Thursday, October 7, 2010

Grey Matters Presentation Notes to Grey Highlands re: MAQ

The proposed MAQ quarry is located just west of the Osprey Clearview Townline and is marked on this blog's Grey County map. To view a map of the site in relation to other quarries in the area and learn more about the issues concerning the citizens of Grey Matters, click here.

MAQ and Grey Matters

Our friends at Grey Matters, a new citizens group opposed to the MAQ quarry proposal want your help. Check out the issue and show your support at

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario is on Facebook.  Check out the post on Provincial Policy Statement Review. Also see a list of planning issues the ECO has addressed.

Friday, July 9, 2010

MAQ Aggregates

On June 1, 2010, GABP directors, Peggy Hutchison, Chris Kirby, Mike Kirby and Cathy Little attended an OMB pre-hearing to hear the appeal of M.A.Q. Aggregates Inc. Peggy requested and was granted party status for GABP.

Provincial Policy Statement Review

The Ontario government is conducting a review of the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005 (PPS). The PPS outlines policy direction for land use planning and development. Municipal planning decisions must be consistent with the PPS. The government is asking for input on how the PPS is working and whether any changes are needed.

GABP's primary mission statement - to promote good land-use planning policy at township, county and provincial levels of government, guarantees that we will be fully participating in this process.

Groups and individuals may comment. For more information and to access an online survey go to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mac Kirk Honoured

At our Annual General Meeting, Mac Kirk was feted for his contributions not only to GABP but to the wider community. Mac arrived fresh from a Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club dedication ceremony for him at the Clendenan dam. Members were thrilled that he was so willing and able to make the trip from Clarksburg to Shallow Lake. President Bill Celhoffer presented Mac with a hand-turned wooden bowl, bearing a plaque inscribed:
Malcolm (Mac) Kirk
In Appreciation for a Lifetime in
Conservation and Community Service
Grey Association for Better Planning
May 1, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Important Notice re: AGM, May 1, 2010

The venue for the AGM has been changed to the Shallow Lake United Church Fellowship Hall. For location and directions, click on the words, "Grey County" under the map to your right (zooming in is helpful). We were recently surprised to learn that our original booking, the Shallow Lake Community Centre, is no longer available. We apologize for any inconvenience and would greatly appreciate your help in communicating this change to others who are interested in attending the AGM.

GABP's next 20 years - Please help us

In 1989, the province of Ontario was under siege by unplanned development. The province had implemented a planning regime where municipalities had to have Official Plans, that reflected provincial policies, in order to make their own planning decisions. Unfortunately, municipalities frequently ignored their Official Plans, and the advice of professional planners, and made many unwise planning decisions. To many citizens of Grey County, it seemed their planning committees ignored the Official Plans more often than they followed them.

Industrial wind is under attack

by Doug Dingeldein

Opposition to industrial wind turbine installations is growing across Grey as well as in other areas of the Province.

The efficacy of the wind energy component of the Provincial Government's renewable energy initiatives under the Green Energy Act, 2009 and the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009 is being called into question by technical experts, economists, health professionals, environmental groups, citizen groups, local governments, and individuals. Hostility to industrial wind mirrors growing opposition in other parts of Canada as well as in countries around the world where there are significant industrial wind installations.

Ontario needs "smart planning" for aggregate extraction

by Peggy Hutchison

GABP has always recognized the need to protect aggregate resources for future use. Fifteen years ago GABP held a workshop, "We All Us the Aggregates" and heard from producers who work with communities to minimize impacts. We saw examples of rehabilitation of exhausted production sites. In 1999, the province of Ontario required that the Grey County Official Plan identify important resource areas and protect them from development that could limit their exploitation. With the introduction of the comprehensive Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) in 1995, more recently revised in 2005, it seemed that the Province was seriously "planning" aggregate resource extraction in balance with other provincial priorities. However, outcomes from recent aggregate applications indicate a disregard for wetlands, for forests, for residential communities, and for agriculture.

Spring 2010 - President's Note

It's hard to believe another year has gone by and GABP's Directors are preparing for our annual meeting in May. I would like to thank the Directors for all their hard work this year, right now GABP is facing numerous issues, and if individual Directors hadn't taken on specific research and organizational tasks, it would be impossible for GABP to be up to speed on any of these issues.

It hardly needs to be said that aggregate extraction is the issue taking the largest part of our time. We have the Best Pit Application in Grey Highlands, and the Sutherland Application on Niagara Escarpment "Rural" land in former Keppel Township. The former application now rests on the township's requirement that the applicant pay the costs of road upgrades (stalling it temporarily if not permanently).

Saturday, March 27, 2010

AGM 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

GABP Policy on Aggregate Extraction

Approved by the GABP Board, February 5, 2010

1. Conservation of aggregate resources should be made a priority in all Provincial policies related to aggregate extraction.

2. Quarry applicants should be required to demonstrate need.

3. No new aggregate mining licenses should be granted to an operator until rehabilitation of existing mines is begun and a timetable for completion is approved.

4. When mining is permitted, a priority list of potential areas should be developed to enable an orderly exploitation of the resource, with the least impacted areas exploited first including the impact of transporting material from the site.

5. No mining should be allowed below the water table anywhere.

6. Aggregates, as a non-renewable resource, should be reserved for use within Canada.

7. No new aggregate mining licenses should be granted for mining within the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area until the Niagara Escarpment Commission has a provincially approved “aggregate master plan” covering the areas under its jurisdiction.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

GABP President's Letter to the Editor re: "Transmission line now one step closer."

President Bill Celhoffer has submitted the following letter to the Owen Sound Sun Times re: "Transmission line now one step closer" article. Read the full article in our January 5 post.
January 9, 2010

Dear Editor:

Your headline article "Transmission line now one step closer", January 4th, 2010,
was much appreciated by the Grey Association for Better Planning (GABP). This
powerline issue, and other technical decisions by Hydro One have not received
anywhere near enough attention in the press. 

Sadly, for Ontario taxpayers and Hydro ratepayers, this  transmission line is just
one more bad decision following from  the horrendously expensive decision to "go
nuclear". If the old Ontario Hydro hadn't been essentially bankrupted by the costs
of the Candu reactors, they would have had money to upgrade our  entire transmission
system to current North American standards, something we do not have now. This
high-voltage powerline "expansion" is not necessary. If it is built it will not help
those companies or individual investors who want to develop small, green sources of
electricity. The only reason for the expansion of this transmission line is to
prepare for the future expansion of Bruce Power. (Sound fishy? Taxpayers money being
used to help a private corporation?) This is a battle between alternative green
power (the David of the story) and mega-power stations and the high-voltage
transmission lines that go along with them (the Goliath of the story). Hydro One
won't come out and admit it, but they are on the side of Goliath.

Investment in sustainable green energy technology has far more long-term potential 
to benefit Grey and Bruce than a transmission line which  can only offer "all kinds
of jobs for part-time labourers driving truck, building fences and stuff like

Now, as once before, the last barrier to the powerline expansion is the Niagara
Escarpment Commission (NEC). Back in 1987, with lots of support from citizens of
Grey, they stopped the Bruce to Essa powerline. We need to wait for the NEC appeal
process to run its course before we can say whether David or Goliath wins this

The failure of Ontario's politicians to deal effectively with problems of
electricity cost and supply goes back decades. None of the major political parties
have clean hands on this. Seems like a perfect opportunity for our maverick MPP.


Bill Celhoffer, President GABP

Biodigester Approved

Georgian Bluffs and the Township of Chatsworth have approved construction of a biodigester. For the full article see the Owen Sound Sun Times article.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hydro Corridor

On November 27, 2009, the MOE approved the environmental assessment on Hydro One's proposal for corridor expansion. For more information, read the article in The Owen Sound Sun Times.