Friday, June 3, 2016


Appropriately the Ontario Ministry of the Environment had little or no credibility after two Environmenatl Appeal Board hearings exposed their incompetence and deceit. This deceit included the EAB Chairman questioning the M.O.E.'s claim that Varnicolor Chemical had not contributed to the contamination of the Elmira Aquifers. The M.O.E. therefore asked Woolwich Council to organize some form of independent public consultation. This occurred as volunteers from the business community, local service groups and citizens from APT Environment stepped forward. The Grand River Conservation Authority also attended in the early days. No one wishing membership was turned away albeit Chemtura and the M.O.E. were given full participatory status without voting priveleges.

Fast forward to today and Woolwich Council are the sole arbiters as to who has membership. These six woefully uninformed and in some cases biased individuals totally and arbitrarily decide which volunteer citizens may attend, speak, ask questions and have voting priveleges. These same six Councillors, especially multiple term councillors, have a plethora of conflicts of interest in that the corporate polluter, Chemtura, affects taxes, employment, corporate donations (charitable)and corporate/personal campaign donations. When Chemtura threaten to leave Woolwich (as they will), unless they receive environmental concessions, these same self-serving repeat politicians don't want to be the ones left holding the bag at that moment.

Members of TAG with conflicts of interest, both personal and financial, are encouraged by some Woolwich councillors. The personal conflicts are the lesser of the evils. This would include Sandy Shantz appointing her curling buddies to TAG. To date I have not seen any signs of bias or corruption in favour of Chemtura from them; only the expected and fully understandable lack of broad understanding, both technical and historical. The real issue is Sandy and Council having appointed two members with financial conflicts of interest. Their continued false denial of same, shames Woolwich Council, their fellow TAG members and the Township each and every time they repeat their denials. Sandy and Council received detailed written accounts from myself over a year ago listing the financial dealings between Chemtura, Conestoga Rovers (their consultants), the Chemical Industry Assoc. of Canada (CIAC), the Region of Waterloo and Susan Bryant and Pat Mclean. While councillor Pat Merlihan publicly used the word "cringeworthy" in describing Sandy's process and set up of RAC and TAG in regards to it's lack of real public consultation; I would suggest that it should also apply to the aforementioned conflicts of interest as well as membership appointing process.

The process as described in the Terms of Reference for RAC and TAG are frankly abominable and disgusting. Clearly Sandy and Mark Bauman are firmly in Chemtura's back pocket as indicated by the blatant lack of public input allowed. Informed, experienced and prior appointed citizens to CPAC by earlier Councils have been blatantly discriminated against by this cowardly pack of fellow travellors on Woolwich Council. Even citizens without prior experience at former CPAC meetings are not allowed to ask questions or participate. They can sit there but may not comment, question or in any way actively particiapte. Verbal Delegations are allowed at RAC exactly four times per year allegedly but TAG insist on pre-submitted one page documents that must be vetted by their Chair prior to other members even seeing them.

Really should any of this process be a surprise when we realize that these clowns in charge (Council) are the same ones who recently banned any Delegations to Council from citizens wishing to discuss Chemtura Canada pollution issues? We all know that Woolwich Council again proved themselves the most regressive, incompetent and undemocratic Council in Waterloo Region, perhaps even in Ontario.

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