Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Grass carp invade three Great Lakes". This is hardly a surprise considering we've been advised one story at a time of their approach and then presence certainly in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. That said I believe up till now we've been advised that the fish caught to date both in Lake Erie and even in the Grand River were sterile. That is no more.

These carp and their cousins Bighead and Silver carp were introduced intentionally in the U.S. for the purpose of controlling weed growth in waterways back in the 1960s. What a mistake as they have proliferated and expanded northwards courtesy of the Mississippi River and cargo channels into Lake Michigan. Steps to stop their migration including electric fences may have slowed them but haven't stopped them. Now Canada can enjoy their proliferation the same way U.S. states have as they basically take over the water environment and destroy other fish species.

This Record article states that they have been found in Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. What happened to Lake Huron? Unless my geography is way off they must have gone from Lake Michigan into Lake Huron before moving downstream to Lake Erie and lake Ontario. Then there is also the small matter of Niagara Falls. You mean those buggers went over the falls and survived? Wow they really are a tough and hardy fish. This is a game changer and not for the good.

Monday, January 30, 2017


Only once before have I ever seen a municipally appointed environmental group leap into action the way TAG (Technical Advisory Group) has done since their inception in September 2015. That would have been the new CPAC after the 2010 municipal election. Dr. Richard (Dick) Jackson was the past Chair of TAG and he was magnificent. Dr. Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach, the vice-chair of CPAC, brought his nearly five years of experience with CPAC to TAG, plus a number of other newcomers have been a pleasant surprise.

Tiffany Svensson of Blumetric in Kitchener is the new Chair of TAG. Dr. Jackson, while retiring, nevertheless spelled out clearly his frustration with the Ontario Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.), in particular. He referred to public policy problems taking the forefront; not technical problems dealing with remediation of either the Chemtura site, the off-site Elmira Aquifers or the downstream Canagagigue Creek. By public policy problems and failures he was referring to the M.O.E.'s penchant for lying, deflection and distraction. Whether firmly in bed with Chemtura, all big polluters or simply firmly in bed with the provincial government and unwilling to confront and attack our recalcitrant powerful polluters; our Ontario M.O.E. are a contemptible disgrace. Ms. Svensson has a difficult path ahead of her and enormous shoes to fill. I also have to wonder if Dr. Jackson received the full support of Woolwich Council or if they, true to their history, wimped out on him in the crunch.

TAG meets both this Thursday at 6:30 pm. in Woolwich Council Chambers and then again two weeks later (February 16), same time and place. This Thursday's Agenda is very light although Item 3.2, RAC member selection, is of interest. Dr. Jackson made it clear that he wished to rotate different TAG members through their turns on the RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) committee. RAC has more politicians and bureaucrats on it and includes the Region of Waterloo, GRCA as well as Chemtura and the M.O.E.. The other item of interest may be Item 3.3 which is in regards to Chemtura releasing chilled water to the creek. That is odd as chilled water being released to the creek in wintertime doesn't seem like much of an issue. We will see on Thursday.

Saturday, January 28, 2017


Back on January 12/17 the Waterloo Region Record published the following story titled "Cleaner water means fewer intersex fish in Grand River". While this is essentially a good news story I still find it horrifying. In 2012 and obviously previously prior, the incidents of "intersex" fish ie. fish with both male and female traits was severe below Kitchener's sewage treatment plant (STP) near Doon. "It's one of the worst cases around the globe of this kind of response" stated Mark Servos from the University of Waterloo.

Rainbow darters , a common small fish below the STP, had up to 100% of their population with both male and female characteristics. "Within one year of the upgrades (STP), the proportion of intersex males dropped from 100 per cent in some areas to 29 per cent. After three years, the numbers dropped below the upstream levels of less than 10 per cent.". This is the good news: namely that horrible pollution of our Heritage River now only has 10 % of these fish with mutations?

The cause of these problems is endocrine disruption caused by chemicals flushed down our toilets. These chemicals include birth control pills and other chemicals which mimic natural hormones.

So part of the moral of this story is what we've long known and that is that relying on end of pipe treatment is not enough. If pharmaceuticals are getting by our treatment processes think how many other industrial chemicals are doing the same. I've long known that sewage treatment plants euphemistically called wastewater treatment plants only do a partial job. Just because treatment technologies are improving does not remotely mean that our regional politicians automatically agree to spend the money for upgrades. Do you really believe that the new improved treatment since 2013 was just invented the day before? Hardly. Afterall spending on LRT is sexy and a legacy project for our current crop of politicians. Instead of naming a downtown building after Carl Zehr imagine naming a sewage treatment plant after him. You get the picture.

Friday, January 27, 2017


Today's post is an off the top, generalized opinion based upon my dealings with our judicial system over the last two years regarding both Sandy Shantz and Scott Hahn's illegal behaviours. These behaviours I'm referring to concern the Municipal Elections Act (MEA). I am comfortable characterizing both of them as having broken the law despite two out of town, conflict of interest prosecutors refusing to prosecute their admitted offences. Breaking the law and either being prosecuted and or convicted are entirely different things and boy have the dealings here in Woolwich Township shone a light on that.

Both individuals admitted that they broke the MEA in several different ways. They have suggested that these admissions are to their credit. Oddly the admissions only came after they were outed by Woolwich citizens. Both individuals, in my opinion, also hid behind a non legal process which seemed intent upon protecting them far more than protecting citizens or the MEA. MECAC were an embarassment on so many levels. They were, in conjunction with Woolwich Township, all about damage control, not the truth. Sandy Shantz at one point answered the media's question as to whether it was worthwhile spending so much taxpayers' money on this process. Her answer was absolutely as they had kept all three councillors (admitted offenders) on Council. The bracketed words are mine not Sandy's.

Both prosecutors admitted that the MEA had been broken by Shantz and Hahn and that there was a good likelihood of obtaining convictions. Both prosecutors claimed however that it wasn't in the public interest to do so. Neither prosecutor in my opinion elaborated on that while Mr. Carnegie may have tried a little harder to do so. Mr. Fraser Kelly tried to intimidate me with references to alleged illegal behaviour by myself in the taperecording of public MECAC meetings held in Woolwich Council Chambers. Mr. Carnegie in his address two days ago claimed that there was no audio or visual recordings of the investigation available to the Crown. Isn't that bizarre. I personally gave copies to Mr. Alex Andres, the local prosecutor, and he advised me that he had given the entire file to both Mr. Kelly and Mr. Carnegie.

I took extensive notes of Mr. Carnegie's speech to the court last Wednesday. I am writing this now without having reread those notes. Undoubtedly I will find more problem areas with his comments. That said he took a much more conciliatory tone in his comments than Mr. Kelly did a year ago, suggesting that I deserved a salute for my efforts and that my concerns were valid. Unfortunately his whole speech sounded more like a political speech to me than a legal one. He basically argued both for and against Mr. Hahn's behaviour, repeatedly stating that there was a prima facie case that he broke the law with both his Financial Statements and then arguing that well Mr. Hahn was young, naive and ignorant. He also claimed that there was not evidence of intent to deceive or lie. I beg to disagree on that one as the Auditor made it clear that a document (maybe two) was produced after the fact and dated however months earlier.

I'm going to wrap up today's post by advising citizens and readers that our judicial system is badly broken. Intake Court, open but once a week, is worse than a joke. Some staff are accomodating within the confines of the system and a couple are downright rude and arrogant. It's because of them that plexiglass is installed from counter height up to the ceiling. Delays, adjournements, workloads and stilted, self-serving rules and procedures are what it's all about. Self-serving is to the benefit of those making their living off the taxpayers while it is totally taxpayer/citizen unfriendly. Communications are simple if you've got the money to hire a lawyer to constantly navigate through this system.

Lastly the Ontario legislature are contemptible. They are passing laws claiming to give citizens certain rights that simply do not exist. At no point did any judge, J.P., prosecutor or lawyer suggest that I as a citizen did not have the right under the MEA (Section 81 (17)) to file private charges against Shantz and Hahn in support of the MEA. All the roadblocks of time, effort, money and lack of clear communications from the judicial system followed. Even then when I persevered I ran up against prosecutors who pretended that upholding a law (MEA) whose purpose is to make political candidates accountable; was not in the public interest. In fact it is and if I had a couple of hundred thousand dollars to spend unwisely I'm sure our judicial system would love to hear further from me and my lawyer(s). Afterall every participant in that system is well paid for their time except of course the honest citizens looking both for justice and to uphold the law. It is not a "right" if you have to pay through the nose for it. It's not a "right" if it literally takes years to have that "right" upheld.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Following is a verbatim copy of the statement I tried to read to provincial Offences Court yesterday. The law as awkward and unwieldy as always said that the citizen who filed the charges in the first place has no right to address the court. Fine so I handed it out to the Woolwich Observer, Waterloo Region Record and CKCO-TV (Kitchener). All three ran with it including direct quotes from it.

January 25, 2017

Provincial Offences Court - Kitchener

A decision not to prosecute this case involving blatant and outrageous contraventions of the Municipal Elections Act will encourage disrespect and non-compliance of our election laws. Why should candidates play by the rules when even when caught red handed are not prosecuted? This proposed decision brings the administration of justice into disrepute and makes it clear that enforcement of municipal election laws, by our judicial authorities, will not occur.

Laws are supposed to be inherently in the public interest in the first place. It would make common sense for the Prosecutor to suggest that pollution, armed gangs, drinking and driving are all not in the public interest. Democracy however is in the public interest as are elections and election laws. The only way that enforcing election laws would not be in the public interest is if the individual case involved was of a very minor and or technical contravention. The Forensic Audit by Froese Partners, paid for by the taxpayers, says otherwise.

The definition of public interest is "the welfare or well being of the general public, of relevance to the general populace and or a news story of public interest". The media are here today and have been here earlier precisely because this case is in the public interest. Elections at all levels, municipal, provincial and federal are always well covered by the media again because they are of public interest and in the public interest. Another definition of public interest is the "welfare of the general public in contrast to the selfish interest of a person, group or firm in which the whole society has a stake and which warrants recognition, promotion, and protection by the government and its agencies".

There is no greater public interest than ensuring the citizens of a country have confidence in the integrity of their democratic elections. The Municipal Elections Act was passed to ensure a level playing field by among other things demanding that candidates list all their expenses and all their contributions on their Financial Statements. There are a number of other rules which candidates are assisted with by municipal staff prior to election day and the much later deadline for filing Financial Statements. A legally recognized Oath is taken by the candidate when he signs his completed Financial Statement.

I ask your Honor not to permit withdrawal of the charges which I laid in good faith and in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act Section 81(17). I do not know what options are available to the court but am willing to assist in any way possible.

Sincerely Alan Marshall

Following are some of the media links: Woolwich Observer

Waterloo Region Record

CKCO-TV (Kitchener)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


A lot easier said than done. I was promised five days advance notice of the out of town prosecutor's decision regarding proceeding or not with the Election Act charges against Councillor Scott Hahn. Instead I got a total of fifteen hours as I was e-mailed last evening almost at 6 o'clock. Allegedly Scott Hahn's lawyer was also advised for the first time last evening, which quite frankly I believe is utter bullshit. Back door, non-transparent lobbying is what our judicial system has degenerated to. After both verbally and by e-mail my requesting that the prosecutor speak to Ken Froese, the Auditor and author of the August 2015 Compliance (Forensic) Audit; he finally did so. Mr. Carnegie, the prosecutor, had earlier advised me that Mr. Froese was the single most knowledgable and important witness. That said after talking to him Mr. Carnegie "made up his mind" , typed and sent me his decision all within 45 minutes. Again utter bullshit.

Both Scott Hahn's lawyer and the prosecutor spoke strongly against my request to address the court. I had approached court staff in attendance prior to the 9 am. start and I advised Mr. Carnegie in the courtroom prior to the start of proceedings. Justice Marquette refused to allow me to address the court after hearing the two submissions from the two mentioned but wouldn't even let me advise as to what my requested submission was about. Maybe being the citizen who actually laid the charges is considered an affront in some legal circles.

There are two huge ironies here. Firstly my proposed submission to the court did get handed out to the three media present namely the Waterloo Region Record, Woolwich Observer and CKCO-TV (Kitchener). My submission had indicated that contrary to Mr. Carnegie's position that there was no public interest in proceeding; in fact the presence of three media actually suggested otherwise.

The other irony is the presence of Justice Marquette. It seems to me many months ago he recused (excused) himself from any ruling on this case because of a perceived conflict of interest. At one point he had assisted me in the laying of the charges: I believe the ones against Scott Hahn. He had expressed a concern due to a perceived conflict of interest as he had helped lay the charges and then might have had to make a ruling on them as he did today. No such mention from him today. Hmm need to think about that.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following story titled "$600,000 insurance settlement for Greenbrook blast". In 2014 a truck delivery driver mistakenly offloaded chemicals into the wrong pipe at the Greenbrook water treatment plant in Kitchener. As mnay people know mixing ammonia with chlorine, even in a small quantity in your home, is a very bad idea. In this case it wasn't a small quantity and the resulting explosion literally raised the roof and more.

Steps have been taken to reduce the chances of this happening again. Of course they are common sense steps that should have been taken before human error, both by the truck driver and by the placing of ammonia and chlorine intake pipes side by side, occurred. The Region of Waterloo have both the budget and the professional personnel on staff to avoid disasters before they happen. Similar to a recent article in the Record concerning workmen being exposed to asbestos at the William St. pumphouse; a little forethought goes a long way.

Monday, January 23, 2017


Well I'm still waiting. The out of town, conflict of interest prosecutor had promised me at our December 21/16 private meeting that he would advise me by last Friday January 20/17 whether or not he was proceeding with the Municipal Election Act charges laid by myself against Councillor Scott Hahn. That did not happen, however he did e-mail me last Thursday and apologized that there would be a delay until early this week ie. prior to Wednesday morning's 9 am. court date. Apparently he had information that he was expecting last Friday that could come late in the day, thus delaying his decision.

I do not know what that information could be. I do know of some information readily available and volunteered to him that he has not availed himself of. I also know that professional and damning evidence against Mr. Hahn is publicly available or at least it was until Woolwich Township came out with their new website at the start of 2017. Council, RAC, TAG & CPAC Minutes have been removed and I will check shortly to see if this also includes Minutes from MECAC public meetings and the accompanying Forensic Audit produced by Froese Forensic Partners and paid for by Woolwich Township taxpayers. That Audit is huge and unequivocally states that Mr. Hahn violated the Municipal Elections Act several times and in one instance it implies the possibility that false or inaccurate dates were put on paperwork submitted by Mr. Hahn's family in support of his claims.

The two criteria I have been advised by two out of town Prosecutors that need to be fulfilled in order for them to proceed with prosecution are a likelihood of successful prosecution and that prosecution be in the public interest. Both of these are well satisfied. A failure to prosecute in the black and white Scott Hahn case simply reaffirms for both experienced and novice politicians that the Municipal Elections Act is a toothless tiger and that the province are all about the appearance only of keeping politicians accountable.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


To the best of my knowledge the Woolwich Observer have received two e-mails from CPAC Chair, Dr. Dan Holt, requesting a correction in their story of January 12/17 titled " New hand on tiller to navigate Elmira's groundwater morass". Also to the best of my knowledge neither Dr. Dan nor any other CPAC member have received any response or feedback from the Observer, to date, on this matter. That said I must advise that I have not spoken with Dr. Dan since yesterday afternoon.

To me what is most upsetting and obnoxious is the Observer's failure to respond to a polite and professional request from the CPAC Chair. If for some strange reason the Observer do not feel that a correction is warranted at the very least they could so advise Dr. Dan of that and why. No response could be construed as almost personal or malicious. If the Observer continue in this behaviour a complaint to the Ontario Press Council is almost guaranteed. Simply as a member of CPAC that will not be my sole decision. That said if necessary I will go it alone. Hopefully it will not be necessary.

Following is the first e-mail sent by Dr. Jackson when he was advised of CPAC's concerns with his alleged quote. I must add here that my dealings with Dr. Jackson over the last sixteen months have made me confident that he is a sincere, honest individual who nevertheless is not afraid to speak his mind.

"Unfortunately the short report on a phone interview did not provide the context of the discussion I had with the Observer this week. My point about no expertise referred to remediation issues, which is why I worked so hard to get Neil Thompson on board at Chemtura.

All of the folks you mention are indeed qualified professionals in their fields, as was Wilf ruland who helped the community. None were experts in remediation engineering, which was the subject of my discussion and why the back diffusion issue was missing from the debate until I raised it.

Hydrogeologists are good at characterizing sites, but few have actually cleaned one up. That's what a remediation engineer does, and Neil Thompson is an outstanding example of such a person. We have moved on from site characterization to remediation, unfortunately the characterization work did not pick out the aquitard contamination problem that is inhibiting the rate of aquifer cleanup.

Regards, Dick "

Dr. Jackson's second e-mail followed a couple of hours later as follows:

"...please communicate this clarification to CPAC because there was no intent to disparage what has been accomplished by the community when faced with the difficulties of dealing with MOE. Dick "

The Observer therefore quoted Dr. Richard (Dick) Jackson out of context when he stated that Woolwich Township had "...no expertise available to it". This is an understandable error most likely by the reporter involved who simply had probably never attended a single CPAC, RAC or TAG public meeting and therefore entered the interview with little or no environmental experience behind her and most certainly none regarding this issue. The harm caused by this out of context quote includes professional harm to the many professional environmental experts currently on CPAC as well as on past CPACs. It also unfairly excuses Woolwich Township from blame for their failure in following advice particularily from the last CPAC but from some previous ones as well.

Friday, January 20, 2017


Firstly the improvements are to raise the ridiculous $3.71 per million litres of groundwater fee to $503.71 per million litres. While at first blush that seems like a huge increase, do the math. One million (1) litre bottles sell for between $1 and $2 per bottle depending on the quantity you buy. Hence the raw material costs are still only approximately five hundred dollars to generate between $1 and $2 million dollars in sales. Not too shabby. Then realize that the real "owners' of this water are Canadian citizens. It is our water not some corporation's water to do with as they please simply by paying until now an asinine $3.71 per million litres.

Mike Nagy of Wellington Water Watchers put it very well. He stated that it was not forseen thirty years ago that "...people would take advantage of it (the permitting process), put it in a piece of garbage ...and send it around the world for great profits.". Environmental Defence stated that Ontario should be better protecting communities access to drinking water and beneficial uses of groundwater such as agriculture should be given priority.

See yesterday's Waterloo Region Record article titled "Ontario proposes to boost water bottler fee".

Thursday, January 19, 2017


I'm trying to hold back my anger. Although I've gone through the Observer's on-line version twice so far I can not see any correction regarding their article in last week's edition titled "New hand on tiller to navigate Elmira's groundwater morass". Also I have not spoken yet this morning with the CPAC Chair, Dr. Dan Holt. As of yesterday afternoon he had advised me that he had not been contacted by Steve Kannon or anyone else from the Observer about his polite e-mail he sent them Tuesday requesting a correction in this week's Observer regarding out of context quotes of Dr. Richard Jackson's concerning the Township having "no expertise available to it". I have described that quote and the clarification sent to CPAC by Dr. Jackson both two days ago here in the Advoocate as well as earlier.

This of course is a golden opportunity for me to go off on the Woolwich Observer calling them hypocrites among other things. That would be counter productive for several reasons. First off they have done and continue to do good things overall for this community. They have long held our local councils accountable for their deeds and misdeeds. Having half their ownership on Council (Pat Merlihan) has concerned me although while Pat like all of us has feet of clay; again overall he has been a very positive addition to Woolwich Council. Secondly there are upcoming issues that require their calm and collected wisdom and reporting including the Jigs Hollow Gravel Pit as well as the imminent Crown decision regarding moving forward on Election Act charges against Councillor Scott Hahn or not. Thirdly despite taking Dr. Jackson's comments badly out of context they did step up and report on the past and current problems with the Elmira cleanup. This included the unlikelihood of achieving cleanup by 2028 and the necessity of Chemtura retaining Dr. Neil Thompson, an expert in groundwater remediation, "who will tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear...". Whether that was a direct shot at Chemtura's consultants CRA or even GHD I do not know.

A couple of times in the past I've received an e-mail from Joe Merlihan requesting a correction here in the Advocate. At least once it was a reasonable and accurate request as I was misinformed and had printed an inaccuracy. I made the correction. On one other request from him I also softened my comments afterwards although I thought his complaint was a little thin. Joe took it upon himself to advise me on the ethics of journalism and how corrections were a necessary part of the business. I agreed then and I agree now. Your turn Joe.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


I've long known that certain Woolwich Staffers, just like Chemtura Canada, keep a close eye on this Blog. As per a week ago Tuesday's comment by the Woolwich RAC & TAG Support person, it has been very satisfying to me knowing that the Elmira Advocate is having an impact. Of course I've also had Environment Canada, the U.S. EPA, multiple colleges and universities visiting here as well. In fact Woolwich are in very good company. The Region of Waterloo, cities of Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo along with many other municipalities drop by from time to time. A few law firms, media outlets you name it they all like to keep up to date.

Last Tuesday's nonsense was interesting on a number of levels. First off the fact that low level (?) staffers feel the need to check out the Elmira Advocate before responding to me seems a little odd. Do their supervisors know that they are on-line checking out citizens' Blogs during working hours? Have they perhaps been advised by their supervisors to do so?

As per my posting of last Saturday, are Woolwich Township supporting rude and anonymous responses by their employees to legitimate citizen complaints or was that simply a rogue employee acting out? Are Woolwich senior staff and management simply holding their breaths right now waiting for a formal complaint? The issue of the Minutes of RAC, TAG and CPAC not being on the Township's website is not over although as mentioned I did receive some professional, polite and courteous advice and information from the Deputy Clerk.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


As expected our local newspaper have been approached by the Chairman of the Citizens Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). Dr. Dan Holt has sent a polite and courteous request to the Observer for a correction to their otherwise excellent article in last week's Observer titled "New hand on tiller to navigate Elmira's groundwater morass". He has quoted from a clarifying e-mail sent to CPAC by Dr. Richard Jackson. This clarification from Dr. Jackson was greatly appreciated and is but one more sign as to his character. Woolwich were lucky beyond belief to have had his services and talents even for a brief sixteen months.

TAG will be back in action next month namely February 2/17 and February 16 both at 6:30 pm.. RAC reconvenes on March 9/17 at 4 pm.. Both committees meet in Woolwich Council Chambers. I sincerely hope that the Woolwich Observer, the Township's only real local newspaper, will be able to attend these meetings. Paige Desmond has been doing an excellent job for the Waterloo Region Record both with her environmental stories as well as her political ones. That said our local paper here in Elmira are desperately needed for accurate information on both those issues. The title alone of last week's article describing our problems as "...Elmira's groundwater morass" is right on the money. I have long admired the Woolwich Observer and far prefer to get along with them rather than to butt heads as has unfortunately occurred a couple of times in the recent past.

Monday, January 16, 2017


In the spring of 2012 CPAC passed a Resolution stating that they believed that the 2028 deadline for cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers was unattainable via the course that Chemtura and the M.O.E. were on. Woolwich Township Council endorsed that Resolution and sent it on to the province of Ontario. Chemtura and the Ministry of Environment vehemently denied it stating that everything was on track. Six months later Chemtura's consultants, Conestoga Rovers (CRA), dramatically changed course. They stated that their latest calculations indicated that in order to achieve cleanup to drinking water standards, they would need to both TRIPLE the amount of off-site aquifer pumping and treating as well as to use In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) to more quickly remediate hot spots in the off Chemtura site aquifers. In the interim four years and one month CRA now GHD, finally promised that all treatment and pumping upgrades to now achieve a DOUBLING of the pumping rate would be accomplished by the fall of 2016.

Well since last September I've been patiently waiting. Chemtura have already lied multiple times from their initial lying that all was on track to their reduction from TRIPLE to DOUBLE the volume of pumping. ISCO appears to have disappeared from the plans after Dr. Jackson explained the amateurishness of Chemtura's pilot tests with it. What is one more lie? It's not as if it should ever have taken four years plus to build the necessary upgrades in the first place. Skyscrapers have been built in less time. The December 2016 Chemtura Progress Report is out and while pumping rates have been very good the last couple of years in comparison since 1998; they are nowhere even close to DOUBLE what they were in 2012.

One further comment regarding this most recent Progress Report. On page four GHD finally confirm that the Surficial Aquifer (SA) in Chemtura's north-east corner flows eastwards onto their neighbour's property. However their Figure D.1 shows it still flowing westwards based on the usual suspect four data points only. What a "progress" Report. What a company.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


This is so discouraging. I've been dealing the last couple of days with Julie Forth at the Township and she has been trying to clarify for me a fairly complicated process regarding new provincial legislation. This legislation is known as AODA which basically is in regards to making public websites more accessible to those with certain specific disabilities. It's difficult and my questions have been specific yet Julie I believe has done an excellent job in helping me out. My concerns were due to numerous Minutes of Committees of Council disappearing with the startup of the new Woolwich Township website. While I'm still unhappy with their disappearance, Julie is assisting me to understand what the problems are and how they may be resolved. My first very understandable concern was that the Township were using this provincial legislation as an excuse to eradicate embarassing Minutes from RAC and TAG committees that were on their website. Primarily embarassing I might add to Chemtura Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Environment. I believe I am now past that concern due to Julie's knowledge and communication skills.

It is what happened prior to that that is so disappointing and discouraging. On the surface based upon e-mails received and sent this past Tuesday, the Woolwich RAC/TAG Support person had responded to two of my e-mails with a short response telling me that a few of the RAC/TAG Minutes were on the new website without giving me specifics as to how to find them. I believe she did offer to send me others if I requested the specific dates. Her second e-mail then took more than two days to arrive (ie. Thursday) and was more helpful. While brief nevertheless on the surface her e-mail responses to my direct, polite e-mails to her were not outrageous.

Here is where it gets bizarre. Realize this is a twenty-seven year, highly active and involved stakeholder politely requesting information directly by e-mail from the Woolwich Township Support Staff person involved with the RAC and TAG Committees. This highly active and involved stakeholder has been writing a daily Blog for nearly seven years now focused on Woolwich environmental problems. After my second private and direct e-mail to her at 11:09 am Tuesday January 10/17 she did not respond back to me by e-mail until Thursday January 12/17 at 3:51 pm.. Note I said she did not respond to me by e-mail for over two days.

Less than two hours after my second e-mail to her however an "anonymous" person commented on my Elmira Advocate Blog. I had posted on the Advocate at 10:46 am. Tuesday just before sending my second e-mail to the Woolwich staffer. This "anonymous" commenter on my public website/Blog at 1 pm. advised me accurately as to how I could find the September to December 2016 RAC and TAG Minutes. That was pretty shocking. Then they said "List what dates you want & I (will) see if they are there". What the hell is this??? The stating that "I" (will) see if they are there made it pretty clear to me that the Woolwich staffer was suddenly responding to my direct e-mail to her by commenting anonymously on my Blog! While a little peculiar I didn't over react or confront her about this. It was afterall a helpful and polite comment.

Well... ten hours plus later when all good children should be home in bed sleeping, another Comment appeared on my Blog. I of course was home in bed and didn't see it until the next morning. This comment by its' tone and rudeness may have been fueled by a couple of glasses of eggnog or whatever. It was clearly posted by someone who holds some serious loyalty to Woolwich Township. Maybe even by someone from Woolwich Township who in the past has expressed animosity towards me. These Comments are still on my Blog and can be read on last Tuesday's, January 10/17 posting. Just click on Comments.

I wonder if this behaviour fits in with the Woolwich Township Code of Conduct? I wonder if citizens with concerns or complaints will be dealt with professionally as I was by Julie Forth (Deputy Clerk) or rudely and anonymously? I wonder if the big shots at Woolwich Township even care.

Friday, January 13, 2017


The best case scenario is that the Woolwich Observer have simply responded weakly to citizens' requests, including mine, to give us more coverage of the nastiest, most far reaching and longest lasting environmental disaster of many here in Waterloo Region. I posted yesterday regarding their article in this week's Observer titled "New hand on tiller to navigate Elmira's groundwater morass". The outgoing Chair of TAG, Dr. Richard Jackson, was quoted as stating that Woolwich Township "...had no expertise available to it.". I knew that this quote was not intended the way it came out. I felt that perhaps Dr. Jackson was referring strictly to hydrogeological expertise and perhaps he was unaware that the last CPAC had David Marks as a voting member. David is a certified hydrogeologist who works with Burnside Consultants in Guelph.

While I was on the right track, in fact Dr. Jackson when referring to "no expertise" in his phone interview with the Observer was referring to no expertise in remediation issues and that there were no experts with remediation engineering experience available to Woolwich Township. This distinction either went over the reporter's head at the time or later in her article. Dr. Jackson is an honourable man and he had expressed appreciation for CPAC's efforts on a few occasions at TAG meetings over the last fifteen months. Also he has since made it very clear to myself and CPAC members that the community including CPAC accomplished much while facing difficult circumstances dealing with the present regulatory regieme. Dr. Jackson also emphasized his respect for the many environmental professionals on CPAC, past and present.

There was another peculiar paragraph in Whitney Neilson's article in yesterday's Observer. She was talking about antagonism between volunteers and those who were newer to the issues. This stumped me yesterday and still does. It concerns me however as it might indicate some kind of attempt by the Observer, similar to Woolwich Township, to throw mud on Woolwich volunteers who have freely spent
their time on Chemtura contamination issues, on behalf of all Woolwich residents .

Or as indicated in the first paragraph perhaps this poor write up regarding Dr. Jackson's words is simply the inevitable consequence of the Observer's refusal for many years to cover Chemtura Canada contamination issues here in Elmira, Ontario. How on earth can they remotely expect even the best reporters to cover complicated environmental issues, conversations and data with absolutely zero background experience? This is absolutely not a criticism of the individual reporter. Overall she did a good job but can you imagine how much better, with fewer errors, omissions and out of context quotes it would have been, if she had been assigned to even a few CPAC, RAC or TAG public meetings over the last few years?

CPAC members have all received Dr. Jackson's clarifications and I believe that they as a group will decide what action to take. I expect that as a first step the Observer will be given the opportunity to retract or correct their errors in this story. keep in mind I am not a believer that "no good deed goes unpunished". The Observer stepped up and published a story of importance to Woolwich residents. For that they deserve credit. Corrections and clarifications are part and parcel of the newspaper business however and I expect them to respond appropriately, if and when approached by a CPAC spokesperson such as Dr. Dan Holt or Dr. Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Today's Woolwich Observer carries an overall good article describing some aspects of the ground and surface water situation here in Elmira as well as mention of the still grossly contaminated Chemtura site itself. First off I must mention the awkward fact that while I am thrilled that the Observer have stepped up and run a major article on this local environmental issue with further afield repercussions; nevertheless with all due respect to the reporter Whitney Neilson, she has not attended a single CPAC, RAC or TAG meeting to the best of my knowledge. That said she actually did an amazing job under those circumstances. I only wish that the Observer could spare her talent on a regular basis to cover RAC and TAG public meetings held in the Woolwich Council Chambers. This article is titled "New hand on tiller to navigate Elmira's groundwater morass" and by clicking on this link you should get to today's Observer. Then simply scroll down to page 3 and there it is.

There is some excellent information in this article including Dr. Jackson confirming the last CPAC's 2012 Resolution which was also passed by the Woolwich Council of the day. It was then sent to the Ontario government by Woolwich Council. Dr. Jackson stated "it's most unlikely we'll meet the 2028 deadline...". This is in reference to cleaning up the Elmira Aquifers to drinking water standards.

Dr. Jackson takes credit for having "...reset the agenda and allow the township to see the complexity of the problem...". I would certainly agree with the second half of that quote, a little less for the first part. Dr. Jackson whom I have expressed my admiration and respect for many times, in fact confirmed much of the last CPAC's efforts and focus. As mentioned there was the 2012 CPAC Resolution as well as it was CPAC alone who raised the east side coverup of off-site contaminant flow and diversion via the Stroh Drain into the Canagagigue Creek further downstream. It was on the last CPAC's watch that George Karlos of the M.O.E. felt the need to "reassure" citizens that the creek was improving hence his disastrous new testing downstream.

While overall the article is good unfortunately Dr. Jackson was quoted as saying that the Township had "...no expertise available to it.". This on the face of it is absolutely wrong. With a Phd in Biology SWAT member (Dr. Henry Regier), a certified hydrogeologist (David Marks), a certified chemist & practicing consultant (Graham Chevreau) and finally Ron Campbell, founder and owner of Acute Environmental Inc.; CPAC was loaded with both relevant professional talent as well as highly educated and talented members of the community including Vivienne Delaney, Dr. Dan Holt, Dr. Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach, Richard Clausi and yes indeed, yours truly.

I believe that Dr. Jackson simply misspoke. What he probably did not know was that David Marks (hydrogeologist) was a member of CPAC. Dr. Jackson was in fact referring specificly to Woolwich Township over the decades not having a certified hydrogeologist as a member of CPAC.

There was another vague reference to antagonism between people who've been working on the contamination problem for 30 years and those who are new to the issue. This I don't understand unless there was/is friction between the two TAG members with longtime experience on the issue and some of the brand new ones. If so this is news to me.

The next TAG meeting with the new Chair, Tiffany Svensson, is February 2/17 at 6:30 pm. in Council Chambers. I'll be there and would love to see the Observer there as well.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


OR: Still Waiting For A Response From Lisa Schaefer , RAC & TAG Support Person

Ten am. and I haven't received a response back from Lisa regarding my e-mail to her of 11:09 am. yesterday. In that e-mail I advised her that despite her quick response to my 10:13 am. e-mail I was still unable to access any RAC or TAG Minutes from September 2016 to the present. She had not advised me as to how I could do that. She did advise me that they were indeed on the Township's website.

These RAC & TAG Minutes (2015 & 2016) were better done than I had expected at the time and I was also pleased to see them on the Woolwich Township website as was both appropriate and promised. Between that and the incredibly knowledgable, experienced, forthright and communicative new Chairperson, Dr. Richard Jackson, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. After Woolwich Township's nearly indescribably ignorant, rude and dishonest smearing of the last Council appointed Chairman and entire CPAC committee as well as their sub-committee SWAT; I had expected a Chemtura/M.O.E. love-in from Woolwich Council, especially from Mark Bauman and Sandy Shantz.

Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of Environment have taken a battering from both RAC and TAG over the last fifteen months. Actually the M.O.E. have taken the worst of it and TAG have been the bigger thumpers of their credibility, honesty and motives. I've actually been surprised that RAC appear to have been going along with TAG's lead on the matter. Now we have a brand new Chairperson namely Tiffany Svenson of Blumetric Inc. out of Kitchener.

Is it possible that Woolwich Council under Mark and Sandy's direction decided to shore up their undermined environmental credibility by actually having an honest and credible Chair of TAG? Is it possible that certain other TAG members were advised by their buddy Sandy to take serious rounds out of Chemtura and the M.O.E. for a while? Do not mistake that last comment. While there are a couple of TAG members well versed in the dark arts of subterfuge, gamesmanship and distraction; many others I believe are the real deal. Is it possible that as this venue among others has been singing the praises of TAG; now with a new Chair things are going to turn around for our world class polluter and their third rate regulator? This is Woolwich Township afterall. Those now censored Minutes are incredibly damaging to Chemtura and the Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.). Any turnaround requires the Woolwich deft touch ie. lying and or erasure.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Is it incompetence, deviousness, general unremarkable human error, my simple inability to navigate a spanking new website or none of the preceding? Long story short I went looking for RAC & TAG Minutes from 2015 and 2016 this morning and couldn't find them. I followed the prompts and Links and found the RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) & TAG (Technical Advisory Group) information, correspondence etc. but when I followed prompts and links to their Minutes, they weren't there. Yes I found the upcoming schedule of their meetings and twice I found prompts advising me how to obtain past CPAC Minutes (ie. from the Clerk). That of itself is problematic as those Minutes should bre readily available on-line and NOT at the discretion or timing of the Woolwich Clerk. I have sent off an e-mail to the RAC & TAG (Woolwich) Support person (Lisa) and she usually responds promptly.

My problem is this. I have gotten into written exchanges with Woolwich Staff in the past and by far the worst should have been the best, namely their CAO. Based upon history and experience I now see his job as being a cheerleader and bodyguard/bouncer for either bad Council decisions or particularily for indefensible positions and decisions taken by both past and present mayors. You know he's on thin ice when he deflects the arguments and starts in on essentially irrelevancies. You can be quoting Woolwich policies, by-laws etc. and when Woolwich are off-target he will leap upon any thin strand in your e-mail which in his opinion isn't respectful enough of staff, council, himself etc.. That suddenly becomes the issue, the whole issue and everything else is out the window. Not impressed.

There is information, quotes and comments by both TAG and RAC that must be readily available to the public or the media. I hope that Lisa advises me where I can find those past Minutes otherwise Woolwich have done it again and granted undeserving concessions to Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Both the public and media need ready access to some frankly incredible quotes and comments made by Dr. Richard Jackson (former TAG Chair), among others, at public RAC and TAG meetings in 2015 and 2016. Permitting the Woolwich Clerk's department to act as a gatekeeper to these Minutes is not acceptable in any fashion.

Monday, January 9, 2017


Centre Wellington Councillors all received an e-mail from Nestle on December 23/16 suggesting a face to face meeting regarding Nestle's offer to "partner" with Centre Wellington over the Middlebrook Well located outside of Elora. Two environmental groups namely Wellington Water Watchers and SaveOurWater.ca have expressed their concerns regarding any proposed closed door meetings between the township and Nestle as well as any attempt to circumvent the province's recent two year moratorium on new water-bottling operations.

Nestle of course are suggesting that their offer to meet with Council is simply an attempt to have open and transparent conversations with Centre Wellington regarding the Township's interest in the Middlebrook Well property.

Council as well as the two environmental groups are deeming the e-mail as inappropriate.

Somewhere in all this, albeit unstated publicly, is the Municipal Act which governs relations between sitting Councillors, the public and private companies. That said private companies routinely meet to discuss development proposals and essentially anything else they want with either individual councillors, Chief Administrative Officers or other so designated township Staff. A quorum of councillors raises issues however if the meeting is not a regular, public Council meeting.

While an attempt to bypass the province's two year moratorium is on the face of it highly controversial if not highly inappropriate, I'm not sure to date that that is what Nestle are suggesting. Also while I am highly skeptical of Nestle's intent in this matter that does not necessarily mean that under the rules transparent communications should not be pursued. Whether this is through senior Staff or otherwise I really can't see the harm in hearing exactly what Nestle are suggesting regarding their wish to "partner" with Centre Wellington.

The Waterloo Region Record article relating this story is titled "Email from Nestle called inappropriate by township councillor".

Saturday, January 7, 2017


I really think that the Woolwich Observer need to do a little more editing prior to publishing. They have an overall pretty good "2016 Year In Review" covering three or four pages in this week's Observer. That said I've found the February 2016 review of the Shantz case titled "Shantz case moves ahead" completely at odds with their own March 2016 review titled "Crown drops case against Shantz".

The February review states "Prosecutors opted to go ahead with a case against Woolwich Mayor Sandy Shantz related to election expenses filed after the 2014 municipal vote.". Then it further states "prosecutor Alexander Andres told the court there is sufficient cause to continue.". Wow as much as I wish that was 100% true and accurate I have to say that that absolutely was not my takeaway from the February 2016 court appearance. My takeaway was that the Crown were simply requesting an Adjournment while they continued looking at the evidence. In other words no decision had been made as yet.

The March review however went the other way to the extreme. It stated "Finding no grounds to proceed, the Crown has closed the file on Woolwich Mayor Sandy Shantz.". Really from one court appearance in February absolutely stating that prosecutors were proceeding with charges against Sandy Shantz to the very next month stating that there were no grounds to proceed; it is my opinion that the Observer got it wrong both times. In March 2016 prosecutor Fraser Kelly did not say that there were no grounds to proceed. He stated that a couple of the private charges laid by myself, accepted by a Justice of the Peace and then examined by two different prosecutors were laid incorrectly. Geez thanks J.P., and two prosecutors for giving me a non-timely heads up on that one. He also stated that the other correctly laid charges were (allegedly) not in the public interest to proceed. That again is not what the Observer story states.

Come on guys, you can do better.

Friday, January 6, 2017


O.K. I'll accept that basic premise. Today's Editorial by the Record is indeed titled "Nuclear Waste needs a home". My read of the Editorial however leads me to believe that the current plan to build a bunker in the bedrock 680 metres believe ground surface may be viable or even a good idea accept for one thing. This bunker is to be located only 1.2 kilometres from Lake Huron. At first blush this seems ridiculous. However as you read further you do realize that this current nuclear waste is right there at the Nuclear Power plant in Kincardine above ground. It has been "temporarily" stored for decades at that location. There would be major concerns with moving these wastes on public roads to a site considerably farther away. Hence they claim that the short move laterally, followed by a 680 metres move vertically downwards into the bedrock is the way to go.

The Record's Editorial also says that concerns that the waste could leak into and contaminate Lake Huron are "remote". Hmm, exactly how remote? Are they suggesting that an earthquake for example is essentially a one in a million possibility? Is it less or more possible than that? What about fractures in the bedrock?

O.K. so the transportation of this stuff is dangerous. How about a comprimise? If the bedrock is so solid and so extensive in this area then why not simply move a few miles further away from the lake? If a 2 or 3 hundred mile trip elsewhere is bad news than how about a very short five mile trip further away from Lake Huron, with everything else the same? Also explain in layman's terms one how radioactivity migrates in the subsurface (bedrock & overburden) and secondly explain for the public whether or not radioactivity introduced into a large lake migrates. Does it migrate or does it stay in one place? Once introduced into Lake Huron will it spread and do irreparable damage? These are the questions that the public need honest answers to before even one ounce gets put within 1.2 kilometres of Lake Huron.

Thursday, January 5, 2017


Today's Waterloo Region Record carries an interesting article titled "Living close to high-traffic roadway raises dementia risk, study shows". The study was co-authored by Dr. Ray Copes, chief of environmental and occupational health at Public Health Ontario, and was published in the British medical journal Lancet. There is apparently a direct increase in one's risk of dementia based upon how close one is living to busy roads and highways. Obviously the numbers of at risk individuals is much higher in larger cities with their corresponding higher vehicle counts. That said this is of small consolation to those living in smaller towns who are however within 50 metres of a busy roadway or highway.

Here in Elmira the problem would apply if we are living close to Church St. and or Arthur St. which runs north-south through Elmira. This study certainly validates the concerns of residents who expressed worries regarding greater truck traffic along Arthur St. on their way to Woolwich Bio-En in the north end of town. Truck traffic of course brings accompanying noise issues as well as primarily diesel fumes which have been implicated in other negative health effects.

I've said it before and will say it again. Science is decades behind conclusive proof of the extent of human health damage caused by numerous environmental factors. Our health systems are decades behind in acknowledging risk factors when many contaminants causing various cancers do not show up as diseases until many years of exposure have occurred.

It would seem obvious that even regular commuting on busy highways is unhealthy albeit the exposure would still be less than for those living beside said highways. Time for diversions of major traffic as much as possible away from residential homes. Time for the Elmira By-Pass here in Elmira, Ontario to be built.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


A very small article in yesterday's Waterloo Region Record mentioned that four children died in Amarillo, Texas from a pesticide sprayed underneath their home. Further on-line checking found that the pesticide is probably aluminum phosphide. The brand name is Weevil-cide and it is used to get rid of moths, insects, mice and other small rodents. Apparently the home owner crawled under his home and applied it on his own and then when he received odour complaints from the residents he went back under with a garden hose to either wash it off the underside of the house or to otherwise dilute it.

This resulted in a chemical reaction causing phosphine gas which I believe was also used intentionally during World War One. Phosphine gas is highly toxic and killed four children in the home overnight as the fumes entered the house and six to ten other residents are in hospital, some in critical condition.

While the obvious moral of the story is to let trained individuals do spraying either in or around your home, that perhaps isn't an option in low income homes. The second moral is the more general one that all pesticides need to be handled with extreme care as they are all intended to be poisons. Apparently pesticides that can kill moths and mice can also kill human beings in some circumstances.

Finally even the suggestion to have either trained individuals or experts be in charge of pesticide applications isn't always good enough. Just ask the forestry and hydro workers dosed with Agent Orange in Ontario in the 70s and 80s. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Hydro and even the Ontario Ministry of Transportation all caused havoc and mayhem, death and disease with their indiscriminate, amateurish protocols for spraying trees and underbrush along hydro corridors and highways. The human cost was enormous and continues to this day.

Pesticides/herbicides are poisons for humans as well as wildlife and weeds/underbrush!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Keep in mind the dictionary definition of corruption. It doesn't have to be brown paper bags full of money changing hands as in the Karl Heinz Screiber / Brian Mulroney style. "Riddled with errors" is also a definition of corruption. I would add that deceit, deception and manipulation of the public for self-serving purposes are examples of political corruption.

A concerned Cambridge citizen has been corresponding with the Municipal Clerk of Cambridge Ontario regarding a very recent Rogers Cable TV broadcast of a public meeting of Cambridge Council.

Before I go any further let me add a clarification here. My plans for this Blog were 100% to be regarding environmental issues. I have strayed somewhat regarding local political issues up here in Woolwich Township as it has become clear to me that everything environmental eventually boils down to the relevant political situation. Whether corruption within the provincial Ministry of the Environment or one form or another of corruption at the local, municipal level; this is what determines environmental outcomes, not the science or the facts of the situation. For example apparently mandatory Records of Site Condition (environmental) aren't so mandatory in Cambridge as Cambridge Council seem to exempt them at will for some property sales.

The concerned Cambridge citizen has sent several very clear and cogent e-mails to the Cambridge Clerk advising him of serious discreancies between a December 13/16 public Cambridge Council meeting and the later Rogers Cable TV broadcast of same. This later broadcast appears to have removed/edited a number of Delegations to Council as well as certain exchanges between Council members and or the Chairman. This concerned citizen has also approached Rogers Cable TV with a request for clarification as to the reasons for the alleged disappearance of specific matters that he personally saw and heard at the December 13/16 Council meeting.

From the responses received by this citizen to date I would agree that he is being stonewalled. Three fairly straightforward questions were specifically asked of the Municipal Clerk on two separate occasions and again it appears as if the Clerk is stickhandling around them.

Most of us can not or will not spare the time to attend regular Council meetings in person. I would like to think that a significant number of us however avail ourselves of the opportunity from the comfort of our own homes to watch televised Council meetings on Rogers Cable TV. If as is being stated by this citizen, editing, shortening or actually any revisions are somehow being made to these televised Council meetings then it is absolutely incumbent upon both Rogers Cable and the municipal Council involved to state this clearly and publicly not just once but every single time it occurs. This is a serious matter regarding both political transparency and political accountability. Even more important if there is any tacit or explicit "arrangement" between Rogers Cable TV and our local Councils to edit particular portions at the request of the municipality this must be exposed and stopped.

Citizens including myself have a difficult enough time in trusting any politicians. Any breech of the integrity and completeness of these televised municipal/regional Council meetings in Waterloo Region must be clarified with specifics each and every time. In other words there must be a reasonable rationale for so doing and the criteria for and personnel making these decisions must also be made public.

Monday, January 2, 2017


The title above is actually a rhetorical question. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment needed to be told that a very long time ago. As long as municipalities and citizens give the M.O.E. the respect they don't deserve, they will continue as big polluters best friends. The reality is that most of the time the M.O.E. are simply running interference for Chemtura Canada. The Ontario M.O.E. by not denouncing Chemtura on a regular basis are in fact legitimizing them. Chemtura and their consultants routinely pretend that they are following the Ministry's orders when in fact it's all about private negotiations between them.

At the moment it is RAC, TAG and CPAC opposing Chemtura and the Ministry of the Environment. CPAC are informed local citizens, TAG are citizen appointees by Woolwich Township and RAC includes the Region of Waterloo, Grand River Conservation Authority, two Woolwich Councillors as co-Chairs and the TAG Chair plus two members. It is clearly Chemtura and the M.O.E. opposing the will of both the citizens and the will of all the local political groups.

Therefore it's time to stop negotiating and discussing. Give the Ontario M.O.E. an ultimatum. Do what is right, do what you are told by local citizens and government, do what the law demands or fuck off we don't need you. Kick them off RAC and advise them they are not welcome in Woolwich Township. End the charade that they represent the citizens of either Ontario or Woolwich Township. Make it clear publicly that you regard them as inherently corrupt and will no longer deal with them. Period and end of story.