Friday, July 8, 2016


As expected Mr. Hooker is becoming someewhat less of an admired character as the book "Love Canal" by Richard S. Newman unfolds. That said what I view as one of the biggest sins, that of lying, to date does not seem to apply to Mr. Hooker. He was pro conservation, pro development, pro industry but it appears as if he was up front with both the school board and the City of Niagara Falls in regards to the perils of the chemical dumpsite in the former Love Canal. Also I must conclude that there was quite a branching out of products from the original chloride of lime and sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). One does not end up with Mirex, Dioxins and P.C.B.s in the Hooker chemical dump otherwise.

To date I have read but one reference to Conestoga Rovers namely: "And so, after hiring the respected Canadian firm of Conestoga-Rovers to install a tile drainage system, local authorities felt they were done with the relatively minor Love Canal problem.". That's it so far. There have been a couple of references to toxic wastes creeping through the sewer systems. The impression I had as per yesterday's post was that this mobilization of wastes (leachate?) occurred later on in the process. At least that is the recollection I have from Mr. Quigley of CRA albeit he did not seem particularily happy to be asked questions about Love Canal at a public CPAC meeting.

One of the biggest differences between the Love Canal subdivision and Elmira, Ontario was that a health survey was done very early in the process. Miscarriages and birth defects were front and centre. People, especially children were constantly sick from diseases that were mystifying local doctors. Another difference was the quantity of toxic wastes buried in the Love Canal. They were far less than they are here in Elmira, Ontario on the Uniroyal/Chemtura property.

The Region of Waterloo are far from immune to these environmental crises. While Elmira and the Bishop St. community in Cambridge sufferred due to contaminated groundwater both the homeowners around the Ottawa St. Landfill in Kitchener and those on Ralgreen Cres. were harmed by toxic dumps. Houses were abandoned around the Ottawa St. Landfill and some cleanup as well as relocation occurred at Ralgreen Cres. In my opinion the biggest health disaster by far occurred with the Bishop St. community in Cambridge, Ontario. The Regional Health Department, the City of Cambridge and the Ontario Ministry of Environment all did a spectacular public relations job. Everything else was too little and too late with citizens and residents paying a severe health price to the point that some did not recover.

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