Saturday, March 31, 2012


Remember everything you've read about Agent Orange. Remember everything you've read about the contaminant mixed in with it called Dioxin. Don't forget locations in Vietnam, Seveso Italy or Missouri in the United States. Here in Canada it was spread on the ground in New Brunswick at Gagetown. Northern Ontario used Agent Orange and similar compounds to clear brush and undergrowth along roads and railway tracks. Well folks it's here right in Elmira, in the ground and groundwater for the last seventy years or so. It's been a known health and environmental issue here in Elmira for decades and our authorities have talked until they're blue in the face. Then they've lied about it until they're blue in the face. Then they and Uniroyal/Chemtura have hired experts and consultants to assist them in their lying. This is the history and reality here in Elmira.

Thursday evening in Woolwich Council chambers we got more of the same. Cowardly also of historic proportions. Chemtura delayed and delayed from last summer both further testing but more importantly in releasing the results to CPAC and the public. Even then results that they've had since last fall weren't issued prior to the public CPAC meeting. No, instead they had their hired truth massager talk about three remediation optuons. I've had a brief opportunity to look at the Dioxin concentrations since Thursday night. They are thousands of times higher than human health standards yet if we are to believe Conestoga Rovers pitchman that's O.K.. A whole .3 metre (1 foot) of soil can be scraped up and or the area can be capped with a HDPE or high density polyethylene cover. Then there are the lesser remediation plans. What universe are these technical geeks and nerds from? The health effects of Agent orange in returning U.S. serviemen are well documented. They extend from the servicemen to their children and grandchildren, so far. One of the many lies is that the only recepters are trespassers and shrews.

It is not reassuring to me that while Dioxins can dissolve into groundwater albeit with difficulty, they are more readily transported by groundwater with solvents in it. Just like the Uniroyal/Chemtura site is loaded with. It is stunning to me that if we are to believe the bought and paid for experts; that Dioxins flow much better in groundwater from the west side into the Canagagigue Creek than they flow from the east side into the creek. This kind of horse manure has surrounded this site for decades and the least significance is that it brings disrepute to scientists who indulge in it.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Last evening at the CPAC meeting, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.) handed out copies of the Press Release they issued on October 7, 1991 , announcing the Settlement Agreement between themselves and Uniroyal Chemical. Somehow they managed to hand it out while I was speaking and I didn't receive a copy. Fortunately copies were offerred to me today by other parties so I now know and understand a little more about how the master manipulaters (M.O.E.) continue to deny that the "sweetheart deal" was a secret. Yes they handed this Press Release out to the Media but not to UPAC, APT Environment membership or the general public either within or without Elmira. Hence this media Release was exactly that, a Media release not a public release. Secondly this media release is full of errors, misinformation and or blatant lies.

To be world class at offerring up alternative realities one must have no shame. This describes this document which I saw for the first time in my life, today. Let's go with one item which I would describe as a rare and startling truth. "Uniroyal's chemical manufacturing plant, which started its operations in 1941, is one of the sources of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in the Elmira area.". This is a startling admission which has been carefully and skillfully buried ever since. What possessed them to tell the truth in this Press release is beyond me.

"...and will begin the site cleanup immediately.". Poppycock. They didn't start the tiny DNAPL removal from RPW5 and TPW2 until the late fall of 1993. The two pits on the east side of the creek also didn't get going until nearly a year later.

"remove all wastes from buried pits on the property" :. First off all wastes were not in buried pits. Secondly although two pits were excavated they had been ordered by the Settlement Agreement and accompanying Amended Control Order before the Environmental Audit was done which identified other areas requiring remediation and or excavation.

"investigate the presence of NDMA in the former pond area and take appropriate remedial actions." The settlement Agreement spoke about investigating DNAPL (dense non aqueous phase liquids) not NDMA. Secondly the settlement Agreement ordered studies not remediation of the former pond area ie. west side ponds namely RPW5,6,7 & 8.

Once again the M.O.E. have pulled off a simple bait and switch. This Press Release served the purpose that the following Amended Control Order was to serve which was to pretend to be the significant document. Both the following Amended Control Order (Nov. 4/91) and the Press Release were fakes and phonies to distract attention from the real controlling document which was never released to the media or the public. They were dishonest documents intended to deceive the public and they suceeded for twenty-one years.


AS CPAC CHAIR...O.K. I admit I'm having way too much fun with the headline above. It is misleading and deceptive and I apologize. However at Thursday nite's first public CPAC meeting since last November, Mayor Cowan did the right thing and resigned as CPAC Interim Chair. He will be replaced as a CPAC member by Councillor Mark Bauman. The Chair's position was decided publicly by vote the way it should have been from the start. Dan Holt by concensus of the CPAC members is the new Chair. This sets an enormous and appropriate precedent for this new CPAC as they slowly gain control over their own process. Electing their own member to be Chair is a major step. I have had the privelege of getting to know Dan over the last year and have high hopes for his vision and understanding.

Most of the three hour CPAC meeting was a dog and pony show. By this I mean that Chemtura and the M.O.E. did their best to stall, bafflegab and run out the clock. They knew and were prepared for major battle in regards to the October 7, 1991 Settlement Agreement (sweetheart deal). This is especially interesting when you realize that this bilateral agreement between the M.O.E. and Uniroyal Chemical was not on the Agenda. The CPAC members patiently waited out the verbal trots until they came to New Business and then they struck. My hat is off to all of them. Also interestingly, for the first time since the new CPAC was chosen without a single member from the old CPAC, Susan Bryant was present as a member of the public. She was called upon by CPAC member Sebastian to assist with her recollection of the Settlement Agreement from twenty-one years ago. Although she expressed difficulties remembering much, she was sure that comments from the senior M.O.E. member present were not accurate. He had claimed that there were 28 meetings between the six parties to the ongoing Environmental Appeal Board hearings prior to Uniroyal and the M.O.E. signing their bilateral deal. Indeed this made no sense at all especially with the outrage expressed by the four other parties immediately after the M.O.E. and Uniroyal announced they'd come to an agreement. Susan categorically stated that APTE had not been present at any private group meetings with the parties to discuss a Settlement between Uniroyal and the M.O.E.. The M.O.E. then backed off and suggested that what they'd really meant was that there were 28 meetings, mostly individually not as a group and maybe there were two group meetings. Nice try M.O.E.. There were a number of other misleading comments and statements by the M.O.E. which I quite enjoyed deflating shortly afterwards.

Further to my dog and pony show comment I also spoke harshly to both Chemtura and the M.O.E. about their extreme discourtesy and disrespect towards the public and CPAC. They falsely claimed that they had distributed three reports perhaps a couple of hundred pages in length to CPAC and stakeholders on February 29/12. In reality I and others received these reports on March 21/12, eight days prior to the CPAC meeting. To have these Annual Monitoring Reports on the Agenda for discussion was beyond stupid. Chemtura also have been promising a report and a public meeting concerning the fugitive emissions of BLE-25 eighteen months ago (Sept./10). Well we got the report last night, out of the blue. Too little too late. The most disgusting and bizarre scenario however had to be the long overdue production of the GP1 and GP2 Dioxin Report. That came at 9:15 pm. after the meeting was over and after Chemtura had their consultants CRA do a presentation on their recommended remediation method. Outrageous and disgusting and I let them know that in no uncertain terms. This I will say about Chemtura and their buddies the Ontario M.O.E.. Through their condescending, disrespectful and arrogant behaviour, including not providing promised data and reports in a timely fashion, they have suceeded in revealing to CPAC their true character in a very short time frame.

There was more from last night including details of what CPAC member Sebastian suggested was Chemtura's choice of the cheapest Dioxin cleanup method. Vivienne was assertive and persistent as was Dan. Both Ron Campbell and David Marks provided excellent technical support. Special kudos to David Marks for attending shortly after sufferring a serious skiing accident. More to come in upcoming days on this public meeting.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


It is 100% owned, operated, controlled and run by politicians. It has been under the Chairmanship of Woolwich Councillors past and present (Ruby Weber, Pat Mclean), Chemical Company managers (Sulco - Greg Pimento), a Mayor (Todd Cowan) . The Terms of Reference are a joke. They are also ignored at will by the Township. Today March 29, 2012 and we are having our first public CPAC meeting in four months. We had a Draft Agenda come out a week ago. It was revised in a meeting three days ago and as of right now there is NO AGENDA. What the hell are we talking about tonite ? CPAC is a Committee of Council with honest intelligent citizen representatives on it. They are capable of controlling their own process, so Woolwich Township Mayor, CAO and Clerk please get the hell off it.

Then we have the two parties who are supposed to be providing data, information and communication. They are less than pathetic. Their promises of forthcoming information are worthless. Chemtura and the M.O.E. have had lab results since early last fall concerning Dioxins, DDt and solvents at and near GP1 & GP2 on the south-east corner. CPAC and the public were promised them LAST FALL ! The Ontario M.O.E. have new and old groundwater monitoring results for both former Varnicolor Chemical sites. I and CPAC were promised those LAST FALL. NOTHING! The list of lies and broken promises goes on and on. How surprising that Chemtura AGAIN have failed to achieve a reverification with their industry peer group (CIAC). Chemtura are a rogue company "monitored" by a hypocritical, corrupt Ministry of the provincial government.

Then we get to the regional government. Yes twenty-two and a half years ago they stepped into the breech. The Region of Waterloo hired groundwater experts and pursued both the M.O.E. and Uniroyal/Chemtura. While they appropriately criticized the October 7, 1991 "sweetheart deal" as well as the followup November 4, 1991 Amended Control Order, surprisingly they said nothing about the Release/Indemnity given to Uniroyal by the M.O.E.. Why not? Were they promised goodies if they played nice? Did the Province of Ontario promise them cash plus a water pipeline if they kept several things secret? To this day the Region have not told the public about this Indemnity and they have actively campaigned with Chemtura and the M.O.E. in support of the lie that Uniroyal was the sole contributer to the destruction of the Elmira aquifer.

How possibly can honest citizens essentially without resources combat professional liars? All three levels of government; provincial, regional and municipal have and are lying to the people who pay the freight, namely us. The least guilty government body so far is the new Woolwich Council. Unfortunately they appear willing to delegate the CPAC file without their full oversight. This error will bite them sooner than later. CPAC have been thrown to the wolves and are surrounded by liars. If there are citizens out there who believe we should have our own Aquifers restored then you need to become involved. The year 2028 is one more big lie being pushed by the M.O.E., Chemtura, the Region and the Province. Not one chance in a million of it happening folks.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Woolwich Mayor Todd Cowan claimed last evening at the start of the Woolwich Council meeting that he was "shocked" that the Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.) had approved the Elmira location for Woolwich Bio-En. I was not shocked and I don't have the in with the provincial government that Mayor Cowan claims to have. Our Mayor also suggested that all signs and indications over the past year had been positive from the M.O.E.. Really? Are you suggesting duplicity Mayor Cowan on the part of the M.O.E.? Now I am really shocked. Haven't you been listening to what I've been telling you for nearly two years? Well before the election you came to me for advice regarding Chemtura and the M.O.E. and I told you that the M.O.E. were in bed together with polluters and industry. Honest citizens rights and health were of little consequence to them.

Despite my skepticism I did sincerely thank Woolwich Council at the start of my presentation for their stated interest in pursuing an appeal of the M.O.E.'s Decision. Council want a legal opinion as to whether they have any grounds to sucessfully launch an appeal with the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT). Let me be the first to say this. There are a number of different members just as with their predecessor the Environmental Appeal Board (EAB). Some are good, qualified and unbiased persons. Others are unqualified toadies who do as they are told. The question is who will be doing the assigning and what are the politics behind the big picture regarding renewable energy in Ontario. From my strong opinion here yes you can believe that I have attended and been involved in several of these appeals and have seen excellent to horrible Boards and Tribunals.

In regards to Chemtura I primarily spoke about the October 7, 1991 "sweetheart deal". That document as I advised Council last evening has been referred to CPAC as a gamechanger by two environmental professionals. The M.O.E. and their partner in pollution Chemtura, have said otherwise in the Woolwich Observer. Oh what a surprise! Kudos to Councillor Bauman for releasing a letter to CPAC which indicates that two polluters (Nutrite & Chemtura), three governments (municipal, regional & provincial) and one private individual all received copies of the Settlement Agreement (sweetheart deal) twenty-one years ago. Despite tiny leaks and dribbles all six parties to the 1990/91 Environmental Appeal Board hearings kept silent about the Indemnity given to Uniroyal by the Ontario M.O.E.. Shame on the lot of them!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Welcome to the real world Elmira. This is the sleepy little town that the Ontario M.O.E. love to lie to. They've done it again. Read here in the Advocate (via the archives on the right) Friday January 27, 2012. The information I had received from within the Bio-Energy group was that the location was and had been a done deal for months. And that was last January. The BFCC group appropriately tried to get confirmation from their contact within the M.O.E.. That contact kept beating around the bush and avoiding the question until BFCC member Dan Holt backed him into a corner. At that point the M.O.E. engineer did admit that location was the perogative of the proponent. Well that's all I needed to here. Allegedly you folks get fifteen days to appeal. Let me see now, you've been playing by the rules for how many years now? You have clearly articulated your concerns to the appropriate authorities. Sure follow through with an appeal if you want. Pretty soon now you will realize that the entire process is a sham. The rules from the beginning are in favour of the proponent and that's no accident. All the rest is windowdressing and make believe public consultation. There is a way to stop BIO-En but it's not by following somebody else's rules.


There will be at least two opportunities this week for the public to come out and listen to the sad story of local polluter/government partnerships. Tonite at Woolwich Council (7 pm.) I will be a Delegate and will be discussing the October 1991 Settlement Agreement between the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.) and Uniroyal/Chemtura. Then Thursday evening (6 pm.) will finally be the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) which has been delayed since last fall. The Agenda is already full and there are still many items that should have been clarified and discussed months ago. Quite frankly what I would like to see is the backlog caught up by more frequent meetings over the next few months. What has been apparent to me for some time is that polluters can not sucessfully bafflegab and deflect the public's outrage without professional help. That professional help are politicians. They are there to serve the interests of industry including the polluters. The M.O.E. have long been a buffer, an insulator and a protecter of polluting industry. They literally collect data, write reports and act as public relations tools for polluting industry.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


The front page story of yesterday's Woolwich Observer is titled "Residents go on the offensive prior to OMB process". The Jigs Hollow Pit aka the proposed Kuntz Pit is located between Winterbourne and Conestogo on the west side of the Grand River. Both Jan Huissoon and Lynne Hare spoke to Woolwich Council last week in opposition to this proposed pit. Some of the new information included the fact that this allegedly above water table pit will now be noisier due to the water table being substantially higher than it has been over the past few seasons. All the rain last fall as well as this winter has raised it substantially. The effect therefore is that the pit will not be excavated as deeply thus it will be more difficult to muffle the noise of excavating. Visually it would also be more obvious as machinery as well would be at a higher elevation than originally planned. The prehearing meeting with the OMB is set for next month and there is also a prehearing set for the proposed Hunder Pit by the Conestogo Golf Course for April 16, 2012. It looks as if crunch time is fast approaching for all these proposed pits including the West Montrose one. Lets see how strong and aggressive and serious the fight will be from the Woolwich Planning department at the Ontario Municipal Board hearings.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Steve Kannon of the Woolwich Observer has written an excellent article in today's paper titled "Council clears way for expansion at Safety-Kleen". I have indicated that I was very impressed with Woolwich staff's willingness to go the extra mile in advising me as to what their options were under various , mostly Provincial, planning legislation. I must add that Steve's comment that my O.M.B. action "...was dealt with in a dismissal ruling last March." is deceptive. All parties including myself came to a negotiated settlement which while far from perfect was an improvement over the initial plans. What should be noted by the public in this article is the following: "Some 10,000 to 20,000 gallons of oil-based contaminants sit in the shallow aquifer under the site, dating back to the 1960s and 70s. Safety-Kleen has been pumping out the sludge and treating the waste, recovering about 2,000 to 3,000 gallons to date. Full remediation is expected to take more than 20 years." THINK CLEARLY ABOUT THIS FOLKS ! It's been there for half a friggen century , it's still there and allegedly won't be cleaned up for another twenty years. Is Everybody crazy? This is 700 yards (metres) from the Grand River. Two Municipal wells (K70 & K71) have been shut down for a decade and a half. P.C.B.s are mixed in with this 10,000 to 20,000gallons of oil. The very same Region of Waterloo who also gave Safety-Kleen an Indemnity when they bought Breslube, allege that the two drinking wells are shut down due to bacteria. BULLSHIT folks !

Thursday, March 22, 2012


We now know that the Region of Waterloo, Woolwich Township and the Province of Ontario all had full knowlege of the October 7, 1991 Settlement Agreement (sweetheart deal) between Uniroyal Chemical and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.). We also know that the very same M.O.E. approached Woolwich Township for the purpose of instituting public consultation for the purpose of involving local citizens in the alleged cleanup of the Uniroyal/Chemtura site. On an on-going basis for many years these three parties attended public UPAC later known as CPAC meetings. Never over the last twenty-one years have any of those three political bodies ever advised the local citizens that with the written exception of removal of two east side pits and a permanent pump and treat system; that Uniroyal Chemical had received an absolute immunity or indemnity from legal and financial liability for their contaminated Elmira site.

Both the M.O.E. and Uniroyal/Chemtura have been quoted in the Woolwich Observer as denying this. While certain longlived active politicians come to mind, such as Regional Chair Ken Seiling, most of the others involved from twenty years ago have either retired or passed on. This gives current municipal, regional and provincial politicians an out. If they want to come clean even at this late date and pretend that they did not know, are appalled and want to make things right , they can. If on the other hand they choose to circle the wagons, close ranks and fight this out then so be it. To date one municipal councillor namely Mark Bauman has categorically claimed that he had no knowledge of this sweetheart deal from twenty-one years ago. The rest of the new Woolwich Councillors are probably in the clear as long as they are smart enough not to support those who are actively trying to continue the coverup. Political careers are about to be made and broken, so I suggest that the guilty scurry for cover and the innocent remain that way and not get sucked in to being on the wrong side.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Despite recent bad news coming from our Elmira, Ontario industrial neighbour, they continue to soldier on. Their persistence and tenacity in the face of adversity fills us all with awe and wonder. Recently they have been the subject of gossip, rumour and frankly nasty, snide humour. This of course is in relation to the sweetheart deal they received twenty-one years ago from their partners in pollution, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E). The other bad news would be their repeat failures over the years to sucessfully achieve verification or reverification under *Responsible Care. This is a program of their chemical peers namely the Chemical Idustry Association of Canada (CIAC) formerly known as the CCPA.

To the best of my knowledge Chemtura have achieved for the very first time 100% failure in both their on-site and off-site pumping regimens, simultaneously. This is a very difficult and remarkable feat. There are two municipal aquifer on-site wells and five municipal aquifer off-site wells. All seven simultaneously for the month of February (2012) failed to achieve their target pumping rates. The enormity of this accomplishment can not be overstated. Allegedly this pumping is going to clean up the Elmira Aquifers to drinking water standards by 2028. This of course is bullshit anyways but their ongoing longterm pumping failures merely put the ribbon around this unholy corporate/government alliance. The PR flacks and spin doctors are going to have to have their fees jacked up enormously to make them willing to step between the amateur government and corporate liars and the appropriately skeptical public.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Yesterday one of the excellent CPAC members used the expression "Someone let the cat out of the bag". This was in reference to the October 7, 1991 sweetheart deal between Uniroyal Chemical and the Ontario M.O.E.. Envision this scenario. A thief is caught after stealing a government owned truck. The policeman and the thief decide that in exchange for not turning him in, the thief will give the policeman $10,000. They write up a contract to do so. That contract is your sweetheart deal. The public who owned the truck lose it and the thief and policeman are both ahead.

Many faces and voices from the past have been approached for their knowledge and recollection of this deal between the Ministry of the Environment and Uniroyal. These include journalists and newspaper editors from twenty years ago. They include lawyers who represented parties at the Environmental Appeal Board hearings. They include former members of a local environmental group namely APTE. Also included are better known and more widely diversified environmental activists with an interest in Uniroyal/Chemtura affairs. What is the common thread? None of them had any knowledge of the details of this Settlement Agreement or sweetheart deal. They like the general public knew a private agreement had been reached but they had never seen a copy of it. Indeed further investigation is slowly exposing the knowledge that the six parties to the Environmental Appeal Board all received complete copies. Besides the M.O.E. and Uniroyal that was the Region of Waterloo, Woolwich Township, Nutrite, and APTE Environment. Not APTE's lawyer by the way but one individual.

That one individual allegedly did not share this document with either the membership nor even with the rest of the co-ordinaters. The information of a complete Release/Indemnity for Uniroyal regarding DNAPLS for example, explains a lot of what to date has been inexplicable behaviour.

Monday, March 19, 2012


To date I've had very little if anything to say on this debate. Here goes. I have a corner property and while in good health and physically strong, I must admit to enjoying not having to shovel two long stretches of sidewalk after all three or four storms this winter. In other words I am getting older. That being said my joy of observing bare sidewalk that I have not shovelled is routinely dampened by the inability of the plough operator to stay on the damn sidewalk. Each and every time he/she tears up either my lawn or the boulevard. WE are NOT amused ! The next point of greater environmental concern is this. Are these plough operators shareholders in Sifto Salt or the salt mines in Goderich?. If not then what the hell is the matter with you? I can't believe how much stupid, environmentally damaging salt is being used on my and my neighbours sidewalks. This sidewalk ploughing is a great idea, especially for we very fast approaching retirement aged people but are these above problems really that insurmountable? If they are then please stop ploughing my sidewalk. I'll go back to doing the whole thing myself but at least it will be done properly.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I had promised to post the whole 22 pages of this October 7, 1991 "Settlement Agreement " aka "sweetheart deal" but I'm having troubles with the mechanics. At the moment I've posted the first (front) page and page #15 RELEASES here on February 21 & 22, 2012. Today I'm quoting exerpts from pages #12, 14 and 16 of the following Nov. 4, 1991 Amended Control Order which show that it is subservient to the Settlement Agreement and I'm also including an exerpt from page #16 of the Settlement Agreement/sweetheart deal titled ENTIRE AGREEMENT.

Starting with page #12 of the Amended Control Order: "d) The longterm collection and treatment system referred to in paragraph 3(a) shall be implemented and paid for in accordance with the Settlement Agreement."

Page #14 of the same document "(f) The waste materials referred to in paragraph 5(a) will be further dealt with in accordance with the Settlement Agreement."

Page #16 same document "(c) Further investigation of DNAPL shall be carried out in accordance with the Settlement Agreement. The costs of the further investigation shall be paid for in accordance with the Settlemnt Agreement."

I'm now over to the actual "Settlement Agreement" or sweetheart deal. Page #16
21.1 With respect to the subject matter of this Agreement, this agreement (a)sets
forth the entire agreement between the parties and any persons who have in the past or
who are now representing either of the parties(b) supercedes all prior understandings and
communications between the parties or any of them, oral or written, and (c) constitutes
the entire agreement between the parties. each party acknowledges and represents that
this Agreement is entered into after full investigation and that no party is relying upon
any statement or representaionmade by any other which is not embodied in this
Agreement. each party acknowledges that it shall have no right to rely upon any
amendment, promise, modification, statement or representation made or occurring
subsequent to the execution of this Agreement unless the same is in writing and executed
by each of the parties.

Remember the first three quotes (pgs. #12, 14 & 16) are from the Amended Control Order which was produced one month AFTER the private two party Settlement Agreement between Uniroyal and the Ontario M.O.E. These quotes within the body of the Control Order show that these three cleanup items are subservient or "in accordance with" the Settlement Agreement of Oct. 7, 1991.

Secondly the 21.0 ENTIRE AGREEMENT within the Settlement Agreement clearly spells out that that document is preeminent and can not be overuled or trumped by any other document whatsoever. Therefore as the Settlement Agreement is paramount, hence it's page #15 RELEASES is as well. This page categorically states that Uniroyal are indemnified ie. off the hook for all "presently aware" contamination as of October 1991 on their Elmira site.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Firstly bless Woolwich Township's good fortune in having not one but two local newspapers. Last week the Woolwich Observer opened things with their article, albeit a little off the mark, about the October 7, 1991 Settlement Agreement aka "sweetheart deal". This week it is the Elmira Independent with this headline: "Discussion on "sweetheart" deal to wait". The Independent are reporting my presentation to Woolwich Council back on March 6/12. As indicated Mayor Cowan stated that he felt Council wasn't the right time or place for that discussion. Really? Might have been a tad embarassing for the Mayor, for his Council to publicly learn that he was witholding significant game changing information from them regarding the alleged "cleanup" at Chemtura. Regardless the good news is that again the public have been advised that the next public CPAC meeting is scheduled for March 29/12, 6 pm. in the Council Chambers. Our Mayor has promised that this agreement/deal will be on the Agenda for discussion. As the last three public CPAC meetings have all been cancelled, let's actually see this one go forward as promised.

ROMA (Rural Ontario Municipal Assocn) CONFERENCE

Yesterday's Elmira Independent carrys this story: "Township meetings at ROMA "got a lot accomplished"". I view this story has a politician's delight. It primarily advises citizens and voters that their elected representatives are on the ball, attending a very appropriate conference and putting forth the interests of the Township. Apparently Mayor Cowan and CAO Dave Brenneman met with the Provincial Minister of Transportation, Minister of Health, Minister of Natural Resources and finally the Minister of Energy. While all of these meetings are certainly appropriate, indeed imperative, one glaring absence was the Minister of the Environment, Jim Bradley. That being said it is my expectation that Mayor Cowan has been in very recent contact with him regarding the Chemtura non cleanup and the recent rediscovery by CPAC of the October 7, 1991 "sweetheart deal". Although a rediscovery of that agreement I am still awaiting feedback from two media sources who are checking their archives as to whether there was any public discussion or acknowledgement back then that the agreement included an Indemnity for Uniroyal/Chemtura.

Other Woolwich issues discussed by the Mayor and CAO include Woolwich Bio-En, gravel pits and Highway # 7 connections into Breslau. There was also discussion around an additional Doctor being needed in St. Jacobs. I am trying to believe everything implied in this story. Although none of us were there for these discussions, I personally hope that Woolwich interests were vigorously pursued regarding the plethora of proposed gravel pits and of particular interest here in Elmira of the proposed bio gas facility on Martin's Lane.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Well this story continues to unfold. I have been talking to, e-mailing and phoning all kinds of individuals with both current and past knowledge of the Elmira water crisis which started in November 1989. As is usual after the passage of twenty years there are different memories from honest people of various events which transpired. The words "sweetheart deal" were used in newspaper reports twenty years ago, although extraordinarily infrequently. The criticism of the agreement between the M.O.E. and Uniroyal was harsh, angry and reasonably detailed. The focus, and this is based upon my review over the last nineteen hours of old newspaper reports, was upon the lack of an alternate water supply for Elmira and the simplistic solutions to clean up the Elmira Aquifers. Keep in mind that it was only yesterday that all of us were reminded by one of our local papers that yes afterall this Settlement Agreement was made public twenty-one years ago. What to date I am still pursuing is why there appears to be so little notice of page #15 of this "Settlement Agreement" between the two guilty parties. Page #15 is titled " 16.0 Releases". Yes Woolwich Observer it is the smoking gun! It is the Indemnity or waiver of legal and financial responsibity given to Uniroyal by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. It is a despicable and contemptible piece of work by our provincial government.

I have been keeping the CPAC members up to date with all unfolding information that I am aware of. This includes my reading of the old Control Order of August 28, 1990, the "Settlement Agreement" of October 7, 1991 and the immediately following Amended Control Order of November 4, 1991. I have to date carefully compared the differences between the two Control Orders which of course are due to the Sweetheart Deal ie. Settlement Agreement which was consumated between them timewise. Yes I think the word consumated is a good one as the public got s...... . The M.O.E. for various reasons, mostly for their own self interest, totally sold the farm. The public were grossly sold out and the repercusions of that deal haunt us to this day and explain why we still don't have readily accessible DNAPLS removed from beneath the west side operating ponds at Uniroyal/Chemtura.

Dan, Richard & Ken: Intellectually I agree with you so why is it so hard for me to do it in practice?

I have been blessed with friends and colleagues who do their best to keep me grounded and aware of the bigger picture. Whether or not they agree o% or 100% with my opinions nevertheless they often are able to point out to me how my energy and enthusiasm could be misinterpreted. In the heat of writing this Blog I always attempt to be painfully honest whether criticising the Ministry of the Environment, Chemtura or local politicians. The problem arises with personal criticism of individuals. Perhaps my wee mind thinks that if the responsible individuals are willing to accept praise for their actions they should also be willing to accept personal criticism. Nevertheless I have accepted the overall principle that the three individuals above have suggested to me. Therefore as a start I am going to remove a couple of rude comments/adjectives/nouns that I used in yesterday's posting. I will endeavour to remain honest and direct while being less personally critical of individuals. In other words as I am advised, criticize the behaviour not the person. If only it were easier to do but I will continue to try.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Is there a better term to describe a Mayor who would appoint a panel of intelligent, worldly citizens to a very difficult committee with the expectation that he and he alone could absolutely control their decisions, their direction and their conclusions? Did he believe that by unilaterally cancelling both private orientation meetings as well as public CPAC meetings that he could continually keep them off balance? Did his control of the process through appointing himself Interim Chair make him feel omnipotent and invincible? This process includes Agenda items, Minutes and whether or not to reschedule meetings. Finally did his removal of one of his appointees early on (last May) make him think he had intimidated the rest of them? What an absolute ... he has shown himself to be.

The question is why. If he believed that the old CPAC were co-opted and had strayed from their mandate of restoring the Elmira drinking water aquifers; then why is he behaving badly and treating this CPAC disrespectfully? In hindsight I believe that he got rid of the old entrenched CPAC members because he knew he couldn't control them. His private reason given to me and others was indeed correct and a good one but not his real reason. His disrespect and ... behaviour towards the new CPAC extends further than what I have written here today or in the past. In my opinion his arrogance and disrespect have put him on a collision course with his own handpicked Chemtura Public Advisory Committee. These are honest, intelligent people who sincerely want to fulfill their mandate. This includes working in the public interest regarding cleaning up the local aquifers. They are not interested in saving Chemtura money nor in saving face for the Ministry of the Environment.

On two (Editor's note: now appears to be only one) occasions within the last eight days the Mayor has indicated that he is not on board with the notion that the October 7, 1991 Settlement Agreement is also a blatant sweetheart deal which indemnifies Chemtura from liability for their decades of local pollution. He may be misleading CPAC by claiming that the silence and secrecy he has demanded around this sweetheart deal is for the purpose of quietly negotiating with the M.O.E. in order to gain concessions. Horsefeathers ! What I believe he is doing is helping them and Chemtura prepare their defence for the March 29/12 public CPAC meeting. I have been e-mailing advice and observations concerning the November 1991 Control Order and the Settlement Agreement to both CPAC members as well as the local media. I have not been including the Mayor in my e-mails. Chemtura and the M.O.E. have money and decades of manipulation under their belts. They don't need any other help.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Last Saturday's Woolwich Observer carrys this story: "Clean bill of health for Woolwich's water". You know the easiest way to put this in perspective is to remind residents of all the assurances they were receiving during the 1980's in regards to Elmira's water. Everyone could taste how bad it was yet the assurances from the M.O.E. especially just came on flowing. Then allegedly out of the blue, immediately AFTER Uniroyal completed their cleanout of their west side ponds in 1989, the M.O.E. decided to test for some different compounds. Wowser they found NDMA and less remarkably a half dozen other common industrial solvents.

So I'm telling Woolwich rersidents to take this article and more importantly these water reports with a healthy dose of skepticism. I have posted numerous articles during March, February and probably January describing in detail the omissions and discrepancies in these reports produced by the Region of Waterloo. Do not blame Woolwich Councillors here. They want good news, the Region delivers it and the Councillors aren't looking for problems nor do they want a fight with the Region. Just like the recently exposed sweetheart deal between the M.O.E. and Chemtura; the big shots get what they want and the public takes it again in the ear.


Last Saturday's Woolwich Observer carried the following story: "Conestogo residents want more study into impact of Jigs Hollow gravel pit; inadequate to date". Bill Norrish a resident of the Golf Course Road subdivision spoke at last Tuesday's Council meeting. He and his neighbours dispute an assertion that the proposed Kuntz Landscaping pit by the Grand River and between Conestogo and Winterbourne will not have unacceptable visual impacts. Apparently the study of same by the pit applicant only used one nearby vacant property in it's assessment. As a reminder our old Council approved a zone change application for the pit, as one of it's last acts. There is an O.M.B. mediation session scheduled for May 8, 2012.

Monday, March 12, 2012


For many years it has been obvious to CPAC members and citizens of Wolwich Township that the so called "bible" for the cleanup, namely the November 4,1991 Control Order was a paper tiger. It was ignored at will by both Chemtura and by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. I have for a number of years been advising CPAC, the public and the media that a sweetheart deal existed between Chemtura (Uniroyal) and the M.O.E. Indeed current CPAC member Ron Campbell has found and shared this document with the rest of CPAC. Amazingly this document was written right in the midst of the Elmira water crisis, while the story was national news. This document is dated October 7, 1991 and is a bilateral agreement between Uniroyal Chemical and the Ministry of the Environment. At the top of the first page this document is referred to as Schedule H of the agreement between Uniroyal, the M.O.E. and the Region of Waterloo which was dated March 1993. These two documents explain many things including the Region sending their designated denier, Eric Hodgins, to a private Woolwich Council meeting a few years back to refute my claim of "other sources" here in Elmira.

I am assuming that the Interim Chair of CPAC (Todd Cowan) has shared this incredible news with Woolwich Council (Editor's note-he hadn't) . I am also disappointed that to date Woolwich Council have not shared this information with the general public. The sweetheart deal was signed one month prior to the signing of the Amended Control Order of Nov. 4, 1991. It has been kept a secret from CPAC members and the public for over twenty years. That is not to say that one or two co-opted CPAC members might not have known about it. The rest of us present at CPAC meetings either as formal members or not had no knowledge of this secret sweetheart deal. What this document does on page 15 is to release Uniroyal Chemical from all liability, legal and financial, on its' Elmira property due to contamination. For twenty-one years Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment have been playing a game with the citizens of Elmira. They have deceived, manipulated and lied constantly. They have lied through omission and through commission. They have shamelessly led this committee of Council around in circles all the while knowing that Uniroyal/Chemtura didn't have to lift a finger. As this document was in the possession of Woolwich Council most likely for the entire last twenty-one years, one could jump to a conclusion that Woolwich Council are also guilty of deception. On futher thought while it is entirely likely that past Councils had full knowledge of this contemptible sweetheart deal, I have no reason to believe that the current, barely over a year old Council knew of it. Regardless the public have been lied to, deceived and manipulated and treated with the utmost contempt and disrespect by the Ministry of the Environment and by Chemtura. My expectation of this Council is twofold. I expect you to immediately advise the public of the existence of this document and the significance. Secondly I expect some action from this Council directed towards both Chemtura and the M.O.E. You (Council) at the moment have the moral high ground as I believe that you do not share blame for this betrayal of the public. Some appropriate and significant action including expressing your condemnation of the reprehensible behaviour of these other two parties is required . After twenty-two years of having to deal with these persons/wor.. I do not think I, nor the public, should be expected to be patient any longer. Woolwich Council what are you prepared to do?

Alan Marshall Elmira Environmental Hazards Team

Saturday, March 10, 2012


First off Chemtura have failed their most recent *Responsible Care* verification. This isn't a big surprise. For me the surprise is that the CIAC (Chemical Industry Assoc'n of Canada; formerly CCPA) are insightful enough to realize that giving Chemtura the go ahead would tarnish the CIAC's credibility overall. I emphasize that this is my take on the situation only and I acknowledge that local folks were involved in the verification process last summer. This Report is dated February 24, 2012. A very big part of their failure relates to their relationship and communication with the community.

The next news relates to the Hawk Ridge Homes Ontario Municipal Board (O.M.B.) hearing which I posted about earlier here in the Advocate. There is an article in this week's Elmira Independent titled "Residents present concerns about Hawk Ridge Homes". These three residents are all former members of the old CPAC although Sandra Bair had only been a member for a short period of time, possibly a year. That being said I had been impressed with her performance overall at the old CPAC and she and former member Ken Driedger were the only two former CPAC members that I had recommended be kept on the new CPAC. Unfortunately they both eventually decided to join their collegues in removing their Applications from the new CPAC even though the other old CPAC members by that time knew they weren't going to be reappointed anyways. At the O.M.B. hearings these three spoke to the Board about the safety of putting a new subdivision so close to Sulco and Chemtura. The former Chair of CPAC who I believe was much to palsy with Chemtura for years sang a somewhat different tune at the O.M.B. stating "The company (Chemtura) doesn't really seem to care about Woolwich residents". Why weren't you this honest and forthcoming when it really mattered Pat?

The third news of course deals with the sweetheart deal between Chemtura and the Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.). It is appropriate that there is an uproar and I believe it will only get bigger. The story has been carried, somewhat poorly, but nevertheless carried in the Woolwich Observer. On-line I have added one comment to that story and this morning I note there is another comment consisting of a story from here (Elmira Advocate) that was picked up by the Cambridge Advocate. At the moment I don't know who posted that comment. The hits here in the Advocate have been off the charts lately and yesterday was no exception. I have the 22 page sweetheart deal as an attachment on an e-mail and I will be posting it in it's entirety soon. It is my hope that CPAC will also be addressing this issue shortly. The next regularily scheduled public CPAC meeting is Thursday March 29/12 at 6 pm. in the Woolwich Council Chambers.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Firstly Thank You Woolwich Observer for finally publishing the most momentuous news regarding the Elmira non-cleanup in decades. Today's front page story is titled
"20-year-old agreement causes a stir". It's not on-line yet but when it is I will add a link to it. Yes you appear to have naively accepted the words of the two recipients at face value, namely the Ontario M.O.E. and Chemtura. This I find strange as I've become a fan of Steve Kannon's insightful Editorials. Of late he has taken accurate and penetrating shots at politicians, money men, corporate elites and how ordinary citizens are taking it in the ear from our so called authorities.

On page 7 Steve quotes parts of section 16(releases). He stops prematurely however. Here is the rest of the sentence: "...and the province are presently aware, which against Uniroyal... the province ever had, now has or which the province or its assigns, can, shall or may have by reason of or arising out of contamination on the Uniroyal site in Elmira." Keep in mind the "presently aware" part. This was signed during the SECOND Environmental Appeal Board hearing and AFTER both the 1984 and August 1990 Control Orders. Both parties had excellent knowledge of the current horrid state of the Uniroyal site which was at least partially responsible for the shutdown of all the municipal wells in Elmira.

Dwight Este of Chemtura and Steve Martindale of the M.O.E. are the long time front men and designated deceivers. Their two employers are and have been partners in pollution literally for decades. Clearly truth is temporarily unavailable for these two as it has been for most of the last twenty years. Their claims that the document has been public since it was drafted is drivel. They then claim that they issued a press release the same day as if that was evidence of something. A self serving, self congratulatory press release is not making the document public. This is not the first time these two bodies have hidden documents or deals and I'm also sure that more will be discovered in the future.

Dwight Este also claims that pump and treat groundwater work and further work along the banks of the Canagagigue Creek is evidence that the company did not get a "free pass". More hooey! If he's referring to Dioxin removal at GP1 & 2 then this was contamination they were not aware of in 1991. It was discovered in 2002 as part of the SSRA (site specific risk assessment). The pump and treat is also part of this October 7, 1991 sweetheart deal. Twenty years plus of public meetings and criticism of Uniroyal/Chemtura and the M.O.E. for not removing DNAPLS (dense non-aqueous phase liquids) and NEVER did either of those parties admit that they had given or received a Release that let them off the hook for that contamination of which they were "presently aware".

Shortly I will be releasing my written remarks to Council (last tuesday nite) and I will attempt to post the entire 22 page sweetheart deal on line. Currently I have posted the 1st and 15 th pages on line here in the Advocate. Please also note the comment I've put at the bottom of the article on the Woolwich Observer which is linked at the top of this posting.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


O.K. I was offended once more by my reception at Woolwich Council Tuesday evening. This is not new although I will say that generally the more complimentary and flattering I am towards Council the better their response. This may be normal human behaviour but I've got news for Council. Not everyone, myself included, speaks to Council only when things are good and they have no concerns. You are going to be appropriately criticized from time to time and if you disagree then inform the Delegate before you of their possible misunderstanding of the facts. That being said it has been clarified for me that Councillor Bauman's criticism of my submitted document was based upon the inference that as a past Councillor he had a copy of the "sweetheart deal" between Uniroyal and the M.O.E.. Councillor Bauman vehemently denies this and as I have no evidence to the contrary I am prepared to accept him at his word. This brings up two issues. Certainly past Mayors had to have been informed of this deal. Afterall the document was in the Township's possession. The second point is that four weeks after this document was "discovered" our Mayor has not shared it with his own Council. He has not been keeping CPAC in the loop and up to date on this earthshattering gamechanger nor has he been keeping Council in the loop. This kind of explains his ridiculous remarks to me Tuesday night. I've let the cat out of the bag. The Mayor did vaguely repeat the magic hocus pocus word "process" a few times. Sorry Mayor Cowan but "process" is usually no more than a bureaucrat's excuse for not consulting or sharing pertinent information . Regarding CPAC you and you alone have blundered over and over again. You've lost my confidence and your continued penchant for secrecy and keeping them in the dark and out of the loop isn't going to restore it. They have been appointed by Council to deal with Chemtura /cleanup/M.O.E. issues. Consult with them regularily and often. Quite frankly even the newest and least experienced of them are way ahead of you and your CAO's knowledge on this subject. The most experienced of them combined with their access to outside knowledge totally dwarf anything you've got inside Woolwich Township. Quite frankly you are only as effective as the information available to you. Did you appoint me originally and the rest of CPAC, both experienced and inexperienced, simply to give the appearance of public consultation? Has this been an intentional one or two man show from the beginning?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Very interesting. The only two Councillors who spoke in response to my Delegation last evening were the two with cards in the game. Councillor Mark Bauman as usual waited until I had sat down then he criticized my written report to Council. Councillor Bauman is the only returning Councillor to Council and he knows where the skeletons are buried. The Mayor Todd Cowan rambled on and made some ridiculous remarks about oh this document (sweetheart deal) wasn't really a secret and it probably was on-line somewhere. Give me a break! Basically Todd was trying to downplay my statements that this was a secret backroom sweetheart deal between the Ministry of the Environment and Uniroyal Chemical. That is exactly what it is and what planet is the Mayor from? As two CPAC members were sitting beside me last night including the one who discovered the document and shared it with CPAC, the Mayor's comments were unsettling. Is he already staking out a position for the Township with zero input from CPAC? Is he planning on stickhandling around his handpicked citizens committee? Even more interesting is the surprised looks on Council last night. It sure looked as if they had not been remotely briefed by the Mayor on this major, game changing development.

I have a twenty-three year history of being deceived and lied to by all levels of government involved in the Elmira "water crisis". Woolwich Township, the Region of Waterloo and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment have all deceived and manipulated the citizens of Woolwich and Elmira. Yes the M.O.E. are certainly the prizewinners but they've needed the ongoing support of the two lower tiers of government. I did get the Mayor to publicly state last night in front of both the Woolwich Observer and the Elmira Independent that negotiations with the M.O.E. would be conducted at public CPAC meetings. This is huge not because I believe it so much as because when it comes out that he and Township reps have been negotiating privately, we will have a better handle on our new Mayor's credibility. Mayor Cowan also referred to a "process" that he is going through. By implication he was criticizing my going public with the October 7, 1991 "sweetheart deal" between Uniroyal and the M.O.E.. Any "process" Mayor Cowan that excludes Council, CPAC and the public is not a process. It's simply more of what we've already had namely a litany of backroom, secret sweetheart deals that are not in the public interest.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Our courts may be hypocrites but at least they say the right things such as "Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done." Obviously this is small comfort to the wrongly convicted whose numbers both in Canada and the United States are becoming legion. Imagine when groups like Project Innocence and The Association for the Wrongly Convicted move on to freeing people for wrongful convictions other than murder. Does anyone seriously think our courts screw up so often and so badly only on murder charges?

Getting back to transparency and justice being seen to be done- political and bureaucratic bodies such as our Ontario Ministry of the Environment have a long history of talking out of both sides of their mouths. At the same time as they are either publicly or privately telling citizens and media that they are indeed going to hold the polluter to account, they are privately sitting down and negotiating "deals" to absolve the polluter of liability. These deals must of course be in the interests of the M.O.E.. If they are in the interests of the public that is sheer coincidence.

In the case of the Elmira "water crisis" the public demanded not only a cleanup and restoration of the Elmira Aquifers but that also the guilty parties be held publicly accountable. The "sweetheart deal" of October 7, 1991 not only absolved Uniroyal/Chemtura of all liability it also specifically stated that nothing in the deal was to be interpreted as admissions of guilt or wrongdoing by any party. Incredible. Perhaps Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka should have negotiated such an agreement between themselves. If they had it would have been held up to public ridicule and thrown out as offensive to common decency and morality. EXACTLY AS THE M.O.E. / UNIROYAL DEAL SHOULD BE.

It is therefore with this background that Woolwich Township and Council must break this cycle of secrecy and backroom negotiations. No you do not privately twist the M.O.E.'s arm and blackmail them into paying you off. No you do not twist their arm privately while promising them some face saving out. All that will do is reinforce their dispicable behaviour and ensure it continues. You deal with them publicly. This is exactly why you have CPAC. This is exactly why the M.O.E. lie and deceive the public because they are confident that if caught they can deal privately with the municipality and offer them some of their own taxpayers money back in exchange for confidentiality. Woolwich Council you need to break this cycle. This secrecy is what got us into this mess in the first place. Lift up the rock that the Ontario M.O.E. and polluters have been hiding under and air out their dirty laundry. Be forthcoming with your CPAC and discuss and negotiate at public CPAC meetings with the Ministry. They will scream bloody murder and that is the proof that you are on the right track.

Monday, March 5, 2012


At this point in time I'm getting my ducks in a row and confirming that other than via four websites/blogs there has been no newspaper or other media reports dealing with the "sweetheart deal' signed by Uniroyal and the Ontario M.O.E. twenty-one years ago. I am also confirming that to date any actions/plans by Woolwich Township or the Mayor/CPAC Chair have not been shared with the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). Keep clearly in mind that it was a CPAC member who first discovered this smoking gun.

Although the blame for this putrid document can not be laid at the feet of any Woolwich Council, what can be attributed to certain past members, is keeping it a secret from the public. In general, transparency and accountability in government action should always be paramount. Any time the public are told one thing while guilty parties negotiate privately and consumate deals with our government, democracy has been subverted. In this case the biggest and baddest polluter in town got a free pass from the Ministry of the Environment while all parties assurred the public of the following lies: 1) The Elmira aquifers will be cleaned up 2) The responsible parties will pay the freight. All parties include Uniroyal/Chemtura, M.O.E., Region of Waterloo and Woolwich Township. Tomorrow night at a public Council meeting I am booked as a Delegation. The media as always will be present. I will be respectfully putting the question to Woolwich Council. No more secrecy as in the past. What are you doing about this situation including the betrayal of the citizens of Woolwich Township by Chemtura and the Ministry of the Environment?

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Well that was a whole lot of nothing. I've been going over the Region's reports for the last few weeks and I knew they were missing some Woolwich Township locations such as Elmira and St. Jacobs. They were also missing Breslau and Heidelberg. After seeing the Drinking Water reports advertised in the Woolwich Observer; stating that they could be found on Woolwich's website (under Township Services- Engineering/Public Works) I looked them up. What a waste of time . All they say is SEE REGION OF WATERLOO. There is no data for these systems presented. You can either go to the Region of Waterloo website and look it all up or go to my archives for February. There you will find a link to the Region's Annual Water Reports on February 25/12. This is very peculiar because with the exception of Breslau, Elmira & St. Jacobs all the other small towns and villages have their own on site wells. Thanks a lot for nothing Woolwich. Apparently you can add crap to your website quickly but you can't seem to remove crap at all. I'm referring to your link to Chemtura mixed in with your CPAC link. This is especially annoying after the revelation of their backroom sweetheart deal with the Ministry of the Environment twenty-one years ago.

Just for the record Elmira/St.Jacobs' water comes up from Waterloo via a pipeline. It might not have NDMA in it but who really knows. The Province and the Region in their infinite wisdom don't advise us of any NDMA results good or bad in their drinking water reports. Incredibly stupid under the circumstances. All the other failures of these Annual reports apply equally to the Townships reports. Far too many ubiquitous chemicals simply aren't tested for. In Heidelberg with the old gas station present I wonder why they don't test for gasoline related compounds such as Toluene, Xylenes and Ethyl Benzene. Both the Conestogo Golf and West Montrose wells are affected by the Grand River. Again there are upriver sources of industrial chemicals that are not being tested for. Shame on all parties.

Friday, March 2, 2012


Normally the popular support of the Mayor of Woolwich Township is not that directly relevant to the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). That however is the situation when the so called "Interim" Chair is none other than Mayor Cowan. Some CPAC members had felt last May that his stepping in to replace Councillor Julie-Ann Herteis would add prestige and weight to this committee of Council. At the time he enjoyed the tepid support of one local paper and very strong support from the other (Observer). Boy how things have changed. Right now the Observer on a weekly basis are lampooning the Mayor with their cartoons, including today, and also through their Editorials on occasion.

What concerns me regarding the mayor are his campaign promises. I believe he can take some credit for the sucess with the Saving of Victoria Glen. However the Hawk Ridge subdivision appears to be more than a done deal courtesy of provincial policies. Bio-En Fuels is dragging on and it shouldn't be. If this issue flops then excuses aren't going to cut it. The mayor will probably wear that going into the next election. Gravel pits are also still up in the air. Why do these issues literally take years to be resolved. I suggest that is intentional and usually works in that citizens , unlike politicians, are not being paid for their time and efforts. It then becomes a battle of attrition. Finally we come to CPAC. The Mayor had a lot to say about getting a new CPAC back on course to clean up Elmira's Aquifers by 2028. He and CPAC had momentum and both the M.O.E. and Chemtura on the defensive and on the run last fall. Since then nothing. And I do mean NOTHING. No meetings, no press releases, no pressure. The Township are sitting on their butts right now giving Chemtura breathing room. They are giving Chemtura and the M.O.E. respect they do not deserve. Both those parties are taking full advantage. Zero promised monitoring results from the Ministry since last fall and zero lab results promised by Chemtura regarding their Dioxins have benn forthcoming. Also the Township should have PUBLICLY roundly condemned both parties for their disgusting and contemptible Sweetheart deal of October 7, 1991. Instead NOTHING. CPAC it is make or break time now. Seize control from your Interim Chair. Go publicly to Woolwich Council and tell them exactly what your Chair is NOT doing. Yes Council have the option of booting all of you off CPAC. If they do that then they will have condemned themselves to public ridicule and outrage. That is better than Mayor Cowan and his advisers continuing to do nothing and condemning the Elmira cleanup . It has been a sham for twenty years and this Council and Mayor promised to turn it around. To date their promises have been wind and hot air.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Clearly the provincial Liberals must be feeling the sting of no longer having a majority. Premier McGuinty was speaking at the Rural Ontario Municipalities Association (ROMA) in regards to green energy when several politicians walked out on him. McGuinty then advised the remaining audience that local municipalities would soon have more say over wind and solar energy projects. This article was in Tuesday's (Feb. 28/12) Waterloo Region (K-W) Record under the title "Municipalities to be given more say on wind, solar farms, McGuinty says". Both opposition parties in the legislature have attacked the Liberals position and their forcing through projects that local municipalities and citizens do not support. Here locally in Elmira we are still awaiting word on the location of Bio-En Fuels which is proposed for Martins Lane in Elmira. Opposition has been strong including the Stop The Stink website that the BFCC or Bio Fuels Concerned Citizens have had for some time. It seems more than strange to me that our local citizens remain in limbo waiting for a no-brainer decision from the province. There is an alternate site available and the Mayor has been pushing it for some time. Usually stalling is a sign that the authorities do not have good news. One of the local activists, Dr. Dan Holt, has been engaging a M.O.E. technical adviser, trying to get a firm answer. To date it appears as if everything is still on hold.