Thursday, November 26, 2020

TWO NEW/OLD ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN TODAY'S WOOLWICH OBSERVER

First off thank you Steve Kannon for the honourable and accurate mention of yours truly in today's Observer article titled "Union St. subdivision plan on hold again". This is one of the two "new/old" issues in today's Observer. The other is titled "Gravel pit cleared for Winterbourne valley, as Woolwich drops legal action." Interestingly/oddly that while both of these issues have been recently active for several weeks/months, we the public literally got the minimum advance notice possible. That includes the fact that I had filled out the form requesting notice of any and all upcoming public meetings etc. dealing with the Hawk Ridge Homes proposed subdivision on Union St. across from Sulco (CCC) and Lanxess Canada. ...................................................................................................... The second item regarding the Jigs Hollow Pit (i.e. Winterbourne Valley) came out of the blue. This is despite the fact that I had attended Local Planning Area Tribunal (LPAT) meetings one to two years ago and like numerous citizens was quite interested and concerned. Absolutely zero media advance warning or any other on that one. The Jigs Hollow issie now appears to be done and over. Woolwich Township withdrew their opposition and indiviual advocates in opposition to this gravel pit likely are not interested in mortaging their homes or retirements in order to continue the fight. They made incredible efforts over many years and deserve our thanks regardless of the outcome, namely a below water table gravel pit right along the banks of the Grand River beside the village of Winterbourne. It kind of makes a mockery of the Heritage River designation as well as the efforts of hundreds if not thousands of citizens over decades to protect the river. .................................................................................................. I posted yesterday about the probable go ahead for the Hawk Ridge Homes proposal. That too is a disgrace. Wake up folks. If you keep electing the Progressive Conservative Party provincially you can count on a faster environmental degradation process than we are already going through. (Yes I admit the Liberal Party desperately required a timeout but there are other choices you know).

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

HO HUM - WORST CASE SCENARIO, FIRES, EXPLOSIONS, TOXIC AIR EMISSIONS - PLEEZ DON"T HARSH OUR MELLOW

And that folks is the takeaway that I received from last night's Woolwich Committee of the Whole meeting. It is a done deal despite Ron Koniuch of Sulco (CCC) receiving a four month Deferral on Council's approval of the Zone Change and Hawk Ridge Homes subdivision plan. Can anybody spell CORRUPTION? Jeremy Vink, Woolwich planner, spoke strongly in favour of planning principles while at the same time I thought that he looked like a cringing dog awaiting a kick. I'll be more diplomatic. He was clearly on the defensive especially as he kept reiterating that Planning is all about dealing with normal, day to day industrial operations not with Worst Case Scenarios, fires, explosions or other emergencies (say a toxic fugitive release of any one of a hundred chemicals) from Lanxess Canada. Wow! He almost had himself convinced. ......................................................................................................... It's so much a done deal it's blatant. All the important facts and decisions have been made in private a long time ago and last night's Deferral is simply, once again, to give the impression that Council are listening to local stakeholders such as Sulco (CCC). In fact apparently now that Lanxess Canada, contrary to their predecessor Chemtura, are no longer in opposition to this subdivision; Sulco appear to be of little significance to Woolwich decison makers. Afterall they failed to advise Sulco of the last eighteen months of discussion with Hawk Ridge Homes. Ron Koniuch made it plain that that was not acceptable and I believe, if it is possible, that he might have embarassed a few councillors at least. ............................................................................................................ What are the possibilities? Is Lanxess planning on skipping out of town and hence their chemical operations and threat to the proposed subdivision ending? Or as Jeremy Vink referenced past Woolwich Councils allowing residential zoning of this former apple orchard owned by Ken Seiling's mother-in-law, could blame be put on a former politician with considerable local and regional influence? Oops I was warned publicly many years ago not to put Mr. Seiling's name together with Hawk Ridge Homes or make any unflattering suggestions about him. Or thirdly is this just the local behind the scenes power structure still firmly in control of our local council? Would this power structure have anything to do with the equally bizarre proposed east side by-pass over contaminated lands? Maybe there's even a fourth and simpler scenario. Doug Ford is strongly showing his pro business, open for business attitudes and the environment and little guys be damned! Could Hawk Ridge Homes developers be politically confident that they can bulldoze opposition to a residential subdivision next to chemical factories (with a history) by filing a lawsuit against Woolwich Township's past intransigence? It sure seems clear that noise, dust and odours are the only issues allowed to be discussed. Death or major negative health effects appear to have been taken off the table by Woolwich Township. Taken off the table privately that is. .................................................................................................... As is usual the public are being kept in the dark. The rationale to date for ignoring the high potential for disaster is ridiculous. Putting up noise barriers and removing windows on the east side of the new homes will mitigate noise and odours. It is unlikely to mitigate toxic fumes either directly from a fugitive chemical release or from burning solvents or other chemicals during a fire. Please do not recommend this subdivison to anyone you care about.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

WOW-ALONG WITH ALL THE OTHER POLICE FORCE ISSUES NOW WE LEARN THAT THEY AREN"T EVEN THAT GOOD AT THEIR PRIMARY ROLE OF SOLVING CRIMES

Last Friday there was an article in the Waterloo Region Record by Jeff Outhit titled "Police blame clearance rate on "overloaded" officers". This isn't going to go well with the voices that are already demanding that the Waterloo Regional Police lose a significant amount of their funding. My understanding is that critics would like to see various social agencies and groups receive some of the police budget in order to deal with issues such as homelessness, drugs and mental health problems. It does seem that these other groups could do a much better job than police officers who are trained to deal with criminals much more than they are trained to deal with victims of many of these social ills. At the same time diverting these calls away from the police might actually assist the police in spending more of their resources on their core mandate of stopping crime. ............................................................................................... Currently our police are solving about one in three crimes reported to them. I wonder how many crimes aren't even reported in the first place? Overall the statistics are disappointing and our local police are not even doing well on a comparative basis with other police forces in Ontario. Factor this in with lawsuits against the force by their own female officers as well as statistical evidence (carding & or stops) of inherent racism within the force and it becomes apparent that change and improvement are necessary. Of course change does not always equal improvement. That said the staus quo does not seem viable.

Monday, November 23, 2020

REPORT AGAINS FIND DISGRACEFUL, HATEFUL ATTITUDES WITHIN THE RCMP TOWARDS WOMEN AND GAYS

Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story by Jim Bronskill (Canadian Press) titled "Report calls for major changes to rid RCMP of toxic culture". Our local Waterloo Region Police have had more success in blocking a class-action lawsuit against them than the Mounties did. In fact millions of taxpayers dollars were provided as compensation to 2,304 women involved in the class-action lawsuit against the RCMP. Isn't the law just peachy when used/misused by those with deep pockets such as police forces, school boards etc.? .................................................................................................... Former Supreme Court justice Michael Bastarache wrote a report on harassment of women in the RCMP and he states that change cannot come from within the RCMP. He also states that "One of the key findings of this report is that the culture of the RCMP is toxic and tolerates misogynistic and homophobic attitudes among its leaders and members." To be clear...misogynistic means women hating and ...homophobic means afraid of homosexuals. Wow doesn't that just speak volumes about our national police force, its' leadership and even our politicians in nominal charge of the RCMP?

Saturday, November 21, 2020

ANY ONE PIECE OF MAJOR SIGNIFICANT EVIDENCE ALONE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH

In fact there are three major lines of evidence namely topographical contour lines showing declining ground surface elevations from Uniroyal/Lanxess to the Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm located on the Stroh farm/property. Secondly the direction of flow of Canagagigue Creek flood waters onto the Stroh property and thirdly the text of multiple technical reports by various authorities categorically stating that Uniroyal Chemical toxic waste waters flowed onto the Stroh property. The text also mentions the extreme volume of ongoing overflowing east side toxic waste waters from 1942 until 1970. All five east side pits were overflowing and both contaminated surface and ground water eventually discharged downstream into the Canagagigue Creek. All in all every normal and rational individual should have no problem accepting the reality of decades of dioxins/furans, DDT, NDMA and a myriad of solvents, acids etc. all flowing and unfortunately settling out in the low lying areas to the immediate east of the Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm (SDDB). They would of course settle out only until the volume of further incoming liquid wastes exceeded the ability of the ground to absorb these various toxins. They would then carry on for further dispersal downstream. .................................................................................................... Now of course Donald Trump (former U.S. President who thinks he's still the President) would have absolutely zero difficulty in not accepting the above evidence and facts. This is because he is a narcissistic, mental basket case. Why am I pointing out the obvious? Because Donald Trump is not a one off. There are other narcissistic or not, mental basket cases or not persons out there who are so full of themselves, their financial power and local political authority that they routinely advise us that they alone determine the facts on their contaminated property and any independent citizens, experts or consultants who would dare present evidence contrary to their view are wrong. Always wrong. The only ones who are right work for Lanxess Canada and don't you forget it! People like this can neither be reasoned with nor debated. The polite term is that they are ass.oles. ............................................................................................................... It is time for the non-ass.oles out there to say enough is enough. Vote these self-serving, possibly narcissistic persons out of authority in regards to the cleanup of both the Creek and the Elmira Aquifers. Americans got rid of Donald Trump. Can't Elmira get rid of (at the table?) Lanxess, GHD, MECP and if necessary certain idiots on Woolwich Council.

Friday, November 20, 2020

"UNCONSCIONABLE" - NEW RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT ACROSS FROM LANXESS CANADA (Uniroyal Chemical)

Last time around both Chemtura (Uniroyal) and Sulco (CCC) were opposed to the proposed Hawk Ridge residential development on Union St. across from those two companies. This time around Sulco still are and will be at council this Tueasday in opposition to the plan. As will I. ....................................................................................................................... I found a reference yesterday to Lanxess's Worst Case Scenario. That reference is in the Minutes of TAG's October 22/20 Minutes on page 2. TAG Chair Tiffany Svensson has "...requested worst case scenario documents from Lanxess in follow-up from past meeting discussions and a presentation from Lanxess in January of this year." Hmm. I recall being advised, presumably at a TAG meeting, that the old Worst Case Scenario was no longer in force but I don't recall being advised of any updated one. Hence I have sent an e-mail to Lisa Schaefer (Woolwich Twn.) asking for a copy of those new Worst Case Scenario documents that Tiffany is looking for. ............................................................................................ Regardless the first word in the title above is most appropriate. This Township, Region and province did little or nothing while Elmira citizens were poisoned by NDMA and much more in their drinking water from the 1960s and onwards including 1989 and 1990. Shame on each and every one of them. Now these same discredited political entities want to approve a residential subdivision literally across the street from a proven careless polluter whether of our water or our air. Truly UNCONSCIONABLE.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

KEY QUESTIONS REMAIN EITHER UNANSWERED OR UNANSWERED TRUTHFULLY

There is very strong evidence that falls just short of the level that Lanxess, GHD and the Ontario Ministry of Environment seem to be insisting upon. Apparently anything short of a living eye-witness, of sound mind who took professional grade photos or videos of overland flowing waste waters from the east side pits (RPE 1-5) is their basic bottom line. Oh and this eye-witness needs to be still alive and a former employee of the company in a position of authority who knew exactly what he was shooting video of. Also preferably the photos/video would not be a one time occurrence but showed ongoing over decades flowing waste waters going south and then east onto the Stroh property by the current Stroh Drain. Lastly these photos and video would be from 1943 through until the pipelines stopped flowing in approximately 1969 or 1970. If such a witness could be found however who was willing to testify, Lanxess and friends would like to administer a senility test as well as question (with prejudice) this person's company loyalty. .......................................................................................................... The evidence will not meet those corporate and bureaucratic levels. Quite. It does however significantly surpass the civil criteria of "on the balance of probabilties". This evidence will be discussed next Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 6:30 pm. at the virtual TAG meeting. Any Woolwich resident can watch (no questions or comments allowed by fiat of the pretend mayor) this discussion by Dr. Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach through contacting Lisa Schaefer at Woolwich Township (lschaefer@woolwich.ca). This evidence showing Uniroyal Chemical wastewater flows directly onto the Stroh property right at the current location of the Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm (SDDB), in my opinion even reaches the criminal level of "beyond a reasonable doubt". ..................................................................................................................... Criminal conduct. Interesting. The title above references either unanswered or dishonestly answered questions. I believe that some of the actions taken by Uniroyal Chemical between 1980 and 1991 may have surpassed the threshold necessary for a criminal conviction. Which specific charges perhaps should be left to a prosecutor.