Motions to ban key quarry witnesses are denied

BRUCEDALE – James Dick Construction Ltd. (JDCL) will be able to present its key expert witnesses at the hearing into the proposed “hidden quarry” east of Rockwood, after an attempt by opponents to block them was denied by the hearing chair.

When the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) hearing started last week at the Guelph-Eramosa council chamber, lawyers for the Concerned Residents Coalition (CRC), Halton Hills and Halton Region filed motions saying JDCL violated LPAT rules by failing to provide detailed advance disclosure of witness testimony.

They sought a ban on the testimony, including pivotal data on the hydrogeological impact of the proposed quarry. JDCL is relying on its right to treat lengthy study documents as its pre-hearing disclosure.

According to a newsletter published by CRC, chair Scott Tousaw expressed concerns about the JDCL approach, but ruled to deny those motions. A separate motion to eliminate duplicate testimony on the issue of blasting was successful.

Testimony continued last week, including an opening statement by JDCL vice-president Greg Sweetnam that focused on the need for a supply of aggregate products.

There was also testimony about the site plan and impact on agricultural land by JDCL planner Robert Stovel. Also, JDCL traffic engineer Kim Nystrom testified about new left turn lanes to be added on Highway 7, and about haul routes.

JDCL witnesses will continue for several weeks, followed by those from Halton Hills – Halton Region, then from CRC, with the process lasting up to eight weeks.

While the hearing continues, all meetings of Guelph-Eramosa council and committee of the whole will be held at the Marden Community Centre.