Sunday, November 28, 2010


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 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


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. 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:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


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:


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

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


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.


Monday, November 22, 2010


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.

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


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


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


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:

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


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


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)

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 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.


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:,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


This will be good news for our Mulmur 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."


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.


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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


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."


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


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:

Here is the entire decision.,Nov12,2010.pdf

And in case you are keeping track:

OMB kills Rockford quarry proposal (James Dick quarry application in Caledon), November 15, 2010

"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.

FORCE:Provincial Order Freezes Zoning To Stop-The-Quarry, April 2010

CARRA:Puslinch Residents Stop Quarry, January 21, 2010

MELON LAKE:Environment Wins over Gravel


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


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.....


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."

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.


Service at 10:00 am at the Shelburne Legion.

Service at the Centotaph at 11:00 am

Sunday, November 7, 2010


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.


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.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


A recount will be held in Melancthon on Monday November 15 @9:00 am at the municipal office.

Who can be in attendance?

The clerk and any other election official appointed for the recount.
Every certified candidate for the office.
For every certified candidate for the office
i. a lawyer, and
ii. one scrutineer for each recount station established by the clerk

Any other person may also be present at the recount with the clerk’s permission

Friday, November 5, 2010


Here is a list of properties and assessment values on which destruction of homes and structures occurred (or is scheduled to occur) on Highland properties in 2008/2009/2010:

[1] Ferguson West Part of Lot 25, Concession 3 OS $289,750
[2] Jamieson West Part of Lot 26, Concession 3 OS $276,250
[3] Speers East Part of Lot 19, Concession 1 OS $332,500 (2010 $352,000)
[4] Whitten Part of Lot 276 & 277, Concession 1 NE Assessment: $261,500.00
[5] Benotto (Tavares) Part of Lot 7, Concession 3 NE $334,250
[6] Wilcox East Part Lot 16, Concession 4 OS, $179,500
[7] Earl East Part Lot 19, Concession 4 OS $210,500
[8] Fawcett East Part Lot 19, Concession 3 OS $228,000 (2010 $243,000)
[9] Eichhorn East Part Lot 17, Concession 4 OS $199,250[
10] Looby (Chenier) East Part Lot 19, Concession 4 OS $185,750
[11] Richardson West Part Lots 20 & 21, Concession 3 OS $210,750
[12] Hurst (Bates) West Part Lot 20, Concession 1 OS $198,500
[13] Parsons East Part Lot 21, Concession 1 OS $304,250
[14] Ferguson West Part Lot 24, concession 2 OS $238,750
[15] Irwin East Part Lot 26, Concession 10, NE $ 168,000 (2010 $181,000)
[16] Mumford West Part Lot 21, Concession 3 OS $107,250
[17] Wilson 5th Line West Part Lot 28, Concession 4 OS $198,500
[18] Irwin West Part Lot 26, Concession 1 OS $211,000
[19] Downey Barn, Lot 15, Conc 4 OS $440,000
[20] Marshall Lot 18, Conc 3 OS $221,000
[21] Laverty, Lot 23, Conc 1 OS $311,500
[22] P.Downey W Pt Lot 17, Con 3 OS $265,000
[23] Brants garage East Part Lot 20, Conc 1OS $300,501
[24] Travis Pt Lot 277-278 Conc 1SW $208,000
[25] E Downey W Pt Lot 19, Conc 3 OS $344,000
[26] E. Pt. Lot 28, Concession 2 O.S. $177,500
[27] Downey Homestead Cty 124 Lot 19, Conc 2OS $198,000

At the February 4, 2010 meeting of Council, after dozens of letters and personal pleas for a demolition control bylaw the minutes show:

"The Mayor acknowledged the several submissions received regarding the draft (demolition) by-law and advised that she, the CAO, Township Lawyer and Planner met with John Lowndes and his solicitor regarding the draft by-law and the Township's concerns were put forth.

The Highland Companies have three outstanding permits and have agreed to stop demolition after this and she would like to see this in writing from the Highland Companies. She advised that one of the homes is going to be donated to the museum. A report from out solicitor regarding the meeting is forthcoming."

To date, and lets be clear it is now November 5, 2010, no solicitors report has been forthcoming, NOR, according to the Mayor yesterday did Highlands ever put something in writing that they would destroy ONLY three more homes.