Monday, July 10, 2017


Esther Thur said it well and said it clearly decades ago. "APT did not form to talk to Uniroyal. They did not form to be nice. They formed to fight Uniroyal". APT also did not form in order to sit in private meetings or negotiations with either Uniroyal Chemical or the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Susan Rupert one of the three original founders (+ Sandra Bray & Esther) warned against APT getting too close to the very parties they were opposing. Those warnings fell upon deaf ears and as a result two or three ambitious people have upended APT's direction. Susan Rupert was all about concensus within the group. She was not about titles such as President or Vice-President. Those titles came after her departure. The rest of APT have forgotten. They care but they do not want to see what has happened. They want the best of APT to live on in memory. That is understandable.

There have been many tactical and strategic mistakes by APT members and citizens overall. The local political powers in support of Uniroyal have fortunately made their share as well. Their ability to dissemble and lie and manipulate has been Machievellian. One of the biggest mistakes by both APT members and UPAC was allowing Councillor (at the time) Pat Mclean to drag UPAC into being a committee of Woolwich Council. Esther and I both spoke against that move. Esther made it very clear that ever since the 1940s Elmira Town Councils as well as Woolwich Councils stood with Uniroyal, never with the long suffering citizens. APT members needed to step up and tell their reps not to support Pat's initiative. Instead Susan Bryant and Sylvia Berg were all in favour. The timing was very strange what with Uniroyal Chemical having already stormed out of UPAC. Pat Mclean kept incorrectly stating that UPAC had to change in order to bring Uniroyal back to the table and I responded that UPAC had already changed for the better and that's why Uniroyal left in the first place. Pat actually was quoted at one point in the local papers as acknowledging that it was UPAC's more aggressive stance pushing Uniroyal versus constantly supporting them that led to their departure.

Certainly the irony was not lost on me after the October 2010 municipal election. The new Council did exactly what I had warned UPAC about ten years earlier. They decided quietly to give CPAC the heave ho. Todd Cowan had talked to outside experts (and me) and understood that the Chemtura/CRA way of doing things wasn't working to clean up by 2028. Pat, Susan and the gang were gone. Sure they did their thing and pretended to withdraw their Applications over disagreement with new Terms of Reference but it was all for show. They already knew that none of them were coming back. I actually had asked Todd to retain two or three of them but he chose not to. At least from this point forward, especially with the public way the 2014 new Council got rid of Todd's CPAC; it is now undeniable that Councils will exercise their power and throw out previously Council appointed volunteer citizen committees that they do not like. What a way to run a railroad folks. It's not the best candidates, it's the candidates who are friends and buddies with the Councillors (and even possibly with Chemtura) who get appointed.

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