OSSGA's submission to the amendments to the Aggregate Resources and Mining Modernization Act, 2016
Bill 39 is "enabling" legislation that will provide new powers to the Minister, with the details of those powers to be addressed through regulation, standards and policies to be developed at a later date. Given this phased approach, this submission proposes changes to the legislation to include language and enough detail to help forestall any unintended consequences in the future.
OSSGA Proposed Amendments to Bill 39
This table provides a side by side comparison of the Bill, OSSGA's suggested drafting changes to the original language in the bill, and a rationale for the change.
New Aggregate Resources and Mining Modernization Act
Ontario has introduced legislation to modernize the management of resource extraction in the province. Click here for a PDF of the legislation.
Government of Ontario Press release on introduction of ARMMA
Press release from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
MNRF A Blueprint for Change
MNRF's A Blueprint for Change, A proposal to modernize and strengthen the Aggregate Resources Act policy framework
OSSGA Response to A Blueprint for Change
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) released A Blueprint for Change, its proposal to modernize and strengthen the Aggregate Resources Act.
The ARA Review has been ongoing for nearly five years. The Provincial Government announced a review of the Aggregate Resources Act during the 2011 Provincial election.
The Standing Committee on General Government held hearings on the ARA review in 2012 and released its report including 38 recommendations in October 2013. The Government issued its response in February 2014 generally supporting the spirit of the Standing Committee recommendations.
There was further focus group consultation in the fall of 2014.
The attached document is OSSGA's official response to A Blueprint for Change.
Coordinated Provincial Policy Review
OSSGA is currently completing a line-by-line 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.