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Does a hole in the ground cast a shadow?

Literally, perhaps not, but figuratively it can cast a huge shadow, and, paradoxically, at the same time shine a bright light.

How can that be, you ask?

Well, that is what has happened in the case of the proposed Mega-Quarry in Melancthon Township, north-west of Toronto. The prospect of destroying a huge chunk of prime farmland, and threatening underground water, has cast a dark shadow over an entire region that depends on the food and water coming from the area.

At the same time the publicity surrounding the proposal has shone a bright light on the way aggregate resources – that’s stone, gravel and sand to us ordinary folks – are managed, or mismanaged, in Ontario.

Many other areas of Ontario have been faced with similar battles for years, but because the growth of the problem often occurs in a gradual ‘domino’ fashion, not much attention has been paid. For example in Caledon, even closer in to Metro GTA, there are already more than 2800 acres licensed for open pit mining (the Melancthon proposal is for 2300 acres) with many more thousands earmarked for future mining.

Perhaps the lights and shadows of Melancthon will mark the turning point on the gravel road?