Friday, October 30, 2009

Something Daniher should remember

It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice, because when you lie and cheat and threaten people and just generally piss the locals off, they do NOT like it, not one little bit Mr. Mikey.

For a highly paid p.r. guru such as yourself I would think you would know that basic rule of thumb, Just consider it a learning experience. You should probably add it to your resume.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Melancthon Council leaving sooner than expected

The Provincial government today introducted legislation proposing to move election day up by two weeks to the fourth Monday in October, as opposed to the set date of November 10 for municipal elections.

That means, if passed, there will be 16 less days of the current Melancthon Council in 2010.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bacon and Eggs anyone?

A metaphor for NDACT and Melancthon Council is a BACON AND EGG BREAKFAST

The chicken is involved (Council)...
but the pig is committed (NDACT)

Monday, October 26, 2009

SHHHHH or Lowndes will find out....

Attached is an article in the October 26, 2009 Banner that speaks to the YMCA/Highlands and privacy concerns by a resident of Melancthon:

Excerpts from the article: Read CAREFULLY between the lines:

“No personal information is provided to us as a part of the process,” Daniher says of the survey. (meaning information outside of the process IS provided to them)

Asked if his company received anyone else’s personal information outside of “the process” as it did Wallace’s, Daniher notes it’s not “my practice” to publicly disclose all matters Highland discusses with the YMCA. (the answer should be a resounding and definative NO, but since Daniher can't answer with a no he doesn't answer the question at all)

“We’re in regular contact. We update one another. (The YMCA) indicated there had been several inquiries on a range of issues throughout this process.“I certainly don’t get details on all of them,” he says. (Daniher says he and the YMCA are in constant contact, I would take that to mean every day they speak about everything. According to Daniher, he doesn't get details on "all of the calls", but I take that to mean he DOES get information on some of them)

Any politician who is still standing behind ANYTHING this company or its mouthpiece Daniher spews or who won't take a stand in opposition to Highlands should be ashamed of themselves.

The YMCA surveyed "over 428 homes", but they couldn't advise what percentage of possible users that represented, only that it was very scientific.

Wonder how much this survey cost Highlands. No matter how much it cost, it is a cheap way to get the names, phone numbers and views of the YMCA. Priceless actually.

And was the cost of surveying 428 homes really outside the financial realm shared between 6 municipalities in order to ensure their residents a measure of privacy?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Puppetmaster and the puppets

John Lowndes and local politicians....

Friday, October 23, 2009

Man the Lifeboats

Six blind Mayors, six blind Mayors
See how they vote, see how they vote
They all wanted a YMCA
But the public didn’t see it that way
When asked if Highlands was going to pay
All the expenses for the YMCA
No one would say

This is beyond fascinating. Not two short weeks ago, elected officials were tripping over themselves in trying to lay claim to being the mastermind behind a YMCA to be located in the Town of Shelburne.

Shelburne can’t sustain a Tim Horton’s, but somehow…a YMCA becomes a feasible option? But I digress.

However when a ratepayer began asking the hard questions-like why would Melancthon residents, who already pay toward 3 arenas and two pools pay toward a YMCA and would Highland Companies be paying the capital costs for the construction of the facility… the following are the responses that were elicited.

Ed Crewson: October 17“I should not be credited with the idea of a YMCA”

Ed Crewson: October 18- “...John Lowndes introduced the YMCA idea..”

Highland Companies, October 21“...the mayors of six area municipalities requested that the region be considered a candidate for YMCA programs and services.”

Ed Crewson: October 23- “The truth is that the idea of contacting the YMCA originated with John Lowndes”

POLITICIANS: Be sure to form an orderly line or someone will get trampled in the stampede to get away from this issue.
Strike the band and man the lifeboats… just like the Titanic, I think the YMCA is sinking.
Is that good or bad-you decide.
In my opinion however, it would be good if Highlands were NOT associated with this little endeavour.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cast of Characters

For those of you who aren’t well versed in this continuing saga, here is a directory for your reference:

Mayor Debbie Fawcett: Mayor of Melancthon

Deputy Dog Hill: Deputy Mayor Bill Hill

Eddie Munster: Mayor Ed Crewson, Shelburne

John, If his Lips are Moving he is Lying, Lowndes, Johnny, Melancthon’s L. Ron Hubbard, the Melancthon Mesiah, King John, the Devil Incarnate, Big Bad Wolf: John Lowndes-principle of the Highland Companies

Wolf in Sheeps Clothing: Highland Companies also operating as Wilson Farms, Downey Farms, 3191574 Nova Scotia Company, 1712665 Ontario Inc., 3218089 Nova Scotia Company

NDACT: the North Dufferin Agricultural Community Taskforce and the moral compass, representing all that is good and right, watchdogs for Melancthon citizens, made up of salt of the earth people

Wes the Crypt Keeper Keller: Wes Keller, reporter for the Orangeville Citizen/Shelburne Free Press who doesn’t attend meetings outside of Orangeville because he doesn’t have a roadworthy vehicle, who “reports” his stories solely based on agendas and minutes and is clearly in support of a 2,400 acre, 200 foot open pit mine-read some of his articles

Minion Mikey, Maid Marian Daniher, Wee Mikey, Daniher: Michael Daniher, childhood friend of John Tory, lawyer, office mate of a registered lobbyist for Highland Companies, principle of “Special Situations”. Several ways to locate him: google him, look for the littlest, smarmiest looking guy at every meeting of Council with clipboard and binder, or just turn over a rock

Andrew Osyany: municipal solicitor

Jiving Jordan: Gerry Jordan, municipal planner-part time job (1 day a month), full time salary ($70,000/year)

David Lowndes: The guy who tried to pull the same open pit mine stunt in Flamborough, with so little luck he had to sell out and oh yeah, brother to John

Open Pit Mine: NOT a gravel pit, NOT a quarry, it is an aggregate operation that mines below the water table

Dufferin County: a place in which there are 15,000 acres of the best prime agricultural land in Canada which has been purchased by Highland Companies for the purpose of an open pit limestone mine and a place where NONE of the principles of Highland Companies live or are eligible to vote

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trick Question

There are two images, but three questions. From the attached picture can you identify:

The Devil Incarnate
Wes the Crypt Keeper Keller
Johnny, If My Lips are Moving I am Lying, Lowndes

Money Doesn't Grow on Trees

But apparently it grows UNDER rocks (same place you can find Daniher’s soul). It is interesting to see how the local politicians are lining up to get their share of the cash and credit regarding the YMCA.

The Melancthon Mayor, out of one side of her mouth, says the YMCA will not compete with the Honeywood arena because the Y won’t have a rink. Out of the other side of her mouth she states that the construction of the Y will involve a large fundraising component.

Lets see.... The community expends hundreds of hours of volunteer capacity a year at the annual Beef Barb-B-Que to raise funds to operate the Honeywood arena but somehow, fundraising for the Y won’t impact the Honeywood arena. There are only so many fundraising $$ to go around, particularly since Highlands has done their best to eradicate the community over the past couple of years by demolishing homes, clear cutting forests, destroying wildlife corridors and habitat and decimating the tax base.

It would be nice to hear, out of either side of her mouth, who is actually going to be funding the capital cost of the YMCA-taxpayers or Lowndes. Word on the “street” is Highland is PISSED at anyone who is objecting or “causing trouble” over the YMCA because they have $12 million they want to pump into this little buyout of local politicians, I mean “gift” to the community.

The value to Highland Companies of investing $12 million to get all of the politician’s support in most municipalities in Dufferin- priceless.

The value of a YMCA to Melancthon Township residents-worthless.

To Melancthon Councillor Elliott’s credit, over a year ago she spoke up on the bus tour on which John Lowndes took local politicians to view YMCA’s in other communities. She stated that she did not feel it appropriate that Highland Companies pay for any of the studies determining the need for the YMCA.

Good for you Janice. We are waiting for you to publically state your opposition to Highlands so we can get behind you in this battle. Don’t wait too long, please.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Who Runs Melancthon Council?

This is submitted by a "guest blogger" and was forwarded to all Dufferin Councils, the YMCA and all local press. Any elected official who still supports initiatives by the Highland Companies is clearly choosing to support the company's bullying tactics over their ratepayers, friends, neighbours, customers-all of the people who have contributed to and built this community. I wonder why these elected officials would do that. It can't be for a vote because the Highland Companies, John Lowndes and Michael Daniher are NOT eligible to vote in the next municipal election. Clearly it has to be something else. Wonder what that could be....

Dear Editor, I was appalled to learn that Highland Companies representative, Michael Daniher has accessed and is using personal opinions and information gathered by the recent YMCA Survey. Could this be a veiled attempt to silence local residents who oppose the Highland Companies proposed 2400 acre , 200 foot deep limestone mine?

At the Oct. 16th Melancthon Council meeting, Mr. Daniher not only publicly announced and named a Melancthon resident who had given a negative opinion to the YMCA Director, Steven Boone, but he had the audacity to announce that the resident had made the call from her place of business as if she had done something wrong. Employees are allowed personal calls on their break time and Canadian citizens have the right to voice their opinions under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Our Council should never permit a non-resident to enter the sanctity of our council chambers and attempt to make Melancthon ratepayers feel afraid to voice their opinions incase they loose their jobs. This is the third time that ratepayers have witnessed Mr. Daniher creating this atmosphere of fear at Melancthon Council with no reprimand from our Mayor or Councillors. In fact when the Mayor was asked where the money to build the YMCA would come from she handed the question over to Mr. Daniher to answer, despite protests from the ratepayer that the question was asked of Council not Highland Companies. Why is a numbered company funded by a American hedgefund answering questions asked of our elected Canadian officials. This is wrong!

I have friends and neighbours who have written letters to people in power, people who might come to the rescue of Dufferin's precious agricultural land and vital headwaters, but they sign their letters "anonymous" because they are afraid of the power of the Highland Companies.
Melancthon ratepayers all need to get out to council meetings and demand to know : "Who is running our Township?! "

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Paying the Piper

WARNING: If Melancthon politicians soon don't start standing up to Highland Companies and Minion Mikey, it will be the ratepayers who will be paying the piper.

Here is hoping that Daniher soon gets tired of playing Lowndes’ flute.

And remember-if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Take Your Pick

Lets see, Lowndes wants to "give" us this. He is simply wonderful, I mean the cost alone must be close to $12 million.

Oh, but WAIT, he also wants to "give" us this. And Lowndes will make $18 million an acre from this.

Sounds like a good deal, just not for anyone except Lowndes.

You decide. Perhaps a YMCA would be a good thing for the area, but maybe not so good for the Dundalk and Honeywood arenas who are struggling now.

If would like to comment, either in favour or against the proposed YMCA, email your opinions/comments to the YMCA at

You should know however, that your comments are in no way anonymous. In fact the YMCA provides Lowndes with copies of emails, comments, names and phone numbers from where the calls originated.

I am sure if they could figure out how to get your DNA they would.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Y do we need a Y-because the EYE says so

Pay close attention to this lesson which is by pissing off the locals you will never get what you want, no matter how low you stoop.

FACT: Lowndes is horny to install a YMCA in the Town of Shelburne

FACT: Lowndes is footing the bill for all the “studies”

FACT: Lowndes refuses to divulge if he will be footing the capital costs of up to $12 million to make his buddy Eddie Munster’s re-election (wet)dreams come true.

FACT: Wee Mikey Daniher made a veiled threat to a ratepayer at the October 15 meeting of Melancthon Council , because, wait for it, this ratepayer DARED to express an opinion that was not in keeping with Lying Lowndes Lofty Life.

ACCOUNT: A ratepayer called the YMCA from the phone at their place of employment, being a government organization, to express an opinion with respect to Highland’s involvement with the YMCA project. The individual was advised by the YMCA to put the concerns in writing and email it directly to the YMCA.

At the October 15 meeting of Melancthon Council, this individual asked a question of the elected officials regarding the YMCA, specifically who would be paying the capital costs of construction, since Melancthon ratepayers already contribute to 3 arenas and 2 pools. Council immediately deferred the question to the unelected, unanointed and unlikeable Mikey Daniher for response.

The first words out of Mikey’s blowhole were he was well aware of this persons objection about Highlands involvement in the project that was emailed to the the YMCA and further he was also well aware of the fact that this person had made a call to the YMCA from their employer’s phone, being a government organization. Kind of sounds like a veiled threat to me.

Now, a few things trouble me. How does Lowndes/Highland/Daniher have access to survey information from the YMCA? How in the hell can this be an unbiased survey when Lowndes is running interference, taking notes and sending his minion to make veiled threats to anyone who DARES to have an opinion?

Also are the surveyors who are calling residents about their opinions on the YMCA advising people this is NOT an anonymous survey, but that in fact their comments, names and phone numbers and probably DNA will be reported directly to Lowndes.

Be careful, BIG BROTHER is watching.
Feel free to contact the YMCA to express your opinion.
Oh yeah, you might as well cc Daniher, he is going to get a copy of your email anyway.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Yet another old brick victorian is being demolished as we speak.

The former Jamieson home is coming down today.

That makes THREE this week.

Lowndes spouts sustainability and green initiatives out his blowhole and yet, there was original trim and doors in this house, I could see inside where the wall had been ripped down.

Could that stuff, at the very least, not have been salvaged?

Apparently not in the world of John Lowndes.

He Will Huff and Puff Until he Blows (all) the Houses Down

This week two more homes were demolished by Lowndes, the Ferguson and Wilcox homes.
To date the former Whitten, Benotto, Ferguson, Speers and Wilcox homes have been demolished by Highland Companies.
They also own homes on the following properties:

Irwin, Webb, Jamieson, Eichhorn, Ed & Lois Downey, Doug & Sandra Downey, Terry & Barb Prentice, Laverty, Elgie, Paul Irwin, Blake Irwin, Bates, Looby, Wilson, Parson, Lyon and Clayton (21 in total)

This is commonly referred to as Community Depopulation or Rural Blockbusting. It is the practice of demolishing homestead after homestead in our municipality, some of which have stood for more than 150 years.

Not only does it decimate the population base, it also means the rest of us will have to pick up the reduced assessment on these now vacant properties. The municipality needs a certain amount of revenue. Properties with houses are assessed more than vacant land. Now that these properties are vacant, the assessment on them will go down. The municipality however still needs the same amount of money so the rest of us pay, pay, pay.
Also that means less people to build community capacity. Lets say 20 homes, 4-6 people to a home equals 120 less people to help out at the Beef B Que, to use the local arena, to volunteer on the fire department, etc., etc.

At NDACT’s June 20 public meeting in Honeywood, Highlands minion Mikey Daniher stated these homes were only demolished because they were condemned and uninsurable. However a bit of investigation revealed that the Chief Building Official (CBO) for the County of Dufferin is the only authorized legislative authority to issue an Unsafe Order under the Building Code.

AND the CBO advised in an email dated June 22, 2009, “None of the(se) properties you are asking about have been as you say "condemned" by the County of Dufferin Building Department”

It would appear another untruth by Highland Companies.

Surprise, surprise, surprise!

The 2006 Stats Canada census shows there were 1,103 private dwellings in Melancthon and 1,040,597 private dwellings in Toronto.

Removing 20 houses from Melancthon equals 2% of the total homes. To remove 2% of the total homes in Toronto equals 20,811 homes.

Do you think if some corporation took down 21,000 homes in Toronto in the name of all things great and beautiful that someone in Toronto would NOT take action?

Melancthon Council was provided with a menu of options to stop this Rural Blockbusting, all of which they ignored.

Remember, homes and people are what make a community.
Next municipal election is fall 2010-think about it-seriously...Do we want 4 more years of the puppet master controlling the puppets?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another Chapter....

Mayor Fawcett stated at the September 3, 2009 Council meeting that the municipality would NOT be implementing a fee for aggregate applications of say $100,000.00 per application as other municipalities have done. She advised this entire process as a result of Highlands aggregate proposal will not cost Melancthon taxpayers one penny.

In a closed door meeting held October 5, 2009, Council passed a resolution that read in part: "Council is making sure that all costs of the initiative, considered reasonable, are borne by the proponent, and not by the general public.” (Orangeville Citizen, October 8, 2009)

Exactly how Council is ensuring Highlands pays, without it being listed in Melancthons fees and charges bylaw (as required under the existing legislation) is beyond me, but I digress. Clearly they know what they are doing (cough, cough).

I wonder though, if Council could tell us how much Melancthon’s share of battling Highlands over the conflict of interest on the rail line at the County has cost, how much the public meeting on October 5 cost (both in staff and rentals) and how much it cost to have Andrew Osyany write a glowing report on what a wonderful job Council did AT the October 5 public meeting?

After all, none of this would be necessary if it weren’t for the Melancthon Mesiah, aka John (if his Lips are Moving he is Lying) Lowndes.

Further, Mr. Osyany states in this correspondence dated October 6, 2009 that, (and I am paraphrasing here) if you aren’t willing to listen in rapt belief to what Highlands says then you are a “grandstander”.

Remember: Andrew O. gets his job by Council resolution, not by election. Lucky for him, his job is probably safe. Not so much for Council.

Here is a link to the agenda. Andrew’s letter is on page 27 (last page) of correspondence on the October 15, 2009 agenda:

And frankly, you have to see the three ringed circus to believe it. Come out to this Thursdays Council meeting which starts at 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Municipal Finance 101

The Aggregate Resources Act O-Reg 244/97 provides that every municipality gets a % of revenue based on tonnage of aggregate removed from the municipality.

Melancthon has tonnes of aggregate being hauled from various pits, the largest being Strada and Nelse Arnold every year and the TOTAL amount that Melancthon received in 2008 was $73,450.28.

Apparently that was a bumper year because, of course, of all the gravel being hauled for Phase II of the windturbines. Normally it isn’t that much.

To me that seems like an awful lot of trucks on the roads for $73,450.28 per year, in a bumper year. That is not the fault of Melancthon Council of course, it is another flawed aggregate policy of the government.

I do not know, but I would doubt that $73,450.28 would pave very many kilometres of road. (Does anyone know what it costs to pave a kilometre of road?)

But wait, that figure is ringing a bell. Oh yeah! That is just exactly $6,534.11 more than what Council paid the municipal planner, Jerry Jorden in 2008. And Council never felt it necessary that he actually had to set foot in the office.

Thank god for gravel or Melancthon Township would not be able to afford a municipal planner.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

How the Grinch (Almost) Stole our Farmland

The Melancthon people liked farming a lot
But Lowndes, an outsider, really did not

Lowndes hated farming! All the farming seasons!
Now, please don't ask why. We ALL know the reasons.

Staring down from his office with a John Lowndsey sneer
"Surely the end of Melancthon is near!"

He thought all the hicks in Melancthon would bite
And were too busy farming to put up a fight

"They are busy planting and digging!" he snarled with a sneer.
"While my open pit mine, is practically here!"

Then he growled, with his Lowndsey fingers nervously drumming,
"I MUST find a way to keep the mine coming!"

And he thought and he thought
...In his small Lowndsey brain...

And that old John Lowndes, he was ever so wise
The hicks would never realize their coming demise

The locals would think they were unable to win
They would move from their farms and take all their kin

But they started complaining, and then to object
But Lowndes thought by golly I am not finished yet

Now the more Lowndes thought of his devilish plan
The more Lowndes did think: “I must own ALL the land!”

“Why I practically own all of Melancthon now!
To own all the rest would be my greatest cash cow!

Then he got an idea, a brilliant idea!

And he cackled with glee “What a great Lowndsey trick!
With my money and talent, I’ll bamboozle these hicks!

But to his stupendous surprise the hicks all fought back
With a grassroots organization that they called NDACT

“No!” Lowndes cried out, in a murderous rage
As tears of frustration ran down his smug face

His minion called Mikey stood up for his boss
Trying to keep residents from realizing their loss

But now Lowndes gave Mikey a clear ultimatum
“Decimate NDACT, or you’ll see what I’m made of!”

Lowndes sent wee Mikey
Out into the world

Armed with clipboard and binder
And oh, did he toil!

He went to each meeting
And sat with those hicks

Who would not fall for his lies
Or his devilish tricks

At the end of the day, little Mikey returned
With a book full of notes and facts that he’d learned

He informed master Lowndes of his final call:
“Have mercy, kind master, they’ve outsmarted us all!”

We’re finished we’re done, we just can’t dig a mine
And all the locals and yokels thought that that was just fine.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Freedom of the Press (but only if you can pay for it)

Approximately 3-4 weeks ago the Orangeville Citizen/ Shelburne Free Press coverage of Melancthon council happenings and Highland Companies plan to mine 2,400 acres of prime agricultural land underwent a change in focus.

I noticed the reporter who covered this issue since at least January 2009 has disappeared from the pages. I now see articles by Wes the Crypt Keeper Keller, although he is noticeably absent from the meetings on which he is reporting.

I have also noticed that in the past 3-4 weeks, one to two full page ad(s) per week for the Highland Companies have begun appearing in the same paper. I priced this size of ad and the cost runs from $800.00 to $1,000.00 per week PER AD.

This also seems to coincide with rumours that the Citizen/Free Press is having financial difficulties.

I am sure it must be a bizarre coincidence that the one reporter who was offering a viewpoint not in keeping with the corporate messaging of Highland Companies has disappeared from the pages of the paper, while the Highland Companies advertising has increased substantially, creating a new income source for the paper.

You know what else I have noticed? The Shelburne Fair was 3-4 weeks ago and this “local” paper has yet to report on the event. Guess the Fair board will have to pay to take out an ad if they want some “local” coverage in their “local” paper on this “local” event.

A “Highland” event involving press coverage, money, good will and good deeds usually has local politicians, dignitaries and the paper tripping over themselves to stand beside King John/Maid Daniher touching the corner of that oversized cardboard cheque and smiling lovingly on the Melancthon Mesiah. The local fair, not so much.

If you are wondering about this, why don’t you call Tom Claridge, Editor at (519) 941-2230 to discuss? Tell him you are mining for the truth.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

He Knows His Prose

Kudos to the VERY best reporter that the Citizen has ever had. I mean Wes the Crypt Keeper Keller MUST be the best because he has stellar reports like the one linked here and he doesn’t even attend the meetings.

Somehow he just nose how to phrase his prose, or else he is just reading from the minutes and “phoning” it in.

Hmm. I wonder…..

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Planning (to make a fortune off Melancthon ratepayers) Issues

When (and not if) the Official Plan Amendment (OPS) and Zoning Bylaw Amendment (ZBA) applications are filed by Highlands, the municipality has 180 and 120 days respectively to do their due diligence and make a decision. To most of us, it would make sense to get subject matter experts AT THE EXPENSE OF THE PROPONENT to conduct third party studies to ensure that a project of this magnitude has been properly studied.

But in the infinite wisdom of the municipal planner, Jerry Jorden, studies by subject matter experts are not necessary. No studies, only peer reviews will be done. Although, come to think of it, in the case of the wind turbines, not a single peer review WAS done. And if I am not mistaken Jorden was at the helm then as the municipal planner, as he has been since the days of Reeve Oldfield and Clerk Hunter (1970’s I believe).

I guess we have to take Mr. Jorden at his word that things will be done right this time regarding this massive aggregate proposal, as opposed to the way things were done with the massive turbine proposal. With respect to studies, I guess we are just supposed to take Highland Companies and John (If his Lips are Moving he is Lying) Lowndes and his experts at their eye is twitching already.

And to be fair to Council, Jorden is the township planner and Council takes his expert advice. I would suggest however that something in this “expert” advice is perhaps lacking.

Here is a little tidbit for your consideration and PLAN to be surprised.

In 2008, the planning fees paid to Mr. Jorden were $66,916.17 and he never set foot in the office on any regular basis, nor was he dealing with a massive planning issue such as a 2,400 acre, 200 foot deep open pit mine. Nice work if you can get it. In 2009, it is estimated, based on 2009 year to date figures that he will earn close to $70,000.00. AND he only started attending at the office ONCE A MONTH as of April 2009.

For that kind of money, the municipality could have a full time planner in the office five days a week who could perhaps assist the CAO/Clerk/Treasurer with legislative research, best practices by other municipalities with respect to aggregate and turbines proposals, bylaw preparation on, oh say, tree cutting and of course measuring the the desks to be purchased which was what Council was so obsessed at a recent Council meeting.

According to Deputy Mayor Hill every $12,000.00 in property taxes results in a 1% tax levy, meaning Jordens bill alone represents 5.8% of your tax bill. If you don’t feel this is a good use of your tax dollars, contact the municipality ASAP via email addressed to Mayor and Council at and let them know your thoughts.

If you are like me, you have probably just thrown up in your mouth a little bit after reading this…

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Recipe (for disaster)

Take one 2,400 acre hole in the ground.

Use contaminated water from said hole to fill a large pot.

Place stones from the large hole in the ground into pot.

Season to taste. Bring to a boil and enjoy.....stone soup.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Public Meeting

Council is holding a public meeting tonight at the Honeywood arena (upstairs) at 7 p.m. Staff from various Ministries and Conservation Authorities will be in attendance.

Question period is 1/2 hour and will be limited (in Council's words) to process questions.

C U there...

UPDATE: The meeting was well attended, great questions were asked and I would expect that Highlands will be purchasing a new sound system for the room just shortly. Always looking for new projects.

Still seems to be resistance on Council's part to be proactive and it came as a surprise to many that there was a Council meeting earlier today.

The best part was the many new faces in the audience tonight and the different people asking questions. This is no longer a "local" issue, people are realizing this is going to have serious repercussions and impacts on a large part of the population of Ontario.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Can't see the forest for (Lowndes cutting down all) the trees

This is a picture of approximately 300 trees that were ripped out in one day by Highlands. Additionally Highlands has cut thousands and thousands of trees down in Melancthon without proper permits. In fact NDACT proved 9 contraventions of the bylaw by Highlands.

This should have been covered under the County tree cutting bylaw, however County staff, specifically Caroline Mach, at her own discretion and without the knowledge of Council, gave non-existent exemptions to this company for cutting.

For two years, commencing in the spring of 2007, residents of Melancthon continually contacted Caroline Mach, the County Forester to advise of tree cutting and as late as January 2009 Caroline continued to tell individuals who called and emailed that she knew of no excessive tree cutting in Melancthon.
In fact I called and was told the tree cutting was exempt under the bylaw for agriculture and when I called back after reading the bylaw to say no such exemption was in the bylaw and she concurred.

When Caroline and County Councillors were questioned at various public meetings why exemptions that were not provided for in the bylaw were given by staff, no satisfactory explanations were ever given. Caroline stated it had been her practice to provide these non-existent exemptions for at least 15 years. County Councillors admitted they had no idea this was going on.

Bylaws are public documents and are passed at public meetings. Ratepayers, who pay Council and staff to implement and enforce bylaws, should expect that what they read in the bylaw as passed by Council should be the law. This does not appear to be the case at the County of Dufferin.

When County Council was questioned as to the amount of the fine as provided for in the bylaw would be imposed on Highlands for illegally cutting the trees in contravention of the bylaw, Council stated it had never been their practice to actually fine anyone.

Further, Warden Montgomery stated: "Council has to support staff and staff said it was allowed."
A member of NDACT challenged by asking, "Are you saying the infractions were not proven?" to which the Warden responded, "No."

Then the esteemed Mayor of Orangeville stated AND I AM QUOTING YOU VERBATUM Mr. Adams: “staff have done their job and it isn’t up to ratepayers or County Council to question them.”

Wow, I have heard of a kangaroo court and but this is a new one, perhaps it should be called a Dufferin Democracy?

During this entire discussion at County Council Melancthon's Mayor Fawcett, did not ask ONE single question or make one comment.

At this same meeting, Mayor Crewson, despite having taken part in tree discussions involving Highlands at other County meetings, decided the going was getting too hot for him and he might actually lose some business from Highlands if he voted to fine them money for their illegal tree cutting, stood up and made a grand pronouncement that suddenly he was declaring a pecuniary interest due to Highlands being his client at his insurance company.

So lets see, Crewson can take part in discussions to help “his golden boy” Lowndes, for several months, right up until the hard decisions need to be made and then suddenly pull the old pecuniary interest out of his hat and refuse to participate in the discussion any longer, conveniently protecting his livelihood and his children’s futures.
Too bad those of us who actually live in Melancthon (did I mention that Lowndes doesn’t) can’t actually do that too, Mr. Crewson.
More in another post sometime on (in my opinion) another questionable decision Crewson made.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dejavu all over again?

Watch for these attempts to disarm us:

They may underplay the company's foreign ownership and overplay its experience:

Their media campaign will likely be professional, friendly and relentless. Expect to see them in all the local newspapers in various forms including advertisements with the the company's name and logo accompanied; pictures of the company's representatives surrounded by local and provincial politicians and officials;

Expect rhetoric about responsible industry leadership, with a local heritage and world-wide expertise;

Expect commentary emphasizing Environmental Stewardship profiling the wetlands near their properties;

Expect generous donations made to various Community programs, such as the arts, education, sports\recreation, and conservation groups.Watch for these attempts to divide and conquer the Community;

Businesses and individuals encountering the immediate negative financial impacts from the proposed quarry, such local realtors and homeowners with homes for sale, may be pitted against the Community as a whole;

They will likely avoid having an open debate of the issue with knowledgeable people;

Community Open Houses hosted to "provide more information about the project and offer Community members the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback" provide very little detailed information, and only a continuation of the general assurances that everything will be OK;

Selected employees may even move in to the proposed quarry neighbourhood to demonstrate that it's alright to live next to a quarry;

I bet you are thinking this relates to Highlands.

WRONG. This was pulled word for word off the FORCE website in the tactics being employed by St. Marys in the Flamborough quarry. (check the link:

Does sound awfully familiar though, doesn't it? Although then it would, since both the Lying Lowndes brothers have their fingers all over both of these "projects".

Friday, October 2, 2009

I am back.

In a letter that appeared on the September 17, 2009 Melancthon Council agenda from Deputy Mayor Bill Hill to a ratepayer, the DM states:

"In the latest public communication that accompanied the (sic Highlands) video, it was stated that there would be about 450-470 jobs in total created. While many people may not like this comment, that is a significant number of jobs for our community and with the job losses that have occurred could be a welcome "lift" for many familes".

Okay, where to start?

Firstly, Lying Lowndes was asked by Melancthon Council last spring to appear at a council meeting to justify these figures, which to date King John has not deemed necessary to beckon to the call of Council. I wonder, just who is the puppet and who is the puppeteer, but I digress....

Secondly, if Lying Lowndes doesn't deem it necessary to appear at Council at their request to explain about the absurd number of jobs his company is publically spouting, why in the hell is the Deputy Dog reiterating these "supposed facts"?

Thirdly, I did do MY due diligence and I went to the Highlands public, albeit heavily guarded, meeting in July. I asked about these "jobs" and was advised by Highlands highly paid experts that these jobs are comprised of:

bean counters in Boston
Lowndes and Danhier's jobs
all the jobs of the highly paid consultants at that public meeting
the jobs to manufacture the steel for the railroad
the jobs to lay the railroad
the shipping jobs, from Owen Sound to....??? a slow boat to China
the jobs involved in the so called "rehabilitation" of the mine, which of course will involve planting tender fruit trees
and on and on and on.....

Think about this....Strada has 3 full time employees to date.

Also, the 450 job number does NOT factor into the job losses from loss of agricultural land....

Deputy Dog Hill, PLEASE do your homework and start acting on behalf of the ratepayers...we implore you.....

If you can't do that, at the very least, please STOP spouting Lying Lowndes rhetoric, until at least he produces in a public meeting of Council, on record, some hard and true studies to back up his "claims".