Monday, July 20, 2020


What I mean by the title above is that I have an in person appointment set for today to speak to the head of planning for Woolwich Township in regards to the now approved, by both the Township and the Region, east side expansion of the Elmira urban line. Hence while I have made some conclusions as to what is going on based upon e-mail correspondence with both David Welwood (Region of Waterloo) and Jeremy Vink (Woolwich Township); Mr. Vink has advised that an in-person communication today can more likely clarify some issues and better answer questions and concerns. Therefore while my current understanding of process, decision making, politics, planning principles etc. may be adequate to see the big picture, it is still possible that I may have some significant misunderstandings and or misconceptions. After all I have to my past regret not always paid appropriate attention to various planning decisions made by both Woolwich Township and by the Region of Waterloo.

There have also been other decisions by both tiers of government that I have had absolutely no doubt were not made in the public interest. While overall the Region have attempted to and succeeded in improving groundwater protection in the Region, it was unfortunately long after that ship had already sailed. Most of the damage to our groundwater occurred between 1850 and 1970. That included archaic sewage "treatment" in the Townships specifically including Elmira as well as horrendous dumping of toxic industrial solid and liquid wastes untreated into the ground as well as into local creeks and rivers. Lastly it turns out that the practice of dumping municipal garbage into low lying areas on the banks of local creeks and rivers was in full bloom back then. Those idiotic decisions need to be addressed and fixed. Unfortunately LRT and other "legacy" projects are just too tempting for our politicians.

The bottom line is that Woolwich Township have decided to develop "employment lands" (i.e. industrial/commercial development) on the east side of Elmira including the contaminated Stroh and Martin farms. But for the presence of the routinely flooding Canagagigue Creek which enters Elmira from the north and then travels primarily east towards the Grand River, they might have gotten away with this again archaic method of hiding soil, ground and surface water contamination. Woolwich's claim is that development on the east side of Elmira is more cost efficient in providing municipal services in a low lying area prone to flooding than it is to do so in a higher and drier area. When I say they "might" have gotten away with it, I should be more specific. They likely will get away with it as the few people who have paid attention certainly know that it is heavy duty bull...., as usual the rest of the population are relying upon the honesty and intelligence of their local politicians. That has rarely worked in the past.

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