Wednesday, January 31, 2024


 Isn't that some kind of Investigation? Ignore major aspects of an investigation in order to polish the data towards what you require to avoid serious financial costs to remediate that which you are responsible for. So much for POLLUTER PAYS bullsh*t in this country and province. It makes me ashamed to live here. Over the last three business days (Sat., Mon & Tues.) I've listed a number of failures, deceptions and gamesmanship at which GHD and Lanxess have been caught. How many have I and others missed? Regarding Reach 2 above in the title that refers to the length of the Creek from Northfield Dr. to just east of New Jerusalem Rd. by a few hundred metres or so. This is a crucial length of the Creek through wooded areas and with a number of meandering channels. 

Attempts were somewhat made in the 2020 Creek "Investigation" to make up for the lack of data in the 2017 "Investigation". The problem of course arises when the same deceivers are involved in running the program. Is it only in Ontario or in the rest of the world as well that the proven guilty polluters are in charge of the "investigations"? Here in Woolwich Township municipal bureaucrats and mayors (generally) are in bed with the status quo which means with powerful polluters.  The concept of CONFLICT OF INTEREST is conveniently and intentionally out of their intellectual grasp. Quoting Saul Bellow "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024


 Originally the next TAG meeting was scheduled for this Thursday but it has been postponed by two weeks to February 15/24. Supposedly at that Feb. 15 TAG meeting members will be advised regarding the reforms to RAC and TAG. These reforms include opening up public consultation and allowing both questions and comments to the new body to be known as TRAC (Technical & Remediation Advisory Committee). They also include the removal of both RAC and TAG. No word yet as to who the members of TRAC will be but if history is any judge there will be inappropriate members with conflicts of interest despite claims otherwise.

A mere six days after this TAG (TRAC?)  meeting is the Elmira Public Awareness Event organized by Sadi.  Is the timing coincidence or is the Township looking to defuse criticism regarding their 8 1/2 years of zero public consultation? As RAC met maybe four times a year they permitted verbal Delegations whereas TAG did not. TAG would however allow written Delegations which they used to line the bottom of bird cages. They certainly did not discuss any Delegations which I presented over the years.. Zero discussion, zero questions and zero comments. Zero for me describes Tiffany, Sandy, Lanxess and the Ontario Ministry of Environment.  

Monday, January 29, 2024


Method Detection Limits (MDLs) go without saying. Any time the laboratory detection limit of a contaminant  exceeds the health criteria, whether federal or provincial, then you've got a stinker. The reason for the high MDL may or may not be legitimate, it may or may not be honest. News flash polluters lie and they aren't paying big bucks to third parties to cost them money but rather to save them money. 

Locational sampling biases as somewhat described here last Saturday are deceptive. One of the easiest methods of lying and deceiving is simply to refuse to sample where you have strong grounds to believe that there is significant contamination. This includes entire Reaches of the Canagagigue Creek as well as refusing to take any soil samples in and around the Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm. Also without confirmation either assuming a sample is soil versus sediment or intentionally misnaming third party samples to sew confusion. All of these have been done by Lanxess/GHD. 

Then there is simple refusal to properly edit one's technical reports. Good Lord but both CRA and GHD are corrupt as in "riddled with errors". Geez there are multiple failures to shade criteria exceedances in Figures they present while claiming that all exceedances are shaded so as to stand out. Horse feathers. Hint for GHD : O.K. the soil criteria for dioxin close to surface water is 7 parts per trillion whereas the sediment criteria for dioxin (TEQ) is only .85 ppt. . Aren't you guys supposed to be professionals? Everybody makes mistakes (human error) but don't you routinely and carefully edit the technical crap that you publish? I think the answer is obvious. Why waste your time editing out obvious errors when you aren't accountable to anybody.

Saturday, January 27, 2024


 I had thought for some time that the various schemes, constructs and deceptions by Lanxess/GHD were both clever and subtle. In fact they are no such thing. They don't have to be. They are blatant and in some cases downright stupid but that's not a problem when you have all the powerful "stakeholders" on the same side. No need for trickiness when even some of the "experts" on TAG are already toeing the line. In fact all you really have to fool are the laypersons, the uninformed citizens and the naive.  Oh and by the way if you have already removed the informed and serious citizens (CPAC) from the mix then really who is going to stand in your way? Exactly nobody. Lord knows the media won't stick their neck out (libel chill) and call a spade a spade and a liar an liar. Even if they have an expert source willing to publicly lambaste Chemtura, CRA and the Ministry of Environment such as Dr. Richard Jackson did (Sept. 2015-Dec. 2016), our local media ignored him. The idiots.

 Look carefully at the two major investigations upon which Lanxess/GHD are relying namely the 2017 and the 2020 Soil & Sediment Canagagigue Investigations. In the first one (2017) .creekbank soil and sediment samples  were taken from Reaches 4 (upstream) down to Reach 1 starting by the Grand River and ending at Northfield Dr. Less of course Reach 2 from Northfield Dr. until just prior to the New Jerusalem Rd. bridge. Reach 2 did not have any creekbank soil or sediment samples taken from the bottom of the Creek.

Then examine the 2020 Creek Investigation. In that one Reach 1 from Northfield Dr. downstream past Jigs Hollow Rd. to the discharge of the Canagagigue Creek into the Grand River was untested for both creekbank soils and sediments. 

Now that's not subtle at all. That's stacking the deck in favour of the polluter's preferred outcome which is  lots of higher concentrations of DDT and dioxins/furans all closer to home and cheaper and easier to remove from both Reaches 4 (Lanxess) and 3 immediately below the company's location. Junk science, psuedo science, and in your face nonsensical locational sampling biases. Isn't pollution a simple fix!

Friday, January 26, 2024


 Well now that is good news. I mentioned here yesterday that I had a very good talk with a Woolwich staffer who sent me on to another who then talked to a third who then phoned me back. Unfortunately I had literally just stumbled into the house after doing a "wrenching"  job out in my garage when the phone rang. No at my age I no longer do oil changes, tire changes, other mechanical work on my car. However as a returnee to motorcycling after a fifty-two year hiatus somehow I feel that that is different and I added a windscreen to my motorcycle yesterday. Lordy, lordy am I out of shape after two hip replacements, arthritis, a minor heart condition and periods of enforced inactivity. Hence I run out of energy much faster and with much less output than I used to have.

So it is unusual for me to let a phone call go unanswered but I did yesterday as I was just plain exhausted. Lo and behold it was Alex from the Township and she left me a lengthy and detailed response to my inquiry of the previous day. It was all good news and indeed was no more than the result of the retirement of Lisa who had been the Support Person for RAC/TAG for many years. The handling of the RAC & TAG Minutes due to their often times lengthy periods between meetings (especially RAC) is different from the posting of Minutes from other Towmship Committees which meet more often. Long story short Alex has assured me that both the Nov. 16 TAG and Dec. 7/23 RAC Draft Minutes will be on the Township's website by sometime next week. Thank you very much Alex. I also phoned her and left the same message.

Soooo do I now extrapolate and assume that there has been a sea change in attitude at the Township regarding Lanxess Canada, the Ontario MECP and the Elmira cleanup? Oh come on! Just because they are about to blow up the absolute worst excuse for "public consultation" I have ever seen or heard of doesn't make them saints. By the way for the record Woolwich Township have always had some excellent employees despite what I view as serious corruption (i.e. "riddled with errors") at the top just as RAC & TAG (mostly TAG) have had and do have some excellent members despite appalling Terms of Reference supporting grotesque public consultation fully under Woolwich, Lanxess and MECP control. As I've said here previously the mayor and others at Woolwich are finally looking over their shoulders at the train coming down the track and they don't want to get publicly run over by it.

Thursday, January 25, 2024


 So as per yesterday's Blog posting here I indeed did phone Woolwich Township to ask where the Minutes from the November 16/23 TAG meeting were along with the Minutes from the December 7/23 RAC meeting.  Now keep in mind that I have always myself made notes during UPAC, CPAC, RAC & TAG public meetings and that I like to compare them to the Woolwich Township version when it comes out. Yes I have noticed discrepancies over the years/decades albeit not as many as I expected which is a good thing. Also a number of the discrepancies can be chalked up to both the Township employee writing the Minutes not being anywhere nearly as well informed on technical environmental issues as myself as well as many members of  CPAC, RAC & TAG being newer and less experienced. In other words honest errors which carries a lot of weight with me versus intentional, self-serving errors or omissions.

I talked to Cathy (Kathy?) at the Township yesterday and she was extremely helpful despite not being the Minutes taker herself. She felt that Tanya who wasn't available at the time yesterday would be in the best position to help out and that the name of the new Woolwich Support Person was Stacy. That rang a bell and in fact I'm sure that I've met Stacy at either the recent RAC or TAG meeting or both. Regardless I was advised by Cathy (Kathy?) that either Tanya or Stacy would contact me with some clarification regarding Minutes possibly being approved or nor prior to being included in the Township's website.

I am hopeful that whether "approved" or not that these Minutes will be posted as soon as possible after a meeting because frankly I believe that it's ridiculous for RAC and TAG members who don't take their own notes to blindly rely on their memories one, two, three or more months after the fact and or to rely on a newer third party's understanding of the technical issues also one, two three or more months later when RAC or TAG members finally get to approve the Minutes at the next RAC or TAG meeting.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024


 I used to complain to Lisa Schaefer (Support Person for RAC/TAG) about not getting the Minutes of RAC and TAG meetings in a timely fashion. Basically they would be sent out to members and some serious stakeholders such as myself the week before the next meeting. Regarding TAG (Technical Advisory Group) that might be a month or two later. Regarding RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) it was much more likely to be three or more months later. Lisa pointed out to me that while she didn't e-mail them until a week before the next meeting nevertheless they were already posted on the Township's website. Hunh!

So I checked back then and son of a gun she was mostly correct. When I checked generally past Minutes were up on the Township's website weeks if not months earlier than they were mailed out to members and to the odd non-member such as myself. Well! 

So of course I'm getting ready for the public meeting next month (Feb. 21/24) and it dawned on me that I had not seen the Minutes of either the last TAG meeting (November 16/23) nor of the last RAC meeting (Dec. 7/23).  More than two months ago for the TAG meeting and more than 1 1/2 months ago for the RAC meeting.  Confidently I navigated the Woolwich Township website and while pretty much every other Minutes for various meetings are there, not a whisper of the Minutes for either the TAG or RAC meeting. Yes those two meetings are listed with their Agenda etc. but absolutely no Minutes.

It's not my job to get Woolwich kickstarted but I expect that when I get a few minutes I will give them a phone call. Is this merely human error or does it represent the seriousness or lack thereof in which Woolwich hold these two (about to be replaced) committees?

Tuesday, January 23, 2024


It was a Risk Assessment which the current owners of the property (Elmira Pump) hoped would permit some surface development on the property such as commercial storage units. A pump and treat system has been underway there since about the mid 1990s. According to the owner of Elmira Pump they are somewhat constrained in how much pumping they can do because of the pumping efforts in the Municipal Upper and Lower Aquifers throughout Elmira by Uniroyal/Lanxess Canada. That is interesting because my recollection was that the Varnicolor hydraulic containment system (i.e. pump & treat) was located in the upper (i.e. shallow aquifer). Also of interest to me was the admitting that indeed Varnicolor did negatively affect the Municipal drinking water aquifer in Elmira and in fact as of 2016 there were still five chemicals from Varnicolor in the Municipal Upper (MU) Aquifer. 

Firstly I believe that large amounts of NDMA may likely have been illegally disposed on the former Union St. property via untreated dimethylamine discharges reacting with acidic soils containing nitrogen as well from former pig farms in the area. The title of the article in the K-W Record written by Paige Desmond is "Chemical site still concerns Woolwich". 

Overall Elmira Pump got a rough reception from Woolwich Township (mayor Sandy Shantz) albeit not from myself although I did attend the public meeting. The revelations for me were about how deep the contamination went (MU) and the fact that it was still there twenty plus years after soil removal and pump and treat efforts. 

Monday, January 22, 2024


 It is my understanding that Uniroyal and successors have been using them for some time. Various contractors and other suppliers with access to the site in Elmira are required to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Now this I can understand for example in regards to company trade secrets. Why would Uniroyal or Lanxess Canada hire an outside contractor to do work for them, anything from woodworking/construction to plumbers/steamfitters, if they felt that an industrial spy might sneak in? Clearly there may well be a legitimate reason for an NDA if Uniroyal/Lanxess were concerned about proprietary chemical information being discovered and sold to competitors.

However proprietary data is one thing whereas illegal, immoral or improper behaviour contrary to the public interest is something entirely different. Blatant environmental illegalities or misbehaviour should never be part of a NDA. If a contractor for example witnesses a spill into the Creek or even a spill onto the ground they must advise the appropriate authorities. Similarly outside persons viewing either current or the results of past chemical dumping must report it. How many private individuals much less government employees (GRCA, MNR, MECP) have spotted problematic environmental issues and said nothing? How did the very existence of the Stroh Drain (SDDB) running parallel for a couple of hundred yards immediately beside the Uniroyal/Lanxess property go  undiscovered by the public for so long? That was a huge public interest matter concerning spillage, leaks, and likely diverted chemical wastes and groundwater flowing off-site. There is a comment from two days ago (Sat.) here in this Blog suggesting past cooperation between Stroh and Uniroyal Chemical. 

This cooperation may have gone far beyond construction of the Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm as well as payments for crop (vegetative) distress along the eastern property line between Uniroyal and the Stroh farm. Were and are self-serving NDAs causing damage to the public interest including the Stroh's nearest neighbours (Martin)? 

Friday, January 19, 2024


 Which came first: the chicken or the egg? It's an old adage/saw/puzzle. In the specific case did the sub-surface drainage on the Stroh farm (immediately east of Uniroyal/Lanxess) begin long before the September 1983 construction of the Stroh Drain itself? In other words had the decades old both overland flow as well as groundwater flow (Surficial Aquifer in the north, Upper Aquifer further south around RPE-5) that flowed eastwards from Uniroyal Chemical been directed via tiles or pipe into the low lying, swampy area on the Stroh property which is due east of the north-south Berm constructed by the Stroh Drain excavations in 1983? Regardless the current tiles and or corrugated steel pipe would merely have speeded up the drainage as it's all downhill anyways.  

What is obvious is the other old adage about "draining the swamp". In this case however the "swamp" consisted of both groundwater and (chemical wastewater) spillage and overflow from the east side pits (RPE 1-5). Now in heavy rain periods I would expect this low lying area would overflow as well and the mess would work it's way further southwards. An east to west gravel road was also constructed at some point to access gravel on the Stroh property which at one point was part of the diagonal (north-west to south-east) ridge crossing the Uniroyal and Stroh property. A culvert was put underneath the gravel roadway to also help drain the lower (more southern) end of the swamp. 

Hence the Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm (SDDB) merely increased the speed, flow and drainage southwards past (and into) the Martin swimming pond and  Canagagigue Creek. It also however via the positioning of the north-south Berm may have slowed the erosion of heavily contaminated soils (DDT, dioxins/furans & more) from the low lying area during Creek flood events into the Downstream Canagagigue Creek and eventually into the Grand River and Lake Erie. The SDDB may also have made living next to the swampy mess more palatable for the Stroh family. 

Now of course both Lanxess Canada and the Ontario MECP have intentionally stickhandled around these issues with careful selection of where and how deep to sample soils near the Lanxess/Stroh property line. They certainly don't ever want to find a major "sink" of DDT and dioxins/furans requiring millions of dollars of cleanup costs. Not to mention liability costs although perhaps quietly they settled with Stroh (but not Martin) survivors long ago.  

Thursday, January 18, 2024


 Has her buddy Susan Bryant and her buddy Pat McLean actually gotten through to her? Have those two former dynamic duo impressed upon Sandy the hell that is going to come down on Woolwich Township and mayor if there isn't a major change in position regarding the downstream Canagagigue Creek? Lanxess and the Ministry of Environment need to at least throw TAG and the Township a bone regarding some downstream cleanup of the Creek .  Maybe an outside agency has commented privately to the guilty parties that come on at least give the public something for their efforts pursuing cleanup in and around Elmira.

I personally have noticed a change in attitude locally. Both newer and older Elmira residents are asking questions. Our population is skyrocketing. Where are we going to get the water necessary for a Region which is earmarked for major population growth? Does Lake Erie water sound appetizing to you? Their green/blue algae outbreaks are an annual event. Our longer term residents who have been involved as stakeholders are also getting restless. These  individuals whom I would refer to as moderates are saying and writing some shocking things about Lanxess Canada and their supporters. Things that they would not have said so bluntly even a couple of years back.

Reform of our local grotesque public consultation process is underway. When it's starting from such an odious, undemocratic and anti public consultation  position it's hard to believe that it won't be an improvement. The only question is how much. The scheduled Public Awareness Event for February 21/24 will also shine a light on the past goings on here that purportedly were in the public interest. Whatever or whomever I see some possibilities coming up. Are they a mirage or is that clean water that I see down the road?

Wednesday, January 17, 2024


 Firstly neither of those two august bodies have made any attempt publicly, to my knowledge, to explain exactly how massive concentrations of NDMA have managed to get upgradient (east & north-east) onto the Stroh farm both in shallow and deep aquifers. This data comes from reports done by GHD consultants on behalf of Lanxess Canada. Now "massive" concentrations of NDMA are different from say massive concentrations of toluene or benzene which can float on top of the water table after they have dissolved to their maximum solubility in the groundwater. I'm referring to "massive" concentrations of NDMA however which still are thousands of times greater than their drinking water standard of 9 parts per trillion (ppt.). 

Then there are the likely/possible Interceptor Trenches running north to south-east across the east side of Lanxess. Proposed Interceptor Trenches or reasonable facsimiles were proposed in writing and figures by Uniroyal Chemical at the Environmental Appeal Board hearing in the early 1990s. I believe that these are likely an illegal diversion of east side contaminated groundwater over to the next door Stroh farm where they connect to the sub-surface drain pipe which becomes exposed at surface a little further south. 

Thirdly we have a number of maps and literature which makes it pretty clear that after the fact Uniroyal and corporate successors relocated (on maps at least) the location of Gravel Pit 1 (GP-1). This is significant because they have long claimed that the overflowing east side pits and ponds (RPE 1-5 etc.) all flowed due south into the current alleged location of GP-1. Mighty handy and mighty self-serving and saves the company millions of dollars in cleanup costs for the Stroh and Martin properties where much of the liquid toxic wastes ended up.

Speaking of the Martin property can you believe that the man made Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm (SDDB) was built to divert contaminated surface water (and some groundwater) eastwards and southwards through the Stroh property and their southern neighbour (Martin) where it discharges into the Canagagigue Creek? The problem is that this Drain both flows by and into the Martin swimming pond. Now this swimming pond may or may not still be in use . There is a pipe from a simple diversion within the Drain that gravity flows directly into the Martin Pond. I have seen it along with another, with my own eyes.

How does a chemical company with a known record as a gross polluter end up with a man made Drain next door beside their property line which drains both contaminated surface and groundwater from their property into both a private swimming pond and into a public Creek? Thank you Ontario Ministry of Environment for your oversight and supervision. Uniroyal/Lanxess also thank you.  

Tuesday, January 16, 2024


 I guess you could call it a public meeting. It could also be considered, in my opinion, an alternate reality from the sugar coated, everything's under control, good news scenario foisted upon the public by Lanxess Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MECP). Keep in mind it was only a few years back that the MECP flatly refused to post any warning signs against eating fish caught in the Canagagigue Creek despite multiple contaminants in the fish exceeding the formal Tissue Residue Guidelines (TRG).

Speakers include myself, Richard Clausi and Susan Bryant. I'm not thrilled in regards to the third one however I'm not in charge of the event, Sadi is . She is both the organizer and the brains behind the event. Richard is the Master of Ceremonies (MC) and he will give a brief history plus a few slides as well as introduce the speakers. There will also be a question and answer period after the speakers that Richard will facilitate. 

Oh and obviously Rural Roots, the venue, will be selling beer and food. I understand that there will be a tent with heaters so I would suggest dressing warmly and if it's warm enough divesting coats etc. as the tent heats up. 

My understanding is that Susan wishes to focus on the Risk Assessment of the downstream Canagagigue Creek . I on the other hand will discuss the Creek, the groundwater underneath Elmira, and the former Uniroyal Chemical site itself today. I expect both lollypop questions as well as perhaps a few hardball questions. I expect that the vast majority of attendees will learn a lot and leave very satisfied with a much greater understanding of both the good and the bad surrounding the 1989 Elmira Water Crisis and where we stand today.   

Monday, January 15, 2024



Firstly it's now official. There will be a "Public Awareness Event" at Rural Roots restaurant in Elmira (off of Industrial Dr.) on February 21/24 at 8 pm. until about 9:30 pm. A local resident has organized and is hosting this event which will include a Documentary a Chairperson and at least two guest speakers. This event should help the public understand what happened in November 1989 to shut down our drinking wells as well as what the status is today regarding the Elmira Aquifers, the state of the former Uniroyal Chemical site and the state of the downstream Canagagigue Creek.

The second item likely is not yet official although at the same time it has not been a secret that two councillors namely Eric Schwindt and Nathan Cadeau have been conducting for months now a review of the RAC and TAG committees. RAC stands for Remediation Advisory Committee and TAG the Technical Advisory Group. They've completed their review and as I've been advised will present their results to Woolwich Council for ratification sometime next month. They will also present their results to TAG either at the Feb.1 original next TAG meeting or at the probably new scheduled date of Feb. 15/24. Either way the idea I believe is to give TAG some sort of heads up and opportunity to comment.

It is my opinion that the two councillors review results are a wholly appropriate reform of a grotesque decision taken by Woolwich Council back in 2015 at the behest of Sandy Shantz, Mark Bauman, Lanxess and the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MECP). Quoting then councillor Merlihan the 2015 decision by Council was "cringeworthy". That said the devil is in the details of which I am not completely clear yet. The two committees are to be folded into one with a new Chair plus significant improvements in real public input including verbal Delegations as well as questions and comments at these upcoming public meetings. Hallelujah !

For the uninitiated who don't know the good guys from the bad let me simply say the following. Any party, any individual, any government level who compliment or support either the MECP or Lanxess are the bad guys. If not then they are simply woefully ignorant of everything that has happened in Elmira both since and before November 1989.  

Left click on picture to enlarge it!

Saturday, January 13, 2024


 In November 1989 Elmira citizens and residents were lied to on many fronts regarding the "discovery" of NDMA in our drinking water. Most of these lies are in my book at  . The lying by our authorities and favourite polluter has never ended. One of the biggest lies was that the groundwater would be and could be remediated to drinking water standards by 2028. Dr. Richard Jackson (1st TAG Chair) expressed shock when he realized that the drinking water standard for NDMA was 9 parts per trillion which is approximately a one thousand times smaller concentration than most solvent drinking water standards such as benzene, trichloroethylene which are measured in the parts per billion (1,000 times higher).

Certainly while RAC and TAG set new lows for pretend public consultation, their 8 1/2 year reign of public consultation was grotesque. No questions could ever be asked and no comments made by the public. Verbal Delegations could be given to RAC approximately four times per year. Chemtura/Lanxess and the MECP usually didn't attend the more regular TAG meetings unless especially invited.   

I have long known that there was a price that Chemtua/Lanxess were going to eventually have to pay for their absurd two committees. The last six or seven years has been all about the Risk Assessment (HHERA) of the Canagagigue Creek. Their extremely successful muzzling of knowledgeable voices was going to bite them in the a..  . Selling a controversial " unacceptable risks..." in the Creek is hard enough but doing it while muzzling EVERYBODY accept the anointed few to TAG by Sandy and friends is a step too far.    

Citizen stakeholders have zero authority and power. Uninformed municipal councillors have lots of moral authority but only a little real authority. Regional councillors have more influence and provincial politicians and the MECP actually have the only real power. For locals to actually be in charge of cleaning up Elmira's groundwater and Creek they need solid support from local municipal councillors, the majority of local citizens and a strong media presence behind them. None of that has ever happened while from 1989 to 1995 it was two out of three with municipal councillors never being strongly behind the interests of their citizens . 

Friday, January 12, 2024


 So many examples. Here at home the Auditor-General has just released a damning report showing that exactly as citizens have said for decades, gravel pit operations are NOT in the public interest and are NOT being run properly or in compliance with the rules and laws of Ontario or its' municipalities ( see Jan. 5/24 here in this Blog). Then in today's K-W Record is an article titled "Reprieve for wrongly accused U.K. postal workers". Apparently over 900 post office branch managers were convicted of theft or fraud between 1999 and 2015 in regards to allegedly missing funds. These missing funds it turned out were the result of a faulty accounting software package. Of course a day or two ago as well as today there is an article in the Record describing the horrific two decade stints in jail in New Brunswick for two men (Gillespie & R. Mailman) who have now been exonerated.  It just goes on and on. Think about the following names: Milgaard, Marshall (Don), Morin, Truscott, Rubin Carter, Mullins and on and on, never ending. 

Yes our governments are to blame. As also is our perverted Judicial Systems which rely on never ending inputs of alleged criminals, sometimes when no crime has been committed and often when  police have simply grabbed the first potentially guilty suspect that they can find. Faulty investigations, false testimony, unreliable visual evidence and witnesses, prosecutorial misconduct, police misconduct; the list of reasons goes on and on. A huge one is of course money and resources. How the hell is the average Joe supposed to fight the state on serious charges when the state has all the necessary funds and resources including police at their disposal? It is an unfair battle from the start with ordinary citizens required to remortgage their homes (if they own them) and do battle under the complex, onerous and circuitous rules of the state.

May our governments rot in hell for their past sins. May more of their future sins be exposed for public contempt and ridicule.     

Thursday, January 11, 2024


 I've been doing it literally for decades. It is likely the reason that my knowledge and understanding are second to none. The hardest part sometimes is separating the wheat from the chaff. There is so much gratuitous dog poop, junk and psuedo science not to mention just plain, unadulterated horse manure. Fortunately there are and have been some incredibly accurate and honest persons involved over the decades to dilute all the professional liars on the polluter's payroll, either directly, indirectly or even likely surreptitiously. 

The good guys generally would include Jaimie Connelly, Bob Hillier, Cynthia Doughty, Dr. Gail Krantzberg, Dr. Henry Regier, Dr. Richard Jackson; oh heck I liked Steve Martindale too. The bad guys would include George Karlos, Bill Bardswick, Mili Neu, Terri Buhlman, Tiffany Svensson,  Alan Deal, Ramin Ansari, Steve Quigley, Luis Almeida, Dwight Este, Jeff Merriman etc. Somewhere in the middle would be Wilf Ruland. I learned from his hydrogeological experience but also suffered from his inappropriate, unprofessional back door assault with Susan B. and Pat M. upon myself. You may notice the lack of politicians on this list either good or bad. Generally most were bad with some outstandingly bad examples being Bill Strauss, Sandy Shantz and Mark Bauman.

Currently I am reviewing reports in regards to both groundwater remediation strategies and action in Elmira, Ontario as well as the Risk Assessment (HHERA) of the Canagagiue Creek. Overall our authorities have done a splendid job of protecting and insulating the dirty polluter and corporate successors from  the slogan of "Polluter Pays" as well as from the "Precautionary Principle" in regards to cleanup and remediation plans. It is truly awesome how their ability to twist words, spout drivel, gild the lily and outright obfuscate has benefited those most responsible for the 1989 Elmira Water Crisis and failure to clean it up. These authorities have learned well how hiding behind soft speaking, bought and paid for, client driven "suits" plus other credentialed spokespersons (i.e. "mouthpieces") aids their efforts. Average citizens do not have the time, the energy or the interest in technical environmental issues (groundwater, surface water, biology, contaminant migration, chemistry etc.) to be able to keep up with the so called experts, most who are working on behalf of the polluter and his fellow travellors including the Ministry of Environment. Hence easy pickings once the prominent local politicians have been brought securely on board. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024


 I have recently been reviewing this Blog as well as Minutes of RAC and TAG both during the time period of September 2015 until December 2016. This of course coincides with the Chairmanship of TAG by Dr. Richard Jackson. The criticism of the Ontario Ministry of Environment from both Dr. Jackson as well as by TAG members was extensive and at times even harsh. This ended as soon as Dr. Jackson's time as Chair ended by his resignation. He pointedly advised that the issues for cleanup success were intractable and that they were not remotely technical issues but instead were public policy issues. In other words bureaucrats and politicians simply were too willing to let the talking go on forever without actual serious remediation being undertaken. This remediation or lack thereof included relying solely on Pump & Treat technology for the Elmira Aquifers and never ending studies of the Canagagigue Creek including the then proposed Risk Assessment of the Creek. Both he and TAG passed a Motion advising that a Risk Assessment was highly unlikely to produce a cleanup of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the Creek.

Dr. Jackson strongly condemned the so called leadership of the Ministry (MECP) for numerous failures including their refusal to follow federal mandates for sampling and monitoring suspended sediments in the Creek. They also far too easily swallowed Uniroyal/Chemtura's nonsense as to why In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) would not be a viable and applicable form of remediation here. Thirdly somehow the MECP failed to find /notice or target a coarse, basal gravel unit at the bottom of the Municipal Aquifer. This coarse gravel unit was a preferential pathway for contaminated groundwater that should have been targeted with pumping wells to speed up the groundwater cleanup but was not done. 

All in all Dr. Jackson found the Ministry's efforts in Elmira appalling and likened them to their failures in Grassy Narrows to remove mercury and help restore the English-Wabigoon River system. He strongly advised that any Risk Assessment be done by the known experts on dioxin contamination namely Hatfield consultants. As Dr. Jackson stated he would believe their research and work but pretty much would have no confidence in any such work under the supervision of the Ontario Ministry of Environment.  

Tuesday, January 9, 2024


 I am going to keep the identities private of the persons who sent a very timely, strong, yet diplomatic letter to Woolwich Council back on April 6, 2016. You may recall that this was during the time of one of Woolwich Township's greatest public embarrassments.  Mostly Mayor Shantz, aided and abetted by one of her least diplomatic, least politically correct council colleagues namely Murray Martin, took it upon themselves to be publicly rude and disrespectful to Dr. Dan Holt (CPAC Chair) and myself. Most of the rest of Woolwich Council followed their lead by attempting to censor Delegations to Council wishing to discuss Chemtura and the Elmira cleanup. Mayor Shantz of course was already smarting from the public embarrassment of messing up her Financial Statements mandated by the (Ontario) Municipal Elections Act.

The letter started as follows "I watched last night's meeting on Roger's channel 20 and was saddened by a lot of what I saw." The second last paragraph stated "As I reflect on the proceedings of several previous council meetings, as well as last night's, I find that council simply does not follow it's own procedural bylaws, especially when it comes to Section 10, which deal with behaviour at Council meetings."

"Comments both by Mayor Shantz and Councillor Martin last night could be interpreted as violating these following sections: " Three different sub-sections of  Section 10 are then listed.

The final sentence in this citizens (non CPAC member) e-mail states "Council should be respected by the public, but it is difficult to do when Council doesn't play by it's own rules."

For current Council members I simply advise that many citizens have long memories, particularly if and when  councillors are disrespectful or rude. Also I personally take great offense when politicians /councillors try to hide behind the dignity of their office. Canadians in general respect authority figures until or unless that respect is abused. This includes myself and when Woolwich Council led by Mayor Shantz and Mark Bauman took it upon themselves to personally lie and deceive by personally blaming honest volunteers (CPAC) for Chemtura and the Min. of Environment running and hiding from public meetings, I stepped up.

My mission was simple. O.K. Council if you want to dishonestly throw mud at us personally then just watch what is coming your way. I was on the lookout from that point forward to publicly broadcast the hypocrisy and lack of following rules by Woolwich Township. Between violations of the Municipal Act, Ombudsman reports condemning how Woolwich were holding in camera meetings, and of course the Council trying to censor Delegations by demanding that they go through township committees first before being allowed to speak as Delegates to Council, I succeeded.

I believe that the relationship has vastly improved. Let's keep it that way Woolwich.

Monday, January 8, 2024


 Getting back to the Ministry of Environment's serious critiques of Stantec's Risk Assessment of the Canagagigue Creek dated December 7 and December 20, 2023; let me emphasize how serious indeed these criticisms are. Above and beyond what I've already posted, the MECP are refuting Stantec's position that chicken and egg exposure to dioxins/DDT is negligible. Stantec state that quantitative analysis simply isn't needed versus qualitative analysis. In other words as I understand this "quantitative"  would entail actual scientific measurement of concentrations of dioxns and DDT in both chickens and their eggs followed by mathematical calculations to determine risk. This is vastly different from "qualitative" analysis which I believe entails asking questions and using those verbal answers to come to theoretical conclusions that the exposure of receptors is limited enough to have only negligible risks.

Other issues as per the Ministry of Environment's reports include the fact that 500 sediment samples and 400 soil samples were taken in total over a two decade period combined with the distance of the Creek being much longer than 8 kilometres when one considers the that there are multiple channels along this Creek. The MECP believe that a worst-case scenario needs to be assessed. Also maximum exposure point concentrations should be used to inform the potential for health risks versus the proponent (Stantec/Lanxess) merely advising that the "hotspots" do not pose unacceptable risks. 

A reminder that the controversy about shovels being used for sediment samples versus proper core samplers has been clarified by the MECP.  The MECP categorically have stated that their "...2014/15 sediment samples were dominated by silt and clay while Lanxess's sediment data collected by GHD in 2017 was dominated by coarse sand and gravel". I have previously described here as to the fact that both dioxins/furans and DDT bind more strongly with fines (sand, silt etc.) than with stones, cobbles and gravel hence Lanxess and GHD have artificially reduced the contaminant concentrations by their collection method of sediments. Core samplers include the fines whereas pulling an open shovel upwards through the water column from the bottom of the Creek loses the fines leaving stones, cobbles and coarse gravel behind.

All in all simply more examples of polluters using junk science to minimize the extent of their pollution. 

Saturday, January 6, 2024


 Actually I seriously wonder exactly how much shame the "Just Us " system are actually capable of. Certainly amongst mere mortals versus the self-proclaimed "gods" (judges) and demi-gods (lawyers & court personnel), guilt and shame regarding failures is not apparent. How many mentally ill persons end up in jail for decades? How many poor people with horrendous starts in life end up in jail? How many people of colour who are disrespected, harassed and provoked end up in jail simply for defending themselves? Finally how many people of either limited or even average financial means end up in jail primarily because they don't have the money for a first class defence? 

Today's Waterloo Region Record has yet another horrific case of two men who served lengthy prison sentences for a 1983 murder they did not commit. Worse yet both men had multiple witnesses who testified as to their whereabouts at the time of the murder. All for naught with poor forensic evidence, police misconduct and other unreliable witness testimony.

Innocence Canada and a lawyer for them, James Lochyer called for a public inquiry and stated that there are most likely "...a lot more...." cases like them. The Record article is titled "New Brunswick judge apologizes to men for "miscarriage of justice". I suspect that it is a lot more than a miscarriage of justice and more likely a symptom of an inherently perverse and  corrupt system with far too little protections for vulnerable and powerless citizens. The Justice System is systemically biased against the powerless.  

Friday, January 5, 2024


 Thank you Auditor General of Ontario for setting the record straight. Today's Waterloo Region Record advises us that "A damning report on the aggregate industry released by Ontario's Auditor General in December confirms what many local politicians and residents have been saying for years- the industry is operating without enough oversight and pit operators often skirt the rules."  Shocking - NOT!

Almost any community in Ontario hosting gravel pits will tell you about the dust, the noise and thr traffic from those pits. They will also complain about groundwater contamination among other problems. All this despite public relations efforts from the likes of Mr. Cheeseman and the Ontario Sand, Stone & Gravel Association who like to wax poetic about about the social good coming from gravel pits. While conveniently minimizing the problems he and they have for years babbled on about economic needs, wages and profits being beneficial and environmentally responsible they are. Mostly horseshit it appears, after reading this Record article by Paige Desmond.

I do not know if Mr. Cheeseman is still a big cheese at the OSSGA but he certainly has represented them for many years. More accurately I believe that he has misrepresented them. The OSSGA is a lobby group promoting the ongoing pursuit of profit despite the social ills that their pits bring to communities. Those social ills are supposed to be mitigated by trained provincial inspectors but are not. Here in Woolwich Township we have and have had for decades a plethora of unneeded and unnecessary gravel pits simply to promote the increased profits to the industry, not to remotely help anyone but themselves. 

Shame on our provincial governments and their nasty, deceptive Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. The highest insult I can give that Ministry is that they are no better than our Ministry of Enhanced Corporate Pollution (MECP) also known as the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.  

Thursday, January 4, 2024


 O.K. I may be slightly jumping the gun here but dang it's good news! A private citizen (not me) has decided that it is time to talk to her fellow citizens and update them on the status of the Elmira cleanup. This citizen may be relatively new to the headaches and heart aches of polluter politics but she has been immersing herself for some time in literature, reports and discussions with various stakeholders. She has also attended some public RAC/TAG meetings as well as attempted to contact various authorities involved with the Elmira Water Crisis. 

The proposed date is in late February (2024) and will be held here in Elmira, Ontario. I am not giving more specific information until after the organizer/host has publicly announced the details. Keep in mind the topics covered will include the ongoing Risk Assessment of the Canagagigue Creek, the ongoing but oh so slow cleanup of the groundwater beneath Elmira and the mostly non-existent cleanup of the grossly contaminated soils including remaining buried toxic waste on the former Uniroyal Chemical site (now Lanxess Canada). 

I would suggest that many local citizens and residents believe that everything is under control. Certainly that is the message that Woolwich Township, the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MECP), Lanxess Canada and their various consultants (GHD, Stantec) wish to sell to the public. This public meeting may give a better perspective on the matter.  

Wednesday, January 3, 2024


 For the love of everything that is holy, when is the province going to shut down the Waterloo Region School Board (WRDSB), appoint a caretaker and send the entire senior administration back to finishing school? By finishing school I should elaborate that what they desperately need is a crash course in ethics, morals and decency. Right about now I would compare them to the Israeli cabinet as far as radicalism goes. And believe me I understand not only the Israeli desire for security following the October 7/23 massacres but also the desire for revenge and punishment based upon atrocities that Hamas inflicted upon innocent civilians on October 7.  That said that hatred, anger and contempt for Israeli lives did not come out of the blue. Someone (s) in cabinet need to come up with or compromise on a better plan for the Palestinian people that does not include more generations of occupation, poverty and third class status as human beings themselves.  

O.K. I got a little side tracked there. The WRDSB are appealing a judicial loss to Caroline Burjoski. Pretty clearly their noses and ego are out of joint. Yes Justice James Ramsay verbally hammered the school board in his earlier decision to toss out the Board's motion to throw out Ms. Burjoski's defamation lawsuit. Today's  K-W Record have a front page story titled "School board appeals decision in Burjoski defamation case" describing the sequence of ongoing events around the matter. 

Several points are clear. She did not incite hatred against anyone. She did not violate human rights legislation. She did not question the right of transgender persons to exist. What she did was to politely and reasonably ask the Board for clarity about the process/procedure that they use to determine the age appropriateness of books describing transgender persons and their issues in school libraries available to very young children. It is conceivable that the Board have a system in place that is reasonable, equitable and appropriate but they totally failed at that meeting to elucidate it. Instead their Chair overreacted both at the public meeting and afterwards as he made inaccurate statements describing Ms. Burjoski's behaviour and words. Now the Board are compounding their initial errors by further attacking Ms. Burjoski using taxpayers money through the court system. Stupidity!    

Tuesday, January 2, 2024


 Let me be clear that I believe the title above whether Liberal or Conservative government. I/We  simply do not have enough data to determine categorically if this also applies to a NDP government as we've only had one in Ontario, more than thirty years ago. Today's Waterloo Region Record has an article well written by Paige Desmond titled "Waterloo Region residents faced a rocky road battling gravel pits in 2023". 

This article describes ongoing local concerns including in Shingletown and Petersburg. The pit in Shingletown is called the Hallman Pit and the one in Petersburg is named the Middle St. Pit. A decision will be forthcoming from the Ontario Land Tribunal regarding the Hallman Pit.  Petersburg residents are appealing Wilmot Council's approval for the Middle St. pit to the Ontario Land Tribunal.  Rory Farnan from Citizens for Safe Ground Water advises that the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) has a strong track record favouring gravel pit owners and developers. He stated that "...I'm optimistic. History would tell me not to be."