Tuesday, November 29, 2022


 The Waterloo Region Record (K-W Record) have had a number of excellent environmental writers over the years including Bob Burt, Phil Jalsevac, Paige Desmond and Leah Gerber.  Also the Elmira Independent had a number including Roddy Turpin and Shirley Rennie not to mention Bob Verdun himself and Gail Gardner. Chuck Kuepfer also jogs my memory. The Woolwich Observer have had several very good ones many years ago and I apologize for my memory lapse although long term Steve Kannon's writing has always stirred me. Currently Leah Gerber who left the K-W Record is doing very good work environmentally for the Observer. 

A regular local newspaper is an absolute must in order to limit the blatant propaganda and greenwashing that nasty corporate polluters are capable of. Here locally we have had more than our share of polluters from corner garages leaking gas and diesel to our multi national, multi billion dollar Uniroyal Chemical and its' corporate successors Crompton, Chemtura and now Lanxess Canada. All of them are polluters as well as their property continues to leak and discharge into the natural environment. This leakage is by air, groundwater, surface water  and even vapours through the soil. It has never stopped albeit the blatant gross dumping days of Uniroyal Chemical are long behind us. The damage however continues on both to wildlife and to human receptors. 

The trick for polluters is to have more money to throw at both the legal courts and the courts of public opinion. Uniroyal long ago embedded themselves in the community both politically through employees on town council as well as via community sponsership and donations. Add to that membership in the former CCPA ( Canadian Chemical Producers Assoc. ) and the current CIAC ( Chemical Industry Assoc. of Canada )  and greenwashing can thrive. 

Political corruption whether via the Ontario Ministry of Environment or at the municiapl level has been ongoing. It does not include all councillors but obviously the Mayor needs to be on board with it. While former Mayor Todd Cowan was less involved/dominated by it he too felt the pressure. I still hope that either a public inquiry or some such investigation that isn't controlled by either Council or Lanxess Canada may yet occur. That is also where our local newspaper can have an impact. The environmental cleanup here has been shameful whereas the greenwashing and puffery have been world class. There are professionals in the field that know this but they have wisely kept their heads down. There is always a high cost involved in doing the right thing whereas going with the flow and not rocking the boat is usually very inexpensive. We've got a ton of those folks nearby.


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