated Review of the four plans provides an opportunity to assess progress to date, address challenges and make improvements.  The four plans are:

OSSGA, in coordination with MHBC Planning, developed an industry discussed paper entitled The Future of Ontario’s Close to Market Aggregate Supply:  The 2015 Provincial Plan Review as well as an executive summary report. 

In December 2015 the Advisory Panel released its report Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015-2041OSSGA also provided comments on this report available below.

The Province of Ontario has now released its proposed changes to the plans.

OSSGA is currently reviewing the documents - please see posting below.  OSSGA plans to continue to push for the completion of an aggregate study as recommended in the report.  In addition, OSSGA will continue to lobby the government regarding our concerns.

July 2016: Coordinated Provincial Plan Review - meeting follow up

OSSGA met with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Growth Secretariat's office on July 11th to discuss our concerns with the Coordinated Provincial Plan review. 

Present at the meeting were the director of the Growth Policy, Planning and Analysis branch at MAA, and the director of the Provincial Planning Policy branch among others from the ministries along with OSSGA executive director Norm Cheesman, Brian Zeman from MHBC and OSSGA staff.

At the meeting we discussed:

  • The expansion of the provincial natural heritage system beyond the Greenbelt Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and Niagara Escarpment Plan;
  • Prohibiting new mineral aggregate within significant woodlands without consideration of the 'no negative impact test';
  • Prohibiting new mineral aggregate operations within endangered and threatened species habitat without consideration of the provisions of the Endangered Species Act;
  • Discouraging extraction within Prime Agricultural Areas and requiring rehabilitation back to agriculture (which by definition will prohibit  below water extraction  within these areas of the GGH);
  • Mapping and policy changes to the Niagara Escarpment Plan that will significantly restrict where new aggregate operations may be considered; and,
  • Having the changes take effect immediately - which will effectively result in any outstanding licence application that have not yet been approved.

OSSGA provided context to our concerns and had a dialogue with ministry staff. We offered possible solutions to these issues for consideration during the review of the draft plans. In addition we have asked to continue dialogue with ministry staff, along with providing a policy by policy breakdown of our concerns.

Attached is the email follow up as well as marked-up excerpts from the four provincial plans highlighting our concerns.

June 2016 Update: Coordinated Provincial Plan Review

OSSGA is currently completing a review of the proposed revisions to the four Provincial Plans.  To-date a number of revisions have been identified that will significantly impact the licensing of new aggregate reserves within the GGH.   These include:

  • The expansion of the provincial natural heritage system beyond the Greenbelt Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and Niagara Escarpment Plan;

  • Prohibiting new mineral aggregate within significant woodlands without consideration of the ‘no negative impact test’.  This revision is also being proposed within the Niagara Escarpment Plan;

  • Prohibiting new mineral aggregate operations within endangered and threatened species habitat without consideration of the provisions of the Endangered Species Act, which may permit development within habitat if the application results in an overall  benefit to the species.  This revision is also being proposed within the Greenbelt Plan and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan;

  • Requiring immediate compensation for any  habitat that would be lost from a site with equivalent habitat on another part of the site or on adjacent lands even if the habitat doesn’t qualify as a key natural heritage or key hydrologic feature.

  • Discouraging extraction within Prime Agricultural Areas and requiring rehabilitation back to agriculture (which by definition will prohibit  below water extraction  within these areas of the GGH);

  • Mapping and policy changes to the Niagara Escarpment Plan that will significantly restrict where new aggregate operations may be considered; and,

  • Having the changes take effect immediately – which will effectively make any changes for sites with licence applications that have not yet been approved retroactive.

OSSGA will be meeting with Ministry officials (MMAH and MNRF), staff and other stakeholders to raise our concerns and underscore the importance of these issues to the availability of close-to-market aggregate in the years to come.  MMAH is hosting public meetings to help those interested learn more about the proposed changes.  A list of public meetings is available here.  Members are encouraged to attend the meetings.  Background materials are available on OSSGA’s website.   We will keep members informed of new developments through Rock Talk throughout the summer months.  

OSSGA Response to Coordinated Provincial Plan Review Advisory Panel Report

In December 2015 the Crombie Advisory Panel on the Coordinated Provincial Plan Review released its report:  Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015-2041

OSSGA's response highlights the importance of close to market supply and the continued availability of high quality aggregate in the Provincial Plan areas.

The Province has identified that over the next 25 years, 2.5 billion tonnes of aggregate will be required in the GGH of which 1.5 billion tonnes is needed in the GTA to implement the infrastructure and growth needs of the Growth Plan. Close to market reserves are depleting at alarming rates and new supply has not been keeping up with current production levels. 

Read OSSGA's response here.

Letter to Niagara Escarpment Commission regarding NEC Mapping

OSSGA wrote to NEC seeking clarification on its proposed updates to the Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP) mapping based on the existing designation criteria (Scenario 2) and the NEC’s proposed designation criteria (Scenario 3).  Download the letter here.