Saturday, December 30, 2023


 I believe that it might have been Dr. Richard Jackson who coined the phrase in the title above. Essentially it is the mystical methodology allowing Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura and Lanxess to avoid doing serious remediation with known technologies while they wait for the magic bullet technology that 1) does not exist 2) is less expensive than all others 3) cleans all contaminants including chlorinated compounds (i.e. solvents, TCE, Chlorobenzene, NDMA, dioxins/furans, DDT, PAHs, and more). 

This "magic bullet" was not described as such at the last RAC meeting (Dec. 7/23) however it was referred to as "...any new technical information available that may change the options available...". In other words the long awaited for "magic bullet". 

One additional item suggested by RAC relevant to a new Control Order is the water needs of the community. Continued growth (for better or worse) is slated for Waterloo Region and hence water supply is crucial. Rather than Ramin's poor suggestion in yesterday's post I would focus on continued and improved groundwater remediation in Elmira thus hopefully negating the need down the road for a pipeline to the most polluted Great Lake namely Lake Erie. 

Friday, December 29, 2023


 Leah Gerber wrote the story and as usual she did a good job. Unfortunately of course there was a ton of nonsense, stupidity and historical revisionism from both Ramin Ansari and Jason Rice at that meeting. When you have successfully captured the local political structure it's pretty easy to be confident in selling even the most outrageous crap as being factual.

 Oh and here by the way is a plug for the Observer. Despite Ms. Gerber's being constrained to reporting upon what only hand selected and pre-verified spokespersons have to say, her efforts should get citizens doing some thinking on the subject. Right now the Observer and other newspapers are hurting financially. The Observer are looking to sell subscriptions annually or even for as long as five years. Our family subscribed and paid for one year and fully expect to renew that each year. 

The Ministry of Environment are hoping to build support for a new Control Order. Why? The last two (1991, 2000) have done little or nothing other than to reveal the impotency of the MECP and their stupid, non-binding Control Orders that don't even have consequences when the polluter fails to achieve what was ordered.  These Control Orders are clearly for public relations purposes and it seems obvious that privately the MECP (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) advise the polluter what they really would like accomplished (mostly visual public relations efforts) versus some more onerous, expensive and substantial remediation. 

Ramin also has been trying to sell the idea of oh gosh how wasteful it is to pump contaminated groundwater, treat it allegedly to drinking water standards (it isn't) and then pump it into the Canagagigue Creek. He is bleating about sustainability, unnecessary electricity useage and carbon footprints. Give me a break! He is a master at selling self-serving (Lanxess) ideas to lessen their financial liability. If it also reduces their public culpability, well then that's a bonus. 

Both parties as well as Woolwich Township are also looking for public support by talking up some limited public consultation regarding these future self-serving plans of both Lanxess and the MECP. To date all three parties have shown a breathtaking contempt for real public consultation by keen, enthusiastic and knowledgeable local citizens. They hand picked their citizen rep decades ago and are sticking with her despite her not being either a Canadian citizen nor even a resident of Woolwich Township any more. She is however very amenable to private meetings with them as well as private deals, only allegedly in the public interest. That and worse is their idea of "public consultation".  


Thursday, December 28, 2023



It is possible that I am being a little cute by including question marks beside GHD/Stantec above. By cute I mean aware of Libel laws and our pitiful courts here in Waterloo Region and Ontario. I have never knowingly lied about anything regarding the Elmira Water Crisis but Libel Chill has been a constant thorn and harassment for anyone involved in public interest cases for decades even despite a new Libel defence accepted by the Courts possibly fifteen or more years ago. Do I have any doubts about the integrity or not of Conestoga Rovers ? I do not. Their corporate successors, GHD, on occasion have appeared to be an improvement on them and then they turned around and produced some claims, statements or reports of a dubious nature. Finally of the three I have the least experience with Stantec although I find their claims of "no unacceptable risks" downstream in the Canagagigue to be incomprehensible and bizarre.

The Ministry of Environment (MECP) have bluntly told Lanxess/Stantec that their draft Risk Assessment (HHERA)  "...has not sufficiently evaluated all other potential exposures to humans and the aquatic ecosystem." Do you think? How the hell could it possibly have done so? I know for a fact that Stantec have not approached highly knowledgeable Elmira residents for their input. I also do not believe that they have properly and appropriately approached all the residents and property owners the length of the downstream Canagagigue Creek to the Grand River. Exactly with whom and how often have they discussed   exposures to the natural environment in, around and nearby the Creek? Have they talked to visitors, fishermen, hikers, kayakers and others walking, swimming, boating, fishing and even just playing in the Creek including children? Have they included in their calculations air contamination by solvents, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, DDT and dioxin/furans? After all the entire downstream community are downwind based upon prevailing west to east wind direction? This air exposure is decades long and multi generational. 

The MECP have suggested that concerns and comments by Ministry staff as well as by TAG "are appropriately resolved." in their December 20/23 cover letter. If that happens I suggest that it will be a first. I also suggest that there are lots more stakeholders than just the MECP and TAG despite our local politicians assisting Lanxess by scoping down the list of stakeholders who have spent the last 34 years actively involved in this environmental disaster.

Despite about five years racking up the bills to Lanxess, Stantec keep missing the boat. Many of these concerns, comments and complaints have been stated both verbally and in writing over the years simply to be put on the back burner with vague promises to reexamine them later. Later serious examination rarely occurs.   


Wednesday, December 27, 2023


 So many tricks, so many deceptions, so many lies and corporate polluters have mastered them all. What really stings however is when our authorities are in bed with these professional liars as the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MECP) seem determined to prove.  They have belatedly released their latest critiques of the Lanxess/Stantec draft HHERA or Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment for the Canagagigue Creek.  The bottom line is Lanxess/Stantec's claim that all downstream risks for more than five miles "are acceptable". Well we've known by their lack of cleanup over the last fourty years that the suffering,  ill health or deaths of either wildlife or human beings "are acceptable" to them. This is precisely why Dr. Richard Jackson as well as TAG way back in 2016 expressed skepticism that any Risk Assessment under the control of Chemtura/Lanxess would result in appropriate Creek cleanup.

I give credit to Joe Kelly (TAG member at the time) for first raising the alarm about poor sediment sampling techniques in the Creek by GHD on behalf of Chemtura/Lanxess. I also got on the bandwagon and repeatedly have also tried to pound home the point that improper sampling using shovels instead of proper core samplers reduces the amount of fines captured. Both dioxins/furans and DDT adhere to the sediment fines at the bottom of the Creek. Hence when you attempt to sample in the wrong location where there is alleged "armouring" (stones, cobbles, rocks) on the bottom of the Creek, the core samplers can not penetrate through the armouring. Then GHD, instead of moving fifty metres one direction or the other, instead use a shovel to get through the "armouring" and then when drawing the shovel upwards through the water column lose most of the fines and most of the DDT and dioxins in the sample. It's just one more scam as I've written about here before in which polluters in charge of their own cleanup can fudge the numbers in their favour.

The report is oddly organized such that advising you that the details of the previous paragraph are on page 3 of the report dated December 20, 2023 is not perfectly clear. However by referencing page 3 of the eleven page report dated December 20, 2023 should narrow things down. The MECP go even further and advise us that their 2014/15 sampling of sediments have resulted in sediment samples dominated by silt, clay and small to medium sands VERSUS Lanxess/GHD/Stantec (2017) sediment samples that are dominated by COARSE SANDS and GRAVEL . 

Beyond contempt.

Saturday, December 23, 2023


 The two reports are dated December 7/23 and December 20/23. The shorter second one I have read and I'm almost half way through the longer first one.  Interesting criticisms include Stantec making conclusions based upon limited evidence. There are also comments about Stantec presenting data in an inconsistent fashion. For example this might include data sets for soil samples that include dates, locations, depths, soil types and other parameters and then the next soil samples only have half the identifying parameters of the first soil samples.

To date a big complaint by the Ministry of Environment (MECP) is in regards to chicken and egg consumption. Apparently Stantec made various assumptions (the bane of risk assessments?) regarding free range chickens not foraging either on contaminated floodplain soils as well as not right beside the contaminated Creek. I guess that Stantec allegedly asked the Old Order Mennonite farmers whether their chickens foraged for food where they weren't supposed to and the farmers supposedly said no they don't.  This raises two issues. Are chickens highly obedient to human verbal commands and if not would they obey written posted signs advising them to stay away from the Creek? Yes indeed folks, professional Risk Assessments are a laugh a minute as long as you can avoid seeing the dead bodies.

Two other criticisms by the Ministry are the fact that there are multiple channels of the Creek in the downstream area heading towards the Grand River. Hence the distance of the Creek is substantially greater than 8 km (5 miles) and should be reflected with more soil and sediment samples . Floodplain samples also should be increased I would think. In a recent post I discussed alleged anomolous very high contaminant concentrations. Apparently Stanted prefer to call these results "outliers" and may have conveniently (& self-servingly) been leaving them out of various calculations. The Ministry view this as a little too blatant and want that data back into the various risk calculations and others.

This has always been part of my criticism of this whole process. When the polluter and his bought and paid for "experts" and "Qualified Pe*****" are manufacturing all the reports they get to cherry pick the evidence. This likely includes "evidence" that all the other stakeholders aren't aware of and which can be thrown out if it turns out to be inconvenient to the narrative being peddled to the public.   

Friday, December 22, 2023


 Rule #1:  You will never find that which you do not look for.

Rule #2:   If you stumble across a nasty surprise refill the hole and move elsewhere (quickly)

Rule #3:   If an informed source advises you where to sample either ignore, make excuses, or question                        their credibility.

Rule #4:  Refer to all high concentrations of contaminants as anomalies or possible lab errors. Then take                   at least another 25 samples in known cleaner areas to show that the high result was anomalous.

With the adroit use of hydrogeological principles try to ensure that your sample depths are the least likely to find high concentrations of contaminants. Where possible have backup groundwater monitoring wells that are screened in both a higher and lower aquifer (i.e. a nearby "window" in the aquitard) in order to have elevation readings that can be used to confuse groundwater flow directions. This is particularly helpful when "proving" hydraulic containment.

Be well politically connected in order to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. Most of the above tricks will fool 90% of the local citizens but the remaining ones may need to be "removed" from public consultation committees arbitrarily by the local Council.

Thursday, December 21, 2023


 It is still located, free of charge, on my Waterloo Region Advocate website ( or click on it (over to the right side of this page under "Useful Links Regarding Similar Environmental Topics"). It is now much more user friendly. This Blog and presumably most or all have the authors' most recent posting come up first and older postings have to be searched for either by scrolling backwards or through the Archives on the right side of the page. 

I have, surprisingly to me, been able to reverse the order such that my book now appears at chapter #1 as one accesses my waterloo region advocate Blog either via google or via the website address in the previous paragraph. I have also added the Prologue as well as the cover page that were included when my book was on Amazon/Kindle. 

The cover page is a colour photograph of a provincially licensed hazardous waste site in Elmira including the Howard St. Elmira Water Tower in the background. This picture is a damning indictment of what passes for Ministry of Environment enforcement of environmental laws in Ontario. Although other pictures show more illegalities including metal drums sitting in water this picture has at least two illegalities displayed. The first would be the drums stacked three high when provincial laws demand a maximum of two high to minimize skid breaking/crumbling and drums hence toppling. The second would be the very large stainless steel tank located in a tank farm, leaning at an angle due to it sitting in water and beginning to float prior to toppling and damaging other full tanks beside it.

My book calls a spade a spade. I name the liars, I name the corrupt agencies and I name the corrupt individuals. No level of government goes unscathed nor should they. People die from air, water, soil and sediment contamination every year and there is little to no accountability. This book is trying to change that.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023


 The Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) discusses, debates and argues changing Parents/Guardians to Family/Caregivers despite the Ministry of Education having no opinion or concerns on the matter. The WRDSB feels an urgent need to shut down any discussion by parents or educators as to whether some books in their public school libraries are age inappropriate for Junior Kindergarten, Kindergarten or even Grades 1 and 2. The WRDSB have made their minds up and by gosh no further discussion is to be tolerated! Wow! This includes both parents, oops sorry Family/Caregivers as well as by senior teaching staff. Apparently neither group are "stakeholders" or important enough to be permitted to politely express their opinions on an educational matter. 

Is it possible that the WRDSB are simply constantly on the lookout for the flavour of the month issue to argue and capture newspaper headlines rather than the ongoing, decades long focus on crappy results in reading, writing and arithmetic?  Or as the Ministry of Education suggested in today's Record perhaps the Board's focus should shift back to their core job of educating our young citizens.

Fast forward to the years long now Human Health & Ecological Risk Assessment (HHERA) of the Canagagigue Creek. While a serious issue it has quite neatly removed the focus on cleaning up the Elmira Aquifers. The cheapest and least effective remediation strategy of Pump & Treat (groundwater), to no surprise has failed. It mostly on its' own couldn't rehabilitate the contaminants in the Elmira Aquifers to drinking water standards after 30 years (allegedly by 2028 despite the "Water Crisis" beginning in November 1989). Also very odd is that the HHERA really didn't even start until our authorities finally, belatedly admitted what citizens have been telling them and our authorities for years namely that too little pumping, too often interrupted pumping and not combined with on and off-site source removal was destined to fail as it has.

So instead of discussing enhanced remediation (including source removal) all parties and most stakeholders are focused on remediating one, two or three "hotspots" in the downstream Canagagigue Creek. Even if Lanxess concede to do so do you really believe that one to three tiny (probably Mickey Mouse) cleanups by New Jerusalem Rd., Northfield Dr. and or Jigs Hollow Rd. will actually do much to remove the many decades of discharged DDT, dioxins/furans, PAHs, mercury and PCBs in the downstream five miles of creekbank and Floodplain soils, creek sediments, fish and other wildlife?    

Tuesday, December 19, 2023


 Today's Waterloo Region Record has a story on page A4 titled "SIU clears OPP officers for Fergus arrest in April". The sub title is "Director's report found the officers' conduct was not improper".  From that point onwards however I found the story to have glaring gaps in it and definitely not to be particularly clear that the officers behaviour was either proper or legal. Now perchance the unnamed author (Metroland) simply wasn't given all the information necessary or maybe he wanted to make his story ...let's say curious.

We are told that a pedestrian approached officers in a public place (St. Andrew St. West) and advised them that he was recording their conduct. Now certainly in the U.S. that is perfectly legal and reasonable conduct provided the citizen is not obstructing or interfering with the police in the performance of their duties. Apparently the OPP officer in Fergus however immediately advised the citizen that he was under arrest for "public intoxication". Now firstly I very much doubt that pedestrians are routinely charged with public intoxication in Canada unless they are really, really impaired and even then I expect that most might (in winter time at least) be simply taken to the police station and given a bed in a jail cell for the night to sober up. 

Now the OPP officer however immediately wrestled the citizen to the ground and attempted to handcuff his hands behind his back. Other officers also piled on and assisted in handcuffing the citizen who apparently felt that throwing him to the ground and handcuffing his hands behind his back was unnecessary and abusive. The OPP officers also felt the need to punch the citizen in the face three times allegedly in order to gain compliance to what arguably was an illegal assault and arrest. In the end the arrested citizen was taken to hospital for treatment of a broken kneecap.

Guess what? The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) deemed the OPP officers' conduct was not improper. For that to be the case and for the public to have any confidence in either the OPP's behaviour or the SIU's report, a whole lot more information is required. For example was the citizen convicted on "public intoxication" or were the charges quietly dropped? Secondly why with the citizen face down on the ground and with multiple officers assisting, was it necessary to punch him three times in the face? Thirdly when exactly did the broken kneecap occur? Was he kicked or was the impact with the ground that forceful that the kneecap was broken when he hit the pavement? According to the story in the newspaper there was immediate and aggressive action by the OPP against the citizen after he advised that he was recording them. Is this an example of de-escalation by police when dealing with the concerned public. Are we so far down the road of police arbitrary authority that we are supposed to be happy that the OPP didn't shoot and kill the unarmed citizen?   

Monday, December 18, 2023


Our judicial system is sometimes perverted by politics. Who appointed the judge (Liberals or Conservatives) and is the issue one which resonates politically say education, immigration, police etc.? What is even more apparent is how hot button issues of the day affect political decisions and yet how strong lobbies routinely delay and deflect necessary government action. Climate change is the perfect example. The Liberals are under fire from the Conservatives for their carbon tax initiatives. This ticks off the Conservatives because both they and the Liberals have been long under the lobbying thumb of the oil and gas industry in Canada. Why do you think that Canada routinely fails any and all tests regarding carbon emissions and continue their support of oil and gas useage if not expansion in Canada? Alberta in particular are and have been reliant for decades upon local oil and gas and resist every federal idea that could possibly inhibit their development.

Today's Waterloo Region Record has an interesting article by Andrew Phillips. I feel that it is not only telling us an important political truth but is very well written so as to avoid casting blame or even criticism upon a Canadian minority group, namely Muslims. The issue is Gaza and Israel's continued pounding of the land, the infrastructure and the civilian population of the area. Two months ago Justin Trudeau and the Liberals automatically supported Israel 100%. They have now flipflopped and are strongly condemning the ongoing civilian displacement and murders happening in Gaza.

Mr. Phillips suggest that it is simple mathematics plus perfectly legal and generally appropriate political lobbying. Trudeau and the Liberals have realized that there are about .33 million Jewish people in Canada versus 1.77 million Muslims. Wow! This is the result of immigration over the last ten to fifteen years in particular. So if you want the most votes from one group or the other and can't have both then what do you do? Simple, instead of continuing your unconditional support for Israel which also works well with our powerful neighbour the U.S., you more carefully examine the conditions of your support as well as (heaven forbid) all the facts including the uncomfortable ones, and change your position. Yes you can loudly proclaim Israel's absolute right to self-defence but now you strongly state that it can not come at the expense of innocent civilians, men, women and children. Yes some Hamas leaders might escape but murdering 500 Palestinian non-combatant civilians to remove half a dozen Hamas from the planet can not continue. It is a war crime and is shameful.

Once again (or perhaps once in a row) politics I believe has come to the right decision albeit likely for the wrong reason. More votes for the Liberals in the next election is not a good reason to stop the carnage in Gaza. Decency, ethics, honour and humanitarianism are.       


Saturday, December 16, 2023


 If I believed in hell then I could feel confident that all you arrogant, bullying, lying pieces of crap would spend eternity there. Oh well. At least your stupidity in provoking a public backlash has exposed your undemocratic, might is right attitude yet again. Also I believe that some of our local courts may have stepped into deep water this time as well. Unlike myself almost twenty-five years ago, Caroline Burjoski appears to have the financial means to appeal the asinine decision by the three person divisional court stating that the Trustee Chair (Piatkowski) acted reasonably.  I had the asinine decision by the dishonourable Robert Reilly to contend with and no money for an appeal.  He also had refused me a trial by my peers (i.e. a jury trial) . That was but one of his many contemptible actions during the almost four week long trial. I have now long understood that our courts are the playgrounds primarily of the wealthy and that despite claims to the opposite, attempts by unrepresented litigants are given short shrift and respect by judges and other court personnel.

Two divisional courts consisting of three apparently biased and ignorant individuals have now ruled in the Board's favour, one versus Caroline Burjoski and one versus trustee Mike Ramsay. At what point will the public realize how grossly biased, unfair and glued to the status quo some of our courts are? Will the public compare those two recent decisions to the one from several weeks ago which bluntly condemned the anti-democratic and biased behaviour of Chair Piatakowski and the Board in their treatment of Caroline Burjoski? In that decision Justice Ramsay upheld Ms. Burjoski's right to sue the Board and Mr. Piatkowski for defamation after the Chair had her improperly shut down as a Delegation for allegedly contravening the Human Rights Code. That false claim was scathingly denied by Justice Ramsay as well in his decision.

Ask yourself citizens how is it that one court can filter out the fluff, the lies, the deflections and distractions while another embraces them in order to achieve the politically correct decision. Shame once again to our corrupt judicial system.    

Friday, December 15, 2023


 Yesterday I wrote here about the article and Opinion piece in the Waterloo Region Record regarding Regional Council's budget approval process. I also took shots at the amateur accounting efforts by mostly grossly unqualified career politicians pretending to be competent. Today I'm going to talk about the regional police from a different perspective.

We were told that they are having a hard time obtaining new recruits. Wowser what a non surprise . For that you can thank decades of poor treatment of women recruits, harassment of blacks locally (eg. driving while black) and a regional government wedded to the status quo in all things including shoddy police work. Kitchener had their own Black Lives Matter protest walk a couple of years ago with thousands participating. This does not occur without decades of "street checks" and now illegal "carding". Guess who got street checked and carded way out of proportion to their numbers? Yup blacks! Guess who get stopped excessively for spurious reasons while driving? Blacks again.

So let's try to figure this out. Waterloo Regional Police from the top down are racist and sexist and now they can't seem to get applicants to be police officers almost starting with a six figure annual income. Lots of unemployment, lots of under employment and they can't even get applicants. At one time my son was seriously interested in being a police officer. Then he met an as#hole cop on Arthur St. in Elmira throwing his weight around. My son does not back down to bullies whether in uniform or not and called out the officer for his behaviour. That interaction with a pig convinced my son that he did not wish to join the biggest street gang (police) around. I will balance this with my personal experiences with local police as an older, white male. The street cops I have met have treated me well and professionally. Zero problems there but senior administrative police are a different breed. They are petty politicians looking to enhance their influence and authority. They do this by taking improper requests for action against parents from the likes of the Waterloo Region District School Board. They aid and abet harassment and bullying of parents by the Board. Shame on them.

So the WRPS can't find applicants. It serves them right. Meanwhile as taxpayers and as per Luisa D'Amato of the Record lets stop paying salaries to the Waterloo Regional Police Services for cops that they do not have and can not hire. 

Thursday, December 14, 2023


 O.K. first off I have zero proof that our very own Mayor Shantz is the world's worst accountant. For all I know she may have taken a half dozen accounting courses since 2016 (i.e. almost 1/year). Or not? What I do know first hand is how she incredibly and repeatedly botched her approximate $14,000 expenses on her first mayoralty Election Financial Report. She botched it to the point that not only were all the errors in her favour (as in reduced total expenses) but that the Crown Prosecutor took months looking at it as well as bringing in an outside prosecutor to avoid appearances of favourtism. (It happened anyways).

That's right our Sandy Shantz couldn't even come close to preparing her approximate $14,000 election expenses accurately and now she's one third of the regional councillors on the Police Services Board approving a $240 million dollar budget. Her personal finances she had total expenses at approximately $9,600 which was conveniently below the $10,000 ceiling which demanded an independent (and expensive) audit. Now she, councillor Doug Craig and regional chair Karen Redman are the three regional council appointees approving the Waterloo Regional Police Services budget. No wonder some other councillors are a wee bit skeptical of their expertise. Is there any chance that any of the three of them know their way around a financial statement?

There is an old joke about the two most important jobs in the world requiring zero educational requirements. The two jobs are parenthood and being a politician. Good stuff Woolwich electors. Mayor Shantz was relatively young and attractive when she was first elected to council plus she has a Mennonite last name and had done volunteer work in her church. That was the extent of her qualifications apparently. Voters you get what you deserve. Do not do your due diligence and you and everybody else gets it in the ear.   

Wednesday, December 13, 2023


 Thirty years ago Glenys McMullen of APTE coined the following phrase as she described UPAC (Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee) more fittingly as the Uniroyal Pollution Appreciation Club. Oh my, Oh my. By January 1994 the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team were formed as we resigned from both APT Environment and from UPAC. I would be embarrassed to belong to either one today although I know that there were some good people on both who were deceived.

O.K. the title is somewhat confusing. No one, not even the dirty polluters themselves will ever admit to cheering for pollution. Rather they prefer to be known as pollution fighters even as they block, obstruct and undermine any and all initiatives to achieve less pollution. Their objections are ideological as in all possible costs of production should be externalized and borne by the human race, the natural environment, taxpayers, governments or anybody but themselves, the profit-makers.  

Their methods of course are scurrilous. Obfuscation, puffery, misinformation, psuedo science, junk science and simply overall gilding of the lily are their stock in trade.  Combined with seducing possible allies and or opponents. Local politicians are top of their list followed by influential citizen leaders. Look for both individual and group weaknesses or desires and exploit or provide as required to gain influence.

The key eventual fellow travellors are municpal councils (Woolwich), Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA), the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MECP), the occasional or hopefully rare co-opted citizen (you know who), regional councils (RMOW) and possibly the odd client driven consulting company (CRA/GHD).   

This cycle can only be broken by courageous, driven truth seekers who can not and will not abide corruption.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023


 Way back in the spring of 2016 Woolwich Township councillors (less Patrick Merlihan) voted in favour of censoring citizens from speaking to council unless they had previously spoken to one of their environmental committees (RAC/TAG) on the subject first. Curiously this initiative by Council occurred within a week of Mayor Shantz having all Municipal Election Act charges dropped against her. Well! No political pettiness up here  eh?

Well it backfired spectacularly with radio, T.V, and newspaper media all appropriately pounding on Woolwich Council. Thank you Sandy as that certainly took the sting out of the rollover and abdication of responsibility by our courts. It also further confirmed to me the unhealthy link between our courts and our local politicians. 

Keep in mind that TAG has never allowed any members of the public to speak to them since their inception in September 2015. Written Delegations which can be easily ignored are O.K. RAC on the other hand will listen to oral Delegations. Of course they only meet about four times a year so timeliness is a problem. 

It did my heart good to see the Township and their self-serving, petty behaviour so uniformly castigated. They quickly backwatered and dropped their idiot decision basically attempting to further muzzle myself, CPAC and the general public Whether the Township staff and councillors actually learned anything is subject to debate.

Monday, December 11, 2023


 Lying, deception, obfuscation, deceit, delay, deflection, avoidance...O.K. you get the picture. They will also pull in all outstanding favours, IOUs and political debts in order to make things go as smoothly as possible. Smoothly for them does not equate with smoothly for the rest of us. I very much doubt that avoiding jail is even on their radar although it should be. I also doubt that as of yet their public liability insurance companies have noticed a change in the wind direction. Yes bought and paid for politicians will always run interference for chemical companies at least until the bodies are lying in the streets. Even the Bhopal disaster was handled and managed in order to mitigate personal responsibility and liability. Think about car accidents in North America. Your insurance company are on the hook for medical costs and damages (health & property) done by the poorest of drivers and then the state steps in and can lay either traffic or even criminal charges for negligence etc. When was the last time that you heard of any corporate executive charged and convicted on criminal charges for negligent on the job injuries and deaths much less for neighbours injured and dying from toxic fumes or drinking water? It just doesn't happen. 

Lanxess and the MECP will ignore the blatant failure to clean our poisoned groundwater within thirty years as both promised and mandated. By the way notice how that thirty years managed to get stretched out to 39 years (1989-2028). Typical. They will wax poetic about unknown hydrogeological factors such as diffusion and how surprised they are that aquitards are now back diffusing contaminants adsorbed to them, back into the aquifers as the concentrations in the aquuifers slowly decrease. They will also whine about the extraordinarily low drinking water standard for NDMA ( 9 ppt.) being so difficult to achieve. That is because NDMA is so toxic yet they released it into the natural environment for decades.  The MECP will support Lanxess's excuses not because they are accurate as much as they can neither afford nor win a pitched legal battle with the multi national, multi billion dollar corporation. Financial might is usually right in our legal system. 

If the MECP lay yet another Control Order on Lanxess (Uniroyal) it will be reinterpreted at Lanxess's will just like the first ones.  There will also be private "gentlemens" HA! agreements between Lanxess and the MECP to avoid certain difficult requirements. Uniroyal Chemical were ordered to contain all groundwater on their site and have never done so (UA, ML, BR aquifers at the minimum not done). They were also ordered to remove all DNAPL below the west side ponds and never did so. They did a tiny amount in RPW-5 and TPW-2 and later a bit from RPE-3 and that was it.

In other words the same as 39 years ago the "Orders" will all be for show. We may or may not ever have a clean aquifer again under Elmira.  

Saturday, December 9, 2023


 Yesterday I spoke about former teacher Caroline Burjoski and her unnecessary battle with the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB).  Unnecessary in the sense that Ms. Burjoski had every right to address the Trustees as a Delegation and in fact was a pre-registered Delegate who had advised them ahead of time what her topic was (who/how does the Board decide what books to remove from school libraries) , when she was asked. Now clearly her stated topic was accurate despite her being interrupted and stopped cold within about four minutes, long before she had completed her Delegation. The point however is not whether or not her stated topic was 50% accurate, 75% accurate or even 100% accurate. By what right (other than might) do the Trustees have to pre-censor incoming citizen Delegates to a meeting of the Trustees? That is exactly what they are doing by demanding the topic which only has to be an educational one, no more and no less? 

The Trustees are merely representatives of the public. Delegates however are the real deal. The Trustees work for them. not the other way around. Trustees instead of pre-censoring and pre-judging incoming Delegates for political correctness (i.e. only agreement allowed with established Board directives) need to learn how to act like grownups, suck it up and listen respectfully to all citizen Delegations not just those that the majority of Trustees agree with. Something like how they should behave with their own trustee colleagues who do not agree with some Board policies. Through anti-democratic policies the WRDSB are only allowing friends and fellow travellors to speak to the public via Delegation. That is an attempt to lead the public by the nose and manipulate public sentiment and approval in their direction.

Back to the RAC meeting. It was primarily bullsh*+. There was (thankfully) only a brief update on the RAC/TAG Terms of Reference. The final report will soon be submitted to Council and it most likely will be a stinker. CPAC (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) were unable to get the face to face meeting we wanted with the councillors however multiple CPAC members including Richard, Dr. Holt, Sebastian and myself all submitted written comments primarily advising that RAC/TAG had zero moral authority after how they were manufactured based upon the wishes of Chemtura (Uniroyal) and the corrupt Ontario Ministry of Environment (MECP).

The second bullsh*+  item was #7. titled "Status Update on 2028 MECP Order Deadline". This was primarily Ramin on behalf of Lanxess and Jason on behalf of the MECP  spinning their gross failures to achieve cleanup into some sort of victory. They went on about how important and necessary public consultation was going to be regarding the formulation of a new Order or Directive from the MECP relevant to the failed 2028 deadline. Again they are trying to lead the public by the nose. Who the hell from the public asked them to do that? NOBODY!!!! 

The last couple of Control Orders (1991, 2000) certainly didn't do the job. Uniroyal, Crompton, Chemtura and Lanxess have done exactly what they wanted from day one and that was to spend the least amount of money possible and hope for the best. It failed and there were lots of cleanup suggestions along the way from citizens that were given short shrift or none at all.  One really odourous suggestion from Ramin was to do the final water treament immediately before sending it into the public water system versus discharging directly into the Canagagigue Creek. That idea stinks partially because final treatment now does not achieve Ontario Drinking Water Standards (ODWS) but a much weaker criteria because it is going into the Creek for immediate dilution etc.

The verbal emphasis  on public consultation is just that: talk. They've never had good public consultation only bad to non-existent the last eight years with the behaviour of Woolwich Township, Lanxess and the MECP.  They will always talk about consultation when in fact they are terrified of it. 


Friday, December 8, 2023


 Truly pathetic. Superior Court three weeks ago finds that a teacher presenting as a Delegation to the School Board trustees did not engage in hateful comments, did not violate the human rights code and had her rights to free speech removed by the trustees and their eager Chairman. Then yesterday another divisional court consisting of three adjudicators (judges) decided that golly gee that very same teacher broke the procedural rules of the school board trustees by allegedly wavering away from her pre-stated subject matter of discussing how the board decides which books to remove from school libraries and classrooms. Instead she allegedly sailed off into unchartered (unpermitted) waters by describing two specific books and what she felt was inappropriate sexual matter for very young children. This three person "court" also stated that the Chairman's decision to stop her from speaking was not unreasonable as it is part of his job to "...preserve order and decorum...". The trio also claimed that the topic of her speech to the trustees was irrelevant to those outlined in her request to speak to them. Well now: Since when does a citizen require to be pre-screened by the trustees? If she goes to a school board meeting and starts talking about non-educational matters (politics, immigration, disarmament, climate change etc.) then by all means shut her down. Otherwise if the citizen's comments have anything at all relevant to education then the trustees should shut up and let them speak (less of course profanity, threats, promotion of illegal activities etc.). Oh and this brain trust of three also stated that the Board's restriction on her freedom of expression was "minimal". 

This trio of trouble simply deflected the whole argument towards one they felt they might have a better chance of getting away with namely that the teacher whose polite, professional and calm Delegation was briefly posted on-line; had allegedly violated the school board's Delegation policy. Too bad that was not what the board chairman (Piatkowski) had claimed. He publicly stated at the meeting that the teacher (Burjoski) had or was about to violate the Ontario Human Rights Code. Both claims are bullshit.  

Meanwhile back to the Superior Court decision three weeks ago when Justice Ramsay clearly advised that he felt that the School Board do not have a valid defence to Ms. Burjoski's defamation lawsuit. He also said that she did not violate the Human Rights Code as alleged by the Board Chair. 

How does one square the circle of two separate "courts" coming to such diverse conclusions? Also I personally watched the trio of alleged judges and their on-line judicial review. I have absolutely zero recollection that the Board raised the issue of Ms. Burjoski's Delegation being irrelevant to her pre-stated topic of discussion. The Board was not yelling about procedural failures by Burjoski either at the initial trustees meeting nor at the three person judicial review . Yet here suddenly that issue is the big deal. I repeat it's all about deflection. If your team screwed up the real issue badly then search desperately for some other speck to argue about. That shows incredible bias to me.

I will discuss last evening's RAC meeting here tomorrow.

Thursday, December 7, 2023


 I recently watched a televised dramatization of the 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal India. On the one hand there were references to corporate ideology regarding cutting corners on safety due to financial concerns while at the same time we were advised of various employees literally dying on site after the leak of toxic gas as they frantically did the best they could to stop the impending disaster. The actual chemical culprit I believe was MIC or methylene isocyanate. That said the movie/documentary was pretty clear that there had been serious concerns and threats for some time prior to the actual MIC becoming unstable and venting into the atmosphere.

I know here in Elmira, that the standard practice seems to be the use of rupture discs. I would almost compare them to frost plugs in a car's engine block which are supposed to be forced out if the engine coolant freezes. The idea is that the frost plugs breaking free reduces the pressure on the rest of the engine block. The same thing happens with rupture discs on a pressure vessel. We were advised by Chemtura back in 2010 that that is what occurred with the release of BLE 25. The pressure vessel either overheated or over pressurized and instead of exploding inside the building the rupture disc in an outside vent did its' job (ruptured) sending the contents of the pressure vessel up the stack to share with the rest of Elmira. How thoughtful.

One could be forgiven for seeing this as but one more externalization of costs from private manufacturers onto the public. Just as Uniroyal Chemical for almost twenty five years dumped untreated or partially treated wastes into the publics' air, groundwater and surface waters to save themselves massive treatment costs; these rupture discs spread the contamination far and wide versus an explosion inside their manufacturing facilities that would shut down future production and profits. I suggest that the Elmira cleanup of BLE 25 saved them money versus stopping production and having to rebuild their factory. 

Whether there is a comparison between the two (Bhopal/BLE 25) I am uncertain. Whether Union Carbide used rupture discs on their pressure vessels in Bhopal I am uncertain. What is more certain is that some corporate concerns for the publics' well being are mostly public relations. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2023


 I have over the last few months been looking at both the 2020 Soil & Sediment Investigation of the Canagagigue Creek (GHD) as well as at the Fish Tissue testing report done in 2022 by the MECP. Both reports are damning especially when we consider that allegedly Uniroyal Chemical stopped dumping untreated wastes into the Creek in the very late 1960s (almost 1970). How is it possible that the blatant dumping stopped by 1970 yet we still have lots of soil, sediment and fish tissue samples in excess of either provincial or federal criteria more than half a century later?

Clearly the former Uniroyal site is a saturated mess of toxins and chemical wastes leaking, oozing and generally migrating off-site on an ongoing basis. Clearly much more source removal on site, as suggested and requested by citizens for decades, is required. Clearly this will require legal orders and legal action by the MECP to accomplish. Unless of course our provincial and federal politicians get their act together and make the environmental cleanup laws stronger and less vulnerable to frivolous delays and appeals.

I am about to conclude a look at the 2017 Soil & Sediment Investigations of the Canagagigue Creek. Same thing  as the 2020 one in that there are a ton of detections of dioxins and DDT compounds both above and below the provincial and federal criteria. There are also of course mercury and PCBs above criteria as well. It is a disgusting mess and Lanxess's attitude is that well our bought and paid for Risk Assessment says that there are no unacceptable downstream risks so we don't have to do anything. That is both bull and lies. Is this also an example of gaslighting by our authorities ? Or does the gaslighting start when Lanxess suggest that voluntary out of the good of their hearts, simply to calm the unenlightened Woolwich citizens, they might just decide to clean up one, two or three "hotspots"?  Lying by any other name is just as contemptible.     

Tuesday, December 5, 2023


 The first date was a Letter To The Editor which I believe was in the Woolwich Observer in which Dr. Dan Holt thanked Patrick Merlihan and Steve Kannon of the Observer for their hard work reporting on the environment. Dr. Holt also thanked Paige Desmond and Luisa D'Amato of the K-W Record for their reporting efforts as well. Dr. Holt then took a sideways swipe at then Councillor Murray Martin for his lumping Dr. Holt in with "those people" who apparently are environmental activists. Wow. This was the same councillor who a few years later took a biblical run if you will at the idea of a rainbow crosswalk in Elmira. Frankly if the councillor had stuck to the budgetary/financial reasons not to spend the money he'd likely have had more support.

The second date was a Record article titled "Town pushes feds on creek water. TAG Chair Dr. Richard Jackson was unhappy with the federal governments hands off policy in Elmira. Dr. Jackson also made it clear that neither the Ontario Ministry of Environment nor Health Canada were doing their jobs. Woolwich mayor Sandy Shantz also chimed in that a small municipality should not have to tackle the problem all on their own. Dr. Jackson then pointed out the hypocrisy of Canada sending aid and support to Vietnam while refusing to lift their fingers to help Elmira/Woolwich with their battles against Agent Orange and dioxins. 

Monday, December 4, 2023


Mostly the purpose is to present to the public something that looks good and feels good. In other words the impression they (Lanxess, MECP, Township etc.) are trying to convey is one of professional concern, care and competence. The reality is that they fail on all counts however with enough credentialed experts combined with some elected politicians all helping, the public are often successfully misled.

Item. 6 is the RAC and TAG Terms of Reference Update. CPAC were unsuccessful in obtaining an appropriate private meeting with the Woolwich councillors on this matter but I'm sure that won't inhibit a feel good report advising that all is O.K. when in fact it is not. 

Item. 7 is a Status Update on the 2028 MECP Order Deadline. Allegedly the Min. of Environment are going to deal with Uniroyal Chemical and corporate successors groundwater cleanup failure with a new Control Order. Well the last one certainly didn't do the job so I wonder why this one will. 

This meeting will be much ado about nothing but you have to attend to pick up occasional nuggets of gold from among all the crap presented. 

Saturday, December 2, 2023


 RAC stands for Remediation Avoidance Committee. Wait a minute: It stands for Reliably Avoiding Cleanup.  Hmm how about Really Asinine Committee? Maybe it stands for Retrenchment AT all Costs. well whatever as we all know a rose smells great by any name and in this case RAC stinks by whatever name it is called.

RAC membership includes its' Chair Sandy Shantz as well as the TAG Chair Tiffany Svensson. Then we have the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA), Region of Waterloo, Ministry of Environment (MECP) along with Lanxess attending.

Similar to TAG, Disclosures of Pecuniary Interests is a farce. Every single group present has a pecuniary interest in attending and in supporting the entire scam and sham. From our six digit salaried mayor to Tiffany's $30,000 very part time honorarium to the GRCA's budget (municipal & regional tax dollars) to the MECP  's long shrinking budget everybody has a financial reason to support the status quo and pretend to clean up Elmira. The fact is the cleanup is based upon groundwater dilution, surface water dilution (Canagagigue), air dilution and natural attenuation all slightly assisted by pump & treat technology including more dilution in the Creek.

The last meeting was held in early September and RAC appears to average about four meetings a year. This avoids and minimizes nasty citizen input that is only partially allowed at RAC and not at all (no Delegations/no questions) at TAG. This folks is the Sandy Shantz joke of public consultation here in Elmira/Woolwich.

Friday, December 1, 2023


 The unholy foursome of Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura/Lanxess have never been up front with the public. I expect however that in private sessions (which are most common) with the Min. of Environment (MECP), Woolwich Township, Region of Waterloo etc. they likely have been. All four made it plain early on that Elmira/Woolwich would be worse off without the economic engine which a chemical company is.  Wages, raw materials, water and power consumption are all paid for by a manufacturer. 

Hence here we are in the thirty-fifth year since Uniroyal Chemical shut down our drinking wells (1989). The "cleanup"  has not been successful and in fact it seems clearer and clearer to me that for all intents and purposes Lanxess really aren't trying that hard and the MECP is O.K. with it. Afterall if there are no sanctions for failure (none so far)  then why should Lanxess continue to spend full bucks on pumping and treating? I believe they have degraded their offsite pumping to the point of merely trying to stop the spread of the contamination. While that has been the intent with on-site pumping & treating for decades they are supposed to be pumping & treating to the point of both containment and actual cleanup of the off-site aquifers. By Conestoga Rover's own figures that would require closer to 150 litres per second versus the current 64-68 l/sec. total off-site well pumping.

Lanxess will likely continue telling the public one thing while keeping our authorities in the loop. This also allows our political authorities the cover of "plausible deniability". For example if the company decides to cut and run all our politicians will publicly cry foul and claim that they did not know it was coming.