Protectors of Wetlands and River Magnetawan (POWR Mag)
In 2008, A. Miron Topsoil of New Liskeard purchased property south of Hwy. 518 along the Magnetawan River, above the Ayres Dam between Emsdale and Kearney. This property included a small gravel pit, licenced as a ‘B’ Pit, i.e., up to 20,000 tonnes/yr. Shortly thereafter, the owner began crushing gravel on it, then applied to rezone and expand the aggregate license to an ‘A’ pit and to add a quarry.
Residents mobilized to oppose this proposed pit expansion and quarry. Action included participating in frequent public meetings as well as an all-candidates’ meeting during the provincial election, making presentations to the local council, enlisting the assistance of the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), commenting via the Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO) on the need to reform the OMB (now LPAT), challenging the permit to take water allowed to the pit operator, and engaging in respectful conversations with the Magnetawan First Nations.
Perry Township unanimously denied the application to rezone, one of two sets of permissions required for the aggregate extraction. The aggregate producer was determined to proceed and appealed Council’s decision to the Ontario Municipal Board. The OMB, now the LPAT, has the power to overturn municipal decisions.
In October of 2020, POWR Mag’s president, Doris Kelly-Cpyk, reported that the proponent had withdrawn. In December of 2020, POWR Mag dissolved.