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St. Marys Cement continues battle with Ontario government

Mar, 16 2012

(Canada)  --  St. Marys Cement Inc. of Toronto said in a press release Thursday it may call Ontario Environment Minister James Bradley as a witness in the judicial review of a decision by the provincial government to deny it permission to operate an aggregate quarry north of Hamilton.

The firm’s U.S. parent company has challenged the federal government under the North American Free Trade Agreement. The company is also appealing to the Ontario Divisional Court a decision by the Environmental Review Tribunal to deny the firm’s application for a Permit to Take Water (PTTW). It filed a notice of arbitration under NAFTA last year, based in part on materials the firm obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

St. Mary’s Cement purchased the 380-acre proposed quarry site, on 11th Concession Road East at Milburough Line, in a rural area about halfway between Guelph and Hamilton, in 2006.

In April 2010, Bradley, the Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament for St. Catharines, imposed a Minister’s Zoning Order on the site. At that time he was Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

After St Marys Cement appealed this decision to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), the province issued a Declaration of Provincial Interest, which would allow it to overturn an OMB decision. The company is seeking damages of not less than $US275 million in compensation for the loss, harm, injury, loss of reputation and damage imposed by various governments.

If the site is approved, the firm would extract Amabel Dolostone, used for structural concrete for schools, hospitals, housing, office buildings, and airport runways. It can also be used as the granular base in asphalt mixes and structural concrete for sidewalks, bridges, roads and streets.

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