These signs were everywhere, protesting the Melancthon Mega Quarry. It was going to be huge, deeper than Niagara Falls is high, 2,316 acres of excavation to supply aggregate for the Greater Toronto construction industry and, some thought, construction projects as far away as Panama. I called it "crazy, digging up thousands of acres of farmland to make aggregate to pave thousands more acres of farmland." Kim wrote that "it's clear that the environmental impact of the proposed quarry is mind-boggling."
Now it's over. The company issued a press release today,quoted here in full:
The Highland Companies (Highland) announced today that it is withdrawing its application to develop a quarry in Melancthon Township. Highland also intends to discontinue its efforts to restore the rail corridor through Dufferin County. In addition, Highland announced that John Lowndes has resigned from his role as President and has no further involvement with the company.
“While we believe that the quarry would have brought significant economic benefit to Melancthon Township and served Ontario’s well-documented need for aggregate, we acknowledge that the application does not have sufficient support from the community and government to justify proceeding with the approval process,” said John Scherer of The Highland Companies.
Highland will continue to focus on its farms and on supplying its customers with high quality potatoes and other crops. The company is proud of the improvements it has made through modernizing equipment and storage facilities as well as enhancing food and worker safety.
UPDATE: the Globe and Mail notes:
John Scherer, one of two principles [sic] with The Highland Companies, said in an interview the proposal did not have enough support from the community or from the provincial government to move forward.
“In hindsight, we did not do a real good job of engaging the local community and the public at large about our project and about the benefits and how we would move the project forward and as a result there is a lot of misinformation that was out there,” Mr. Scherer said.
Highland said it will continue its farming operations. Through acquiring farmland for its mega-quarry proposal, the company has become the province’s top potato producer, growing, packing and selling about 100 million pounds of potatoes a year. Mr. Scherer said no decision has been made on whether to introduce a smaller quarry proposal in the future.
“We have no plans to do anything else at this point,” he said.