Provincial Policy Statement PPS 2014 – balancing interests?

Provincial Policy Statement PPS 2014 is a 56 page document that is the statement of thepits below water table government's policies on land use planning. It took effect on April 30, 2014. Although it's been long awaited, on the subject of aggregate extraction, it's not likely to sooth tensions between aggregate producers and the communities in which they operate.

While there appears to be new language that supports the public health and environmental cause there's also a new welcome mat set out for producers. In effect, the case for both sides has been reinforced making the whole exercise look like an arms race rather than a balancing of interests. 
Access Ontario PPS 2014 here

Nevertheless some sources feel that there is considerable room for flexible interpretations of the changes found in PPS 2014. An example is the PPS 2014 opinion  prepared by lawyers at Macmillan LLP, June 2014.
Access 2014 PPS Comment per lawyers Mcmillan LLP here   

The Federation of Citizens Associations of Ottawa Carleton has produced a table illustrating the differences between the new 2014 version of the PPS and the previous 2005 and also the 2012 draft versions.
Access the FCA comparison chart here

A Mixed Bag

The message to the aggregate industry seems to be - You're more welcome than ever to extract gravel in Ontario BUT you must meet a higher environmental benchmark.

The message to municipalities is - Potential aggregate producing lands must be protected for future excavation and the Government highly approves of accessory ("ancillary") use of these sites for recycling plants BUT the environmental standards applied to aggregate licence proposals are higher than ever.
- And by the way "The policies of this Provincial Policy Statement represent minimum standards. This Provincial Policy Statement does not prevent planning authorities and decision-makers from going beyond the minimum standards established in specific policies, unless doing so would conflict with any policy of this Provincial Policy Statement."

Under these circumstances, citizen's are asking their political representatives - Does our current Official Plan and By-laws protect our interests.

For our politicians - a hot potato has just landed in their laps. How far is their municipality willing to go to balance environmental interests in the face of proposed aggregate development. Does their Official Plan sufficiently protect their communities and if not what are they doing about it?