Gravel Watch Ontario needs your input…..
They say that doing the same thing but yet expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. While we would never suggest that Gravel Watch Ontario is insane, we have for years been relying on the same approach of education, advocacy and relationship building in the belief that we could create a breakthrough when it comes to aggregate policy in Ontario.
The Aggregate Resource Act (ARA) Review which kicked off in 2011 and our active role in that process as a key stakeholder was a hopeful sign. Unfortunately it’s 2018, some seven years later, and we still don’t have the significant reforms we advocated for and now we have a new government that we need to start all over with and build new relationships.
Gravel Watch Ontario has always acknowledged that to be effective agents of change we needed to have two dimensions to our organization. The first would be an external one that would drive the need for change by exposing how and why the system needs to be reformed. The second would be an internal one where we would establish our creditability, build relationships with decision makers and work with them to create those changes.
In reality though we have focused almost all our energies on the second internal dimension. And while we are not suggesting that we abandon those activities, without the external dimension exposing the issues with aggregates in Ontario today we have come to the conclusion that it is unlikely that the pace of reform will be anything like what Ontario needs.
Over the past few weeks Gravel Watch Ontario has been working with a professional campaign organizer to explore what an aggregate action campaign would look like. We have some possible campaign candidates in mind such as demanding a moratorium on new aggregate sites until we rationalize just how much aggregate is already available for extraction, but in order for any aggregate campaign to be successful we need your input into designing its inputs, messaging, activities and goals.
We are also very well aware that most Ontarians who are concerned about aggregates are concerned because their homes and communities are under threat from aggregate extraction. Therefore, if we are going to have the kind of broad engagement needed to make an aggregate campaign successful, that campaign is going to have to help you with your local threat. Your input into the campaign design is therefore critical.
Our Members’ Meeting in November is being dedicated to a campaign workshop in order to educate everyone on the elements that make an outside campaign successful and to get your input into what a successful Gravel Watch Ontario campaign might look like. Whether you are currently involved with an aggregate issue, or you have dealt with one in the past, or are worried about facing one in the future, we need you to join us for this event.
Gravel Watch Ontario Campaign Workshop
Sunday November 25th, 2018
9am – 1pm Note: extended 4-hour meeting
Puslinch Community Centre
23 Brock Road South
Morriston, ON N0B 2C0
(3 kilometers north from exit 299 on Hwy 401)
In order to plan for the event, we are asking you to RSVP to confirm your attendance. Please feel free to bring more than one member of your organization with you. If you have any questions or want to share any thoughts, we would encourage you to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Pending a successful campaign development phase, our goal would be to launch our campaign in the spring of 2019.