Monday, January 30, 2017


Only once before have I ever seen a municipally appointed environmental group leap into action the way TAG (Technical Advisory Group) has done since their inception in September 2015. That would have been the new CPAC after the 2010 municipal election. Dr. Richard (Dick) Jackson was the past Chair of TAG and he was magnificent. Dr. Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach, the vice-chair of CPAC, brought his nearly five years of experience with CPAC to TAG, plus a number of other newcomers have been a pleasant surprise.

Tiffany Svensson of Blumetric in Kitchener is the new Chair of TAG. Dr. Jackson, while retiring, nevertheless spelled out clearly his frustration with the Ontario Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.), in particular. He referred to public policy problems taking the forefront; not technical problems dealing with remediation of either the Chemtura site, the off-site Elmira Aquifers or the downstream Canagagigue Creek. By public policy problems and failures he was referring to the M.O.E.'s penchant for lying, deflection and distraction. Whether firmly in bed with Chemtura, all big polluters or simply firmly in bed with the provincial government and unwilling to confront and attack our recalcitrant powerful polluters; our Ontario M.O.E. are a contemptible disgrace. Ms. Svensson has a difficult path ahead of her and enormous shoes to fill. I also have to wonder if Dr. Jackson received the full support of Woolwich Council or if they, true to their history, wimped out on him in the crunch.

TAG meets both this Thursday at 6:30 pm. in Woolwich Council Chambers and then again two weeks later (February 16), same time and place. This Thursday's Agenda is very light although Item 3.2, RAC member selection, is of interest. Dr. Jackson made it clear that he wished to rotate different TAG members through their turns on the RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) committee. RAC has more politicians and bureaucrats on it and includes the Region of Waterloo, GRCA as well as Chemtura and the M.O.E.. The other item of interest may be Item 3.3 which is in regards to Chemtura releasing chilled water to the creek. That is odd as chilled water being released to the creek in wintertime doesn't seem like much of an issue. We will see on Thursday.

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