Friday, August 16, 2013


Both our local papers have major stories about this rare citizens victory. The Elmira Independent's story is titled "Gravel pit application withdrawn" and the Woolwich Observer's story is titled "Withdrawal of gravel pit application a reason to celebrate". Essentially Capitol Paving have acknowledged that their pit application for beside both Grand River and the West Montrose Covered Bridge is dead and over. This has been an ongoing five year battle for the residents of West Montrose and Bridgekeepers. About a year and a half ago I predicted victory to one of my former neighbours in West Montrose
regarding their proposed pit. I have never had the same confidence with either the now done deal Jigs Hollow Pit nor even the Hunder Pit in Conestogo. Woolwich Council have done their duty to their citizens in regards to West Montrose but not in regards to Jigs Hollow outside Winterbourne. The Hunder Pit OMB hearing starts on September 3/13 and we will see if council sell them down the river or not. There is one big difference and that is the financial resources of the folks fighting the Hunder Pit. It truly is disgraceful in this country but that is the reality. They have raised substantial funds and will be a party at the OMB hearing on their own without the dubious "assistance" of the township. The Jigs Hollow folks had the facts and the truth on their side but council rolled over on them possibly led by the "experience" of Mark Bauman. His mantra is don't spend township money on lawyers. Really? Well I've got news for you Jack; that township ie.taxpayers money couldn't be better spent than on protecting the rights of township citizens.

Bridgekeepers, Tony Dowling and many others have won a huge victory as Gail Martin has indicated in her Independent Editorial titled "A mighty victory". Because of the grossly biased provincial Aggregates Act citizens normally get steamrolled by both councils and the Ontario Municipal Board. Gail is correct when she says that "...sometimes, the little guy can win, if he has science, reason and perseverance on his side.". There is one more component and that is numbers. All of West Montrose were united against the proposed gravel pit in their backyards. We the few citizens in Elmira still fighting Chemtura have perseverance, science and reason on our side. What we haven't had for the last fifteen years plus
is the obvious support of large numbers of Elmira residents. This was accomplished by lies from the Ontario M.O.E. (don't worry be happy, everything's under control) plus citizens had a misplaced confidence in the leadership of a once excellent environmental group (APTE) and sat back and left everything to them. This is not a criticism of APTE members which I once was because even after I and others left APTE, we too still had confidence in their leadership for many years. We were mistaken.

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