Friday, January 30, 2015


The regularily scheduled 6 pm. CPAC meeting was preceeded by Mayor Shantz and CAO Dave Brenneman having a public sit down and chat with CPAC. Mayor Shantz explained that it was preferable to her that the air get cleared and that first hand communications between herself and CPAC were superior to flurries of e-mails going back and forth. I was and am impresed with her candour and no nonsense attitude.

Basically Sandy (Mayor Shantz) encouraged us to ask her questions and there were a ton of them concerning her and Council's ongoing dealings with both Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. While I am no fan of private meetings discussing a group (CPAC) in their absence; the only thing worse would be keeping it a secret. Kudos to both Mayor Shantz and Councillor Mark Bauman as they explained the private meetings that they had had with Chemtura and the Ont. M.O.E. both individually and together.

One of my concerns about meetings dealing with individuals or groups behind their backs is that it is far too easy for some of the parties present to gild the lily in the absence of the party being discussed. In this case having CPAC member and Councillor Mark Bauman present is not remotely an adequate safeguard that only honest information will be shared and communicated. While Mark has indeed proven himself on matters regarding Council grants to CPAC he has also defied CPAC's express wishes regarding my membership on CPAC.

Mayor Shantz is not a pushover and that came through when she defended her position on the possibility of reopening CPAC Applications down the road. I made my position very clear that I viewed that action as being both dishonest and an abuse of process. Mayor Shantz politely held firm and stated that Council would make that decision at a later date.

Mark Bauman advised us of several significant and relevant points he had raised with the M.O.E.. CPAC Chair Dr. Dan Holt quite bluntly and firmly advised the Mayor that it was not appropriate to be holding private meetings discussing CPAC without their Chair, himself, present. Again they had to agree to disagree. Personally I have seen way too much of the results of those kinds of private meetings undermining honest citizen reps while bolstering the position of groups such as Chemtura or the M.O.E..

Last evenings pre-meeting with Mayor Shantz was very sucessful. CPAC got a lot off their chests, the mayor listened and understood whether or not she agreed with everything. Speaking for myself and I believe this opinion is shared, I am feeling much better that Woolwich Council are not selling the farm behind the scenes to Chemtura or the M.O.E.. CPAC made it very clear to the Mayor, CAO, Councillor Bauman at the table and Councillor Hahn (Scott) in the audience that Chemtura and the M.O.E. have a lot to answer for and that respect and courtesy are a two way street. I made it clear that dishonesty and deflection of answers and information by the other parties will continue not to be tolerated. I also believe that the Mayor and CAO have a much better understanding of CPAC/SWAT's mutual support, respect and cohesiveness.

Without either Chemtura or the Ministry of Environment present for the second public CPAC meeting in a row, it was much easier to keep the formal CPAC meeting short. I presented documentation which I handed out to CPAC, SWAT, Councillor Hahn and Mayor Shantz. It was a series of maps showing everything from floodplain information to vegetation on Chemtura's south-east corner. There were also two maps showing two different locations for gravel Pit 1 (GP1). This was two different locations from what Conestoga Rovers have claimed for the last twenty plus years. I also explained that CRA had dramatically increased the size of GP1 over just the last three years on their maps. Just like Peter Gray's MTE Consultant's Report, the ball is firmly in Chemtura's court. Will they respond intelligently to these legitimate questions and concerns over the real location of GP1 or will they continue to stonewall?

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