Monday, May 28, 2012


It's been twenty-one years since the Uniroyal/M.O.E. sweetheart deal of October 7, 1991. The copy of that deal which I have, mentions at the top that it is Schedule H of the March 1993 agreement between the Region of Waterloo, Uniroyal and the M.O.E.. As of this date, nineteen years later I still don't have a copy of that agreement which however I am aware does at least two things. It provides for a pipeline to be built from Waterloo to Elmira/St.Jacobs to act as an alternate source of water for those communities. Secondly once again it provides for mutual releases allowing Uniroyal to buy it's way out of trouble.

There is yet another bilateral deal and this one occurred in June 1993 between the Region of Waterloo and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.). This one is all about the money. It too however releases the M.O.E. from any further legal or financial actions against them for their failures/negligence in protecting the natural environment in Elmira. Essentially our government Ministrys, using our tax dollars, hire lawyers to protect them from liability when they utterly fail to fulfill their mandates. Mandates that we as citizens pay through the nose for and essentially get bullshit and lies for in return. Isn't democracy grand? Our other levels of government, namely regional and municipal, also paid by us to protect our interests do not hold the provincial M.O.E. accountable. Far from it. They give them releases and indemnitys in exchange for a repayment of a small fraction of the damages sustained.

This is where transparency and the smell test become apparent. Our regional and municipal (Woolwich) government were parties to the Environmental Appeal Board hearings twenty plus years ago. They received copies of all documents and all releases given to the M.O.E. and Uniroyal. I am not suggesting that certain individuals within those two levels of government were surrepticious within their own political processes and duties. I expect that they shared these documents within their respective municipal and regional councils. God help them if it comes out that they didn't. What they totally and utterly failed to do was to share the deals they made with the public. In fact they blatantly lied to the public.

This lying and deception of the public is where the hypocrisy knows no bounds. They promised a restoration of the Elmira Aquifers by 2028. Utter bullshit! They promised major source removal of buried wastes and contamination on the Uniroyal site. Utter bullshit! They indemnified Uniroyal (secretly) from all liability for known contamination as of 1991. This included major DNAPL (dense non aqueous phase liquids) contamination specifically listed in their bait and switch Control Order of November 4, 1991. The M.O.E. in conjunction with Woolwich Township formed a citizens committee (UPAC) to guide the CLEANUP of the Uniroyal site and the Elmira Aquifers. They did this with full knowledge that this was nothing but a public relations exercise. Both these parties ably assisted by Uniroyal/Chemtura then lied, misled and deceived these citizen volunteers for the next two decades plus. They refused to provide them with the most basic and relevant documents regarding the framework of any cleanup. Uniroyal/Chemtura failed to clarify on literally hundreds of occasions that they had legal indemnitys in their hip pockets exonerating them from doing cleanup that the committee demanded. The M.O.E. who have attended every meeting over the last twenty-one years sat there and said nothing when citizens demanded answers.

If there is one small bright light in this disgusting display of government secrecy, arrogance and contempt of the public, it is this. The new Woolwich Council elected in October 2010 were voted in by citizens tired of environmental damage and excuses. This Council and new Mayor are far from perfect but they are far more honest than any we've had for decades. It is Mayor Cowan and Council who are releasing some of these relevant and long overdue documents to the public. I've known and spoken publicly over the last several years that the Elmira "cleanup" has been a sham. Now we know how Chemtura and the M.O.E. have gotten away with it.

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