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More Than 160 Chefs to Protest Ontario Mega Quarry by Dishing Out Soup

More Than 160 Chefs to Protest Ontario Mega Quarry by Dishing Out Soup

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Published by STOP THE QUARRY
www.toronto.ctvnews.ca -- October 13, 2012
www.toronto.ctvnews.ca -- October 13, 2012

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Published by: STOP THE QUARRY on Oct 14, 2012
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04/15/2013

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More than 160 chefs to protest Ontariomega quarry by dishing out soup
Rebecca Burton, CTV TorontoPublished Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 7:00AM EDT
Swiss chard and potato, hot plum with a cold ice cream topping, evena harvest medley of beets, turnips and squash. This is just a taste of what will be offered up at Toronto’s Soupstock 2012. As the successor to last October’s Foodstock, this mega-culinaryevent will gather over 160 renowned Canadian chefs andrestaurateurs in a fundraising event to rally against the proposedmega-quarry in southern Ontario.“As restaurateurs we view food as culture. So when you are making acontribution to food culture, it’s very important to respond to whereyou are geographically,” chef Jamie Kennedy told CTV Toronto.Kennedy will dish out 2-3,000 portions of his Swiss chard and potatosoup at Woodbine Park on Oct.21, to crowds expected to reach 30-40,000 people.The proposed quarry will sit just 100 kilometres northwest of Torontoon Highway 124 near Shelburne. The expansive quarry would span2,300 acres across the Township of Melancthon, eliminating farmlandto tap into one billion tonnes of limestone deposit.It is estimated that 600 million litres of water will be pumped from thequarry every day due to the high water table.Kennedy joined the efforts as part of the opposition to the quarry toslow down the process. He wants to allow for more negotiations andinvolvement from community members.“A lot of us are supporting our rural communities because we depend
 
on it for food,” said Kennedy.Highland Companies, backed by a Boston hedge fund, is heading theproject, promising they will “rehabilitate the site agricultural andassociated uses,” according to its website.The Ontario government announced on Sept. 1, 2011 that a fullenvironmental assessment will be required before a decision ismade, a first in history. If the quarry is approved it will be the largestin Ontario and the second largest rock quarry in Canada.Melancthon Mayor Bill Hill told CTV Toronto he expects thegovernment’s decision to be years away, as the environmentalassessment has not even begun. Hill expects the assessment tobegin early next year and take up to two years to complete.“Obviously and understandably there has been severe opposition tothis,” said Hill. But Hill said his council has yet to take a stance on thequarry and are currently reviewing the data.Highland Companies confirmed Friday it is currently evaluating howto commence with the environmental assessment saying there hasbeen no timeline set against it.Co-sponsored by the David Suzuki foundation and the CanadianChef’s Congress, Soupstock will take place in Toronto this year totarget GTA residents.Faisal Moola, director of operations at the Suzuki Foundation, saidGTA residents are unaware how influential local agriculture is tothem.“This proposed project is unprecedented in Canada in terms of theimpact it will have on farmland and nature,” said Moola.Moola classified this as some of the best farmland in Ontario;
 
farmland that is already being lost at precipitous levels to newhighways, aggregate development and unsustainable practice. According to Moola, 16 per cent of class one agricultural soil, soil thathas the highest rate of agricultural land capability, has beendeveloped for urbanization in the last 10 years.“This is not the time to be moving forward with this proposal thatwould destroy so much farmland so quickly,” he said.Moola said continued research by the Suzuki foundation has foundthat greenbelt farmland surrounding the GTA has other benefits aswell. Approximately 40 million tonnes of carbon are absorbed out of the atmosphere by this farmland that fights emissions causing globalwarming.Fundraising from Soupstock will go towards the continued fightagainst the mega-quarry and research on the importance of thisfarmland in the battle against climate change.Michael Stadtlander, president of the Canadian Chef’s Congress,lives just 30 kilometres from the proposed site. According to Stadtlander, the land is known primarily as a potato-growing region, producing approximately 20 pounds of potatoes for each Toronto resident.Farmers in the area have expressed concern that if the quarry is dug,bordering farms will be vulnerable to drought. Wells could also beginto dry if moisture moves into the pit. All factors that could seriouslyhinder the production of potato crops.“I really don’t like things when it gets too quiet. It should not be puton the backburner. It’s not going to go away,” said Stadtlander.In an effort to keep things local at Soupstock, all chefs will be

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