Friday, July 7, 2017


The February 2, 1999 K-W Record carried a story regarding the ongoing fumigations of Elmira from Uniroyal Chemical. The toxic fumes even in the dead of winter were still driving Terry Machen from his home in the middle of the night. In desperation Terry phoned Uniroyal General Manager David Ash at 2 am. one morning telling him that if he Terry couldn't sleep then neither should David be able to. In this article both Terry Machen and Woolwich councillor Bram Hollman blasted Uniroyal and David Ash for their attitudes and behaviour. Far too few Woolwich Councillors over the decades have been prepared to call out Uniroyal Chemical publicly when they needed to be.

Three other politicians also stand out in this article. Liz Witmer was Health Minister and she was as useless as t... on a bull. Norm Sterling was Environment Minister and he was even more useless than t... on a bull. Mike Harris was Premier and the kindest thing I can say about him is that he should have had Liz & Norm as his cell mates.

In the February 1, 1999 K-W Record, Rose Simone pointed out that since 1995 the Mike Harris government had cut Ministry of the Environment staff by 1/3 and their budget by 1/2.

By February 5, 1999 Uniroyal's Envirodome (Mausoleum) was 60% emptied and transferred to Corunna, Ontario courtesy of both Safety-Kleen and Acute Environmental. Conestoga Rovers (CRA), Uniroyal's consultants, later on demonstrated their acute pettiness in their attitudes and behaviour towards Acute Environmental. Shame on CRA .

On February 15, 1999 Uniroyal walked out of UPAC in the middle of a meeting, vowing never to come back. They were gone for over a year and not missed by me for one second of that time. The irony is that I missed that meeting and Uniroyal were angered by Ron Ormson, Gerry Heideburrt and Pat Mclean who had given them a very critical report suggesting that they were not handling the fugitive emissions from their plant responsibly. Susan Bryant referred to Uniroyal as "corporate bullies" and Gail Martin after the walkout in the Elmira Independent stated that David Ash's problem was that "UPAC is being mean and Uniroyal don't want to play anymore.".

Uniroyal and David Ash appropriately looked stupid both in the media and in reality. They had been fumigating and poisoning Elmira residents for decades but the previous nine months had been just horrible, particularly for the nearby Duke St. residents. In hindsight my only question is why when Uniroyal pulled the same stunt fifteen years later (2014), they were not similarly castigated. The unfortunate answer is that Elmira and Waterloo Region residents weren't paying attention to history. They had forgotten that boycotting effective public consultation is how Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura deal with public criticism of their corporate pollution behaviour.

Also interesting is Susan Bryant's take on the M.O.E. in 1999. In the February 5, 1999 Elmira Independent she said "They (M.O.E.) are under-funded, under resourced. What they do is sometimes pitiful, even to them.". Odd how Susan, behind the scenes, framed Chemtura's and the M.O.E.'s boycott of 2014. She then quietly (publicly at least) supported Chemtura and the M.O.E.'s refusing to attend CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) public meetings and in fact participated and encouraged lies and backstabbing of Woolwich volunteers in order to get herself and Pat Mclean reappointed to CPAC by the new Woolwich Council. This she did in an April 15, 2015 private meeting held in the Township building. The Minutes of that meeting were a disgusting pack of lies.

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