Friday, September 30, 2022


 Well the meeting was very short (35 minutes) of which five to ten was my Delegation  The Agenda had little on it but nevertheless if I or any CPAC members had been present and allowed to speak under the perverted rules there would have been questions for sure. As usual RAC members present (GRCA were absent) were mute. Zero questions of me. Zero questions of Ramin Ansari of Lanxess who presented both on the status of the Human Health & Ecological Risk Assessment (HHERA) as well as on the 2022 Work Plan, site containment, expected work in the first quarter of 2023 and lastly about communication.  Gad but that last one was grossly hypocritical. Ramin basically patted himself, RAC and TAG on the back for their mutual discussion, comments and working together bullsh.t. This is at the same time as Lanxess & the MECP have handpicked who they want and who they don't want on those two committees. It's also hypocritical as RAC had no questions on some outstandingly bad issues that Ramin glossed over in his presentation such as awful on-site hydraulic containment for more than a year now. Not a peep about any of that from RAC. 

Wilson Lau  (TAG) on the other hand did make an interesting comment regarding Ramin's tactical slip up in describing the HHERA as completed. He reminded Ramin that there were some steps, comments and discussion still pending. Ramin of course immediately backed up and confirmed Wilson's comments. All very interesting because as far as I have seen TAG do have a number of appropriate, unresolved concerns that I fully expect will be given lip service treatment at best by Lanxess before they move the HHERA on to completion . 

Lisa, the Support Person for RAC & TAG, has already confirmed to me receipt of my written Delegation which I presented last evening. It will be included in the Minutes of last night's public, virtual meeting such that it can be ignored and mostly unread by those who I have somewhat jokingly referred to as "not preaching to the converted, but preaching to the perverted."  I will say that certain participants who have been rude and harassing in the past have finally figured out that the process is so tilted and biased in favour of the polluter, that Lanxess need no further procedural or other assistance. Hence as a cartoon long ago in the Woolwich Observer noted there will be no nasty dissent, debate or discord at these public meetings since the advent of RAC and TAG.   

Thursday, September 29, 2022


 The meeting first of all is virtual? Why? I believe because it is so much easier for the "guilty" parties to control dissent and disagreement. One word, perhaps as harsh as "dang" and you can be cut off. An attempted rebuttal to an improper interruption by the Chair or anyone else and you can be cut off. See where I'm going with this?

The Report that I will be commenting on is poorly written in spots. It clearly has not been properly edited for spelling and grammar. It is not consistent within itself with units of measure as it uses synonyms without clarification. The text sometimes disagrees with the data in Figures and Tables. What data there is basically has a very simple pattern. Upstream above Uniroyal/Lanxess has low to very low concentrations  of toxic chemicals. Downstream however in all contaminants the data shows high to very high concentrations. This Ministry of Environment (MECP) report is not satisfied with those obvious patterns. The report grasps at other vague "patterns" throughout. I would characterize this report being as much of a political report as a "scientific" report. The MECP clearly are promoting a narrative. Part of that narrative is the usual: smile, be happy, all is well in the environment and Big Brother loves you and is all knowing and all powerful so if you have any criticisms you will be edited out. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2022


 Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following article on the Opinion Page titled "Celebrating "Silent Spring" at 60" written by John Gibb. This book written by Rachel Carson was a watershed. Her previous three books (1941, 1950,  1955) were also classics and I might add that when I graduated from MacGregor Public School (grade 8 approx. 1962) with the highest mark in the graduating classes in Geography I was presented with Rachel Carson's second book (1950) titled "The Sea Around Us". That book is still in my library today (as is Silent Spring).

Ms. Carson was attacked relentlessly by the chemical industry after 1962 as they were both horrified and incensed that their profits could be construed as wonderful for their shareholders and murderous to so many lifeforms other than intended mosquitoes, ants, cockroaches, weeds etc. Nothing whatsoever has changed regarding the chemical industry's attitudes albeit their strategies have been much more subtle. Furthermore their political lobbying and public relations have become world class.

Ms. Carson was an academic, a writer, a lover of nature and a leading and honest voice for the natural environment. The chemical industry was and is none of those things. They are a profit centre which continues to put those profits ahead of both human health and the health of our environment. Far too many ignorant and or self-serving politicians are proud fellow travellors with them.


Tuesday, September 27, 2022


 First of all thank you for the comment as it was pertinent and well thought out. A few clarifications follow: The "cringeworthy" description of Sandy's new proposed public consultation (RAC & TAG) initially came from none other than councillor Patrick Merlihan who currently is running against Sandy for the Mayor's position. I have Patrick's election sign on my front lawn along with that of Dr. Dan Holt who was the Chair of CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) from 2011- Aug. 2015 and who remains as Chair of CPAC now known as Citizens Public Advisory Committee. Patrick used the term "cringeworthy" because neither RAC nor TAG were either open to comment/questioning from the public who attend their public meetings and particularly in the case of RAC they were populated by bureaucrats and politicians NOT by local Elmira or Woolwich citizens.

The reference in the first sentence of yesterday's post is to Richard Clausi, retired teacher and still a member of CPAC. Richard has been attempting to drag a very recalcitrant Waterloo Region District School Board into the light of transparency and accountability. This in my opinion strongly goes against their core values and private Mission Statement. They do not want to clearly and honestly answer questions as to why they are still in possession of employees and staffs' personal data going back over fifty years.    

The most recent report referenced yesterday from the Ministry of Environment (MECP)  presents them as apologists for pollution in my opinion. Despite concentrations of highly toxic chemical contaminants in the Canagagigue Creek far in excess of provincial and federal criteria and guidelines, they are actually downplaying the seriousness of the situation by comparing either dioxin or DDT contamination at different Ontario locations as being as bad or worse as it is here. The inference being of course that our local pollution is both common and ubiquitous. Gad how to use additional environmental failures as somehow justifying their failures here.

Next month's municipal election (Oct. 24/22) might turn around the longterm disgraceful behaviour of our local councils. Another strong and honest candidate is Bonnie Bryant. Dear God do not elect or throw out Murray Martin based solely upon his comments regarding a rainbow sidewalk. Throw him out for his disparaging comments towards Delegations and citizens appearing before Council over his many terms as a councillor. 

Monday, September 26, 2022


 Perhaps Richard's most recent foray into spanking the WRDSB has caught their attention. Clearly back in the spring and summer of 2015 Sandy Shantz and Woolwich Council were on the hot seat from Chemtura and the Ministry of Environment.  The company and alleged regulator extracted promises of a "cringe worthy" nature to effectively eliminate CPAC as an ongoing threat to their self-serving narrative about cleaning up the Elmira Aquifers, the Canagagigue Creek and the site itself.

The most recent report from the MECP concerns both sediment and fish tissue testing in the Creek. That creek remains toxic in multiple media whether creekbank soils, floodplain soils, sediments and fish tissues. All provincial and federal criteria remain exceeded more than half a century after the on-site dumping into open pits and ponds was stopped. While vast quantities of their immoral and illegal chemical discharges have left their site and moved into the air, ground and surface water of their neighbours, much still remains on site. As Dr. Gail Krantzberg indicated to CPAC (now Citizens Public Advisory Committee) several years ago everything at Uniroyal Chemical ever dumped, buried , spilled  will eventually migrate off the site.

Fifty plus years of talk, "consultation", investigations and reports have simply been a delaying action. All guilty parties including the Ministry (MECP), Woolwich Township, province of Ontario have been willing to let everything eventually leak off site to continue being shared with their downstream neighbours. People's lives and health have meant nothing to them much less the health of the natural environment. 

What they are afraid of  is exposure to public scrutiny and opinion. They are terrified that the truth will get out, be understood and embraced by the population. They are afraid of the condemnation and pushback possibly including legal repercussions they might face. Dr. Richard Jackson (first TAG Chair) was their worst nightmare from September 2015 to December 2016, even worse than myself and CPAC.   

Friday, September 23, 2022


 It's a virtual meeting (still).  You will need to contact Lisa Schaefer before this Tuesday at to get into the meeting. To date I am not on the written Agenda and have sent an e-mail back to Lisa this morning asking why.

The Sediment and Forage Fish (2020) Report just received is proving highly entertaining. Basically it's the same old, tired crap regardless of what the data actually says. I'm beginning to understand why these reports are so poorly done in so many ways. It's basically so the authors can interpret the inadequate, fuzzy data as they please. There is little scientific substance or rigor to them. Different sample depths, different locations, different times of year, low flow, high flow, sampling methodology, different parameters, you name it and drawing strong conclusions is out the window leaving the door wide open for Lanxess, GHD and the MECP to spout whatever nonsense suits their agenda best,  

And the beat goes on.

Thursday, September 22, 2022


 Well this most recent report is dated September 1/22 and I received it last evening September 21 after 8 pm. The next so called public meeting is RAC one week from today. Whether it was the MECP sitting on it or the Township the result is the same namely inadequate time to read it and prepare for the meeting. Keep in mind RAC only meet two to four times a year and I as a member of the unwashed masses can not ask questions or fully participate. I can give a brief verbal Delegation after which the good members of RAC to date have been unable to form any intelligent questions for me. Or conversely they've been told just like TAG not to engage with knowledgeable citizens because you will get burned.

The report is the result of both sediment and fish tissue sampling from two years ago. Yup two years ago. Well at least one can confidently say that the wait times in our hospital emergency departments aren't as bad as they are for MECP reports. Again there are issues with the sampling methodology both for sediments and for fish tissues. So what else is new? 

The results I've read so far are interesting although it is the subjective comments by the writer that really stand out. One fictitious example could be : "Fish are committing mass suicide by leaping out of the Creek water not due to dissolved pollution but more likely due to  fears of long term genetic damage from the Persistent Organic Pollutants present."  O.K. O.K. that's a major bit of writer's creativity on my part but hopefully you get the message. Give us the facts, the monitoring results and the health criteria and then if you can't comment in a neutral fashion then shut the hell up. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022


 The key is honest and motivated. None of those persons exist in Saudia Arabia, Iran, Russia, Washington, Ottawa or Elmira, Ontario.  At least no honest and motivated politicians exist in those locales. Let me be more specific. If the "problem" is acknowledged as such then there is half a chance. Right now in the news Iran are being criticized because they don't see a problem in accosting, kidnapping and arresting young women who do not conform to their strict dress codes. For them the bigger problem is alleged disrespect for their religious faith's demands for extremely modest apparel. The occasional young woman dying in custody apparently isn't a problem for them. So try discussing/negotiating that with them. You are wasting your time unless you first overthrow their government and then ask them if they'd care to seriously discuss the problem of state sanctioned murder of their citizens. At that point and not before they might be open to honest discussion/negotiation. Maybe.

You can not force anyone to sit down and honestly negotiate a problem. They need to be motivated by a worse scenario/problem than the one they are trying to resolve. The Canagagigue Creek Risk Assessment is a farce and a sham which you want scrapped and started over with honest data and individuals in charge. Woolwich Township, the MECP, Lanxess and GHD do not want that. They won't budge an inch. So what to do? Up the ante. Figure out a way to make it more expensive to continue on the dishonest, corrupt path than to undertake it properly. I suspect that a few hundred people regularly attending Council meetings screaming at the councillors for the whole meeting would get their attention. Sure staff and Council would cry about undemocratic, mob justice blah, blah, blah but seriously they have ensured that polite, respectful delegations get nowhere unless the issue is not one that Council and their political colleagues  haven't already ruled on privately. There is absolutely nothing forcing any Council, legislature or parliament to be reasonable, honest or even logical. The majority of self-serving individuals will make decisions solely upon their best interests. Sometimes those decisions coincide with the public interest. Often they do not.

Friend and colleague Richard Clausi has often stated that nothing will really be done to properly clean up Elmira's contaminated environment until half the town wakes up one morning to find the other half dead in their beds. Then maybe, just maybe real change, reform and cleanup will occur. Maybe if we are lucky. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022


 It sure looks that way. I've been posting here each month for most of this year as to how Lanxess Canada have failed to pump the required Target Rate for the grossly contaminated Municipal Aquifers on their site. The Target Rate is the number of litres per second required 24/7 in order to prevent the contaminated on-site aquifers from leaking/draining off-site into the rest of the Elmira Aquifers. Lanxess have failed to maintain that 4.7 litres per second rate for seven of the last eight months of 2022 and failed to do so for eleven of the last fifteen months! 

The good news is that TAG are aware of this due to Linda Dickson's regular reports to them from the monthly Progress Reports. The bad news is that TAG either are unaware of the damage this is doing or do not care about it as they have been focused for some time on the sketchy Risk Assessment of the Canagagigue Creek. In effect Lanxess are allowing the somewhat increased off-site pumping to lower the water table there enough to induce outward flow of contaminated groundwater from the Lanxess site.  Coincidentally I'm sure this is lowering Lanxess's costs as they pay 100% of the on-site pumping and treatment costs and only 50% of the off-site costs. The other 50% is paid for by you and I the taxpayers. Pretty slick isn't it?


Monday, September 19, 2022


 Tacit or explicit our political authorities are in agreement not to talk to or respond to anyone who is not willing to go with the flow. The flow is towards pretending that the public have been and are being protected from the worst effects of pollution locally. They are not. The flow is towards always minimizing and denying the worst effects of pollution locally in and around Elmira. This of course includes the disgusting releases of toxic fumes from Uniroyal, Crompton and Chemtura over the decades onto the local population. This includes toxic drinking water for decades before the Ontario Ministry of Environment suddenly "discovered" NDMA in our drinking wells in 1989. This includes the ongoing environmental, wildlife and human damages being done by dioxins/furans, DDT, PCBs and mercury in the soils and sediments of the Canagagigue Creek. 

Lanxess Canada the most recent corporate iteration of Uniroyal are in the process of wrapping everything up with a bow and with the blessing of the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MECP) lying further to the public by declaring the Elmira "cleanup" a success. It is far from a success. They have achieved this sham only with the tacit or explicit cooperation of Woolwich Township, Region of Waterloo, MECP, province of Ontario and even the federal government. Elmira's toxic legacy is a smelly can of worms everyone wants to keep well away from. Deny, deny, deny is the flavour of the day. Serious opposition installed by the 2010-2014 Woolwich Council namely CPAC were slandered and lied about by both then councillor Mark Bauman and by new Mayor Sandy Shantz. They took the lead in dishonestly and nastily dismantling the best and most honest CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) there had ever been. 

I believe that the "Elmira Conspiracy" is on the road to both corporate and political fame. Professional liars, both private and public, will long study the methodology of selling their lies to the public while simultaneously undermining and removing legitimate citizen opposition. Capturing the media is part of the conspiracy although I optimistically hope that is not yet complete. All of this work does require extreme manipulation and cooperation. Obviously the more conspirators involved the greater the complexity and  opportunities for individual screwups. Perhaps that is our only remaining hope: incompetence and error amongst the multitude of guilty parties. 

The facts are there if ever an honest body wishes to see them. If you think that I am exaggerating even a little then simply look at where we are with Climate Change and Global Warming. Even the corporate zealots (oil & gas etc.) have decades too late given up denying Climate Change. Now it's a pretend cooperation while dragging the last few billion dollars in profits from a global system that is destroying us and the Earth. 

Saturday, September 17, 2022


 Every now and then I am advised that I can't "prove" a conspiracy or that I can't "prove" corruption.  Even believe it or not I am occasionally told that I can't "prove" that there has been an environmental coverup in Elmira. Well unlike beauty being in the eye of the beholder, truth is more objective versus subjective. To a point that is. When you own the process or when you own the minds of the masses then truth is exactly what you say it is. Or here in Elmira when you own the political bodies, municipal, regional, provincial truth is as you wish it to be not as it truly is. The political narrative has long been that we all are working cooperatively towards the cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers and of the Canagagigue Creek. Even the most jaded and biased aren't stupid enough to pretend that the former Uniroyal site will ever be cleaned up or at least not within the next couple of hundred years or more. 

The political narrative is self serving. One it's what people hope to hear. Two politicians get re-elected in good times lacking either scandals or crises. Three municipal bodies (Woolwich Township) depend on and look for grants from both the provincial (Ontario) and the federal government (Canada). Do you think that even deserving harsh criticism from Woolwich Township towards the Ontario or Canadian government is going to help get roads, bridges, LRT (Ion trains),  built, repaired or replaced? How about grants for the Arts whether Centre in the Square, the Museum, Doon Pioneer Village etc.?

Never forget Donald Trump's likely accurate at the time brag that he could commit murder in Times Square in broad daylight in front of hundreds of witnesses and not get convicted. Never forget that a mostly black jury acquitted O.J. Simpson of murder prior to a civil trial deciding the exact opposite. WTF kind of justice and truth is that folks? That is the truth of public opinion not of reality. 

Here in Elmira the script has been flipped. Here the monied interests with the strong support of short sighted and self-serving politicians have gone through an elaborate charade of public consultation and "expert" bought and paid for witnesses pretending to honestly investigate the now seventy-seven year old destruction of our drinking water aquifers and of our local Creek ("Gig"). This charade has always been about delay and minimizing knowledge of the damage done to the natural environment, wildlife and human beings. It has been about a dirty polluter hiding behind the status quo and all its' political supporters. Many of those supporters are complicit especially at the provincial level. Many of those supporters (MOE) tacitly went along with idiotic decisions  made in the 1950s-1970 allowing mass pollution of human drinking water sources. Many of those supporters are simply supporters to avoid their own blame and accountability. Human beings have suffered and died prematurely and some are still suffering. And we have not fixed the problem. Coverups are bandaids not proper solutions.  

Friday, September 16, 2022


 The Polluters' Playbook is an industry icon. It was written by bought and paid for experts in the industry i.e. intellectual prostitutes for the purpose of avoiding, deflecting, diverting, delaying accountability. In other words it is the exact opposite of what our politicians are fond of quoting namely "Polluter Pays".  Polluter Pays is a politician's swarmy remark to members of the public demanding environmental cleanups be paid for by the initial polluter. That generally does not happen in Canada unless the polluter is small, with an accompanying small legal budget and the public outrage is very high. That is why Varnicolor Chemical in Elmira was forced to shell out for cleanup whereas Uniroyal Chemical and corporate successors have not been.  

In the January 28, 2016 Woolwich Observer article titled "Chemtura, environmental group at odds over extent of contamination leaching off property", Lanxess are reading directly from the Polluters' Playbook (PP). The standard ploy is to nod solemnly when confronted by strong evidence and promise to look into the "allegations" carefully. They are not allegations they are evidence. The PP however says you can not acknowledge that. The PP also says to avoid both direct confrontation as well as direct, accountable promises. Better to say "Of course we need to verify your data with our own professional sampling and laboratory work."  This is far better than saying "Well of course we will clean up everything that we have dumped, buried or spilled on this piece of land." The first statement subtly alleges that your sampling is unprofessional, poor etc. The second is harder to use weasel words and excuses to avoid actually paying out of corporate pockets to clean up corporate messes. 

This is a war of words that is easily won by the corporate polluters as long as they have full control of the "investigation" including access to the property, sampling whether soils or water and the hiring and firing of "expert" consultants to hide behind. Everyone knows that a lawyer representing a client will gild the lily whereas the public likes to think that environmental consultants/engineers have some mandated public duty. 

Thursday, September 15, 2022


 In fact it's worse than that. Despite Tiffany Svensson's reassuring words to Sebastian a couple of TAG meetings ago the reality is that forever contaminated groundwater is leaking off the former Uniroyal Chemical site both into the Canagagigue Creek as well as into the deeper (drinking water) Elmira Aquifers She advised that the months of below Target Rate on-site groundwater pumping was magically not resulting in off-site leakage from the MU (municipal upper) and ML (municipal lower) aquifers . This is despite Lanxess's consultants (GHD/CRA) clearly stating in writing that they recommend that Lanxess maintain pumping rates at or above the Target Rate in order to maintain hydraulic containment on site. Regarding the "forever" contaminated groundwater that is because the Ontario Ministry of Environment among their many concessions to Uniroyal and corporate successors have never insisted on proper on-site cleanup and or source removal. All guilty parties have admitted that on site pump and treat (hydraulic containment) may need to go on forever simply to keep the groundwater mobilized contaminants in place. 

Off-site pumping has also failed although we were promised that it would only take thirty years to clean up. Liars! Off-site pumping (hydraulic containment) is the slowest and cheapest cleanup possible AND is predicated upon complete on-site hydraulic containment of contaminated groundwater. You need to stop ongoing toxic chemical discharges from adding to the contaminated Elmira drinking water aquifers before you can actually reduce the overall contamination already there.

On August 23/22 I posted here about this issue as the July Progress Report once again indicated the failure to at least maintain on-site Target pumping Rates. The August Progress Report is now out and the failure continues with an average daily on-site pumping rate of only 3.8 litres per second when the Target Rate is 4.7 litres per second. Do not forget that years ago Chemtura (Jeff Merriman) promised CPAC that the daily average on-site pumping rate would be close to 6 litres per second. We were assurred that that pumping rate would keep contaminated municipal aquifer groundwater on site. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022


 I'm going to take the risk and assume that TAG/Woolwich Twp. are not providing TAG members with the data that they request. Recall that all Minutes, all Agendas from UPAC, CPAC and TAG and RAC are all under the control of Woolwich Township. Now to be clear I have been advised that numerous Minutes and Agendas are available on-line (Woolwich Township website). I believe that these might go back as far as a couple of years at most. What I am more concerned about are specific technical reports issued by the polluter such as monthly Progress Reports, Annual Monitoring Reports (AMR) etc. Not all of us are blessed as I am with the complete library of AMRs going back to the 1980s or the complete monthly Progress Reports going back to the early 1990s.  Hence it is not unusual for requests to come my way after either the Township or the Ministry are slow, recalcitrant or dismissive of such requests. I know even with the 2011-Sept. 2015 CPAC represented Woolwich Township; members including myself were routinely denied data by CAO Dave Brenneman and others. Little shots who think they are big shots often like to flex their bureaucratic muscles. It gives them a sense of power.

Most lately I've been asked about monitoring results from former pumping well, PW3. It is located on the south-east corner of the former Uniroyal Chemical (now Lanxess).  I am in the process of reviewing old AMR's and am finding some very interesting results. While the numbers and sizes of concentrations were no surprise in and around PW3 I am noticing some surprising results regarding shallow versus deep maximum concentrations. One must keep several factors in mind including Time and Location of initial discharges. These can if ignored muddle one's interpretation of the groundwater contaminant concentrations one is examining.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022


 Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following Opinion piece by Daniel Brown and John Hale titled "Starving legal aid threatens justice". It is a litany of miscues, underfunding and low life politics intentionally undermining equal access to justice. In 2019 Legal Aid Ontario had their budget slashed by 30%. The number of cases that they could handle plummeted and as well unrealistic cost restrictions were put on the more complex cases. Yes certainly depriving defendants of equal resources and time as wealthier clients routinely access from private lawyers is disgusting. Furthermore it turns out that money can buy both better health care as well as better justice. Truly contemptible and shameful in this country.

Here is my first comment to that article: justice in Ontario is not "threatened" it is long dead. Any jurisdiction that does not have equal justice to all, black, white, rich, poor, professionals, labourers, young, old, male, female 2SLGBQT etc. is not a just jurisdiction or a just society. It is a sham and a joke when justice is only available to the wealthy. It is a sham and a joke when it is only available to those discriminated against and mistreated by the justice system who have enough money to turn around and appeal a stupid ass judge's non-factual, personally biased decision to a higher (and more expensive) court. If you were denied legal aid initially and had to run a four week trial on your own then where exactly are you going to have the means to finance an appeal for God's sakes?  

Speaking of stupid ass, non-factual and personally biased decisions one who immediately comes to mind is the dishonourable Robert Reilly. How in the name of God can such an assh.le continue on ruining people's lives with his in court behaviour? Why has he not been thrown out on his ass decades ago? Is this the equivalent to the "blue wall" whereby police lie to protect the jobs of police officers who break the law? Is this the equivalent of the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) covering up and "passing the trash" of incompetent and grossly bad teachers (i.e. Ron Archer etc.)? Is this similar to the College of Teachers who used to be just wonderful at revoking teachers' licenses only AFTER they'd been convicted of a criminal offence.

Justice in Ontario does not exist for the majority of us. It never has. It never will as long as money, personality, appearance, contacts, status and important connections rule the day. Justice is reserved as a playground for the wealthy. Depending on which definition you choose JUSTICE in Ontario is CORRUPT.  "Just Us" in the title above refers to judges, police, Crowns, lawyers, politicians, the wealthy and the politically connected. The "Just Us" system protects its' own and that's NOT US. 

Monday, September 12, 2022


 We had a mini revolution after the 2010 election in which Woolwich Council (excepting Mark Bauman) got the old heave ho. The incident in September prior to the election referred to as BLE-25 was the catalyst. Basically Uniroyal/Chemtura allowed a rupture disc in a pressure vessel to be piped directly into the air in order to avoid an explosion and damage to said vessel. Hence a large part of Elmira got sprayed with a combination of diphenylamine and acetone. While compared to the really dangerous stuff they have on site this was not an extremely toxic release.

Todd Cowan, Bonnie Bryant, Al Poffenroth, Mark (Yuch!), Julie_Anne Herteis were not wedded to Uniroyal/Chemtura as the former council had appeared to be. Extreme pressure was put on Mayor Cowan from Chemtura to drop me from CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee). Chemtura had had an inside job two years previous get me removed from CPAC albeit they had to do it via Council to make it stick. Bill Strauss (buddy to Pat McLean), Murray Martin, Sandy Shantz, Mark Bauman etc. pretended to remove me over the Ammonia Treatment System appeal I had made to the Environmental Review Tribunal. Councillor Ruby Weber was not fooled and knew that that was a red herring and was the sole vote to keep me on CPAC.

Todd succumbed to both Chemtura's pressure and to the realization that I was not going to follow his stupid behaviour blindly just because he had appointed me to CPAC. He had to lie to his Council colleagues to get them to vote me off CPAC but hey in hindsight I essentially stayed on  CPAC (much to Chemtura's chagrin)  and Todd's flexible relationship with the truth became public knowledge. Nevertheless that 2010 Council was an excellent respite from the self-serving dominance of Pat and Susan and even when the 2014 Council replaced everybody (except Mark yet again) and new Mayor Sandy Shantz restored Chemtura and their friends, Pat and Susan were relegated to minor positions on the intentionally impotent TAG committee. No more being the Chair for Pat with Susan backing her up.

Local Council would have to confront both Lanxess Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MECP) but without Council's support those two would be greatly restricted in their dishonesty, puffery and pretend cleanups.  

Saturday, September 10, 2022


 Mayor - I voted for Sandy Shantz once. She bitterly disappointed (see lots of posts here about her dishonesty regarding CPAC in 2015 as well as her gamesmanship with MECAC and the courts).  Patrick Merlihan is not perfect (who is?) but overall I believe he is a far better choice for Mayor.

Ward 1 - Easy! Dr. Dan Holt is by far the most experienced and knowledgeable on many fronts. He is also honest which carries a lot of weight. Furthermore he is keen and has run before and should have been appointed to Council in 2018 (as the next runner-up) rather than Woolwich Council privately conspiring to appoint Julie-Ann Herteis. What a ridiculous game Council played on that occasion. The other three candidates I do not know and while all three may be decent folks I have a small bias against youth and inexperience running this Township.

Ward 2 - Not so easy. Eric Schwindt is keen and has run before. He is an experienced businessman and I've heard nothing bad about him. Fred Redekop is an anomoly for me. He is a longtime pastor (Floradale Mennonite?) and currently a pastor (Bethel Mennonite?). I have heard good things about him over the years. The problem is I believe that his pastoral duties interfere with his councillor duties and besides missing meetings he was very quiet on Council. Too quiet. I'm leaning toward Mr. Schwindt to see what kind of job he can do versus Mr. Redekop. Sorry Fred.   

Ward 3- This is easy. Bonnie Bryant was an excellent councillor from 2010-2014. She set aside politics for a while as she had serious family duties front and centre. Also what is easy is who not to vote for and that is Murray Martin. I wouldn't vote for him if he were the only candidate and that is due to his behaviour over the last fifteen years long before his latest snafu regarding rainbow crosswalks. I do not know the other candidates which at the minimum means they likely haven't done anything awful or public and in fact might be very good folks indeed.

Being a township councillor isn't all fame and fortune or fun and games. The job isn't great for most. Best wishes to all who get elected although humility should be considered as the majority of voters really aren't up for the job either as they vote on gender, last name, appearance and rarely on intelligence, honesty and sincere desire to promote the public interest. The joy of so called democracy. 


Friday, September 9, 2022


 Yesterday's Woolwich Observer carries the following front page story written by Leah Gerber titled "Its health a concern, the Grand River is being analyzed". The investigation by Ryan Prosser an environmental science department professor at the University of Guelph was prompted by a survey done by Friends of the Grand River, a local volunteer organization. Members have noticed a deterioration in the last few years of both the water quality and of the numbers and size of trout in the river. My understanding is that the trout are primarily present in the river from the Belwood Dam south only to West Montrose. Cold water is released from the bottom of the Dam which trout require. Again my understanding for decades has been that the addition to the river of Sewage Treatment Plant discharges in Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge, combined with warmer water and industrial pollution  makes trout habitat extremely unlikely.

Friends of the Grand River are concerned about pollution from sources like road salt, insecticides and household chemicals. Ryan Prosser of the U. of Guelph will sample the benthic community (sediment burrowing organisms) and investigate algal toxins as well as pesticide and nutrient levels in the river. Toxic blue green algae floating on the surface is exacerbated by dry, hot summers of which this last summer certainly applies. 

It's hard not to extrapolate these concerns with the essentially uncontrolled discharges of herbicides, pesticides, insecticides and fungicides from the former Uniroyal Chemical plant on the Canagagigue Creek in Elmira, Ontario. Ditto for nitrogen releases from Nutrite/Yara and from Uniroyal consisting of ammonia as well as NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine). While we hope that these discharges/leakages are small I am not confident that we have been given reliable information. Regardless the Canagagigue Creek has historically been very bad for the water quality it discharges into the Grand River, half a mile south of the village of West Montrose.

Thursday, September 8, 2022



Services offered by our authorities and governments do not include Justice.  All our institutions are strongly biased towards the status quo.  Some of our institutions are famous for their bias such as the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) forerunner to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT), Our Regional Police locally are well known for their racial bias as well as biases against female police officers. Political bias would include MECAC (Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee) mostly made up of retired politicians and their friends. Our very own WRDSB has long closed ranks against parents or students with complaints against teachers whether justified or not. It appears as if all the stakeholders in all these institutions long ago decided it's us against the world, first and foremost. The various scandals within the Catholic Church are legion and well known now but they were kept under wraps literally for many decades as critics were muzzled and ignored. 

Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following story written by Terry Pender titled "Their Intent was to document my every move". This is the ongoing for years now Police Arbitration Hearing into complaints of sexual harassment and bias against her by Angie Rivers, a former police officer. It seems in keeping with males in positions of authority in the workplace over females, that the males resorted to thinking with their little heads versus their big heads. It is not fair to suggest that either Waterloo Regional Police or Police in general only suffer from this affliction. It is far too common in so many male dominated jobs or professions and reflects badly on males as it should. In regards to thinking with their little heads instead of their big heads let me paraphrase that somewhat by quoting a famous Irish author " A penis has no conscience.". 

Sorry to be so blunt here folks but it is truly unbelievable the number of female police officers who have risked their careers, mental health, financial security and more looking for justice in the workplace. Regarding our local police force I believe they are batting zero to date. From evidence published in books and newspapers to date I would suggest that this has nothing to do with the facts of each case and everything to do with the power imbalance between individual officers and our WRPS (Waterloo Region Police Service) who are backed by both the Police Services Board and our regional politicians. I would suggest that there are some female regional politicians who have kept their heads down and supported the status quo for self-serving reasons. Shame on them.    

Wednesday, September 7, 2022


 First of all Uniroyal Chemical admitted that their overflowing east side pits and ponds labelled RPE 1-5 (Retention Pond East #1, #2, #3, #4, #5) overflowed and moved southwards to GP-1 and GP-2 (Gravel Pit #1 & #2). This was decades ago and included in reports such as "A History of Uniroyal Waste Management  1985" as well as in the "Environmental Audit" by CRA in the very early 1990s. Keep in mind that there is documentation indicating anywhere from 100,000 gallons of waste water per day  to higher was piped across the Canagagigue Creek from the west side manufacturing buildings to the east side pits and ponds conveniently located right on the property line with the Stroh farm. The length of the property along the eastern property line with Stroh, running from Church St. southwards to just shy of the Canagagigue Creek is approximately 800 metres. It is down hill all the way and prior to the construction of the Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm there was a large swampy area of standing water located between the bottom (south end) of RPE-5 and the significantly higher diagonal ridge of ground that runs from Uniroyal/Lanxess to the Stroh property in a north-west to south-east orientation.

Now at one weird/bizarre point at a TAG meeting Ramin Ansari of Lanxess suggested (2x) turning over a pail of water  and watching which way the water ran. Dunh!  Thousands of gallons a day however would have saturated the surface of the further north clays and indeed run across the surface until entering the clearly marked swampy surface water area which Chemtura personnel had also verbally described as previously wet and swampy. This wet area is clearly marked on Conestoga Rovers (CRA) map C-02 of May 17, 2013. 

From that location there is only one logical and possible surface water flow direction and that is south-east onto the Stroh property. This is because contrary to the ridiculous claims of Lanxess water does not flow uphill unless it is contained and under pressure which it is not on the surface of their site. GP-1 is located both south and west of the most northerly part of the Stroh Drain, and also oriented in a diagonal from north-west to south-east to the immediate west of the diagonal ridge. GP-2 is located yet further south of GP-1. GP-1 is 98 to 100% surrounded by higher elevation land (i.e. the north-west to south-east diagonal ridge) depending on different maps. 

The lowest elevation of the Stroh land beside Lanxess Canada is 345.0 metres above seal level. This is a full metre LOWER than the low lying formerly swampy area on the Uniroyal/Lanxess site. This bowl shaped are would fill up and then continue to flow southwards through the Stroh property prior to joining up with the very small creek which is the source of Martin's Creek which flows further south yet through the Martin property on its' way to joining the Canagagigue Creek. Obviously surveys were taken prior to the 1983 construction of the Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm (SDDB) in order to properly locate the Drain so as to drain the swamp of contaminated water on both the Uniroyal and Stroh properties.

I have published here in the past maps of what I am describing. I will see if I can dig them up and add them to this post.   

I have hand delivered copies of this map to TAG members last spring (2020). The front of the map is in colour and is approximately 8 1/2 inches by 17 inches in size. The front of the document (map) has all the ground surface elevation lines (i.e. topographical contour lines) clearly marked in metres above sea level (masl). The back of the document (map) has on the left side a Conestoga Rovers & Assoc. map from their "DNAPL Investigation Work Plan" report dated Nov. 2006. This map is but one of many recognized sources such as MOE, GRCA, CRA, Reg. of Waterloo showing topographical contour lines. The right side is an Index explaining what the red and yellow arrows represent as well as explaining a few other items on the map. The yellow/orange arrows represent surface flow direction of water, wastewater, solvents and toxic liquid wastes from the east side pits (RPE 1-5). The red arrows (especially the larger red arrows) show low lying ground (like a large bowl) where hydrophobic compounds such as Dioxins/Furans, DDT likely settled out and bonded with soil particles.

I believe a left click on the picture will expand it. The text below the picture is from my 2019 book titled "Elmira Water Woes: The Triumph of Corruption, Deceit and Citizen Betrayal"

Tuesday, September 6, 2022


 Last Saturday I indicated some of the data that both Lanxess and the Ont. Min. of Environment (MECP) appear very willing to overlook. This includes very sketchy sediment and soil samples in and along the Canagagigue Creek that conveniently have laboratory  Method Detection Limits far in excess of either provincial or federal criteria. This includes dioxin/furans, DDT & compounds plus Lindane. This permits so called Non-Detect results even for samples that exceed the health based criteria. Shameful beyond belief. Also included would be the very high concentrations of the same chemicals and more that allegedly were taken into consideration by the Risk Assessment of the Creek. What a perverse system when you can literally pretend that health based exceedances of some of the most toxic compounds known to mankind in and along the Creek can be brushed aside and deemed to be "acceptable risks". 

Next we have the utter hands over eyes, fingers in ears (and clothes pin on nose?) behaviour by Lanxess and the MECP in regards to the Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm (SDDB). Wow! I expect that various mandarins and higher at the MECP have lost sleep in fear of their complicity (& conspiracy) in allowing the diversion of toxic east side liquid overflow to gravity flow onto the Stroh farm and property. I will suggest that the only TAG member to seriously object to Chemtura/Lanxess's refusal to do proper and full soil and sediment sampling throughout the Stroh Drain and southern half of their property has been Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach  who is also a CPAC member. The evidence of overland drainage onto the Stroh property includes soil samples along the border between the company and Stroh, groundwater results 240 metres east (away from) the border, two sediment samples and locations within the SDDB and two soil samples positive for dioxins/furans taken by myself and submitted to a professional and accredited laboratory. Lastly we have the agreed upon topographical (i.e. ground elevation) contours by the Region of Waterloo, GRCA, Conestoga Rovers and others. Water flows downhill except apparently in Woolwich Township and Elmira. Here by the magic of dishonesty, illusion, obtuseness and prevarication polluters, politicians and friends can make water flow in whatever direction serves them best. 

If this contemptible sham, farce and charade known as the Elmira "cleanup" is ever investigated by independent and honest brokers the results will appropriately forever tarnish the Ontario Ministry of Environment, their honesty and integrity as well as so many local, political fellow travellors.  

Saturday, September 3, 2022


When you are in total control of cleaning up the mess you are responsible for whether directly or indirectly (by purchase) it makes things so much easier for the polluter and corporate successors. It also helps when this total control includes the alleged public consultation process such that the Chair of TAG is appointed and bought and paid for by Woolwich Township. Then as was done in 2015 Sandy Shantz took all the requested by the Township and properly done  Applications for the next term's CPAC from the current CPAC members and threw them into the trash declaring/lying that there weren't enough Applications and they had to start over. A classic case of the tail wagging the dog or of the polluter  rejigging the rules in mid term. 

Since then Lanxess and the Min. of Environment (MECP) have continued their sweetheart love-in by jointly supporting each others' wishes to avoid certain embarrassing facts and situations. The MECP decades ago agreed to so much asinine burying of extremely toxic wastes combined with surreptitious "leakage" off the east side of the Uniroyal/Lanxess site all to reduce the easily measurable quantities and concentrations of on-site toxic compounds. The 22 Old Order Mennonite families living along the Canagagigue Creek between Uniroyal Chemical and the Grand River were sacrificed on the alter of money, power and political expediency.

The concentrations of toxic compounds in sediments and creek soils downstream remains ridiculously high based upon the MECP's own criteria and studies as well as Lanxess/GHD's studies. The process to fool the public has been the alleged Risk Assessment (Ecological & Human Health)  underway for about the last three to four years. Similarly the intentional failure to honestly sample and study the Stroh property as well as the Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm (SDDB) has merely exacerbated the contempt and disgust of honest and knowledgeable citizens and stakeholders towards the many professional liars and their fellow travellors. 

The entire "cleanup" since 1989 has been based upon politics, money, power and manipulation rather than on honest scientific study and knowledge. Many of our municipal politicians have been co-opted and or lied to in order to gain and keep their support for whatever "cleanup" routes the company and Ontario Min. of Environment prefer. Unsurprisingly these have mostly been "the cheapest and least expensive" options. 

Friday, September 2, 2022


 First thing new about this meeting: We've had virtual TAG and RAC meetings for well over two years now. While better than nothing they do not promote accountability in any fashion. This meeting is supposed to be in person in Woolwich Council Chambers. Whether a hybrid model will be used such that some can watch in person and others via their computers I am not yet certain. Oh and for the forgetful RAC stands for Remediation Advisory Committee but who are we kidding? While I'm unhappy to bluntly say it, TAG have been less than successful despite different individual efforts, whereas RAC are essentially useless as far as promoting the public interest. They do do a good job in promoting both Lanxess Canada's and the Ont. Ministry of Environment's interests.

TAG who right from the start in September 2015 were clearly intended to incorporate local citizens also were clearly designed to be both subservient to RAC and to report to them not to the general public. Good Lord what a stupid decision. UPAC and CPAC were named the Uniroyal/Chemtura  PUBLIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE and their responsibility while partially perverted by our authorities nevertheless was clear. They advised and reported to the public including local citizens. Who does RAC advise? They advise Lanxess Canada, GHD and the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation & Parks (MECP). None of those three give a rat's butkus about the public interest nearly as much as they care about public perceptions and appearances, two different things, 

RAC's membership overall are bureaucrats and government members including Woolwich Township  and the Region of Waterloo. Throw in the GRCA and the TAG Chair and as a Woolwich councillor stated back in 2015; the membership is "cringeworthy". Not enough local citizens , way too many politicians and bureaucrats firmly invested in the status quo not in environmental cleanup which Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura /Lanxess have only given lip service to. For those who care about the environment, Sandy Shantz has to go. Generally she is smooth and careful but her bread is not buttered by either the public or the environment. Her votes and family income come from siding with power and influence whose money and power do affect local politics. That is more important to her than doing the right thing. She is responsible for the perverted joke of public consultation in Elmira over the last seven years. 

Thursday, September 1, 2022


 Let's see now: Smoking, Homosexuals, Voting Rights for women, Newfoundlanders, Pakistanis, Blacks, Indians (native Canadians), Marijuana, DPs (displaced persons i.e. immigrants), Unions, Crazy people (mental illness), Germany, Japan, Firearms, Abortion, Uniroyal Chemical... are we seeing a pattern here? Has there been a major change in public attitude towards all of these and many other matters in the last fifty years or more in Canada? Of course there have been. 

Let's just mention a couple: Firearms-did you know that our local school boards here in Waterloo Region promoted firearms training when I was a teenager? Many, many local high schools had their own firearms ranges built. I shot old converted Lee Enfield rifles in the range at Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate on Kings St. in Kitchener. Here in Elmira, the Elmira District Secondary School on Arthur St. had their own basement shooting range. And on and on. Can you imagine a school board building a firing range today whereas after the Second World War they were nearly mandatory. 

Smoking- I have asthma and I have never smoked. How much fun do you think it was doing office work in the 1970s & 80s with everyone around me smoking constantly? Not bloody much yet it was a matter of freedom for my fellow employees to smoke all they wanted and to hell with their and everybody else's health. 

Go through the list above carefully. How many people have been harassed, discriminated against and even criminalized by our judicial system for behaviour (homosexuality, abortion, marijuana use, union organizing, voting rights) that today is normal, accepted and legal? Similarly how many people have been harassed, discriminated against and criminalized for things over which they have no control (skin colour and racial profiling, place of birth, ethnic background, religious beliefs)? 

What is my point? Simple: from year to year or decade to decade public opinion shifts. Public attitudes shift. Our governments try earnestly to shift them for us. Some of these shifts are good and for the better and others a lot less so. Do not abandon your own personal beliefs solely based upon public opinion. Sometimes public opinion is intelligent and reasoned and often times it is unreasonable and stupid. Inform yourself, do your own personal due diligence on issues. LISTEN to opinions that you do not like. There may be kernels of fact and truth in them that you did not know.