Friday, September 30, 2011


Put your offer to purchase in now.....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


If you want to see an amazing site, visit Portland Ct. USA.  There you will see an abandoned brownstone quarry.  It is visually massive and yet it is only 37 acres by 80 feet and it is filled with water now. 

From Wikipedia:
"Quarrying on this site began in 1690 by James Stanclift, who contracted with the town of Middletown to build stonework in exchange for a deed of land. Commercial quarrying started in 1783 when the Brainerd Quarry Company began operations. During the peak of the brownstone era, more than 1500 workers were employed by the quarries, which shipped stone on their own ships for eight months out of the year.[5] Proceeds from the quarrying business were deeded to Wesleyan University from 1833 through 1884, and stone from the quarries was used to build many campus buildings.[6] As tastes in buildings shifted, and concrete became the material of choice, the demand for brownstone declined. A flood in 1936 and a hurricane in 1938 flooded the quarries, ending their operations.[5] All efforts to drain the flooded quarries have been unsuccessful; one theory is that the floods opened some underground springs, making it impossible to effectively drain the quarries.[6]"

Wikipedia needs to be updated because the Managing Director of Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park advised recently that they have come to the understanding that the quarry flooded when the Connecticut river came up and over the 500 year flood mark (the road) during the 1938 hurricane. They have seen pictures that show the quarry flooded within 30 minutes from the time the water breached the road.

I am SURE Baupost, aka Klarman, aka Highland Companies knows about this because Portland Ct is just a stone's throw from Boston.

Now we all know what can happen.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Gravel Watch's question to all leaders in the October 6 provincial election:

Will your party commit to undertaking a comprehensive and transparent review of the aggregate policy and regulatory framework in Ontario if you were to form the next Provincial Government? a nutshell, lots of verbage from everyone except the conservatives who's official message was:  declined to answer.

If you think Sylvia deserves YOUR vote, please read this again and again.


Just like the advanced warning system on Lost in Space, whenever Will was in trouble "WARNING WARNING WILL ROBINSON" mines must have warning systems.

This is an article about a system gone wrong and more importantly about a system that doesn't seem that hi-tec or infallable:
However, several business owners in a commercial strip mall about a kilometre downhill from the gravel pit said Mid-Island Aggregates makes a habit of warning them when blasting is scheduled, but issued no such advisory this week.Normally they’ll phone us the day before to tell us they’ll be blasting, but this time they didn’t, which is unusual,” said Doug Nestor, who owns a Nutri-Lawn franchise in the mall.  Steve Cross, owner of South Shawnigan Auto & Marine a few doors away, said previous blasting in the gravel pit has been preceded by, and followed by, a warning signal he described as “three loud beeps,” something that did not occur on Tuesday.

Well no wonder Highlands has been burning and blasting the housing stock in Melancthon, that many less people to put on their speed dial to "warn" them eight times a day, seven days a week (NOT stat holidays) between the hours of 10 and 3 about an impending blast.

Wonder who calls when something goes wrong?

Sunday, September 25, 2011


If you aren't sure who Hill of Beans and Knowlton are, they are the PR guru's who replaced Daniher.

Big stupid and insane projects takes big spin, takes big PR, and takes big money.  Like the American government OR someone with more money, like Seth Klarman.

Here are some hi-lites/low-lites from Hill of Beans and Knowlton's campaigns:

Excerpts from Mother of All Wars
"If and when a shooting war starts, reporters will begin to wonder why American soldiers are dying for oil-rich sheiks," warned Hal Steward, a retired army PR official. "The US military had better get cracking to come up with a public relations plan that will supply the answers the public can accept."71
Steward needn't have worried. A PR plan was already in place, paid for almost entirely by the "oil-rich sheiks" themselves.
The man running Hill & Knowlton's Washington office was Craig Fuller, one of Bush's closest friends and inside political advisors. The news media never bothered to examine Fuller's role until after the war had ended, but if America's editors had read the PR trade press, they might have noticed this announcement, published in O'Dwyer's PR Services before the fighting began: "Craig L. Fuller, chief of staff to Bush when he was vice-president, has been on the Kuwaiti account at Hill & Knowlton since the first day. For more click here:

Hill & Knowlton's Maldives Role Still Generating Heat
H&K's lead consultant on the account, Tim Fallon, is saying nothing. It appears that Fallon, who posted a blog in October 2006 defending his work for the regime, blogs no more.

Risky Business: The World According to Hill & Knowlton
"Risk communication is about two things," Buckmaster said (Chairman and General Manager Thomas Buckmaster) "scaring people into action and trying to reassure them into inaction." Although corporate crisis management focuses on "reassuring into inaction," he noted noted that PR firms are sometimes hired to inflame rather than downplay fears.

Corporate Think Tank Dives into Water Policy
"I have, for many years now, believed that water is the greatest environmental challenge facing the world in the 21st century," Whitman stated, in a speech at WPI's inaugural meeting.  The Water Policy Institute's chair is former New Jersey governor and Environmental Protection Agency head Christine Todd Whitman. After leaving the EPA, Whitman founded her own public relations firm. The Whitman Strategy Group's clients include FMC Corporation, a chemical and pesticide manufacturer; the oil company Chevron's Environmental Management Company; and the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), an industry lobby group. Since 2006, Whitman has co-chaired the NEI-funded and Hill & Knowlton-managed Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, a pro-nuclear front group.

Hill & Knowlton Uses Environmentalists to Peddle Coppertone
The thinning ozone layer leaves us exposed to increasing Ultra Violet (UV) radiation, increasing skin cancer deaths, cataracts and damaged immune systems. Bad news? Not if you are the drug transnational Schering-Plough, or its PR firm, Hill & Knowlton.
Hill & Knowlton's Nina Oligino has persuaded some national environmental groups to add their names to the "Partner" letterhead, including Friends of the Earth, National Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club.

Way more, click here:

And thanks to for the lead on this.


Most of us are haunted by Seth and Lowndes, with their absolutely stupid idea of a 2,300 hundred 200 feet below the water table open pit limestone mine, but apparently there are REAL ghosts in Badjeros.

Since I read this on the internet, I KNOW it is true.....but it is still pretty cool

Friday, September 23, 2011


David Tilson, MP -- Dufferin - Caledon - Tilson tables petition calling ...

Tilson tables petition calling for environmental assessment on melancthon quarry project. September 20, 2011. Ottawa, ON – David Tilson, Member of ...

Thursday, September 22, 2011


"Do you care about the safety and integrity of Ontario's drinking water? We do and so should you. Check out this piece to get the facts on the Highland Companies' application for a mega quarry in the Hills of the Headwaters. The proposed quarry would be bigger than most cities and 1.5 times the depth of Niagara falls. The location is 1 hour outside Canada's largest city, at the source of Ontario's pristine watersheds. Please share this link widely and get people informed about this epic environmental disaster in the making. Spread the word and take action."


Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I must say, I have been pissed at Council(s) before, but I must say, I have never, ever been as pissed as I am now and surprisingly NOT with or at (a) Council. 

I, two hours later, must say, am still shaking with anger.


Across Ontario farmland is being paved over, dug up and converted to other uses by both citizens of Ontario and foreign companies. The proposed mega-quarry in Melancthon Township has caught the attention of both rural and urban residents concerned about the loss of farmland and our ability to feed ourselves down the road. With the increased awareness, this is an ideal time to bring the issues of aggregate removal and foreign ownership of farmland to the campaign trail.

The controversy surrounding the proposed mega quarry in Melancthon Township continues to grow, along with concerns over what kind environmental impacts the 2,316 open-pit crater could have on Simcoe-Grey.

In the wake of the controversial mega quarry proposal in Melancthon Township, the Liberal Party of Ontario is making an election promise to review the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA).  The announcement was made today by Lori Holloway, the Liberal candidate vying to unseat Progressive Conservative MPP Sylvia Jones in the riding of Dufferin-Caledon where the quarry would be located.

As expected, the candidates were asked to give their stance on the mega quarry proposal in Melancthon Township.  Each candidate stated they were opposed to the quarry and that they fully support a full environmental assessment (EA) by the Ministry of the Environment.

NDACT is sure appreciative of the non-partisan support that the issue has gotten and thoroughly appreciate the Green Party’s stance on this and help on this, as well as appreciate the work Lori Holloway has done,” Cosack said.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Liberals promise to review Aggregate Resources Act

Good for them, and about time.

Wonderful thing that close to 150,000 letters and petitions can do.

Wonder how Hudak will spin this that it is all their doing.

Someone's who's doing it isn't?

About three weeks ago there was an overflow crowd at Monora Park to present Tilson, MP and Jones, MPP all the petitions that concerned citizens from all over Ontario had signed in support of stopping the quarry to help out the residents of Melancthon and the more than 1 million Ontarians who's water supply may be threatened.

Who wasn't there?

That would be the Melancthon Mayor-I mean he wouldn't want to wade into anything TOO political in his own backyard.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Alright, what to do tonight

Dancing with the Stars WITH Nancy Grace

Coronation Street WITH the death of major characters

Cuff'd-new show on MTV

Charlie Sheen Roast-WINNING!

You decide, I can't.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Peter Kent says no Federal EA is necessary because federal EA`s are not required unless: feds are providing funds; transferring federal lands OR issuing an authority identified in the Acts law list regulations.
Law list regulations that I think might have some relevance:
Ammonium Nitrate,_c._598/page-1.html#h-2
Fisheries Act
Indian Act
Railway Safety Act
Regulation: Mining Near Lines of Railway

But then what do I know?

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Nuff said-get out and enjoy today and tomorrow.

Demolition derby tonight.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Council is not wrong.

They are NEVER wrong.

Everyone else is wrong.

And they will stand up for their right to be wrong until the end. 

Here are some media articles:

I am having trouble reconciling the fact that our Mayor and Deputy sit on County Council.

County Council AND Melancthon Council operate under the same rules, Municipal Act, 2001, Municipal Election Act, Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, etc. etc., perhaps up to 100 different pieces of legislation and regulations.

At County Council agendas and attachments have been posted on-line and available to the public in advance of a meeting for years, in order to meet the transparency requirements in the legislation.

Melancthon Council ONLY provided agendas and attachments after a private citizen obtained a legal opinion in February 2009 and waiting 7 months for Council to comply. 

They held fast to their respected solicitor advising them they were correct in NOT providing the pesky public with information in advance of a meeting due to FOI concerns.

Seriously, this is what the solicitor advised them.  And they put that forward, despite two members of Melancthon Council attending County meetings where agendas and attachments were provided in advance of a meeting.

And I not sure if anyone picked this up from the media reports about the closed meeting investigation, but Melancthon Council went into a closed session last summer about wind turbines, with their solicitor to receive advice, a permited reason under the Municipal Act.

When it becomes a contravention and we didn't know until the meeting investigators report was released, is Council admitted the solicitor, staff, council AND the developer/proponent into the "closed" meeting.

So, the only people who were shut out of the meeting was the pesky public, you know, those people who's lives are impacted by these decisions and have rights under existing legislation.

My question to the Mayor and Deputy who sit at County Council - have they EVER gone into a closed meeting at County Council to receive solicitor advice WITH the proponent/person/developer about whom they are receiving the advice?

My guess would be NEVER.

I would also guess you will NEVER hear this admission from them.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I think, I think
I have found the connecting link

Hudak, Sylvia and PC's in general have been pretty silent on the Melancthon Mega Mine (M3).

So follow this if you can:

Michael Daniher is Highlands former PR frontman (and piss poor one at that).

He gets "promoted" to policy.

Highlands hires Hill (of beans) and Knowlton-very expensive and established PR firm.

H&K starts a campaign to earn their money from Highland Companies and feels they are hip to the twitter crowd and they engage in a very dismal social media campaign by tweeting under the name Teamhighland, but are trounced at every tweet by Teamheadwaters.

Then H&K starts tweeting under hk_canada about, surprise surprise, Hudak and how he is great and winning at every turn.

Since H&K does nothing for nothing, one has to make the connection that the PC party is using the same PR firm that the Highland Companies uses.

And don't forget that Michael Daniher and John Tory, he the former leader of the PC's are best buds from childhood.

Coincidences aren't just coincidence you know.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


September 14, 2011, Westside Secondary School, Orangeville at 7:00 p.m.

With the conservatives slipping in the polls, perhaps Ms. Jones will be a little more commited to commiting to an EA instead of just being commited to taking her constituents concerns to Queen's Park.

Monday, September 12, 2011


For anyone who IS interested in the rules around closed meetings, click these links for cases that have been investigated:

Closed meeting reports by LAS

Closed meeting reports by the Provincial ombudsman

List of Municipalities who use LAS – 135 out of 444 (almost 30%)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Liberal-Lori Holloway

Loud and proud about supporting an EA after being elected, as well as supporting changes to the Aggregate Resources Act.

Green-Rob Strang

Loud and proud about supporting an EA after being elected, as well as supporting changes to the Aggregate Resources Act.

Conservative-Sylvia Jones
In response to THREE direct questions to her about doing everything in her power, if re-elected, to bring about an EA, she stated that she was committed to taking the views of her constituents to Queen's Park.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Article in the local paper:

Wonderful display of temper and outrage by certain councillors yesterday at the meeting, targeting members of the public.

Again, the ONLY recommendation the closed meeting investigator made was for Council to update their procedure bylaw and take some additional training. 

We live in Canada where we are allowed to question our elected officials.  That is the foundation of a democracy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Melancthon Council was the subject of two closed meeting investigations relating to meetings held in the summer of 2010.

The consultant who did the investigation was retained by Melancthon Council.

As a result of the investigation, the consultant Amberley Gavel found (and these are just the hi-lites)
on the face of it the public portion of the meeting was a sham both at the outset and even more critically at the conclusion of the meeting:”

"The placing of the notice (of the meeting) in a different location on the website made it difficult, if not impossible for the public to observe the actions of the council.:

"The resolution indicates that the meeting was closed in order to “discuss a matter pertaining to the receiving of advice that is subject to Solicitor/Client Privilege…. However the presence (in the closed meeting) of the party opposite in the agreement suggests the real reason was to finalize negotiation of the agreement.”

“The report …..does not fit within the exception relied upon in the public motion authorizing the closed meeting…:

“If the planners report is going on a council agenda, it should be on the public portion.”

The recommendations made by Amberley Gavel?

Simply that the procedure bylaw be updated and Council and staff undertake further training on procedures. 

Seriously that is it.  No reprimand, nothing.

The consultant further advised that if implemented, the recommendations would assist council and staff in serving their community. (gasp!!)

So there. Easy peasy, right?

Well not so fast.

Did Council accept their own consultants recommendations and look inward as to how they could better serve their constituents and show a commitment to transparency, move the municipality in a new direction and show leadership in setting a new tone with their ratepayers?

Survey says.....NO.

While this council is loathe to spend any money on lawyers, OMB hearings, bylaws, or hiring peer reviewers in a timely fashion against anyone proposing a 2,300 hundred acre 200 foot below the water table open pit limestone mine situate on prime agricultural land, they certainly don’t mind spending taxpayers money on a legal opinion to tell the taxpayers why Council is NOT at fault for anything.

And why isn’t it Council’s fault?

According to the lawyer (and this isn't the exhaustive list of excuses) it was because:

1. This was the meeting investigators first investigation- Following that logic, if a lawyer wins his/her first case in court does that mean the lawyers case should be found to be flawed?

2. There were more people at the complainants interview than at staff’s interview. Wouldn’t the answers all be the same whether there was 1 or 10 people in the interview?

3. Despite being legislated as to how closed and open meetings are to be held, the lawyer states that Council didn’t list the meeting as open because “ratepayers in the past have indicated that they do not wish to attend a meeting when most of the time would be spent in private session”. Wow, there are rules and standards for electricians, but my uncle told me one time just to stick a penny in the fusebox, it would work just as well and not waste time.  Do you think an electrician would get off in a court of law if something went south real quick employing this method?

4. And then there is this great logic-ratepayers need to be sophisticated (which means smarter I think, not sure I am not sophisticated enough to figure it out).  In fact the lawyer advises "any ratepayer sophisticated enough to follow Council matters would know that no decisions can be made in closed meetings and that a by-law could only be passed in an open meeting:  So there people, go get your political science degree so you can understand the machinations of Council. The rest of us unsophisticated hicks will have to stay at home and play our six string banjos with our six fingers and shoot possums from the front porch I guess.

Highlands, please continue with whatever you were doing (demolishing houses, cutting trees, ridding us of the pesky bobolink, altering sites without adhering to the site alteration bylaw, etc. etc.) because Council has no intention of ever standing up to you.

All other ratepayers, beware and be warned.

Council WILL stand up for their right to be wrong and make us wrongly pay.

If you want to read the entire report and solicitor’s letter open this link and read page 54 to 65.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Ice River Springs-Shelburne

This proposal is for a new Certificate of Approval (Air & Noise) for Ice River Springs Water Co. Inc. for their facility located in Shelburne, Ontario. The facility manufactures recycled Polyethylene Terephalate resin flakes from post-consumer PET bottles.

This application is for the approval of two (2) dust collectors and two (2) cyclone driers serving the resin flake production line, combustion equipment, maintenance welding, battery charging and two (2) emergency power generators.

Emissions discharged to the atmosphere include nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

Open for commenting until September 25, 2011


Wednesday September 7 @ 7:00 in the Grace Tipling Hall.

Monday, September 5, 2011


At 8:28 am on September 1, all was good in the world of Highland Companies, Seth Klarman, aka Baupost Group.  See their tweet:
An update on the proposed Melancthon Quarry
Posted by Team Highland on 09/01 at 08:28 AM Permalink
"We continue to welcome scrutiny and dialogue arising from our application.  John Lowndes"
Read all about it here:

The Province drops this little bomb at 5:55 pm
"After careful consideration, the Minister of Natural Resources and I have agreed to bring forward a regulation making Highland Companies subject to the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act. As a result the company will be required to undertake a comprehensive Environmental Assessment for the proposed quarry in Melancthon Township.

Highland Companies’ Response to the MOE Announcement of an EA, less than 15 minutes later.
Posted by Team Highland on 09/01 at 06:10 PM Permalink
We were surprised at this extraordinary and targeted step taken by the government in the midst of a charged political environment, particularly given our strong view that the proven process designated by the Aggregate Resources Act and the Planning Act is robust and sufficient to consider all aspects of our project. We remain committed to our project, which is supported by extensive scientific and economic analysis, and we are confident it will withstand an unbiased process that is premised on facts and data.

Wow, at 8:30 am they welcomed scrutiny and dialogue but at 6:10 pm not so much anymore.

Honestly I can see why they are upset.  Their statement says it all.  Why would the government, responsible to the electorate have anything to do with this since Highlands stated: "particularly given our strong view that the proven process designated by the Aggregate Resources Act and the Planning Act is robust and sufficient to consider all aspects of our project."

I am not sure, but who died and made Seth Klarman, Baupost, Highland Companies, our government?  Hey Baupost, you aren't in the United States anymore. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Don't stand down just yet.

The announcment by the outgoing Liberal government of a demand for an Environmental Assessment (EA) is a small battle won in a long war.

There are still alot of what ifs surrounding it.

And here is a little problem Lindsay found with an EA they did.
"The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has ordered that construction be stopped on a forcemain going under the Scugog River in Lindsay, and has called for a public meeting after Ministry testing has shown elevated levels of PCBs at the site.

In a letter to the Ministry earlier this month, the City asked if the pipe could be moved without having to revise the original EA. The Ministry denied that request

The original plan was to cross the river following an existing easement, but it was later discovered that meant going into a "significant wetland." That discovery meant the pipe had to move.

But, the next hurdle was buried garbage in the location. "The Ministry doesn't want us drilling through buried garbage," Mr. Seaton said, adding that garbage will be collected and relocated.

Wow a wetland AND a garbage dump and the EA didn’t know about that before construction was started?

And here comes the hindsight: "In my opinion, the initial EA investigation was inadequate," he said. "It should have identified the problems of going through the landfill and the potential impacts of disturbing PCB-laden silt. On a project this size, there should have been much more information. If council had known about the potential problems, they may not have gone with the current design plan. We may have looked at another way of going under the river.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Lets celebrate this small victory by taking the weekend off.

Get your flowerbeds ready for fall, cut the grass that is growing faster now than in July and if you feel like taking a crack at someone you could email:

Michael Daniher -official word is he wasn't "fired" but "promoted to policy"

Lindsay Broadhead Highlands new Michael Daniher

Or Baupost Group: Maybe they don't know about the EA.

Friday, September 2, 2011


When petitions opposing the quarry and calling for a full EA were presented at Monora Park on Monday Spetember 29, 2011 Sylvia Jones, MPP, when questioned about her views on an EA made the following statements:

Ms. Jones told the audience of successes in the fight so far, including getting a 45-day extension to the period for public comments on the proposal earlier this year.

“I consider that a win,” she declared, pointing out it enabled some 3,500 people to make their opposition known.

She also said she’s questioned Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey on whether her department has the staff and resources to appropriately review the proposal. “This application is unique in terms of its size,” Ms. Jones stated.

"...she expressed confidence in the fairness of the Aggregate Resources Act- making her perhaps the only person in the room who felt that way.

Here is a news release dated September 2, 2011 wherein she states all she has done to help the cause.  None of which was to call for an EA.

So the people of Dufferin-Caledon need to make a decision.

The Green party, Rob Strang, who has opposed this from the get-go, in fact the entire Green Party platform includes opposition to this ridiculous proposal.

Lori Holloway, Liberal, who has been vocally in opposition to her own government's position on the ARA and called for an EA weeks ago.

OR Sylvia Jones, who seems to have jumped on the EA bandwagon, but just a little too late for my liking. 

Where does Hudak stand on this? 

Inform yourself and then VOTE on the issues, not on the party your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents voted for.

The issues are different and the politics are different.

And Sylvia has been quite deafening in her silence on calling for an EA.

I saw a billboard the other day that said on October 6, 2011 vote no mega quarry.  Makes sense now.


Statement from Minister of the Environment John Wilkinson Regarding Highland Companies Proposed Quarry in Dufferin County

September 1, 2011

"After careful consideration, the Minister of Natural Resources and I have agreed to bring forward a regulation making Highland Companies subject to the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act. As a result, the company will be required to undertake a comprehensive Environmental Assessment for the proposed quarry in Melancthon Township.

Ministry of the Environment officials have thoroughly examined the technical reports which were submitted by the quarry proponents. Based on a review of those reports and because of the unique nature of the Melancthon quarry proposal, I believe a full Environmental Assessment is necessary.

The McGuinty government is committed to protecting our water and our environment. Today's decision ensures that a transparent and independent assessment of the environmental impacts of Melancthon quarry proposal will be conducted."

This was Highlands official response to the news: