This Blog will discuss politics, government, corruption, police, S.I.U., courts, education, min. of attorney general, min. of labour, v.o.i.c.e. and other current and past events of interest to concerned citizens. In the "About me" section to the right and down I have included the names of persons whom I have tremendous respect for. Their influence on me however has been primarily environmental (and personal) and this is therefore a disclaimer that all words posted on this Blog/Website are mine and I alone am responsible for them. I say this with the greatest respect and affection to my friends.
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
ELMIRA WATER WOES: THE TRIUMPH OF CORRUPTION, DECEIT, AND CITIZEN BETRAYAL
TABLE OF CONTENTS
107......Municipal Election of October 2010
109......Old CPAC Takes a Hit From the New Council
110......New CPAC Has Major Growing Pains
Municipal Election of October 2010
What a massacre of the old order. Only Mr. Flip Flop, Mark Bauman, was re-elected although he received a stiff challenge from newcomer Eric Schwindt. Everybody else got the boot. Murray Martin, Ruby Weber, and Bill Strauss lost their council seats. Sandy did not run for extremely personal reasons which as we were still on good terms she had shared with me. Pat McLean ran for mayor against her old buddy Bill Strauss and they both lost to newcomer Todd Cowan. The new council therefore consisted of Todd Cowan, Allan Poffenroth, Mark Bauman, Julie-Anne Herteis and Bonnie Bryant.
There were a number of factors leading to this sea change. I had been noticing the decline in environmental news coverage for many years. The Elmira Independent stalwartly covered CPAC meetings but the K-W Record, CKCO-TV News, and the Woolwich Observer had few articles or news stories concerning the environment in Elmira. With assistance from my daughter I started the Elmira Advocate blog (elmiraadvocate.blogspot.com) in May 2010. She showed me how to format it and get it off the ground. Almost immediately I received feedback, both positive and negative, about my environmental reporting, mostly on events as they pertain to Elmira and Woolwich Township. It seemed that a number of local parties with shameful environmental histories did not approve of their dirty laundry being aired on the Internet. It seemed that many people who were practitioners of the fine art of gossip and innuendo, especially behind their targets backs, were also upset. Some comments received on my blog were thoughtful and many were simply ignorant and or defensive. The masthead on my blog states: “Advocating for citizens of Woolwich Township with regards to the environment, groundwater, surface water, drinking water and contaminated industrial sites.”
Over the course of the 2010 summer I had a few meetings and conversations with Todd Cowan, an old friend of Richard Clausi. Mr. Cowan advised us that he was running for mayor of Woolwich Township in the October 2010 municipal elections. He had a plan as to how to achieve the mayor’s seat. Richard assured me that Todd had political experience from having worked with the Liberal Party provincially as an administrative assistant to MPP Liz Sandals from Guelph and had worked in Toronto in that capacity.
Mr. Cowan, it turned out, had learned that things were in very bad shape regarding Chemtura Canada and CPAC. Todd had learned some of this from David Marks, a hydrogeologist who worked in Guelph with R. J. Burnside Consultants. He also had had some conversations with Ron Campbell, an environmental professional living in Elmira. The impression I was given by Mr. Cowan was that Conestoga Rovers and Chemtura had been inadequately running the clean- up on their own and not in the public interest. Allegedly various informed and professional parties all knew this. Todd was convinced that with the current regime on CPAC there was virtually no hope of the 2028 Elmira groundwater clean-up deadline being achieved. The problem in hindsight was, of course, that Mr. Cowan was completely truth- challenged. He had promised me that he had both David Marks and Ron Campbell fully on board as members of the new CPAC that he, Todd Cowan, was going to appoint to replace the former one that Pat and Susan had been running from behind the scenes for a long time. This all sounded great to me. I was invited to join the new CPAC and accepted. It turned out nearly eight or nine months later that I learned that Todd had totally lied about having Ron Campbell on board. Regarding David Marks I am not sure.
Todd had also mentioned some folks that he had been involved with who had concerns about a new company formed in Elmira to produce methane from food wastes. None of the names mentioned to me were at all familiar. Todd’s election plan involved a lot of shoe leather for him and he won handily. I was thrilled to see Bill Strauss, Pat McLean, and Murray Martin go down. While Ruby Weber and I had not seen eye to eye years earlier when she was part of the Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee (UPAC), nevertheless I had gained an appreciation of her work in regards to her support in the late 1990s regarding the Waterloo Region District School Board’s reprehensible behaviour and with her efforts to keep me on CPAC in late 2007 and early 2008.
On September 27, 2010, barely a month before the municipal election, Chemtura messed up big time. They managed to release a combination of diphenylamine and acetone across a big chunk of Elmira. The actual product, a fugitive emission from a pressure vessel, was a batch of BLE-25. This product was released reportedly due to human error as the pressure built up much too high that in turn caused a rupture disc to do exactly what it was designed to do: It blew out, releasing the highly pressurized contents out of the vessel and sent them up a stack to the roof of the building where the chemical contents were released into the air. While these two chemicals were not acutely toxic neither were they good for anything or anybody. They had a sticky gooey texture which stuck to houses, cars, decks, outdoor patios, and furniture. The acetone, which is commonly used as nail polish remover, dissolved car paint finishes upon landing.
Speaking of paint finishes, mayoralty candidate Todd Cowan had his vehicle liberally sprayed with BLE-25 when he was at work on Union St. near the Chemtura plant. We talked afterward on the phone and he was certainly not a happy camper. I had an idea and phoned reporter Jeff Outhit at the Record to give him Todd’s contact information. A large close-up picture of Todd and his damaged car appeared in the Record.123 That kind of free publicity you just can’t buy. Thank you Chemtura and the Record. Mr. Cowan, on the other hand, expressed his loyalty and appreciation to me in a somewhat different fashion six months later, despite knowing that I had seriously helped his campaign by giving Jeff Outhit his contact information and background.
Chemtura immediately owned up to this mess that they had inflicted upon the long-suffering residents of Elmira. It seemed that, despite Chemtura Canada’s ownership and promises to clean up the damage they had caused, that Elmira folks at last had had enough. Recall that Uniroyal’s air emissions and the “Duke Street rowdies” had been a huge deal less than a decade earlier. People were still angry.
I have said for decades that but for Uniroyal, Crompton and Chemtura screw ups, they could have gotten away with even more than they have. Fires, explosions, and fugitive emissions really are in people’s faces whereas ground and surface water contamination are mostly out of site. The Canagagigue Creek is on the east side of town once it is passes the former Uniroyal plant. Who’s immediately downstream? Mostly Old Order Mennonites who surely aren’t going to lodge any complaints with authorities.
There was one other reason why Elmira residents were unhappy with Chemtura after BLE-25 was released and landed on houses, cars, and outdoor areas. Families with children playing outside and people were walking about conducting their business. Neither the town siren went off nor the automated phone warning system activated. Kari Rayner, a local resident, sent a Letter To The Editor of the Woolwich Observer advising that high school students on the football team at Elmira District Secondary School suffered burning eyes and a foul taste in their mouths from the air emissions.124 The children and older school kids should have been brought indoors. This failure to warn citizens of Elmira likely was the major reason why the sitting council went down in the 2010 election. They were rightfully seen as the Old Guard who were too closely aligned with the status quo. Interestingly even a member of the old CPAC, Richard Petrone, months later blamed CPAC’s poorly handled dismissal by the new council on the spraying of Elmira with BLE-25. The reality is that new members on incoming councils generally know little or nothing of the history and past issues. Hence, they are likely to follow the lead of the mayor. Todd Cowan may have been an idiot in regards to many things but he could project confidence and leadership. Too bad he couldn’t back it up with much else. It was pretty difficult for me to have any sympathy for CPAC members whatsoever. I did try to get Todd to reappoint a couple of previous members namely Ken Driedger and Gerry Heidebuurt, unsuccessfully. The rest, especially Pat McLean and Susan Bryant, were in strong need of a reality check and Todd gave it to them. Frankly, his handling of the CPAC appointments was inept although it wasn’t completed with personal attacks on citizen volunteers as what followed years later with Sandy Shantz. Poor old Sandy Shantz and Mark Bauman bought themselves a peck of trouble with their personal attacks, lying, and manipulation, which culminated in Mark Bauman’s September 6, 2018 whining in the Woolwich Observer about how hard done by he had been by me. More on that later.
Old CPAC Takes a Hit From The New Council
I sent a Letter To The Editor of the Elmira Independent that was published on January 26, 2011. It was titled, “CPAC Needs To Change.” In it I discussed numerous issues and failures of CPAC members over the years. I further suggested that the new mayor and council had good reason to look carefully into what was passing as public consultation in Woolwich Township. I mentioned concessions being given to Chemtura Canada while no clearly defined quid pro quo, for the public interest seemed to be forthcoming.125
There was some mention made of new terms of reference for CPAC. Likely these came from Woolwich’s CAO, David Brenneman, who always did his best to ingratiate himself with incoming mayors. Kind of a form of self-preservation, I expect. Long chosen new CPAC members including me received drafts of the terms of reference as presumably did former CPAC members to make comments. Frankly I saw little change whatsoever in the terms of reference and was not impressed simply because all the previous terms of reference had never been enforced or even referred to over decades of UPAC and CPAC. By this time the old CPAC members were getting very antsy. That was hardly surprising under the circumstances. That said I had no idea of just exactly how self-entitled Ms. McLean and Ms. Bryant had become over the years. They actually couldn’t fathom anybody ever getting rid of them, allegedly because they had decades of experience between them and however, unknown to me at the time, had ingratiated themselves with those in power for just about as long. I, on the other hand, already thought I knew how thin the ice was under any appointees of committees of a municipal council. Citizens do not elect either smart or experienced people to council or to any other positions. They elect those with name recognition for whatever reason, combined with preferably good looks and who are both well spoken as well as soft spoken. The smoother the better is the general preference. Hence, with qualifications like that, good councillors and politicians seem to appear through sheer good luck.
Pat McLean and Susan Bryant both had the ear of Gail Martin at the Elmira Independent as did I. She had seen Ms. Bryant and I take on Uniroyal, Crompton, and Chemtura over the previous eighteen years and she believed in both of us. Ms. Martin had written editorials about my removal from CPAC less than three years earlier and made it clear that she was shaken by both CPAC’s and Woolwich Council’s behaviour. I’m not quite sure how she reconciled Ms. McLean’s and Ms. Bryant’s leading CPAC and the council down that path, but she did. Now it was their turn to take their lumps and Ms. Martin was equally concerned for them as well. Ms. Martin suggested that immense experience could be lost if the new council did not reappoint the experienced hands on CPAC. Ms. McLean and Ms. Bryant made similar comments but somehow managed to ignore that fact when they were working very diligently to have me removed simply for questioning certain terms in a Certificate of Approval.
One of the most hypocritical concerns came from Richard Petrone, hydrogeologist . He worked at Wilfred Laurier University and over the course of this CPAC, after I left, I had seen him all of once at the public CPAC meetings. Keep in mind that I attended them all. What the hell was that all about? Was he a member or wasn’t he? Clearly something peculiar was going on because nobody else on CPAC would have been allowed to miss as many public meetings as he had and remain a member.
Mr. Petrone actually had the brass and nerve to resign early in 2011 from CPAC while publicly castigating the new council but for what exactly? Was he criticizing a lack of respect towards the CPAC volunteers by the new council? He didn’t have enough respect either for his colleagues on CPAC nor for the public to attend CPAC meetings yet he had the brass to publicly criticize the council for not consulting with them more. Having seen Ms. McLean and Ms. Bryant in action I knew what was going on. Obviously Mr. Petrone had little or no interest in Chemtura and CPAC and wanted to resign anyway. Pat McLean and Susan Bryant simply did what they do best, which was to orchestrate and manipulate, exactly as they had done with Wilf Ruland and myself a few years earlier. They got Wilf Ruland to resign from CPAC unless the CPAC members gave me the boot. Then when CPAC improperly attempted to give me the boot, Mr. Ruland took off anyway. Maybe he didn’t like all the press that followed as Woolwich Council finished the job that was improperly started by Pat and Susan.
There was a Woolwich council meeting in January 2011 that was beyond embarrassing. This performance was the ineptness that I referenced earlier regarding appointing the new CPAC. Todd Cowan attempted not to embarrass or disparage the former CPAC members but he and he alone screwed up royally. Council publicly announced both verbally and in the agenda for the council meeting that they would be announcing the CPAC members for the rest of their term. Well, of course, it didn’t happen. There were some pathetic excuses made about a lack of applicants which was plain nonsense as all the former CPAC members had applied as well as the ones previously promised to be appointed by Todd Cowan. I and other already privately chosen CPAC members were present in the gallery as well as some of the former ones. Everybody was unhappy. What the heck!
Todd was both a bullfritter and a fibber but this wasn’t the case on this occasion. He was simply incompetent. He had asked us the promised members, months earlier, to fill out applications to be on CPAC and those of us who had committed to it early on had done so. Unfortunately one and possibly two of Todd Cowan’s chosen appointees had not committed early on. Mr. Cowan had continued chasing them for months after the rest of us were ready and willing and, when they finally said yes, mayor Cowan forgot to tell them to fill out the application form. Come late January 2011 and just prior to the public council meeting, Woolwich council met in camera and it was discovered that they were missing those completed application forms. Then to add stupidity to incompetence, they publicly announced at the meeting that they were reopening the application process. All of this mess was explained to those of us in the know afterwards but you can imagine the horror and angst of the former CPAC. All their applications had been submitted and, months after they expected to be reappointed, they are told that applications were being reopened. They immediately knew that they were getting the royal send-off by the new council. Once again Ms. McLean and Ms. Bryant decided to put the best spin possible on the situation. They publicly announced that each and every former CPAC member was withdrawing their applications for two reasons. First they had been disrespected by this current council and secondly the new terms of reference were inadequate. In fact, while this council following Todd Cowan’s lead were indeed getting rid of the former members, they did their best not to make it personal or nasty. About a year later Dr. Dan Holt, the Chair of the new CPAC, asked Pat McLean what was the problem with the new terms of reference. Pat McLean couldn’t say because it was simply an excuse.
I was quoted again in the local newspapers that there were other sources to the Elmira groundwater contamination than just Uniroyal and Nutrite. On March 24, 2011 the Elmira Independent quoted me as advising that other manufacturers in town had contributed to the destruction of the Elmira Aquifers.126 Two days later the Woolwich Observer also quoted me as saying that other companies in Elmira had contributed to the groundwater contamination.127
The new Woolwich Council of 2010 finally got around to appointing members to CPAC in March 2011 that at least six of us had known about for months. The former CPAC members, especially Pat McLean and Susan Bryant, were appalled. They and some of the other former members couldn’t believe that the powers within Woolwich hadn’t successfully pressured the new council into appointing them to CPAC. The new council did not reappoint a single former CPAC member except, of course, myself. Not that Chemtura weren’t trying to keep me off CPAC. At one point, just prior to the public announcements of the appointments, Todd Cowan phoned me to ask if I really was sure that I wanted to be on CPAC. I assured him that I did. As he and David Brenneman had done prior to appointing me, he again asked about my authored Elmira Advocate Blog. Would I consider dropping it while I was on CPAC? I said absolutely not. I was to be on CPAC because I was by far the most knowledgeable and experienced citizen at large in Elmira both technically and with my historical knowledge of what had gone on for the past twenty-two years. Todd said OK but that he was under pressure not to appoint me. I said nothing to that.
New CPAC Has Major Growing Pains
All of us on CPAC were getting very impatient. Councillor Julie-Ann Herteis had been appointed by council the previous January as chair of CPAC, which seemed a little odd in that she had exactly zero experience running meetings whereas Pat McLean despite all her back room machinations and deceit actually could run a meeting well. By April 2011 CPAC members were emailing Councillor Herteis asking for a date for the first public CPAC meeting. Keep in mind the last public CPAC meeting had been the lame duck CPAC meeting of November 2010. At that meeting I had referred to the meeting as exactly that, a lame duck meeting. That did not go over too well with them but really it was those fine folks who had started the push to remove me from CPAC. Ron Ormson had been pleasant afterwards and Fred Hager had actually apologized for so voting. With Fred I understood that at his advanced age it would not have been difficult for Pat McLean and Susan Bryant to make him think that he had to go along with everyone else. For people with a minimal moral compass, either browbeating or bullying a decades past senior age member into compliance would be child’s play.
I had sent a proposed first agenda to Todd, Julie-Ann, and the rest of Council. No response. CPAC members were getting very close to the six month mark since the last CPAC meeting, which was especially ridiculous as we all had known that we would be on CPAC the instant that Todd Cowan won the mayor’s position back in October 2010. Councillor Herteis would not budge about setting a date.
I had already given the CPAC members a package of basic maps and documents as well as a list of various issues. The new CPAC members met at my house in late April unofficially, so everyone could get to meet each other. We were all keen to get the show on the road. Emails started going back and forth between Councillor Herteis , CPAC members, and Mayor Cowan. As I recall, Lynne Hare, a Woolwich resident and gravel pit activist, Dr. Dan Holt, and myself were front and centre with that correspondence. We got to know Ron Campbell, owner of Acute Environmental Inc., whom I had first met a couple of decades earlier. Vivienne Delaney, ICU nurse, and David Marks (hydrogeologist) all showed up for a meeting or two. CPAC members were a talented group and we were ready to get down to work. Finally Mayor Cowan called a private meeting for CPAC members in the Councillor’s Boardroom at the Township building. The atmosphere was tense as soon as Councillor Herteis walked in. My God what a chip she had on her shoulder. Anger was all over her face and her body language spoke volumes. I had no idea what the problem was.
Years later I found out that she was not good under pressure and likely she had begun to realize exactly how far out of her depth she was. It wasn’t just CPAC members demanding a start date from the Chair Julie-Anne Herteis. Mayor Todd Cowan told her to ignore us for the time being. Undoubtedly he had lots of irons in the fire, yet he wasn’t prepared to give her the go ahead to hold the first public CPAC meeting of this term. It turned out that he had known Julie-Anne from working in Toronto and had actually talked her into running for council. This situation was simply politics at its worst. Todd Cowan wanted a sure supporter and vote on council whenever he needed it and Julie-Anne owed him for helping with her election campaign. CPAC members knew nothing about the background between Julie-Anne and Todd Cowan at the time. In fact, Julie-Anne was on the verge of not just resigning as CPAC Chair but of resigning from council, just a few short months into the term. That was something that Todd Cowan certainly didn’t need his new administration to be marked with.
Ms. Herteis was very upset. She was angry and loud and no one had said anything out of line at this meeting in the councillors’ Boardroom. David Brenneman droned on and on about basically nothing, wasting time. Ms. Herteis stormed out of the meeting and Ron Campbell, who was her neighbour and on good terms with her, believed and advised CPAC members that she simply was not chairperson material. I didn’t know her at all but her behaviour had certainly seemed way out of proportion to anything that had gone on at the meeting. Absolutely nothing was decided. Ron Campbell suggested that he had been reluctant to commit to the group and was late into these matters. I called him on that based upon Todd Cowan’s advising me ten months earlier that he had Ron Campbell all wrapped up to be on the committee. Mayor Cowan suddenly got loud and verbally offensive, yelling at me not to pursue that. I was shocked by his manners or lack thereof. I came to the meeting to find out an exact date to get CPAC business underway and all that had happened were angry words spoken by Councillor Herteis, stalling by David Brenneman who then departed after Councillor Herteis had, and then strong words from Mayor Cowan when I asked Ron Campbell what the hell he was talking about, about not being part of the group until very recently. None of this made sense. It turned out that this was all due to Todd Cowan’s lying and incompetence although I did not find out everything for many more months and even years.
The new council had been elected the previous October 2010 and sworn in in December 2010. (However Sandy Shantz’s administration four years later didn’t get two new, more acceptable to Chemtura, committees (RAC , TAG) up and running until September, eleven months after the election.) I had been ready to work since the day after the 2010 election and had been promised a position on CPAC and after we were finally, formally appointed I had worked collegially with all the new members, getting to know each other. As of this point in early May 2011, and including the previous evening’s meeting we had been given absolutely nothing intelligent or reasonable as to why CPAC was not underway. There were so many pressing Chemtura issues that were now so many years behind schedule, issues such as hydraulic containment, DNAPL source removal, GP1 & 2 dioxin removal, LNAPL removal and more. Ms. Herteis may well have been frustrated by conflicting pressures but I was starting to doubt and wonder if I’d been sold some sort of bill of goods by Mayor Cowan. The meeting which had just occurred made exactly zero sense.
The very next morning I wrote about the meeting and published my thoughts on the Elmira Advocate. I wrote about the meeting bluntly and honestly. The only regret I later had was that I mentioned Ron Campbell and David Marks critically. I thought that Ron Campbell had bizarrely lied to us all. It turned out that he hadn’t lied; the liar was mayor Todd Cowan. Pathological liars refuse to understand that their lies have unintended consequences. Sure, lies usually have intended consequences as well, but the unintended consequences can be even worse. After some weeks I apologized verbally to both Ron Campbell and David Marks for my critical and in hindsight inaccurate remarks in my blog. I also apologized in the Elmira Advocate. The truly professional and pathological liar, Todd Cowan, has never apologized. When Vivian Delaney and I went to Todd Cowan’s trial for Breach of Trust and Theft in the spring of 2016 he shook her hand and then reached for mine. I politely looked him in the eye and simply said “I don’t think so.”
In my Elmira Advocate posting the day after the meeting, I mentioned the behaviour of Todd Cowan, Ms. Herteis and David Brenneman disparagingly. Who the frack did that little squirt Todd Cowan think he was, shushing me at that meeting? He literally, rudely and loudly shushed me repeatedly when I confronted Ron Campbell over what I figured was his deceptive statements. Todd Cowan knew exactly what was going on as he was the one who had lied and told me and likely others that Mr. Campbell had been on board for months. I had exactly zero intentions of being anybody’s token environmentalist. I was a citizen volunteer and citizen scientist who had been recruited for my knowledge, technical and historical, in order to assist numerous new members of the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) with good intentions but much less experience. I blasted Todd Cowan and Julie-Anne Herteis. Mr. Cowan deserved it, and while Ms. Herteis behaved poorly she certainly wasn’t as personally offensive to me as Todd had been. David Brenneman had been around for years and was part of the problem at that first CPAC meeting, not the solution. Lynne Hare resigned from the committee immediately afterwards. I got to know her better over the years following and she was a major loss to CPAC. Shame on Todd Cowan and his unending lying for the immediate loss of two excellent CPAC members, myself and Lynne Hare. Further shame on Mayor Cowan for having appointed Ms. Herteis to the Chairmanship of a committee, so far beyond her ability to manage.
Todd Cowan phoned me a few days later to advise me that he, as mayor, had removed me from CPAC and that it would be done formally at the next council meeting. Once again, Todd Cowan did what professional liars do best. He lied! I didn’t find out for three and half more years but he falsely told the council members that he had an agreement with me that I would not put private or sensitive information into the Elmira Advocate. Both he and David Brenneman had tried to twist my arm into agreeing to that ahead of my appointment and I flatly refused. I made it clear that as we were all on the same team, how could there ever be anything that would embarrass him, the mayor, or harm the effort to clean up Chemtura? I also advised Mr. Brenneman and Mr. Cowan that I was a team player and nobody with good intentions needed to worry about the Elmira Advocate. Yes, as I had been doing for years at UPAC and CPAC, I would continue to expose liars and other deceitful persons such as the Ontario Ministry of Environment officials and Chemtura Canada and their consultants.
Well, being what he was, I guess that had him terrified from the getgo. This information about Todd’s lying to council was told to me and a third person by Councillor Bonnie Bryant after that term of council was over. It certainly clarified several things. I had blamed Julie-Anne Herteis as likely to have misrepresented that evening meeting to the rest of council. In fact it was David Brenneman who had to know that Todd Cowan lied to his own council in order to keep Julie-Ann Herteis on council, by kicking me off of CPAC. Julie-Anne also resigned as chair of CPAC. That was for the best and simply a bone headed move by Todd Cowan in the first place.
I have never been able to abide liars, which certainly has contributed to politicians and various authority figures not being able to abide me. Persons in authority have somehow learned to believe that it’s okay to lie to your subordinates. We, as citizens, of course are all subordinates to our elected politicians, bosses, and others with authority within large organizations such as school boards, police forces, the military etc. At least that is the attitude of those in charge of various institutions. It is not and never has been mine. For this reason I have pulled no punches over the decades in regards to what I call professional liars at the MOE, Uniroyal/ Chemtura and more. I can actually feel sorry for Todd Cowan but at the same time I wish that others with his affliction could suffer his same fate. It so rarely happens and we, the public, end up being inflicted with these self-serving liars for decades.
On May 12, 2011 Councillor Mark Bauman, inaccurately and at the time I felt knowingly, stated that “he (me) is unable to work with the committee.128 What a filthy lie. Nowhere was Mark to be found during the prior two months. He did not attend CPAC’s initial get togethers. He did not interview CPAC members including me to enlighten him as to the facts. He simply did what he does best, which is spout off after somebody lied into his ears. The irony and blatant falseness of that statement is reflected by the fact that to the date of this publication I am still working with CPAC, the Citizens Public Advisory Committee, as the committee is now known since 2015.
Then to add insult to injury, in August 2013, Councillor Bauman voted to keep me off of CPAC again. CPAC, (this time with him present as a member), had decided to formally try and get me reinstated. Mr. Bauman to his perpetual shame, and as the new boy on CPAC then voted at a council meeting against CPAC’s recommendation to council to reinstate me as a formal voting member. CPAC members both saw and recognized my dedication, vast knowledge, and willingness to share and work with them in the public interest. These details were publicized in both the Independent and the Observer during that week in mid August 2013. 129 130 Mark had no excuse to hide behind. He had no claim of plausible deniability. By now he had replaced Todd Cowan as council’s representative on CPAC and he knew of the respect and appreciation CPAC members had for me. This for me was the final nail in Mark Bauman’s credibility coffin. Clearly, he was acting in Chemtura and the MOE’s interests not in the public interest and they were two hugely dissimilar interests. Good riddance to Mark Bauman’s whining years later that I didn’t like him and that’s why I indirectly had him briefly kicked off of Woolwich Council in 2015. What a horse’s patootie! You were kicked off of Council because you violated the black and white law of the land, namely the Municipal Elections Act (MEA). Guess you and “your kind “ (quoting Councillor Murray Martin) can hand it out but aren’t so good at taking it.
CPAC survived a very rocky start in 2011 and thrived. Was this rocky start intentional? It surely was by Chemtura Canada and the MOE. They had lobbied Mayor Todd Cowan and Councillor Mark Bauman because they were terrified of what was coming. Chemtura Canada and the MOE knew it meant no more back door influence with CPAC. The new CPAC meant no more private deals with Pat McLean and Susan Bryant and then counting on them to deliver the goods with CPAC approval. Todd Cowan, as CPAC Chair, continued to be a major disappointment over the next year or so. On two occasions he was paternalistic possibly even sexist with Vivienne Delaney at public CPAC meetings that he was chairing and she just put him in his place. That was exactly what Mr. Cowan needed and what he ended up receiving from a number of other CPAC members privately. At the time with Vivienne, Richard Clausi shared his opinion with me that Todd had just “lost” Vivienne’s respect and automatic deference to him as mayor. Mayor Cowan on one occasion privately threatened CPAC members that he would disband CPAC because they weren’t jumping to his dictums. Shortly after that, as promised months earlier by Mayor Cowan, Dr. Dan Holt became chairman of CPAC. From that point onwards it was all smooth sailing for CPAC as they held both Chemtura Canada’s and the MOE’s toes to the fire. No longer were vague promises acceptable. No longer were excuses left unexamined. New CPAC member Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach and other members held Chemtura Canada and the MOE accountable for their past and present promises and insisted upon detailed explanations when dates were missed or postponed. While the questions were aggressive and the criticisms blunt, Dr. Holt always maintained order and discipline according to both Robert’s Rules of Order and the CPAC terms of reference. For instance both CPAC members and the SWAT (Soil, Water, Air & Technical) sub-committee members only asked questions after being recognized by the Chair. SWAT was a sub-committee of CPAC and included myself, Richard Clausi, and Dr. Henry Regier. SWAT and CPAC worked together and were a force to be reckoned with. After CPAC was not reappointed by Woolwich Council in 2015, CPAC and SWAT joined together to be known as the Citizens Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). Of course, the MOE and Chemtura continued to dissemble whenever they felt it would help their cause but they knew that there was a price to be paid if and when they were caught. Their long attitude of arrogance and superior status slowly disappeared. This behaviour was what the CPAC members of the past had never understood. Showing deference to dishonest, corporate polluters was a losing prospect for the public and for the environment. These new CPAC members were professional and strong and would brook no hiding by Chemtura Canada behind either the MOE or Conestoga Rovers. Their opinions were listened to respectfully and carefully but when their positions appeared to be nothing more than self-serving junk science or worse, they were called to back up their claims with scientific evidence. Simply put: their word alone was no longer acceptable because history proved they could not be trusted to be frank and forthright.
ENDNOTES for Chapter 12
123 Cherri Greeno, “Ministry of Environment investigates chemical leak”, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, September 29, 2010
124 Letter to the Editor, “Chemtura should be ashamed of silence following spill”, Woolwich Observer, October 9, 2010
125 Letter to the Editor, “CPAC needs to change”, Elmira Independent, January 26, 2011
126 Gail Martin, “New CPAC terms of reference approved”, Elmira Independent, March 24, 2011, p.3.
127 Steve Kannon, “Council adopts new guidelines for CPAC”, Woolwich Observer, March 26, 2011, p.9
128 Gail Martin, “Council removes Marshall from CPAC”, Elmira Independent, May 12, 2011, p.3.
129 Gail Martin, “Marshall denied CPAC bid”, Elmira Independent, August 15, 2013, p.6.
130 Steve Kannon, “Council denies bid to return Al Marshall to CPAC”, Woolwich Observer, August 13, 2013, p.2.