The County of Brant is determined to have Dufferin Aggregates’ licence to extract gravel from a more than 600 acre site north of Paris revoked.
Councillors voted during a meeting on Tuesday to request the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources to revoke the licence – held by the company since 1974 – and force Dufferin to re-apply to the MNR for a new licence, if the company wishes to begin the planned operation.
Ron Norris, spokesperson for the Concerned Citizens of Brant, said the move is a milestone in the group’s fight against the pit.
“It tells us the county is solidly behind us,” Norris said. “They’re not asking for review or discussion – they want it revoked.
“The only way to address this is to have it revoked and the company can re-apply.”
The fight against the planned gravel pit hit new heights over the weekend, as about 150 residents took to the streets in Paris on Saturday morning banging pots and pans in protest of the planned operation.
Dufferin Aggregates officials have said the operation would abide by all current legislation in relation to gravel extraction and there would be no negative impact on groundwater wells in the area.
County of Brant Mayor Ron Eddy said the municipality’s request to have the licence revoked is the right action to take.
“The MNR will not review the company’s licence, so it has to be revoked,” Eddy said. “They won’t review it because the Aggregates Act does not require it to be reviewed.”
The county has made unsuccessful attempts during recent months to have the MNR review the company’s licence.
“If Dufferin Aggregates re-applies under current standards, I feel that is appropriate,” Coun. John Wheat said.