December 15, 2011 08:01 ET

Representatives from First Nations, the Aggregate Industry and an Active Aggregate Community Group Add Their Voice to Socially and Environmentally Responsible Aggregate (SERA)

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 15, 2011) - Today, Socially and Environmentally Responsible Aggregate Canada (SERA-Canada) announces the addition of three new participants to its Standards Development Panel (the Panel). New participants to the panel include Michael Zeidenberg from Harold Sutherland Construction Inc., representatives from Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Caledon (CCC) and Paul General from Six Nations of the Grand River (as an observer). The balanced Panel, is a cross representation of members of the aggregate industry, environmental and community groups. The Panel mandate is to review, revise, field-test and reach consensus on the Draft SERA Standards that were released on June 1, 2011.

Launched on September 27, 2011, the Panel has made significant headway in building consensus on revisions to the Draft SERA Standards to that a high but achievable standard for aggregate extraction in Ontario is in place. With the addition of these new members, SERA's Standards Development Panel now has representation from smaller companies, First Nations communities and local residents.

Brenda McCabe, Chair of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto and Chair of the SERA Standards Development Panel believes the new additions will benefit the Panel by offering some specific expertise to an already expert group. "The key to the success of the Standards Development Panel will be its ability to reflect various interests in a flexible and efficient manner," says Dr. McCabe. "By expanding the Panel today we are ensuring that the final SERA standards are representative of the entire province."

With the addition of the new members, the Panel includes:

  • Mark Dorfman (land use and environmental policy planner)
  • Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment (FORCE)
  • Gravel Watch Ontario
  • Environmental Defence
  • The Miller Group
  • CONDRAIN Group
  • Dufferin Aggregates
  • Harold Sutherland Construction Inc.
  • Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Caledon
  • Six Nations of the Grand River (as observer)
  • Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (as observer)

"Today's announcement is the next step in the consensus building process that SERA-Canada has been committed to since its launch," says Lorne Johnson, Executive Director, SERA-Canada. "The goal is to have a small but diverse group of sector leaders at the table. With this group I'm confident we can say we have achieved that goal."


Six Nations of the Grand River

At this point Six Nations are coming to the table as observers only. They will be looking to better understand SERA's initiative and the extent to which it can benefit their communities. Paul General will be representing Six Nations of the Grand River on the Panel. Six Nations of the Grand River is the largest First Nation in Canada with a total of 23,902 band members. The current acreage of Six Nations covers some 46,000 acres near the City of Brantford, Ontario. This represents approximately 5% of the original 950,000 acres of land granted by the 1784 Haldimand Treaty.

Harold Sutherland Construction Ltd.

Harold Sutherland Construction (HSC) will be represented on the Panel by Michael Zeidenberg, CEO and General Manager who has been with HSC for over one year. Michael comes to HSC with over 30 years experience from the consultation sector and has specialized as a CFO and COO for family run businesses. Harold Sutherland Construction, operating since 1960, is a progressive aggregate operator with 4 licensed quarries and 15 licensed pits throughout the Grey and Bruce Counties. HSC is a vertically integrated company providing asphalt, ready mix concrete; custom crushing along with MTO rated road-building services. They are also a CCII Certified Lab for aggregate, concrete and asphalt testing. Harold Sutherland Construction is an active member in the Grey-Bruce community supporting a number of sports teams, healthcare facilities, local charities and the Owen Sound Chamber of Commerce.

Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Caledon

The Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Caledon (CCC) was formed in 1997 as a community voice against potentially negative impacts of aggregate operations in the area. Representatives from the CCC executive committee will participate on the Panel, providing years of first hand experience in advancing the concerns of local citizens regarding aggregate extraction.

About SERA (

Socially and Environmentally Responsible Aggregate (SERA) is a not-for-profit organization that will create, administer and promote widespread support for certification of responsibly sourced construction materials. Its initial focus is on establishing a voluntary certification system to promote responsibly sourced aggregate materials in Ontario, offering operators an innovative way to demonstrate their efforts to recognize the social and environmental expectations of local communities.

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