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OSSGA UpdatesIndustry News Partners | Events |  Planning 

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OSSGA Updates

OSSGA Helps End Trucking Blockade

An important agreement was reached last week between OSSGA, the Ministry of Transportation and the aggregate haulers to end the blockade that was taking place at some aggregate sites and MTO scales across Ontario.  Much progress was made with the truckers and with MTO.  Minister Del Duca has committed to return the enforcement regime back to Phase I of the Axle Weight Regulation, which was in place prior to August 1, 2016, and where no tickets or CVOR points will be issued.  Phase I will be in force until a joint solution has been achieved.  We are currently in discussions on the details of the agreement, and will have more information in the coming weeks.


Start planning what to wear on the red carpet – It’s Award Season!

The OSSGA  Industry Recognition Awards Program recognizes a wide range of activities that contribute to a progressive image of our member aggregate producers and the aggregate industry as a whole.  A key goal is to raise the bar in the industry by highlighting operations that go above and beyond what is required by legislation. Each of the awards is described briefly on our website, and members are invited to download a copy of OSSGA Industry Recognition Awards Program Guide for full details of submission requirements.  This year, award submissions are being accepted on-line, so uploading your photos and submissions will be fast and easy.  If you have any questions about the awards, please contact Sharon Armstrong at or at 647 727 8775.  Submissions are due in November – so if you haven’t taken photos already, get out there before the season changes!


OSSGA Health & Safety Awards

The OSSGA Heoralth and Safety Committee would like to extend an invitation to all OSSGA members to recognize both individuals and operations within their organizations that have excelled at making safety part of their daily responsibilities.  The nomination forms for both corporate (zero lost time) and individual achievements in safety are available online ONLY by clicking the following links:

Zero Lost Time Injuries (LTI) for corporations  
OSSGA Individual Safety Award for individuals


Coordinated Provincial Policy Review

OSSGA continues its work on the revisions of the four Provincial Plans.  As in previous updates, our review focuses on:

  • The expansion of the provincial natural heritage system beyond the Greenbelt Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and Niagara Escarpment Plan;
  • Prohibiting new mineral aggregate within significant woodlands without consideration of the ‘no negative impact test’.  This revision is also being proposed within the Niagara Escarpment Plan;
  • Prohibiting new mineral aggregate operations within endangered and threatened species habitat without consideration of the provisions of the Endangered Species Act, which may permit development within habitat if the application results in an overall  benefit to the species.  This revision is also being proposed within the Greenbelt Plan and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan;
  • Requiring immediate compensation for any  habitat that would be lost from a site with equivalent habitat on another part of the site or on adjacent lands even if the habitat doesn’t qualify as a key natural heritage or key hydrologic feature.
  • Discouraging extraction within Prime Agricultural Areas and requiring rehabilitation back to agriculture (which by definition will prohibit  below water extraction  within these areas of the GGH);
  • Mapping and policy changes to the Niagara Escarpment Plan that will significantly restrict where new aggregate operations may be considered; and,
  • Having the changes take effect immediately – which will retroactively affect any outstanding licence application that have not yet been approved.

The comment period has now been extended to October 31st.  OSSGA is using that time to conduct a line-by-line review of the four policies that it will be sharing with MNRF as part of its review.  One area that all members should be aware of is the impact of the changes that could result from the remapping that NEC has done – which now proposes a 35% reduction in the Escarpment Rural Area.  That translates into 20,000 Ha of land that will be no longer be available for consideration for aggregate extraction.  The proposed changes are far reaching affecting thousands of properties. OSSGA’s review has exposed significant issues with the new mapping and demonstrated that the changes go well beyond what was intended.

Background materials are available on OSSGA’s website.   We will continue to keep members informed of new developments through Rock Talk and member notices.


New EASR for Plant and Production Processes with Air and Noise Emissions will not apply to Aggregate Industry

After considering all comments received on the “Environmental Activity and Sector Registry Technical Discussion Paper for Plant and Production Processes with Air and Noise Emissions”  Proposal Notice posting, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is proceeding with the development of regulations that will require all but high risk and/or more complex activities with air and noise emissions to register on the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR).   OSSGA has been informed by the Ministry that the aggregate industry, as a result of noise concerns from crushers as well as the complexity associated with the various ministries and regulations that apply to this sector, will not qualify for the EASR approach.

While we are disappointed that aggregate extraction facilities are not eligible for the proposed EASR regulation, we have told the Ministry that we are looking forward to faster, and more predictable, application review and approval times from the MOECC. Our expectation is that this newly proposed EASR regulation will reduce the number of applications that need to be reviewed and thereby speed up the review process for facilities that are required to go through the full ECA application procedure. For our members’ businesses to operate effectively, we believe that an approval time of six months should be the goal. The Decision Notice posting, describing the Ministry’s decision and how public input was considered during the development of the draft regulations can be found on the Environmental Registry here.

Industry News

The world is starting to run out of sand

One of our most abundant resources is an essential ingredient in concrete, glass and silicon. As the world's population booms and urbanizes, competition for sand has grown deadly. Journalist Vince Beiser takes us inside the global black market in sand.

Ontario Releases Ministers' Mandate Letters

At the mid-point in the government's mandate, Premier Kathleen Wynne released to the public all of the ministers' mandate letters. As the government continues to deliver on its top priority of jobs and growth, the 34 letters direct the new cabinet and their ministries to work together to deliver more inclusive growth, with measures that will help people in their everyday lives. Of specific interest to OSSGA is of course the mandate letter to Minister McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.  With respect to aggregate, the letter calls out as a specific priority the introduction of the revised Aggregate Resources Act in fall 2016, including addressing the issue of fees and royalties.  Other priorities include strengthening biodiversity, species at risk, the conservation authorities act review and supporting climate change. 

The letter addressed to Minister Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs, sets out his priorities as:

Reforming the Ontario Municipal Board

  • Working with the Attorney General, lead a review of the scope and effectiveness of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) by engaging municipalities, the public and all interested stakeholders, in order to recommend reforms to improve the OMB’s role within the broader land use planning system and introduce legislation by spring 2017.

Reviewing Provincial Growth and Greenbelt Plans

  • Finalizing the Co-ordinated Review of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Greenbelt Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and working with the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Niagara Escarpment Plan early in winter 2017. You will ensure these plans work in harmony to manage growth, build complete communities, curb sprawl, protect our agricultural lands and natural heritage systems, protect the Greenbelt, and support economic development in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe.
  • Working with the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Minister of Transportation, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and stakeholders, municipalities and the public, you will recommend opportunities to grow the Greenbelt on the outer edge, improve alignment across provincial plans and transit investments, and support more complete communities across the province. This includes continuing the work to protect prime agriculture lands and natural heritage systems by supporting the work of the relevant ministries in their efforts to complete the mapping of these areas in summer 2017.

For a copy of all the mandate letters, please click read more below.


Did you know the OMB fees had changed?

Please be advised that the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), a constituent tribunal of the Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario (ELTO), has changed its appeal fees. Effective July 1, 2016, the OMB appeal fee has changed from $125 to $300.  The fee of $25 for each additional consent appeal filed by the same appellant against connected consent applications does not change. The fee of $25 for each additional variance appeal filed by the same appellant against connected variance applications does not change.  Please note: the appeal fee increase applies to OMB appeals that are date stamped by the municipality/approval authority on or after July 1, 2016.  OMB appeal fees are still $125 for appeals date stamped before July 1, 2016.

Environmental Bill of Rights Postings

The draft regulation for activities with air and noise emissions has been posted to the environmental and regulatory registries for a 30 day public review and comment period starting September 26, 2016.  It is available here.  

In support of the draft regulation, the ministry has developed a discussion paper on the proposed odour requirements for the EASR. The odour discussion paper has been posted to the environmental and regulatory registries for a 30 day public review and comment period starting September 26, 2016 and is available here.

The ministry is also proposing updates to the Primary Noise Screening Process and Secondary Noise Screening Process. The proposed updates have posted to the environmental and regulatory registries for a 30 day public review and comment period starting September 26, 2016 available here.  


Aggregates 101

October 18th
Mississauga, ON   Register here!

November 2nd
Sudbury, ON   Register here!

OSSGA invites you and your staff to attend the Aggregates 101 Training on October 18, 2016.  Space is limited and we often sell out. Content for the training includes the a to z of the business:
Definitions - sand & gravel, quarry, recycled aggregate, products and more; different uses of material; importance of aggregate industry to communities; aggregate licensing; compliance; health and safety; staffing; delivery of product; aggregate processing including stripping, drilling, blasting, crushing and more; quality control and  specifications; controls, obligations and best practices.

Price includes refreshments all day, lunch and copies of handouts.

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Registration also open for these upcoming events:

Generic Supervisor Training Course, November 14th, Mississauga
OSSGA Common Core Training, November 17th, Mississauga
Hurry – limited spaces!

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Environmental Management at Pits & Quarries – Save the Date – November 22 and 23

Back by popular demand – an up-to-date overview of the current environment management requirements of a pit or quarry from industry experts. Perfect for those responsible for environmental compliance but also great for Operations Managers and New Employees! If you haven’t already attended this event in the past then save-the-date, you don’t want to miss out. Stay-tuned for new agenda items including presentations from regulators.

Book Your Rooms Early for two great events in 2017!

January 25 – 26, 2017 Operations, Health and Safety Seminar Hotel Room Block at the Marriott Toronto Airport Hotel - $152 a night plus tax. Book here

OSSGA Conference and AGM will be held at the Westin Ottawa, February 15 – 17, 2017.  Come early to enjoy Winterlude, stay later for the family day long weekend! - $199 a night plus tax. Book here

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Apply Now for ORBA Joe Bunting and J.D. Chick Scholarships

The Joe Bunting Scholarship is awarded to a college student entering their final year of a Civil Engineering Technician or Technology program at an Ontario college. The J.D. Chick Scholarship is awarded to a university student entering their final year in a Civil Engineering program at an Ontario university. The criteria for students applying includes an essay describing why applicants are pursuing a post-secondary engineering or engineering technology education and discussing their goals in pursuing a career in civil engineering/technology, past work experience, particularly directly related to the civil construction or broader construction industry, and involvement with special projects or volunteer activities that demonstrate a commitment to the applicant’s local community, school or charitable organization is heavily factored into the assessment along with reference letters from employers and recommendations from professors. The scholarship application, including accompanying documents, must be received no later than October 31, 2016.

Nature Canada hosts Annual Fundraising Event

Nature Canada is hosting a spectacular evening on September 30th called the Nature Canada Ball!  Madame Sophie Grégoire Trudeau will be honoured/speaking at the event as their 100th Woman for Nature,  Margaret Atwood will be their keynote speaker and three time Juno award winning artist Chantal Kreviazuk will be providing the entertainment.  Don’t miss the event of the season in the Ottawa area!  This is a fundraising event to support our NatureHood work connecting children to nature and the huge physical, mental and social health benefits that brings.


Concerned Rockwood, Ont. residents fill Hidden Quarry OMB hearing

The vice president of a construction company that wants to open a quarry near Rockwood, Ont., says the type of rock the quarry would produce stronger concrete, which would benefit municipalities looking to build longer-lasting bridges, buildings and infrastructure. "If we can build bridges that have a longer service life, it's going to be much cheaper," Greg Sweetnam, vice president of James Dick Construction Limited, told the first day of an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing about the Hidden Quarry, which is proposed for a property on Highway 7 and Line 6, just outside Rockwood and about 75 km west of Toronto.

Rockwood residents stand up against potential quarry
570 NEWS

The small town of Rockwood, northeast of Guelph, may be getting a quarry just outside of its borders, but it won’t come without a fight.

An eight week hearing with the Ontario Municipal Board began today, and residents are concerned. James Dick Construction Limited wants to create Hidden Quarry, just one kilometre away from Rockwood to extract dolomite. Dolomite is a high quality building material used to build structures such as the CN Tower. Note:  Coverage includes video from Concerned Citizens Coalition

South Bruce Peninsula residents raise quarry concerns

Neighbours of a proposed quarry raised concerns at a meeting at the Wiarton Curling Club, Sept. 19.  About 50 residents faced off against Cuesta Planning Consultants Inc. (Cuesta) consultants, who represented Darren Arsenault, of Waterdown, would-be developer of a proposed 39.40 hectare aggregate below water quarry at Lot 6, Concession 25 in the Town of South Bruce Peninsula (SBP).

Brampton Brick’s latest quarry rezoning application draws fire from residents

Revised plans for a massive shale quarry in northwest Brampton drew fire from residents who want to see the proposal buried for good.  “Brampton Brick’s presentations today, and in the past, dismiss unresolved negative impacts and instead shift their focus to a few concessions,” said Janet Kuzniar, one of about 100 people who packed council chambers Monday night to speak against Brampton Brick’s revisited plans for a massive quarry at Old Pinecrest Road and Winston Churchill Boulevard.

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