Friday, November 30, 2018


We had a grand total of twelve people present at the Technical Advisory Group meeting. That would include six TAG members and Chair, the Township's Support Specialist Lisa, and then five people in the audience. One was a spouse of a TAG member, two were Documentary filmmakers who both appeared in a Waterloo Region Record story yesterday describing Lanxess's attempts to sabotage their Documentary on Elmira's Water Crisis and finally two current members of CPAC.

Both chair Tiffany Svensson and CPAC and TAG member Dr. Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach mentioned that to date Lanxess and GHD, have not responded appropriately to concerns regarding the "Gap" area along the Lanxess/Stroh border. Sebastian also pointed out that GHD's responses and comments regarding off-site groundwater contamination issues are all focused on groundwater in the northern half of the eastern border. The guilty parties are studiously avoiding both the "Gap" and the Stroh Drain and how this man made Drain diverts both surface and groundwater eastwards and southwards eventually discharging into the Canagagigue Creek further downstream.

That said the Ontario MOE (MECP) have advised Lanxess in writing that they are not satisfied with their east side groundwater investigation to date. The MOE are recommending a Supplemental groundwater investigation because the swales and drainage ditch influence have not been properly investigated. We are advised that a final report on the Creek is due on the Fourteenth of December which really gives GHD no time to improve it through more investigation.

Susan Bryant asked Ms. Svensson about money being made available to TAG to get professional assistance regarding the threatened upcoming Risk Assessment. Ms. Svensson suggests that the Township are fine with TAG getting technical support. The problem I see is throwing good money at a proven bad idea, namely Site Specific Risk Assessment (SSRA).

TAG discussed some hypothetical upcoming Application Process for new TAG members. With Sandy as mayor and Lanxess happy with barely meeting the public (two or three citizens only), three to four times a year, don't count on any significant changes. Also the so called changes in the Terms of Reference will be given lip service only as all the other Terms of Reference for UPAC and CPAC have been over a period of decades. They are a joke and simply a make work project for Township staff to give the appearance of updating/improving public consultation.

TAG members provided updates on the September and October Lanxess Progress Reports as well as GHD responses to the MOE in regards to the groundwater report and last year's Annual Monitoring Report.

Sebastian teed me up for some interesting clarifications and comments. These included the complete lack of work being done as promised this fall on excavating small quantities of contaminated soil on the Stroh farm, along the Lanxess property line. Sebastian also asked me about the decades old and never ending comments in the Monthly Progress Reports to the effect that there are no new developments in remediating the former lagoons/ponds in Lanxess's south-west corner namely the RPW (retention ponds west) ponds. I advised that DNAPLS had gone through the bottom of the ponds decades ago and were still there happily, slowly dissolving for decades more into the on-site groundwater. I also clarified that ten chemicals during September and October of this year have higher concentrations at the upstream end of Lanxess than the downstream end. Likely the Bolender Park Landfill combined possibly with bank erosion, as suggested by Vivienne Delaney, is responsible.

Chair Ms. Svensson was uncomfortable with my input which in most honest public consultation venues would be bizarre. RAC/TAG and Lanxess however are not honest public consultation venues. This is not the fault of Chair Svensson as she was hired by mayor Shantz and is taking her direction from that woefully uninformed and biased individual who seems to be taking her direction from Lanxess Canada with a side order of MOE sour grapes thrown into the mix.

Thursday, November 29, 2018


Bullshit Alert!!!!!!! Lanxess Canada (part of Bayer) who bought out Chemtura Canada in 2017 will not give approval for release of film footage involving former long time employee (ie. decades) Jeff Merriman. Mr. Merriman up until his retirement was the manager of environmental remediation for Chemtura Corp. and Crompton Co. before it. His decades of work on the Uniroyal site, where I believe he also worked, was as a professional, credentialed card carrying apologist for his employers. Lanxess is denying approval for the release of film footage of Mr. Merriman speaking to two filmmakers on the Chemtura property in regards to long overdue cleanup of the site, the Canagagigue Creek and the Elmira aquifers. Lanxess claim, according to a story in today's Waterloo Region Record, that Mr. Merriman's
interview is not relevant "because he is no longer an employee of the company." Bullshit! He was the face and the voice of the company, including at the time of filming, for close to twenty-five years.

The article in today's Record is titled "Elmira water Documentaries in limbo." I personally have seen both Documentaries, Bonita's as well as Michael's. They are both very good possibly bordering on excellent. My preference was for the longer one at the time although with recent edits I do not know. Local illuminaries such as recently, thank God, retired Ken Seiling and pretend mayor Sandy Shantz are included with speaking parts. More importantly are numerous local citizens who generally know what they are talking about unlike the two politicians. CPAC (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) members are in the film including Dr. Dan Holt, Vivienne Delaney, Dr. Sebastian Seibel Achenbach, Rich Clausi I believe and myself. Maybe Graham Chevreau and Ron Campbell as well although I'm not sure. Dr. Richard Jackson, former TAG (Technical Advisory Group) Chair was also interviewed.

It is disgusting and shameful that Lanxess Canada are unwilling to give the O.K. for the use of interviews of Jeff Merriman who vigorously and sometimes less than scrupulously honestly defended the often indefensible position of his employers. Say what you will about Jeff he was a good and loyal employee and that comes through clearly in these documentaries.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


REMINDER: Tomorrow evening at 6:30 pm. the Technical Advisory Group meets in the Dodie Hummel room immediately beside Woolwich Council Chambers. Discussions will include the Groundwater study done on the Stroh property to the immediate east of Chemtura/Lanxess. As of the July 13, 2018 critique by the MOE (MECP) there are a number of concerns including a lack of monitoring wells , a lack of coordinated monitoring (ie. on & off site simultaneously) and a lack of determination of effects of the contaminated groundwater (NDMA, multiple chlorophenols) upon receptors whether human or otherwise. For me this also includes the effects of contaminated groundwater upon life in the Stroh Drain which is the surface water receptor of much of this groundwater.

Discussions will also include the Off-Site East Side Investigation by GHD on behalf of Lanxess. To date it has at best been superficial. All attempts possible have been made to properly avoid soil sampling in the "Gap" area despite both myself, CPAC and TAG members all requesting it be done. It is very likely that this area as well as the downgradient Stroh Drain are DDT and Dioxin/Furan "sinks" (ie. those Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) have collected there and slowly migrate during flood or heavy rain events).

The East Side Interceptor Trench was brought to both TAG and RAC's attention back in September of this year. At the moment I do not see it on the Agenda. This potential criminal negligence issue needs to be properly addressed now and a long time ago.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Technical Experts Meeting - definition- "a clever way to exclude the general public, the informed public, and to cheaply reimburse Lanxess's friends and allies for favours rendered and behaviour acceptable to the multi convicted, truth challenged polluter"

There was a "Technical Experts Meeting" on September 5, 2018.The meeting was to further discuss the results of the raw data obtained from GHD's 2017 Creek Investigation and to follow up on the March Technical Experts Meeting, discussing the same issues. Several issues were discussed including serious problems with the so called "background" site in the creek which ridiculously is located at the north end of the property by the bridge on Church St. which crosses the Canagagigue Creek. It is also suggested that more "...sampling of the Creek sediments up stream of the site and in Shirt Factory Creek and Landfill Creek may need to be completed."

Also of great interest to me is the significant differences in the clam tissue concentrations from stations located on the west side versus those on the east side of the creek. This could represent the differences between pumping and treating on the south-west corner (i.e. the Upper Aquifer Containment & Treatment System) versus the alleged Interceptor Trench running most of the length of the east side of their property.

The chickens coming home to roost for Woolwich Township could be the incredibly short sighted decisions to build municipal landfills both in the floodplain and along the Canagagigue Creek. No less than three of them exist in Elmira namely the Bolender Landfill, the First St. Landfill and the former M2 now located on Lanxess's south-west side. Of course there is also the former toxic waste dump known as Lot 91 across Landfill Creek from the First St. Landfill. This unremediated site was sold by the Township to Severin Argenton of Varnicolor Chemical infamy. Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura certainly in the past have not indicated being burdened with scrupulous adherence to principles, ethics, morals and sometimes even environmental laws of the land. Would they be capable over the decades of insisting upon municipal cooperation in exchange for their silence on the municipal, environmental liability posed by these unremediated toxic landfills that don't even have basic leachate controls?

Would Uniroyal and successors even insist upon things like which volunteer citizens they want appointed to CPAC, RAC and TAG in exchange for their not pushing to have these leaking, toxic waste sites remediated at Township expense? Certainly it is much easier for Chemtura/Lanxess to have "friends" of an amenable and flexible nature on these oversight committees than proven, informed citizens unwilling to be co-opted. Might Chemtura/Lanxess's influence even explain Woolwich's bizarre heads in the sand response to methane issues in and around the Bolender Park Landfill?

Monday, November 26, 2018


It's just so blatant that pumping and treating just aren't a priority with Lanxess any more than they were with Chemtura. "The PW4, PW5, W5A, W5B, W6A, W6B, and W9 average daily pumping rates were less than their Target Average pumping rates in October 2018...." What then follows is a list of the most recent mechanical, electrical and or computer problems plaguing Lanxess's hydraulic containment systems. Keeping it in perspective however, the two wells with the historically highest pumping rates, namely E7 and W3R, are holding their own. It's all the others, both on-site now as well as off-site, that are not operating in an acceptable manner.

That's right, it's not just the off-site cleanup wells that are crapping out, it's the two on-site Municipal Aquifer (MU) wells, PW4 and PW5 that are slipping. This is not good. Years ago Jeff Merriman of Chemtura advised CPAC that with the removal of on-site pumping wells PW1 in their north-west corner and PW3 in their south-east corner that the on-site pumping would actually increase to 6.0 litres per second (l/sec) with the addition of PW5 to PW4 pumping. That of course has rarely happened. The current on-site Target pumping rate is a skinny 4.7 l/sec although actual pumping rates of 5 l/sec are common. In October 2018 they only managed 4.0 l/sec.

Appendix C in this monthly Progress Report is again a major concern. Surface water (ie. the Canagagigue Creek) has a number of toxic chemicals with higher in stream concentrations downstream as the creek flows through the Lanxess property. While this is not good it is however unfortunately "normal". What isn't normal are the number of toxins, just like last month, being found at the upstream end of Lanxess with higher concentrations than downstream. This indicates that as everybody has known for the last thirty years that sampling beside the Bolender Park Landfill and pretending that that location is upstream or background concentrations is ridiculous. Uniroyal Chemical and Varnicolor and others all used the Bolender Park Landfill and every other municipal landfill they could up into the 1980s (Woolwich Landfill on Seiling Dr.), north of Elmira.

The chemicals with higher downstream concentrations according to Table C.2 are MBT, BT, NDMA, NMOR, Chlorobenzene, Toluene and Xylenes. The chemicals with higher upstream values are six different trichlorophenols, two different dichlorophenols and cholorophenol along with three different cresols and phenol.These are all typical Uniroyal and even Varnicolor Chemical solvents although the Mercaptobenzothiazoles (MBT) and Benzothiazoles (BT) are Uniroyal signature chemicals.

I have to wonder and speculate here. How likely is it that suddenly after decades of monthly reporting that these negative changes in surface water are actually occurring? With a new company (Lanxess) and new consultants sort of (GHD) is it possible that the method of calculating average mean concentrations for example has changed? In other words is it possible that GHD are just a little more honest than CRA???

Saturday, November 24, 2018


Quite frankly I suspect that if literally the public had a dollar for every word that Uniroyal, Crompton, Chemtura, Lanxess, the Ministry of Environment (MOE or MECP), Conestoga Rovers (CRA) or GHD had ever written about the Canagagigue Creek that it would be cleaned up by now. Hence the title above. Talk is cheap and so are "investigations" and reports. Real Cleanup not token cleanup is expensive.

On November 19,2018 Lou Almeida of GHD, on behalf of Lanxess Canada sent responses to Jason Rice of the MOE regarding the MOE's purported June 13, 2017 "..." Canagagigue Creek Draft Report Review Comments." I say purported because as slow as GHD are I don't think that they waited a year and a half to respond to the MOE and I also don't believe that the MOE sent in their comments to the 2017 investigation and field work while the work was actually underway. Likely just another typo among millions (LOL).

My following comments are not meant as a formal or extensive critique. They are simply hitting a few highlights and concerns I have noticed in GHD's Nov.18/18 report to the MOE.

Data gaps now suddenly appear to be a huge issue for the Ontario MOE. For the love of Mike I've been telling the MOE since 2012 and every followup testing (2013, 2014, 2015, get the picture) that there is a huge locational bias involved in their and Chemtura/Lanxess's testing locations. When you keep testing in and around location 20 and 21 as well as the New Jerusalem Rd. bridge, of course once you've gotten the first few hits you are likely to continue to find DDT and dioxin/furans over time in the same location. Similarly when you don't test for these chemicals in 90% plus of the downstream creek, you will never find them.

A number of references in this letter and others suggests that all parties are somehow including all stakeholders in the process around the Canagagigue Creek cleanup. This is a blatant misrepresentation. Myself and the knowledgeable and informed CPAC members as well as the general public have been intentionally and maliciously excluded from the process.

The MOE have serious concerns regarding sampling of sediments where DDT and dioxin/furans are less likely to accumulate such as sediments with high percentages of coarse gravels versus finer silts and clays.

Page 3 actually states that the MOE have a concern regarding off-site source locations such as the Stroh Drain which they prefer to call "agricultural drainage ditch from 6770 Line 86". That is good news although it would be nice if they would publicly speak to that.

GHD confirm that "...natural erosion and deposition processes occur along the entire study area" in the creek and that "These natural processes are affected seasonally and temporally by significant storm events."

Dioxin concentrations in both soils along the creek banks and in creek sediments in the bottom of the creek generally are higher with depth (Table on page 4). This is huge and relevant to the Mickey Mouse investigation and promised excavations to be done before 2018 concludes. To date Lanxess have not started them.

The MOE still have concerns regarding GHD's sample collection method using a "shovel" versus the normal method of sediment collecting. The implication as I understand it is that the shovel picks up more coarse gravel than the alternate method hence lowering the concentrations of DDT and dioxin/furans as those compounds are associated with fines (ie. silts & clays) not with coarse gravels.

The MOE indicate errors later in the report (pg. 12) dealing with comparing contaminant concentration results with the wrong criteria. They also advise that there is confusion in the text (pg. 13) describing the location of sampling areas and the "reaches" #1 to #4 as defined in the initial GHD report.

There is also confusion and errors in regards to reporting MOE sediment samples as soil samples (pg. 14) and as well the MOE suggests that GHD have incorrectly stated sample depths of a number of samples (ie. 10-20 cm versus 20-30 cm.).

Page 15 makes reference to a Control Order in regards to a fish collection program. This Control Order is news to me however I am currently making inquiries about it.

I have a general comment to make regarding GHD's responses to the MOE's concerns and criticisms. I believe that GHD's responses are generally better than their predecessors, CRA. I see some frank admissions to blatant errors that I have learned that CRA in the past would avoid. Good for GHD.

Friday, November 23, 2018


It doesn't get much more blatant than this. Today's Waterloo Region Record has published a story titled "Kitchener will try to force sale of Electrohome site in January." This site located at Shanley and Duke St. in Kitchener has been vacant and contaminated for decades. Apparently, contrary to the vaunted method of natural attenuation, this site remains contaminated with among other items chlorinated solvents. Who knew that chlorinated solvents, also known as DNAPLs were so difficult to remediate naturally. Oh right, everybody in the industry knows that and they've known it probably for half a century at the least.

One of the contaminants is TCE better known as trichloroethylene. This is the same contaminant as dramatized in the movie "A Civil Action" starring John Travolta. It's the same contaminant which caused wide spread disease and death in the Bishiop St. community in Cambridge. It was discovered around 2005 but had been getting into homes via the basements as a gas for decades prior to that. The proper term is vapour intrusion. Has any of our authorities even tested nearby homes around Shanley and Duke St. for vapour intrusion? Nothing surprises me anymore and if the answer is no and the negligence is through the roof, nobody will be held accountable. It's the Canadian way.

Another reason that buyers even promised huge concessions are staying away from this Kitchener site could be the example set in Elmira by the Ministry of Environment (MOE). The former Varnicolor Chemical site was purchased from Phillips Environmental by a company now on site known as Elmira Pump around 2000. The owners of Elmira Pump were advised that another five years or so of operating a shallow aquifer pump and treat system would allow the MOE to give the new owners a Record of Site Condition (RSC) allowing them to sell part of the site for commercial development.They are still waiting for the RSC. Turns out that the original hydraulic containment system or pump and treat installed in 1995-96 was expected to clean up the mess within a decade. More than twelve years after that deadline they are still remediating.

It seems that the MOE may have misinformed Elmira Pump exactly as they misinformed the public back in the 1990s. The MOE at that time had Uniroyal Chemical on the hook to clean up the Elmira Aquifers. They surely didn't want Varnicolor Chemical to muddy the waters and did their best to cover up the extent of deep contamination on their property. If you were a developer today looking to pick up a bargain property with a history, would you trust any promises from the Ontario MOE?

Thursday, November 22, 2018


People as a group are easily misled. Hence what self-respecting politician with favours owing and political debts to be repaid isn't going to say and do things in his creditors interests versus the public interest from time to time? The trick of course is that all politicians need as many of these easily misled people as possible to vote for them. Hence it's lying time. Again what self-respecting politician isn't going to get professional help to assist him in selling his lies to the unwashed masses? Well for one I don't think former Mayor Todd Cowan had professional help to assist in his lying.

There most likely is an actual playbook somewhere with or without the formal title of "The Art of Deception, Lying, Misrepresentation, and overall Fooling of the Public at will - Fifty Shades of the Truth." One chapter is likely titled "Undermining, Criticizing and Eliminating Citizen Activists." Certainly locally here in Woolwich Township that chapter has been taken to heart by the local polluter as well as our local council. While I personally have been the target of such dishonest and cowardly tactics, those miscreants actually had the nerve and lack of ethics to attack an entire committee of council (CPAC) appointed by the preceding council. They intimated, inferred and implied over and over again that the 2011-2015 CPAC and SWAT members including myself were rude, nasty, intimidating and out of control. Each and every person who made those allegations are liars, plain and simple.

The truth is as follows. CPAC members between 2011 to 2015 were dedicated, hard working and informed. Many were professionals in their fields including Health, Environment, Biology, Mathematics and Chemistry. Several had Dr. before their names. Several, myself included, were and are senior citizens. What these citizens had was a formal committee process with an experienced chairman. Normal and appropriate behaviour was both expected and enforced. On occasion I believe that I was warned by the chair that my language or comments needed to be softened. I always immediately complied and was able to continue my comments or questions to Chemtura personnel and or MOE staff.The other members all spoke honestly and professionally at all times. They did however speak critically and bluntly as the occasion required. This was not appreciated by the polluter and his alleged regulator, the MOE.

The Waterloo Region Record published an Editorial on April 5, 2016 titled "Council shouldn't gag the public". This issue concerned Woolwich Council attempting to stop both myself and Dr. Dan Holt from addressing council as Delegates on matters pertaining to Chemtura Canada. You may notice some points of similarity with this issue and the one I've been talking about in the previous three paragraphs here. The Record Editorial states "While the politicians who already voted for the new curbs on public speakers didn't say so, it looks like they're trying to stifle a handful of the most outspoken environmental activists."

The Editorial also addresses Woolwich Council's, Chemtura's and the MOE's favourite red herring namely citizen's "behaviour." How dare all those professional, truth challenged pieces of unethical behaviour point fingers at honest, informed volunteers giving their time for the public good. The Record Editorial addresses that thusly: "If politicians don't want to listen to citizens who get worked up about a public issue, who get excited, maybe even lose their tempers-tough. Being willing to listen to the people is part of the municipal politician's job description." Yes it is but it's also part of public consultation and if multiple times convicted polluters and their fellow travellors can't take disagreement or criticism then don't pollute the public's air, water and soil in the first place. And don't cry to your political mommies afterwards that volunteer citizens aren't being nice to you. Stop your lying and other nasty behaviour and maybe you'll be surprised by the results.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


Here are a couple of upcoming meeting dates.

TAG (Technical Advisory Group) will meet in the Dodie Hummel Room (beside Woolwich Council Chambers)on Thursday November 29 at 6:30 pm.

RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) will meet in Council Chambers two weeks later on Thursday December 13 at 3 pm.

These are the first public meetings since late September of this year. Sandy's spot in history will be judged harshly as she has not only presided over but in fact enabled this shifting of public consultation, as fraught as it was historically with deceit and corruption, towards less and less meetings per year while increasing the number of private meetings between alleged stakeholders, so called experts and Lanxess and the Ministry of Environment (MECP). She has also presided over and enabled the absolute politicization of public consultation. This she has done by allowing the polluter to absolutely exercise a veto over certain citizens participation whom he the polluter can not control via bribery, intimidation, pressure, or prevarication. Public consultation determined by whom is acceptable, amenable, or agreeable to the polluter and his supporters is not public consultation. It should also be a lights flashing, horns blaring indictment of the two citizens long favoured by Uniroyal/Chemtura for their private, backroom deal making, not always in the public interest. The fact that the one is a former long time councillor who also ran for mayor should also be a dead give away. Strange isn't it that other than the 2010-2014 Council all the others over all were Uniroyal Chemical's best friends.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Ecojustice were in court yesterday trying to get the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) to follow Canadian law. It appears that just like at the municipal level, governments try to skirt around inconvenient legislation all the time. Hence the PMRA approved Thiamethoxam for use on crops prematurely. Thiamethoxam is one of a group of pesticides known as neonicotonoids which have been proven at least partly responsible for bee dieoffs over the last decade. The old adage that sometimes the medicine is worse than the disease has been proven accurate in regards to pesticides and herbicides for decades. Think especially of DDT and Agent Orange, the first a pesticide (insecticide) and the second a herbicide. DDT kills mosquitoes and hence reduces malaria outbreaks. Unfortunately it is both persistent in the environment and moves up the food chain causing egg thinning in birds of prey. Agent Orange is a mixture of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T and is a brush and weed killer both for use along power corridors and highways as well as for killing crops and reducing tree canopies along the Ho Che Minh trail in Vietnam decades ago.

Bees play an important part in agriculture as they are responsible for the pollination of crops by their transfer of pollen from plant to plant in their search for food. Bee dieoffs are costing farmers and the public reduced crop yields and the potential for major losses of production.

Monday, November 19, 2018


I was wrong. Here it is nearly four years later and I'm still going strong. Perhaps stronger than some know. I was reappointed to CPAC in mid April 2011 although I'd been promised the appointment since before Todd Cowan won the mayor's chair in October 2010. What an arse he was. By May 10, 20111 I and other appointed CPAC members were pushing Todd and Julie-Anne Herteis to get the show on the road. Funny thing is neither Dr. Holt nor Lynne Hare got the boot only yours truly. Of course the filth at Chemtura had been pushing Todd Cowan not to appoint me as soon as he won the election. Todd just needed an opportunity such that he could do what he and other politicians do best, which is to please everyone. We hadn't had a CPAC meeting since the prior November and there was both re-verification of Chemtura's *Responsible Care upcoming as well as the need to get the GP1 & 2 dioxin removal finally underway.

Perhaps the saying be careful what you wish for was a lesson that Chemtura learned. I wasn't a formal CPAC member but I sure did crush their spirit along with their lies while I attended public CPAC meetings. Then I was asked to be part of a CPAC sub-committee called SWAT for Soil, Water, Air and Technical. We hammered Chemtura's credibility on an ongoing basis. With all their bought and paid for technical experts they still couldn't bully or bullshit their way past the facts. They hated it. Perhaps they and their friends on the current Council should start looking over their shoulders. Uniroyal/Chemtura have manipulated the game to their advantage for most of the past thirty years. But not all of them. By the way just exactly how have both Todd Cowan and his sidekick done since 2011 again? Oh right, not so well. Remember that Sandy.

Saturday, November 17, 2018


For the last few years I've made it pretty plain that I felt that Patrick Merlihan was the only Woolwich Councillor with any sense. While to date I haven't seen it, I have heard positive references in regards to Larry Shantz. The rest of the bunch range from hopeless to pathetic to worse. In the last election I supported Mr. Merlihan during the election campaign with a lawn sign.

The last Council truly displayed their pettiness and stupidity in March 2016 when they got into a crisis, once again, of their own making. It is one thing fooling the public with the province (MOE), Chemtura, co-opted citizens and a consulting firm all backing your play in a decades old environmental dispute that most citizens have given up on, long ago. It's something entirely different when it is a black and white, in your face issue, of both democracy and free speech.

Woolwich Council in their absolutely dumbest moment chose to publicly and in front of the media, deny Dr. Dan Holt his right to address Woolwich Council via Delegation. Even though Council already push the envelope with their rules around Delegations; Dr. Holt complied with all of them. He booked in advance, he advised beforehand the topic of his Delegation, he was put on the Council Agenda and he was present on time and ready to go.

Council simply made up a rule out of thin air. Perhaps they had privately discussed it, perhaps not. Regardless Dr. Holt calmly, politely and surgically took them to task for their attempt to shut him down before he got started. He talked to them slowly and carefully as if trying to calm down an agitated child on the verge of throwing a tantrum. When he was finished, Council did not have a leg to stand on. Sure they muttered, they mumbled, they made excuses but it was obvious that Council had pre-decided to refuse to allow Dr. Holt to speak most likely because he had had the nerve to drag one of their own (Councillor Hahn) before the Municipal Elections Compliance Audit Committee (MECAC), which is his and every citizen's absolute right. MECAC actually supported Dr. Holt's actions when they ordered an Forensic Audit of Mr. Hahn's Financial Statement.

Council and mayor Shantz also attempted to link their refusal to allow Dr. Holt's Delegation with myself. Mayor Shantz had the absolute nerve (and stupidity) to publicly state that Dr. Holt was acting on my behalf or directly for me. What poppycock! In fact when Dr. Holt finally was able to give his Delegation it was a thank you to Woolwich Council for having installed contaminated fish warning signs along the Canagagigue Creek.Dr. Holt made it clear that the Ministry of Environment had refused to do this upon request and therefore Woolwich Township stepped up. That deserved kudos. Council's attack upon Dr. Holt did not and all the local media battered them for the next few weeks. As I say just plain stupid on Council's part. Good luck new councillors Fred Redekop and Scott McMillan.

Friday, November 16, 2018


I received a letter yesterday dated November 9, 2018, sent to the MOE (MECP) by Luis Almeida of GHD, consultants to Lanxess Canada (Uniroyal). This letter suggests a revised "Characterization and Assessment Process" for the Canagagigue Creek. Years of adverse testing results in creek sediments, soils, Floodplain soils and even fish tissues have mandated a process to determine exactly how much cleanup of the creek is necessary. Besides the fish in the creek there is an entire ecosystem which lives in and around the creek including predators who eat the fish such as foxes, raccoons, herons, hawks, coyotes and more. There are also human beings, adults and children along the length of the creek as it makes its way to the Grand River just downstream of West Montrose, Ontario.

Allegedly the only Contaminants of Concern (COC) are dioxins/furans and DDT. This is odd as the fish are full of mercury and PCBs as well as dioxins/furans and DDT. There is also supposed to be some sort of public consultation involved in this process. That is exactly how I would describe it namely "some sort of public consultation". The process certainly is not open to the public. It is not open to all stakeholders nor is it even open to local, long term proven environmental advocates such as myself or other CPAC members.It is "open" however to handpicked favourites of Chemtura/Lanxess and the mayor apparently.

The four page letter I received is missing the Minutes of a private September 5, 2018 meeting which this letter claims are included. They are not. The fourth page is a flow diagram allegedly of the Assessment Process. It is essentially illegible because it is so small. I have normal vision for a man in his seventieth year. Anyone with vision problems wouldn't be able to read even a single word.

The third bullet down on page two references background concentrations in the creek. Unsurprisingly they are very high. They suggest taking samples in Landfill Creek and Shirt Factory Creek. My guess is that the background upstream of Chemtura/Lanxess beside Bolender Park has elevated concentrations of contaminants. I've only been telling Uniroyal, Crompton and Chemtura that Bolender Park is an inappropriate location for upstream sampling since the 1990s. Afterall Varnicolor and Uniroyal wastes are buried there much less other local industries.

Thursday, November 15, 2018


Back in the day the "dirty" businesses were drugs and prostitution. Maybe we are beginning the age where chemical companies and their products may be recognized as potentially "dirty" businesses. In yesterday's Waterloo Region Record, page C7 there is an article apparently from the Wall Street Journal titled "Bayer hit by more lawsuits over Roundup weed killer". The sub-title is "9,300 suits pending at the end of October, compared with 8,700 at the end of August".

As mentioned here yesterday the active ingredient in Roundup is Glyphosate and the International Agency for research on Cancer (IARC) according to this article classified glyphosate "as likely having the potential to cause cancer". I have read other slightly different descriptions of the IARC's findings, more along the line of glyphosate is a probable or likely carcinogen. Either way it would be foolish if not negligent not to take steps to lessen human exposure to this chemical.

Bayer unsurprisingly have lost share value with various health pronouncements regarding glyphosate. It was Bayer's recent takeover of glyphosate manufacturer Monsanto that started the ball rolling. That was followed by a huge losing case for Monsanto in the U.S. followed by the release of the Monsanto papers. The question in my mind is will Bayer weather the storm and will it affect Lanxess Canada here in Elmira. Lanxess and their partners in pollution, the Ontario Ministry of Environment, would like to wrap things up here, remediation wise. This includes both the groundwater underneath Elmira as well as the very necessary but expensive, if done properly, cleanup of the Canagagigue Creek.

The other question is whether ubiquitous glyphosate, due to decades of Roundup use, found in our local groundwater will cause significant changes in regional water treatment and reporting of glyphosate presence.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Ecojustice has put on-line some highly critical information regarding Monsanto Corporation. According to Ecojustice, a recent U.S. court case has exposed documents referred to as the "Monsanto papers". Allegedly Monsanto changed scientific research to downplay the cancer risks pf the glyphosate pesticides. Ecojustice then advises that Canadian regulators appear to have relied on many of those same studies in regards to their re-approval of the use of glyphosate in Canada for the next fifteen years.

Ecojustice are therefore asking the Canadian Minister of Health to reassess this re-approval decision. Quoting Elaine McDonald of Ecojustice in a CBC interview "We need to know when science is independent, and when science has been potentially influenced by vested interests, such as industry. In this case, these were put forward as independent scientific papers, and what the Monsanto papers have revealed is that this isn't the case."

Two points of interest here. First Lanxess Canada here in Elmira, Ontario are related to Monsanto likely via Bayer who own both companies. I'm underwhelmed to hear that science can be intentionally misrepresented after seeing it shamelessly abused here over the last 25-30 years. Second I have repeatedly warned that the representation of Glyphosate concentrations in our drinking water here in Waterloo Region is inadequate and deceptive. Glyphosate has the highest Method Detection Limit (MDL) of all toxic chemicals including herbicides and pesticides in the Region's Annual (Drinking Water) Reports. Hence reading that the concentrations are less than 25 parts per billion (ppb) when the other chemicals have MDLs of less than 1 or 5 ppb is not satisfactory. Nor are the very high Ontario Drinking Water Standards adequate if they too are based upon flawed science.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


I am starting this post, despite the title above, with some compliments to the current Chair of TAG, Tiffany Svensson. She is a hydrogeologist in her own right and hence much more technically knowledgable in matters of groundwater than any UPAC or CPAC Chair before her with the exception of Dr. Jackson. That said I will agree that ALL the previous Chairs from Greg Pimento to Pat McLean and Dr. Dan Holt were very good Chairpersons. You may notice that I am not commenting on Todd Cowan's brief tenure as CPAC Chair. O.K. he wasn't so good at it. I can hardly believe I'm saying it but even Pat McLean ran a good meeting. It was everything she and her buddy were doing behind the public meetings that I objected to, such as their going along with DNAPL coverups.

Ms. Svensson is knowledgable and runs a good meeting. She has organized things and despite her lack of history and background has gotten up to speed quickly. More importantly as far as Sandy, Mark, Lanxess, MOE and GHD are concerned; she is prepared to proceed carefully and diplomatically. This may be because she is still getting up to speed on the historical past remediation failures as excruciatingly detailed by Dr. Jackson. For these details see my Oct. 22/18 posting here for just a partial listing. On the other hand it may simply be her style and nature. Dr. Jackson ran out of patience with the ongoing refusal of the MOE to step up and step in. Perhaps Ms. Svensson will as well. I hope so.

Monday, November 12, 2018


In December 2016 the Liberal provincial government put a moratorium on any new or expanding water taking permits for the bottled water industry. That moratorium expires at the end of this year. In a surprising move to me, the Ford Conservative government is asking for public input whether or not to extend the moratorium for another year. My take on the situation is that it is simply the Ford government playing politics. I fully expect they will do exactly what they want to do which is likely nothing. In other words let the moratorium expire and not replace it. Regardless of what public input they receive who is going to audit that input? Correct, no one.

Dr. Robert Case of the Wellington Water Watchers is O.K. with the proposed extension of the moratorium for another year although long term he would prefer if the bottled water industry were simply phased out. He sees it as adding nothing to to the communities they operate in. Also they withdraw large quantities of groundwater locally while selling their water elsewhere. For me the bottom line is extracting a public resource for private profit is inherently wrong.No one owns the rain which brings us groundwater. Local citizens should control local groundwater even if that means via imperfect local municipalities being in control albeit with restrictions on their ability to turn around and sell to private bottling companies.

The title of the Waterloo Region Record article in last Saturday's paper is "Province seeks to extend moratorium on bottled water taking permits".

Saturday, November 10, 2018


This last term of Woolwich Council had several major issues. They included the smearing by council (primarily mayor & Mr. Flip Flop) of CPAC, the proposed Breslau Parkland sale, the incredible 50% putting of councillors through the courts and or MECAC, the introduction of RAC and TAG, the 2016 scandal of Woolwich council trying to muzzle citizen Delegations regarding Chemtura, RAC & TAG public meetings and the Bolender Park Landfill and methane issues.

I am going to give the Woolwich Observer, K-W Record and CKCO-TV very subjective ratings of 0-10 on each issue. My purpose is not to criticize as much as to encourage future coverage. Here goes: P.S. Even more subjectively these ratings don't strictly reflect the volume of coverage but the quality and accuracy as well. P.S.S. This posting is not science it is art and I admit it.

1) Smearing of CPAC ..Observer.. 9.5 ....Record 4.0 .... CKCO-TV 3.0

2) Breslau Parkland ..Observer.. 8.0 ... Record 3.5 .... CKCO-TV 4.0

3) Courts & MECAC ..Observer.. 8.0 ... Record 7.0 .... CKCO-TV 6.5

4) Intro of RAC/TAG ..Observer.. 9.0 ... Record 6.0 .... CKCO-TV 3.5

5) muzzle Delegations..Observer..9.0 .. Record 8.0 .... CKCO-TV 7.0

6) RAC/TAG mtgs ....Observer.. 0.0 .. Record 0.0 .... CKCO-TV 0.0

7) Bolender methane ..Observer ..6.5 .. Record 5.0 .... CKCO-TV 5.0

So looking at these highly subjective scores what are the conclusions? Firstly our most local media, the Woolwich Observer, lead in every category except 6) where they tie with the other two. This is sort of to be expected as the other two media cover a much wider area including all the cities and all the Townships not just two Townships. Also I would suggest that there is a bit of an apples to oranges comparison putting CKCO-TV in with a daily and a weekly newspaper.

Secondly the Record and the local TV obviously don't have the same priorities as I personally do. The Observer's priorities are much closer to mine and likely the majority of Woolwich and Wellesley citizens.

Lastly what about 6)? Three straight 0.0 scores. Is this because this item is of no significance or interest? I would say no especially as Elmira's groundwater and surface water all discharge southwards into the Grand River to be further enjoyed by Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge. Also Chemtura/Lanxess persistent organic pollutants such as PCBs, DDT, and dioxins/furans all flow south both in sediments and fish into the Grand River, as well. Why have these incredibly informative meetings especially between September 2015 and December 2016 been completely ignored by our media? Those specific meetings exposed the coverups, collusion and collaboration that has gone on for the previous twenty-five years plus. Why were they not covered by the media in order to inform the public about the corrupted nature of the Elmira cleanup? Is it libel chill? Is it worse than simple libel chill and have there been direct threats or intimidation of any or all of our local media by Chemtura or the MOE? Have either lawyers letters been sent or lawsuits already filed? Something is very wrong here.

Friday, November 9, 2018


Off-Site pumping has NEVER achieved remotely close to the promised, in November 2012, rate of Triple 54 litres per second for ALL the off-site pumping wells. It has never achieved the later downgraded goal of Double the 54 litres per second mark in late 2012. September 2018 had an off Lanxess site (ie. Elmira Aquifers) pumping rate of approximately 64 litres per second. That is good historically but again no where near the rate that Chemtura and Conestoga Rovers advised was necessary in order to remediate the off-site aquifers by 2028.

Page 8: Remediation of former operating ponds. There are no new activities to report for this item in September 2018. This refers to DNAPLS in the RPW west side ponds namely RPW1 & 2 as well as RPW 5,6,7, & 8. Shameful and disgraceful. Thank you very much Sylvia and Susan for your APT assistance of Uniroyal with this failure.

Table C.2 Surface Water contaminant concentrations. This Table has gone completely bizarre. Ten toxic chemicals have higher concentrations upstream near Bolender Park than downstream at the bottom of the Lanxess (Uniroyal) property. This is nuts! Has GHD on behalf of Lanxess told the truth or have they butchered this Table with perhaps the up and downstream testing locations reversed?Lindane is also higher upstream near Bolender Park versus downstream. Then chlorobenzene, toluene and xylenes are higher downstream which makes more sense although nothing should be higher downstream if there containment was working. It isn't.

Figure D.3 confirms issues with on-site shallow aquifer containment. Only six monitoring well groundwater elevation results are shown and three have elevation differentials with the creek's surface water from half a metre to nearly .9 of a metre whereas the other three have a tiny elevation differential of only .02 metre to .11 metre. The idea to prove hydraulic containmnet is to have all the groundwater readings significantly lower than the creek surface water readings to indicate that relatively clean water is flowing inwards to the pumps versus contaminated groundwater flowing outwards into the creek.

Figure D.11 tacitly claims that there is no chlorobenzene in the Bedrock Aquifer. I find this unlikely as there is a plume of chlorobenzene in the Municipal Lower (ML) Aquifer (see Fig. D.10) between W5A and W4. There is also a window in the Lower Aquitard (LAT) in this location allowing direct access from the ML to the Bedrock Aquifer (BR).

Table F.1 shows the thickness of LNAPL (toluene) floating on the water table at various monitoring wells. It remains horrific as it has since we learned about the presence of this free phase Light Non Aqueous Phase Liquids (LNAPLs) in 1995. Thicknesses vary from half a metre to traces only including "Black tar-like blobs present on probe/tape/bailer." These companies from Uniroyal to Lanxess won't even remove shallow LNAPL much less somewhat deeper and more difficult DNAPL. Thank you Sandy Shantz and most former Woolwich mayors for your support of these polluters.

Thursday, November 8, 2018


In 2010 Woolwich electors, or perhaps thirty percent of them, elected a bunch of strangers to office namely Herteis, Cowan, Bryant, Poffenroth and Mr. Flip Flop, Mark Bauman. In 2014 it was newcomers Merlihan, Larry Shantz, Scott Hahn along with old timers Sandy Shantz, Murray Martin and Mr. Flip Flop again. Last month we had two newcomers namely Mr. McMillan and Mr. Redekop joining Merlihan, L. Shantz and S. Shantz and Murray Martin. As with all councils we have a disparate group. There are the honest, the intelligent, the unintelligent and the dishonest plus various mixtures. Par for the course. Obviously it would be best for the public interest to have more mixtures of honest and intelligent than say of dishonest and unintelligent.

Then we have appointments to committees of council. Guess who make these appointments? You got it. Elected councillors who are mixtures of honest, dishonest, intelligent and unintelligent. Personal friends, colleagues, campaign supporters etc. are all in the mix of council appointments. A few may have a proven track record of research and commitment to the issue being addressed by the committee. A few may have a proven track record of collaboration of various kinds. Unsurprisingly some of them are honest and intelligent and others are dishonest and or unintelligent. What a way to run a railroad folks.

Going back to the thirty percent of voters who even bother to cast a ballot. Is there any way to test their knowledge of the issues beforehand? There is not. Is there any way to test their knowledge of the candidates standing before them? There is not.Is there any way to test the voters character or their commitment to the public interest? There is not.

There is an old saying that electors get the politicians that they deserve. Wow. I really don't think that Woolwich citizens deserve as bad as they've generally gotten over the last fifty years. That said I actually think that our council today has the potential to be a little bit better than most past councils. Of course I can't be sure because there are two or three of these councillors that I really don't know.

Is there some pearl of wisdom or insight in all of this? Maybe. Firstly be suspicious. Somebody has to be elected. There is absolutely zero guarantee that they are smart or honest. Secondly be suspicious of committees appointed by these same councillors. Again they could be excellent or they could be a direct reflection of a corrupt council although most usually they are somewhere in between.

That said any committee of council had better follow the dictates of those who appointed them. The 2010-2015 CPAC did that and did a great job until the October 2014 council of Sandy Shantz was elected and chose to appease Chemtura Canada by condemning the CPAC who constantly pressured Chemtura for their environmental dishonesty and delay.

Thirdly citizens need to be more involved locally. Read both the Record and the Observer. Neither are perfect but both are very good. Secondly at least once in a long while attend either Council meetings or committee meetings such as RAC and TAG. You will learn so much from both. I don't guarantee you will like what you have learned but you will be in a better position to vote next time around. Why do you think councillors are so confident in mostly doing exactly what they please? It is because practically nobody regularly attends council meetings and too few of us regularly read the newspapers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Yes the reality is that the Todd Cowan council had exactly zero intentions of ever reappointing any of the old CPAC guard. That is despite my recommendations to mayor Cowan to reappoint at least Ken Driedger and Gerry Heidebuurt and likely Sandra Baer although thank god he didn't listen to me in regards to her. This Council and mayor had already decided prior to winning the election that the public advisory committee was just way too chummy with Chemtura and the MOE. The Council viewed that as a roadblock to progress and wanted stronger, more aggressive citizen representatives to push the two guilty parties harder for results. That said they were not prepared to throw the current citizen volunteers under the bus or to the wolves to achieve want they wanted. Yes they did it incompetently but not maliciously.

Meanwhile the Sandy Shantz council listened way too much to Sandy and Mark Bauman who pretended that Chemtura's and the MOE's tantrum needed to be accommodated. Appeasement was on their agenda but despite some failings in the 2010-2014 council culminating in Todd Cowan's self-destruction, that council were not mean, petty and malicious like Sandy's 2014-2018 council. This appeasement was well described in the January 7, 2016 Woolwich Observer when they wrote "Looking to woo Chemtura and the MOE back into the fold, Woolwich scrapped the citizen watchdog that monitors the Elmira chemical company in favour of a new, less adversarial format." Sandy and Mark with help from two disgruntled and highly offended former CPAC members went about slandering and libeling the current citizen volunteers on CPAC who had been appointed by the Todd Cowan council. They did this in order to hide their true agenda of appeasement.

Something else needs to be said and this is to confront the lies from Chemtura and the MOE suggesting that CPAC were rude or mean to them. Good God are they babies or what? CPAC confronted them in regards to their plethora of lies. CPAC confronted them about their false promises. CPAC confronted them over their refusal to supply requested data or answer questions directly related to the local environment and their impact upon it. Chairman Dr. Dan Holt always ran a tight ship and controlled the meetings. This mayor Cowan insisted upon and it was delivered by Dr. Holt despite the lying by gutless, alleged "stakeholders" at the April 9, 2015 private meeting held at the Township offices.

Perhaps a better title above might be "Incompetent Diplomacy versus Brutal Dishonesty".

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Yes there have certainly been some high moments and drama over the last four years. Fortunately the mud thrown by the so called nice people on Woolwich Council has often rebounded right back onto themselves. Following is an example.

On August 25, 2015 Richard Clausi attended Woolwich Council as a Delegate. He presented them with 10 Recommendations that would dramatically improve both the integrity and the transparency of the electoral process. Unsurprisingly few have been given more than lip service. The Woolwich Observer reported on Mr. Clausi's Delegation to Council in their August 29, 2015 edition.

Mr. Clausi started his Delegation thusly: "As we know, half of this council have had encounters of the worst kind with the MEA (Municipal Elections Act)." Mr. Clausi continued "As often happens though, people will, in defence, blame the MEA for being "grey" and "confusing". And vague. I respectfully suggest that the requirements of the MEA are clear and understandable for almost all candidates in Ontario. Any "grey" is an optical illusion, and in the eyes of the beholder."

Richard also pointed out that both the matter of acclaimed candidates having to file a Financial Statement (Mark) as well as what an associated company is (Sandy) are clearly explained in the handbooks given out as well as in the FAQs (frequently asked questions) provided by the appropriate Ministry.

Then Richard got into one of the more chilling and devious behaviours of the whole perverted MECAC process. Sandy distributed a new but later shown to still be incomplete Financial Statement and a private Audit done by her own accountant. She did this at ten minutes to ten a.m. just prior to the start of the July 2/15 MECAC meeting in the Woolwich Council Chambers. MECAC Chair, Carl Zehr, did not arrive until 10:05 due to construction at the south end of Elmira. He immediately started the meeting without so much as opening the large package that Sandy submitted. MECAC members stated that this information from Sandy was new and that without seriously examining it that they were satisfied that it was adequate to resolve the multiple problems with Sandy's Financial Statement. MECAC accepted her months late filings allegedly unread and at surface value. It was disgraceful.

Then shortly afterwards we determined that Ms. Shantz according to law had to forfeit her mayor's chair because she had failed to meet the March deadline for filing her Audit along with her Financial Statement. She herself had admitted this with her late filing on July 2, 2015. She went to court where she filed papers advising Superior Court Justice David Broad that she had submitted her audited statement to MECAC on June 29/15, three days prior to the public MECAC meeting.

Sandy made the mistake of interrupting Richard Clausi and arguing with him during his Delegation to Woolwich Council. At that point Richard asked her his famous question namely "Are you telling me that you perjured yourself?" Sandy's response according to the Woolwich Observer was "Clearly taken aback, Shantz said the date given to the court was an error, one she raised with her lawyer who was to talk to the judge about it." Of course we the public have received exactly zero feedback or evidence that Sandy's lawyer James Bennett, who is somewhat infamous in his own right due to his unfortunate and perhaps sexist comments about the civil lawsuit against the Waterloo Regional Police by their own female officers, did "talk to the judge about it."

My educated guess is that Sandy told the truth to the Judge and she and MECAC lied on July 2/15 about MECAC just receiving the documents. If that is correct then we have a conspiracy between MECAC and mayor Shantz. If it isn't correct then we know that mayor Shantz misinformed Justice David Broad and that it was a helpful to her misrepresentation that assisted in her reinstatement. I already believe that she violated the terms of her conditional reinstatement but unless she can prove that the Justice was formally advised after the fact of the error than this is more evidence that she has not been properly reinstated to office.

Monday, November 5, 2018


That is six of them. Six brand, spanking new Financial Statements to pour over. Some might think that this would be six brand new opportunities to embarrass and humiliate this council all over again. They would be wrong. Sure I had some fun last time around. Putting Mark and Sandy through their paces was necessary. Scott was a little different. For him it wasn't personal at the beginning. His Financial Statement was just too incredibly buggered and wrong to be ignored hence Dr. Dan Holt didn't. That said at least Scott submitted the one Financial Statement required and on time unlike both Mark and Sandy. Mark's screw up was just laziness whereas Sandy's was the most deceptive of the three. She submitted her major Financial Statement on time but did not submit her mandatory Audit Report until months after the deadline and only when confronted about it.

Now we have Murray, Larry and Sandy all as acclaimed candidates. Anyone want to guess if any of those three are dumb enough to try what Mark got away with for at least two Acclamations before I dropped the hammer on him? There is lots of dumbness potential there but I'm equally sure that the Municipal Clerk will also step up this time and do her job.

Then we have Patrick, Scott McMillan and Fred Redekop. The last two are brand new and most susceptible to honest mistakes. That is not only because they are brand new but because I suspect they are also honest. Patrick knew better four years ago and I'm pretty confident he will do it right this time as well.

Finally we have the Financial Statements of the unsuccessful candidates. Yes they too must submit them. I've never seen a Financial Statement from Julie-Anne Herteis although she is some sort of book keeper apparently. But then so is Sandy allegedly. That didn't stop Sandy from using some illegal creativity four years ago so maybe there is hope yet for some rule bending and and ignoring this March when the Statements are required.

Citizens are learning and watching. Political oversight and transparency are generally pathetic but every now and again the old adage about not being able to fool all of the people all of the time comes true.

Saturday, November 3, 2018


I recently came across an old Woolwich Observer Letter to the Editor from May or June 2015. It was written by Scott McMillan who has just become our new councillor in Ward One. I really don't know the person although although I did introduce myself and shook his hand at a council meeting this past week. Possibly Richard Clausi may have advised me that he taught him at EDSS (Elmira District Secondary School) a long time ago.

In his Letter to the Editor Mr. McMillan suggested that if one or two councillors had run afoul of the Municipal Elections Act (MEA) it could be written up as simple bad luck or incompetence. However as literally half the council (ie. 3) were found with major and serious errors, with two of them being by law supposed to have been immediately removed from office, something else is involved. Mr. McMillan felt that there was likely a serious staff problem involved in this situation.

I suppose I could nitpick and suggest that councillors are ultimately responsible for their Financial Statements (they are) and I could also suggest that two out of the three most likely intentionally were trying to deceive with the third just being self-servingly lazy, but Mr. McMillan actually is correct. Both the Municpal Clerk and the CAO screwed up royally. The Clerk was new, having taken over after the recent sudden departure of Clerk Christine Broughton. I've always wondered about that but am so inured to the misstatements and gobblygook put out by Woolwich Township, that I wasn't going to waste more of my time asking just to receive an unlikely answer.

Financial Statements are submitted to the Clerk prior to the March deadline. She is supposed to take a look at them and spot any glaring errors. This of course recognizes that she is not an accountant but then neither am I, Dr. Dan Holt or Richard Clausi and we had no trouble seeing and smelling them for what they were. In the case of Mark Bauman she and he both knew that he was supposed to file a Financial Statement, whether he was acclaimed or not. They both chose to ignore provincial law and got caught red handed. The Clerk's followup attempt to coverup her and Mark's failure was not appreciated.

The CAO is ultimately responsible for the performance of all Township employees. Knowing that Val was new on the job he should have
confirmed to himself that she was on top of things especially the Municipal Election and the followup legal responsibilities of candidates. It is fair to say that he did not. Also I have to wonder how many other municipal employees are kept on the job more due to their loyalty to council and senior staff than their loyalty to the citizens paying their salaries and for whom they ultimately work.

Friday, November 2, 2018


Yesterday I mentioned Dr. Robert Case's recent article published on-line in "Community Development". Dr. Case discussed certain lessons learned from an oral history of citizen activists. Today I would like to focus on two other lessons that have not been learned by most citizens, including those who believe they are activists.

Page 90 of Dr. Case's article discusses CEAC or the Citizens Environmental Advisory Committee, a committee formed by and under the authority of Woolwich Council. Council also appointed their Chair, Dr. Murray Haight. As Council also did during the sham MECAC hearings in 2015, they had their lawyer provide allegedly independent legal advice to CEAC about not going public with the at the time, secret Uniroyal incinerator plans. Of course in both instances the lawyer was working in the Council's interests, not for the citizens. There were also two town councillors on this committee, shades of the Quentin Martin and Grace Sudden early UPAC days (January 1992).

Council and their appointed Chair did not want the Uniroyal proposal going public for fear of a strong citizen backlash. Susan Rupert and Sandra Bray, recent additions to CEAC were appalled. They had concerns that the Chair was too under the thumb of "...a town council seen by some as too cosy with Uniroyal." They both quit CEAC and along with Esther Thur founded APT. The lesson here that has been lost is very simple. Municipal councils may or may not honestly represent the local citizens. In most cases they represent the local business and industrial interests very well. Ordinary citizens not so much. Therefore how could the APT membership and coordinating council have allowed Susan Bryant and councillor Pat McLean to take CPAC into the fold of being a municipal committee in 2000? Esther Thur, Henry Regier and I all spoke against this but Pat and Susan had done their backroom lobbying ahead of time and had the votes they needed on CPAC. Disgusting and stupid. Lessons not learned.

On page 98 Dr. Case refers to CEAC and the ruptures within it i.e. Susan Rupert and Sandra Bray leaving and with Esther Thur forming APT. I believe there is a lesson here that was also lost on the APT general membership in January 1994. APT was formed directly because CEAC were seen as too close to a town council that was far too friendly with Uniroyal. The Elmira EH-Team was formed in January 1994 because Sylvia Berg managed via the cult of the personality to convince the APT coordinating committee that nothing was wrong with APT going along with the MOE's contemptible rollover on DNAPLS. While I should have split from Susan Bryant and CPAC years before I did, at least I bailed from APT at the right time. The coordinators had drifted back to their comfortable lives and left the environmental business solely in the hands of Sylvia and Susan. What a mistake. To this day on-site DNAPLS are still the major problem along with Dioxins and DDT which for the record are DNAPLS in their own right.

Thursday, November 1, 2018


The title above is just part of the following very long title namely "Environmental oversight and the citizen activist: Lessons from an oral history of activism surrounding Elmira, Ontario's 1989 water crisis". This is an approximately twenty page long article submitted to "Community Development" an on-line journal, by Professor Robert Case of Renison College, affiliated with the University of Waterloo. I received this full article only this morning from my daughter in British Columbia. You can imagine my surprise when I see that one date for it being published online is October 2016 and the other date is 2017. I was surprised because while I know the name Robert Case it is partly from his work with the Wellington Water Watchers over in Guelph. Then a little more thought ensued and yes I certainly was interviewed by him however I thought that it was many years ago and not nearly so recently as 2015-2016.

Therefore I jumped into reading this quickly this morning as I have to take my car in for snow tires, oil change etc. today. It turns out that my daughter has e-mailed Prof Case and mentioned she enjoyed the article and also enjoyed seeing her father's (moi) name in it. Frankly I was a little concerned that there might be some inaccuracies based upon the author's close relationship with the Bryant's at Renison College. Well I'm over half done the article right now and pleased to report that so far so good. Professor Case has been very good at presenting the words of the interviewees accurately including Richard Clausi and myself. Perhaps I'm correct on the timing and based upon what I've read so far Prof Case may well have sent me a Draft a few years back.

The focus of the article is on citizen organizing and activism and certainly tells how citizens can mobilize for the public good. Unfortunately,so far, it's a little light on how the story and the citizen organization has eroded. Perhaps when I finish the article I will report some more on it.