Wednesday, June 14, 2017


The special UPAC (Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee) meeting of February 23, 1998 was to discuss and debate the Draft Certificate of Approval dealing with the Off-Site pumping, treating and discharge of groundwater into the Canagagigue Creek. As indicated very recently here several groups were unhappy with the 12 month rolling average for NDMA concentrations that the Ontario Ministry of Environment put into their C. of A.. Uniroyal of course loved it and in fact threatened to take the M.O.E. to court if they removed or changed it. Apparently Susan Bryant and others walked out of the meeting in disgust when UPAC voted in favour of the plan (ie. C. of A.). With a majority of willfully uninformed Uniroyal supporters on the committee, who generally did not read the reports carefully if at all, this wasn't a big surprise. Afterall this is precisely why neither APT nor the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team were members of UPAC. More than likely I walked out of the meeting with Susan on this issue.

Relative to this vote by UPAC Ken Seiling and the Region of Waterloo warned UPAC that if they continue to ignore regional input and comments that they would withdraw from UPAC. This statement was published in the March 13, 1998 K-W Record by Bob Burtt.

In the March 9, 1998 Elmira Independent, reporter Gail Gardiner in referring to another annual report stated that "The report was presented in a later portion of the meeting and was after local environmentalists, who normally ask the majority of the questions, had left.".

In this same edition of the Independent Gail Gardiner (now Martin) wrote "...only local environmentalists such as Alan Marshall, Susan Bryant or Esther Thur made any comment on the reports or question Uniroyal Chemical on an issue.". While this is an accurate comment by Gail Gardiner I would add two other names namely Sylvia Berg and Dr. Henry Regier as attending, participating and occasionally questioning.

The recently arrived on the scene Woolwich Observer was attending and writing about UPAC in the late 90s. On Saturday April 25, 1998 Patrick Moore of the Observer indicated that UPAC had added five new members namely Henry Regier, Fred Hager, Jerry Heidbuurt, Ron Ormson and Marianne Miller. The last name I had never heard of then or since. Don't know what happened to her. This was to signal a sea change in the direction of UPAC as the old guard of Uniroyal supporters were now in the minority. Just as in 2014 Uniroyal (Chemtura) showed their true colours by abandoning public consultation when they were no longer in charge of the process, the Agenda or the membership. That story is upcoming.

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