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OSSGA UpdatesIndustry News Partners | Events |  Planning

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OSSGA Updates

OSSGA developing response to concerns raised by municipalities over new assessment values

As members are likely aware, MPAC, OSSGA and Municipal representatives were, for the past number of years, involved in consultations on the appropriate approach to the valuation of aggregate sites in Ontario for property tax purposes.  These discussions were the result of multiple appeals that were launched by producers, and then amalgamated under one action by OSSGA.  Recently MPAC announced a decision on the historic appeals as well as the go forward formula for determining the value of sites.

The new assessments by MPAC are based on three basic principles:

  1. Land rate will be based on bulk and/or farm land rates plus the cost of obtaining the necessary approvals, permits, licences and zoning which will be applied to the entire site;
  2. It is anticipated that the rate in the GTA and 905 area will be in the range of $15,000 per acre and was developed in consultation with MPAC and OSSGA with municipalities in fall 2015;
  3. The rate in #2 will be adjusted to reflect regional differences throughout the province and was developed in consultation with MPAC and OSSGA in the fall 2015.

There are some concerns about the assessment values from municipal representatives in some places (see related article below). OSSGA is confident that that the assessment numbers are correct and we will be working on communications to help members better understand the situation. If you have any questions, please contact Mike Scott at


County councillors digging in to oppose gravel pit assessment change

What sort of legacy will MPAC’s appeal settlement with gravel producers leave for municipalities across Ontario? On Jan. 9, Wellington County treasurer Ken DeHart said the change will have a major impact on the county and its municipalities, and Wellington County councillors want to send a clear message about their opposition to the move.  [Please note:  OSSGA is preparing a formal response to this article].


OSSGA appeals City of Ottawa’s proposed Significant Woodland Policy 

Along with some local producers, OSSGA has appealed the policy because the proposed policies are vague and could result in an unpredictable increase in significant woodlands. In addition, the city did not provide mapping along with the proposed policy changes, thus it is felt we could not be confident in the amount of woodlands that would be deemed significant.  In addition, OSSGA met with the planning department to discuss the mapping of aggregate resources and have asked the city to initiate the stakeholder group that will help to map the resource in the official plan. We are awaiting a response from the city on this issue.  In the meantime if you have any concerns, please contact Mike Scott at


OSSGA delivers keynote address at ASGA

Norm Cheesman, OSSGA's Executive Director, was the Keynote speaker at the Alberta Sand and Gravel Association (ASGA) annual meeting and conference in Edmonton last week.  He provided an update on the various legislative and regulatory issues we are facing in Ontario, and shared his perspective on future challenges facing the industry.  Many of the members of the audience he spoke to after his talk expressed the view that, notwithstanding the economic environment there now, they were glad they lived in Alberta! 

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Sending the right message

It's a fact. OSSGA members provide the stone, sand and gravel needed to build Ontario communities. We are surrounded by aggregate – it is literally the foundation of our lives. Yet many of us are unaware of how essential it is. Aggregate is needed to build our homes, hospitals, schools, roads and playgrounds. It is also used in manufacturing many everyday products like glass, lipstick and toothpaste. Every year, Ontario uses an average of 164 million tonnes of aggregate – that’s about 12 tonnes for every person in the province. 


New OSSGA Manager, Specifications & Standards

OSSGA has recently increased its bench strength by bringing an industry expert on-board on a part-time basis. Steve Drew, joined the OSSGA team in January. He comes with over 30 years’ experience in the aggregate business which will be a great asset in moving the specification and standardization committee forward in these ever changing times. Steve will be working on issues such as SMA specifications, recycled product specifications, excess material and imported fill acceptance protocols, to name but a few.

Industry News

A new chapter for OHMPA

On October 31, 2016 the membership of the Ontario Hot Mix Producers Association and the Ontario Road Builders Association voted in favour to amalgamate OHMPA with ORBA. The favourable vote means the end of a great asphalt association and the beginning of a new chapter as an asphalt council and a combined, galvanized force in Ontario’s road building industry. This pooled resource and stronger voice is needed to keep up with the ever-changing infrastructure landscape. The world is moving at a much faster pace, and to keep up, we as an industry have to evolve—and the association has to evolve. 


New Assessed Air EASR Regulation

On January 31, 2017, O.Reg 1/17: Registrations Under Part II.2 Of The Act – Activities Requiring Assessment Of Air Emissions will take effect. This new regulation will require all but high risk and/or complex activities to register on the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR). The new Air EASR regulation will help streamline the approvals process for air emissions by requiring registration for eligible activities online (eligible activities will still be required to meet the standards set out in O.Reg 418/05: Air Pollution – Local Air Quality). Ineligible activities (facilities with NAICS codes identified in the Schedule) will continue to be reviewed through the existing ECA process. 


New Air Contaminants Benchmarks List

On January 4, 2017 the MOECC posted the Air Contaminants Benchmarks List on the Environmental Registry (EBR# 012-9165). The Air Contaminants Benchmarks List (with 1,600 contaminants), replaces the separate existing lists, and consolidates the current standards, guidelines and screening levels used to prepare an Emission Summary and Dispersion Modelling (ESDM) report. For additional information, click here.


Technology to cut quarry staffing levels

Cutting labour costs and boosting efficiency in the new low-commodity price era is driving automation in quarries and mines. This trend will see fewer workers, with automation leading to cuts in jobs such as those involved in drilling, blasting, and train and truck driving – areas that typically represent more than 70% of mining employment –  the International Institute for Sustainable Development predicts in a report.

Partner Corner


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Project 11-11a: Township of West Wawanosh, Huron County 

This gravel pit was just under 1.0 ha in size, but to restore the slopes to a safe 3:1, a much larger area needed to be stripped to obtain enough material to backfill the area. The rehabilitation put the degraded pit back to a safe, usable pasture for the landowner.

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The Ontario Aggregate Resources Corporation (TOARC) in their MAAP program brings new life to legacy aggregate sites, as well as some of the progressive and final rehabilitation that is being done at licensed sites. Click read more for the before and afters!

ASGA welcomes new president 

Dale Soetaert has been named the new president of the Alberta Sand & Gravel Association. Travis Coates, ASGA’s outgoing president, made the announcement during the association’s annual general meeting, which had approximately 275 people in attendance. Coates is stepping down from the position after fulfilling his three-year term at the helm of the association. All other board members have returned to continue their duties in 2017.


AGG 101 and AGG 201 are available Pre Ops Health & Safety!
January 24, 2017, Marriott Toronto Airport Hotel

Aggregates 101 - $225 + tax - only 30 spots

In-class education about the industry - definitions, licensing, staffing, processing, product delivery, quality control, specifications, best practices and more.

Aggregates 201 - $250 + tax - only 25 spots

This course is an expansion on 101 with an in-depth focus on operation and rehabilitation. Topics include drill and blast, load and haul, crushing, screening, product use and rehabilitation.

Register through the OPHS register button below.

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Operations, Health and Safety Seminar
January 25 – 26, 2017

Program details now available.  Don’t miss this opportunity to find out what’s new in the industry, to network with your industry counterparts and to see what’s new in the vendor world.

Click here for the full brochure featuring our two exciting keynote speakers, Dr. Joe MacInnis, member of the Titanic Discovery Team, and Curtis Weber a workplace accident survivor.

Hotel Room Block at the Marriott Toronto Airport Hotel - $152 a night plus tax. Book here.

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OSSGA Conference and AGM
February 15 – 17, 2017, Westin Ottawa. 

Canada’s Story is OSSGA’s Story! OSSGA welcomes its members to Ottawa to celebrate the building of our great nation out of good old-fashioned Canadian aggregate!  As the country commemorates the 150th anniversary of Confederation, OSSGA has created an agenda with a great cast of Canadian industry presenters, keynote speakers and entertainers.  The conference will explore emerging topics including working with the next generation, provide updates on major policy initiatives, enable important networking opportunities as well as skating on the canal, beaver tails and a full on Canadian Sports Party.

The full conference agenda is available here.

Come early to enjoy Winterlude, stay later for the family day long weekend! - $199 a night plus tax. Book your hotel room here, and register for conference by clicking below:

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OSSGA Technical Tour to South Carolina
October 16 – 19, 2017

Don’t forget to get your budget request in now for the OSSGA South Carolina Technical Tour. Sites include the Martin Marietta Berkeley Quarry which extracts limestone by both blasting and using a drag line.  You’ll visit the home of the biggest vertical cement mill in South Carolina, get an inside look at Komatsu’s Newberry Manufacturing Operation which has wheel loader and fork lift assembly lines, and more.    

Space is very limited and on a first-come first-served basis.  Registration is open at a rate of only $2,850 Canadian.  Price includes return flight from Toronto to Charlotte, 3 nights’ accommodations, most meals, transportation in South Carolina, eight site tours and a thrilling outing at the BMW Performance Driving School.  Mark your calendars and watch for registration in December.  Have questions?  Contact Julie Harrington at


Tribunal hears concerns of residents

More than 100 residents packed the Brant County council chamber to hear public presentations as part of an environmental tribunal hearing into an aggregate company's attempt to gain a water-taking permit for its new operation north of Paris. Nine witnesses expressed concerns during a special evening session this week about the prospect of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change giving Dufferin Aggregates, a division of CRH Canada Group Inc., an environmental compliance approval (ECA) and a water-taking permit to operate a gravel pit it has opened on more than 600 acres of agricultural land on Watts Pond Road.

CCOB continues Paris pit appeal

A group of Brant county residents has resumed its appeal of water permit conditions for a Paris gravel pit before the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal. Lawyers representing the Concerned Citizens of Brant (CCOB) and the owner of the gravel pit, CRH Canada Inc. (formerly Dufferin Aggregates), heard from expert witnesses and residents alike over the past week in the County of Brant's council chambers in downtown Paris.

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Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

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