Monday, December 19, 2022


 Today's Waterloo Region Record has an article written by Terry Pender titled "New book calls on citizens to monitor drinking water supplies". This new book is titled "Water Our Sacred Trust" and is authored by Bob Burtt, a former Waterloo Region Record environmental reporter.  Terry Pender's article is absolutely excellent and raises a number of issues that have been either ignored or buried here in Waterloo Region for decades. The sub-title to this Record article says it clearly : "Bob Burtt's new book, "Water: Our Sacred Trust" raises questions about municipal water supplies as the population increases in Waterloo Region." It certainly does raise uncomfortable and long ignored questions.

 Backstabbing, manipulation, politicking, isolating your opponents, you name it, she practiced it. It didn't even matter if her opponents themselves were unaware that their goals or interests somehow conflicted with hers. She had strategic allies along the way including Sylvia Berg, Pat McLean and possibly even Regional Chair Ken Seiling. I too was a strategic ally for exactly as long as she felt that I could assist her goals whatever they were. She sold out a number of APTE members along the way including Rich Clausi, Dr. Henry Regier, Esther Thur, myself and only possibly Susan Rupert. While I have the utmost respect for Susan Rupert, her departure from APTE spelled the beginning of the end for that organization's success despite other wonderful members still being involved.

Bob Burtt refers to climate change as the biggest threat to the Grand River and salt as the biggest issue with our groundwater. I might quibble although Bob himself makes it clear that industrial solvents in groundwater have damaged and closed drinking wells in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Elmira. He correctly advises that ""I think they have come to realize that aquifers will never be cleaned up," said Burtt of the ongoing Elmira contamination."  Bob also promotes the role of Citizen scientists/watchdogs as well as hammering our current Premier Ford for his "...continuous assault on the environment".

So what was her motivation? Personal fame, status, influence? Or was it cleaning up the Canagagigue Creek? Well her methods certainly backfired regarding the Creek. The so called Risk Assessment (HHERA) to date is a total crock with little or no serious cleanup planned. Just when local allies are most important she is somewhat bereft. Yes there are new allies involved with local tree planting (Tweec) as well as one or two APTE members still kicking such as Shannon P. S. and Sandra Bray but I've seen nothing for decades of the former APTE coordinators. I assume they have all backed off and let Susan carry the ball for the last 15 - 20 years. My prediction still stands in that Lanxess and the Ministry (MECP) will throw Susan a bone for her past assistance to them by agreeing to do a token cleanup of at least one "hotspot" likely the one located in the Canagagigue by New Jerusalem Rd. This will be trumpeted as a major victory for citizen participation, for Susan and for the environment. In reality it is no such thing. It is a sham and a facade just as the whole "investigation" of the Creek has been. It barely scratches the surface of an environmental disaster that has been managed and manipulated from the beginning by politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen. 

Irony of ironies. Unless Bob Burtt has recently seen the light he has been one of Susan's biggest supporters for decades.

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