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.

No comments:

Post a Comment