Saturday, May 30, 2020


The Mennonite title for the above very non-Mennonite title might be " Liars Are To Be Pitied and Prayed For". I was brought up in the United Church albeit married in the Mennonite Church plus my kids spent considerable time in their formative years involved with the Glen Allan Mennonite Church. Ahh good times.

Lying is contagious for those doing the lying. It also breeds more lies in order to maintain the credibility, or at least not minimize the plausible deniability of earlier lies. Lying is draining and tiring. How can pathological liars possibly remember all their past lies as well as know when to lie again in order not to be caught in an inconsistency. Oh right, if caught or confronted then just tell another, bigger one.

It is my opinion based upon evidence that GHD are continuing in the fine tradition of storytelling for which their predecessors Conestoga Rovers were famous. Yesterday I referenced the decades long story about how all contaminated ground and surface water on the east side of the former Uniroyal Chemical site (now Lanxess) has run only westwards and southwards. In fact both surface and groundwater have run eastwards onto the Stroh property as well as southwards onto the Martin farm. The fibs however get even more bizarre/wicked.

Figure 5.1 in the most recently released "Supplemental East-Side Off-Site Groundwater Investigation" dated May 21, 2020 by GHD is more of the same nonsense. Previously the Municipal Lower (ML) Aquifer did not extend under the Uniroyal/Lanxess site from west to east. That is via the company's consultants "Schematic of Hydrogeologic Units" which Dr. Richard Jackson described as a poor attempt at a Conceptual Site Model and further described the drawings as a "cartoon." This most recent Schematic however does show the ML on both the west and east sides of Uniroyal/Lanxess. The Upper Aquifer (UA) also did not extend much past the creek on the east side although now we have drawings (Fig. 5.2 & 5.3) in this most recent report that show it extending not only across the entire east side of Lanxess but also well onto the Stroh property/farm on Lanxess's east side. Despite this their May 2020 "cartoon" or Schematic of Hydrogeologic Units still shows the UA as far as across the creek on the Lanxess property and not much further.

More lies/factual fictions occur in Figures 5.2 and 5.3. GHD have conveniently and self-servingly made the Stroh Drain, Ditch and Berm (SDDB) disappear. Between multiple eye-witness accounts as well as photographs, that major hydrogeological feature is undeniable. It exists and it is controlling the flow direction of shallow groundwater in the south-east corner of the Lanxess site as well as of a good deal of the shallow groundwater on the west side of the Stroh property. The farm fields on the Stroh property are tiled according to both air photos as well as by former Woolwich councillor Mark Bauman. He pointed out to me how quite clearly the drying patterns of wet fields follows clear diagonal lines from northeast to south-west towards the SDDB. None of this is included in GHD's interpretation of groundwater flow on the Stroh and Lanxess property.

I also expect that some modifications may be required to the professionally done Conceptual Site Model (CSM) by Dr. Neil Thompson. This is because not only is the contaminant load higher to the aquifers (and the creek) due to the now apparent eastward flow of toxic liquid wastes off-site but also because at least some of them have flowed back onto the Lanxess site both via surface and groundwater.

Lastly the wishful thinking about natural attenuation really is cute. Between two different aquifers being examined for shallow aquifer contamination and the past excavations of former waste pits in the area it is ridiculous to be pretending that decreases in contamination ten feet away from formerly higher contamination zones prove that natural attenuation (i.e. bacteria and microbes) is working away gobbling up the toxic wastes. Excavation and source removal helps remediate sites. Consultants misinterpreting data does not.

Friday, May 29, 2020


For thirty years Uniroyal Chemical and their successors have all lied to citizens regarding the flow of both ground and surface water on the east side of their site. Because it suited their self-serving purposes they both verbally and in writing indicated that everything from their east side pits (RPE 1-5) flowed either westwards or southwards. According to them, time and time again, neither overflowing liquid wastes from the pits nor ground or surface water flowed eastwards onto their neighbour's property. Somehow they even managed to sell to some that southward migration from their site onto the Martin farm also did not happen. Pit RPE-5 was a few feet further away from the Stroh property line which simply enabled the company to build even more toxic waste pits between RPE-5 and the Stroh farm. These pits actually went right up to the property line and included BAE-1, RB-1 and RB-2. BAE-1 stands for Burial Area East and the RB pits stand for Reburied Drums. Right up against the property line of a working farm. How the hell were both the company and Ministry of Environment (MOE) decision makers never thrown in jail for their anti-social behaviour? This of course was but one of the many questions never answered nor addressed by all the guilty parties from 1990 until only very recently.

What kind of "responsible" chemical company locates their toxic waste pits right up to the property line with their neighbours? Five pits ran from north to south along Uniroyal Chemical's eastern property line with the Stroh farm. GP-2 (gravel pit #2) ran horizontally along Uniroyal's southern property line with the Martin farm. Uniroyal and the Ministry of Environment both claimed that GP-1 and GP-2 were the repositories of the southward flowing waste waters from pits RPE 1-5. Unfortunately that was a lie by deception and omission. It is certainly likely that some of those overflowing toxic wastes from the east side pits ended up in GP-1 and GP-2. I believe that the so called "voluntary", typical, half hearted cleanup of the two gravel pits was primarily for show and distraction. Both guilty parties, Uniroyal/Chemtura and the Ontario MOE did not want to open the can of worms that includes both the Martin and Stroh farms.

CPAC and SWAT did that for them in September and October of 2014. CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) under the chairmanship of Dr. Dan Holt proved what both Uniroyal/Chemtura and the MOE already knew from decades earlier namely that the neighbours' farms were contaminated from Uniroyal spillage and leakage. CPAC and SWAT were proven correct but as no good deeds go unpunished, Woolwich Township, via Sandy Shantz and Mark Bauman leapt to the defence of Chemtura and the Ontario MOE by manufacturing a crisis, blaming CPAC, and replacing them with brand new folks as much as possible. With the exception of Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach all CPAC and SWAT volunteers were lied about and nastily dropped from CPAC even after we had reapplied and based upon the numbers at the deadline should have all been reappointed. Dirty, filthy Woolwich politicians instead changed the rules after the fact in order to rid themselves of the best CPAC they'd ever had. Hence my undying contempt of those professional liars and manipulators, all for the benefit of the guilty, polluting parties.

Thursday, May 28, 2020


Well they don't refer to some consultants as "client driven" without good reason. GHD, on behalf of Lanxess Canada, have written this 254 page report. I've seen worse and a few better. GHD in referencing the marked decrease in contaminant concentrations literally just a few meters across Uniroyal/Lanxess's east side property line refer to "natural attenuation". Puuulease spare me that crap. If natural attenuation was in force it would also have dramatically reduced contaminant concentrations still on the Lanxess property. It has not and some of the concentrations of 2,4-D, 2,4 dichlorophenol, 2,4,5-T, 2,4,6-T and more are still horrific on site. Speaking of the 2,4-D and 2,4 dichlorophenol it seems to me that GHD have mangled the customary acronyms with them and are using 2,4-D (i.e. 2,4 dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) interchangeably with 2,4 dichlorophenol which is the precurser to 2,4-D. Also I'm kind of questioning for this groundwater investigation why GHD/Lanxess are only testing for 2,4,6-T (i.e. 2,4,6 trichlorophenoxyacetic acid) and not for 2,4,5-T which is one of the precursers for the dioxins found in Agent Orange manufactured on this site.

NDMA has been found both on the Stroh farm along their property line with Lanxess as well as 240 metres to the east. In fact it was found 240 metres to the east in both shallow and deep aquifers. That to me is quite stunning. The concentrations as expected were higher along the property line than 240 metres farther away. Similarly 2,4-D allegedly: actually 2,4 dichorophenol was found both along the Stroh/Lanxess property line as well as 240 metres to the east although again as expected concentrations were lower further away. Interestingly again this contaminant was found in both shallow and deep aquifers at distance away from Uniroyal/Lanxess. Exactly how much liquid wastes overflowed in the first place from these east side pits? Clearly it had to be a very large volume probably for a very long time for remnants of it to still be measureable fifty years after the last spill/overflow. Lastly 2,4,6-T allegedly: actually 2,4,6 trichlorophenol was found in monitoring wells on the Stroh property along the property line with Lanxess at much lower concentrations than were found on the Uniroyal/Lanxess property. They were not however found in any of the shallow or deep wells 240 mtres to the east on the Stroh farm.

I view these results as very bad news for Lanxess Canada. Fortunately however their well paid spin doctors ...oops... I mean professional consultants will make a silk purse from the proverbial sow's ear. Good for them. Honest brokers will see right through that. Politicians or self-serving individuals, will be less likely to see through it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


I have sent in notice in the appropriate manner to be a virtual Delegate to Waterloo Regional Council on June 16, 2020. The topic will be in regards to an amendment to the Regional Official Plan dealing with the alleged "rationalization" of the boundaries for Elmira. This rationalization entails a shrinkage in some areas and an addition on the east side of town which Woolwich Township wishes to add to the Town of Elmira. This addition oddly enough encompasses potentially badly contaminated soils and groundwater on both the Martin and Stroh farms.

Also interestingly today I received a 254 page report (electronically) which appears to be the most recent groundwater testing taken on the Stroh farm. The results are discouraging in that fifty years after the east side Uniroyal Chemical pits stopped their toxic contribution to soils, waters (ground & surface) and air, the remnants remain. Also discouraging is the fact that the Stroh farm has been contributing soybeans and corn to the food supply, whether animal or human, throughout that time from these soils. I do not know what proportion of contaminants may have been uptaken by these crops or whether they were ever tested for Uniroyal Chemical toxins. I am however doubtful that testing ever occurred.

The Council meeting is currently scheduled for 9 am. and there is an on-line availability to follow both the meeting and my Delegation. It is on the Region's website namely:

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


The most recent, obvious case of likely judicial misfeasance should be on everyone's lips. A suspect in a burglary, Joshua Hannaford, while in an attempt to escape from police was confronted by an armed police officer who shouted at the suspect to "Show me your hands" and "Don't move". The suspect, who was later convicvted of the burglary, was unarmed and his hands were empty. He immediately turned and fled from both a duly sworn officer attempting to arrest him as well as from an armed individual pointing a gun at him. In response the police officer opened fire in an outdoor area beside Highway 401 in Cambridge. The first five bullets went astray with bullet number six striking the fleeing suspect in the back of the thigh.

The Ontario Special Investigations Unit (SIU) which has often been criticized in the past for their alleged gentle treatment of police officers, apparently were somewhat taken aback by what might appear to some to be an egregious shooting of an unarmed, fleeing suspect of a non-violent crime. The SIU charged Officer Dorling with attempted murder, aggravated assault, discharging a firearm with intent and discharging a firearm recklessly. Firing a lethal weapon, a handgun, chambered for either 9 millimetre or .40 calibre bullets, six times at a human being who is neither attacking nor putting anyone's life in imminent peril (including the officer's) is considered both unsportsmanlike as well as illegal in the province of Ontario and most civilized countries. The first five bullets which missed (at least we hope that it was bullet six that struck the suspect) clearly were a danger to other life forms whether humanoid or not. The rule of law suggests/demands that the law be the same for everyone. If I confront a burglar in my home and he advances towards me I have a right to defend myself. On the other hand if he turns and flees out the nearest door or window, my claims of self-defence go right out the door/window with him and if I shoot him in the buttocks, back of the thigh, ot through his back into his heart then I am going to spend a very long time in jail. We the citizens of this province expect that similarly police officers will not take it upon themselves to apprehend fleeing suspects by shooting them, as if their bullets were no more lethal than a lariat or lasso to capture an animal.

We were advised that the "independent, out-of-town prosecutor", Ian Bulmer, withdrew all charges, advising the court that it would be unfair to try Officer Dorling after the earlier trial of Joshua Hannaford resulted in Mr. Hannaford's conviction for the burglary. Allegedly a trial of Officer Dorling on the charge of attempted murder as well as the gun charges against him would entail a number of the same witnesses and evidence a second time" seek a different outcome". What nonsense is this? The first trail was for a charge against Mr. Hannaford for burglary and the expected next trial would be against Officer Dorling for his entirely separate and potentially lethal actions. The piling on of support for Officer Dorling by his union rep (Mr. Egers) and the chief (Mr. Larkin), while disappointing, may have been predictable but the aiding and abetting of this judicial misfeasance included Judge Toni Skarica who above and beyond making a decision on the burglary charges also for some peculiar reason felt the need to comment upon the actions of the police officer, Mr. Dorling. Justice Skarica almost said "...that Sgt. Dorling, in an act of bravery and courage, was prepared to risk his life to confront an individual..." who was unarmed and running away from him. No, instead the Justice praised Officer Dorling and that was adequate for the "independent, out-of-town prosecutor", Ian Bulmer to drop all charges against the officer. I detect a funny odour regarding Judge Skarica's timely defence of a witness (Dorling) in a criminal trial (burglary) who himself was facing far more severe criminal charges than the burglary defendant, Hannaford. Is it possible that someone nudged Judge Skarica into speaking out and hence giving the independent, out-of-town prosecutor, an excuse to drop all charges against Sgt. Dorling? As an aside I have found in the past, the need to occasionally bring in independent, out-of-town prosecutors very strange. It's almost as if our local judicial luminaries are tacitly admitting the presence of "home cooking" regarding certain either high profile or even "political" local cases.

There may be some similarities in the quality of local justice in this case to the attempted murder conviction of Officer James Forcillo a few years back in Toronto. Officer Forcillo was "confronted" by an obviously disturbed young man on an empty streetcar by the name of Sammy Yatin. Mr. Yatin was walking back and forth inside the empty streetcar while holding a small knife in his hand. Officer Forcillo, being clearly a sensitive and caring person waited until Mr. Yatin got to the end of his forward progress in the streetcar, opposite the open doorway, and opened fire on Mr. Yatin hitting him three times and dropping him on the spot. Officer Forcillo, then proceeded to fire six more times at the already incapacitated and possibly dying Sammy Yatin, only missing the prone and still citizen but once. In an act of incredible ingenuity and flexibility to the point of contortionism, the court found Officer Forcillo guilty of only attempted murder as they ruled that the first three shots were legal and that they probably killed Mr. Yatin but the last six shots were illegal earning Officer Forcillo the attempted murder conviction. God when I grow up I want to be part of a group of "professionals" like that. Oh and as part of the blue wall of silence a second officer ran up to the now shot eight times and prone Sammy Yatin and tasered him. My guess is that the purpose of using the Taser was so that Officer Forcillo could say that the suspect was tasered first but it failed so he had to shoot him. Citizen phone videos kind of nixed that stunt.

The purpose of including this last paragraph is to indicate to readers that horrendous judicial and police behaviour and decisions are not the sole purview of Waterloo Region, for whatever that may be worth.

Monday, May 25, 2020


I had two uncles who survived World War Two despite having been in active combat. One flew bombers over Germany and the other was in the Canadian Navy. Both came home in one piece (just like my father) but none survived the working world that followed. Both my uncles became engineers on the railroad and spent the following decades taking diesel engine trains back and forth around Ontario. My uncle based out of Norwood, Ontario died at age 58 from lung cancer. The other uncle based out of Etobicoke (Toronto) made it to his retirement although his lungs and breathing passageways were very bad. He died shortly thereafter. The whole family knew that it was the diesel fumes inside enclosed train engines (especially in winter) that did them both in. The first uncle died in the mid 1980s. The science has known about the lethality of diesel fumes literally for many decades yet some decision makers inside the Canadian Border Services Agency, the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) and certain politicians who will never spend a single day working in diesel fumes pretend to know better and otherwise.

Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried Part 3 of the series by Greg Mercer titled "The Uncounted". Part 3 is titled "Workers pay the price when regulations lag behind science". Both male and female border guards have elevated rates of cancer although female guards appear especially prone to breast cancers. Nitrogen dioxide levels are routinely from 100 to 200 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) inside the guards booths and far in excess of safety levels for long term exposure. Apparently what exacerbates the health problems is a link between diesel fumes, shift work and breast cancers all three of which are in abundance at the Ambassador Bridge linking Canada and the U.S..

The WSIB in its role as protector of lower employer compensation premiums has consistently denied cancer compensation claims including breast cancers stating that they are caused by factors other than occupational exposure. In British Columbia the Supreme Court in 2016 ruled in favour of three women who were initially denied compensation for their claims that their cancers resulted from exposure to carcinogenic substances in their lab work at Mission Memorial Hospital. Apparently WSIBs across Canada have no difficulties in ignoring legal landmarks if it saves their province money on the backs of workers.

That in a nutshell is what this series in the Record is all about. It is knowing inconvenient truths and ignoring them in order to screw workers out of financial compensation that they are due from occupational health hazards. The employers don't want to spend the money necessary to protect their employees' health and the provincial governments don't want to pay them the compensation they are due after they've gotten sick. Meanwhile our judicial system conveniently keep their heads buried in the sand and pretend that this behaviour by our authorities is not criminal behaviour. In fact it is. People are dying and they are dying in difficult financial straits because of a conspiracy of self-serving silence at the top.

Saturday, May 23, 2020


Last Wednesday I posted here about sampling data for well OW 14d, 14i, 14s purportedly covering the time period from 1981 until 2017. It was of course no such thing as stated in that posting. In fact none of the three different aquifers: d-deep i-intermediate or s-shallow (water bearing zones) actually even came close to fully covering that time period or to even fully testing for all the appropriate parameters (chemicals). In fact the intermediate (Municipal Upper Aquifer) and the shallow (Upper Aquifer 1) were only tested from 1981 until 1990 and only sporadically for well known ubiquitous and signature toxic chemicals used and discharged into the natural environment by Uniroyal Chemical.

Numerous chemicals were found in all three aquifers and were introduced at the surface by overflowing waste water from the east side Uniroyal Chemical toxic waste pits known as RPE 1 to 5. These waste waters gravity flowed southwards past well OW 14 (d, i, s) onto the Stroh farm and as well flowed onto the Martin farms based upon both the volumes of overflowing liquid wastes as well as the ground surface contour lines as well as other evidence.

These chemicals common to all three aquifers include 2,4,5-T, 2,4-D, picloram, toluene, methylene chloride, and benzene. Metals were also found at concentrations sometimes well above criteria including sodium, aluminum, maganese, iron, lead, and barium. Numerous ubiquitous toxic chemicals were not found due to either zero testing between 1981 and 2017 or due to limited testing such as PCBs and the whole category (i.e. multiple chemicals) of Pesticides used or produced by Uniroyal Chemical. Xylenes were not tested for in either the deepest aquifer nor the shallowest aquifer yet were detected in the middle aquifer (i or MU). Vinyl chloride (VC) is an extremely toxic breakdown product of trichloroethylene ( which was barely tested for) and VC was only tested for approximately three times in each aquifer over these decades.

Other anomalies go back to specific chemicals being found in either the intermediate or deep aquifers but not in the shallow aquifer which is closest to the surface. These chemicals include lindane, pentachlorophenol, xylenes, and 2,4,6 trichlorophenol. This is also nonsensical. Two chemicals were found in the shallow aquifer nearest the surface which certainly should also have been found in deeper aquifers most especially in the Intermediate or MU aquifer. These two chemicals are chlorobenzene which indeed is consistently found in the MU (municipal aquifer) in Elmira and is used as a key monitoring chemical and ethyl benzene which is a ubiquitous chemical found in hydrocarbon fuels and if tested for likely would have been found in the deeper aquifers.

Anomalies appear throughout this report. They include bizarre results such as ND(0),W. A Non-Detect result at a Method Detection Limit of zero ()) makes no sense to me. These are throughout this report. Similarly there are what might be construed as typographical errors throughout the report such that results will state the following: "ND(0.3)< ". What the hell is that supposed to mean? Non-Detect at a Method Detection Limit of .3 parts per billion is less than....? Less than what? That appears nonsensical to me.

All in all an excellent set of data in order to minimize the volume, duration and extent of liquid toxic contamination in this key area of the Uniroyal site. There is yet another significant comment to be made regarding what I view as probably intentionally deceptive and misleading data. That is the following obvious concern that this report is why public consultation needs to be open, transparent, regular and available to all members of the public not just those anointed from above with the blessings of either Woolwich Council, Uniroyal/Lanxess or the Ontario MECP/MOE. In other words perhaps some of my concerns or complaints could be clarified or even explained by Lanxess, Conestoga Rovers or GHD Consultants if only I (and other informed citizens) were not discriminated against by Woolwich Township (read Mayor & Council) and denied by Woolwich's rules to be allowed to ask those parties questions at public meetings such as TAG (Technical Advisory Group) and RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee). I'm sorry but hiding from informed citizens only solidifies their belief that the entire exercise is a sham.

Friday, May 22, 2020


Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following Editorial by the Record titled "Ford stumbles over long-term care inquiry call". The Record starts off by mostly being supportive of Doug Ford and the Conservatives regarding their handling of the Covid 19 pandemic. However the Record are very blunt about Premier Ford's refusal to call for a "full, independent public inquiry into Ontario's long-term care system.". Bluntly put, they are appalled. Doug Ford instead has suggested that a government review of the long-term care system is the way to go. This is not remotely the same thing at all.

A government led review will mean that the provincial government of the day is totally in charge of the review including its scope and parameters. If there are areas of long-term care that the Conservative government does not want a light shone upon then those areas will remain in the dark. There is a much greater capacity via this route to keep certain things private. Likely things that might be either disconcerting or embarrassing to the government of the day. Do keep in mind that the opposition Liberals most certainly share blame if not the majority of it for the deterioration in elder care in this province. They were in power for the previous fifteen years after all.

Of greater concern may be the Mike Harris Conservative government back in the 1990s who opened the door to privatization. Currently the majority of long-term care homes are owned by private interests "...including one large company which has as its board chair none other than the same Mike Harris, who is paid $237,000 a year for the part-time job.". Is anyone getting a small whiff of patronage/corruption about that?

A full and independent public inquiry has a much greater chance of covering all the long-term care issues and bases and nobody currently feels that long-term care is even remotely satisfactory in the province of Ontario. Certainly Covid 19 has exposed the underbelly of the industry including less than stellar hours of care per resident despite government subsidization of all long-term care residents. Also the working conditions including wages, hours of work, and job security are sub-standard most especially considering the workload and health risks involved.

Quoting the Record's last paragraph: "SARS killed 44 in Ontario. Elizabeth Wettlaufer, eight. Walkerton, six. Ipperwash one. All these were followed by public inquiries. So far, Covid 19 has killed more than 2,000. Yet Ford doesn't think a public inquiry is needed. He needs to think again."

Thursday, May 21, 2020


First of all I have decided to postpone further comment about well OW-14 d,i.s that was discussed here yesterday.

In Tuesday's Waterloo Region Record there was an article titled "Wilmot mining aggregate below water table". In today's Record was a Letter To The Editor from Norm Cheesman, executive director Ontario Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (SSGA). I think it is pretty clear that the SSGA are a lobby group for aggregate producers and have a large vested interest in the maintenance of the status quo. In other words they are making money and lots of it and that is their first and foremost reason to be in existence as well as to lobby for fewer restrictions, rules and enforcement of their industry all of which cost them money. Notice I am not opposed to their right to lobby as it is quite understandable.

The first Record article discusses Wilmot Township's both recent and past experiences with below the water table extraction of sand and gravel. The Township's gravel pit at the corner of Queen and Huron St. has been operating below the water table since 2010, extracting 3,000 to 5,000 tonnes of gravel each year. While the area is a significant groundwater recharge zone allegedly it is far enough away from municipal drinking water supply wells to not negatively impact them. Interestingly there was no mention of neighbours, their private wells, and or any issues dealing with noise, dust, visual impacts, or truck traffic. Those issues combined with the damaging of high quality farm soils from topsoil removal are all part of the usual opposition to gravel pits. I haven't been out to view the area but at first blush at least may assume that its' location is better than many other pits in Waterloo Region.

The second article is the Letter To The Editor. Again there is virtually no mention of the often controversial issues of noise, dust, traffic, visual impacts and destruction of high quality farmland. The focus is entirely on the alleged lack of groundwater impacts caused by gravel pits. In my opinion Mr. Cheesman is gilding the lily. He boldly claims that "Thousands of pits and quarries have been operating in the province for hundreds of years with no demonstrable significant adverse effects to water." Oh boy! His statements previous to this one claim that quarries and pits that operate below the water table are required by law to mitigate impacts to wells, streams and wetlands. He is essentially bragging that every single aggregate company in Ontario, ever, has operated perfectly with zero spills of gasoline or diesel when refueling trucks and loaders and furthermore no grease, oil or fuel has ever leaked from equipment on site. He is also indirectly stating that no aggregate company has ever used their gravel pits for illegal waste disposal in order to fill them up (i.e. "rehabilitation"). Finally he is suggesting indirectly that our enforcement whether by the Ontario MECP (Environment) or the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is adequate or satisfactory.

In regards to Mr. Cheesman's bold claim about no damage in Ontario, ever, from anyone, let me simply say this. Horse feathers! Do you sir have perfect knowledge going back hundreds of years? Do you have every MNR or MECP Occurrence Report, complaint or inspection notice going back hundreds of years? Have you personally spoken to every long term nearby resident of every gravel pit in the province who knew the state of nearby surface water, streams and creeks prior to the existence of their local gravel pit? I think not! You sir are committing puffery of the most blatant kind.

Regarding his indirect only suggestion that enforcement by either the MECP or MNR is adequate or satisfactory, he must have asked those two bodies for their opinions on that matter. I personally have spent thirty years dealing with the Ontario MOE/MECP both concerning Elmira ground and surface water as well as numerous other issues throughout Waterloo Region. On a good day I will think that that body are underfunded, incompetent and negligent. On a bad day my opinions of them, based upon their actions and decisions, are even worse.

Regarding illegal waste disposal in gravel pits let me simply say that I have seen and photographed foundry wastes including papers, office wastes and phenolic resins being dumped in a local former gravel pit near Elmira. I reported it and little or nothing was done to my knowledge. Illegal use of gravel pits for waste disposal has been going on for just as long as illegal toxic waste disposal has occurred in municipal landfills throughout Waterloo Region and likely throughout the province.

Mr. Cheesman your claims are absurd however I do admit that surface and ground water testing downgradient of gravel pits is and always has been inadequate to non-existent which may buttress your claim of " demonstrable significant adverse effects to water." That said a lack of testing and a lack of data does not imply or prove no adverse effects.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020


I found this report on my computer and the most recent sampling dates are September 6, 2017 hence I must have received this in the last couple of years. It is purported to be groundwater sampling for well OW 14, specifically OW 14d, OW 14i, and OW 14s. The d, s, and i stand for deep, intermediate and shallow and correspond to the municipal lower aquifer (ML), municipal upper aquifer (MU) and finally upper aquifer 1 (UA1). Well OW 14 is located in Uniroyal/Lanxess's south-east corner close to their border with the Stroh farm and actually very close to the north end of the SDDB (Stroh Ditch, Drain & Berm). The north end is where the galvanized steel pipe comes out of the ground (horizontally) and discharges year round into the SDDB which then runs mostly southwards although there is a jog both east and then west prior to its discharge into the Canagagigue Creek.

So why the snarky title you ask? Well both CPAC (2011-Sept. 2015) years ago as well as TAG had asked for all the current and historical data from well OW 14 based upon its location in a low lying area into which I believe vast amounts of Uniroyal Chemical's overflowing waste waters travelled on their way over to the even lower lying Stroh farm. The area to the immediate east of the SDDB just before the SDDB jogs to the east is the lowest lying area where I believe hydrophobic compounds such as PCBs, dioxins/furans and DDT likely settled out of the solvent contaminated waste waters. Keep in mind the SDDB was constructed years AFTER the waste waters en masse had stopped flowing from the further north pits (RPE 1-5). Therefore the SDDB could not have stopped or intercepted the flow of these waste waters. It was built most likely to mitigate the erosion of these PCB, DDT and dioxin/furan laden soils and their discharbe into the Canagagigue Creek and eventually the Grand River. In fact interestingly it was built a few short years before the Grand River was first used as a source of drinking water (1991) in Waterloo Region.

Here is the problem with what we received. Well OW 14d intercepts the deepest overburden aquifer namely the municipal lower (ML). That aquifer, next to the even deeper bedrock aquifer, is the most protected aquifer from surface contamination. It has two aquitards (clay/silt) above it to slow down or stop the vertical spread downwards of surface contamination. These aquitards are the UAT (upper aquitard) and the MAT (municipal aquitard). The sampling dates run from September 1981 until September 2017. Unfortunately the list of parameters tested for (i.e. contaminants) dramatically shrinks after 1990. In fact there was NO testing from December 1990 until October 2000 when all of one parameter was tested for. (O.K. there was one other sample and one parameter tested in November 1991). In October 2000 one sample with all of two parameters was tested for. Then we have another nine years before the next samples were taken from this well and this aquifer (ML). Besides general chemistry parameters there were all of two contaminants tested for namely NDMA and chlorobenzene. Every two years after that one sample was taken and still only two parameters tested for. Pathetic.

Well OW 14i had sampling done from 1981 until 1990. Yup that's it. Keep in mind that this intermediate depth well intersected the Municipal Aquifer (MU) which has one less aquitard between it and contaminants discharged at the surface. While contaminants like pesticides and PCBs were steadfastly ignored (i.e. not tested for) in OW 14d, the list of non-tested contaminants expanded for well OW 14i. Fewer volatile and semi-volatile compounds (solvents) also were not routinely tested for.

Well OW 14s had the same greatly shortened time frame for groundwater testing namely 1981 until 1990. This aquifer of course is closest to the surface and the most likely to be heavily contaminated from overflowing waste waters leaving the east side pits (RPE 1-5). The lack of testing of this aquifer closest to the surface from November 1990 until the present is ridiculous especially with the greatly enhanced and expanded knowledge of east side flow from the Uniroyal/Lanxess site over to the Stroh farm after CPAC's presentation in 2014 including the MTE (More Than Engineering Consulting Co.) report. Even the 1981 until 1990 testing was unacceptable with again no PCB testing and only one sample tested for pesticides in this nine nine year time period. Volatiles and semi-volatile testing was also sporadic.

There are many other issues including inconsistent protocols and methodologies over the years. There are a couple of incidents in which method detection limits exceed criterias such as happened with vinyl chloride. I may go further into these problems tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


The asbestos mine in Baie Verte, Newfoundland stated that safety changes demanded by the workers were "economically unfeasible". Beating the owners with a 2"x 4" piece of wood is illegal but killing the employees slowly and painfully for financial profit is not. Hence my respect and admiration for the laws of man at their finest. The mine opened in 1963 and in 1976 the union brought a renowned American asbestos specialist, Dr. Irving J. Selikoff, to examine the miners. At that time 10% of the workers were found to have asbestos-related diseases. Following were the mine's owners' reluctance to fully embrace the doctor's safety recommendations.

Oh by the way this is a posting about the rest of the article that I posted about last Saturday titled "The Uncounted "Just because it's been banned doesn't mean it magically disappears" Part 2: Prevention" by Greg Mercer, Record reporter.

Estimates suggest that asbestos causes 1,900 cases of lung cancer and 430 cases of mesothethelioma per year in Canada. As serious as lung cancer is, it is the mesothelioma which is almost always fatal. The numbers of cases are based upon workman's compensation claims. However as most mesothelioma patients do not survive even for a year after diagnosis they've got bigger things to worry about such as doctor's appointments, home care and hospice issues.

In Canada there are asbestos mines in Quebec, Newfoundland and British Columbia. Both asbestosis and mesothelioma are usually fatal. Not only are many claims never filed but of those that are compensation boards have denied many of them. In my opinion a choice of a five year jail sentence or three years working in an asbestos mine would be an appropriate sentence for the decision makers either at the top of the WSIB / Workman's Compensation Board as well as the provincial politicians at the top of the food chain.

Sarnia, Ontario used to be the epicentre for occupational diseases in Canada with an epidemic of mesothelioma, leukemias, lung cancers, brain cancers, and gastro-intestinal cancers all connected to the city's chemical and refining industry. Today in Sarnia "Employers have made progress removing and containing asbestos when it's discovered in their refineries and plants.". "Sandra Kinart, an activist who lost her husband and four members of her family to to mesothelioma, said it took decades of workers dying from mysterious illnesses before people started taking the problem seriously.".

Back in Baie Verte, Newfoundland, a registry was finally set up by the provincial government to record the health and work history of the Baie Verte workers. To this day many former miners or their families are still waiting for compensation, stuck in the system, bogged down in a bureaucracy "...unable to make a link between those diseases and workplace exposure." In my opinion it is not so much a case of "unable to make a link..." as it is a case of unwilling to make a link.

Workers' cases are denied due to incomplete documentation such as missing superviors affidavits, smoking, and the miners and their spouses dying prematurely.

The dangers of asbestos have been known for a century or more in mines around the world. Financial compensation when granted is " a slap in the face" said one of the victim's sons. It is peanuts. Nobody goes to jail for the intentional infliction of mental and physical harm taking years off of workers' lives. No one goes to jail for designing a system that intentionally minimizes pain, suffering and the recognition of major on the job health hazards that were never properly addressed. By design. By intention. For profit and or for political enhancement.

One final point regarding asbestos exposure. It's not just about miners, refinery workers and manufacturing workers. Construction workers and plumbers used to install (and remove) asbestos pipe (transit pipe I believe). To this day there are still certainly asbestos pipes in Elmira delivering drinking water and most likely in Kitchener and Waterloo as well. They should have been removed decades ago but have at best only partially been done.

Saturday, May 16, 2020


The second part of Greg Mercer's (Waterloo Region Record) series is published in today's Record. It is titled "The Uncounted ... Just because it's been banned doesn't mean it magically disappears". Two weeks ago the first part of the series described in detail the Ventra (formerly Pebra) plastics factory in Peterborough and the cancer clusters in its' workers. Today focuses on asbestos related diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. A year ago Greg Mercer focused on the plethora of retired, sick and or dead rubber workers from Kitchener, Ontario. Just like today's article it's all about our WSIB (Workplace Safety & Insurance Board, formerly WCB) following provincial government direction and avoiding paying compensation to victims of long known and understood occupational diseases.

Almost any quasi or semi-credible excuse will work for our provincial government to avoid paying claims. And you think some insurance companies are shysters? It's like the old joke about the young man telling his father that when he grows up he wants to work in organized crime. His father then asks him "government or private ?" Excuses include lifestyle factors (weight, smoking), evidence demanded of individual workers far beyond reasonable or beyond their intellectual training or capability to provide. This would include affidavits and documentation from personal supervisors attesting to your on the job time and exposure to hazards. In other words if your employer or his designated managers/supervisors refuse to co-operate then you the worker are screwed (yet again). Plain refusal to accept results from longstanding and medically accepted or peer reviewed health studies is also important. In short the goal is to delay, delay and delay some more hopefully until the applicants have either given up or are disabled or even dead. The strategy has been very successful for both private industry and government. Go back to the joke about organized crime a few sentences ago.

Crime requires victims. Our governments are hell on wheels in regards to private industry obvious crime, especially if they the government aren't getting their cut. After all our governments wish to "legally" exploit... i.e. steal from their own citizens. The most straightforward way is via excessive taxation or if possible even taxes on taxes. Income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, inheritance taxes...while the list continually grows on taxes from all levels of government, the reality is that there is but one taxpayer for all of these levels of taxation. Therefore our governments need to curtail as much as possible, private thefts which diminish the taxpayers ability to continually fund bloated, lazy, unnecessary or incompetent governance. The problem for citizens and taxpayers arises when government are the ones providing the so called services such as Workman's Compensation for workers injured by either accidents or occupational diseases.

At that point they adopt the worst behaviours of monopolistic corporations. No competition means no worrying about losing business and revenue from unhappy customers. They have no other options to choose from. Lying, cheating, deceiving and literally sacrificing thousands of future workers on the alter of the gods of economics, money and power becomes standard operating procedure for governments. Rocking the boat by doing the right thing simply isn't an option for them. Political parties live and die based upon money which almost by definition is provided by the already wealthy and powerful who wish to remain that way. The status quo is their god. Change for the sake of amassing more wealth and power by Canadian financial elites is O.K. if necessary.

Hence all our governments are inherently dishonest and corrupt. They are also in gross conflicts of interest. We've all heard the biblical pronouncement against a man serving two masters. Well our governments are attempting it and generally failing.

More specifics on this occupational health article will likely be forthcoming on Monday or Tuesday.

Friday, May 15, 2020


This report was published in 2017 and purports to be an analysis or investigation of the situation as it existed in late 2016 in Elmira, Ontario. I have some issues with their alleged time frame as it does not jive with the realities of what the authors refer to as the CAG or Citizens Advisory Group. That acronym and full name by the way are a construct of the authors as that name /acronym have never existed here in Elmira. The authors are three professors from the University of Waterloo namely Philpot, Johnson and Hipel. Prof Keith Hipel I believe is a very well known hydrogeologist and extremely well respected in his field.

Also I have some issues with the focus of this report because quite frankly I don't fully understand it. It is a strategic analysis of an environmental conflict between Uniroyal Chemical, the Ontario Ministry of Environment, local government (municipal/regional) and local citizens organized into an advisory committee. This "strategic analysis" is conducted using the Graph Model for Conflict Resolution (GMCR). While I follow most of their text, I found the bottom right hand side of page 142 to be incomprehensible. It is a mathematically expressed description of human behaviour under conflict that can be used to predict outcomes. As a layperson, albeit far more knowledgeable about the history, facts and science involved with the Elmira Water Crisis of 1989 than 99 1/2 % of the residents past or present, I am still stumped as to the efficacy, and or details of this purported ability to predict outcomes. I'm not suggesting that it is "piled higher and deeper", the derogatory expression of some people towards PhDs. Instead I am simply admitting my lack of psychological expertise or knowledge that would likely assist me in a better understanding of this report.

There are however still two problems with this paper. Dr. Richard (Dick) Jackson was the Chair of the brand new Technical Advisory Committee (TAG) from September 2015 until his resignation of December 2016. While TAG was appointed under disgusting, dishonest and contemptible circumstances by mayor Sandy Shantz (aided and abetted by former councillor Mark Bauman), nevertheless Dr. Jackson was the real deal. In fact he was far and away the most knowledgeable and experienced Chair ever of the local citizens committee. In my opinion Dr. Dan Holt was the second best although his technical experience, like everyone else's, could not hold a candle to Dr. Jackson's. Not so much of a whisper in this paper regarding Dr. Jackson and TAG although the time frame of the report is " it existed in late 2016... ." That's weird.

Secondly this paper unfortunately although unsurprisingly relies on one involved citizen (Ms. Bryant) whose motivations have become suspect not just with me but with numerous other local citizens. These motivations/biases have resulted in factual errors in this report including the failure to acknowledge excellent work done by other "Citizen Advisory Groups" such as the last Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) from 2011-September 2015. Also as stated absolutely no mention of TAG and Dr. Jackson. The new Chair of TAG, Tiffany Svensson did not start until January 2017. Other self-serving errors by Ms. Bryant include her input suggesting that the "penultimate" CPAC was the one that she and former councillor and failed mayoralty candidate Pat McLean ran from 2000 until 2011 when the new mayor refused to reappoint them to CPAC. More recent reports and documentaries have included a larger cross-section of local citizens (including Ms. Bryant) and have been superior as a result. Her long term bias against sharing the spotlight has diminished favourable results for local citizens and for the environment.

Thursday, May 14, 2020


Yesterday I reported on a published 1995 study by University of Waterloo groundwater experts initiated by the national attention around the 1989 Elmira Water Crisis. Today I'm going to point out how many drinking water wells have either been shut down, abandoned, altered/amended, continually rotated in and out of production, or diluted by mixing with new wells drilled hundreds of metres away but listed as part of the same wellfield. Yes the Region of Waterloo have taken steps to "fix" our groundwater supplies. Unfortunately they mostly took them about thirty to fifty years too late. Indeed the Region only came into existence in the 1970s but then and now they are merely another level of municipal politician whether from the three large cities or from the four Townships. Also their steps to "fix" things didn't start until after we were into the so-called "turnaround" decade i.e. the 1990s.

I also am going to expand on yesterday's post with new information. Firstly the authors investigated and determined that there were approximately 800 potential industrial sites within Kitchener and Waterloo that have contributed to our chemical laden groundwater. Personally I would have expected perhaps 80 sites but both on page 145 and page 150 they refer to 800 sites. Secondly on page 145 they advise that "...the length of time for surface contamination to reach the aquifer could be as little as ten years." This is restated on page 154 thusly: "The resulting migration pathways indicate that middle aquifer wells may not be provided much protection from the water quality in the upper aquifer by the overlying Maryhill clay till; travel times for a conservative contaminant passing through the clay till are as short as ten years." Finally page 159 also discusses this lack of natural protection of our drinking water aquifers thusly: "The sand core of the Waterloo Moraine being a near surface unit with only a patchy, discontinuous surface till cover (Maryhill and Tavestock tills) is particularly vulnerable to contamination, since this sand is the principal aquifer in the area of the moraine."

The authors make a suggestion (in 1995) that I've have long understood to be true and that is that there is a contaminant plume leaving the old Ottawa St. Landfill site now known euphemistically as the Sid McLennan ski hill. I believe that years ago there was a reference in the K-W Record to 1,4 dioxane having to receive special treatment in the Greenbrook Wellfield. I believed at the time that that was courtesy of Varnicolor Chemical in Elmira using that dump...oops sorry "engineered landfill" for drums filled with used solvents etc. Some older readers may recall the mini scandal in the very early 1990s when I exposed the lax enforcement at the Region's dumps/landfills allowing liquid toxic wastes to continue being illegally dumped in them. Other industrial chemicals found in the Greenbrook Wellfield in the 1990s include benzene, ethyl benzene, tetrachloroethylene, toluene and xylene. These are all common solvents found at Uniroyal Chemical, Varnicolor and probably hundreds of other industries. Hey if dumping on your own property is forbidden and there is cheap (albeit illegal) disposal at Erb St. (Waterloo) or Ottawa St. (Kitchener) then have at it. Varnicolor used to send an employee down with a bottle of booze to lubricate the entry of their drums.

This 1995 report focuses on one Waterloo Wellfield (William St. wells) and three Kitchener Wellfields namely the Strange St. wells, the Parkway wells and the Greenbrook wells. The William St. wells in 1995 consisted of wells W-1B, W-1C, W-2 and W-3. The same wells are in use today albeit with major shutdowns and major management namely "Wells W-1B and W-2 were offline for 12 weeks, Well 1-C was offline for 18 weeks in 2019, Well W-3 was offline for all of 2019. William St Well Supply was offline for 14 weeks in 2019." These shutdowns and quote are from the recently released Region of Waterloo Annual (Water) Report for the William St. wells. Trichloroethylene was (1995) and still (2019) is a problem in these wells.

The Strange St. Wellfield in 1995 consisted of wells K-10, K-11, K-12, K-13, K-14, K-17 and K-18. Technically the only remaining wells from this wellfield today are wells K-13 and K-18. That isn't the whole picture however. In fact the Strange St. Wellfield today consists of wells K-10A, K-11A, K-13, K-18 and K-19. Well sort of. K-13 and K-18 are listed as current wells although they and well K-19 were shut down entirely last year (2019). The renamed K-10A, K-11A likely were either drilled beside the former wells (K-10 & K-11) or they were drilled deeper with a sleeve preventing inflow from the contaminated part of the aquifer. Regardless well K-10 A was offline for 15 weeks and well K-11A was offline for 9 weeks in 2019. Contamination spreads both laterally and vertically and hangs around for a very long time. A number of contaminants in 1995 (benzene, ethyl benzene, tetrachloroethylene, toluene and xylene) through shutdowns and other management practices did not appear in 2019 testing.

The Parkway Wellfield in 1995 consisted of wells K-31, K-32, K-33, K-34 and K-36. Currently those same wells are still in production. The last two were shut down for five weeks in 2019. Trichloroethylene, a DNAPL chemical, is still found in low concentrations in wells K-31, K-32 and K-33 as it was in 1995.

Lastly we have the Greenbrook wells which were mentioned in paragraph three. In 1995 that Wellfield consisted of wells K-1, K-2, K-3, K-4, K-5, K-6 and K-8. Technically the only remaining well today is well K-8 however wells K-1A, K-2A, K4-B and K-5A are now part of the Wellfield in 2019. Similar to the Strange St. Wellfield I understand that these renamed wells occurred after rehabilitation of the old contaminated wells occurred likely by the same methods i.e. relocating a few feet away or by drilling deeper to avoid old contamination.

In the title I mention "...For The Financial Benefit Of The Few". Which few? How about the owners of the polluting companies who instead of absorbing the full costs of the production of their products which includes proper and safe waste disposal, instead chose to dump either on their own properties or into the nearest surface water body. They externalized their costs onto the environment and onto the rest of their fellow citizens health and well being. The question is why have successive generations of politicians and bureaucrats allegedly working for our benefit (the public) continually hidden or minimized the negative effects of this anti-social behaviour upon our drinking water and our health? Is it guilt? Our governments failed to protect us from 1850 until at least 2000 from polluters and they continue to coverup for them even today.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020


This is the result of the heavy industrialization within Kitchener-Waterloo (shhh- & Cambridge) from approximately 1850 until 2005. The report that I have been rereading is on-line and is titled "Groundwater contamination in the kitchener-waterloo area, Ontario" dated January 1995. The authors were a multitude of hydroegeologists from the University of Waterloo and their report was published in the Canadian Water Resources Journal.

After reviewing this article I will say in a nutshell that plans for looking at a pipeline to one of the Great Lakes twenty-five plus years ago were not premature based upon the extent of contamination in the aquifers of the Waterloo Moraine in Waterloo and Kitchener. The industries involved included plastics, leather tanning, textiles (woolen mills etc.), rubber and chemical industries. The toxic chemicals and heavy metals in our drinking water aquifers include trichloroethylene (TCE), NDMA, benzene, toluene, xylenes, PCBs, cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury, and aluminum. What is likely of great significance is the number of drinking wells in Waterloo Region closed down due to industrial contamination over the last thirty years or more. Furthermore while this study by U. of Waterloo experts, provoked by the 1989 Elmira Water Crisis (pg. 147), focused on Kitchener and Waterloo, do not doubt for a second the volume, density and only possibly in hindsight, the anti-social environmental behaviour of industrialists in Cambridge (Hespeler, Preston, Galt).

Instead of proceeding with a Great Lakes pipeline, our local illuminaries decided instead to pick upon the Grand River. Or more accurately to pick upon the residents of the Grand River watershed. As bad as our groundwater has become, the Grand River has been the recipient of most if not all of these contaminants right from the beginning of local industrialization. Surely the most soluble contaminants are long ago deposited into Lake Erie but certainly contaminated sediments, creekbank soils and floodplain soils continue on just as they do downstream of Elmira in the Canagagigue Creek.

This report also takes careful aim at our beloved (Ha!) Ontario Ministry of Environment and their somewhat notorious past dealings with polluting industries. In fact there is significant discussion regarding the lack of public trust in both government and industry. That lack of trust is, in my opinion, deserving.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020


Sub-title: "Naughty Days Are Here Again". Perhaps that's a take-off of an old song. Regardless I plead guilty. I was sent this cartoon by an environmental colleague and friend. He too has little respect for politicians, lawyers, bureaucrats, stuffed shirts, pompous government employees etc. Then in an act of absolute political "terrorism" I sent this cartoon on to our esteemed mayor, Sandy Shantz. Oops that's really not the Canadian way. My bad. Maybe I'm misjudging her. She has publicly accused me of being a "conspiracy theorist" during her far too friendly time in front of the Municipal Elections Compliance Audit Committee (MECAC). Maybe she actually appreciated this cartoon.

Monday, May 11, 2020


I found this study/report on-line in the publication "Canadian Public Administration January 2008". I believe that it was originally written in 1995 or 1996 by the authors Mark Baetz and Brian Tanguay, both of Wilfred Laurier University. The title of the study is "Damned if you do, damned if you don't: Government and the conundrum of consultation...". While I am in agreement with most of the opinions and facts in this study I will say that the title should have been "Damned if you do, damned if you don't, especially if you try to have your cake and eat it too". This is because the authors make it clear that the Ontario Ministry of Environment's motives in favour of public consultation were very suspect and that they lied to the first group (CEAC) on a substantive issue (extent of deep contamination at Uniroyal Chemical) and then turned around and held private meetings/negotiations with Uniroyal in the summer of 1991 while intentionally excluding public consultation, the rest of the parties at the Environmental Appeal Board, and the very involved public namely APT Environment. Then after the MOE had given the company (Uniroyal) an Indemnity (sweetheart deal) they suddenly decided that they wanted to include the public in the intentionally narrowed and scoped discussions of issues after the fact and after the settlement.

The Globe & Mail (G & M) newspaper in Toronto called the proposed hydraulic containment (i.e. pump & treat) the "cheap way out" as it would permit Uniroyal to avoid actually cleaning up their own property. G & M also quoted a highly experienced hydrogeologist who advised that "containment wells are only effective when the majority of the wastes are excavated". Pages 403 to 408 of this study make it clear that Dr. John Cherry (U. of Waterloo), CEAC and others were appropriately opposed to Uniroyal's early (1982-83) request to turn on on-site pumping wells PW1 and PW3. Dr. Murray Haight, both of Elmira and of Wilfred Laurier University stated that Uniroyal and the MOE "...had the solutions before they had a full understanding of the problem". On page 408 the authors of this study/report suggest that the MOE wanted CEAC's (Citizens Environmental Advisory Committee) input for "cosmetic" reasons. Unfortunately that is the history and reality of the next iteration of public consultation namely the Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee (UPAC) as well. APT are quoted in this study/report saying that UPAC was nothing but "another tool used by Uniroyal to delay, to minimize what they have to do and to isolate the company from public criticism."

This study also mentions Varnicolor Chemical in the footnotes (42). Interestingly APT suggests that the MOE attempted to co-opt APT. While unsure of that it would be no great surprise as while APT members were not co-opted by anybody, I believe that their leadership was co-opted by Woolwich Township and the Region of Waterloo. Unfortunately there is evidence that later on even Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura may have had some influence over Susan Bryant via work (editing of e-Dat) she has publicly admitted to doing for the benefit of Conestoga Rovers, Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura's long time client driven consulting company.

In the first paragraph I state that I am in agreement with "...most of the opinions and facts in this study...". There is however some interesting historical revisionism underway by the APT leadership on page 413. They falsely claim that Richard Clausi and I (and Esther Thur) left APT Environment in January 1994 because we insisted that APT had to resign from UPAC. That is self-serving bull.... from likely both Susan Bryant and Sylvia Berg (maybe Glenys as well). Neither Richard nor I (Esther wasn't at the meeting) said one word about APT resigning from UPAC. The irony is that even if we did (and we didn't), in fact six months after the three of us resigned from APT Environment, APT turned around and resigned from UPAC due to UPAC's ongoing acceptance of Uniroyal and the MOE's self-serving actions and decisions. Hence there is no shame or possible criticism if Richard or I criticized UPAC which we may have. All we wanted and insisted was necessary was for APT to stand up and denunciate the MOE's December 10, 1993 letter accepting Conestoga Rover's pathetic DNAPL plans. Our issue was DNAPLS and APT's (Sylvia Berg's) rolling over on the issue while Susan and Darrol were absent (India). Finally I resigned because 1) Richard did first and 2) Sylvia after winning APT's support to do nothing insisted that I could no longer sit on UPAC with her. What an incredibly sneaky bit.. .

Talk about hypocrisy! The same APT members who argued with Susan Rupert in 1991 that APT needed to sit at the proposed public meetings (UPAC) then turned around and defended their resigning from UPAC in June 1994 because UPAC, the MOE and Uniroyal were behaving exactly as Susan Rupert told them that they would behave and hence APT should not be part of that process. Furthermore APT leadership are quoted in this article stating that the MOE only wanted APT's presence at UPAC in order to legitimize the MOE's decisions whether or not APT agreed with them. Again exactly as Susan Rupert warned them would happen. Either the APT leadership were co-opted or they had their own self-serving agendas. Funny how Sylvia had former Mayor Bob Waters support in her run for Woolwich Council/mayor? and how both Susan Bryant and her later sidekick Pat Mclean both personally benefited from their association with UPAC/CPAC (i.e. Pat had all expense paid trips around North America courtesy of Crompton's endorsement of her to the National Advisory Panel for the Canadian Chemical Producers Assocn. and Susan also won lots of awards from the local political or quasi political bodies such as the Region of Waterloo & GRCA). Whatever floats your boat likely motivated them more than environmental or human health considerations. This would include removing via backstabbing any and all perceived threats to their unilateral/bilateral preeminence within APT. I believe this included Susan Rupert, myself, Richard Clausi, Esther Thur and Dr. Henry Regier. Fabulous manipulators and it's so much easier to remove APT members when only one party is doing the backstabbing and manipulating behind the scenes.

APT had real influence in the early days but a pair of clever manipulators undermined them early on. Did the MOE, Uniroyal, Woolwich Township etc. aid and abet that pair early on and then aid and abet Pat and Susan B. later on as well? I suspect they did based upon the benefits they received. Former APT Environment members likely will never admit to this even if they suspect it. Afterall they want to go to their graves believing that they were part of an environmental success story. Hell everybody wants that. Unfortunately it's not the reality. Elmira is an environmental failure for the environment and for its' citizens. The polluter, their regulator and local politicians are the winners. As usual.

Saturday, May 9, 2020


What a weird title above. O.K. here goes: It's May 9, 2020 and it's snowing HEAVILY outside as I speak. Even deniers of global warming & climate change have to at least be wondering WTF is going on.

The rest of the title is what I will now be discussing. Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following article titled "THE UNCOUNTED A Six-Week Series". The author, Greg Mercer, was responsible for the series regarding Kitchener's rubber workers and their treatment at the hands of the "murderers" listed in my title above. I apologize for the term "murderers" however anything stronger might be construed as too offensive.

Ventra Plastics, Pebra and now Flex-N-Gate (U.S.) is the name of the company in Peterborough, Ontario responsible for but one more government abomination causing sickness, disease, disability and death in Ontario. Apparently the well known General Electric death and sickness factory in that town wasn't enough. One of the best quotes in this article is "This is not a compensation system for workers". Indeed it is not. It is an intentional, devious and contemptible government scam forced upon Ontario workers to rob them of both their legal rights and their health. It is also a convenient way to save employers millions of dollars in high compensation premiums and as well to reduce their pension payouts to workers who die prematurely. Meanwhile immigration of young future workers will ensure an acceptable, expendable labour force who will be the next generation of widgits in the production process.

Workman's Compensation Boards (WCB) followed by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) have long insisted upon ridiculous and unprovable levels and standards of evidence in order to prove that workers' have become sick, disabled or dead due to occupational diseases. Meanwhile the working conditions in some of these plants have a decades long history of employees forced to inhale "...fumes from glue, paint, and plastic solvents that gave them chronic headaches and made them dizzy.". In order to feed their families they were forced to inhale "...toxic chemicals such as benzene, toluene, xylene, vinyl chloride and formaldehyde...". Science and medicine have known of the dangers of solvents and many other industrial compounds for at least eighty years and possibly longer but when you are in complete charge of a system and lack basic ethics and human decency then you can manipulate it to your self-serving ends. Those ends basically translate to money, authority and power.

So right now believe if you will that our governments from municipal, regional, provincial and federal really do care about we expendable citizens and workers. Even if you think that they are doing a good job in the midst of the current COVID crisis, that does not undue the injustices, horrible yet fully preventable sicknesses that hundreds of thousands of workers have suffered and the premature deaths of so many simply to maintain the power, authority and profits of so few.

Friday, May 8, 2020


Let's see: Today is my sister's birthday. She turned 80 today. That bodes well for my longevity as my twin brother passed away four years ago and my parents died at 73 and 78 respectively. I am officially, as undiplomatically pointed out by my daughter twelve days ago, closer to 71 than 70. Also my son's birthday is only five days away. Thirdly the Elmira Advocate was launched ten years ago today. I am both pleased and take as a point of pride and a badge of honour that my Blog is despised by many. Many liars, many deceivers, many politicians, many bureaucrats, many involved in both our environmental as well as judicial systems. It is not one's job title that determines whether they hate either me or the Elmira Advocate. It's their behaviour including manipulation of people and facts as well as their aversion to the truth and conversion to "alternate realities", "gilding the lily" or "factual fictions". I, along with the rest of the world, am human. I make mistakes. What I do not do and never have done is intentionally mislead, prevaricate or knowingly provide inaccuracies. Our world unfortunately incentivizes (financially promote's) the best liars among us. That certainly has led to a plethora of unkind jokes about lawyers and politicians. e.g "It's not fair that 93% of lawyers give all the rest a bad name." Substitute politicians for lawyers and you can probably up the percentage to 95.

Yes the world is corrupt through and through. Note I do not believe that the majority of people are corrupt. It's the 2-4% of us who have made their lifetime ambition to be in charge and control of the rest of us, who are the problem. Whether their program has included direct or indirect political control, economic control or other means, that is where the problem lies. If only the other 96-98% of us would only pay more attention. Easier said than done especially when most do not even see or believe the problems facing both human beings and the planet itself.

Thursday, May 7, 2020


My first guess would be no. This is based upon all the wonderful on-line articles, newspaper stories, reports, studies and even my own Elmira Advocate postings which certainly do not give a positive, upbeat impression of Uniroyal Chemical. Oh and lest we forget, my book "Elmira Water Woes: The Triumph Of Corruption, Deceit and Citizen Betrayal" is also on-line in its entirety. So this begs the question for me as to how a couple of presumably, potentially, or probably highly contaminated sites can have such a tiny on-line presence. Certainly the timing for the first, Hart Chemical, might be such that it was gone from Guelph, Ontario essentially prior to the real start up of the Internet. The second company, Huntsman Corp., which was located at the same address and on the same property is similar. There are articles regarding Huntsman activities at other locations (U.S.) but little or nothing about their tenure in Guelph, Ontario on the banks of the Eramosa River. Coincidentally (or not) the Eramosa River has also been blessed in the past with municipal/industrial dumps both immediately upstream and downstream of the Hart/Huntsman and now PDI (bulk carriers) location at 256 Victoria Rd.

I remember all of once, Jeff Merriman, environmental engineer for Uniroyal, Crompton, Chemtura suggesting that the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant was an ongoing polluter to the Canagagigue Creek and hence everything in the creek was not necessarily his employer`s fault. I was later surprised that Uniroyal and subsequent owners were so careful not to point out municipal or provincial contributions to the chemically enhanced creek via former landfills both up and downstream of the Uniroyal Chemical plant. Why not. Well that should be obvious in hindsight. The left hand washes the right hand which washes the left hand... . Woolwich Township have been long and truly in bed with both the Ontario Ministry of Environment and with Uniroyal and their later corporate iterations. It`s far more than Uniroyal simply providing local employment and some local taxes to the municipality. It`s also about all parties having dirty hands environmentally hence people who live in glass houses should not throw stones at each other.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020


Friday April 4, 2014. Just over six years ago Gail Martin of the Elmira Independent wrote two stories titled "In-Situ remediation project moves forward" and "MOE plans DDT study". The first story described two failed attempts as of that date to use In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) to lower the concentrations of off-site "hot spots" of contamination. The third location to be attempted was by off-site pumping well W3 which is located very close to the Midas muffler shop on Industrial Dr. It too in hindsight failed according to Conestoga Rovers and Chemtura due to factors out of their control. Not so according to Dr. Richard Jackson a couple of years later. Dr. Jackson, Chair of TAG (Technical Advisory Group) claimed that the ISCO tests failed due to either incompetence or lack of knowledge/effort/will. Perhaps all of the preceding. I have to tell you that Elmira was the big loser when Susan Rupert (one of the APTE founders), the Elmira Independent, and Dr. Jackson all departed.

The second article refers to a new planned DDT study. Ostensibly this is in response to a request from CPAC to the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE). I am however a little skeptical about that. It seems that of the many excellent ideas that some UPAC or CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) members have come up with over the decades, very few are ever sincerely acted upon by either the MOE or Uniroyal/Chemtura. Those that have been are for self-serving purposes of either Chemtura or the MOE or more likely both. In other words they are to advance private plans that those two parties already have.

Guess what? Currently and since 2017 the MOE and Chemtura/Lanxess Canada have been working towards another Site Specific Risk Assessment (SSRA). A rose by any other name smells just as corrupt. The testing in the Canagagigue Creek in 2012, 2014, 2015 etc. all is leading towards the tried and proven black art of SSRA. That process perhaps does not need to be corrupt but as long as the polluter, their consultants and the equally corrupt regulator (MOE/MECP) are in charge of the process, it's pretty much a given. The SSRA is for the downstream Canagagigue Creek (the "Gig") from the current Lanxess (Uniroyal Chemical) site to the mouth of the "Gig" at the Grand River just south of West Montrose. Each and every study since 2012 has been vigorously studied, and criticized for a plethora of major flaws and each and every one of those criticisms have fallen on the deaf and biased ears of the corrupted parties. These criticisms have come from multiple CPAC and TAG members who have volunteered their time and expertise. This expertise includes hydrogeologists, biologists, remediation specialists, and local citizens with decades of experience reading technical reports, questioning and debating the polluter's and the MOE's experts.

Is our future in doubt? Hardly unless or until Ontario citizens wake up and take this province back from politicians and their self-serving supporters. Perhaps as "climate change" continues to unleash hell upon the world, citizens everywhere will wake up to the unpalatable truth that our politicians have failed to embrace the long term public interest in favour of short term monied interests. So it has always been and will likely continue until the end.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020



May 8, 2010. That was my first post here on the Elmira Advocate. I tended to focus entirely, as per the description at the top of my Blog, on "Advocating for citizens of Woolwich Township with regards to the environment, surface water, drinking water and contaminated industrial sites." Over the years my focus has stayed on Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura and now Lanxess Canada while also writing about numerous other local environmental issues. These would include contaminated gas stations, gravel pits, methane issues at Bolender Landfill, odour issues in Elmira, Woolwich Bio-En, asbestos and lead in both Elmira's and Kitchener-Waterloo's drinking water etc. Since last October I have also posted occasionally here regarding issues that I formerly kept on my Waterloo Region Advocate Blog. These would include the justice system, police, labour, politics, education and corruption in any and all of them.

I posted my book titled "Elmira Water Woes: The Triumph of Corruption, Deceit and Citizen Betrayal" on my Waterloo Region Advocate Blog. It is also posted in its' entirety on the Cambridge Advocate Website. I decided one to cut back on writing two separate Blogs and I decided to leave my Waterloo Region Advocate Blog with the focus of the last two months (April-May 2019) on my book.

Environmentally I have also expanded the scope of my Elmira Advocate Blog to include provincial and sometimes national environmental issues. These would include the scandal of mercury poisoning at Grassy Narrows, environmental threats from derailed trains carrying crude oil, very slight coverage of pipeline issues in Alberta and B.C. and more. Of late after a few weeks of writing about the Region of Waterloo Annual (Water) Reports for Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, and the four Townships I have been focusing on some absolutely ridiculous and horrible pollution in Guelph including Chemtura Canada, IMICO, potentially Hart/Huntsman, plus multiple leaking landfills in and around the Speed and Eramosa Rivers as well as beside residential homes close to York and Victoria Rds. in Guelph.

I also have focused on local governance here in Woolwich Township. It is truly awful. Combined with the corruption/deceit of MECAC (municipal election compliance audit committee) was the corruption/deceit of our local (Kitchener) judicial system in refusing to enforce the Municipal Elections Act.

What have I learned? In a nutshell I quote from a T-shirt worn to public meetings by environmentalist and activist Pat Potter. It goes like this:


Monday, May 4, 2020


The actual full title of the story by Rob O'Flanagan is "River trash : Guelph's historical garbage just below the surface". The first few pages of the story show pictures of the Eramosa River and two of them are fairly disgusting. The one shows numerous glass bottles along the bank, some broken and some not. The other shows old electrical components including wires on the bank of the river. Possibly one item visible could be an old electrical ballast. If that is so then that is quite likely to be one of the sources of PCBs in both nearby soils and the river itself. I received this article from an old friend and environmental colleague living in Guelph.

Glass bottles, electrical wires, leather items, old toys, household garbage and foodstuffs and leaking car batteries. This situation likely runs from the Hanlon Expressway all the way to Victoria Rd. a distance of about 2.5 kilometres. There were a total of eleven dumps along that stretch of river. The first was on the west side of the Hanlon and the last on the west side of Victoria Rd. between the river and the south end of streets such as Lawrence, Audrey, Menzie, Kingsmill and Hayes. That information makes the very minimal outdoor soil vapour testing at a few streets nearest Victoria Rd. appear to be minimalist in the extreme. Similarly proposed indoor air testing for toxic vapours again in only a few streets nearest Victoria Rd. appears to be an attempt to "scope" or hide the potential extent of the problem.

There is no doubt that local industries enjoyed the privilege of dumping both inert and toxic wastes into these municipally condoned dumps. The term Landfill Site is far too nice of a term for car parts, pop, milk, beer, and liquor bottles combined with metal scraps, foundry wastes, probably liquid waste solvents and worse. The leachate from these dumps would be being discharged directly into the Speed and Eramosa Rivers. Also methane gas is formed courtesy of rotting foodstuffs. Both methane gas as well as solvent vapours (eg. trichloroethylene-TCE) are common examples of vapour intrusion into buildings and homes and while the first is explosive the second is horribly toxic to both pets and human beings. One witness stated in the article that he has come across strong and noxious vapours from even minor digging in the soils near the rivers.

Then of course we also have the non-voting residents of the area such as turtles, fish, muskrats, beavers and other wildlife. They have long been the recipients of the largesse of human beings who have become a plague upon the earth. We can do better and that includes proper cleanup of our sordid past behaviours. Excuses by the Ministry of Environment that we didn't know better at the time are exactly that: excuses.

Saturday, May 2, 2020


First of all I have zero regrets for stepping up and taking action. I have zero regrets for calling out individuals, companies, government agencies, and governments themselves (municipal, regional and provincial) for their inaction, deceit, incompetence, dishonesty and or willful negligence of the public interest. I was as brainwashed as all the rest for far too long as I wanted to believe that our governments inherent purpose is to protect their citizens as well as to promote their legitimate interests. If only.

If nothing else I have realized that governments can and do move amazingly quickly when they are inspired to do so. The current Covid 19 crisis is a textbook case on how fast and quickly governments can respond to a crisis if they feel it is in their best interests to do so. Yes there were several governments who fell short on the timely and quick scale. Clearly England (Boris Johnson) and the United States (Donald Trump) are the best examples of that. China may have stalled and delayed initially but once well and truly motivated they have stopped the pandemic in their country. A little late for the rest of us undoubtedly but we did have the luxury of several weeks to see its' seriousness before it got to us, mostly by personal travel of our own citizens.

So let's be bluntly honest here. Thirty plus years later and the Uniroyal Chemical site is not cleaned up. That is undisputed and in fact almost a perverse/reverse point of pride. The claim that the site is too polluted to bother cleaning it up is nonsensical, self-serving "poo poo del toro" as Dr. Henry Regier has been known to say. "Containing" the site versus cleaning it up is the mantra of world class polluters and their sycophantic regulators. The problem of course is that practitioners of world class puffery (i.e. p.. p.. del toro) will always advise us that a grossly contaminated site is 100% "contained" even if it's barely 40% contained. Some of those practitioners are so used to their own bull ... that they've come to believe their own misrepresentations, exaggerations and supreme gilding of the lily. Their attitude is "here's the plan/theory, here's at least some of the resources needed to implement the plan/theory and the starting date is now hence it's a done deal and forever more we will claim victory. Critics or skeptics are mere naysayers.

The Uniroyal site is not and likely never will be, or at least not within the next two hundred years, seriously cleaned up much less 100% cleaned up is because that is exactly what our provincial and federal governments want. They do not want the monied and influential interests in this country to feel penalized because they were forced to clean up polluted sites that the governments of the day tacitly if not explicitly condoned. Some countries do force private companies to fully or mostly clean up their messes. I expect that European countries in general require more cleanup than we do. Superfund designated sites and their owners in the United States appear to be on the hook much more than contaminated sites and their owners are in Canada. They do however allow client driven consultants to intervene on belalf of their polluter clients albeit those same consultants do not fully drive the remediation plans as they do here.

The IMICO site in Guelph is another terrible example. Varnicolor Chemical in Elmira has had much greater overall (surface) cleanup than Uniroyal. Still thirty years later and the Ontario MOE/MECP have not given the new (approx 2002) owners their long sought after Record of Site Condition (RSC) so that they can divide their property and build ground surface only commercial storage units. This is due to the deep contamination that was willfully and deceitfully ignored by the same MOE/MECP. Their initial Control Order insisted upon a full areal and vertical investigation. In order to give Phillip Environmental an inducement to buy the site the MOE dropped the deep investigation and willingly allowed those contaminants to be reduced over decades by dilution, natural attenuation (Ha!) and the overlap pumping and treating of the Elmira Aquifers by Uniroyal Chemical and their successors. I publicly exposed Varnicolor Chemical thirty years ago. They still apparently haven't been cleaned up enough to permit commercial surface storage units. That's pretty scary. And done intentionally.

Friday, May 1, 2020


Last Tuesday's (April 28) Waterloo Region Record carried an article titled "Lawyers, advocates mull future of jury system". The sub-title is "experts worry about rise in judge-only trials as virus worsens backlogs". That pretty much says it in a nutshell. Defence lawyers are not keen on the idea as stated by Bill Trudell: "I don't think you're going to find that many defence counsel that think expediency should trump the jury system."

I'm of two minds on this issue both from personal experience and from decades long observation of our judicial system. From personal experience I can tell you that I was savaged by an idiot, biased judge by the name of the dishonourable Robert Reilly. He flatly refused my wife and I a jury trial (civil court) based upon an after the fact loophole/technicality engineered by the other party's lawyer. Reilly knew full well that the other lawyer (Pecker) set a trap for us and Reilly as judge did not give us as unrepresented litigants (URL) a heads up as to the ramifications thereof. When I asked for a jury trial, knowing full well that a jury of my peers would be very sympathetic to parents defence of their children, the good (awful) judge refused us a jury based upon a technicality I was unaware of. Hence if you're stuck with a judge who either was in the bottom half of his graduating class or who is grossly biased for whatever reason, then you desperately need a jury to rein him in.

On the other hand juries have participated in a plethora of blatantly ridiculous verdicts based upon junk science, shoddy investigation, dishonest witnesses, prosecutorial misconduct, racial bias and even incompetent or uncaring defence lawyers. The names Milgard, Morin and Don Marshall (Nova Scotia) come to mind although there are now literally dozens in Canada to hundreds of cases of wrongful convictions even for murder in the United States. In other words our judicial system, in my opinion, is a costly, pathetic joke. Juries are both part of the solution and part of the problem as they can be easily manipulated by a well financed state intent upon conviction no matter what the truth is.