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Highland Companies withdraws controversial Mega-Quarry application

Company drops proposal to blast beneath farmland a month after 40,000 attend Soupstock protest

TORONTO - The Canadian Chefs’ Congress and David Suzuki Foundation applaud the Highland Companies today for withdrawing its controversial proposal to blast a 2,300-acre limestone Mega-Quarry beneath some of Ontario’s best farmland. The surprise announcement comes exactly one month after over 40,000 supporters attended Soupstock, an event in protest of the Mega-Quarry.

“We are ecstatic that the company has bowed to pressure and has committed to farming the land rather than blasting a huge open pit beneath our precious countryside,” said Chef Michael Stadtländer from the Canadian Chefs’ Congress. “Soupstock gave the company another 40,000 reasons to back away from the Mega-Quarry project and we are thrilled that the proposal has been withdrawn.”

“We are thrilled that the company has respected the will of the community and the tens of thousands of farmers, chefs, artists and concerned citizens that want to see our farmland and food protected,” said the David Suzuki Foundation’s Dr. Faisal Moola. “While we will celebrate this extraordinary victory, the Ontario government must also seize this opportunity to overhaul its antiquated provincial policies for aggregate mining that allowed this outrageous proposal to be considered in the first place. We must ensure that no other community in Ontario faces the same threats to their water, food and wildlife.”

On Sunday, October 21st, over 200 top chefs from across Canada and the U.S.joined Soupstock in Toronto’s Woodbine Park. The chefs offered original soup creations celebrating Ontario’s rich agricultural bounty. Local farmers and producers generously donated more than 10,000 pounds of fresh ingredients, from leeks and carrots to beets and bones that were used in the soups. More than 40,000 people showed up to celebrate and protest the Mega-Quarry.

The Mega-Quarry would have permanently destroyed more than 2,300 acres (930 hectares) of the best potato farmland in Ontario and require 600-million litres of water to be pumped out of the piteach day in perpetuity. Up to one million Ontarians downstream rely on thiswater.

To find out more about the Mega-Quarry proposal and efforts to protect farms, food and water, please visit www.davidsuzuki.org/megaquarry.

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For more information, please contact:
Jode Roberts, David Suzuki Foundation 647 456 9752 cell,jroberts@davidsuzuki.org

Soupstock – A Call to Action from Dowling Pictures on Vimeo.

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