Friday, December 6, 2019


Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following article titled "Dark Waters lawyer role perfect for Ruffalo". It is in the Arts & Life section and describes the "...true-life David v. Corporate Goliath legal thriller with echoes of films such as "A Civil Action" and "Erin Brockovitch." The movie depicts the actions of Dupont Chemical in dumping toxic chemical wastes into the Dry Run Creek in West Virginia. This article in the Record, written by Michael Roeper of the Chicago Sun Times, claims that Dupont "...knowingly exposed thousands if not millions of consumers to dangerous levels of toxins...".

References are made to "corporate friendly scientists who testify in Dupont's favour" as well as to the fact that Hollywood doesn't "...make movies about crusading attorneys who get crushed in court by corporate monoliths." Also we are advised of cattle drinking the water either dying or of others being born with gruesome birth defects. Local residents have suffered from cancer, blackened teeth and former Dupont employees have been struck with serious and sometimes fatal illnesses.

This movie is based upon the 2016 New York Times Magazine article titled "The Lawyer Who Became Dupont's Worst Nightmare". I have read that article and once again have seen how black and white, open and shut cases can extend for a decade or more in court simply because the guilty party finds it cheaper to hire lawyers to fight and the courts accommodate both delays and wealthy and powerful interests. This sends a chilling message to the next individuals or lawyers trying to achieve justice through the courts.

Dupont just like Uniroyal/Lanxess are members of the Chemical Industry Association of Canada (CIAC). They are probably also members of American lobby associations promoting the chemical industry. The reality is that the chemical industry in North America has a hard earned reputation of putting profits before people. I expect and believe that there are some sincere and honest companies who are members of the CIAC. Locally here in Elmira, Ontario I believe that the former Sulco Chemical (Canada Colours) are an example. Uniroyal/Lanxess are not. Similarly I believe that some individual persons who are or have been members of the National Advisory Panel of the CIAC have been sincere and honest. Unfortunately there are also local individuals who are not. For myself I judge both people and companies, not by their words but by their actions.

Speaking of words versus actions there is a Remediation Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting next Thursday in Woolwich Council Chambers at 5 pm.

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