Rock hard opposition to quarry – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – October 18, 2013)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

David Villard, a consultant with Bruce Tait Construction Ltd., was in the proverbial hot seat on Thursday night. The Wanup Community Hall played host to a packed house of more than 100 concerned citizens at an open house Tait’s firm organized to present plans for a proposed quarry, which will sit adjacent to Rock Lake, a picturesque recreational spot along Highway 69 surrounded by about 70 seasonal and permanent homes.

Thursday’s open house was an acrimonious affair and attendees expressed their opposition to the proposed quarry on a number of points. James Gomm, president of the Rock Lake Property Owners’ Association, and his wife, Catherine, are spearheading the opposition movement.

Of particular concern was the lack of information circulated to area residents, water quality and possible noise disruptions. Gillian Groves, a seasonal cottager, pointed out the industrial noise could disturb the lake’s residents, many of whom are retirees.

“These people worked for their lives to get these places and what you’re proposing is taking away time from what they’ve worked their lives to enjoy,” she said.

Villard told the crowd the quarry plans to operate Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., as well 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, but said there would be no processing activities from June 27 to Sept. 10.

Villard seemed unable to answer many of the crowd’s questions to their satisfaction, and often defaulted to stating “that’s your opinion” when challenged on various points.

When asked whether he could guarantee in writing that quarry operations would not affect water quality, Villard answered, “you can’t guarantee anything in writing,” eliciting raucous jeers from the crowd.

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