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.

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