Formation of the Aggregate Resources Trust
THE AGGREGATE RESOURCES TRUST & THE ONTARIO AGGREGATE RESOURCES CORPORATION
At the Provincial level, the management of Ontario’s aggregate resources is the responsibility of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (the MNRF). In 1997, in an effort to better focus resources on the delivery of core programs, the MNRF took steps to build a partnership with private industry to manage certain administrative functions. Accordingly, subsections 6.1 (1) and 6.1 (3) of the Aggregate Resources Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chap. A.8, as amended (the Act), gave the Minister the power to create the Aggregate Resources Trust (the Trust) and appoint a trustee to look after its affairs. The Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry requested The Ontario Aggregate Resources Corporation (TOARC) to act as Trustee and in June of 1997 signed an indenture with the Corporation (the Trust Agreement) outlining the terms and conditions under which TOARC would fulfill the Trust purposes.
The Trust Purposes include:
- The rehabilitation of land for which a Licence or Permit has been revoked and for which final rehabilitation has not been completed;
- The rehabilitation of abandoned pits and quarries, including surveys and studies respecting their location and condition;
- Research on aggregate resources management, including rehabilitation;
- Payments to the Crown in right of Ontario and to regional municipalities, counties and local municipalities
in accordance with regulations made pursuant to the Act;
- The management of the Abandoned Pits and Quarries Rehabilitation Fund;
- Such other purposes as may be provided for by or pursuant to Paragraph 6.1(2) 5 of the Act.
In August of 1999, Addendum 1 to the Original Trust Indenture was signed to expand the Trust Purposes to include:
- The education and training of persons engaged in or interested in the management of the aggregate resources of Ontario,
the operation of pits or quarries, or the rehabilitation of land from which aggregate has been excavated;
- The gathering, publishing and dissemination of information relating to the management of the aggregate resources of Ontario,
the control and regulation of aggregate operations and the rehabilitation of land from which aggregate has been excavated.
The Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (the OSSGA) is the sole shareholder of the corporation. However, a multi-stakeholder board of directors pursuant to the Trust Indenture administers the affairs of the corporation. The seven-member Board is composed of OSSGA directors and representatives from environmental groups, municipalities and non-OSSGA member aggregate producers. TOARC operates at arms-length from the OSSGA in terms of separate office facilities, management staff and reporting. TOARC, in its role as trustee, is responsible only to fulfill the Trust purposes as outlined in Bill 52. The MNRF maintains a presence on the Board with an ex officio representative.
Since its inception in 1997, TOARC has focused upon developing systems for the efficient collection and disbursement of aggregate resource charges, the auditing of production reports, the rehabilitation of abandoned pits and quarries through the MAAP program, the collection and publishing of production statistics and the general management of the Trust assets. The Trust has funded the rehabilitation of five sites where licenses have been revoked and TOARC has undertaken a current inventory of other such sites so that further rehabilitation can take place in an orderly fashion.