Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Well was my prediction in yesterday's posting here in the Advocate right on the money? What I didn't predict was how blatant and obvious the whole circus was going to be. This Council couldn't even orchestrate a credible charade. As far as Julie-Anne Herteis's performance, it rivalled her four years on Council it was so lame. After the meeting the words being tossed around in the gallery included circus, gong show and sham.

Ten candidates were listed although only nine were in attendance. Even then only eight of the nine actually showed up to speak to either council or the public. Other than Julie-Anne the others all spoke either professionally or at least competently about their credentials and resume. They spoke from the heart about wanting to serve their communities. They sincerely put themselves out there and demonstrated long term interests in their community as well as their educational and work backgrounds.

Julie-Anne advised us that she had no university degree which coincidentally is in line with most of our past and current councils. She further advised us that she was resting upon her experience on Council between 2010 and 2014. I was present for many of her public council experiences and they varied from sad to embarrassing. She was so far out of her depth that she and everyone else on council, staff and in the gallery all knew it. Until last night I had been told that she attempted to pull a Scott Hahn once during her time on council. Last evening I was advised that in fact she twice tried to quit and both times former mayor Todd Cowan convinced her to finish her term.

The calibre and experience of the field of candidates to fill the council vacancy was astonishing. There were two former professors, a former school Principal and Superintendant, an emergency services worker, an owner of an environmental company, a woman with extensive professional municipal experience and so much more. All eight of the serious speakers last evening were from qualified to incredibly qualified. Then there was Julie-Anne who couldn't even be bothered to write a short speech. She didn't tell us about her work experience. She didn't tell us about her commitment. She showed up with a sense of entitlement which was soon clarified by our council who barely were able to keep straight faces.

I feel sorry for Councillor Patrick Merlihan. How he is able to continue to deal calmly and professionally with that pack of hyenas is beyond me. Whatever tiny, naive spark of respect that I may have had left for any of them (other than Patrick) is now gone. The rest of Council couldn't even accomplish raising last night to the level of a circus. Credit goes to the Municipal Clerk and Council's lapdog, Val Hummel. She at least sounded authoritative and sincere in her explanation of the voting procedure. She did her best to at least seriously pretend that the whole thing was a legitimate picking of the best candidate for the job. It wasn't.

This Council, less Patrick, lied to nine other candidates by telling them that this process was to choose the best candidate to fill the vacancy. They lied in both the best candidate matter as well as the fact that they had chosen Julie-Anne weeks ago. As Councillor Merlihan suggested the best and most appropriate appointee should have been the runner-up in the last election namely Dr. Dan Holt. He received 1,036 votes from the citizens in Ward 1 plus four council votes over two sessions. Julie-Anne received three votes last evening.

This council have publicly, shamelessly lied to nine citizen candidates as well as to the general public yet again. Those that run for council this fall deserve denunciation at the polls.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


P.T. Barnum has nothing over Woolwich Council when it comes to putting on a show. This will be a spectacular demonstration of chutzpah, misdirection and smoke and mirrors. We will hear from ten, mostly sincere, Woolwich citizens who are all throwing their hats in the ring to sit on Council from now until October when they have the option of facing the electorate. I would suggest that Council in their infinite arrogance have dug themselves a tiger trap. How embarrassing will it be if their hand picked appointee tonite gets soundly rejected by the voters in October; especially if it's in favour of one of tonite's unsuccessful candidates?

Dare I hint of my belief that Julie-Anne Herteis is their hand picked appointee from the beginning? Dare I suggest that this Council would so arrogantly waste the time and energy of nine other citizens just to mask their own gamesmanship? Dare I suggest that I believe that most members of this council are so shallow and unethical that they would put on a circus in order to mask their manipulations to give a council seat to their preselected candidate now and a foot up on the competition in the fall?

Of course if I'm correct then council will feel the need to assist their previously hand picked candidate in the fall election. Look for endorsements at the minimum. Look for their appearances at her media events and or other public events. Hell would it be illegal for them to donate to her campaign fund? If it is they need not worry because as we've already seen there are no legal penalties even when they are caught red handed breaking the Municipal Elections Act.

Come out one and all at 6 pm. this evening. You will meet and hear from ten citizens and get to learn something about them and their hopes and aspirations. Do not blame them for the circus unnecessarily put on by Woolwich Council.

Monday, February 26, 2018


Well it's about time. My theory has been that politicians at varying levels ie. municipal, regional, provincial and even federal try to avoid publicly stepping on each other's fragile egos. This means that they tend to support each others decisions and public announcements even when informed viewers can see contradictions in policy positions. I believe that this mutual aid society if you will is all about image. Politicians realize that there is a spillover effect when any of their kind are publicly besmirched. Afterall it would never do for the general public to slowly begin to understand that greater than 90% of all politicians at all levels are there for their and their supporters' benefit versus the benefit of the general public. Hence most of the infighting and turf wars are conducted privately.

So sort of in today's Waterloo Region Record we have a surprisingly blunt Regional government versus Provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs confrontation. It seems that our Waterloo Regional government is not totally on board with the Greater Golden Horseshoe proposed greenbelt expansion. While at first blush this would seem like a good idea for municipalities in general, the region of Waterloo are saying hold on a minute. It seems that most of the other political areas might be getting improvements in regards to environmental protection but the Region of Waterloo could actually see diminished protection. As it stands now our Regional groundwater protection policies including gravel pit restrictions are actually well ahead of provincial policy whether from Municipal Affairs or from the Ministry of Natural Resources.

There is absolutely no doubt that provincial policy favours aggregate removal throughout Ontario regardless of environmental degradation. Whenever municipalities don't toe the line then historically the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) has stepped in and slapped down dissenting local politicians. Of late there have been cracks in the OMB's armour including a few years back with the proposed Hunder gravel pit between Winterbourne and Conestoga. They actually decided against that proposed pit in conjunction with both citizens' groups and Woolwich Township.

This article is in the on-line Waterloo Region Record although I didn't see it in this morning's edition of the newspaper. It is titled "Provincial proposal to protect our water falls short: report".

Saturday, February 24, 2018


So we are advised that the very difficult changes within the WRPS have been underway for a long time. Isn't that just dandy. That must be of some comfort to female police officers who feel that their careers have been stifled and damaged by the culture that they've had to tolerate over the last few decades. Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following story by Lisa Rutledge titled " Waterloo Regional Police to hire consultants to drive cultural change".

I'm the first to admit that there has been a huge cultural change in Canada within my lifetime. I was born just after the Second World War and boy there was animosity towards immigrants from the European and Asian countries that we and the Allies had fought against for almost six years (1939-1945). It changed but I know my father had difficulties with my friends of Germanic background even into the nineteen sixties.

What I find very difficult to understand is the workplace culture that discriminates against women. Here in Canada, boys and girls went to school together throughout our entire education from public school to high school and through university. In public school the majority of our teachers were female and any boys who were bullies or rude to the girls in the class quite promptly and appropriately got put in their place. In high school there were more male teachers although the ratio may have been 3:2 . Again discrimination or rudeness based upon gender simply didn't happen because if it did the offenders would be given one warning and then promptly sent home.

So what the hell happened in our workplaces? Yes I saw gender discrimination in wages and promotions in private industry. The vast majority of managers were male as were the bosses. As significant as that was what I did not see was overt rudeness and or gender based crude "jokes" or other obvious female putdowns. Subtle (somewhat) dumb blonde jokes maybe. The odd risque joke between two genders who were of equal status maybe. There was no touching, butt grabbing or skirt lifting as has been alleged (repeatedly) at the WRPS. That would have been grounds for immediate dismissal with no defence available whatsoever.

Guess what Waterloo Regional Police? In non-union private industry there was no democracy in the workplace. When the bosses said jump you asked how high. But despite this there were social conventions that were not explicitly contravened and those conventions were followed. If you seriously believed that women were less able to do certain jobs then that was your thinking. It did not give you license to treat them poorly or disrespectfully. From the top down through the ranks gender based blatant disrespect simply was not tolerated.

It appears that these beliefs and behaviours have never existed at the WRPS or many other police services. Traditional male dominated jobs such as construction, police , firemen, mining, military all likely share the same negative attitudes and sterotypes. It requires the so called leaders and managers to bring their institutions into the 21st century. The times changed dramatically during the Second World War when women were desperately needed in factories as the younger males all went overseas. Women filled these roles magnificently in all our times of need. That war ended nearly 3/4 of a century ago and our local police service and many others still haven't gotten with the program. Perhaps our current police leadership all need to step aside. Clearly they have been unwilling and or unable to keep up with normal, common sense behaviour in the workplace.

Friday, February 23, 2018


There was an article in this week's Woolwich Observer regarding this new venture which opens March 1/18 in the Freiberger building on Arthur St.. That said most of the information in this posting is from a direct interview with a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Thrift Shop manager.

The three R's are Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. This concept is of course the Reuse one. Profits will go to the MCC for their charitable work both abroad as well as at home. Household goods and clothing are sold by the pound as are toys, tools, books etc.. They are open six days a week from 10 am.-6 pm. with possibly later hours on Thursdays and shorter hours on Saturday.

Staff are both local as well as transfers from other nearby MCC Thrift Shops. The initial idea for this store was the result of brainstorming between several MCC Thrift Shop managers. Excess donations and donations that do not sell at the time during normal sales floor rotations at the various Thrift Stores will be sent to the re Purpose Centre. Customers will be both the general public and possibly even other Thrift Shops or Bargain Shops buying in bulk if they are currently low on product.

Similar to the Thrift Shops, volunteers are always needed and greatly appreciated. Volunteers range from high school students to senior citizens and everything in between.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Two days ago I posted here that Lanxess's off-site pumping stinks. Today we are going to look at an article in the Woolwich Observer dated October 1, 2005. The title was "Crompton site remediation behind schedule". You guessed it , it's all about off-site pumping or the lack thereof. You know it's pretty bad when the polluter and his alleged regulator first sell a bill of goods to an unsuspecting public. That bill of goods was that hydraulic containment, otherwise known as pump and treat was the only appropriate method a) to stop the spread of contaminants from the Uniroyal site and b) also the only method to clean up the off-site Elmira Aquifers. What makes it worse however is when those in charge nickel and dime the already cheapest, least effective method possible. Finally above and beyond all that is when they lie, deceive and bafflegab the public throughout the process.

Wilf Ruland, hydrogeologist, advised CPAC in a September 23, 2005 letter that only one out of three pump and treat systems operated by Crompton was being utilized anywhere near its' full potential. Crompton and their spokesperson Jeff Merriman were of course all over this with their usual litany of excuses. According to Jeff "...ammonia levels in the wells have hindered pumping during the warm summer months.". "For certain times of the year, the creek is more sensitive to ammonia and that's in the warm summer months.".

Well I've just gone through my old pumping records from 1999 until 2009 and guess what? Yes there are some years where the pumping decreases during the summer months allegedly due to ammonia considerations. There are however just as many years where the pumping rates from October through to April are just as low as they are during the warmer summer months. It seems clear to me that this is but one more example of Crompton embracing a problem and then using it as an excuse to either reduce pumping rates to save a nickel or simply not to be in a hurry to fix whatever the newest problem might be such as burned out pumps, plumbing breakdowns etc..

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the obituary of Frank Rovers, the founder of the now world wide consulting firm Conestoga Rovers & Associates (CRA). That said CRA were bought out a couple of years back and are now known as GHD. GHD now represents Chemtura/Lanxess as CRA represented Uniroyal/Crompton and Chemtura.

The obituary speaks glowingly of Mr. Rovers and as well there are two current CPAC (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) members who knew him personally. Both of them worked for CRA decades ago. They described him this morning as a very interesting and driven individual.

The one and only time he showed up at a UPAC (Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee) meeting very early in the 1990s, I was absent. Years later Susan Bryant advised me that he had told UPAC that the Uniroyal site was filled with DNAPLS whether free phase or residual. Conveniently UPAC and later CPAC seemed to have great difficulty in remembering Frank's words. According to Susan, Frank's purpose was to suggest/advise that because of the quantity and wide dispersion of DNAPL; that rather than chase them down, hydraulic containment of the hence contaminated groundwater was the way to go. At the time that was the understanding and belief of academic experts as well who studied DNAPLS. We were disabused however at a January 2007 meeting at the University of Waterloo with Dr. John Cherry and Dr. Beth Parker. The we included Wilf Ruland , hydrogeologist, and Susan, Pat McLean and myself. Both Doctors advised that hydrogeologists had learned that removal, chemical breakdown or even encapsulation of DNAPLS was now recommended. Simply leaving them in the ground was far too dangerous and guaranteed decades to centuries of slow dissolution of the DNAPLS into the groundwater effectively contaminating it above drinking water standards for that time period and longer.

Again this meeting with two world preeminent DNAPL researchers went almost nowhere. Pat and Susan appeared intent on glasnost or rapprochement with Cromton/Chemtura and Wilf's continued part time work with CPAC was dependent as well upon his getting along with both Susan and Pat as well apparently with the Ministry of Environment and Crompton. I argued to no avail that a presentation needed to be made to CPAC about this meeting. Later that fall Pat and Susan started their backdoor campaign to remove me from CPAC. I do not believe the timing with the DNAPL revelations was coincidental.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


All the bragging! All the puffery! All the horse manure and lies out of Chemtura and now apparently Lanxess. We've had twenty years of lying and our stupid local politicians pretend that we are impatient or unreasonable. Or maybe that's the problem. Our politicians are stupid. They don't know the pumping numbers month by month or year by year since 1998. The twenty year anniversary of off-site (ie. the Elmira Aquifers versus pumping on the Chemtura/Lanxess site) pumping is this coming August.

The Target pumping rate for 1999 was 49.3 litres per second for all the off-site wells namely W3, W4, W5A/B and E7. Of course they only pumped an average of 34.2 litres per second that year. The Target rate increased quickly to 57 and 64.5 litres per second the next year. Of course they only pumped an average for the year of 45.3 litres per second. And so it has gone on since. The target rate goes up and down and in twenty years of pumping they've met their target rate annually all of four full years and for half of 2009. Now 2017 was their best year ever with an average of 61.8 litres per second pumped. I still have to work out the pumping Target for that year however 61.8 l/sec does not beat the highest Target rate of 64.5 l/sec which ran from 2003 until half way through 2009. But mind you they didn't make it in any of those years either.

Finally how good was their most recent month namely January 2018. Well they pumped 58 litres per second which on an annual basis is their fourth highest in the past twenty years. Therefore no one disputes that their pumping has been very consistent and steady the last three years. The problem is that it has been anything but for the large majority of the previous sixteen years. Then when we look at their promises it all falls apart. In November 2012 they promised us a tripling of the off-site pumping. Then Jeff Merriman on behalf of Chemtura downgraded that to a doubling of the pumping rates without a moment's hesitation, shame or explanation. And they aren't even close. Close would be in the vicinity of 150 litres per second for a tripling and at least 100 litres per second or more for a doubling. And all Chemtura/Lanxess's fellow travellors (M.O.E., consultants, politicians) allegedly don't understand why we say that the company's promises are bullshit and always will be bullshit.

Monday, February 19, 2018


The final list, after the February 16/18 deadline, is out. There are a total of eleven applicants for the Ward 1 council seat and those in the know suggest that the decision was made prior to the January 30 council meeting. It's even been suggested to me that either a council member or senior Woolwich staffer approached Julie-Anne prior to that Council meeting and induced her to apply. Obviously such a private approach if it occurred would be highly unethical and manipulative, however some of these Council members have the chops for that kind of behaviour.

The Woolwich Observer have endorsed Dr. Dan Holt for the vacancy as he was the runner-up in Ward 1 during the last election. They have also pointed out that council are opening themselves up to wide criticism if they pull a name out of a hat with no apparent rationale or reason that is in the public interest. Many of the eleven applicants are unknowns. This will likely assist council in choosing their favourite based more upon their self-interest than upon who is truly the best candidate. Obviously the 1,036 members of the public who voted for Dr. Holt in the last election felt he was the best choice. It takes a special kind of arrogance for three or four current council members to think that their wishes are more important or smarter than over a thousand citizens; but public life does that for many people.

Dr. Holt is clearly popular with citizens and just as clearly not popular with our current council, less Patrick Merlihan. Dr. Holt stood up to their undemocratic and bullying ways just under two years ago. This council are not the forgiving type. They were publicly chastised for how they treated Dr. Holt at a council meeting in 2016 regarding his registered Delegation to them and they want no part of any more principled citizens sitting with them on council. Their excuse when they choose Julie-Anne is that she's a former councillor who will get up to speed quickly. Nonsense and pathetic.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


This report is dated September 2016 and was produced by CMT Engineering Inc. from St. Clements, Ontario. Last summer here in the Advocate I had pointed that all six Boreholes had indicated "organics" in the Fill that is located just beneath the topsoil and above the native sands, gravels and clays. "Organics" usually refers to plants, vegetables and other foodstuffs. This would include compostable food items that people throw into their backyard composters. Obviously over time these foodstuffs break down and eventually become soil. Afterall this is the basic purpose of backyard composters.

Hence Fill containing well decomposed municipal garbage including paper and foodstuffs probably isn't a problem. Of course municipal wastes with plastics or other non-decomposable items aren't so great. The other problem is that the actual decomposition of foodstuffs produces methane gas and this is a significant problem in the Bolender Park landfill as it is explosive.

I have just reread the Geotechnical Investigation done by CMT Engineering Inc. Additional information is as follows. Soils intermixed with organics are not good load bearing soils. Thus on page 5 of the report they suggest that soils with Gravels in them "Should be inspected during construction to be free of organics and topsoil". All six Borehole Logs (Appendix A) also refer to decomposed plant fibres as being mixed in with the Fill. This Fill which essentially is non-native soil brought in literally to build up or elevate low lying areas also had pieces of asphalt in it at Borehole 4a. This indicates that municipal garbage has been dumped in Bolender Park in it's low lying areas to build it up out of the floodplain of the Canagagigue Creek.

I find it very unlikely that the Township paid for an outside contractor to bring in "clean fill" to build up the Bolender Park prior to turning it into a Park. It was all private land owned by Cecil Bolender who also owned the adjacent land to the north which he leased to the Township to be used as a municipal/industrial landfill. The clean fill was much more likely to be relatively clean municipal wastes brought from next door to raise the elevation of the future parkland. Mr. Bolender eventually gave the southern part of his property to the Township to be turned into a park and named after him. The northern part encompassing the greatest amount of municipal and industrial garbage he sold to Chris Paleshi who ran a garage and auto wrecking yard on the western part of it.

Friday, February 16, 2018


Yesterday's Woolwich Observer carries the following story titled "Telling the story of Elmira's contaminated water crisis". It is about a new Documentary by Videographers Bonita Wagler and Michael Heitmann. This Documentary has been in process for close to five years and has entailed ongoing interviews and attendance at public CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) meetings as well as RAC and TAG meetings (Remediation Advisory Committee & Technical Advisory Group). Michael and Bonita have worked very hard to give all stakeholders input into their Documentary unlike Chemtura (Lanxess), the Ministry of Environment and Woolwich Council; all who have made that claim while discriminating against the current CPAC membership including myself.

Allegedly Lanxess are upset with footage from interviews done with their now retired employee, Jeff Merriman. Jeff was the spokesperson for Crompton, Chemtura and Lanxess for decades. As typical he presented in the Documentary a very positive view of his employers over the entire time period. In fact I find it difficult to believe that Jeff is their problem. My suspicion is that they just don't like the fact that all the other stakeholders also get to speak in this Documentary, including those with little love for the company.

This has been the history of this company from day one. They intentionally, wilfully and negligently dumped hazardous wastes into and around the Canagagigue Creek for decades and they did it to save expenses on proper toxic waste treatment. But that wasn't good enough. When the obviously predictable results ensued, then they wanted to be treated with deference and respect because afterall they have money and its' accompanying status and power. Twice they abandoned publicly meeting with CPAC because the Woolwich citizens involved had the temerity to criticize their environmental behaviour or lack thereof.

The history of this company and the harm they have done environmentally can never be fully undone. Unhealthy and in fact lethal air, soil, ground and surface water damage is their legacy. Wildlife and human beings have suffered and died simply to enhance their profits. As far as I'm concerned, Uniroyal and their descendants can go to hell.

Thursday, February 15, 2018


The amazing thing is these problems were discussed in 2005. It was another seven to nine years before CPAC under Dr. Dan Holt blew both issues wide open. We now know thanks to Dr. Gail Krantzberg, Peter Gray (MTE), myself and the rest of CPAC at that time that the 2028 cleanup deadline for the Elmira Aquifers will not happen and that contaminants have been diverted eastwards and southwards where they eventually flow back into the Canagagigue Creek.

In the June 3, 2005 Elmira Independent issue, Dr. Henry Regier took Crompton and Conestoga Rovers to task for their "North-east Groundwater Surface water Interaction and Assessment Report". Henry stated "My bottom line is, I don't find much useful information in this report...". He further added "It was done in such a way as not to find something". At that time we had no idea of the existence of the Stroh Drain just to the east nor did we know of the possibility of an Interceptor Trench or pipeline carrying contaminated Uniroyal/Crompton groundwater eastwards and southwards. In 2005 we did know however that the gross contamination on the east side had to be going somewhere.

In the July 13, 2005 K-W Record we were advised that "Agent Orange victims launch suit". This was in regards to Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick. At the moment I expect that this suit is still before the courts based upon their inability to do anything in a timely manner. Orperhaps there has been a settlement.

The October 1, 2005 Woolwich Observer advised us that "Crompton site remediation behind schedule". Wilf Ruland expressed his grave concern with the failure of Crompton to keep the off-asite pumping wells going at their full target rates over the long term. Of course jeff merriman gave the excuse that ammonia in the groundwater was holding their pumping back as it couldn't be treated and was harmful to discharge into the creek. Funny how he "forgot" that their consultants CRA had minimized the ammonia problems and assured everybody that a little polishing in the Region of Waterloo Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant for a couple of years would handle the problem. As usual CRA were talking through their hats.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Crompton under the direction of their new General Manager Ron Lackner announced the upcoming removal and excavation of parts of their highly contaminated south-west creek banks as well as part of the island located there. This was intended to reduce erosion of soils contaminated with Dioxins and DDT from moving downstream. These compounds had been deposited along the creekbanks and the island via groundwater grossly contaminated with solvents and hence capable of transporting these hydrophobic compounds.

Dr. Henry Regier departed from APT Environment and joined the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team in 2005. While he was welcomed within the EH-Team by Richard Clausi and myself, I did have concerns regarding "poaching" him from APTE. I phoned Susan Bryant and to my astonishment Susan had absolutely zero concerns with his departure from APTE and in fact welcomed his joining the EH-Team. It took me many years to finally figure that one out.

During this year (2005) we had a meeting of the Soil & Water Sub-Committee of CPAC at Dr. Regier's home. At that time the members were Fred Hager, Henry , myself and Susan Bryant. Somewhat slightly to our surprise Susan showed up with the CPAC Chair Pat McLean. No big deal however unusual as Pat was way out of her league and comfort level. During the discussion I commented in general that we all had to a certain extent been co-opted by the process and were tacitly accepting the snail like "progress" and other bureaucratic behaviours exhibited by both Crompton and the Ontario Ministry of Environment. To the astonishment of Fred, Henry and I, Susan went ballistic! I made it clear that my comments were for everyone, myself included, and that it was almost an inevitable consequence of sitting down with the polluter and regulators on their terms and dealing with them. Susan was not to be mollified and stormed out. Five minutes later, after giving the rest of us a lecture, so did Pat . Fred, Henry and I were astounded for a second time. Again it was to be years later before I figured out exactly what was afoot.

There was a public meeting at Lions Hall on March 23, 2005 to discuss the causes of the June 11, 2004 major fire at Crompton. We were advised that the causes were unknown. Well! Hindsight being 20/20 I wonder if the presence of methane from the on-site, south-west corner, former municipal landfill namely M2 could have been either the cause or an aggravating factor.

On July 19, 2006 there was yet another fire and explosion in the Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO).

In August 2006 I wrote an absolutely devastating DNAPL critique which hammered CRA and Crompton for studiously avoiding all the DNAPL evidence and scientific knowledge available while constantly minimizing the presence of either residual or free phase DNAPL on their site. To this day that critique has never been given the attention it deserves. In fact again in hindsight I expect that it was a major cause of the behaviour of Pat and Susan the following year to have me extricated from CPAC. By that time Henry had resigned from CPAC due to hearing issues leaving me with one less trusted supporter on the committee. At that time when it came to politics I was as much out of my depth as Pat was and is with groundwater and or any technical issues surrounding it.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Tonite's Council meeting will discuss a Council Vacancy Policy produced by the Township Clerk, Val Hummel. Essentially this Council owns Val as they could have and maybe should have fired her three years ago for not doing her legislated duties in regards to the Municipal Elections Act (MEA). Councillor Mark Bauman in particular should have had the riot act read to him by both Val and her predecessor, Christine Broughton. Mark had repeatedly contravened the MEA by not, post election, filing Election Financial Statements with the Clerk and for public display. This of course is one more major weakness in provincial legislation in that it assumes that the Municipal Clerk, who is hired and can be fired by the CAO of the Municipality, is somehow independent and owes a duty to provincial legislation even when it is in direct conflict with her duty of loyalty to her employers, the Municipality.

On the first page of the Council Vacancy Policy we see Val hiding behind the Vacancy Policies of other communities such as Barrie, Vaughn and South-Oxford. Similarly the Ontario Municipal Act 2001 was quoted at the last Council meeting as the authority for Council not simply appointing the first runner-up in Ward 1 to the Council seat vacated by Ward 1 Councillor Scott Hahn. Again this provincial legislation is inadequate in allowing self-serving councils to have complete authority and discretion to literally appoint anybody they want. The legislation is wide open in that runner-ups can be appointed as can citizens applying for the vacancy or believe it or not, Councils supposedly reaching out at random to any citizen they wish, and giving them the nod without any alleged input from them. Essentially this section of the Municipal Act is an inappropriate and undemocratic gift to any Councils who want their friends, buddies or fellow travellors on Council with them. This is a bone and a perk from the higher tier of government to the lower.

Woolwich Council sincerely thank the province of Ontario for this perk. Now they can hide behind other self-serving politicians further up the food chain, in order to avoid the embarrassment of having to appoint the runner-up, Dr. Dan Holt, to Council. Dr. Holt via Council's own stupidity (see last Thursday's Advocate posting) publicly humiliated this Council two years ago when they attempted to stifle democracy and deny citizens right to attend Council and speak to them as Delegates. Sandy Shantz actually went so far as to suggest that Council was not a "soapbox.". Lynne Hare in her Delegation two weeks later assured Sandy that in fact it was a soapbox for citizens to address their concerns and complaints directly to Council.

Monday, February 12, 2018


The herbicides mentioned in the title and in Table 1. refers to the major herbicides used in Vietnam namely 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T and its' contaminant 2,3,7,8-TCDD ie. Dioxin, cacodylic acid and picloram. This Table and the background information came from a good friend and environmental colleague now living in Guelph. The following health outcomes are described as having "Sufficient Evidence of an Association".

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Soft-tissue sarcome

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Hodgkin's disease


We then have "Limited or Suggestive Evidence of an Association" namely:

Respiratory cancer (lung & brochus, larnyx, and trachea)

Prostate cancer

Multiple myeloma

Acute and subacute transient peripheral neuropathy (ie. tingling, numbness etc. in the hands & feet)

Porphyria cutanea tarda (no idea what that is)

Type 2 diabetes

Spina bifida in the children of veterans

There are numerous other suspected health outcomes although they are referred to as "Inadequate or Insufficient Evidence to Determine Whether an Association Exists".

Keep in mind that these health outcomes are in regards to Herbicides used in Vietnam during the war between the U.S. and Vietnam. Currently the U.S. and Canada are involved in remediation efforts along with Hatfield Consultants for the purpose of removing still toxic Agent Orange and Dioxins.

Saturday, February 10, 2018


Last Monday here in the Advocate I posted that there had been some good news from Woolwich Township regarding efforts and actions in response to my five Delegations to Council last fall. I had immediately responded with a thank you to the individual responsible for sending the news along to me. I also advised that I would receive a copy of a Staff Report which is a response to my list of 40 questions given to Woolwich staff, Council and as well a copy to the ministry of Environment last mid November. This staff report is to be supplied to me a week before Council discusses it at the March 6, 2018 Council meeting.

The good news I received was that work was being undertaken in regards to the Bolender Park landfill. I was concerned because I knew that there was a stalemate going on as far as either monitoring current gas probes on the #86 Auto Recycling property or as far as constructing a new passive gas collection system on the site. My hope was that the work underway might be in regards to putting many new probes off the #86 Auto recycling site but around the approximate perimeter of the Landfill and or either doing test pits again off the #86 Auto Recycling site either southwards into the Bolender Park itself or possibly eastwards in and around the homes on High St..

Well despite my quick thanks for the e-mail I received, a more detailed examination was disturbing. Three of the five items staff are working on essentially stated that staff are continuing to work with 86 Auto to obtain either access or permission to the site. Items four and five start with "We plan to install a probe...". These two probes are 1) just north of the Landfill near Elmira Pet Products and 2) just south of the #86 Auto Recycling property within Bolender Park itself. So in other words no actual physical work in and around the Bolender Park Landfill has started yet. Make no mistake however in that I applaud the decision to look both north and south of the Landfill as I have strongly suggested. My only question is as you don't need any permission from anyone to install these probes, then what have you been waiting for? You literally had months prior to frost getting into the ground last December when this could have been done.

Hence the March 6 Staff report will allegedly be answers to "some" of my questions. After this many months there is no reason except embarrassment and hopefully shame that all of my questions couldn't be answered straightforwardly and honestly.

Friday, February 9, 2018


It's almost as if they are so set in their bad habits that even when they know they're going to get hammered, they just can't help themselves. Yesterday's Woolwich Observer has the following title for their Editorial namely "Vacancy gambit means council has to deliver". Gambit it most certainly is. The Application process is straightforward however the selection process is not. In fact the Observer's Editorial states that if the selection process is "based on some perceived notion of harmony" that that is neither ideal nor should it even be considered.

The whole idea of an Application process is muddleheaded. The quickest and most obviously democratic method was to have appointed the first place runner-up in Ward 1 in the last election namely Dr. Dan Holt. This new plan by Council "...means that five councillors will select a new colleague rather than the people of Elmira, 1036 of whom chose Holt in 2014.".

The Observer correctly states that appointing anybody else will lead to charges of bias, self-serving decisions or simple pettiness. I vote for all three of those. Dr. Holt put this council firmly in their place during March and April 2016. They attempted to harass and discriminate against him by frivolously and arrogantly refusing to let him speak as a registered Delegate to council. He with grace, logic and humour managed to get them to temporarily back down and allow him to speak. Then at the next Council meeting, as described in yesterday's posting, he, myself and Lynne Hare ripped this Council to shreds for their disgusting and bullying behaviour. They ran for cover and backed down from their undemocratic and nasty behaviour. Now they as usual are hiding their bad motives behind process and will pick a candidate who suits their purposes. At the moment all bets are on the dumbest, least competent and most malleable person they can find.

The Observer's Editorial suggests that Council can still do the right thing and appoint Dr. Holt. Of course they can just as they could have done it a week and a half ago. Clearly however appointing the best, the brightest and the strongest citizen to Council does not suit their agenda.

The text below this cartoon in yesterday's Woolwich Observer (Scott Arnold 2018) is as follows:

"First there was Big Brother Canada. Now the finest in reality TV comes to Woolwich in the selection of a new member of the household..."

Thursday, February 8, 2018


It was less than two years ago that Woolwich Council badly miscalculated. My first question is did they do it on the advice of their CAO, David Brenneman? If so I'm surprised that he hasn't left the ship by now. During March and April 2016 they suffered the wrath, indignation and contempt of the local Waterloo Region media and likely more.

It may have started in August 2015. That is when Council got up and walked out on my Delegation to them. They firstly kept interrupting my Delegation with petty complaints about its' content then they got up and walked out. Not coincidentally they had been on the receiving end of a lot of bad publicity already what with Mark Bauman, Sandy Shantz and Scott Hahn all publicly embarrassed over their failures to produce accurate election financial statements as required by law. Then they also got hit with an embarrassing slap on the wrist from the provincial Ombudsman because they'd been holding iiegal closed (in camera) Council meetings.

They were still on the prod when Dr. Dan Holt came to Council the following March to thank them for putting warning signs, not to eat the fish, along the Canagagigue Creek. Council looked like complete idiots after Dr. Holt asked why they refused to let him speak and they sputtered and hemmed and hawed and made noises about he should go to an environmental committee of Council rather than to Council. They were grasping at straws at best and it showed. Then when they relented and he publicly thanked them for taking the initiative with their signs along the creek, well you could have heard a pin drop. Committed to turning their disgraceful behaviour into a complete public fiasco they then passed a Motion stating that in future all proposed Delegates to Council first had to go through the appropriate Council appointed committee.

CKCO-TV, 570 News Radio, the Woolwich Observer, and the Waterloo Region Record just jumped all over Woolwich Council. News stories, Opinion pieces and Letters To The Editor took turns condemning Woolwich Council and their obvious attempts at both censoring citizens and for discriminating against local environmental activists. Dr. Holt, myself and Lynne Hare all spoke at the next Council meeting and we roundly blasted them for their ham fisted attempts to silence both free speech and critics of their decisions.

Lynne Hare lectured Council about democracy and free speech. Contrary to Sandy Shantz's comment that Council is not a soapbox, Lynne advised her and Council that yes Council Chambers are a soapbox for concerned citizens to bring their issues to Council. The Woolwich Observer had a wonderful cartoon showing a skunk letting loose in Council Chambers with the comment that "Like we couldn't see that coming". Local newspapers used words like "cringeworthy spectacle, censoring and gagging the public".

Deceitful to the end, Council then tried to wiggle their way out of both their behaviour and the Motion they had passed at the previous meeting. Mark Bauman suggested that they had slightly amended the Motion to now state that Delegates would be given the option to go to committees first, but if they wanted they could come directly to Council. Even in defeat Woolwich Council were more interested in face saving than in doing the right thing. Councillor Murray Martin, always the class act, stole the show with his petty, vindictive comment referring to environmental activists as "those people" and "people like that". At least most of Council knew when they had publicly made fools of themselves. Once again Council showed that their Rules of Conduct, Procedural By-Laws and the like are meant to only control the public. They feel that they are exempt from their very own rules of decency and respectful behaviour.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


I don't think it's even private consultation. I expect to get a fuller update this weekend from a TAG source in regards to what may or may not be going on behind the scenes. Regardless public consultation means exactly what the two words indicate. Public does not equate with Sandy Shantz's personal friends or colleagues on TAG (Technical Advisory Group). It means everybody. Here are the most recent public meetings:

July 20, 2017 TAG meeting

September 7, 2017 RAC meeting (Remediation Advisory Committee)

December 7, 2017 TAG meeting

The next meetings aren't scheduled until March 15, 2018 for TAG and a week later on March 22, 2018 for RAC. CPAC meetings were scheduled monthly throughout the year except usually not in July or August. At least ten meetings a year and the meetings were lengthy because there was a lot on the Agendas over the course of month to month.

We were advised that TAG would meet 6-8 times per year. That was inadequate on it's own but three meetings over eight months is ridiculous. Similarly we were advised that RAC would meet four times per year which it did for the first two years namely every September, December, March and June. Now it's meeting every six months for only twice a year. This is Chemtura/Lanxess's hidden Agenda and yes Sandy it is a conspiracy when you make private deals with polluting industries and then lie to the public about it.

Both Chemtura (Uniroyal) and the Ontario Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.) were desperate to get out of the CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) spotlight that ran from 2011 until September 2015. CPAC honestly and accurately, publicly outed those two bodies and proved that they were dishonest, ineffective and incompetent. They turned to our local politicians for help and cover and if only our local Council were a tenth as effective in pushing for a cleanup here in Elmira as they are at delaying, obfuscating and providing cover for self-serving, polluting industries .

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


Those are the two most guilty and blameworthy bodies for the local mess here in Waterloo Region according to Kelly Donovan in her book "Systemic Misfeasance in Ontario Policing and the Coordinated Suppresion of Whistleblowers". Clearly throughout the rest of Ontario the local Police Service Boards in conjunction with this provincial Ministry are at fault. Basically uninformed, out to pasture former and current local politicians combined with status quo provincial appointees are a huge problem. Do not forget these names: Ken Seiling Regional Chairman, Tom Galloway Regional Councillor & Police Services Board Chair and Karl Kiefer Regional Councillor. Those three are all members of the Police Services Board. Former Regional Councillor Jim Wideman was as well. Our regional council also appoints one of the other members of the Board along with three additional provincial appointees.

My comment on status quo provincial civilian appointees may be by provincial intent or may be by inexperience. If your a new member of the Board you are extremely unlikely to rock the boat until after you've gotten some experience and varied input from more than just the vested interests all around you. The lack of training given these individuals as to the relevant legislation and their duties and responsibilities essentially guarantees that they won't be confronting even obvious problems. It certainly appears that this lack of training is intentional. It's all about power and control and I would suggest from the choice of Chair to the regional council having control over four out of seven appointees; it's clear who are in charge. Again it is this Board who allegedly choose the Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs. This is supposed to be part of the civilian control over our Police Services. What is apparent from both the class action lawsuit and the book by Kelly Donovan, this civilian "control" is a sham. Through knowledge, financial and legal power, manipulation and intimidation, the Waterloo Regional Police Service are and have been in charge of the Police Services Board for a very long time. Apparently with the full knowledge and support of our Regional Council.

Ask yourselves this. When was the last time you saw an announcement in your local newspaper advising you when and where the next PUBLIC meeting of the Waterloo Regional Police Services Board was occurring? Exactly! Here in Woolwich Township, despite the long sham of honest public consultation around the Uniroyal now Lanxess property and environmental degradation; we still have these PUBLIC meetings announced in our local paper. NEVER does our local Police Services Board do so. They and Regional Council prefer out of sight and out of mind in order to avoid informing citizens as to what is and is not going on.

Monday, February 5, 2018


I received some good news late last week regarding the Bolender Park Landfill here in Elmira. I had submitted 40 well thought out questions to Council, staff, and the Ministry of Environment in mid November 2017. It took far too long for me to even receive so much as an acknowledgement that Council had received the questions however with a gentle nudge they finally did. A couple of the questions regarding the role and input of Brian Shantz in regards to the Gas Collection System were answered by Sandy as well as her advising me that "many" of the questions I had asked had already been answered and given to the owner of #86 Auto Recyling (former Paleshi's Garage ). If that was the case it seemed to me that they should have had a pretty easy time then answering the remaining questions and getting them all back to me. Apparently not as I'm still waiting.

Regardless on Friday I was advised that a Report would be going to Council on February 26 dealing with my Bolender Park Landfill questions. Later I was advised that the following Tuesday March 6/18 was a more likely date. I was further promised that I would receive the report a week in advance in order to study it and prepare a Delegation to Council on March 6/18. There were also some suggestions made regarding some ongoing work being done around the landfill. As I was aware that the Township and the current property owner were at loggerheads I had figured that work on his property was unlikely until an agreement had been reached. While in my opinion response and further work have been moving at barely glacial speed, nevertheless any progress is something.

I am still hoping that there will be honest answers finally given whether by staff, their consultants or even the Ministry of Environment that put this whole issue of explosive methane levels in a better light. To date everything I have read has given the appearance of a very badly run operation that has not been handled with the diligence and professionalism it deserves. Perhaps the upcoming answers to my questions will put the actions taken over the last thirty-four years in a better light. We will see.

Saturday, February 3, 2018


I am very disappointed in the opinion piece by Peter Shawn Taylor in last Thursday's Waterloo Region Record titled "Police deserve their day in court". In his sub-title he suggests that comments made about the class action lawsuit are "disconcerting". Indeed they are as in very disconcerting. I would take less umbrage with his opinion article if his tone and bias was a little less evident. He suggests that the police deserve their day in court as if that is a positive to allow them to explain themselves. Based upon my life experiences and knowledge of past history of both gender discrimination and police behaviour and attitudes; I suggest that indeed the police deserve their day in court as in I hope they get their asses hauled into court and have to "explain" why they've either broken provincial laws on these matters or turned a blind eye to them for decades. Yes I believe the allegations in both the lawsuits and the recent Affidavits and I and others need not apologize for that. Our Regional Police just like our school board (WRDSB) literally have millions of dollars of taxpayers' money per year to play with and that is exactly what they do as they attack legitimate concerns and complaints of parents, local residents and citizens. They do this with lawyers, lawsuits and courts constantly. In other words stop feeling sorry for the bullies. At long last they're on the defensive and it's about time.

Mr. Taylor exaggerates. "As soon as the allegations are made, the case is closed.". No it's not. There will hopefully be some kind of opportunity for Patrick Brown for example to fully respond to the allegations against him. Many people like myself, a non-Conservative, understand that those allegations are anonymous and do not have the weight of an identifiable person stepping forward and signing their name to a written Affidavit or Civil Lawsuit as six current or former police officers have done. Yes I will agree with Mr. Taylor that in the Patrick Brown case he has been already punished. Especially with anonymous allegations, that is unacceptable.

Mr. Taylor suggests that we must vigorously resist any attempt to impose mob-based tactics on our court system. Really? O.K. I might agree in principle with that statement however I see virtually no attempt to do so by anybody. Secondly do you think our courts are so damned good in the first place that they don't need a serious good kick in the ass? Justice! Horseshit, it's all about money. Who's got it and is most willing to spend it greatly determines the outcome especially in civil law. Who can buy the most experts. Who can buy the best lawyers. Who can buy the best private investigators. And on and on.

James Bennett. Please. He promised that "...the truth will be properly revealed under cross-examination in coming months.". Well that's almost certainly horse manure. Little or nothing of the truth will be revealed either by the courts or by cross-examination in the near future. This is our judicial system of which he's been sucking at the teats of for decades. Every additional court appearance, delay, rescheduling, motion etc. are all money in the bank for him and his fellow lawyers. NOBODY within the judicial system has any incentive to get the lead out and get on with cases. Delay is usually the name of the game by one party or the other if not both.

Mr. Taylor then suggests that the Sexual Violence Task Force want the regional police to pay out $167 million immediately because "getting to the truth might have "negative impacts"" on women and girls. Such trollop Mr. Taylor. The negative impacts are in response to the words of Mr. James Bennett, lawyer for the Waterloo Region Police Services Board and presumably the union (?) as well. Mr. Bennett has publicly called the victims of systemic gender harassment and abuse, liars. Well puck you Mr. Bennett. You sir are in absolutely no position to be calling other people liars. Those words of yours are what could cause "negative impacts", not the truth.

Then finally Mr. Taylor, to his shame, hints that this lawsuit is all about female police officers looking at a possible $167 million payday. Let's see exactly how long and how well you would last in a hostile and toxic work environment. I and others have done it for years and decades. Sitting behind your typewriter/word processor wordsmithing articles; I expect that you have not, probably ever. Instead of blaming the victims try empathizing with them, rather than with the perpetrators.

Friday, February 2, 2018


Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following story under Luisa D'Amato's banner titled "In Woolwich, a vacant council seat exposes bitter divisions". Luisa states that the Woolwich Council decision last Tuesday to invite applications from the public "...shuts out the more democratic alternative of simply appointing the runner-up in the 2014 election, Dan Holt.". Dr. Dan Holt is an environmentalist who along with myself occasionally speaks at local schools to children about environmental issues here in Elmira. He is a retired professor and past Chair of the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee now known as the Citizens Public Advisory Committee (CPAC).

References are made to both the toxic mess and breathtakingly slow cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers poisoned by Uniroyal Chemical (now Lanxess). References in Luisa's article also point out the history of phony and incompetent election financing statements submitted, or sadly illegally not, by half of Woolwich Council at the end of the last election.

Sandy Shantz who in my opinion is holding the mayor's chair illegally due to her violation of Superior Court Justice David Broad's conditional reinstatement; claims that there isn't much time to get a new person up to speed what with the alleged "steep learning curve". Dr. Holt dryly responds "I don't think the learning curve is that steep. I do have a PhD.".

The very sad reality is that most of Woolwich Council prefer a yes man or woman whom they can lead by the nose for at least the rest of this term.

Thursday, February 1, 2018


Today's Woolwich Observer carries the following front page story titled "Woolwich opts for open application process to fill vacant Ward 1 seat". At first read I was a little disappointed as it appeared to me that the Observer (Steve Kannon) were not taking a strong stand in regards to Council's choosing to ignore the best, easiest, quickest and least expensive route to fill the vacancy on Council occasioned by Scott Hahn's departure. I almost said sudden departure however in hindsight and with further thought I wonder if he was intended right from the start to be nothing but a seat filler who with his youth and inexperience would simply follow the lead of the long term councillors.

After a second read through I did notice the significance however of a number of items. Firstly was Dr. Dan Holt's quote namely " would be saying that your five votes are worth more than over a thousand votes from the electorate", he told councillors. That is in reference to the 1,036 votes he received as the third place finisher in Ward 1 after Scott and Patrick Merlihan. Secondly were the words in a later interview of fourth place finisher Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach. Sebastian is a man of integrity and he made it clear that he would not apply to Council, as the seat should go to the first runner-up in the last election, namely Dr. Holt. Lastly is the headline at the top of the Observer article on page 2 namely: "Three council members bypass 2014 election results". This headline is exactly what happened and is also fairly matter of fact. Is the Woolwich Observer (or Steve) making a point here with this headline? I would like to think so.

Council are now succeeding in spending more time and money than necessary and one must conclude that it is for the ignoble purpose of ensuring that they and they alone, not the voters, are in complete charge of whom will replace Scott on Council. If I thought for one second that most of them truly wanted a superior candidate of knowledge and integrity then I would be less concerned. Their history however suggests that they want a cheerleader, a co-opted fellow travellor who will drink the Kool-Aid along with them.