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.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry I didn't see this earlier! Okay, yes, it's a little light on the dynamics and factors underlying the erosion of community organization, I admit. Actually, I would think that to those close to it, it's also a bit light on the details of how it all worked too. But I wanted to get a version of the basic story down at least, along with a few observations about and lessons from this example of community action. Perhaps I (or someone) should get back into it to cover the ongoing story and/or to analyze the fractures and challenges, but in the mean time I am really thankful to all who shared their memories with me and to those who took this battle on!