PUSLINCH – A Puslinch farm is taking the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) seeking over $1.5 million in compensation stemming from land expropriation related to the Highway 6 bypass project.
An appeal filed Jan. 10 shows Burnhaven Farms Inc., owner of the lands at 7342 Wellington Rd. 34 in Puslinch, is claiming compensation due to adverse impacts to its farming operation from the expropriation of a portion of their property and property the farm leases — as well as market value for their property expropriated by the MTO.
Burnhaven Farms Inc. is a mixed-use agricultural business that raises cattle and grows corn and hay and other cash crops for sale. It also leases acres near its property for agricultural use including the Wozniak Farm and Baucham Farm on Concession 7.
In October 2017, the MTO expropriated a little over two acres from the Burnhaven property, 26 acres from Wozniak Farm and one acre from Baucham Farm for the purpose of the Highway 6 expansion project.
The Highway 6 expansion project would include the Morriston Bypass, new interchanges and improvements to Highway 401 and Highway 6, 11 new structures, construction of a local connection road and widening of Concession 7.
The statement of claim said Burnhaven had a permission to use agreement with the ministry on the properties until the end of 2018, even fertilizing and spraying expropriated lands on the Wozniak Farm, but was later prevented from entering the lands once possession was taken by the MTO in late 2018.
“Burnhaven abandoned farming those lands as a result,” the statement said. “Burnhaven lost its opportunity to rent 87.5 acres of the Wozniak Farm as a result of the Ministry’s expropriation and associated works beginning in 2019.”
According to the statement of claim, Burnhaven estimates that the past and continuing disruption to its business caused by the expropriation has led to damages amounting to approximately $500,000.
The farm is also seeking other compensation related to the expropriation including but not limited to the loss of trees, cost of moving a nutrient system, cost of a new manure spreader and cost of replacing fencing for a total over $1.5 million.
A hearing date has yet to be set.