Monday, December 27, 2010

SLAPP



SLAPP is an acronym for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. 

"It is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_public_participation

(This is similar to but not exactly what has been happening at Melancthon Council.  Developers assure Council that if they don't approve something (more turbines, another gravel pit) or if they do approve something (demolition control bylaw) they will face an expensive OMB hearing.   Council then assures ratepayers they have no choice, but to "negotiate" the best deal they could" and we should all go away and quit criticizing them because "we" the public just don't understand.)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_public_participation

The typical SLAPP plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff's goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate. A SLAPP is often preceded by a legal threat.


The final report by the provincial government's Anti-Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (Anti-SLAPP) Advisory Panel is now available. Click here for detals:
http://www.news.ontario.ca/mag/en/2010/12/anti-slapp-advisory-panel-provides-advice.html

Saturday, December 25, 2010

REHAB...INTERVENTION REQUIRED

Apparently someone isn't happy with the "exceptional" rehabilitation done in Puslinch on a pit owned by St. Mary's.    "If that’s exceptional, I’d hate to see what bad is,” councillor Susan Fielding said on Dec. 15."

Reminder-  St. Mary's, who bought the Lowndes quarry in Flamborough from John Lowndes brother David and John Lowndes is connected with Highland Companies who want to dig a 2,400 acre 200 foot below the water table mine in Melancthon. 

Here is the entire article: http://www.wellingtonadvertiser.com/index.cfm?page=detail&itmno=7783

So good for Melancthon Deputy Mayor White for being "on" this at the last meeting of Council as it pertained to Strada and the site plan agreement.  If you recall at the December 16 meeting of Council Strada objected to having to deposit securities for rehabilitation.

BUT, and you knew there was a BUT coming.  If I understand it correctly, the entire amount of securities being requested by Melancthon from Strada for rehabilitation is $68,000.00.

To put it into perspective, $68,000.00 paves about 1 kilometre of road or buys two mid-sized cars.  I am not really convinced it could rehabilitate a pit the size of Strada's should they "walk".  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SHUT THE T.V. OFF AND WATCH A REAL SPECTATOR SPORT

The opening face off occurred at 7:10, December 20, 2010 at the sporting venue located at 203 Main Street East. 

The Home team had two absent players (one chronically absent and one usually chronically late, but finally it turned out was unusually absent) but there were still five "men" on the ice.

The opposing team was in a position to provide fresh players all night.  

The Assistant Captain, in the absence of the Captain, took the opening faceoff and played a good solid two periods.

He deftly stick handled issues, passed the puck when appropriate, took shots on net when the opportunity arose, played as a full team member, acknowledging his team mates and their valuable contribution to the overall outcome of the game.

He deferred to the full time professional coaching staff when needed, was cognizant and respectful of the spectators in the stand and at the close of the second period the home team was well positioned for a win. 

The Assistant Captain even took the time to handle a particularly obnoxious heckler in the stands. Calling her to the boards, using his boyish charm and his master debater skills he convinced her to enjoy the game and come back to another one later in the season.

Third period:
Many of the spectators had left, feeling the home team was in a superior position and the game was pretty well over.  Only the die-hards remained.

An obvious tension between the Assistant Captain and the opposing star player had been building during the first two periods, over a public foul committed by the Assistant Captain.

Then the opposing team’s star player, taking the ice for the first time in the game, takes a breakaway down centre ice: HE shoots, he SCORES!!!!! 

The home team is suddenly on the defensive. The players tense while the Assistant Captain and opposing star dropped the gloves and squared off at centre ice, exchanging jabs and light blows, seemingly equally matched.  

Eventually the two players appeared to achieve a mutual agreement to end the dispute. 

Suddenly the Assistant Captain dealt a glancing blow on the opposing star player as his back was turned while picking his gloves off the ice.  

The ancient reporter in attendance was jerked out of his deep REM sleep, momentarily wondering where the hell he was (and wondering where he could find the bathroom real quick), almost dropping his quill pen and ink bottle, roused when the astounded spectators in the stand gasped and murmured in disbelief at the Assistant Captain's unexpected assault.  

The Assistant Captain’s team mates froze, in stunned silence, sticks clacking and bouncing noisily as they dropped to the ice.

No words can describe what happened next....so it is fortunate that someone recorded the outcome and posted it on youtube. (Hint, the Assistant Captain is wearing red)  

Click here for what happened:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PlNzARV0XM

Bet the Assistant Captain is feeling it today.

PS-we can't afford a YMCA

Monday, December 20, 2010

REALITY BITES

OFFICIAL PLAN AMENDMENT FILED WITH MELANCTHON

An Official Plan Amendment to move approximately 10,000 acres to a locally specialty crop designation has been filed with Melancthon Township.

Click here for the details:

Notice of complete application:
http://melancthontownship.ca/10notices/2010-plan-amendment.pdf

Submission:
http://melancthontownship.ca/officialdraft/submissions-additonal-july26.pdf

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I BET THEY DIDN'T EXPECT THAT

Strada was on the agenda as a delegation on the December 16 meeting of Melancthon Council.

 It was a cold and stormy night, but Strada, they still showed. 

This despite being advised by the municipality earlier that day that Council would not be making a decision that night based partly on the fact that reams and reams of letters and reports had just been submitted by Strada, lawyers, planners, etc and Council had not had time to review the stuff.

 That certainly didn't deter Strada.  In fact they were so sure of themselves they advised Council that everything was in order, except one "little" unnecessary clause in the agreement regarding financial assurances for rehabilitation of the pit.

 They gave a well rehearsed speil about rehabilitation being regulated by the province and there is a Trust fund established with $13.5 million in it and for Melancthon not to worry, it would be looked after and really for Melancthon to ask for financial assurances would be a duplication and to just (paraphrasing here) trust us.

How sure was Strada that things were going to go their way?  So sure, they brought with them the agreement signed by their principles and recommended Council sign it on the spot.  They had even taken the liberty to delete that "unnecessary" clause about financial assurances for rehabilitation.  So thoughtful of them.

Then came the unexpected.  Mayor Hill took exception to the fact Council was being asked to sign something without having had proper time to review the late submissions.  He advised them they might want to attend the January 6 meeting as a decision by Council will be made then, but also made a point of saying it may or may NOT be the decision they want. 

Then like a seasoned wrestling tag team, Deputy Mayor Whyte jumped into the ring, saying he had spoken with someone at the trust and that a decision by the trust to rehabilitate an abandoned pit/revoked license pit can take years and years and years. And IF the trust finally decides to rehabilitate, they level some hills and throw some topsoil around and call it rehabilitated.

He pointed out that if Strada walks away without rehabilitating (my words here, after they have taken the aggregate), the site plan they have agreed to with Council becomes nul and void and any mitigation/rehabilitation in the site plan, which is a higher level of rehabilitation than the trust would do, does not happen.

Strada representatives managed to get out of the room with tempers in check, but think about the repercussions.

Firstly, this was a sign to ratepayers that things might be changing at the Council table.


And Highlands must be thinking about potential financial assurances they will have to post if they ever can convince the officials to think their wonky water plan will work in their 2,400 acre, 200 foot deep below the water table open pit limestone mine.


If you recall in the recent Caledon OMB decision all parties agreed that rehabilitation of a 219 acre below the water table pit would be somewhere in the $80 to $90 million range.


On behalf of Highlands, lets to the math shall we?  $80 million for rehabilitation of 219 acres equals $365,296/acre.
 $365,296/acre x 2,400 acres equals $876,710,400.00.  Almost 1 billion dollars.

That is ALOT of freaking money.  Mikey, these are royalty free figures, feel free to take them back to Boston and present them at the next Board meeting.




Thursday, December 16, 2010

CAN SOMEONE GIVE THIS GUY A CLUE

This guy attends so many meetings he has no idea where he is.

Tonight he clearly thought he was at an NDACT meeting, instead of a Council meeting.

Hey, here is a tip.  NDACT has a website and you can get all their contact information there. Try http://www.ndact.com/

MERRY XMAS FROM MELANCTHON

MORE STELLAR REPORTING

As reported on-line tonight, in tomorrow’s Orangeville Citizen (December 16,2010), the Trillium chair of Shelburne’s Royal Canadian Legion branch regarding the article about the roof replaced at the branch has taken exception to information published last week written by WES KELLER.


Well Surprise, Surprise.... Here is the article in full... http://www.citizen.on.ca/news/2010-12-16/Local_News/Trillium_chair_says_no_misdeeds_at_Legion_roof.html

In the same December 16, 2010 edition in the letters to the editor section there is yet another complaint about WES KELLER’S article on wind turbines and his lack of research, which urges Wes to (don’t laugh) do some research.


For those frequent readers of this blog you will recall WES, the Crypt Keeper KELLER taking exception to a letter written in confidence to the owner/editor of Orangeville Citizen/Shelburne Free Press newspaper in response to an individual he contacted and quoted without obtaining prior consent or identifying which paper he was writing for.


Check out the November 24, 2010 blog post for details. In that article, poor Messy Wessy states: "After more than 30 years of fulltime reporting for both community and mainline newspapers, I stand accused for the first time ever of something that I would consider akin to a betrayal of a confidence."


Wow, within one month, three, count em THREE accusations/suggestions that Wes’s stellar reporting needs some...well truth and research and honesty.


And beware. When WES reports that someone was “not contacted for this article”, that means he didn’t bother to call them, not that he called them and they didn’t return the call....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

FINAL NOTE ON THE RUSSIANS

Wonder how the 19 year old kid and his family who were described by the Benningtons and the Star as being poor, in fact living in a "three-room cottage at the end of a dirt road, with a metal roof, exposed cinder block walls and bubbling wallpaper".  feel?  Just asking (here is the follow up article by the Star)
http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/article/905582--star-readers-save-russian-hockey-player-s-dream

I would expect Russian teenagers and families would feel the same way someone here in a small town in Canada might feel if someone described them that way. 

And last I heard, they have the internet in Russia.  Google the kids name, I am sure all his friends from back home have.

Hope he knows HE has nothing to be ashamed of.

MUSKIES OR RUSSKIES

I really couldn't care less whether the Muskies or Russkies play at the Shelburne arena on Friday nights.


I DO have a sincere concern that my tax dollars are used to maximum effect, that there is transparency and that no one is using their position as an elected official to advance their own agenda, at the expense of taxpayers regarding the Centre Dufferin Recreation Complex (CDRC)


Fascinating reading going through the CDRC board minutes.

The minutes reflect a petition presented with 110 signatures regarding the upkeep and cleanliness of the facility, the rodent problem was noted as being under control (thank goodness), repeated incidents of theft and vandalism, Xmas bonuses awarded but no amount disclosed, and an agreement signed between the CDRC (as negotiated in 2010 by the Deputy Mayor and arena manager) and the World Hockey League (Russian team) but no copy of the final agreement.

I also wonder if the guy mentioned by name in an open meeting of the CDRC knows his name is on the internet in the minutes as being accused (not clear from the minutes whether he was charged by police and convicted in a court of law) of assault and theft and then banned from the CDRC.

Here is a link to the minutes, read it for yourself:

http://shelburne.fileprosite.com/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=7

The minutes do not show that the renovation project is running late and overbudget.  Anyone have any figures on that?

If this is the way the arena is run by how in the hell are they going to be able to manage a YMCA, being championed by Mayor Crewson and Highland Companies?

Don't forget that Mayor Crewson, during the 2010 municipal election campaign advised, nay assured, voters to just stick with the team in place, because they worked well together (and I am paraphrasing here) and no change was needed.

I beg to differ.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

SKATING AROUND THE ISSUE

The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act provides that an elected official shall declare a conflict of interest (which means anything in which they might have a financial interest) as it relates to themselves, their spouse, child, parent or a business partner or employer and the elected official then is not to vote, take part in the discussion of the matter before or after or to influence the vote in any way.

The Deputy Mayor of Shelburne, “a boyishly handsome 41-year-old”, has made a point at County Council to declare a pecuniary interest at the Council table about the Highlands acquisition of the County owned rail bed because his sister owns a property near the rail line. The Act would not seem to provide for that declaration.


And yet, from 2006, when the issue of the World Junior Hockey League (aka Russian Hockey team) was first mentioned in the Centre Dufferin Recreation Committee minutes, which at that time the Deputy Mayor was a member, there was no declaration of interest declared by the Deputy Mayor.

This despite a December 4, 2010 Toronto Star article that indicated that “I thought people in town would be supportive of such a unique experience,” says Ken Bennington, Owen's father, deputy mayor and the man who helped land the Red Wings. He goes on the state he knew “we were operating outside the rules. “

In fact, the Deputy Mayor then moved to position of Chair of the CDRC in 2008 and was involved in negotiating a contract between the arena and the Russian Hockey team (see minutes dated January & February 2010).
Where is a copy of this agreement? It is after all, public information.

So to recap, he helped land the team, he is listed on the Shelburne Red Wings website as the Associate General Manager (is this a paid position) and he boards 3 russian players at $1,500.00 a month in his home, a CLEAR financial interest in this team, but declared no conflict of interest from January 2006, until June 23, 2010 after the deal was signed, sealed and delivered.

And even more interesting, the Mayor of Shelburne, who is busy putting out fires on behalf of the Deputy Mayor, is one of three sponsors shown on the Red Wings website. Does this mean he too stands to gain financially if the Red Wings do well in a facility in which the team plays that is newly renovated using tax dollars, who have been allotted prime ice time on Friday nights, despite the fact that the Shelburne Muskies asked for this time a few years ago but were denied?  I don't know, that would be for a judge to decide.

And don’t forget, this is the same Deputy Mayor who was on Council when they decided their own residents would be limited to a 2 bag limit per week in garbage, but felt his family couldn’t abide by those rules and he was caught red handed at a neighbouring landfill site disposing of his garbage. Of course the politicians of the day (all of which except one are still in power today) did their basic cover up to help one of their own and this issue was never made public.

Wonder why? Well, it is because when incumbents are elected year after year, they get a sense of entitlement and each politician, in my opinion, works to protect their colleagues from what they perceive as negative and unfair criticism, hoping upon hope their colleagues will come to their defence when necessary, or perhaps help them out on pet projects. So far it seems to be working.

On the other hand, if someone isn’t going to act as the political watchdog, this type of nonsense just keeps going on and on.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Michael Daniher, spokesperson for Highlands, made a public statement at an NDACT meeting in June of 2009 that Highalnds would be taking down structures in LESS than double digits (in my book that is LESS than 10). 

To date they have demolished or have permits to demolish structures on 30 properties.

Here they are:
[1] Ferguson West Part of Lot 25, Conc 3 OS
[2] Jamieson West Part of Lot 26, Conc 3 OS
[3] Speers East Part of Lot 19, Conc 1 OS
[4] Whitten Part of Lot 276  277, Conc 1 NE
[5] Benotto (Tavares) Part of Lot 7, Conc 3 NE
[6] Wilcox East Part Lot 16, Conc 4 OS
[7] Earl East Part Lot 19, Conc 4 OS
[8] Fawcett East Part Lot 19, Conc 3 OS
[9] Eichhorn East Part Lot 17, Conc 4 OS
[10] Looby (Chenier) East Part Lot 19, Conc 4 OS
[11] Richardson West Part Lots 20 &21, Conc 3 OS
[12] Hurst (Bates) West Part Lot 20, Conc 1 OS
[13] Parsons East Part Lot 21, Conc 1 OS
[14] Ferguson West Part Lot 24, conc 2 OS
[15] Irwin East Part Lot 26, Conc 10, NE
[16] Mumford West Part Lot 21, Conc 3 OS
[17] Wilson 5th Line West Part Lot 28, Conc 4 OS
[18] Irwin West Part Lot 26, Conc 1 OS
[19] Downey Barn, Lot 15, Conc 4 OS
[20] Marshall Lot 18, Conc 3 OS
[21] Laverty, Lot 23, Conc 1 OS
[22] R. Speers, Lot 19, Conc 1 OS
[23] P.Downey W Pt Lot 17, Con 3 OS
[24] Brants garage East Part Lot 20, Conc 1OS
[25] Travis Pt Lot 277-278 Conc 1SW
[26] E Downey W Pt Lot 19, Conc 3 OS
[27] E. Pt. Lot 28, Concession 2 O.S.
[28] Downey Homestead Cty 124 Lot 19, Conc 2OS
[29] Dynes Barn W Part Lot 28, Conc. 4 OS
[30] Martin Barn Pt Lot 9, Conc 5 NE



Clearly wee Mikey can't count.  Here is an apparatus he might want to employ.











SOME INTERESTING STATISTICS

A new feature available on blogspot permits you to see the Countries from which people are viewing your blog. 


Why in the hell would anyone in Luxembourg or Brazil be interested in this?  Does Seth Klarmann own properties there or could it be there is a Brazilian mining company watching this and if so, why? 


There is nothing earth shattering on here, just the truth.  Perhaps they are comparing this blog against the glowing reports Daniher provides them about how tickety boo everything is going here in little old Melancthon?


United States
Russia
Germany
Netherlands
France
Denmark
Italy
Luxembourg
Brazil

Thursday, December 9, 2010

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND

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 finally 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, thought he was ever so wise
thinking the local hicks would miss their coming demise

He believed the locals would think they were unable to win
And that they would move from their farms and take all their kin

But to his surprise they started to object
So 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!
LOWNDES GOT A WONDERFUL, EVIL 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 named Mikey had stood up for his boss
Working 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.

Everyone finally knew that Lowndes was a fink
And 1 million Ontarians had water to drink


NDACT went back to their farms, children and wives
And continued to live their meaningful lives.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

IN MY HUMBLE OPINION



In my humble opinion, this little freak is a waste of space, but "I am open to being persuaded."


Sunday, December 5, 2010

YMCA...ARE YOU OUT THERE?

I am sure the YMCA is very interested in the article that appeared in the Toronto Star this weekend. You know the one where the Deputy Mayor of Shelburne, Chair of the Arena Board slams the town for "turning him in" for contravening the rules of minor hocky.

Here is the article in full.
http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/article/901645--young-russians-chase-hockey-dream-in-small-town-ontario


If the Deputy Mayor who makes a salary from the taxpayers of Shelburne and who also acts as the Chair of the Arena Board, who earns that salary from all adjoining contributing muncipalities, feels this way about the community, that would seem as good as it gets. After all, isn't one of his roles as elected official is to promote the community?

Anyone looking to sell a house, expand their business or establish a business in Shelburne, take note.

Any Dufferin municipality who is partnering with the Town of Shelburne with respect to Economic Development, take note.

And, YMCA, beware of coming to a small minded, McCarthy like town.

The Deputy Mayor's town contact information is: kbennington@townofshelburne.on.ca


The Mayor of Shelburne's contact information is:shelburne@townofshelburne.on.ca

And Steve Boone, Senior VP of the YMVCA, good buddy of Daniher can be reached at: Steve.Boone@YMCAGTA.ORG

Support or opposition I am sure your comments would be welcome.

Friday, December 3, 2010

MORE GREEN ENERGY NEWS

This was in the Hansard for the Provincial legislature for December 2, 2010:

Mr. Steve Clark: I rise today regarding a situation facing a number of residents in my riding whose water quality has been affected by the construction of a 168,000-panel solar farm. They are forced to drink bottled water due to work on this project, which saw more than 14,000 holes being drilled into the bedrock. The once crystal clear water in their taps is now a murky mess. It’s no surprise that they’re upset and worried.

It’s sad to see, yet again, how this government’s mismanagement of the green energy file has hurt people. Premier McGuinty’s costly energy experiments have caused hydro bills to soar, and the Green Energy Act is affecting people’s quality of life.
The lack of municipal and public control over these projects has led the township of Rideau Lakes to propose three amendments to the act to give municipalities and the public more say.

I urge the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Energy and the Premier to consider the township’s three recommendations: (1) to establish minimum setbacks for major solar farms similar to those for wind farms; (2) to force solar developers to ensure adequate landscaping to create visual buffers; and (3) to require developers to study the possible impacts on groundwater, including baseline water quality testing before construction.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

THE ONLY THING GREEN ABOUT GREEN ENERGY IS THE GREENBACKS THE COMPANIES EARN


So set aside the health issues, since you are either on one side or the other-complete belief or denial and there appears to be no budging anyone on that.

Lets talk about finances, something we can all agree on.

In a nutshell the province is paying 64 cents/kw (down from 80 cents/kw) over 20 years to companies that generate "renewable energy" where equipment for the the solar panels/turbines or gasification plants are sourced in Ontario.

Then the government resells it at a low of 4 cents/kw to a maximum of 6 cents/kw-YES that is 6 cents/kw.

Here is an example of Ikea and solar panels:

"IKEA will spend $4.6 million to install the solar panels, which will generate a total of 960,000 kW. At the FIT rate, the province will pay IKEA $684,480 a year for 20 years versus about $115,000 it would have had to pay for electricity from the Oakville gas-fired facility. Under the FIT rate, IKEA will pay for its solar equipment in 6.7 years."

And of course the next 13 years of $680,000/year, totalling $8.84 million paid by the taxpayers is pure profit to them.

Can you blame companies for taking advantage of this-NO.

But you can and should be blaming the government.

Not only are us regular folk losing value in our one asset that is tax free-our homes- by having these facilities (turbines, solar and gasification) located next to us, we are paying to subsidize the "green energy" initiatives through our hydro bills, which are scheduled to increase by 40% to 46% over the next five years.

BUT don't fear, the Liberals are going to "give" us all a 10% rebate at a cost of about 1.1 billion dollars annually, which, wait for it, we will pay for through our taxes.

What is astounding is they thought this up to generate the "green vote", but it has backfired so badly, I would go out on a limb here and suggest this will be the issue that gets them booted out of office.

Read the article in the Toronto Star, which is highly critical of this approach and don't forget they really are the Liberal media voice in Toronto. When even they aren't buying this crap, why should anyone else?

http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/article/897359--green-goals-bigger-bills

Financial Post article:
http://opinion.financialpost.com/2010/11/22/tom-adams-ontario%E2%80%99s-shell-game-hides-green-costs/

Sunday, November 28, 2010

LIKE A BAD SMELL


Have you ever had a dead mouse in your house or cottage? The REAL deal...

You can smell it every now and again, but you just can NOT find it, no matter how hard you look.

Well, just like the invisible dead mouse...you can smell it but you can't see it....John Lowndes has (re)surfaced. Meow.

Albeit, it was to announce yet another tax deduction, oops, I mean a donation to a good cause, but he is back......

Friday, November 26, 2010

DESPERATE MUCH?

The proponent for the Duntroon, below the water table mine, Walker Aggregates, you know the ones that have exhausted a below the water table quarry and want to move lock stock and barrel across the road and CLOSE the road, while the hole they leave behind fills with water.....seemed a little desperate at the OMB hearing.

Headline reads: Majority speak in favour of pit

The article points out 27 of those speaking in favour of the quarry are employees of the Walkers. Hmmm..how many employees does Highlands have? At least until they start mining and then those local farming jobs will be going, going, gone.

Entire article here:
http://www.theenterprisebulletin.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2863200

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WES THE CRYPT KEEPER KELLER


Photo above: Freelancer Wes Keller with John Lowndes at Highlands open house in July of 2009-you know the one where all the Ministry officials were...

Good old Messy Wessy makes the statement in tomorrow's Shelburne's Free Press (published on line today for free, why in hell BUY the paper?? But I digress)

"After more than 30 years of fulltime reporting for both community and mainline newspapers, I stand accused for the first time ever of something that I would consider akin to a betrayal of a confidence."

That is his FIRST untrue statement in this article (link to entire article attached below).

In fact good old Messy Wessy, or Wes the Crypt Keeper Keller, is a freelancer, NOT a full time reporter, due an alleged spot of legal trouble a few years ago.

He states in this "opinion piece"

"I probably erred in including the lady’s remark related to the importance of Official Plans in respect of OMB hearings in a short item headlined as an NDACT reaction, even though I made it clear that she was not speaking for NDACT.

Hm, an admission of guilt. That is going to come in handy if the focus of this article decides to sue.

This is the same guy who "reports" on Council meetings after reading an agenda and then reading the minutes three weeks AFTER the Council publicly posts them. The same "crack reporter" who couldn't get to the first public meeting in Honeywood where the quarry issues was discussed, because the wipers in his beat up jalopy wouldn't work, but who nevertheless took it upon himself to "report" on the event.

And why in the hell wouldn't he write the REAL story which is Ministry officials TOLD him at a public meeting that they had no idea how in the hell Highlands could make their water work? Well that might dry up (excuse the pun) the Citizen's lucrative revenue source from Highlands.

No, he and the local paper would rather attack the locals. They are an easier target than Highlands.

Article in full: http://www.citizen.on.ca/news/2010-11-25/Columns/In_my_opinion.html

READING THE OMB DECISION FOR THE CALEDON PIT


"WTF??????", says little blue man.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DESPERATION OR JUST A BULLY

You decide, but either way, St. Mary's better have deep pockets to take on the government.

After all the Province has almost as much money and resources as the Baupost Group.

ST MARYS TO PURSUE JUDICIAL REVIEW IF MCGUINTY GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO IGNORE APPEAL
http://www.flamboroughquarry.ca/media/Oct29_2010_1.pdf

Monday, November 22, 2010

27 AND COUNTING

Lets see, despite Highlands public denial in June of 2009 that they would be taking down structures in LESS than double digits (in my book that is LESS than 10) they have demolished or have permits to demolish structures on 27 properties.

Was any of it recycled or reused? NOPE.

In Peel Region alone there are over 20,000 people waiting for affordable housing.

Here is an example of what the Canadian Forces did-they donated homes for Habitat for Humanity. http://www.theenterprisebulletin.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2846592

And remember, Highlands are doing all of this destruction to "maximize their agricultural potential", except, take a drive by any single structure they have demolished. It is sitting fallow, wells haven't been capped, septics haven't been decommissioned, nor have crops been planted on the land.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

RETIREMENT PARTY FOR DEB FAWCETT

A retirement Party today at 2:00 p.m. at the Hornings Mills Hall, for outgoing Mayor Deb Fawcett.

LIES AND MORE LIES


At a public meeting held by NDACT in June of 2009 Michael Daniher, he being the Highlands spokesperson, stood up to address the issue of Highlands demolition of properties.

He stated that NDACT was fear mongering and that the total number of structures to be removed by Highlands was less than double digits.

27 properties-more than 27 structures-and STILL counting.

If his lips are moving....he's lying.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT????

Province spends $40M on Lynn Lake rehab

"The province says it will spend $40 million to rehabilitate seven abandoned mines around the town of Lynn Lake in northern Manitoba.

After a number of mining companies departed from their operations there about 10 years ago, the area was left with toxic sites and thousands of workers without jobs.

"When they left, they left in a hurry and they left quite a mess," said Mayor Sean Maher."

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2010/11/17/man-lynn-lake-mine-cleanup.html#ixzz15pc0Tijq

Just another example of what can happen without proper financial assurances in place.

LOOKING FOR A NEW JOB


Hey, I saw this little guy at the post office the other day mailing a letter.

Since he couldn't possibly be mailing a copy of the OMB decision where they turned down James Dicks 145 acre below the water table mine proposal, to his bosses, maybe he was sending out his resume?

Just wondering.....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

MORE FROM THE OMB DECISION IN CALEDON

In the OMB's decision to refuse James Dick OPA/ZBA for a 145 acre quarry, they noted that much of their decision centred around the provisions in the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) and the Town of Caledon's own Official Plan (OP).

What was in Caledon's OP? (here is a link to their entire OP)http://www.town.caledon.on.ca/townhall/departments/planningdevelopment/policy.asp

In a nutshell, Caledon's OP addresses the issue of obligation, onus or burden. They specifically set out the criteria for the approval by the town of an OPA to allow for the development of a new aggregate extraction operation. Of particular relevance to the issue of onus or burden are in subsection 5.11.2.4.2 subsections b,c,d,e,f,g,i,j and k.

How did they do that?

Well for instance, one provision in their OP (subsection c), is the requirement that the applicant must assess social impacts and have demonstrated that the proposal will not have any unacceptable impacts. That highlighted statement was in every section of Caledon' OP in subsection b,c,d,e,f,g,i,j and k.

In almost all areas of required studies that were in Caledon's OP, the board ruled that James Dick had not met the onus or burden in that they had not demonstrated that the proposal will not have any unacceptable impacts.


I recall being at two meetings in Melancthon in 2009 where ratepayers advised, argued, cajoled, begged and pleaded with Council telling them that all requirements for an OPA for aggregate extraction MUST be in their OP. Council assured ratepayers there was no need for that, they would just ask the applicant for what they wanted and the applicants would comply, because they signed a piece of paper when they filled out their application for an OPA.

OMG.

In fact in the James Dick case, the OMB ruled that the Town should not request studies not envisioned by their OP, nor impose standards not set out in the policy in the course of considering aggregate application.

Further the Board ruled because of the wording in Caledon's OP, the onus or burden of proof was on the applicant to prove there are no adverse impacts, NOT on the objector to prove there were impacts.

Finally the Board ruled that the wording of Caledon's OP was such that if the onus or burden of proof was not met in every instance cited in subsection b,c,d,e,f,g,i and k then the entire application must fail.

The decision is a fascinating and surprisingly easy read. Here is the link for the entire decision:

http://www.coalitioncaledon.com/images/clientupload/OMB%20Decision-Rockfort%20Quarry,Nov12,2010.pdf

If any Councillor elect is reading this, perhaps you could forward a copy to Jorden AND Osyany??? Just thinking out loud.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

2nd INSTALLMENT TODAY-ASTOUNDING CONCLUSIONS FROM OMB REFUSAL OF JAMES DICK AGGREGATE PROPOSAL

This will be good news for our Mulmur ratepayers....you know, the ones with the view....and the money to fight Highlands....

The OMB considered a "Summary of Affected Views and Landscape Change" report prepared of course by the proponent, which concluded that after all phases were complete and the farmscape demolished that:

"while the quarry project proposes changes....the proposed plans will retain many existing heritage features of the site, its vegetation, circulation, spatial order and views and integrate these elments into the new development"

The OMB's findings with respect to this report?

"The Board finds these assertions to be astounding and unsupported by the evidence contained in James Dicks' Visual Impact Report."

MORE OF THE AMAZING STORY-OMB AND JAMES DICK

Considered in the OMB's decision to refuse James Dick OPA/ZBA for a 145 acre quarry, was the conservation of significant cultural heritage landscapes.

The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) directs the conservation of significant built heritage resources and cultural heritage landscapes. In 1993 the Town of Caledon, as part of its Environmental Policy Review, recognized that the "most dominant cultural landscape in Caledon is farmscape".

In response to James Dick's proposal to destroy TWO (just two) nineteenth century farm complexes over the course of their operation, which they had acknowledged had cultural and heritage value the Board said:

"The PPS directs conservation of significant cultural heritage landscapes. The subject property is part of such a landscape and the eradication of the agricultural context does not constitute conservation, it constitutes destruction. Such destruction is an unacceptable impact."

So to recap, the OMB relied on the PPS and the Town of Caledon's own policies.

And said TWO century homesteads would constitute destruction.

Despite more than 27 properties in Melancthon losing their farmsteads because of Highlands, the Township of Melancthon has still refused to take ANY action to stop the destruction.

COUNCIL ELECT:

STOP the madness, STOP the destruction and get to work.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

HIGHLITES OF THE OMB DECISION AGAINST JAMES DICK'S PROPOSAL FOR AN AGGREGATE OPERATION IN CALEDON

James Dick in Caledon was proposing a very similar model to what Highlands is proposing in Melancthon, except on a MUCH smaller scale. Dicks proposal was a 100 foot below the water table quarry of approximately 58 hectares (or 145 acres).

Dickheads proposal (I mean Highlands) for Melancthon is for a 2,400 acre, 200 foot below the water table quarry.

On page 20 of Highlands material presented at their heavily guarded open house on July 25, 2009 in Hornings Mills states: "bottom line-NO adverse effects on water"

At that same meeting, however, Highlands highly paid consultants were confirming with ratepayers that the cost of mitigation and keeping the water out of the hole they dug would be the responsibility of the owner, which they assured ratepayers would NOT be them after they had taken all the aggregate (and in my own words, the money).

All parties in the James Dick Caledon proposal agree that the hole they will leave in the ground will take 50 years to fill with water. Again, theirs is about 145 acres to a depth of about 100 feet below the water table: Highlands is 2,400 acres and about 200 feet below the water table.

The Ontario Muncipal Board, in their ruling against the James Dick proposal, made the following statement:

"The Board finds that no public authority, not the Province, the Region, the Town,
nor the CVC should ever find itself responsible for the costs of mitigation measures for the proposed quarry."


The Board finds that such a stated intention by JDCL (James Dick) is inadequate in the circumstances. As noted above, the only thing that stands between the proposed quarry and a negative impact on the natural environment is a complex, highly engineered and closely monitored mitigation system which would have to operate effectively for approximately 80 years. On the limited evidence before it, the Board finds that such a mitigation system could cost well in excess of $90 million. The Province Region and the Town and their residents must have clear assurances embodied in executed legal agreements that James Dick will always be responsible for the costs of mitigation."

Oh SNAP.

If James Dick's proposal was less than 150 acres and it would cost at least $90 million in assurances, wonder what Highlands 2,400 acre proposal would require in assurances.

I know at a meeting of Council in 2009 a ratepayer suggested half a BILLION dollars and was scoffed at. Not so funny now, is it? Reality bites.

Just saying.

Monday, November 15, 2010

EXCELLENT NEWS


If you hear someone's head exploding, it will probably be this little guy after he reads this Toronto Star article: OMB Kills Rockford Quarry Proposal (Caledon), November 15, 2010 (click link for entire article:
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/890982--omb-kills-rockfort-quarry-proposal

Here is the entire decision. http://www.coalitioncaledon.com/images/clientupload/OMB%20Decision-Rockfort%20Quarry,Nov12,2010.pdf

And in case you are keeping track:

OMB kills Rockford quarry proposal (James Dick quarry application in Caledon), November 15, 2010 http://www.thestar.com/news/article/890982--omb-kills-rockfort-quarry-proposal

"The Government of Canada will not be moving forward with any authorizations as the proposed project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects that cannot be justified under the circumstances," said the Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/npress-communique/2007/hq-ac61-eng.htm

FORCE:Provincial Order Freezes Zoning To Stop-The-Quarry, April 2010 http://www.stopthequarry.ca/

CARRA:Puslinch Residents Stop Quarry, January 21, 2010 http://news.guelphmercury.com/News/article/588689

MELON LAKE:Environment Wins over Gravel http://www.wildlandsleague.org/attachments/Final%20Quarry%20denied%20-%20Mellon%20Lake.pdf

RECOUNT

The recount was held this morning and Nanci Malek was confirmed as winning a Council position.

On October 25, 2010 there were seven votes separating her and Wayne Hannon.

Wayne requested a recount and Council passed a resolution authorizing it.

Everyone should be commended on a good job.

Wayne for requesting the recount in a civilized way.

Council for granting it.

The Clerk for running a great election.

All the candidates who put their names forward to run.

And congrats to Nanci.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

JACK & JILL


In response to the anon person questioning that Melancthon is the headwaters for the Grand and Nottawasaga River systems and is the source of water in the watershed for more than 1 million Ontarians, I would say, even my 3 year old knows the old rhyme:

Jack and Jill
Went UP a hill
To fetch a pail of water.....

Why?

Well because the starting point of ALL rivers is higher than their end point.

"The Grand River flows 300 kilometres through southwestern Ontario from the highlands of Dufferin County to Port Maitland on Lake Erie. The Grand River Conservation Authority manages water and other natural resources on behalf of 38 municipalities and close to one million residents."http://www.grandriver.ca/

And with an elevation of about 400 metres above Lake Huron, Melancthon has one is one of the highest points of land in southern Ontario.

Google it.

And seriously, if the anon questioner has a water source that flows UP to their property naturally, please call Guiness World book of Records, like now.

REMEMBRANCE DAY


Service at 10:00 am at the Shelburne Legion.


Service at the Centotaph at 11:00 am


Sunday, November 7, 2010

CAN ANYONE CONFIRM THIS

At the November 4 Melancthon Council meeting the $110.00 an hour planning consultant for Melancthon gave a verbal report on why Council should pass Strada's OPA and ZBA.

Strada reps were in the audience. They were NOT on the agenda to make a delegation. The procedure bylaw sets out how you make a delegation request and then you are put on the agenda so everyone has notice about who is making a delegation and about what. The outgoing Chair/Mayor, however let them show charts, and speak in response to the planning consultant's verbal report for at least 15 minutes.

And then during the course of the meeting, when it became clear to Strada that council was not going to rush this through, despite the Mayor's best efforts, (and kudos to the re-elected sitting council for taking a sober second thought and time to pause) Strada made a statement to the effect that if they have to go to the OMB, they won't give Melancthon anything they had previously offered. In fact, they said that Melancthon will get nothing if Strada is forced into an OMB hearing.

Can anyone confirm?

Lets hope the new Council (to be sworn into office in early December) will become more transparent, by following the procedure bylaw AND insisting that all staff/council reports be in WRITING.

How does this make them more transparent?

Firstly, if Council veers from the procedure bylaw and listed items on the agenda, how does anyone have NOTICE about what is to be discussed at meetings (and by the way municipalities are legislatively obligated to provide notice)?

I could probably name at least 10 people who would have moved heaven and earth to be at the 9am Council meeting had they known Strada would be making a delegation. But they didn't know because Strada was not listed on the agenda as being a delegant. weren't supposed to, according to the agenda that is to provide the public NOTICE.

And lack of WRITTEN reports mean the only way you can know what is going on in terms of recommendations/history/issues is to actually attend the meetings. This is not transparent government.

AND it creates an atmosphere of he said/she said. In fact the Mayor couldn't even remember what had been agreed to during a meeting with Highlands in February 2010 regarding MORE houses they had planned to demolish. In fact she kind of revelled in the fact that it was ALL verbal. When it was pointed out to her that the minutes of a subsequent meeting indicated that Highlands was to put something in writing to confirm what was said, she couldn't even remember that. (and by the way, Highlands of course submitted NOTHING in writing, nor did Melancthon follow up on that undertaking)

Staff reports should be prepared for every issue on which Council will be asked to pass a resolution or bylaw and be posted with the agenda. The reports should contain the issue, the background, the analysis, the recommendation, planning implications and how it meets the provincial growth plan and complies with the PPS, the financial implications and how it ties in with the municipality's strategic plan.

Here are some examples from other municipalities.

Barrie:
http://www.barrie.ca/CDocs/2010/BLD001-101108.pdf
Brampton:
http://www.brampton.ca/en/City-Hall/meetings-agendas/Committee%20of%20Council%202010/20100505cw_F4.pdf

Melancthon Council elect: you are playing with the big boys now about vital issues that are impacting 1,000,000 Ontarians water, your ability to be financially sustainable, to be a viable community-a community in which people want to live. These mega corporations have found your weaknesses. You need to start dealing with them.

Followers