Monday, March 26, 2018


The provincial government, in our case, Ontario has all the authority over municipalities throughout Ontario. Municipal governments have the authority to levy taxes and are responsible for a number of duties such as providing local infrastructure namely power, water, sewage, garbage pickup etc.. That said the provincial government has the overall total authority even to the point of stepping in if deemed necessary to take over or substitute for a municipal government deemed incompetent or negligent. That said I expect it would require some incredibly ridiculous and egregious behaviour, caught redhanded, for the province ever to do that. Afterall there have been just such behaviours of municipalities in the past that have not occasioned such a stepping in. Think Walkerton and Elmira in 2000 and 1989 respectively.

Also keep in mind that it is upper tier governments such as provincial and federal who have the big bucks necessary for major infrastructure grants to local governments. Think the K-W Expressway, the still ongoing LRT development, the highway widening of #7 to Guelph (some day), Toronto subway system etc.. Therefore if municipalities were to get just a little to "proactive" for their citizens or a little too critical of a provincial ministry doing a terrible job locally (think Ontario Ministry of Environment), many of those expected, long awaited for grants could disappear until the municipality has an attitude adjustment or in the alternative a different council elected.

This is precisely why municipal governments are not keen to confront provincial ministries operating badly in the municipalities backyards. This is why Woolwich Councils historically would rather kiss the M.O.E.'s butt then confront the province over the M.O.E.'s ongoing failures regarding the likes of Varnicolor Chemical and Uniroyal (lanxess).

One blatant example and indeed admission of provincial meddling occurred on October 30, 2014. A provincial M.O.E. officer while under the influence of pain killers publicly admitted that the Ontario Ministry of the Environment were in the process of disciplining a volunteer citizens' committee appointed by the municipality ie. Woolwich Council. The citizens' committee, CPAC, were being disciplined by senior M.O.E. staff for refusing to obey the dictums of one George Karlos (among others?) of the M.O.E.. It seems that George didn't like one Alan Marshall (moi) and his Blog the Elmira Advocate which you are currently reading.

The specifics of this "discipline" were not given but in hindsight it's perfectly clear. The M.O.E. and the province of Ontario advised the new, incoming Council to get rid of me and CPAC. No ifs, ands or buts. Just do it or else. Well the incoming spineless mayor did just that. Of course it was necessary for her to manufacture a crisis, lie like a dog, manipulate the facts and collude with both the M.O.E. and Chemtura Canada but isn't that exactly what politicians are supposed to do for their powerful community stakeholders?

This was neither the first nor last meddling in local environmental affairs that the Ontario M.O.E. or likely other provincial ministries have done in order to exert and consolidate their power and influence. For further details on this particular event please feel free to go into my Archives here and read the posting of Friday, October 31, 2014.

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