Restart Quarry Rehab Program: MHCA to province
The MHCA Board of Directors has sent a letter to Agriculture and Resources Development Minister Blaine Pedersen, urging him to restart the Quarry Rehabilitation Program in construction season 2020.
“This is a clear, direct, fully funded opportunity for the government to provide immediate economic stimulus from funds collected, held in trust and designated by legislation to the specific purposes of rehabilitating spent quarries.” stated the letter, sent April 13. It was signed by MHCA Chair Jack Meseyton and President Chris Lorenc.
The quarry rehab reserve account holds about $8 million, held in trust by the province which administers the rehab program.
The program was halted in 2018 during a review of its operations by the Mines Branch. That review has been referred to the Auditor General for further examination.
While the Auditor General’s Office has not submitted its report yet, that office has confirmed there is nothing holding the province back from operating the program in the meantime.
Lorenc noted there is very strong support for the program not just from industry, but the rural municipalities whose communities host pits and quarries.
Given the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, all governments are maintaining infrastructure programs and looking for quick restart to employment.
“People want to work and want to know there is work to go back to,” the letter stated. “The Quarry Rehabilitation Program is an immediate avenue to employment and circulation of money throughout rural Manitoba.”
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