Monday, December 27, 2010
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."
(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:
Saturday, December 25, 2010
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
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.
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:
Bet the Assistant Captain is feeling it today.
PS-we can't afford a YMCA
Monday, December 20, 2010
Click here for the details:
Notice of complete application:
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
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
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/
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
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.
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:
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
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
To date they have demolished or have permits to demolish structures on 30 properties.
Here they are:
 Ferguson West Part of Lot 25, Conc 3 OS
 Jamieson West Part of Lot 26, Conc 3 OS
 Speers East Part of Lot 19, Conc 1 OS
 Whitten Part of Lot 276 277, Conc 1 NE
 Benotto (Tavares) Part of Lot 7, Conc 3 NE
 Wilcox East Part Lot 16, Conc 4 OS
 Earl East Part Lot 19, Conc 4 OS
 Fawcett East Part Lot 19, Conc 3 OS
 Eichhorn East Part Lot 17, Conc 4 OS
 Looby (Chenier) East Part Lot 19, Conc 4 OS
 Richardson West Part Lots 20 &21, Conc 3 OS
 Hurst (Bates) West Part Lot 20, Conc 1 OS
 Parsons East Part Lot 21, Conc 1 OS
 Ferguson West Part Lot 24, conc 2 OS
 Irwin East Part Lot 26, Conc 10, NE
 Mumford West Part Lot 21, Conc 3 OS
 Wilson 5th Line West Part Lot 28, Conc 4 OS
 Irwin West Part Lot 26, Conc 1 OS
 Downey Barn, Lot 15, Conc 4 OS
 Marshall Lot 18, Conc 3 OS
 Laverty, Lot 23, Conc 1 OS
 R. Speers, Lot 19, Conc 1 OS
 P.Downey W Pt Lot 17, Con 3 OS
 Brants garage East Part Lot 20, Conc 1OS
 Travis Pt Lot 277-278 Conc 1SW
 E Downey W Pt Lot 19, Conc 3 OS
 E. Pt. Lot 28, Concession 2 O.S.
 Downey Homestead Cty 124 Lot 19, Conc 2OS
 Dynes Barn W Part Lot 28, Conc. 4 OS
 Martin Barn Pt Lot 9, Conc 5 NE
Clearly wee Mikey can't count. Here is an apparatus he might want to employ.
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?
Thursday, December 9, 2010
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
Sunday, December 5, 2010
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mayor of Shelburne's contact information is:email@example.com
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
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
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: