Thursday, December 31, 2015

GOODBYE TO 2015



What a truly bizarre year it has been. Woolwich Township Council for the second straight election (Oct. 2010 & 2014) has been totally changed with the one sad exception of the Councillor for St. Jacobs. In my opinion he is best described by the first sentence in today's Woolwich Observer Editorial.

This same Council started their mandate with a campaign to assist our world class polluter, Chemtura Canada, by removing the citizens committee (CPAC) appointed by the previous council. Knowing that this committee single handedly turned on its' head the conventional wisdom held by all authorities that the 2028 cleanup was on track; our newly elected council proceeded to use lying, deception, manipulation and their recently acquired political muscle to slander CPAC and remove those dedicated volunteers from the jobs they did better by far than any other CPAC ever.

This same Council then got their knuckles rapped by the Ontario Ombudsman for holding numerous illegal in camera meetings. Seems that Woolwich Councillors have this idea that provincial legislation simply doesn't apply to them. As long as they can fool and confuse their own citizens with their lying and decption, then the laws don't count.

Again this same Council (O.K. 1/2 of them) tried the same thing with their on-line Financial Statements showing the expenses and donations that they received for their municipal election campaigns. Turns out that once again Woolwich politicians believe that they make all the rules and therefore it's O.K. to break them at will. My favourite nonsensical comment came from Municipal Clerk Val Hummel who stated that it was "Woolwich tradition" not to require acclaimed candidates (read Mark Bauman) to file Financial Statements. The fact that the Municipal Elections Act, the 2014 Candidates Guide and every other reference all specifically state that acclaimed candidates MUST file Funancial Statements was of no importance to our very own Dogpatch (Woolwich Twn.).

On the same subject we have our very own mayor Shantz repeatedly, publicly proclaiming that her missed election expenses were either optional or subjective. Sure they were Sandy. Voting Day Partys and Thank You Notices/Appreciation Notices are all specifically mentioned in the Municipal Elections Act as expenses required to be included in the Financial Statements. Again they are also specifically included by the 2014 Candidates Guide and finally your hiding behind the incompetence of a bureaucrat from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs is simply pathetic. In fact it's exactly like Chemtura Canada hiding behind the Ontario Ministry of Environment & Climate Change. Sandy stated that Tim Ryall of the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and his incompetent and inaccurate advice excused her from either blame or fault in understating her expenses to the point that they were falsely below the ten thousand dollar threshold which also required her to submit an Auditor's report by last March 27/15. The first breaking of the ten thousand dollar threshold came from her financial contortions ($2,600) on the Contribution (donations) side of her Financial statement.

All in all a banner year for dishonest and or incompetent local politicians. Let's see what trouble they continue to get themselves into (at our expense) during 2016.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

MAYOR SHANTZ & PROVINCIAL OFFENCES COURT ARE ONE WEEK AWAY



Back in early December the ten Municipal Election Act (MEA) charges laid against mayor Shantz were adjourned until January 6, 2015 at 9 am.; I believe in either courtroom 101 or 102. Since that date it has become clearer to me as to the legal difficulties involved in prosecuting under the MEA. I have been documenting here since last September all the obstacles, hurdles and checkpoints faced and overcome. I have made it very clear that this is not remotely a user friendly process. That said I have seen some excellent, dedicated professionals with a sincere desire to do their duty. Unfortunately I have also seen a system that is not set up or prepared to accomodate the legal requirements as set out in the province of Ontario's MEA. That is disgraceful.

To date I have been given the wrong forms to fill out only to be so advised weeks later. Then after the charges were accepted by the Justice of the Peace they were sent to the wrong courthouse. We were initially in the Ontario Court of Justice only to find that we needed to be in Provincial Offences Court. Even there, another month later, I thought I heard the suggestion that some of the charges might need to be heard in a different court although I'm not 100% certain of that. Finally the latest procedural snafu or misadventure may relate back to the original laying of charges through the Justice of the Peace. Again all this is over my head but as you can imagine is discouraging.

At this point in time I am beginning to appreciate exactly how big a mouthful I have bitten off. Do I have any regrets? Exactly zero. Woolwich Township procedures and practices involved in this process have proven to be biased and dishonest. MECAC are so far over the line and totally out to lunch as to be beyond any hope of salvage. Tweaking will not give them any semblance of dispassionate honesty. While the courts to date have been slow, cumbersome and unprepared to deal with Municipal Election Act charges, nevertheless they are trying. They say that where there is a will there is a way. That is my hope and will remain so until it is finished one way or the other.

When I started last June 16/15 I knew that mayor Shantz was not the ethical individual I had understood for the previous nineteen years. Yes there had been, years ago, bizarre decisions and behaviour which she did her best to explain away. I naively had accepted those phony explanations (in hindsight) because I wanted to believe that she was the real deal, an honest politician. I was wrong then and she was exactly what she is today namely a politician with a sense of entitlement which includes deceiving and manipulating the public when she sees fit.

I have stayed the course exactly to determine if the system set out in the Municipal Elections Act is the real deal. MECAC are a pack of former politicians, wanna be politicians and political hangers on appointed ostensibly by the Municipal Clerks throughout Waterloo Region; who themselves are beholden to the current multiple Councils for their jobs. Now it is in the courts which have not received direction or probably even resources to do their jobs on this matter. The process has been ridiculously arduous, time consuming and filled with personal attacks and slander all of which are meant to discourage other citizens from ever attempting this process again. But guess what folks? A trail is being blazed. It will be much easier for a second citizen to follow their duty and their conscience. And after the second it will be yet easier for a third. Tremble all ye dishonest politicians.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP DISHONESTY



Every single Woolwich Councillor should step up and listen carefully to the Minutes of the MECAC meeting of October 26, 2015. Then they should equally as carefully read these Minutes posted on the Township's website since December 7, 2015. At that point Woolwich staff responsible for them should be given 24 hours to remove them. If you think Councillors that this is too short a time period then relisten for a second time to those recorded Minutes and reread the written version on-line.

Senior staff including CAO have been in possesion of my e-mail listing a number of gross errors in the Minutes, since December 9/15. I and others were informed on December 7 that the Draft Minutes had been posted and would remain so awaiting public comment until December 14/15. They would then be sent to MECAC for their approval and the approved Minutes would be posted by Friday December 18/15. This has not occurred and the grossly inaccurate and misrepresentative Draft Minutes have been posted on the Township's website now for over three weeks.

I have reread them again this morning as well as my December 9/15 e-mail to the Township staff and politicos. As indicated in my December 9/15 e-mail there were many errors and inaccuracies in the Draft Minutes that I didn't explicitly refer to. That said let me acknowledge that there are some important, accurate statements captured sucessfully in the Minutes both from myself and from Richard Clausi. As bad as those Draft Minutes are there is enough truth in them to give pause to any unbiased and knowledgable readers who are familiar with the Municipal Elections Act (MEA) as well as with the responsibilities of a MECAC.

MECAC members have displayed their ignorance in the Minutes with their statements such as page four "...the changes were adequately explained by the candidate.". Further page five "...all issues had been addressed."and " ...that all concerns raised by Mr. Marshall had been fully explained by Shantz.". That last one is especially false. Yes some had been partially addressed and explained by the candidate but that specifically as per case law provided to MECAC, Council and the prosecuter is NOT an acceptable reason to avoid ordering a Compliance Audit. Also it is MY "reasonable concerns" that are the threshold for a Compliance Audit, not MECAC's. Finally mayor Shantz and MECAC did NOT respond at all to my specific concerns regarding mayor Shantz's twelve You Tube Videos produced by Councillor and cousin Larry Shantz.

Both MECAC and mayor Shantz behaved ignorantly, unprofessionally and hypocritically at this hearing on October 26/15. The mayor went on a personal rant about myself rather than address her election contraventions honestly. MECAC did receive a very strong, written, critical Application from myself on September 15/15. Clearly they were all acting like entitled children spoiling for a fight. I took the high road throughout the hearing and was polite and respectful throughout. Anyone who says otherwise is a damned liar. Woolwich Townships' full and complete tape recordings will prove my honesty and Woolwich's dishonesty and or incompetence. Obviously the cowards at Woolwich Township will never publicly play them.

Monday, December 28, 2015

NOT THE BIG ONE THIS TIME, AT CHEMTURA



It's coming. It's only a matter of time and I've been predicting it for the last couple of years. Last Monday's spill was the same mixture of diphenylamine and acetone as the one in September 2010 which boosted most of the old Woolwich Council out of office and the new one in. Unfortunately this time Chemtura did not accomodate timewise but there is ample time before the next election for them to screw up again.

While small credit should go to the Woolwich Observer for covering this spill at all, nevertheless it is sad that they are willing to promote the company's bullshit the way that they do. The title of the article is "Chemtura quickly contains small chemical spill". The second paragraph states that "...a small amount made its way into the Canagagigue, but it was collected before leaving the site.". Really Steve? And how do you know that? Oh right, Chemtura told you.

Meanwhile later on we are told that the material from the spill had formed "..a sheen on the surface of the water.". Normally visible floating chemicals, are slowly dissolving into the water out of sight. This is normal LNAPL (light non aqueous phase liquid) behaviour. Once dissolved it then flows off-site in the water. So much for nothing left the site.

The fire department also spread the mantra by advising that booms were put into the creek and "Nothing got off the property.". Also "This time most of it was in a liquid form that was captured, with a small amount of aerosol that made it into the Canagagigue Creek...". News flash folks. If it got to the creek it spread and moved downstream. Nice try though.

There were two improvements over the mess in 2010. Firstly the company had operators present when the process went off the tracks this time and they notified Woolwich Township immediately rather than four hours later as they did in 2010. In hindsight with the local support this company has always had is it any wonder that they have stayed here in Elmira all these decades?


Friday, December 25, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

MOECC: MINISTER'S ANNUAL REPORT ON DRINKING WATER 2015



"I am pleased to note that 99.8 per cent of more than 533,000 test results from municipal residential drinking water systems met Ontario's strict drinking water quality standards in 2014-2015." That quote is from page two and it is puffery. First off Ontario's drinking water quality standards are not strict. They are outdated. Secondly there are a hundred ways to fudge statistics and professional liars know them all. Or quoting Winston Churchill there are "lies, damned lies and statistics".

The MOECC brags about their work with the Great Lakes, climate change, the Great Lakes Protection Act, the Canada-Ontario agreement on Great Lakes water quality..., ending coal-fired electricity generation and more. They brag about water treatment improvements in aboriginal communities as well as allegedly innovative new technologies. Then they move on to Source Water protection. It took them (and others) sixteen years after the Walkerton tragedy and scandal to get the last three source protection plans in Ontario finished. You guessed it, the Grand River plan came in dead last. That's about par for the course.

Emerging issues such as blue-green algae and microplastics and microbeads are involved in this issue. Blue-gree algae is not an emerging issue. It was part of the death of Lake Erie in the 60s and it simply has come back with a vengeance. Mix warmer water tempuratures with nitrogen and phosphorus and you have this toxic algae present. Microbeads are found in personal products such as skin cleansers and washes. Allegedly they are in the process of being banned. Really, here in Ontario where the unholy dollar rules? They will be banned AFTER those making money have found an alternative that makes them more money, not before.

Last spring I presented a report to Woolwich Council regarding significant issues in Woolwich Township's drinking water. They included horrendous raw water problems (Coliforms & E.Coli) in West Montrose amongst others. Council actually embraced them and claimed that they would pass them along to both the Region and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOECC). Problems included a failure to test for and report publicly on many ubiquitous chemicals in our drinking water including NDMA and gasoline compounds courtesy of old, leaking gas stations. Industrial chemicals often have detection limits that are far too high. Glyphosate (Roundup) is one of the worst with a Detection Limit of 25 parts per billion. The list of issues goes on and on. Shame on the M.O.E. for yet again spreading their bullshit far and wide.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

CHEMTURA CANADA NOVEMBER 2015 PROGRESS REPORT



Well off-site pumping rates are always interesting. Despite three of the current off-site wells not meeting their targeted pumping rates this month, the overall total pumping rates of W5A/B, W3, W4 and E7 actually did. W4, W5A & W5B were the culprits however they missed their already very low target rates by only a small margin. W3 and E7 are currently the big pumping wells off-site and they made up the shortfall of the others. Table A.4 actually lists the Bypasses and Shutdowns for the pumping wells and that Table is disappointing. It explains why the three wells fell short and explanations include power outages and routine maintenance. Other excuses included "communications fault" and shut downs for a "well recovery test". At a time when allegedly the off-site pumping is going to be doubled (originally tripled) we are still routinely having wells shut down for long periods of time either for routine maintenance or "surprises" like power outages and more; that goal seems sketchy.

Attachment C concerns surface water quality in the Canagagigue as it passes through the Chemtura property. As has been the norm for some time it appears that BEHP (a pthalate) is actually entering the property at a higher concentration from upstream than what it is after moving downstream of the property. Toluene on the other hand still is slightly higher downstream than upstream on the Chemtura property. Basically the volume of water in the "Gig" sucessfully masks a myriad of sins however the numbers certainly indicate improvements from twenty years ago.

I haven't heard anything recently regarding the alleged shutdown of pumping well E7. The influent concentration of NDMA during November was 200 parts per trillion with a drinking water standard of 9 ppt.

As has been the case for years the Remediation of the Former Operating Ponds (RPW 1-5)have had no new activities to report. This continues to be outrageous and unacceptable.

Finally we are advised that the "Preparation of the East Side Surficial Soil and Groundwater Investigation report is underway". As has already been reported here that report is a typical Chemtura/CRA/M.O.E. sham. They are experts at avoiding the obvious and at embracing the trivial and irrelevant. Even so they appear to be dragging this out and stalling for time. Going somewhere Chemtura? If so please take your buddies on Woolwich Council along with you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A MAJOR ARTICLE ON THE GRAND RIVER IN THE GLOBE & MAIL



A Roy MacGregor from Glen Morris, Ontario wrote an article about our Grand River which was published in the Globe And Mail last Sunday. The title is "Grand River: A waterway's rise to its former greatness". Indeed he mentions a number of positive signs such as bald eagles around the Cambridge area, flyfishing for brown trout and the numbers of canoeists and kayakers on the river. With my first reading I was quickly wary of puffery and PR perhaps having taken too strong of a hold. I personally lived beside the river for a decade well upstream in West Montrose. There I could see the difference in water quality and fish from what I had experienced long ago down in Kitchener and Waterloo. Also I currently have a son working on his Master's degree, studying the Grand River and he has certainly advised me of some of the poor water quality in parts of the river below Kitchener and further south.

That said I reread the article and Mr. MacGregor has honestly indicated a very sad past going as far back as the 1930s when Maclean's magazine in 1937 described the river as "an open sewer". At the first annual convention of the Canadian Institute on Sewage and Sanitation Mr. MacGregor quotes "...that the industrial waste from two abattoirs, three tire and rubber factories, three tanneries, a glue factory and a dye works "make the Kitchener sewage the strongest known in Canada." Good Lord! Now I'm beginning to understand why he is raving about the current state of the river when compared to its very worst years and decades.

Of course it's all about the comparisons. One hundred and fifty years to two hundred years ago ago there were trout in the Grand River. Heck up here in Elmira there were trout in the Canagagigue Creek before the second World War. Long gone now in the "Gig" although still a few survive in cold water tributaries of the "Gig". Perhaps comparing to times that we can remember such as when I was a kid, things have indeed improved. In the early 60s I fished in the Grand River at Bridgeport. Shiners, suckers and carp was about all that was available. O.K. when looking at relatively recent history the Grand has come a long ways. Bass derbys are held in the Grand River in Kitchener each year. The Brown trout are in the Grand above West Montrose as well as in the Conestoga River below the Conestoga Dam along with bass.

There are lots of water quality issues in the Grand including too many sewage treatment bypasses during heavy rainfall events. Climate change will not help this problem. All this said perhaps careful optimism is the route to go. Telling people about the positive aspects of the Grand River currently may help raise our expectations of what the river can and should be, for us and our children and grandchildren.

Monday, December 21, 2015

THE COURT EXAMINATION PROCESS OF MUNICIPAL ELECTION ACT CHARGES CONTINUES



There is a reason why the MEA (Election Act) has a process to hopefully shorten and expedite the examination of candidates Financial Statements. The Compliance Audit Committee (MECAC) can be viewed as gatekeepers who's gates are very low. Contrary to what has happened most disgustingly here in Woolwich Township, they are not supposed to be building a palisade around candidates such as Councillor Hahn and mayor Shantz hence blocking citizens ability to take them to court for egregious or blatant contraventions of the MEA. The courts on the other hand as almost everyone understands, do not move quickly. Yes their speed is sometimes glacial at best but eventually they do address the issues before them.

That would describe the current situation. Mayor Shantz is facing ten charges under the MEA. While these charges were examined by a Justice of the Peace who also acted as a form of gatekeeper, nevertheless the Crown has the right and duty to examine each charge individually and as a group and decide if they are appropriate or not. To date we have had two adjournements in order to allow the Crown sufficient time to do their due diligence. This includes both examination of paperwork regarding the MEA, examination of the specific charges laid and finally discussions with both parties involved.

While I have as yet no firm idea as to whether the Crown will proceed or not I can at least advise that to date the process is unfolding in the apprpriate fashion. It is my belief that the Crown are serious in their examination of the facts and evidence and are keeping an open mind until they've had further time and evidence unfold for them. This is occurring and will only make for a better informed and knowledgable Crown.

To date there has not been any honest attempt by non judicial authorities to seriously examine mayor Shantz's Financial Statements. MECAC's pretend examination on July 2/15 was a farce and a grotesque embarassment to themselves. Thirty pages were plopped down in front of them and myself ten minutes prior to the start of the hearing. Chairman Carl Zehr didn't show up until five minutes after the meeting was supposed to start and he didn't even open the front cover of the last minute package from mayor Shantz before starting the meeting. It went downhill from there. The courts I do not believe will tolerate any such horse manure or procedural gamesmanship. They know that justice both needs to be done and seen to be done.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

ARE WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP & MECAC IN A MESS OF THEIR OWN MAKING?



I have in writing from the Township a statement that the Approved Minutes of the October 26/15 MECAC meeting would be posted on the Township's website by yesterday. Guess what? We're still stuck with the highly inaccurate (dishonest?) DRAFT Minutes that have been up all week. The simple act of posting controversial and inaccurate Minutes of that meeting I would characterize as inflammatory. In fact if there's one thing I've learned through this Municipal Elections Act (MEA) process started by Dr. Dan Holt last April; it would be exactly how hypocritical and scheming Woolwich Township Staff (some) and Councillors (most) are.

Mayor Shantz started off pretending that she was all about respectful dialogue. She criticized CPAC for their behaviour and attitude towards Chemtura and the Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.). She then went right off the deep end with her April 9/15 Minutes of a meeting in which Dr. Dan Holt Chair of CPAC, with CPAC support, chose respectfully not to attend. The mayor and Council were advised specifically why the CPAC Chair would not attend this "pretend stakeholders" meeting on his own, in which multiple representatives from agencies and municipal/regional/provincial governments as well as Chemtura would be in attendance. Mayor Shantz along with Councillor Bauman also loaded the meeting with the likes of Pat McLean and Susan Bryant who's petty noses were still out of joint courtesy of former mayor Todd Cowan's alleged snub of them four and a half years earlier. Those meeting Minutes went so far as to state that CPAC & SWAT members including three PhDs, an owner of an environmental company, a certified chemist, a nurse and more had been physically aggresive and or intimidating to Chemtura and the M.O.E.. Yeah blatant lies really are respectful behaviour. Somewhat similar to years of Chemtura/M.O.E. behaviour.

So right now MECAC and Woolwich Township (mostly but not completely Council) are between a rock and a hard place. Have they figured out that their creative, fictional Minutes portraying me in a bad light and mayor Shantz in a better light, just might blow up in their faces? Poor credibility could be seen as evidence that they are hiding some things from the public and from the courts. Afterall why gild the lily if you're in the right in the first place? Why blatantly change the words spoken at a public meeting, even poorly attended by the public, unless you are hiding certain facts? In the contrary is it possible that the folks taking the Minutes are simply grossly incompetent for the job? I know that Municipal Clerk, Val Hummel, assurred me months ago that an independent professional had done the Minutes of the July 2/15 MECAC meeting. When I pressed her as to whom that independent professional was that made so many errors, Val refused to reply.

Their apparently biased DRAFT Minutes are on public display. If they fix them appropriately as my written corrections advise them, then they are admitting to either or both incompetence or bias. They would also be putting mayor Shantz in difficulty as she has twice now submitted sworn statements to Superior Court (July 23/15) that she has subsequently reneged on publicly. If they don't fix them then are they confident that they can bluster and bluff their way through my criticism and blunt claims that they have misrepresented the words spoken at the October 26/15 MECAC meeting? Are they 100% certain that they are the only holders of the tape recordings taken that day in Council Chambers? Go ahead make my day Woolwich Township.

Friday, December 18, 2015

CHEMTURA DOGPADDLE IN THEIR OWN CESSPOOL



Hurray up and wait could well describe the "cleanup" plans at Chemtura Canada in Elmira, Ontario. In May 2014 I discovered a contaminant pathway from Chemtura's east side pits, across two of their neighbour's properties and then into the Canagagigue Creek. In fact when I first saw the flowing creek I was stunned. Later that day Vivienne Delaney and Dr. Dan Holt walked the entire length of it. Coming as it was just a year after George Karlos of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment solemnly advised CPAC, SWAT and the public that he had personally walked the same route from Chemtura's south-east side right over to the Martin pond and there was no possible pathway for contaminants; it was a stunning discovery. George made absolutely no mention of a creek, a Drain, a pipe or anything else. In fact all three were present and were obvious. These kind of blatant, in your face M.O.E. falsehoods, I had not seen since the Varnicolor Chemical days in Elmira.

The purpose of George's walk was specifically to determine if there was any possible route for Chemtura's east side toxins to get into the Martin swimming pond. This pond had been used for decades by children in the area and had quite the extensive system of diving boards along with it. Imagine my shock and horror when informed many weeks after a tour by Mark Bauman and Susanna Meteer that there was a pipe which allegedly allowed water to be taken from the Stroh Drain and diverted into the pond when its' water levels were low. Then imagine my horror last May when Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach and myself discovered that no "diversion" was actually needed. In its' normal flow and without requiring any intervention, water was gravity flowing directly from the Drain into the pipe and discharging at the other end directly into the pond.

That all our authorities from municipal councillors, regional and provincial Health Departments, Ministry of Environment and more could sucessfully look the other way over a period of decades is shocking. That they continue to do so is blatant negligence. Meanwhile Chemtura's East Side Investigation doddles along. Test pits, new monitoring wells, soil samples amd more were installed last August and early September. Samples have been taken and allegedly the report not yet finalised. Decades of their lying make me doubt everything they say. These test pits, monitoring wells and surficial soil samples were all designed not to find the worst results. Both the extremely shallow depth (6 inches) to the intentional skipping of the area where most of the surface liquids flowed off-site, combined with Chemtura/M.O.E. refusal to sample on the Stroh property despite the M.O.E.'s legal right to do so, are all part of the ongoing and neverending coverup. And yet we wait as they've managed to extend releasing the test results into 2016.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

BIASED MINUTES FROM TOWNSHIP MEETINGS ?



A week ago Tuesday and Wednesday I posted here regarding the alleged Minutes of the October 26/15 MECAC (Compliance Audit Committee) meeting. First off I find it sad that it takes nearly two months to receive Draft Minutes much less the final Minutes. This almost guarantees that memories of the meeting have faded and unless one has carefully made detailed notes during the meeting it's hard to be certain when errors in the Minutes show up months later.

I sent in my two pages of corrections to the Township on Wednesday December 9/15. The deadline for submitted corrections was last Monday December 14/15. We are advised that the approved Minutes will be posted to the Township website by tomorrow Friday, December 18/15. One of the problems is that these requested changes are being sent to MECAC members for their review and approval. That seems a tad bizarre to me as afterall the Township have the tape recordings not MECAC. My suspicion is that MECAC and the Township will have sanitized the approved Minutes exactly as they have sanitized the DRAFT Minutes.

I mentioned a week ago Wednesday that one of the errors was in regards to mayor Shantz's admission that she paid for extra stakes (for signs) personally rather than through her campaign account as mandated by law. Other "mistakes" in the Minutes include me allegedly stating that volunteers' expenses should have been included, that I agreed with the incorrect statements of Tim Ryall of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, that mayor Shantz's greater expenses than her three opponents combined affected the election outcome and or that the mayor's election expense failures had somehow contributed to an unfair result. Also throw into the mix the fact that the Minutes messed up mayor Shantz's statement to MECAC that she had contacted her accountant in May which is contrary to what she told Superior Court namely that she contacted Tim Adams after my June 16/15 Application for a Compliance Audit was submitted.

These are very significant errors in the Minutes. I interpret most of them as being favourable to mayor Shantz and unfavourable to me. If so you have to ask yourselves exactly how deep are Woolwich Township involved, with or without MECAC enabling, in covering up and minimizing the election expense scandal of half the Council members.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"WOOLWICH" MECAC BEYOND REPAIR



Yesterday's posting was in regards to the different outcomes between Woolwich Township and the City of Ottawa in regards to candidates contravening the Municipal Elections Act. In Ottawa they are both smart enough and honest enough to follow the letter and spirit of the Elctions Act. Not so here in Woolwich. Here our "family compact" Council combined with the same attitudes amongst some Staff and MECAC believe that they, not the law should determine legal outcomes.


Following is the rationale/excuse by the Ottawa Councillor's lawyer regarding the "clerical error" on his client's forms. "Taylor's lawyer, Joel Dubois, told the committee updated forms for both 2010 and 2014- with the corrected amounts- were filed in July and are now available on the city's website. There is "no public interest" in persuing the matter further, he told the committee.". Wow sounds exactly like our candidates here, our Council and our MECAC. The Ottawa MECAC however had different ideas. "But committee members ruled otherwise and will let a court decide on the matter. It's not our job to find Mr. Taylor guilty (or innocent) of anything" Kingsley said. Taylor of course is the Councillor and Kingsley the Chair of the Ottawa MECAC.

Following is where Woolwich's MECAC abandoned their duties and responsibilities. "Questions about Taylor's and El-Chantry's campaign finances surfaced in July when the city's election compliance audit committee ordered audits of both men to determine whether either broke the rules during the 2014 campaign." Once again although not for the last time the criteria to order an audit is extremely low and merely has to be a reasonable belief that a single contravention has occurred. Mayor Shantz admitted initially to three contraventions: Undervaluing her Contributions (donations) by over two thousand dollars, failing to file an audit and accepting an overdonation from two associated corporations. Since then she has also admitted (extremely grudgingly) to having undervalued her expenses as well.

Woolwich Council, Clerk and MECAC scammed Woolwich citizens and the Elections Act. We will soon see whether or not our judicial system takes this seriously or not.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

OTTAWA 1, DOGPATCH 0



Somewhere during the course of the local MECAC (Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee) hearings a citizen suggested that Woolwich was not Dogpatch. The inference was that just because Woolwich Township consists of Elmira, Breslau, St. Jacobs and many more small villages and very rural areas that they should not behave like backwoods hicks. This plea fell on deaf ears as both Woolwich Council and the handpicked & appointed MECAC did exactly that. They ignored both the Municipal Elections Act (MEA), the Ontario Bar Association Report and case law in order to avoid ordering a Compliance Audit for mayor Shantz and in order to avoid sending Councillor Scot Hahn on to the courts for prosecution.

MECAC decided that their job was indeed to do exactly what all the authorities advised is not their job. MECAC usurped the authority of the MEA and the courts and essentially advised all and sundry that the two Woolwich politicians were innocent of wrongdoing. That is not their job. They are appointed to determine if there are any reasonable grounds to believe there has been a contravention of the Act and if so to order a Compliance Audit otherwise known as a Forensic Audit. Those two Audits compared to a private audit are the difference between a tornado and a gust of wind. The three private audits that mayor Shantz has obtained have been essentially useless or less and that is not the fault of her auditor. He is restricted to simply reporting on the data and numbers given to him by his client. He is not authorized to interview witnesses or examine third party's books relating to receipts and invoices pertaining to the mayor's election expenses.

Then after receiving and studying the Compliance Audit MECAC were to have determined if that Audit indicated any contraventions of the MEA. If so and with very little latitude they were to pass on the evidence to a prosecuter for him to determine whether the contraventions warranted prosecution.

The City of Ottawa got it right both last July and yesterday. Their MECAC had ordered two Compliance Audits as per the law and yesterday decided that Councillor Mark Taylor would be sent on for prosecution. It appears, according to the Ottawa Citizen, that he made one significant contravention regarding a non-existent $4,000 Deficit from his 2010 election campaign that he brought forward into his 2014 Financial Statements. Not good! That said, in my opinion, his contravention pales compared to both our Councillor Scott Hahn and mayor Sandy Shantz's multiple serious contraventions. My opinion is that our local MECAC are simply cheerleaders for Woolwich politicians and need to be removed immediately. Here is the link to the Ottawa citizen story.

Monday, December 14, 2015

DOES THE MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS ACT (MEA) ENSURE A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD?



That allegedly is one of its' goals. One candidate is not supposed to gain an advantage over another based solely upon a spending race. For example more signs at more locations gives the impression of greater popularity of a candidate. Brochures handed or even mailed out does the same thing. Advertising could give a huge advantage for the candidate who can afford repeat newspaper coverage. Locally one candidate for mayor had a dozen professionally made youtube videos on-line decribing her position on a dozen different issues. In fact I believe that despite the MEA one could find a statistical corelation between funds spent and votes received. Of course it would be a statistical corelation only not a guarantee.

Locally our municipal councillors in Elmira had a cap on their spending of approximately $11,000. The Wards outside Elmira had much smaller limits based upon population. The spending cap for the mayor's position was $22,000 and change. Look carefully at those caps. Frankly I believe that they are ridiculously high. The majority of candidates for Council spent $2,000-3,000 and for mayor the three losing candidates combined barely spent $3,000-4,000. The winning mayoralty candidate now has admitted expenses in the $11,000 area (excluding private audits) which is still only half of the cap for mayoral candidates.

Then of course there is the dramatic failure of the MEA when it comes to enforcement. Enforcement much less monitoring or even examination of candidates Financial Statements is non-existent. It is 100% left up to individual citizens to examine these statements, find problems, report them formally and in writing and then follow through with public hearings (MECAC), testimony and cross examination by biased MECAC members with gross conflicts of interest.

I've gone through the process to ascertain if it is honest or real. I haven't even mentioned the time and trouble involved in going to court which is still ongoing. The next court date is January 6, 2016 and it is still undetermined whether the Crown are going to proceed with the Election Act charges against mayor Shantz or not. I think you the readers can determine for yourselves whether or not the MEA was ever honestly intended to bring fairness to elections.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

NEARLY A DECADE FOR SOURCE PROTECTION PLANS



After the Walkerton water crisis and fiasco (including deaths); the guiltiest of them all, the province of Ontario passed the Clean Water Act of 2006. This of course was six years after the crisis hence the title above simply refers to the time to finalize Source Protection Plans since they were legally mandated in 2006. This week's Woolwich Observer carrys an article titled "Province clears water-protection plan for Grand River watershed".

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment has just approved the Grand River Source Protection Plan on November 26/15. It is the last approved of the four plans produced by the Lake Erie Source Protection Committee and also apparently the last of the 22 source water protection plans for the entire province. Interesting that we come in dead last environmentally yet again.

I have been reading the various Drafts over the years and indeed there is a lot of good information, maps and drawings in them. Very educational. As far as these plans actually doing anything, well that's another story. Our authorities in particular firstly have known where their own drinking wells and surface water intakes are, forever. Secondly they've all known for decades what the problems are, whether agriculutural runoff or industrial. Same thing with sewage treatment plants. Simply spending more money on sewage treatment and enforcement of current on the books laws would do far more than making source protection plans. This is all about face saving and appearances by our complicit and negligent governments. Business as usual.

Friday, December 11, 2015

HAVE THE MEDIA BEEN CO-OPTED?



Yesterday morning I received two comments on my posting of last Saturday regarding a chemical fire in Toronto . The commenter's name (Kim) I recognized from possibly a year or more ago as a Scarborough resident who had commented here previously. I checked the Internet to see if anything was on-line and indeed their were several brief stories about the Lakeshore East GO train line being shut down because of an early morning chemical fire. They referenced nearby locations such as Coronation Drive and Chemical Court in Scarborough. Also a chemical factory near Lawrence Avenue East and Morningside Avenue was mentioned. There was a reference to a chemical factory located at 10 Chemical Court in Scarborough. Finally there were several references to the fire just east of the Guildwood GO station.

Later during the day I again checked on-line for further details. They simply weren't there. Odd, a chemical fire in a heavily populated area considered serious enough to shut down public transit during the morning rush hour, yet few details even many hours later. Again this morning I checked and still no more than I saw yesterday. Now I have no idea what local radio and television are broadcasting in Toronto nor have I seen this morning's Waterloo Region Record. Maybe it's all there in black and white.

While I rcognized the address (10 Chemical Court) I kept expecting to see the company name in the on-line articles. Nada. I doublechecked and indeed as Saturday's commenter advised it is our very own Chemtura Canada. This I believe is also known as the West Hill Chemtura plant. This is also not the only fire or environmental issue they've had. In 2010 they made the news for chemical emissions into the neighbourhood. I eagerly await today's newspaper as well as any other media reports and if there is no mention of Chemtura Canada by name then I will be seriously impressed with their power and influence. Has it really come to this? Are the media really that scared and intimidated that they won't tell the public the names of polluters anymore?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

CHEMTURA'S WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS GIFT LAST YEAR, HOWEVER COAL THIS YEAR



The incoming Woolwich Council in October 2014 gave Chemtura Canada the Christmas gift of a lifetime. They gave them a year's reprieve from the public shellacking they were taking by CPAC, the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee. CPAC still exists despite the very worst behaviour imaginable by Councillor Bauman and mayor Shantz, aided and abetted by the rest of the Council toadies. CPAC did what nobody else had the stomach, brains or courage to do. They confronted the lies, junk science and horse manure of Chemtura and their consultants. Sure now everybody, after the fact, has jumped on board. From the M.O.E., Woolwich Council, GRCA and all the other make believe "stakeholders"; they all now are willing to state that the cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers is unlikely by 2028.

CPAC also single handedly restarted the conversation regarding the ongoing discharge of DDT and Dioxins into the Canagagigue Creek. CPAC and SWAT's discoveries on the east side of the Chemtura property are unprecedented. The biggest one may eventually turn out to be that the GP1 & 2 cleanups were a bait and switch. There is strong evidence indicating that despite the high concentrations of DDT and Dioxins found there; the bulk of the overland flow from the east side pits did not enter the GP1 & 2 areas at all. At least, that is, not the currently designated GP1 area. Maps from the 1980s indicate a totally different location for GP1. A location far more in line with where the ground surface contour lines indicate liquids would have flowed.

Coincidentally or most likely not, this area is being avoided for soil testing by Chemtura and their bed partner the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. All efforts are being made by them not to find the smoking guns. These include not testing directly on their east side neighbour's property despite the M.O.E. having the clear legal right to do so. These include testing from the surface to a depth of only six inches (15 cm.).

By good luck or good management (?) TAG have the real deal with Dr. Dick Jackson as Chair. His impressive credentials and experience, combined with his no nonsense attitude are precisely what Chemtura and the M.O.E. fear the most. His involvement is the biggest possible lump of coal they could have received this Christmas. It looks good on that pair of professional liars and deceivers. Choke on it. Meanwhile Woolwich Council brace yourselves. You pack of wonders will soon again be on the receiving end of more Chemtura whining. Maybe this time you might appoint as Chair someone more to their liking such as Jeff Merriman, Dwight Este or Donald Trump.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

LIFTING ROCKS AND SHINING A LIGHT UNDER THEM



If there's one thing I've learned it is that "stirring the pot", asking questions and following the process, even the most hopelessly biased and unfair process, will expose the truth or at least more of it. Mayor Shantz's February 2/15 Financial Statement, at first blush looked reasonable. The numbers added up although I quickly realized that without invoices and receipts it was sort of like a blind person differentiating between a ten and a twenty dollar bill sitting on a table in front of them, without even actually touching the bills. Then as I delved deeper I also realized that this whole exercise was similar to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment's "voluntary compliance" program they have with polluters. If the candidate decided to simply not include certain expenses who was going to be the wiser? Provided they didn't have more and bigger signs as Councillor Scot Hahn did and then claim zero for sign expenses as he did, they were essentially home free.

Then as I researched further I understood that this was the reason for the extremely low threshold necessary for a compliance/forensic audit to be ordered by the Compliance Audit Committee (MECAC). The threshold was as simple as a single contravention being reasonably believed by the complainant. The threshold was not ever increasing discoveries of contraventions via each new Financial Statement. It was not some belief that the candidate had necessarily won the election improperly. Those false thresholds were raised repeatedly by MECAC. In their stupidity and or more likely bias they even reverted at the end of the last MECAC hearing to asking the candidate if she believed that there were no longer either major or minor expenses missing. In other words back to voluntary compliance. They attempted to burden myself the complainant with ongoing and ever increasing levels of evidence and proof that yet even more expenses or donations were missing.

Despite that I accomodated them by indeed finding ongoing errors and omissions which they simply ignored. I also advised MECAC that no one could possibly have the complete financial picture as the data was being released by the mayor in dribs and drabs over a period of several months. That said those dribs and drabs continue to slowly clarify and it's not a good picture. As I am currently reviewing my detailed notes taken during the last hearing (October 26/15), I have picked up on a couple of things I missed in the heat of the battle. The biggest one is the mayor's admissions to paying campaign expenses personally during the campaign. That admission came during questions from the panel to mayor Shantz. She freely admitted to buying extra stakes for her signs and instead of paying through her legally mandated campaign account, she paid for them personally. She also apparently did not obtain a receipt for them as she has already advised in writing that she submitted ALL her receipts to MECAC back at the July 2/15 hearing. This is to my knowledge (and her admission) not the only campaign expense she paid personally.

This discrepancy I first noticed when reading the Draft Minutes of the October 26/15 MECAC meeting sent to me two days ago. Interestingly it has not been recorded accurately in those Draft Minutes. Despite the known obvious bias of council and staff in favour of mayor Shantz (contrary to their bias against former mayor Cowan); I would certainly hope that this error similar to others in the Draft Minutes is not intentional. As stated yesterday I will be formally responding to them and pointing out a few crucial errors which coincidentally, in my opinion, all seem to favour the mayor's position.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

WOOLWICH CONTINUE TO REWRITE HISTORY



Well I guess it's to be expected from those in authority. They use our money against us to promote their goals and priorities while subverting those of the taxpaying public. While I'm referring specifically to the latest set of MECAC Draft Minutes to appear from Township staff; this also applies to a surprising statement in the K-W Record last week. When asked whether the alleged $53,000 spent on two councillors and a mayor's election expense contraventions was worthwhile Sandy stated "Of course it was worthwhile because the people involved had been able to retain their positions". I suspect that opinion would not be universal among taxpayers if they knew exactly the degree and extent to which all three had not only contravened the law but had done so with a cavalier attitude towards it. Until this election no Woolwich residents had ever questioned election expenses. I think it's fair to say that the cavalier attitude by candidates towards honesty and accuracy in their Financial Statements will be changed forever more.

The Draft Minutes are inaccurate in a few crucial statements. I received my copy yesterday and have until next Monday to submit corrections. Previous Minutes had been witheld from me until weeks after the mayor had a copy and even then my corrections were ignored by staff and Clerk. This is how those in charge of the process rewrite history to make themselves look better and their critics worse. Keep in mind that Woolwich tape record all meetings in Council Chambers but do not share those tapes with citizens and parties involved in them. It's all about control folks. And about rewriting history. If you control the meetings, the appointments to committees, the tape recordings and the Minutes; it becomes so much easier to get your way. Note "your way" doesn't mean the public's way; it means the way of those either elected or hired. They are in charge and like all governments their first priority is themselves. When their interests align with those of the public on an issue then the public wins. The rest of the time not so much.

Monday, December 7, 2015

CHEMTURA'S OFF-SITE DRAINAGE TO THE EAST



While it appears obvious that the purpose of the Stroh Drain (circa 1985) was to drain both surface and groundwater from Chemtura's and Stroh's wetlend/swampy areas into the Canagagigue Creek; that certainly does not prove any ill intent by the owners of the Stroh property. The mechanics of whatever arrangement was made are most likely as of this moment still private. That this Drain located solely on Stroh property, however running along the Chemtura/Stroh property line (ie. north to south), indeed has drained both surface and groundwater has been suggested by Peter Gray of MTE and by myself. Even Jeff Merriman of Chemtura, bless him, has publicly stated at a CPAC meeting that their former swamp in their south-east corner has been drained.

Chemtura's consultants produced several reports attempting to justify their so called cleanup of former GP1 and GP2 areas in their south-east corner. Soil testing had indicated massive concentrations of both DDT and Dioxins/Furans in them. Chemtura's/CRA's claims were that the overflow of thousands of gallons of toxic wastewater from the east side pits (RPE1-5) flowed southwards in open "furrows" directly southwards into GP1 & 2. The problem of course is that liquids tend to gravity flow via the easiest route. While clearly DDT and Dioxins have ended up finding a home in GP1 and GP2, the evidence suggests that the bulk of them are elsewhere. In fact the evidence suggests that GP1 isn't located where Chemtura and Conestoga Rovers claim it to be. Regardless water, even toxic water, finds the lowest area via the easiest route and that is not directly into the location of the current GP1.

As mentioned in Friday's posting, photographs prove that Jeff's claim at the last RAC meeting is inaccurate. There is no high ground running the length of their eastern border preventing surface water from draining off. There is indeed a ridge running diagonally from north-west to south-east which hooks ever so briefly southwards preventing off-site flow to the east in one small area only. The rest of the eastern border is wide open to drainage from Chemtura onto the Stroh property and indeed the elevation contour map produced by Conestoga Rovers so indicates.

No doubt Jeff's renewed bravery at misinforming the public and various RAC authorities is based upon his renewed confidence in an undemocratic process which eliminates input from the informed public. As said several months ago by Councillor Merlihan, the RAC and TAG processes are "cringeworthy" regarding lack of real public consultation or input. That was done intentionally by mayor Shantz and Councillor Bauman. How else do you convince a polluter of Chemtura's magnitude and attitude to come back to the table other than by giving them the keys to the kingdom? That certainly was the premise upon which Sandy and Mark got them back. Promise them everything they want and then beg them to come back. According to some politicians, better pretend consultation than none at all. Afterall it has "worked" for the last twenty-six years in keeping the crisis under control while not remotely solving it.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

M.O.E.C.C. UNHAPPY ABOUT PUBLIC SPANKING



The irony is just too precious. Chemtura and the Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.C.C.) went running for their Mommy over a year ago. She answered via private back room discussions to throw CPAC under the bus. The idea was for Chemtura/M.O.E. to face a kinder, gentler version of CPAC. One that wouldn't make them cry. One that wouldn't hurt their tiny little feelings. Afterall even multinational chemical corporations have some aspect of humanity to them, allegedly.

Teri Bulman is one of the handful of new (to Elmira) M.O.E. personnel we have been blessed with. Literally all the old M.O.E. guard are gone or retired. Steve Martindale I'm sorry to see retired. George Karlos and Bill Bardswick are no loss whatsoever, especially Bill. Teri took great umbrage late in the meeting with Dick Jackson's comment about the M.O.E. being bought off so easily with a particular Chemtura/CRA report. She protested loudly but Dick was having none of it. He calmly explained the facts of life as in the Ministry have clearly abdicated their leadership and responsibility on this file and here madam is in the proof.

Mr. Jackson again demanded warning signs be erected along the Canagagigue Creek from Chemtura down to the Grand River. Teri Bulman kept refusing right up until she finally acknowledged it has been done elsewhere perhaps by Ontario Power Generation along another contaminated river. Then she agreed to talk to their fisheries section and see if some warning signs were already made up that could be used. Progress perhaps. Teri Bulman started to cloud the issue with comments about not only Dioxin fish advisories but also mercury and P.C.B warnings in Canagagigue Creek. Wow that really is good reason not to post the creek if the fish are more contaminated than we already knew.

O.K. O.K. if I'm going to write this up accurately I'd better add that both conflict of interest queens, Pat and Susan, added positively to the discussion. They made it clear to Teri Bulman that the Ministry's decades long involvement with contamination downstream in the creek has been inadequate. Susan's comments were "It's time to bring it to fruition" and "there never has been consultation". News flash there still isn't honest, real, public consultation. Not when the process is highly politicized and controlled by generally hopeless, uninformed, biased politicians.

Dick Jackson went through all of TAG's Recommendations to RAC, to Chemtura and to the M.O.E.C.C.. They included things like initiating suspended sediment sampling, obtaining outside experts and consultation in areas such as ISCO, and having a full team of outside, independent experts review Chemtura's work and their plans ahead of time. In my opinion Dick has condemned a couple of decades of effort done by Conestoga Rovers on behalf of Chemtura although Dick has been very careful not to name CRA directly.

Another item which has really upset Dick is the apparently just recently discovered layer of coarse, highly permeable gravel at the bottom of the Municipal Upper Aquifer. Add to this his suggestion, which has been specifically rejected by CRA/Chemtura over the years, to reinject treated water into the aquifers and we have even more controversy. Finally Dick wants a study done to examine the effects of discharging much greater quantities of warmer, treated effluent to the Canagagigue Creek. This was also suggested by CPAC a couple of years back and yet one more item clearly ignored by Chemtura. Public Consultation my arse!

When will our local politicans admit that Chemtura are a rogue company who do not voluntarily "consult" honestly with the public? All three tiers of government need to get their acts together and rather than protect Chemtura, begin to protect the public, including via real public consultation. Yes Ken this means you at the Region, the Ontario government either through the M.O.E. or another less comprimised Ministry and finally at the Township level. Allowing Chemtura to run and hide from CPAC and the public a year ago was a disgrace and error of gross magnitude.







Friday, December 4, 2015

"UNFORGIVEABLE", "EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING", "UNDER DESIGNED", "M.O.E. BOUGHT OFF..."



Good morning Vietnam! Of course I'm referring to our Agent Orange homestead up the street from me, namely Chemtura Canada. First admission: I'm guilty in the headline of sensationalizing the TAG Chair's quote regarding the Ministry of the Environment. My bad! His actual quote was "The M.O.E. bought off on them far too easily" and Dick Jackson is referring to the "underdesigned" and poorly engineered ISCO pilot test done over a year ago in the Elmira Aquifer. According to Chemtura/CRA their pilot test proved that In Situ Chemical Oxidation wasn't feasible and the M.O.E. didn't say a peep.

We learned nothing new in that the Grand River Conservation Authority is all about floodplain management, water control etc. and simply not involved or interested in industrial contaminants in the water. They leave that to the M.O.E. and we all know how that is working out.

We were advised that David Hofbauer of TAG is the community rep on the upcoming *Responsible Care verification. Could have been worse and has been with Pat McLean far too many times.

The M.O.E. advised us that the soil samples for the East/South side Investigation were between 0-15 cm. (6 inches) in depth. This is a farce and was criticized by both CPAC as well as MTE (Peter Gray) last January 2015. First off surface samples are far more likely to have been diluted, weathered and flushed than deeper samples. Secondly there is evidence of extensive landscaping and soil replacement in several areas on the east side. This includes after excavations of RPE 4 & 5 as well as at BAE 1, RB-1 & 2 right on the eastern border. Hence clean fill was put on top of the contaminated areas. This is a typical Chemtura/M.O.E. scam/investigation. A comment from the M.O.E. "not his area of expertise" speaker that this depth corresponded with the surface topography on the neighbouring farm is ridiculous. Peter Gray (MTE) in his October 2014 Report included a topographical map showing the high ground in the north-east corner slowly losing elevation as it moves south and eastwards. Also I've walked the area and the Stroh farm in areas is still a metre lower than the Chemtura property along Chemtura's eastern border.

Then the question was asked of Jeff Merriman (Chemtura) as to why there was a large gap south of test site 9 on their eastern border. At first blush Jeff lied like a dog however as Mayor Shantz has conveniently denied public access or questions, Jeff's lying could not be immediately confirmed. I did state out loud "That is untrue" but could not followup. Jeff appeared to falsely claim that there were no soil samples taken in the large gap between test site 9 and 10 because the ground on the Chemtura side is elevated making off-site drainage impossible. What utter crap! I have Conestoga Rover's topographical map of the area (elevation contour lines), I have photographs showing that there is a former swamp on Chemtura's side which is flat and the same elevation as the Stroh property and finally Dr. Dan Holt, Vivienne and I have all walked the property line with permission and seen it with our own eyes and photographed it.

It is likely that the M.O.E. and Chemtura are getting their excuses/stories straight. I smell an attempt to blame floodplain ponds immediately north of Station 21 for the very high results found repeatedly in the creek sediments around Station 21 (New Jerusalem Rd.). Anything rather than admit they have a sink of Dioxins/Furans and DDT requiring massive soil removal costing hundereds of millions of dollars.

Meanwhile Teri Bulman (M.O.E.) is also repeatedly stating that all the exceedances of criteria we know about are merely "generic" standards. How cute! She claims that there will be years of testing and determination to figure out site specific standards, risk assessments etc.. Dick Jackson made it clear that "bureaucratic procedures to formally study and analyse " the creek should not take precedence over the Precautionary Principle. In other words Teri don't waste our time with years more of process and procedure when we need action now. This comment was echoed by a citizen rep on TAG as well as she indicated that we've had studies forever and zero action downstream in the creek.

Tomorrow I will followup on last night's amazing meeting. WOOLWICH OBSERVER: The Region of Waterloo, GRCA, Mayor, Councillor, M.O.E.C.C., Chemtura, RAC and some TAG members were present. Also three members of CPAC/SWAT and a few more in the gallery. What exactly is it going to take for you to cover this huge public interest story?????



Thursday, December 3, 2015

CHEMTURA, RAC & MAYOR SHANTZ



Unlike apparently our Council who are unable or unwilling to follow and understand two different Woolwich issues in one Delegation, I am today going to touch on three matters.

This afternoon at 4 PM. we have the second public meeting of RAC (Remediation Advisory Group). I expect very little from them but am always willing to be surprised. Interestingly one RAC member namely Eric Hodgins, from the Region of Waterloo, has been attending TAG meetings in the gallery along with the rest of the riff raff (ie. CPAC & SWAT). I view that as a positive.

Chemtura were supposed to be showing the results of their soil and groundwater investigations on their east and south sides. In fact in the RAC Minutes (page 10) of their September 30/15 meeting, mayor Shantz had suggested that she wanted to review the East/South Side Study Report if available. Unsurprisingly, according to the Agenda, it will not be presented. Chemtura/M.O.E. are absolute master manipulators and liars. The next RAC meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 10, 2016. which gives them yet another 1/4 year to avoid the issue.

Once again *Responsible Care verification is upcoming. It has proven to be no more than a subjective, stacked with buddies, cheerleading event here in Elmira. The manipulation of membership and process reminds me of our local MECAC (Compliance Audit Committee) fiasco. Anything Chemtura/M.O.E. or Woolwich Township get their hands on will never be anything but self serving boosterism. Honesty and fact are to be massaged if not outright ignored. I expect Pat Mclean will again be Chemtura's buddy allegedly representing Woolwich residents. What a disgrace.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

MAYOR SHANTZ BACK IN COURT JANUARY 6/16 9 am..



Yesterday I indicated that I viewed this morning's 9 am. court date to be a sort of acid test. While all parties including the Crown and Ms. Shantz's lawyer agreed to a January 6/16 adjournment, the judge then specifically asked myself if that date suited me. As I had previously indicated my willingness to the Crown, I stood up and so advised the Judge that it was. I will also state that despite the rocky start to this whole process through Intake Court? (at Superior Court) that I am slowly gaining confidence in the process. I am seeing very busy professionals setting aside the time and thought necessary to make informed decisions. I understand that the Crown currently has carriage of this file and that they, after due deliberation, can make decisions that I might not be pleased with. If that occurs then I will see what options if any I may have at that time. In the meantime I simply cooperate with reasonable requests that are made to me.

Both the Waterloo Region Record and CKCO-TV were present this morning at Provincial Court. It is possible that the week long trial to date of Todd Cowan has whetted the public's appetite to see accountability of local politicians. Today's record has an article written by Paige Desmond titled "Election compliance committee cost $53,000". Mayor Shantz has stated that "the mistake wasn't as big as the cost". Wow she is still trying to minimize. It's not one mistake Sandy. It's a whole slew of them and until proven one way or the other I prefer to refer to them as contraventions of the Act (MEA) versus "mistakes". Paige also goes into some detail regarding all the contraventions of Councillor Scot Hahn as well.

Last evening's CKCO-TV newscast was a barnburner. Is it just me or did the three side by side pictures of Shantz, Hahn and Councillor Bauman, with the costs of each on the bottom of their pictures look an awful lot like the wanted posters of old? You know the ones... Dead Eye Dick wanted for cattle theft ..$10,000 reward. That sort of thing. Anyways they were pretty funny whether or not that is what CKCO-TV intended or not.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

THE CROWN & THE MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS ACT (MEA) TOMORROW, 9 am. PROV. OFFENCES COURT



I've been avoiding speculating on the outcome of mayor Shantz's sojourn to the courts. Looking at the resources and interest involved in former mayor Todd Cowan's case would almost make me believe that they indeed are concerned even with relatively low dollar matters. On the other hand both Councils and the Waterloo Regional Police got involved quickly and pushed for an investigation. This of course differs dramatically from the situation of Woolwich Council leaping to the sitting mayor's defence and aid right from the beginning.

Perhaps there are some similarities. Both persons involved did not expect any kind of real scrutiny or accountability. Maybe there was a relaxed attitude towards minor transgressions with expenses in particular. In the current mayor's case especially no one has remotely suggested she pocketed or took money directly. The really big nagging matter for me is the possibility she knowingly fudged both her expenses and donations in order not to have to pay for an audit. That scenario would put her on a par with Todd Cowan regarding penny wise and pound foolish.

Todd fudged $3,000 in expenses and lost a $100,000 job, his career and his reputation. Sandy if she knowingly stickhandled her Financial Statement to avoid paying approximately $1,300 to her accountant; has now in hindsight paid $4,000 in accounting fees, probable legal fees and has another court date. I've been avoiding believing that she would be so dumb as to break the law intentionally for the sake of $1,300. I've felt that a forensic audit might unearth something a little more outrageous. In hindsight maybe it was nothing more than the original accounting fee she wanted to skip. The alternative of course and her claim is that the forms and legislation are just too hard for her to figure out. Campaign expenses are just so difficult apparently.

Her 31 years of bookeeping experience and her multiple election campaigns and resultant Financial Statements make me skeptical. When faced with scrutiny she raced for her lawyer. Her offense was severe enough according to the Municipal Elections Act (MEA) to require her immediate forfeiture of office. She broke the law (MEA) quite blatantly. Simply admitting to it doesn't expunge the offense. Whether the courts determine that her costs since are an adequate penalty I do not know. What I do know is that if the MEA as a provincial law has any teeth or respect, we will soon learn. I view tomorrow morning as a sort of acid test of the MEA. Is the law for real or isn't it? To date it has been the latter.