Thursday, April 2, 2020


I have long held the belief that humanity will end with a whimper and not a bang. In other words yes I have confidence that various egomaniacs, twits and others known as politicians will do some incredibly stupid things in the future just as they have always done in the past. That said, with or without war, I expect that it will be a disease whether bacterial, viral or whatever that finishes off humanity. No I don't believe the current one is at all likely to finish the job that humanity are hell bent on achieving, namely annihilation of the human race. My Phd. (Biology) daughter believes that insects will inherit the world. My only hope is that when humanity depart the earth they will not take every other species with them. Oh and of course I hope that this will not happen until my children (and potential grandchildren) have led long and happy lives.

What has led to this reflection? Tuesday I received two e-mails, one from a fellow I know in Cambridge and the other from a fellow I don't know in Guelph. Since then I have been reviewing information and reports that I already have as well as others on-line regarding some contaminated sites in Cambridge (Northstar Aerospace-Bishop St.) and Guelph namely the former? Chemtura Lab on Huron St. as well as IMICO on Beverley St. I believe that IMICO stands for International Malleable Iron Co. or something similar to that.

The fellow in Guelph included a map/figure in his e-mail which is dated January 2020 and which indicates soil vapour results for a number of toxic chemicals in a residential neighbourhood less than two hundred metres from the former IMICO foundry. The Chemtura Lab is farther away (south-west) from this neighbourhood than IMICO. What has further convinced me of the inherent stupidity, head in sand ostrich like behaviour and never ending focus on money versus human health and happiness is two facts. Firstly this property is owned by the City of Guelph. It is not owned by a numbered corporation or some long distance investors with no ties to the community or emotional attachment to the nearby residents. Secondly this property has been the subject of various and numerous professional environmental investigations by Proctor-Redfern, Lee Gartner and DCS consulting companies going back as far as 1994. Possibly (likely?) there are other consulting companies involved. Twenty-six years of soil and groundwater studies in and around the site and just in the last few months have they gotten around to examining the nearby residential neighbourhood for the obvious potential known negative health effects of some of these toxins.

I am not personally involved with this neighbourhood or the people living in it. It is possible that one or more of these consulting companies have years ago advised the City of Guelph, the Ministry of Environment, or the Guelph Medical Officer of Health that residents of this nearby neighbourhood were at severe risk. It is possible that individual Guelph councillors recommended action a decade or two ago to assist residents and he/she were voted down by the rest of council. I do not believe that it is a question of human failure but a question of who and how many have been involved in either a coverup or who were simply grossly negligent. Do not doubt the ability of human beings in positions of authority to know how to cover their tracks. Elmira, Walkerton and Cambridge (Bishop St.) have a long and dishonourable history of either fully successful or partially successful ccoverups although many of the bad actors were ultimately exposed in Walkerton.

Terrible past planning decisions have located heavy industry near residential neighbourhoods in Guelph, Cambridge, Elmira, Kitchener and Waterloo. In Guelph other past industries have been located near IMICO and the York and Victoria Rd. neighbourhoods. These may share responsibility or not with the most likely candidate to date. Contaminants in the soil and groundwater include tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethane (TCA), benzene, petroleum hydrocarbons, trichloroethylene (TCE) and vinyl chloride and more. It appears obvious that the long belated soil vapour sampling in Guelph is due to the long proven knowledge that TCE in particular easily volatolizes from groundwater and soils and can enter homes through their basements. This is known as vapour intrusion and is a long proven potentially lethal occurrence that has happened throughout the U.S. and just down the road in Cambridge in 2005. In Cambridge, remediation and mitigation are still going on fifteen years after the discovery of vapour intrusion by TCE from Northstar as well as G.E. Rozell, both located on Bishop St.

How severe the health effects may be in Guelph are unknown at the moment. If they are even a tenth as bad as Cambridge then once again those negligent or complicit in a coverup should end up in jail. This being Canada and the wealthy, influential and politically connected being well in control of all institutions (including the media), this will never happen. Those in charge appear to believe that those in pursuit of "filthy lucre" (i.e. money) are absolved from blame for collateral damage, especially damage to human life and health. Hence once again the truly irresponsible people in charge will walk as they have in Cambridge, Elmira, Kitchener and Waterloo.

This lack of accountability for human suffering and death that is a direct result of negligence and worse is why I believe that humanity are doomed to extinction. Just like the current coronavirus, those in charge around the world lied and minimized as long as they could. Only when the virus had spread world wide did they begin to more honestly advise their citizens about the pandemic among us. Too little too late is the watchword of our authorities and as long as they are never truly held accountable it will go on until the irrevocable end of all of us.

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