Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
Duplicitous Daniher, he of Highland Companies fame, must have been spending too much time in Boston at the hedgefund company that is financing this proposed 2,400 acre, 200 foot open pit limestone mine, because he doesn't seem familiar with the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association that we Canadians enjoy.
At the museum meeting this past week Daniher actually said:
"...looking at the opposition expressed to the application, nearly every one of the writers in opposition....has a self interest in matters beyond the application before you this evening. Out of 10 letters in opposition, at least 6 are from members of NDACT....others are from neighbours who are in discussions to sell their land...."
And for good measure he also accused people of "making up meeting minutes" so to avoid that little accusation here, his words are on tape and can be confirmed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hi-Xy4bgQ2k
In my mind, Highland's twisted logic appears to be if you are a Canadian citizen, but you happen to belong to some organization, any objection you make to anything should be discounted, even though the Charter of Rights and Freedoms give you the right to free association.
Lets insert another word in Daniher's little speech and see if it makes sense:
"Out of ten letters in opposition, at least six are from members of" (take out the word NDACT and insert one of the following)
Muslim Canadian Congress
You get the drift. It doesn't matter if you belong to any organization (as long as the organization does not exist to install hate or fear), be it PETA, Muslim Canadian Congress or NDACT. Well apparently it does matter to Highlands.
He actually sounded like a kid in the principals office tattletelling because he is being picked on. Reality is, he started it!!!!!!
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Be sure you check out Daniher (he is the guy in the yellow shirt standing next to the decidedly uncomfortable local boy Bruce Wilson, the VP of everything Highlands and oh yes wife, I mean husband of Mavy baby) raging about the entire community picking on poor old Highlands.
Firstly Melancthon Council for finally considering passing a demolition control bylaw under Section 33 of the Planning Act. Too little, too late, but there appears to be some recognition by them that 20 homesteads wiped from the face of the earth (and tax base) by Highland Companies is NOT a good thing for their community.
ALSO Melancthon Council submitted a letter of objection to the Museum committee who was considering Highlands request to clear cut ANOTHER 7 acres of trees to add to their 7,500 acre farming operation. (I guess it is pretty marginal farming at 7,500 acres, can't make money unless you farm 7,507 acres).
Then KUDOS to the Museum Board committee who turned down the request by Highlands to clear cut the said 7 acres of trees. Here is hoping that the "NO" recommendation as approved by the committee is supported at the February 11, 2010 meeting of County Council.
It looks optomistic though. Perhaps County Council has taken heed to the warning signs being emitted by Highlands that they are not the benevolent good ole boy farmers they would like elected officials to believe.
And in fact perhaps all Councils at all levels are realizing that objectors to Highlands grand plans, including private citizens as well as NDACT are not in fact fear mongering and exaggerating and on a vendetta to destroy Highlands, but rather on a mission to protect our water, farmland and environment and to do that political leadership is needed.
And finally KUDOS to County Council, who passed a resolution requesting the Ontario Federation of Agricultural (OFA) do a policy statement review and propose changes that would see specialty soils and classes 1 through 3 farmland deemed as a strategic resource. The OFA has endorsed this resolution.
Two thumbs up!!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I then went on to state: I have to make the assumption that the money for this study went to the County, you know the one from whom Highlands wants to purchase the rail line...
Well, apparently no one from the County or the Township of Melancthon or Mulmur or, well, actually anyone in the community (you know, for whom this study was undertaken to benefit) has seen this study that was funded by Highlands and listed under community involvement.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
If you want to see something really sickening, take a look at this link on u-tube and watch as Highland Companies (you know those benevolent farmers who only have OUR best interests in mind) razes house, after house, after house after house in Melancthon, bulldozing and burning as they go.
Think about it, how many parties as a teenager you attended in these homes, how many sleepovers, how many family Xmas's and birthdays how many births and deaths and weddings (and shivarees) were celebrated in these former homes? All gone in the interests of a Boston based hedgefund company's profits.
NOTE: YOU WILL NEED HIGH SPEED FOR THIS AND A STRONG STOMACH
Also at the link are all the speakers from NDACT's meeting on January 16, 2010. If you are depressed after watching the homes being destroyed, watch Carl's speech for a little pick me upper.
Monday, January 25, 2010
The Ontario Municipal Board this week ruled against aggregate giant Capital Paving, which had sought permission to establish a gravel pit off Downey Road just beyond Guelph’s southern limits.
For instance, did you know that:
On average, meals in the K-W region, despite being surrounded by farms, travel more than 4000 kilometers to get to the table.
In the second half of the 20th century, Ontario paved over 49% of its prime farmland.
Watch the video and learn more:
And don't forget, Highlands is proposing to take another 2,400 acres of prime agricultural farmland out of commission.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Hi-lite from the article: "The public’s right to participate in decision-making over matters of public interest is a cornerstone of our democratic system. Efforts aimed at suppressing this right should be discouraged by the Ontario Legislature and other public agencies. The ECO sees a need for provincial legislation that would put both sides of development disputes on equal footing. Such legislation could serve to halt SLAPP suits in their tracks. It also could provide a means for the public to access financial and other resources in order to exercise their participatory rights in planning approvals and other contexts that have a significant bearing on the environment."
Lets see. On the Highlands website under community involvement it states: Funding a study to identify ways of reducing snowdrifting on County Road 124. (here is the link: http://www.highlandcompanies.ca/index.php/community/)
Oh, the irony. Highlands has done more in the past year to INCREASE drifting on 124 through their demolition and destruction of a number of homes, structures and trees along the road.
I have to make the assumption that the money for this study went to the County, you know the one from whom Highlands wants to purchase the rail line...
If someone wants to email the County (email@example.com) and ask for a copy of the report and the cost of the study and then post it under comments that would be wonderful.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
SLAPP is a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) 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.
The 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.
For more details check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SLAPP
So, do we think it is just a matter of time before Highlands SLAPPs somebody?
On the other hand, if they do SLAPP someone, it might the catalyst the community needs to rise up. If one of their own comes under attack for exercising their right to free speech as guaranteed by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it might be the best thing ever and a HUGE public relations opportunity for those in opposition to this 2,400 acre 200 foot open pit limestone mine.
Friday, January 22, 2010
On the other hand, this SHOULD be public information that is posted on Melancthon's website, like most other municipalities in Ontario, however Melancthon Council seems to have a little bit of problem recognizing what the public is entitled to know. More on that later.
Melancthon resident Bart Malloy has filed papers to run for a Council position and I assume everyone who lives in Melancthon received a flier from him as my partner and I did.
To Mr. Malloy's credit, he is NOT running in opposition to one issue. He is running, according to his flier, on a platform of New Leadership, New Ideas and A Vision for the Future. That is a pretty big thing. A one issue candidate, well, is a one issue candidate. We need big thinkers with big ideas and a vision for the future.
A vision for the future is something the current Council clearly lacks. They are in their fourth year of a four year term, and with the exception of Councillor Elliott have all served on Council for term after term after term and yet not ONE strategic plan has ever been developed by the sitting members of the current Council in any of their terms. This is something most Council's do within months of an election and it is the guideline or map so to speak as to what will happen in the next four years. For Council to even consider this now, to spend the money on a strat plan would be a waste. The plan needs to be the tool by which the Council and staff operate over the term of Council. It is laughable to think the majority of this current Council will be in office on December 1, 2010 (inaugural day).
NOR is their Official Plan up to date or even in compliance with provincial legislation or policies. This is NOT the fault of their planner. Council's job is to set policy and staff are to implement it -Council is to monitor staff to ensure their policies are implemented. Council should NOT be involved in discussions around the Council table at meetings about the size of office desks or whether rims should be on or OFF tires before taking them to the dump. That is the job of staff.
Who can blame the current planner? If I could make up to $70,000.00 a year in "consulting fees" as Melancthon's planner does and never set foot in the office (until June of 2009 and then only one day a month) or even ensure the municipality is in compliance with provincial planning legislation, who wouldn't want that job? You can bet your boots, however, if the roads weren't being ploughed by our roads employees, Council would be all over them in a minute.
To be fair to Deputy Hill, who is running for Mayor of Melancthon in the October 2010 municipal election, he has a much longer track record to criticize, but that is the nature of politics. The new candidates come in with a clean slaight to so speak.
I suspect, however, between now and October 25, 2010 Mr. Malloy will be asked to state publically his position on the 2,400 acre, 200 foot open pit limestone mine being proposed by the Highland Companies as well as his proposal to battle it.
Hope he is ready and up for the challenge.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
"Duplicitous - marked by deliberate deceptiveness"
Hm......makes me think of a new feature for the blog.Once a week I will post some "untruth" or "misspeak" or "untruthiness" that has been issued from the mouth of John Lowndes and/or Michael Daniher.
If neither EVER utters another word I will still have enough material for the next year.
So, watch for the new weekly feature, called Duplicitous Daniher or Lying Lowndes.
"Reassign" the one reporter who actually would show up and report on meetings and events and have Wes the Crypt Keeper Keller just phone it in.
Last week on the front page of the Free Press they listed the date of the NDACT meeting incorrectly, got the location right though-Honeywood arena.
This week in the Orangeville Citizen editoral they report on the "standing room crowd only on the ice surface" Now I was at that meeting and I can tell you two things.
FIRST- there was no reporter from the Free Press/Citizen there;
SECOND: I was NOT standing on the ice surface. Had I been I would have been mowed down by the hockey players and zamboni.
One thing they got right-it was a standing room only crowd. See previous posts for meeting highlights.
Another stellar job Wes and Tom.
For the entire article, see this link
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Highlights? I am not sure where to start, so lets start at the beginning.
Quotes by Carl:
"...charter of rights and freedoms (should be) replaced with charter of rights and responsibilities..."
"...this pending quarry application is preying on our community like cancer...(this) disease if you will has not been invited into our community, (it) just manifests itself, for one purpose...by self delusion of its own survival, it will kill its hosts..."
"divide and conquer"
"they have more local politicians in "conflict of interest" dilemmas than a functioning County Council can afford to have..."
"....(politicians) LEAD and we will be there to support..."
MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE: "liars is what I call them here today"
"...so I ask you to stand up and be counted..."
THEN this is where some people after the meeting said they were uncomfortable.
"...the late Clayton Daniher (Michael Daniher, Highlands spokesperson's fathers) wish was, that in lieu of flowers, folks would donate to a cause protecting the environment...."
My personal observation: "Oh the irony!!"
All I can say, is if you were uncomfortable with this comment, you must not been to a Council meeting where Daniher, Highlands spokesperson has:
threatened to make a complaint to the Press Council against a local reporter, in my opinion, in an attempt to silence their opposition to Highlands grand plans;
tried to intimidate a ratepayer for making a personal call from their employer's phone on their private time in opposition to Highlands YMCA;
tried to force you to sell your farmstead to them by buying out your seed debt;
accused you in the press that you were opposing this application because you were just a greedy farmer and Highlands wouldn't buy your land and you are opposing the mine out of spite;
threatened your Council with suing them from here to kingdom come for attempting to pass a bylaw to stop the demolition and destruction of 20 homesteads....
I do not speak for anyone but myself, but I say Kudos to Carl!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
He pointed out the Federal government is advising that climate shift is threatening water resources-storms will be more severe, the land drier so the water runs off the surface rather than recharging the water sources.
He advised that NAFTA allows companies to sue for loss of profits. For instance Quebec implemented a pesticide ban and a pesticide company is now suing Quebec for loss of profits. If you start shipping aggregate and then stop you can be sued.
Do not expect a fair deal at the OMB;
He warned about SLAPP's (more on that in another post)
Engage the community in a fun way, people must enjoy the battle and have a sense of pride in bringing this issue to the forefront;
Do not rule out civil disobedience;
He advised forming a Chapter of the Council of Canadians in this area as it would bring a broader focus to the issue.
Diane Lister, the Vice President of Trent University gave an update on a new organization forming out of NDACT, CORE and MC2. She acknowledged the great work NDACT has done and that this umbrella organization would work in conjunction with NDACT and shoulder some of the burden with resources.
Dini Petty, television personalty and resident of Mulmur spoke about being a "newcomer" to the area, having lived here only 12 years. She said her house is still referred to as the former owners house and when she dies, then it will be known as the Petty house.
She stated in her role as a reporter she had covered alot of these protests but this is the first time she has stood up on the opposing side. She noted "they" are counting on people to shut up and go away and that she for one, will not do that.
She warned that apathy will lose the battle and encouraged everyone to get engaged.
Tomorrow-closing comments from Carl Cosack and questions and answers
Monday, January 18, 2010
Media were there, including CTV and Rogers. Michael Daniher, spokesperson for Highlands (hi!!) taped every word. And of course the Shelburne Free Press was NOT there, but that would be because they got the date of the meeting incorrect in their paper. Wes was probably there the next day, and now will be reporting that there is such a decided lack of interest that no one showed up.
Mayor Fawcettl lost a niece and was at her funeral and to be fair, the location was not accessible and Councillor Kumprey was not there. Deputy Mayor Hill, Councillor Elliott and Councillor Crowe were all there and their attendance was appreciated and noted. Mayor Fawcett, so sorry for your loss.
There were several speakers, so each day I am going to profile one and their message.
The first person to speak was Stephen Ogden. He has been fighting Site 41 for 27 years. His message was one of hope and to never give up. I am sure over those 27 years he had various government officials, the press, neighbours and probably former friends tell him to give it up, it is a done deal. Where have we heard that before? Where have I heard that before? From government officials, the press, neighbours and some former friends.
It turned out, however, he was right. The "science" behind Site 41, that the proponents, the Ministry of Environment, the hydrogeologists, the planners and everyone told him was sound, turned out, well not to be so sound.
As Stephen pointed out in his speech, the MOE can only peer review what is provided to them....guess who is doing the tests to provide to the MOE? Well, the proponent of course. Do you think they are going to provide faulty data? You would think not, but that appears to be what happened in Site 41's case, but no one, without Stephen Ogden's dogged search for the truth would have known that before it was too late.
Is his battle over? No, but onward he soldiers.
Check out Site 41's website for the latest news wherein the MOE has admitted there DOES appear to be a problem with the science and they might have been wrong in supporting the studies all along:
Tomorrow: Council of Canadians highlights.
Watch for it Mike!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Expediency asks the question...is it politic?
Vanity asks the question...is it popular?
But conscience asks the question...is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right."
~Dr. Martin Luther King
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
In 2007 a news article appeared about 401 Energy in which it was reported that two small wind farms in North Dufferin were being proposed. John Lowndes name was mentioned in the article as being a major owner of these lands, although, as usual, he was unavailable for comment. But the fact that the reporter contacted him, would make me think he was well aware of 401 Energy.
See the article: http://www.citizen.on.ca/news/2007-04-19/Regional_News/Wind_farms_feature_local_ownership.html
At the January 7, 2010 meeting of Council, Highlands forwarded a November 2009 news release from 401 Energy to be posted on the agenda (attached at this link http://www.401energy.com/home.html). Then they submitted the following questions:
Does Council support this 3,500 acre windfarm
Can Council identify where it is to be located
How does it contribute to the community. (NOW THAT IS RICH COMING FROM THEM, BUT I digress.....)
SO...here is what is curious.
Why is Highlands so interested?
Either they own the land themselves and are proposing the 3,500 acre wind turbine farm and used question period as a was of "releasing" the 401 new release OR....
Since blasting and dust created from a 2,400 acre 200 foot deep open pit limestone mine would not be helpful to the motors and structures of wind turbines, they are not happy to see this proceed.
Any other theories?
And in case you are wondering, yes, Council knew nothing about it and according to the Deputy Dawg, it was the "provinces fault" and we, NOT Council, should be writing the province.
And thanks to an anon tipster for this.
Addendum: ANOTHER anon tipster 100% guarantees that Highlands is NOT connected with 401 Energy.
Well, well, well. That is curious.
What is the Province going to do?
First they have a policy that says aggregate is more important than, well everything. BUT they also have a policy that favours Green Energy over, well, everything.
This will be interesting to see how this turns out and to watch Ferret Face Daniher squirm.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Why did I report that? Well because it had been listed on their December 17 agenda and posted on their website that comments were required on or before January 4.
AND the bylaw was listed on the January 7 agenda.
Well, sorry to get everyones hopes up, but here is what actually transpired:
Highlands obtained 3 more demolition/burn permits in December, bringing their total to 20;
Nominations opened January 4 and Bill Hill filed his nomination papers for Mayor and sent out a two page information sheet to all voters, I mean ratepayers in Melancthon advising why he could provide the LEADERSHIP needed in Melancthon;
Comments were received at the January 7 meeting of Council from ratepayers supporting the demolition control bylaw and one letter from Highlands highly paid Bay Street lawfirm threatening to sue Melancthon from here to kingdom come if they pursed the demolition control bylaw;
Council, who clearly were more swayed by the threats of a lawsuit, than letters of support from their ratepayers decided to "defer" passing the bylaw until more comments were received.
In my opinion, Council is holding off until Highlands gets all the permits they need to blast, burn and bulldoze everything they own, THEN Council will pass the demolition control bylaw saying, see, we provided leadership and did what ratepayers ask....and oh yeah, please vote for me.
Remember, Council was asked months and months ago to implement this bylaw and our Mayoralty Candidate Hill advised it would not work and ratepayers were wrong. Well clearly, it has struck a nerve with Highlands, who knows what all of us, except Council seems to, that there are ways to fight this in advance of an application.
Perhaps Highlands should run for Mayor-they know more than the current countil and they already really run the show.
Monday, January 11, 2010
1 acre of farmland is lost - non renewable
1 acre of aggregate is lost - non renewable
land in the development area is paved over-once it is paved/built on, it never goes back to its original use
Do we need aggregate-yes, of course we do.
Do we need to be more thoughtful of the way in which aggregate is used?
Think about this: at the west end of Orangeville there is a mega grocery store, that used to be a Garden IGA (in the same plaza where the beer store is). It is sitting empty. It was occupied for less than 10 years. I wonder how much aggregate went into that little construction project.
The Dairy Queen at the east end of Orangeville-lease came due, Dairy Queen moved to a newly constructed building (wonder how much aggregate was used there) and their old location was bulldozed (wonder how much aggregate was used there).
These big box stores are constructed with about a 25 year life span.
Many of the houses that Highlands just bulldozed and burnt had stood for almost 100 years. Think about that.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
(NOTE: THE TWO PAGE FLIER IS TOO DETAILED TO OFFER A REBUTTAL ON EVERY STATEMENT HE MAKES SO I AM PICKING OUT THE ONES I FIND THE MOST OFFENSIVE/PUZZLING/TROUBLING)
Where to start? Where NOT to start?
Firstly he makes a statement in bold, advising the activities in his life are driven by three very basic beliefs:
Knowledge is power – I would have to agree
If you don’t tell lies you don’t need a good memory – well I would also have to agree with that
What goes around comes around –WHAT??? Hold on.... What the hell does that mean? Is he out for vengeance against anyone who has crossed him or spoke out against his decisions (or lack of them) on Council this term?
But wait, the next statement he makes sounds promising: “Some residents have been critical of the decisions that Council has made this term. In some instances the criticism could be justified."
Well there you go. Sounds like perhaps he has learned something over the past few months about humility, grace and respecting ratepayers.
Oh, but wait, the next statement clears up THAT misconception because he states: “As with anything there are two sides to every story”.
Right. I would presume that would be the ratepayer’s version and then the CORRECT version being that of Mr. Hill.
He is going to offer a travelling road show beginning in March to LISTEN to VOTERS, I mean ratepayers concerns. Wow, that will be a change.
This is the same Deputy Mayor who, when challenged by any ratepayer on inaction by this Council in taking steps IN ADVANCE of an aggregate application to better position Council in fighting this mine, would make statements like, "I am personally offended by (fill in the blank)"....or better still take the time to put his offended feelings in writing, telling the ratepayer(s) over and over again why he couldn’t do anything about anything, because well, EVERYTHING was the fault of the province and local Councils had no authority.
Well then, what do we need a local Council for?
In fact I have personally heard Mr. Hill state on numerous occasions in Council meetings that ratepayers should be writing to the provincial government to object to what they are doing.
I am sorry, but I thought it was a politicians role to actually do some politicking. The Deputy Mayor had the opportunity at OGRA/ROMA in Feb 2009 and AMO in August 2009 to request meetings with all Ministers in all Ministries to bring the issue of the open pit mine and what Highlands is doing to the community and applying pressure to the provincial government to change their aggregate policies. Did he do this – NO HE DID NOT.
Finally he states: “I can apply effective leadership”. I guess he can only do that if he is elected as Mayor of Melancthon, which would mean he can’t provide effective leadership until December 2010.
Why do I think he has to wait? Well he has been on Council for term after term after term and has done NOTHING to support ratepayers in their concern with what Highlands is doing.
EXAMPLES??? Let me give you three:
Nine proven violations of the County tree cutting bylaw by Highlands in Melancthon Township and Mayor Hill did not move a resolution at County Council to fine Highlands. Well, to be fair, he wasn’t even actually at the meeting, skipped out. He refused to support ratepayers requests for a local tree cutting byaw.
Took the position in January 2009 that he would NOT be attending the meeting in Honeywood that was organized by concerned ratepayers and farmers to discuss the issue of Highlands because he was not PERSONALLY invited. He had only received a notice in his mailbox, like every one else. It was ONLY after raising public pressure and anger by ratepayers that he decided to attend what turned out to be a meeting attended by more than 400 concerned citizens.
He refused to support ratepayers requests for a demolition control bylaw to stop Highlands destruction of the community in Melancthon. In fact he stated the ratepayer who suggested this solution was WRONG. Finally after 20 permits were issued to Highlands for demolition of century homesteads, THEN he decides to do something. Coincidentally it was at the beginning of an election year.
He should use the same catchphrase for his campaign slogan that he utters in Council ad nauseum which is: – we can’t say no to anything or else we will have to go to the OMB.
His biggest success this term??
I would have to say it is a tie between belitting and shutting down ratepayers who ask questions at Council meetings OR voting to protect Melancthon from the invasive species, Giant Hogsweed.
I just can't decide.
Since Council woke up in December and decided to consider passing a demolition control bylaw (must have realized it was an election year), Highlands not only issued a letter to Council threatening a legal challenge over the bylaw, they also ran out and got THREE more burn/demolition permits.
West Part Lot 18, Concession 3 O.S. Total Assessment 205,500
West Part Lot 23, Concession 1 O.S. Total Assessment 288,750
East Part Lot 19, Concession 2 O.S. Total Assessment 242,750
Brings their total up to 20. Nicely done.
Remember, salary doesn't vary, but they get an additional stipend for each of the committees on which they sit. Mileage varys for each as well.
Mayor County salary $14,466.29
Melancthon Salary - $13,148.28
D Mayor County salary $5,140.00
Melancthon salary - $8,519.90
Salary - $8,217.78
Meetings 2,520.00 (can vary between each Council member)
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
When Highlands begain their systematic destruction of century homesteads in Melancthon in 2008, ratepayers begged and pleaded with Council to enact a simple bylaw under Section 33 of the Planning Act to negate the damages to the tax base, the loss of cultural and heritage homes and the community.
Section 33, in a nutshell states, that in order to demolish something, you must first obtain a building permit to erect something else.
Council, and their highly paid planner insisted this would NOT work. Finally, after permits had been issued to Highlands for the destruction of 17 century homesteads (UPDATE: As of December 31, 2009 there was a total of 20 permits issued) Council obtained an opinion from yet another planner who stated that yes, they should enact this bylaw to protect the interests of all ratepayers. This matter is to be considered at the January 7, 2010 meeting.
Highland Companies...you must remember them...the benevolent owners of much of the prime agricultural land in Melancthon, who want to establish a 2,400 acre, 200 foot open pit mine and rail line to ship the stuff out of the country...the deep pockets who paid for a fridge at the Hornings Mills Hall, a zamboni, clock at the arena, the Stanley cup day in Honeywood and who want to bring you a $12 million YMCA in the town of Shelburne...the guys who only want what is good and right for Melancthon, like 400 "local"jobs, etc. etc.....the guys who are going to establish a carbon neutral 2,400 acre, 200 foot open pit mine with NO impact on water or the environment....you know....those guys...?????
Well they sent a letter to the Township of Melancthon that threatens legal action if Council passes the bylaw. Why?? Well clearly this slows down their destruction of Melancthon as we know it.
This is NOT an attack on Council, this is an attack on EVERY SINGLE ratepayer in the Township of Melancthon.
Click on this link and go to page 3 for the vile letter from their solicitors, Goodmans: http://melancthontownship.ca/10council/unfinished.jan7.pdf
Their letter ends by stating:
"In conclusion, we believe that demolition control in Melancthon is unnecessary, contrary to Township Policy, potentially subject to legal challenge, and an unfair and discriminatory cost on its taxpayers."
I say, bullshit..
I also say, please support the ratepayers of Melancthon in this battle, by supporting and encouraging Council to fight this blackmail at ALL costs.
Send your emails in support of Council addressed to Mayor and Council at: firstname.lastname@example.org
And if at all possible, attend the Council meeting this Thursday January 7 at 9:00 a.m and offer your support.
You do NOT have to be a ratepayer to support this cause-you just have to someone who cares about your water source, your food source and your future.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
July 2009 – ratepayer brings extensive information to Council regarding water issues related to mines and in Melancthon in general
August 2009 – Delegation to Council regarding passing a bylaw under Section 33 of the Planning Act to stop demolition of structures. Council took no action and in fact said the information being presented by ratepayers was not true
Aug 2009 – Delegation to Council with a menu of options and steps to take action PRIOR to an application being filed
Sept 2009 – Council holds a public meeting with Ministry representatives in attendance
Sept 2009 - Highlands continues to demolish and burn structures including century homes
Sept - Dec 2009 - Melancthon citizens lobby against a YMCA until it is determined how much it will cost Melancthon ratepayers and how it will impact the existing Honeywood arena
Dec 2009 – Municipal Planner Jorden advises in a letter to ratepayers that Section 33 will NOT stop the demolition of existing homes
Dec 2009 – Council pays for an opinion from another planner and asks for public input on a bylaw under Section 33 of the Planning Act to stop the demolition of homes
Dec 2009 – Court of appeals at Osgoode Hall hears Orangeville’s appeal on railway conflict of interest-defers decision to 2010. Large presence of Highlands lawyers in attendance, who sat very close to Orangeville lawyers and conferred during breaks
Dec 2009 – The lobbyist organization Ontario Sand and Gravel Association, who advocates on behalf of aggregate operations, attends a Melancthon Council meeting on the invitation of the Mayor and offers to assist Council through Highlands process
To date Highlands has NOT filed for an aggregate license.
Friday, January 1, 2010
This little guy kinda reminds you of minion Mikey, doesn't it?
2006-2009 – Lowndes/Highlands purchases large tracts of prime agricultural land in Melancthon, under the guise of “merely having the world’s largest potato operation”. They pay about $1-$2,000 an acre above the going rate. To date Highland, under a variety of numbered companies, owns about 6,000-7,000 acres of prime agricultural land in Melancthon
2007 – Highlands begins clear cutting thousands and thousands of trees in contravention of the County tree cutting bylaw
2007-2009 – citizens make repeated calls to the County regarding the illegal tree cutting. County staff reply to all complaints that there is nothing untoward going on
2008- Orangeville signs an agreement with Highlands to sell their portion of the rail line for $5 million, contingent on Orangeville “ensuring” that a portion of the rail line that Orangeville does not own (but the County does) gets sold to Highlands. Orangeville stands to realize an additional $2 million to ensure this sale happens. Note: Orangeville has a weighted vote at the County and as a result has the required votes at County to ensure this happens
Aug 2008 – Highlands demolishes the first of 17 homes, and takes all unsorted refuge, including insulation, wiring, glass, brick, appliances to the Melancthon landfill. Mayor Fawcett denies at a public meeting in July 2009 that the house went to the landfill
Aug 2008 – a group of concerned ratepayers attend Melancthon council re: demolition of houses and business transactions between elected officials and Lowndes
Aug 2008 – a private citizen makes a presentation to Council about their options to fight the proposed open pit mine. Council takes NO ACTION
2009 – The County commences an action against Orangeville regarding the rail issue, claiming Orangeville has a conflict of interest due to the $2 million “side deal”
Jan 2009 – a group of concerned farmers and ratepayers hold a meeting in Honeywood attended by more than 300 concerned ratepayers. The North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Taskforce (NDACT) is formed. Highland spokesperson is asked about their intentions and he NEVER reveals a 2,400 acre, 200 foot open pit mine
Jan 2009 – a private citizen begins a campaign to have Melancthon Council post agenda items in advance of meetings. Council responds with a legal opinion from Osyany stating that would be a violation of privacy issues. The ratepayer responds with a $2,400.00 legal opinion from George Rust’D’Eye that in fact Melancthon MUST post agendas to be in compliance with the Municipal Act, 2001. Council starts posting agendas
Feb 2009 – immediately after NDACT’s January meeting in Honeywood, at which it was revealed by a ratepayer that in fact Lowndes/Highlands has been in touch with at least 3 provincial ministries regarding his plans for an open pit mine, Highlands issues a news release stating they have never denied their intention of searching for aggregates.
Feb – June 2009 – NDACT lobby’s Melancthon Council and County Council regarding illegal tree cutting pursuant to the County’s bylaw. Melancthon washes their hands. NDACT proves to the County that Highlands contravened the tree cutting bylaw NINE times, but Council decides not to fine Highlands.
Feb – June 2009 – NDACT lobby’s Melancthon Council to move the “impacted lands” into a special agricultural designation. Council refuses to consider the request.
Apr 2009 – County gets a ruling that Orangeville is violating the Municipal Conflict of Interest legislation regarding the “deal” on the rail line.
Apr 2009 – John Lowndes of Highland Companies invited to attend a meeting of Council to defend the number of local jobs that were included in Highlands DVD that was sent out-to date has never showed his face inside the municipal building since that time.
May 2009 – Melancthon issues Highlands the second of what will be a total of 17 permits to demolish century homes and barns. At a public meeting in June Highland spokesperson stated the homes were all declared unfit (the Building Inspector denies this) and further states Highlands the number of homes they will be taking down will be “less than double digits”
May 2009 – Highland advises they will be filing for an aggregate license within 3-6 months
June 2009 – NDACT holds a public meeting attended by more than 400 individuals.