Residents, cottagers in Ontario’s Muskoka region fight quarry proposal near unique Skeleton Lake – by John Lorinc (Globe and Mail – April 2, 2018)

When Jessica Dixon first heard about a 58-hectare quarry proposed for a patch of bush near Skeleton Lake and her farm, west of Huntsville, Ont., she began worrying about the sound of blasting and the dust kicked up by the operation.

But her main concern was the steady stream of heavy gravel trucks that would rumble by the home she shares with her husband and four young children. “It’s a busy and difficult road,” the 37-year-old Ms. Dixon said.

Last year, Ms. Dixon joined several hundred local residents and Skeleton Lake cottagers in what’s become a fierce local campaign to halt the quarry − a medium-sized independent operation owned by investor Frank Lippa, based in Woodbridge, Ont.

Although they benefit from considerable regulatory protections, quarries are rarely popular with their neighbours. In the past few years, several other contentious quarry proposals have been blocked or withdrawn, including the so-called mega-quarry proposed for Melancthon, a Niagara Escarpment mine whose opponents included musician Sarah Harmer, and others in Caledon and near Lake of Bays.

Quarries supply raw materials, such as sand and aggregate crushed rock used in concrete and ready-mix asphalt, for a broad range of uses, including public works, roofing, building materials and landscaping.

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