MHCA is calling on members and other contractors involved in rehabilitating pits and quarries to phone or email key ministers in the Pallister government, to get the Quarry Rehabilitation Program up and running this year.
The Quarry Rehab Program was halted in 2018 while the Mines Branch undertook a review of its operations. Fees collected from producers who extract aggregates are deposited by the provincial government into a dedicated reserve account, set aside expressly to pay for rehabilitation of spent pits and quarries.
The province has held off restarting the rehabilitation program, pending an Auditor General’s report on the department’s review.
“There is nothing holding the province back from using the reserve account, which holds more than $8 million, to fund these critical rehabilitation projects,” MHCA President Chris Lorenc noted. “Further, at this time when our economy is facing unprecedented damage due to the pandemic business shutdown, it would be a key way to get small and medium-sized operators working in rural Manitoba, creating jobs and churning cash through the communities.”
The members are asked to call specific ministers, whose portfolios are connected to the economy, infrastructure and aggregate resources.
“We would like to see all members picking up their phone and speaking to the ministers. The rehabilitation of pits and quarries is key to ensuring access to high quality aggregate resources. Infrastructure construction does not happen without aggregates.”