Sarah Harmer Dethrones the Gravel Kings
Proof of the power of song: Sarah Harmer (shown here with David Suzuki) has won a huge victory in her struggle (reported on earlier here) against the gravel kings. The Province of Ontario has declared 15 pockets of the Niagara Escarpment around her family's home to be "provincially significant wetlands." She told the Star:
"This is a success for the people of Ontario, and for the Niagara escarpment as a whole," the Juno award winner said yesterday. "This is the first time we've ever seen the government stand up for the natural environment. The gravel kings have been successful in getting what they wanted in the past."
Everyone is surprised. "Since the Niagara Escarpment plan has come into effect, there's never been a pit or quarry application that's been denied. It came as a shock to me," said Ken Whitbread, manager of the Niagara Escarpment Commission. However the fight may not be over yet. A rep from the aggregate company says "The pit or quarry is the engine of economic growth" and environmentalists remind us that "The quarry companies are very powerful." ::The Star