Thursday, June 22, 2017


Ahh the inevitability of it all. A really bad idea needs some push behind it. I wonder who the big player in all this is? Not. How many Woolwich citizens still believe that Council meetings are not simply orchestrated spectacles for the masses? How many understand that the real work namely lobbying, threats if necessary, bribes and quid pro quos go on ahead of time, behind the scenes? Who checks up on Councillors private (& illegal) meetings outside of Council Chambers? All it takes is a quorum of Council to technically have a "meeting". Who exactly do you think polices this? You're right, absolutely nobody. Then of course there are telephones including conference calls, e-mails, faxes, texting etc. all outside the purview of formal Council meetings.

In my opinion all of this was on display Tuesday evening in Council Chambers. The really bad idea is in regards to either the Elmira By-Pass or industrial "Employment" lands being situated on the east side of Elmira through prime, contaminated agricultural lands. Ask yourselves who the really big winners are if development takes place on the east side farms? How about the polluting corporation and their lap dog regulator, the Ontario Ministry of Environment? We've already seen how much the M.O.E. are willing to sell the farm here in Woolwich in order to cover up their gross negligence regarding multiple destroyers of Elmira's drinking water aquifers. How far will they go in order to cover up their willful blindness to the contamination of neighbouring farms (2) as well as further degradation of the downstream Canagagigue Creek?

Then we have the corporation itself. Uniroyal Chemical, Crompton & Knowles, Crompton, Chemtura and now Lanxess. For nearly thirty years they have played the game in order to constantly minimize their cleanup of their toxic industrial wastes. The Canagagigue was treated worse than a sewer. The groundwater was contaminated with multiple, carcingenic compounds throughout the length of Elmira. The air was poisonous to plant, animal and human life for decades. How many Elmira citizens have been fumigated over the decades bringing on cancers and other diseases? Through all this Uniroyal/Chemtura, aided and abetted by both the provincial government as well as most of our Woolwich Councils, have lied, deceived, misrepresented, minimized and used their muscle to avoid their legal and moral responsibilities. As soon as the going gets tough with Township Council appointed citizen committees (UPAC & CPAC) the company has cut and run. They did this back in 1999 over air issues and they did it again in late 2014 in regards to the east side contamination of the Stroh farm.

Peculiar in hindsight isn't it that the east side boundary changes were just barely getting going in 2014. Could it also be that the new Council ( with old members-Shantz, Martin & Bowman) realized that along with the screams of misery from Chemtura and the Ontario M.O.E., that the current Township appointed CPAC were a serious threat to plans to bury these contaminated soils beneath the proposed Elmira By-Pass?

Lastly we have the only remaining Woolwich newspaper. The Woolwich Observer attended Tuesday evening's Council meeting and Public meeting combined. They heard one Delegation in favour of the east side lands route. This was Stantec Consulting on behalf of Mr. Stroh. Another property owner at the south end of Elmira is unhappy with his lands on both sides of the highway not being included in the expansion boundaries, whether there is west or east side development. Both of these Delegations were noted and written up in today's Woolwich Observer.

There were however two other serious and significant Delegations against east side expansion and development. How odd that neither one of those was even mentioned in today's front page article titled "Development potential the top priority in remapping Woolwich communities". Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach is both a TAG member as well as Vice-Chair of the Citizens Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). He warned about the loss of prime agricultural land as well as about the costs of disposal of highly contaminated land on the east side of Elmira, whether from the Stroh or Martin properties again courtesy of Uniroyal Chemical.

Yours truly also spoke Tuesday evening. I gave written copies of both my text as well as a map of the Uniroyal pits and lagoons on Uniroyal's eastern property line to Councillors and to Steve Kannon of the Observer. I described the chemicals discovered to date in the soils as well as five years plus of Ontario M.O.E. studies indicating the contamination of the Canagagigue Creek sediments, creekbanks and floodplain soils. All of this was conveniently ignored by our sole local newspaper. Does half the ownership of the Woolwich Observer being on Woolwich Council enter into this? Or as I've asked the question before, is there some other reason that the Woolwich Observer appear to have a kid glove policy towards Chemtura Canada that we don't know about? It is all very strange and not in the public interest.

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