"this site in the NEP Area, with a large existing quarry
across the road, is not the right location for another large quarry
and human-made end-lake. The site is at the center of an
intricate array of natural features, functions and systems that
are, collectively, a unique ecologic area (with one exception that
is discussed below). They include:
the Niagara Escarpment;
the headwaters/watersheds of the Beaver River, the Pretty River
and the Batteaux Creek;
a karst "high-k zone" that has not been fully
karst features such as sinking streams and sink holes on top of
74 springs that discharge from the Amabel aquifer below the
Escarpment brow immediately to the east;
the SW2 spring and watercourse in the southwest corner;
the Rob Roy complex of provincially significant wetlands;
unevaluated wetlands that are Areas of Natural and Scientific
Interest (ANSIs "A" and "B"), which the Parties
agree should be treated as provincially significant wetlands;
breeding ponds and vernal pools of amphibians, e.g., Wood Frog,
Western Chorus Frog and Spotted Salamander;
habitat of the Western Chorus Frog, a "threatened"
species at the federal level, that is located in the Millar Pond on
the eastern edge of the site;
a provincially significant woodland;
the provincially significant habitat of 23 Butternut trees, an
endangered species in Ontario;
the continentally significant habitat of a colony of the
American Harts Tongue Fern ("AHTF"), estimated to contain
approximately 10,000 plants and clumps ("Colony 1");
two smaller AHTF colonies ("Colonies 2 and 3");
the Duntroon Escarpment Forest Life Science ANSI;
wildlife corridors and linkages;
interior forest habitat of area sensitive birds; and
potential Bobolink habitat (also an endangered species in
Ontario) in the north-west field on the site, and the neighbouring
property across the road, immediately to the west of the site.
The NEC accurately describes this area as a "strong
functioning Natural Heritage System". It is a unique
ecologic area with its hub, or the "glue" that holds
together the many natural features, functions and systems, being
the provincially significant woodland. ...
The destruction and removal of natural features, functions and
systems in the NEP Area are not vindicated by the Applicant's
arguments, and my colleagues' findings, that there is more of
the natural environment elsewhere (a "more elsewhere"
approach), or that some trade-off or compensation will result in a
[I]n this special area of the province that is the geological
backbone of southern Ontario and a World Biosphere Reserve, crucial
aspects of the proposed development are not analyzed through the
protective lens of the statutory provisions of the NEPDA and the
policies of the NEP....
I find that the proposed new Mineral Resource Extraction Area
designation ...would not maintain the Niagara Escarpment and land
in its vicinity substantially as a continuous natural environment,
and would not ensure only such development occurs as is compatible
with that natural environment. .. the NEP amendment is not
justified and is not consistent with other relevant provincial
policies, in this case the Greenbelt Plan and the PPS.
Bottom line: The OMB members have overridden the laws and civil
servants whose job it is to protect special areas, such as the
Niagara Escarpment, and species, preferring to "balance"
environmental protection with jobs and taxes. With this
perspective"Development", it seems, almost always
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