Saturday, August 27, 2022


 I know that you've had a very hard week. I've had those and much worse when doing the right thing so my sympathy for Murray is somewhat tempered. In fact after years of, in my opinion, doing more damage than good on Woolwich Council, I believe that Murray's recent and ongoing tribulations will actually improve governance up here in dogpatch. Now despite that slam at Woolwich Township I will add that I love living in a slower paced, fewer people, less traffic environment. While I still visit Kitchener and Waterloo regularly I never enjoy the drive and in my life I've driven millions of miles whether professionally for hire or privately.   

To my amazement the Waterloo Region Record has had something about Murray's alleged homophobia for four days running including today! WOW! Today it is their Editorial titled "Put a rainbow crossing in Woolwich". Now while I have continued to refer to Murray's behaviour as "alleged" homophobia many others have been less kind. Frankly there probably are reasons not to install a rainbow crosswalk including expense, however Murray's words were ill chosen in light of current thinking. Maybe we should not forget that there was a time in my lifetime and Murray's when public attitudes regarding homosexuality were  nearly universally negative. No this does not justify Murray's attitudes and word choice but may explain them. 

Regarding thanking Murray and suggesting his verbal behaviour could improve governance in Woolwich let me remind readers of how bad governance here impacts Elmira, Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge at a minimum. We have occasionally had some good municipal councillors over the last fifty to seventy years. Perhaps as high as 10% to 15%. Maybe. That works out to less than one good councillor per Woolwich council for most of the last seventy years (five councillors then, six now) . We've also had a plethora of stinkers. By stinkers I am not necessarily suggesting bad to the bone, mean, petty, biased and self-serving. I'm suggesting that they were induced to run for Council to help protect the status quo. In other words to keep the currently privileged local people in that position including at the public expense. Some of them were smart and knew what they were doing wasn't right and others didn't.

How has bad governance here affected the three cities south of us? Via allowing, enabling, and justifying gross liquid pollution discharges from Uniroyal Chemical into the Canagagigue Creek from 1943 until 1970. They didn't stop then or even yet but they have been slowly reduced such that the volume of moderately polluted water upstream in the Creek dilutes the remaining nasty stuff still flowing off-site. Or at least dilutes those toxins which dissolve in the water. The Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) migrate from the site attached to soil particles and become both suspended sediments in the Creek as well as deposits in the bottom and along the creekbanks. These highly toxic sediments are still present and move up the food chain from organisms burrowing in the bottom of the Creek to fish, birds and animals. They also flow downriver through Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge and further where they also accumulate in human beings. There have been lots of scientific studies proving the existence of dioxins/furans, DDT, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, PAHs, PCBs and mercury in the Canagagigue Creek.  What there hasn't been is any downstream cleanup of the mess made by Uniroyal Chemical and cheerfully talked about for decades by successor corporate bodies (Crompton/Chemtura/Lanxess). Quoting local resident Richard Clausi "When all was said and done, more was said than was done.". Maybe new blood on Council including Mayor will help turn that around. 


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