Monday, February 29, 2016


The fiddling mentioned above did cost $150,000. An Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection System was installed in January 2015. I've reviewed the Region of Waterloo's ANNUAL (Drinking Water) REPORT for the last three years and there are improvements. I would suggest that their drinking water has moved from third world grossly contaminated raw water being overdosed with chlorine to third world raw water being better treated at the end of the pipe. It still has too high chloramines and Trihalomethanes (THMs) but not nearly as bad as it was in 2013. The problem is still the highly bacteria contaminated raw water in the four West Montrose wells.

It is this high bacteria counts including Total Coliform and E.Coli that are the problem. E.Coli killed seven and made a couple of thousand people very sick in Walkerton in 2000. For the last two years I have been posting here and going to Woolwich Council warning the public about the West Montrose drinking water. The Region have claimed that the high bacteria counts are solely due to the influence of the nearby Grand River. While surface water does have higher bacteria counts than groundwater normally; commonsense would indicate that West Montrose's homes being on septic systems are also the culprit. This leachate from the tiles in the septic system flows with the groundwater, you guessed it, directly towards the wells down by the Grand River.

Justice O'Connor preached in his final Report from the Walkerton Inquiry that drinking water requires a multi barrier approach. These barriers, literally from groundwater to your kitchen sink, are to ensure redundancys in the drinking water system. In other words even only a short term breakdown or bypass in treatment will not have catastrophic results similar to Walkerton. West Montrose for years has been a catastrophe in waiting. Either human or mechanical failure and the highly bacteria contaminated water will be in your body with possibly fatal results or longterm permanent damage.

If bacteria are the short term acute issue then THMs and Chloramines are the longterm health issue. There are studies indicating higher rates of cancer in water systems with high chloramines and THMs. The scary part in West Montrose is that both are present. Normally by using sodium hypochlorite and ammonium sulphate to produce chloramine versus straight chlorine this tends to reduce the formation of THMs which are a by-product of chlorine and organic compounds in the raw water. I can only believe that the presence of both is caused by the high doses required to kill all the bacteria in the raw water.

The only solution is a new water source for West Montrose and while I do not agree that eventually hooking them into the Integrated Urban Supply (IUS) via St. Jacobs is necessarily the best solution, it will get them less bacteria contaminated water. Meanwhile these ANNUAL REPORTS still don't mention how much water the Region are trucking into West Montrose each year, month or day. While these Reports are bad news is it possible that they are bogus? Could the Region be trucking in enough water to make these reports simply an academic exercise? Why are the public and West Montrose still in the dark regarding this life and death matter?

Saturday, February 27, 2016


That's right this public meeting is being held at 3 pm. in Woolwich Council Chambers on Church St. in Elmira. Who do you suppose other than retirees, government bureaucrats, politicans and polluters will be able to attend this meeting during normal working hours? Why precisely nobody and thank God none of the unwashed masses otherwise known as the public. This is the exact same stunt Pat & Susan pulled for years with CPAC. There were meetings that I actually lost a half days wages in order to attend because Pat/Susan and their buddies plus Chemtura and the M.O.E. didn't want public turnout and sure as hell didn't want to inconvenience their schedules to allow others to attend.

There were fireworks at the last RAC meeting on December 3, 2015 as Dr. Dick Jackson, Chair of TAG, took both Chemtura and the Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.) to task. The irony was spectacular as posted here in the Advocate on December 4 & 5, 2015. Sandy Shantz decided that a kinder, gentler facade was necessary. She certainly didn't want Chemtura or the M.O.E. "interrogated" no matter how outrageous their actions or words. I expressed my disappointment at the time that the only remaining local media, the Woolwich Observer, failed to attend and record this meeting. They have been attending Sandy Shantz's court dates in Kitchener for which I commend them but I do hope they will step up and attend more Chemtura/RAC/TAG meetings held right here in Elmira, a quarter mile from their offices.

Among items on the March 10/16 Agenda are the reappearance in Elmira of Dr. Ronald Brecher. Those of us with long memories are unlikely to forget his input during the early days of the Elmira water crisis. He will be discussing the Risk Assessment process which in my opinion has always been a "scientific", mathematical method by persons with an interest in the outcome justifying continued dosing of nearby residents with toxic chemicals.

This Risk Assessment of course is typically how the M.O.E. continue to delay actually taking action. While they have "generic" criteria and standards the minute those are grossly exceeded as they are in the Canagagigue Creek then stop the presses, a new study is required. The last time it was a "site specific risk assessment" to advise us that the criteria for Dioxins/Furans could be relaxed somewhat as the only receptors on the Chemtura site were shrews and trespassers. Such crap then and such crap now.

The East Side Soil & Groundwater Investigation report will also be discussed. This should be highly entertaining as Chemtura/GHD and the M.O.E. all do their best to minimize, deflect and distract. CPAC and TAG have both already reviewed and discussed this report and its' ramifications. Now the guilty parties will attempt to delay, distract, deflect and stall. As contemptible as that is realize the M.O.E. are doing it using our tax dollars.

Lastly will be TAG's Recommendations to RAC. This of course is why Councillor Bauman and Sandy Shantz set this process up as they did. In the off chance that TAG with new, inexperienced volunteers actually were able to do their duty as so far appears that they are doing, RAC could stifle and indeed shut them down. Citizen volunteers have zero authority and quite frankly minimal input as long as informed media are not present to report the goings on. RAC are filled with politicians and government bureaucrats and they are the buffer protecting both Chemtura and the M.O.E. from outraged citizens. Thus it has always been here in Elmira and other contaminated communities across Ontario.

Friday, February 26, 2016


Firstly I'm going to include a link to yesterday's Waterloo Region Record story titled "Elections Act allegations against Woolwich mayor still not resolved". While I am disappointed in a number of factual errors in this story nevertheless Paige Desmond overall is a good reporter who is human. The title I'm O.K. with but as mentioned yesterday the very first sentence in the story is flat wrong. Secondly what both I and apparently the reporter for the Woolwich Observer heard was that the Crown had indeed determined that it is in the public interest for them to investigate and determine whether prosecution is viable. In other words this is what I referred to yesterday as a reasonable prospect of obtaining convictions upon a number of the charges already laid by me through a Justice of the Peace.

Regarding my accepting the outcome if the Crown don't proceed, to a certain extent that is obvious. I have no power or authority over the Crown Prosecuters. They will do what they will do and I will "accept" it however that doesn't mean that if there are any other doors available to bring accountability with the law to Woolwich politicians that I won't pursue them. At this point I'm simply along for the ride and maintaining my confidence in the system.

I am very pleased that Ms. Desmond has again clearly indicated that mayor Shantz has acknowledged three separate contraventions of the Municipal Elections Act. I believe there are substantially more and have provided that evidence to the prosecuters. It will be up to them and the courts to make the final decisions and mayor Shantz will certainly have every legal opportunity to defend and dispute any and all evidence presented.

Lastly Ms. Desmond has also repeatedly stated that my complaints "are in part motivated by concerns about the mayor's involvement on a now-defunct citizen committee that was charged with overseeing the cleanup of polluted groundwater in Elmira.". That "defunct" committee is NOT defunct. CPAC lives albeit as the Citizens Public Advisory Committee not as the former name of Chemtura Public Advisory Committee and yes I am but one of many members. Also the impression may possibly be given in the story and the repeated use of this quote from story to story that I am repeating this alleged comment each and every time. That is not correct. On one occasion many months ago Paige specifically asked me whether or not my battle with the mayor over her nasty and dishonest attack upon CPAC had any bearing upon my attempts to make her accountable under the law for her multiple contraventions of the Municipal Elections Act (MEA). I stated that while the mayor needed to take ownership and responsibility for her Election Act contraventions and that both democracy and the public interest demanded it, nevertheless I could hardly claim to be operating in a vacuum. Of course while pursuing these Election Act issues I had to be aware in the back of my mind that the mayor had behaved very badly by abusing her position as mayor to attack Woolwich citizens and volunteers on CPAC. From this I believe that Paige has suggested that my complaints "are in part motivated by concerns...". Maybe her interpretation is correct and maybe it's slightly overstated. You folks decide.

Thursday, February 25, 2016


Yesterday in Provincial Offences Court I received some welcome news. Fortunately besides other citizens there were two media outlets present namely Liz Bevan of the Woolwich Observer and also the Waterloo Region Record. Both of them have stories in today's newspapers. Here is a link to the Woolwich Observer story. The Record's story is inaccurate when it states that a decision whether mayor Shantz "will be charged" is a month away. She was charged via a Justice of the Peace accepting my "Information" many months ago. My notes from yesterday's comments in court by the local prosecuter are as follows: "The public interest requires the Crown to intervene and to take carriage of the file." Similarily the Observer states "Prosecuters are going ahead with a case against Woolwich Mayor Sandy Shantz related to election expenses filed after the 2014 municipal vote." The Observer also states "In Provincial Offenses Court Wednesday morning, Crown lawyers said they intend to pursue charges brought forward by Elmira resident Alan Marshall.".

Well isn't that a huge turnaround from the nonsense MECAC have been peddling here in Woolwich Township? Apparently our legal system have a different attitude towards law breaking than our local bureaucrats and Compliance Audit Committee (MECAC) members. Also our courts have a totally different idea in regards to conflicts of interest. For the first time it was spelled out clearly in court that the outside prosecuter is being brought in from London, Ontario in order to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.

In court yesterday two elements were made clearer. Firstly the crown are proceeding based upon the public interest. As I have felt from the beginning our democratic system relies upon strict adherence to election laws and to enforcement when they are contravened. Any failure to follow up as MECAC have done puts the whole system in disrepute. Secondly however the Crown must be confident that they have a reasonable prospect for conviction upon charges laid. Just because they suspect or believe that a candidate has violated the Municipal Election Act is not sufficient grounds to go ahead with prosecution. Some of the charges I laid against mayor Shantz are black and white. Some of them she has already publicly admitted to. In my opinion those will be easy convictions. The more difficult prosecution if the Crown chooses to proceed on them are the ones alleging that she knowingly filed incomplete and inaccurate Financial Statements.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


This morning at 9 am. in Provincial Court, 77 Queen St. Kitchener we will get a taste of what the outside, independent prosecuter is all about. I had filed through a Justice of the Peace ten Municipal Election Act (1996) charges against mayor Sandy Shantz of Woolwich Township. Some of these charges are relatively minor ones dealing with undeclared expenses as well as undeclared Contributions (donations). Others are more serious including her failure to include an Audit by the March 27/15 deadline. This Audit is automatic when either the expenses or Contributions exceed $10,000. In her case they both so exceeded. Another what I would characterize as a medium contravention was the acceptance of a corporate donation in excess of $750. Finally to my mind the most serious charges relate to the possibility of her intentionally and knowingly filing an inaccurate Financial Statement by the March 27/15 deadline. If that charge is proven in court then the consequences are serious.

I received one sit down discussion with the previous local prosecuter. I have absolutely no complaints regarding him or his professionalism. The new prosecuter has not been in contact with me, either by phone, e-mail or any other way. As the complainant I had expected that he would be as part of his due diligence. I do expect however that a fairly serious quantity of documents and paperwork that I had provided the local prosecuter was sent on to the new one. I expect but do not know. Therefore as of now I am as in the dark as to this morning's proceedings as you are.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Two centuries of use and abuse had made Hamilton Harbour into one of the original Areas of Concern on the Great Lakes. Located at the extreme western end of Lake Ontario it had been home to human beings for 3,000 years. Settlement by Europeans began in the very late 1700s and for the next two centuries saw ever increasing shipping, industrial development and ultimately human and industrial discharges into the bay area.

Two cholera epidemics due to a lack of proper sanitation in 1832 and 1854 were the initail cause for a sewer system being built which discharged raw human sewage into the bay. This continued until the first sewage treatment plant was built in 1963. The first shipping canal which pierced the sandspit separating Hamilton Harbour from Lake Ontario was built in 1827. A second canal called the Desjardins Canal was built in 1837 and it connected Cootes Paradise wetlands which were even further to the west with Hamilton Harbour.

Industrial growth and development including shipping facilities along the water's edge, particularily the southern shore, resulted in infilling of wetlands and removal of shallow inlet areas. Industries also included of course Stelco and Dofasco steel manufacturers and all wastes went into the water and near shore areas. A thriving commercial fishery collapsed in the very early 1900s and even the sport fishery was finished by the 1940s.

From 1985 through to 1988 public consultation and planning was underway for a Remedial Action Plan. By March 1989 the Stage 1 RAP was ready. It encompassed all known concerns from point discharges of industrial pollutants, contaminated sediments and more as well as combined sewer overflows (CSO). These CSOs have long been the bane of municipalities trying to have a method to handle extreme precipitation events. The sanitary sewers and storm sewers have cross connections in order to handle sudden storm events and huge volumes of rainwater. The result is both raw and partially treated sewage being released into the receiving waterways. These problems continue even today throughout Ontario and Canada. Greater infrastructure dollars are the solution to separating storm and sanitary sewers and keeping rainwater out of sewage treatment plants and sewage out of storm sewers discharging directly into our creeks and rivers, harbours and bays.

Monday, February 22, 2016


The good news in this report is that they have managed to pump all their on and off-site wells at their target pumping rates for the entire month. If they had managed to do that for the past twenty-four years they wouldn't be years behind their own inadequate pumping schedules.

Table A.3 gives us concentrations of various contaminants in the groundwater at two different Upper Aquifer(UA) containment wells. These contaminants include Chlorobenzene, Toluene, 2-MBT, Aniline, Carboxin, 2,4-Diclorophenol and 2-Chlorophenol. All but the last two are in the thousands of parts per billion. This is gross groundwater contamination.

Table A.4 lists the groundwater contaminants in the off-site pumping wells and also includes the usual suspects. Of note are the NDMA concentrations still in the Elmira Aquifers including 1.99 ppb at W3, 11.6 at W5A and .23 at W5B. The drinking water standard needed to be achieved is .009 ppb.

Table A.5 lists contaminants found in the groundwater at seven different Upper Aquifer containment wells. The list of compounds is similar to Table A.3 but simply shows that the contamination is spread throughout the length of the Upper Aquifer in Chemtura's south-west quadrant.

Appendix B lists the MISA (municipal industrial strategy for abatement) outlets from the site discharging into the Canagagigue Creek. First off one of the historically bad offenders is AWOL. Where did MISA 0400 go? No mention as to why it is suddenly not being examined and published in this Progress Report. Trends in MISA 200, 800 and 1100 are nothing to write home about. The MISA SWS outlet however seems to be showing more decreasing trends in discharges of Aniline, Carboxin and Lindane. It's long overdue and these MISA storm and cooling water outlets have long indicated contaminated groundwater infiltration into them despite claims to the contrary.

Table C.2 as usual is showing that bis (2-ethyl hexyl) phthalate is higher entering the Chemtura property than leaving it. This is unusual. Toluene on the other hand is statistically still higher leaving the site than what it is entering it at the upriver end (North) of the site.

Due west of the site is a new pumping well which is supposed to be starting up this year. It has some truly horrid NDMA concentrations. Pumping tests were conducted last December for W9 and the results from one hour to twenty-two hour pumping tests vary from 53 parts per billion (ppb) to 100 parts per billion. Keep in mind that the drinking water standard for NDMA is .009 ppb.. While of course other compounds were also found it is these terrible NDMA results in Table D.1, decades after both on and off-site pumping have been ongoing, that made it obvious that Chemtura/CRA's original "cleanup" plans were doomed to fail. Both greater pumping AND on and off-site SOURCE REMOVAL are still required but even then time is fast running out.

Saturday, February 20, 2016


An interesting article was on the front page of yesterday's Waterloo Region Record titled "Road salt, fertilizers contaminate local streams. Overall I would agree with the concerns expressed that chlorides and phosphorous are much too high in our local waterways. As salt consists of sodium chloride (NACl) it's pretty clear where a lot of the chloride, albeit not all, is coming from. Also of interest is the fact that actually the sodium (Na) appears to be more of a concern when one looks at either the Ontario Drinking Water Standards or the Region of Waterloo Annual (Drinking Water) Reports.

Sodium is often above the guideline of 20 mg/l (parts per million) however that guideline is merely the point where the local Public Health Dep't and M.O.E. are advised. Chlorides seem to have a Canadian aesthetic guideline as high as 250 mg/l. That said perhaps the 120 mg/l quoted in the newspaper article is in regards to aquatic life.

Chlorides I believe are considered inorganic parameters. They are actually often used as an indicater compound when tracking organic contaminants leaching from landfills. This would include hydrocarbons, hence organic (ie.carbon based) compounds such as solvents, gasolines, oils etc..

Whether the chlorides are primarily due to road salt nevertheless they are a bad sign in our waterways. Similarily phosphorous is a huge problem both in smaller waterbodies as well as in parts of the Great lakes. Lake Erie is probably the best well known with large areas of toxic algae rendering the water inhospitable to natural life. More locally we have had postings right here at the Woolwich Dam due to blue-green algae which can be toxic to pets and wildlife as well as humans. Discharging septic tank systems as well as agricultural practices allowing excessive runoff of manures and fertilizers also add to the phosphorous and eventual algae load.

Thank you K-W Record for the prominence of this article and the public service you have done. There is no free lunch. Whether road safety, pedestrian safety (sidewalks) or increased farm productivity (fertilizers) there is a price which can however be mitigated with greater care.

Friday, February 19, 2016


Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story titled "Part of Preston development on hold for disturbing eagle habitat". Brookpoint Estates Inc. are building homes on Limerick Rd. near bald eagle habitat along the Grand River. A settlement with the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) allowing them to do so included the condition that they stop construction on one side of the road from November 15/15 until March 31/16 so as not to disturb them while they are roosting for the winter.

The good news is that the City of Cambridge took them to court in order to enforce the OMB conditions after receiving complaints from citizens. The bad news is that once again it took private citizens to step up and demand that the OMB conditions be honoured by the developer. There apparently was no initial intervention from the city, the Ministry of the Environment or the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Also concerning was the fact that the developer attempted initially to skirt the OMB ordered winter construction ban by installing a noise barrier between the development and the eagles habitat. They then went to Council asking for permission to ignore the OMB conditions but Council turned them down. Construction continued until the City went to court for an injunction which was granted.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Did Chemtura and the Ontario M.O.E. intentionally scam mayor Shantz and Councillor Bauman or did they simply decide after the fact that if getting rid of CPAC was good then not attending TAG (Technical Advisory Group) meetings was even better? Are Chemtura and the M.O.E. even going to bother attending RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) meetings which are only held three or four times a year? What a deal for the partners in pollution. From attending ten meetings a year and having their feet put to the fire now they've managed to reduce that to next to nothing while ostensibly being part of the process and part of the solution. Even better RAC which are filled with bureaucrats and politicians won't press them on issues or ask thorny, embarassing questions. Sandy and Mark have set the stage for a new kind of "public consultation".

This is the same Sandy Shantz who advised years ago that CPAC should have ten minute Delegations at the start of CPAC meetings and then have a "Public Forum" period at the end of the meetings so that the public could comment/question items and answers that came up during the course of the meeting. This RAC/TAG reincarnation is shameful in that zero questions are allowed from the public either during the meeting or at the end. TAG does not permit Delegations at all and RAC allegedly will although to date no one has done so.

This dramatic reversal from pretend public consultation by Chemtura and the M.O.E. to no public consultation was orchestrated, no colluded by Sandy, Mark Bauman and Chemtura and the M.O.E.. Chemtura and the M.O.E. bluffed our two council members into destroying what little input citizens had. Having competent, knowledgable and informed citizens sitting as observers at TAG or RAC meetings while honest but new and uninformed citizens reinvent the wheel is ridiculous. This is not to diminish the one incredible Chair at TAG. Removing these same informed citizens precisely because they are doing a good job on behalf of Woolwich residents is tantamount to corruption and that's on you Sandy and Mark. Beware new TAG members that if you work very hard to get up to speed and take your volunteer work seriously you too will be preemptorily removed at the whim of incompetent or dishonest Councillors.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


One week from today I will be attending provincial Offences Court at 9 am in Kitchener. That is the date that the new outside, prosecuter is to make his appearance regarding my Municipal Election Act charges against mayor Shantz. Somewhat to my surprise I have received zero communications from this new prosecuter. That is surprising if indeed he is doing his/her due diligence prior to the court date. To date I've actually had all of one sitdown discussion with the former prosecuter, Mr. Andres. Now indeed I believe it was a very good discussion however it could not be described as all encompassing. Therefore assuming he passes along what information he has there is still considerably more that the new prosecuter likely is unaware of regarding this case.

There are a number of scenarios possible next Wednesday. The new prosecuter could schedule a date for a trial to begin. He could drop some charges and or add new ones. He could actually drop all ten Municipal Election Act (MEA) charges. Whatever his/her decision I hope that it will be taken with the greatest amount of knowledge and specifics of the case possible.

Returning to mayor Shantz and my understanding of her failure to abide by the conditions of her reinstatement by Justice David Broad (Superior Court), I am perplexed. While I have indicated here that there are both minor and major contraventions of the MEA that I am hoping Provincial Offences Court will address; her reinstatement to the mayor's chair that she had automatically forfeited last July is serious business. She automatically forfeited her position due to her failure to file an Audit with her Financial Statements as prescribed in the MEA.

Does Superior Court have some automatic jurisdiction if there is a complaint that the mayor has broken Justice Broad's conditions? Is a formal Motion/Appearance necessary to get the Court to enforce their own Judgement? Is there any way of getting Superior Court to take notice of what I feel is a fairly obvious breech of the Conditions laid down by Justice Broad? Or do our Courts make Decisions/Judgements with strings attached and yet absolutely no followup to ensure compliance?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Once again I'm in the dark as to what exactly is going to happen next Wednesday (February 24) in Provincial Offences Court, 77 Queen St. Kitchener. The last court date was January 6, 2016 and we were advised by the Crown prosecuter, Mr. Alexander Andres, that he was sending the case to an independent, outside prosecuter. My recollection is that Mr. Andres did not specify the exact reasons for so doing although I personally feel that similar to the Todd Cowan case, regional politicians should not be investigated by regional police and perhaps in a similar vein a regional politician (mayor Shantz) should not have the decision to prosecute her made by a local, regional prosecuter. None of this is to imply any impropriety or even any clearcut conflicts of interest. However when it comes to conflicts of interest it does not have to be a direct pecuniary conflict but rather the appearance of a conflict of interest can be equally as important. This fine point is totally lost upon persons of lesser perception such as a municipal clerk, municipal CAO and the Region of Waterloo's Compliance Audit Committee (MECAC).

Mayor Shantz is facing ten Municipal Election Act charges. Several of them I would refer to as straightforward and routine contraventions of the Act. Simply put she failed to include all her Contributions and all her Expenses by the March 27, 2015 filing deadline for her Financial Statements. On a larger scale is her failure to provide the mandated Audit which is part of her Financial Statements. She has also failed to include many more expenses and contributions by the deadline, although with significant coaching from me she has managed to "discover" them months after the deadline and include them in some of her followup Financial Statements.

Here is where things get a little sticky. There is some as yet unexplained evidence that would suggest that the mayor may have known prior to the March 27/15 deadline that her Financial Statements were not in order yet she did not fix them. If that is proven true then that is a much more serious matter. Also as I posted here twelve days ago (Feb. 4/16) there is the not insignificant matter of her failing to include more undeclared expenses after four Financial Statements, two MECAC hearings and one Superior Court hearing. MECAC Chair Carl Zehr pointedly asked her on the record last October 29/15 if there were ANY more either major or minor election expenses that she had not declared. She said no! Woolwich Township have taperecorded this entire meeting and currently they are desperately wondering if anybody else did the same thing.

Monday, February 15, 2016


Currently Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment are taking a shellacking from TAG and their Chairman, Dr. Richard (Dick) Jackson. This shellacking is in regards to both their failures to measure and test suspended sediments in the Canagagigue Creek as well as the M.O.E. and CPAC detections of DDT (& Dioxins) downstream in the creek sediments. Add to this the recently released "East Side Surficial Soil & Groundwater Investigation" report showing massive concentrations of both DDT and Dioxins/Furans in the soil right on Chemtura's eastern property line with their neighbour's active farm.

Flash backward to November 2014. Between Wednesday November 19, 2014 and Friday November 28, 2014 I exquisitely and calmly dissected Chemtura here in the Elmira Advocate. These postings are all on-line and can be accessed either through my archives here or even simply by googling the title and then including "Elmira Advocate". Titles and dates include "Wayne Gretzky, Interceptor Trenches and Stickhandling" Wednesday November 19, 2014 ; "More Amazing Coincidences Surrounding the Line, Scar, Trench On Chemtura's Site" Thursday November 20, 2014. The Friday November 28, 2014 posting is titled "Chemtura and M.O.E. Stonewall".

This nine day period explored all the known and proven facts regarding the outrageous probability that Uniroyal Chemical constructed an Interceptor Trench on their east side in order to divert their grossly contaminated groundwater onto their neighbour's property and then into the Canagagigue Creek downstream beyond their on-site surface water monitoring as well as their on-site groundwater monitoring.

Furthermore there is the likelihood that they moved the location on maps of their gravel pit (GP-1) which received a large amount of the flow of intentionally discharged waste water from their east side pits. This is discussed as well in my February 25, 2015 posting titled "Lying and Deception: Chemtura's Best Friends". The third published location of GP-1 in hindsight is all to the benefit of Chemtura Canada. It's location on the west side of the high ridge of land running diagonally (north-west to south-east) versus the east side; greatly reduces the visually obvious flow of toxic wastewaters from RPE1-RPE5 south-eastwards off site onto the neighbour's farm property.

Interceptor trenches and mysteriously self propelled gravel pits simply add to the now proven disaster of Persistent Toxic Substances (PTS) being discharged from Uniroyal Chemical onto their neighbour's farm property. This farm has produced commercial crops for decades including corn and soybeans. This folks seems to me to be the obvious way mankind introduces lethal industrial, manmade compounds into our food supply. The recent evidence and reports point to possibly accidental and unintentional overflows of DDT and Dioxins/Furans from the east side pits (RPE1-5) eastwards onto the Stroh farm. Of course the unproven to date Interceptor Trench and relocation of GP-1 may give a more nefarious interpretation to the proven situation.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


The Canagagigue Creek was devoid of all life in the late 1950s and most of the 60s. No fish not even carp or suckers could survive. Invertebrates, sediment dwellers were also extinct in the creek. Burrowing animals that lived downstream near the creek were no longer trapped for their furs because of the chemical smell attached to them. Persistent Toxic Substances such as DDT and Dioxins/Furans were being flushed constantly (and still are) down the creek as suspended sediments and as eroded creekbanks.

In 1965 the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant was commissioned. It was a joint financial project of the Township and of Uniroyal Chemical. In 1972 the Woolwich Dam was built in order to have stored water available to flush and dilute the creek's toxins during the drier summer months. In 1992 the major aquifer on the Uniroyal/Chemtura site was hydraulically contained (partially) to stop the ongoing flow of grossly contaminated groundwater into the rest of the Elmira Aquifers which had caused the drinking wells to be shut down in 1989. In 1997 the shallow aquifer (UA1) was also hydraulically contained over 1/4 of the site (South-east) to reduce the ongoing discharges to the Canagagigue. In 1998 the first off-site pumping wells were commissioned to begin the pump and treat "cleanup" of the Elmira Aquifers. It was proven inadequate in the spring of 2012 by the new CPAC and SWAT citizen groups against the clamor of Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. They have since come around along with the rest of the political players including the Region of Waterloo, M.O.E. and Woolwich Township. In 2014 CPAC, then known as the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee and now truly independent and known as the Citizens Public Advisory Committee, advised Council and the M.O.E. that the Chemtura site was not contained on the east side and had in fact been leaking, leaching and flowing overland for decades onto the active farm sharing their property line. This information was backed up by a litany of thirty year old technical reports combined with a new one in late 2014 by MTE Consultants, commissioned by CPAC.

These discoveries earned CPAC & SWAT, now combined together due to not having to kiss Woolwich Council's ass any longer; the enmity, fear and loathing of Chemtura, M.O.E. and certain members of the new Woolwich Council. Together they colluded in order to relieve Chemtura and the M.O.E. of the intense pressure the citizens, sure as hell not the politicians, had them under. CPAC was vilified and dismissed as a committee of Council primarily due to the lying and disinformation of mayor Shantz and Councillor Mark Bauman.

CPAC's information and discoveries have been proven correct yet again. The recently released "East Side Surficial Soil & Groundwater Investigation" by GHD, as flawed as it is, nevertheless substantiates CPAC's public claims. Chemtura and the M.O.E. with able assistance from corrupt Woolwich Councillors desperately are trying to avoid further revelations. They do not want the public to learn that there was a very good reason for their not hydraulically containing the east side of the creek the same way they hydraulically contained the west side (south-west at least). They do not want the public to know that their $3-4 million cleanup of GP1 & 2 was a sham. They do not want the public to know the real purpose of the Stroh Drain running parallel to their south-east property line. In all this Woolwich Council continue to assist them. Most recently Council advised me at a public Council meeting that the appropriate place for Delegations dealing with Chemtura are at TAG (Technical Advisory Committee) meetings. Strange but TAG do not accept public Delegations. RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) do but so what? There have been public Delegations to Woolwich Council meetings regarding Uniroyal/Chemtura literally for the last fifty years including the last twenty-five years when UPAC & CPAC were in existence. These Delegations to Council will continue and Council can misinterpret laws and make up as many new rules as they want; Uniroyal/Chemtura will always be a valid and legitmate subject for the Council Chambers located a whole five blocks away from their plant.

Friday, February 12, 2016


Last evening's TAG meeting was a little more rounded with input from more TAG members as well as a Delegation (by the Chair's invitation) from Graham Chevreau of the Citizens Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) as well as yours truly being asked to give a brief presentation with my two foot by four foot map showing the eastern side of Chemtura along with part of their eastern neighbour's farm. I am quite enjoying being a formal CPAC member again without the bloody interference of any idiot Woolwich Councillors. CPAC tried to get me back on as a formal member a couple of years back only to be stymied by Council. This is why citizens' independent committees can not be independent as long as dishonest, incompetent or co-opted politicians are pulling the strings.

During the discussion of the East Side Surficial Soil & Groundwater Investigation, Chairman (Dr.) Dick Jackson expressed concern regarding the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.) doing their jobs when he said that "presumably exceedances on the eastern border will cause remediation to be ordered.". While the word DNAPL was not said relative to the east side it is fairly apparent that the now higher concentrations of chlorinated solvents/pesticides by OW36-5(R) on the eastern border are due to free phase DNAPL (dense non aqueous phase liquids) in the subsurface discharged from either RPE-5 or the other reburial areas of drums (RB-1, RB-2, BAE-1).

Dr. Jackson also mentioned that DNAPLS figured prominently in the November 4, 1991 Control Order. While that is correct, both parties namely the M.O.E. and Uniroyal/Chemtura stickhandled around them to the best of their combined abilities. They are still a huge issue despite numerous CRA (Conestoga Rovers) attempts to pretend otherwise.

Dr. Jackson (Dick) made suggestions to TAG (Technical Advisory Group) as to formal Recommendations that they should make to RAC at RAC's next formal meeting in Council Chambers on March 10, 2016. These included removing on-site soils that exceeded their calculated criteria of 36 parts per trillion (ppt). Surficial soils on Chemtura's neighbour's property to the east need to be tested as well as sediments deposited along the Stroh Drain which runs parallel to Chemtura's south-eastern property line. The water inn this Drain should also be tested for compounds found in OW36-5(R) including 2,4,5-T, 2,4-D and more. These compounds are the components of Uniroyal's infamous Agent Orange.

Further Recommendations to RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) include Signage being placed near the New Jerusalem Rd. bridge over the Canagagigue Creek warning fishermen that the fish are contaminated. This should be done prior to April 23/16 which TAG member Joe Kelly advised was the opening of fishing season. CPAC member Richard Clausi was able to be recognized by the Chair at this point and advised that Ron Campbell (CPAC) had a picture of the international sign for contaminated fish on his cell phone. Dr. Jackson requested that Ron send it to him and Ron readily agreed.

Dr. Jackson suggested that TAG's Recommendations to RAC include better communications between the GRCA and Chemtura/CRA/GHD regarding opening and closing the Woolwich Dam to avoid further and future damage to cages of clams and leeches in the creek. Also another prod to the M.O.E. in regards to suspended sediment testing is in order.

Both Joe Kelley and Linda Dickson of TAG asked Dr. Jackson a couple of good questions regarding possibly lowering the 36 ppt. criteria for excavating soil on Chemtura's property. Dr. Jackson advised that while yes the off-site criteria was 13 ppt. for Dioxins/Furans he felt that demanding removal while using Chemtura/CRA's own calculated on-site criteria was a stronger way to go.

Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach (TAG) again pointed out the 160 metre distance along the eastern border that was not tested either via groundwater, surficial soils or sub-surface soils. Sebastian feels that the Stroh Drain could pick up contaminants from both the west side (Chemtura) and the east side . Dick Jackson had also indicated that "The Stroh Drain may be pulling groundwater eastwards and directing it southwards.". This is in line with comments and concerns that Peter Gray of MTE Consulting has also expressed in writing and verbally. Finally ignoring modesty, yours truly very early on realized that as the Stroh Drain is into and below the water table it most likely has an influence on local groundwater flow direction.

Dick Jackson made a number of other interesting comments such as he hoped that the formal criteria for DDT, Dioxins/Furans both in soils and sediments actually means something to the regulatory bodies. He also suggested that he is not comfortable with situations whereby the polluter is paying money directly to the regulator. This has occurred here in Elmira as per the 1991 Control Order. Dick suggested that he has seen situations in the U.S. where it appears that the relationship between the polluter and the regulatory body are far too cosy and close.

We had a clarification last evening regarding mayor Shantz's recent in Council claim that Woolwich Council have gone to the Federal government looking for assistance regarding the Chemtura situation. Sebastian raised the point and Dr. Jackson advised that Sandy, Mark Bauman and himself had approached federal M.P. Harold Albrecht for assistance on this matter. While Harold is now an opposition M.P. it is likly that his assistance now will be equally as helpful as it would have been when he was on the government benches. Dr. Dick Jackson suggested that going to the federal government was probably a "hail Mary" type play but nevertheless worth trying. There had been a little interest from the feds back in the 1980s.

Overall I'm seeing good questions from a number of TAG members including Bill Barr, Linda Dickson, Joe Kelley and Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach. Sebastian from that group is the only one with five years experience combined with honesty and good intentions. It is still shameful that Sandy Shantz and Councillor Mark Bauman spearheaded Woolwich Council's removal of CPAC members. The new TAG members are trying hard but respectfully at this point in time probably have no idea as to how much they don't know. Richard Clausi expressed it gently but pointedly at the end of the meeting after advising Chairman Dr. Jackson regarding Ron Campbell's international fish advisory/warning symbol. Richard pointed out how frustrating and wasteful of expertise it was having CPAC members sitting in the gallery, knowing the answers to questions that TAG members were asking, but being muzzled by the procedure refusing them the right to offer the answers TAG wanted. This procedure was done intentionally and maliciously by Sandy and Mark in order to mollify Chemtura and the M.O.E.. And of course guess who were nowhere to be found last evening? CPAC were blamed for their non attendance by Mark and Sandy yet even with a brand new TAG, no sign of the polluter and their partner, the Ontario M.O.E..

Thursday, February 11, 2016


Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Homes in area may have lead pipes". We are advised that it's not a problem in Waterloo Region despite the probability that several hundred homes couuld be serviced with lead pipes. We are also advised that "most" homes built after the 1950s do not have lead pipes. I find it odd that there are only "hundreds" of homes throughout Waterloo Region that are only sixty-five years old. My family moved to Waterloo in 1954 from Toronto and into a new home in an established neighbourhood. That entire neighbourhood and its' homes are still there and I do not consider it to be remotely an older part of Waterloo. Later in the article we are then advised that there might be 1,500 homes with lead pipes in the City of Waterloo alone. Neither Kitchener nor Cambridge have provided estimates.

Allegedly the safe limit for lead in water is 10 parts per billion. Lead reduces I.Q.and increases behavioural problems and learning disabilities. One suggestion is that suspected homes should flush their water every morning after it's been sitting in the pipes overnite. Running the water for five minutes or until it's cold can get rid of any chemicals that have leached into the water while it's been sitting in the pipes. Keep in mind that the learning disabilities etc. can have greater effects upon children and I would also suspect pregnant women.

The province of Ontario have a separate more stringent set of regulations for schools and daycare centres. They require weekly flushing of pipes and regular testing. Really? I wonder how many actually do that. I wonder what kind of enforcement of those regulastions there are. I wonder how many private daycares in older homes are even aware of those regulations. Finally Lead would not be tested for in our drinking water in the Region of Waterloo Annual Drinking Water Reports for a very obvious reason. The lead is introduced AFTER the drinking water leaves the treatment centre and primarily after it flows through the distribution system throughout the cities. It gets into the water primarily right at your home. Hence there is no testing for lead prior to your taps discharging your drinking water.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) will be meeting tomorrow evening (6:30 pm.) in Woolwich Council Chambers on Church St.. The Draft Minutes from the last meeting are on the Township's website under Committees of Council. The Agenda for tomorrow night has been released and will include discussion of the recently released "East Side Surficial Soil and Groundwater Investigation" Report. There will also be discussion around CPAC's (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) recent Press Release regarding that report. As you may recall there was an excellent writeup in the Woolwich Observer describing CPAC and the public's concerns with Chemtura's East Side... Report.

Also on the Agenda are TAG's recommendations to RAC. RAC or Remediation Advisory Committee are the group consisting of the Region of Waterloo, Grand River Conservation Authority, Woolwich Township, M.O.E., Chemtura and three members from TAG. They meet less often than TAG so far and based upon most of their non-involvement with CPAC for years, I'm hardly enthusiastic or confident in their efforts. TAG whereas under the Chairmanship of Dr. Dick Jackson has been a wonderful breathe of fresh air and technical competence and know how.

I believe the Minutes of the last meeting also indicate that there will be a number of other issues raised at TAG tomorrow. For example we may see if any progress has occurred with signage along the Canagagigue Creek warning fisherman about the contamination in the creek. The Ministry of Environment, not surprisingly, have been hopeless on this issue to date. Other issues may include whether Chemtura/GHD will in future be monitoring and measuring suspended sediments in the creek. It would be good to know if the bulk of the DDT and Dioxins are indeed moving down the creek primarily in the spring, after snow melt and presumably during other high flow times.

Once again tomorrow is a public meeting and the best way to encourage proper cleanup is for the public to attend these meetings.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


A light is slowly turning on. The more I read "UNDER RAPs" the more I understand what has gone on here in Woolwich Township. I also am beginning to see more likelihood that our Ontario Ministry of the Environment knew that Elmira's drinking water was contaminated long before November 1989. I have commented here previously that it was coincidental/strange/bizarre how much remedial work was undertaken at Uniroyal Chemical immediately prior to the "discovery" of NDMA in the south wellfield in 1989.

This book is clearing the mist for me as to what was going on through the 1970s & 1980s politically and environmentally between Canada and the United States. The 1972 U.S. Clean Water Act started the ball rolling with Canada and the U.S. then signing the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) the same year. This was followed by updates and expansions to the agreement in both 1978 and 1987. In 1985 the IJC (International Joint Commission) had recommended that the eight U.S. states and Ontario start a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) to restore the beneficial uses that had been severely comprimised, in the five Great Lakes.

Eventually 43 Areas of Concern on both sides of the Great lakes as well as joining rivers such as St. Mary's, St. Clair and Niagara River were stipulated. All these 43 Areas required RAPs involving an ecosystem approach. In other words all disciplines, all stakeholders and all environmental, biological, chemical and engineering professions were to be part of the discussion and debate as to how to most effectively restore these Areas of Concern. These RAPs were also specifically to include citizens, activists and local residents who had the most at stake in cleaning up their own neighbourhoods.

For example a RAP must not solely focus on industrial contamination such as Trichloroethylene (TCE) while ignoring concomitant problems of oxygen depletion, eutrophication (algae) and possibly contaminated sediments. The full ecosystem had to be carefully considered prior to decisions regarding cleanup.

These 43 Areas of Concern are all either directly on the shores of the Great Lakes or the near shores (eg. Bay of Quinte). They also include a specific part of the St. Lawrence River downstream of course of the Great lakes and as mentioned connecting rivers between the Great lakes. Is it well past time for further upstream designations as Areas of Concern? The Grand River is one of the major rivers discharging into Lake Erie and as history has shown us Lake Erie is in special need of attention. P.C.B.s. Dioxins, DDT and other Persistent Toxic Substances (PTS & POPs- Persistent Organic Pollutants) are on the list for zero discharge and virtual elimination yet at a minimum the last two are still discharging into the Canagagigue Creek here in Elmira, Ontario, courtesy of Uniroyal/Chemtura Canada. Enough is enough.

Monday, February 8, 2016


I've recently been reading an excellent book written by John Hartig and Michael Zarull titled "Under Raps". The book has been loaned to me by a good friend and colleague here in Elmira. These "Raps" are in regards to the fourty-three Areas of Concern around the five Great Lakes both on the American side and on the Canadian side. I have been appalled of late as to both my level of ignorance as well as the general public's level of ignorance regarding this historic work done to rehabillatate the Great lakes. Eight U.S. states plus the province of Ontario are involved in this project which started in the mid 80s. It was a recommendation of the International Joint Commission's (IJC) Great Lakes Water Quality Board that started things rolling. It is absolutely astounding to me the absolute lack of publicity and media surrounding thes 43 Areas of Concern and the work done or being done.

By counting what appears to be on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes (Fig.1) there appear to be thirteen or fourteen Canadian Areas of Concern. Prior to this last week I could have named but two, namely Hamilton Harbour and Collingwood Harbour. This book does not go into all 43 Areas in detail; perhaps only a dozen. To date I've read three of them, Hamilton Harbour, Bay of Quinte and the Ashtabula River (U.S. side of Lake Erie) Area of Concern. They do take your breath away. The causes are not particularily surprising. Economic development, politics, greed and unbridled enthusiasm and confidence that building more and bigger can never be wrong. The silencing of voices of dissent from 1900 through till the 1980s, combined with the arrogance and political power of business and industry did the damage. This damage can only be mitigated now. The environment can never be fully restored.

Saturday, February 6, 2016


Well it looks as if we have a local environmental issue that isn't the fault of our Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Atrazine is a very common pesticide used on corn fields both locally and across Canada. This is despite the European Union banning Atrazine twelve years ago! They consider it to be an endocrine disrupter linked to reproductive damage in male fish, amphibians and reptiles as well as reproductive effects and breast cancer in humans. But do not fret, Canada's PMRA (Pest Management Review Agency) are not worried.

They are conducting a special review of this long used pesticide in Canada. It is a chloinated chemical and quite capable of getting into both ground and surface water. The Region of Waterloo test for it in our drinking water and it is usually reported as <.38 parts per billion ie. less than .38 ppb. That said I have found a couple of test results at <.5 ppb and one at 1ppb. While they are a few years old that is still a little disconcerting and might mean that they had a hit at .38 ppb so simply bumped up the detection limit slightly. Not conclusive however. The Canadian drinkling water standard is 5 ppb.

Atrazine is considered ubiquitous in the environment anywhere that corn is grown in Canada. While the detected concentrations in Waterloo Region appear significantly below the drinking water standard, there are other considerations. Each and every standard is based upon the implausible and frankly impossible assumption that the particular contaminant being looked at is the one and only contaminant in the environment. Between the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink we are getting dosed constantly. Just because ten contaminants individually do not exceed their standards does not mean that being exposed to ten different ones at any concentration is safe. It is not. Simply look at the cancer rates in the population today. They are ridiculous. We continue to focus on end of the pipe treatment rather than prevention for both water quality and human health.

Friday, February 5, 2016


On-site pumping at PW4 & PW5 were both above their target Average for the month of December. Off-site pumping however was problematic with three pumping wells being slightly below their target pumping rates. Wells W3, W4 and W5A were all on the low side due to pump failures in W4 and W5A whereas W3 was low due to activated carbon replacement in the W3 carbon adsorber. Table A.4 lists the Bypass/Upset Conditions which result in downtime for pumping wells. As usual it is a full page litany of problems and issues fortunately most of them short term for December. That said one wonders how they will sucessfully pump even twice as much water reliably and consistently, much less the triple volume they claimed they would back in November 2012.

Table A.3 is a listing of groundwater concentration of contaminants found in two of the Upper Aquifer pumping wells located in the south-east corner. This aquifer remains heavily contaminated on-site with high concentrations of Chlorobenzene, Toluene, Mercaptobenzothiazole, Carboxin and Aniline. Of course unlisted here is NDMA and many other compounds.

Table C.2 is a comparison of contaminants found upstream of Chemtura versus downstream. Recently BEHP has been found at slightly higher upstream concentrations than downstream which is peculiar. Tolune on the other hand has a slightly higher downstream average concentration than above which is to be expected as it is plentiful on Chemtura's property.

Table D.3 is a comparison of the water elevation at key groundwater and surface water pairs. The idea is to compare the two elevations to confirm that groundwater pumping has lowered the groundwater elevations in order to stop them from discharging into the creek. Unfortunately three or one half of the groundwater pairs have very small differences in elevation between the groundwater and surface water. These differences are in the vicinity of .1 metre or 4 inches or less. This is an inadequate differential to guarantee hydraulic containment.

Figure D.4 I would characterize as typical CRA/GHD? deception. It is a groundwater elevation contour map for the Upper Aquifer (UA1) on their site. It includes a Table with well over one hunderd wells and their groundwater elevations. It also shows in grey a large area on their north-east side which purports to be missing the UA1. Sadly within this grey area they have four wells shown directly on their eastern border. Lo and behold if one looks them up within the Table of over one hundred wells, they are there along with their UA1 groundwater elevations. The purpose of this deception is to continue to pretend that their grossly contaminated eastern property line is not discharging via UA1 groundwater into the Canagagigue Creek. It is.

Figures E.1-E.5 are concentrations of NDMA and Chlorobenzene on the west and south side of their site either on their property line or just over. While Chemtura like to brag about their concentration Trends decreasing I find it bizarre that so many of them are still well above their respective drinking water standards. CH47 exceeds both, CH56B well exceeds the NDMA standard and both CH89 and OW165 occasionally exceed the NDMA standards. I don't find this reassuring at all.

Finally Table F.1 advises us that nearly twenty years after discovering LNAPL (light Non Aqueous Phase Liquids) in their subsurface on the west side they are still there in varying thicknesses floating on top of the water table. These thicknesses vary from Traces to 1/3 and nearly 1/2 a metre in thickness. This is not acceptable after twenty years of allegedly trying to remove them. LNAPLS include floating petroleum hydrocarbons, gasolines, oils, Benzene, toluene, and more.

All in all another depressing Progress Report wrapped in giftpaper and presented with a ribbon on top. That site is a mess and will continue thusly for decades to centuries without considerably more source removal being done on site.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


While the Minutes of the last MECAC (Compliance Audit Committee) meeting posted on the Township's website conveniently don't show it; Chair Carl Zehr specifically asked mayor Shantz if there were ANY minor or major election expenses left that she had not declared. Mayor Shantz responded "Absolutely not". Similarily last July Justice David Broad of Superior Court reinstated Sandy Shantz to the mayor's position, CONDITIONALLY. The conditions included her filing a "full and complete" Financial Statement. She filed this Financial Statement on August 20, 2015. It did not include the following expenses.

Mayor Shantz declared $1,500 expenses for her campaign website and received a receipt for that. Later after I raised questions about her campaign videos, her cousin Councillor Larry Shantz produced a letter stating that the $1,500 included as well a total of twelve campaign videos produced at twelve different locations on twelve different days. Larry was the owner of a commercial Web design company which produced both the campaign website and the twelve videos. I have recently received quotes for producing short videos and they were between $200-$400 each or $2,400-$4,800 for all twelve. Somewhat to my surprise the quote for the campaign website was to my mind very modest, namely $200. Using the lowest $200 value for each video ($200x12) gives $2,400 plus $200 for the website and mayor Shantz should have declared a MINIMUM of $2,600 not $1,500. Keep in mind discounted prices (ie.donations) need to be declared both as donations (Contributions) as well as Expenses at their full value.

Back on January 5, 2016 I posted here that I had recently found undeclared expenses and sent them on to the prosecuter in Kitchener. As the court date was the next day I decided not to give the details out publicly immediately before court. Now is a more appropriate time. Mayor Shantz hired a four piece commercial band to play at her victory party held at the Elmira Curling Club. While she declared a total of $396 for her victory party, that only covered the facility rental and alcoholic drinks. Initially there were no food costs although months later she has suggested that there were plates of donated food. Meanwhile the local, well known professional band were not expensed which is yet another contravention of the Municipal Elections Act. I have received a number of suggested rates for a commercial four person band ranging generally from $400 to $800 for the evening. Many of you may recall the photograph of former mayor Bill Strauss dancing with mayor-elect Shantz at that party on the front page of the Woolwich Observer. In the background are members of the band. Therefore again using the MINIMUM rate of $400, this expense was not declared by mayor Shantz over the course of four Financial Statements, two MECAC hearings and one Superior Court hearing. As per the preceding paragraph it is irrelevant whether or not the band charged full price ($400-$800) or gave the mayor a discounted price (donation).

To date the issue has not been the absolute total of her expenses as they so far appear to still be below the maximum permitted. The issue is her refusal to voluntarily declare all her legitimate and proper election expenses. The rules are not in place for everybody but her, nor are they mere suggestions. Also it is not up to a citizen to have to ferret out all these undeclared expenses. The Municipal Elections Act (MEA) is very clear. A reasonable belief by a citizen that a candidate has committed but a single contravention of the MEA is grounds for the Municipal Elections Compliance Audit Committee (MECAC) to order a forensic audit. Then a professional auditor with the authority of the MEA behind him can investigate in depth including examination of bank accounts, interviewing witnesses etc.. Woolwich citizens you have been snowballed yet again. Sorry Sandy but that in itself is a form of corruption. Including MECAC's contribution only makes it worse.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Last evening was interesting. Woolwich Council seemed rather subdued, dare I say intimidated? No can't be just because of a little outburst of democracy over on the outskirts of Woolwich, namely in Breslau. Could it? Regardless they seemed almost accomodating when they advised me that normally Delegations regarding technical matters at Chemtura are to be handled by the Township's TAG committee. TAG of course stands for Technical Advisory Group. TAG normally do not allow Delegations and in fact even written comments are to be vetted through the committee's Chair, Dr. Richard (Dick) Jackson. Therefore while Council were very polite regarding their claim that as a rule they didn't want to hear "technical" Delegations, nevertheless their position is bizarre. They had advised me right from the start that yes they would listen to my Delegation last night but it was an exception. Really? Is this just another attempt to make up new rules on the fly? Are they trying to keep Chemtura issues away from public Council meetings which are attended by our local media? What is going on now?

I had presented a Delegation last evening dealing with CPAC's (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) Press Release which clarified Chemtura's press release and hopefully provided a more balanced view of the recently released "East Side Soil & Groundwater Investigation" Report. The main gist of my Delegation was that the Ontario Ministry of the Environment had taken thirty years to order an investigation and needed to be upgraded as the authority in charge, perhaps by the federal government. Lo and behold mayor Shantz publicly claimed that they Woolwich were already dealing with the federal government in regards to Chemtura. Wow! I was shocked and in my excitement responded "Excellent!" to her.

Reality has set in. Our current mayor suffers from the same affliction as our last mayor. Uncharitably that could be referred to as dishonesty. On the other hand I began to understand that mayor Cowan simply liked to tell people what they wanted to hear. Some politicians think that telling untruthful good news gets them further than telling truthful bad news. Go figure! So despite the incredibly good news transmitted to myself and the public last evening in Council Chambers that the federal government have been approached by Woolwich Township for help in dealing with Chemtura Canada, my enthusiasm is restrained. If indeed this has occurred then my sincerest congratulations to mayor Shantz and Woolwich Council. If on the other hand we are advised of a correction or clarification otherwise, then thanks for nothing, again.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Knowing Woolwich Township's tendency to be economical with the truth, I was skeptical of their repeated in camera meetings and vague to non-existent rationales for them. Therefore a year ago I went through a few Township Agendas and Minutes looking for what appeared to be particularily egregious cases. In no time at all I had four or five examples of what I thought were dishonest applications of the grounds for Councillors to meet secretly... oops in camera. Lo and behold the Ombudsman agreed with four of the five examples that I had presented to him and Woolwich Township were duly corrected.

It looks as if more correction may be required. Last Saturday's K-W Record carried an article titled "Multiplex board draws concern". I also wrote about it yesterday here in the Advocate. While I have made my displeasure at the biased and incompetent behaviour of MECAC (Compliance Audit Committee) clear; my concerns about conflicts of interest on that committee were ignored by them as well as by Woolwich Township. In the Saturday newspaper article, lawyer John Mascarin advised that "...a citizen could choose to file an application in court that the members violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.". Indeed that is one route although of course your Application would be opposed by the Township and they would be using your money and that of your fellow citizens against you. This behaviour of using citizens money to fight against the public interest in court is not unknown among other public bodies including school boards.

The Record's article is focused on conflicts of interest on the city of Cambridge's sports multiplex task force. A definition was provided and I quoted it in yesterday's posting here in the Advocate. As of January 1, 2016 the Ombudsman has greater powers and authority in regards to municipalities and their wayward behaviours. It is a sad reflection upon our local governance that there have been public demands for the Ombudsman's oversight on municipal matters for decades. It is finally here and for these rights to flourish they must be exercised. Sometimes I think that abuse of power and authority must be addictive. Otherwise why continue when you know you will be caught and publicly chastised. Long past time to shape up Woolwich Township.

Monday, February 1, 2016


Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Multiplex board draws concern", written by Paige Desmond. An involved Cambridge citizen has pointed out that there is a conflict of interest with certain members of Cambridge's sports mutiplex task force. This gentleman, Derek Coleman, hired a well known municipal lawyer by the name of John Mascarin of Aird and Berlis LLP in Toronto. He unequivocaly has advised the City of Cambridge that they have indeed a board or municipal committee of council with members in a conflict of interest position. Mr. Coleman also advises that all the decisions made by the multiplex board are tainted because of these members with conflicts of interest.

Flash forward to Woolwich Township the home and most nurturing environment of conflicts of interest. I have written here of the conflicts of interest of two former CPAC members and currently members of TAG, namely Pat Mclean and Susan Bryant. I have also written here of the conflicts of interest on the Municipal Elections Compliance Audit Committee (MECAC). Along with that I have advised Woolwich Staff and Council in writing of all these conflicts as well as the specific details. They include Chair Carl Zehr and Tom Jutzi although I give Mr. Jutzi credit for not being available for the last MECAC meeting. While Woolwich and MECAC stickhandled about his non appearance it is my belief that he was doing the honourable thing.

"According to the act (Municipal Conflict of Interest Act), a member has an indirect pecuniary interest when the member is a shareholder, director, or senior officer of a corporation or is a member with a pecuniary interst in the matter, or the member is in the employment of a person that has a pecuniary interest in the matter.". In my opinion this covers quite nicely the situation with the four persons mentioned here in Woolwich Township although it is possible that the employment situation is now in the past. That said the Terms of Reference for example of MECAC also deal with perceived conflicts of interest which certainly would include a history of a past longterm employment relationship.

I think what must be made clear is that municipalities routinely hire (MECAC) or appoint (formerly CPAC, currently RAC & TAG) committees to do their bidding while hypocritically referring to them as independent, arms length bodies. They are of course no such thing. Yes they can operate independently provided they are going in the direction that Council wants. If their independent research and examination of the facts takes them in a direction inconvenient to the Council then they will either be ordered to change course or members will be summarily removed. Been there and seen it.