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I had an acquaintance who worked for a large international airline. He also had a wife who he met on his trips to Jamaica.

Being a bit of an entrepreneur, my friend looked at his job position, reviewed his Jamaican contacts, and contemplated the possibility of starting his own import company.

There was a slight problem though, the commodity was cocaine!

But my acquaintance had a business mind and he looked at the “risk vs. reward” ratio.

He determined that he could illegally import cocaine and pocket $250,000 to $500,000 per year. And if he was caught, he would serve a maximum of three to 5 years in the “pen.”

He concluded the “RISK” was worth the “REWARD” and acted accordingly.

This is a typical calculation made daily in virtually all businesses. Even in Ontario aggregate operations.

One of the ‘risks’ encountered in the aggregate industry is that you might get caught falsifying your annual ‘self-monitoring’ report.

So, what would prevent any pit operator from falsifying their self-monitoring report?

The short answer is…nothing.

As in the case of Crain Construction, whose infractions are alleged to have caused the death of Ken Cressey’s wife, their years of operating illegally netted them thousands in profit, with virtually nothing as a penalty.

The “REWARD” far outweighed the “RISK”

So, do we need changes?

Quite frankly, the coziness between the Ontario Aggregate Industry and the MNR gives me a rash!

How about we abolish all MNR inspectors and hire a reputable outside agency to monitor the pits and quarries in Ontario?

Any situation that arises showing influence peddling from either side should be severely dealt with. Immediate termination of the inspector and legal charges for breach of trust should be the outcome. The Pit or Quarry operator must face substantial fines and the closure of their pit or quarry, with the possibility of permanently losing their license to operate.

Only when the “time fits the crime” will we see truly accountable compliance in Ontario pit and quarry operations.

Oh yeah, my cocaine-smuggling acquaintance, he got caught, but served no time!

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