Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Wow, our shy guy Seth is being mentioned in the gossip pages now.....

December 1, 2011 Council Agenda

Nice exchange between Highlands and Council, starting on page 45 of the attached.  Will make me smile all day.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


It would seem governments all over Canada are quite anxious to sell out their ratepayers and then look the other way. 

Look at this heartbreaking situation in Eastern Canada.

The Story of Water and Penobsquis
Excerpt from website:

Now certainly the story of Penobsquis is not only about water.

The story of Penobsquis is a cautionary tale for the rest of the province though, and it would serve other citizens of the province well if they became more aware of Penobsquis circumstances so it does not happen to them.
In 2004, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS) undertook a round of seismic testing that included an area over top of their mining operation in Penobsquis.
This area was part of the seismic testing which included the detonation of dynamite charges. There were reports of homes shaking from the blasts, and homeowners finding muddy water the next time they turned on their taps.

Residents quickly linked their lost wells and springs, and the increase in water inflow that the mine was having at the time. Officials in the Provincial Department of Environment and Local Government also believed the mine was responsible for the dry wells and springs.
While most attributed the problems to the mine, it was acknowledged that it would need to be ‘proven’.

When we lost water:

We drilled new wells
Deepened existing ones
Bathed in the brook
Hauled water from the brook for laundry
Hauled water for livestock
Hauled water for drinking and other household use
We lost expensive pumps
Had to replace taps and some appliances/washing machines due to the gritty/dirty water some of us initially experienced

While water was being delivered:
We had water tanks and a pump in our basements
We had bottled water delivered by the mine
We had to leave our homes unlocked
We had basements flooded – trucking company compensated us
We had to heat outside sheds with water tanks
We had basement windows broken
2-3 times a week mud was tracked through our homes
Some experienced rashes from the water
There was debris floating in the water
The water hoses leaked significantly. The hoses were rolled up over lawns neighbors dogs used for their bathroom. Sometimes Dog feces incrusted hoses with holes were used to provide water to the next house.
The public health inspector came, gave the truck drivers instructions to keep our water safe…but the instructions were not followed.
Full heartbreaking story here:

And anyone who is still supportive of of the Melancthon Mega Mine, the gasification DEEP plant and the Southgate shit facility, thinking your government is going to look after you and make sure nothing goes wrong...give your head a shake.

Monday, November 28, 2011


This just in from the Financial Post (source still being confirmed): Baupost is diversifying into the pharmacutical/medical supply sector.

Cement is in BIG demand.  You could say it is the new botox.

Nov, 21 2011

(Florida) -- Oneal Ron Morris, 30, a woman who posed as a doctor, was arrested on Friday for filling her patients’ buttocks with cement, mineral oil and flat-tyre sealant.

Oneal was born a man and identifies as a woman. She also performed the surgery on herself. She had been on the run for almost a year.

Oneal has been charged with practising medicine without a licence and causing serious bodily injury. She was released from jail on bond.

According to investigators, Oneal had injected some type of tube in several sites around the bottom of one of her victims, filling it with a toxic concoction.

The victim later went to two hospitals with severe abdominal pain and infected sores on her buttocks accompanied by flu-like symptoms.

Her mother eventually took her to another hospital, where doctors who pressed the victim for information alerted the Department of Health.

Investigators say Oneal may have victimised several others, who may be too embarrassed to report the crime.
By: Rashmi Kalia (ARI-C NEWS)



Chapter 11 of NAFTA that is:
"Under the most notorious section of NAFTA, Chapter 11, foreign companies can sue the federal government for “assumed profits.”

Full article:


From Trust Us to Prove it was Us is a small step.

The Collingwood ethanol plant was open less than a few months and, soon after the plant began operation neighbors began complaining of noise and foul odors.

The company denied it was the source of either.

The plant was temporarily shut down one day after an explosion and fire and then shut down again for odour and finally they were fined by the MOE.

This was AFTER the town, who courted them in the first place, espousing proven green technology and that mantra, jobs, jobs, jobs spent thousands and thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars to deal with the situation, including hiring a PR specialist. All to PROVE the plant was the source of the problem.

Click here for articles:

Remember Orica, the dynamite factory in Grand Valley who assured everyone at the OMB and township that all was well, and just trust them?

Well within a few months of winning at the OMB to expand their operations and make them permanent, they had a truck loaded with dynamite crash and now, in an emergency drill, found out the siren/alarm to warn people to run like hell isn’t really very loud. OMG.

And the Orica official said "poor weather conditions during the drill meant the sirens were not successful in warning all residents near the mock fire. "

Poor weather conditions?
In Dufferin? Get outta town.

And the Fire Chief won’t even commit to saying that people are safe: “It’s a hazardous place, I wouldn’t want to go out and say everything is fine and we could evacuate in a timely manner,” Macintosh said.

Click here for articles:

Then there is this little gem in Guelph. Guelph’s new eastside organics composting plant is the cause of odours, says the provincial Ministry of the Environment.

The facility has been open less than three months and City officials offered assurances last year that the new facility would be odour-free.  There’s been the odd odour complaint, which has not been substantiated said the Contract and Risk Manager of the facility.

And then of course Highlands various spoke individuals/people whatever you call them, are saying trust us and reassuring us they would do NOTHING to impact/compromise/ etc. etc. the water, they aren't allowed to do anything to compromise the water, blah, blah, blah...

Except at a meeting in Melancthon a couple of years ago, one of those rare times when the planning consultant was actually in attendance, someone asked if they did a test on their well now, showing quantity and quality of water they would be able to show Highlands was the one who impacted the water if they ever started digging and blasting should wells be affected. 

No said Jordan with a reassuring grandfatherly chuckle.  He stated that people would have to go to court to prove that Highlands was the cause and it would be very costly.


And a bit of unsolicited advice for our Council to the north, who are touting a remarkable odour free system for treating shit, composite and contaminated soil-if someone offers you some magic beans as your cure to economic development, you or rather your ratepayers are going to get screwed. 

Reread this blog, again and again and again.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


For those of you who don't follow Twitter (cause who has the freaking time to follow Facebook, twitter, email, and of course this informative and wonderful blog?? :), here are some of my favourite Tweets.

First you need the cast of characters:

Teamheadwaters (good guys)
Nomegaquarry (good guys)
Teamhighland (NOT the good guys)
Minebuster (really really good & modest & humble wizguy |:)

And here are the Tweets:
TeamHeadwaters; The problem is Highland hasn't been straight from the start. Its stories keep changing as opposition to the #megaquarry grows. Nov 19

TeamHeadwaters; Highland says:The plan is to return the water to the ground. But in 2006, it said its "plan" was to grow taters. Nov 19

nomegaquarry STOP THE QUARRY; we agree. Impossible to know what's truth and what's spin. Hope to start getting straight answers about the #megaquarry Nov 19

TeamHighland: Fact: Quarries are among the cleanest industrial users of water. Oct 14
TeamHighland: "Quarries are water handlers not water users." Moreen Miller  Oct 27

Well, which is it-user or handler???

TeamHighland; 171 million tonnes of aggregate are consumed in Ontario annually Oct 27
Highland Companies: April 2011 slideshow presented at Hornings Mills, Ontario: 186 million tonnes consumed each year in Ontario.

Well, which is it 171 or 186?  And BTW, who in the hell consumes aggregrete?  I consume food and water, aggregate?  Not sure..

TeamHighland; The EA announcement caused us to crap our pants,  but we invite consultation and scrutiny and intend to move ahead: Ontario needs aggregate because Baupost/Klarman want MORE money Sept 16  OPPS, recall, recall what we meant to tweet is:   TeamHighland; The EA announcement caused us to pause; but we invite consultation and scrutiny and intend to move ahead: Ontario needs aggregate Sept 16 

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Granted, when you read the article it talks about these cities as having been low on water before and the changes are likely they will face shortages in the future, so the headline is misleading (Minebuster has never claimed to be unbiased or misleading when making a point!!):
Click here for article:

Which begs me to ask the question.  If it isn't unafforable to run an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, it would seem to be a drop in the bucket (bad pun I know) to run a pipeline from Canada for water.

I wonder if there is any rich rich corporation who has about 600 million litres of water a day which they need to manage? 
I wonder if they would manage to make it disappear on a pipeline out of the country?

Nah, our government is on guard for us to protect our natural resources, right?

Friday, November 25, 2011


A good food blog and more great pics of Foodstock.

Thursday, November 24, 2011



The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member from Dufferin–Caledon.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: Thank you, Speaker, and congratulations on your election.
My petition is to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
“Whereas we, the undersigned, are residents of Dufferin county and other adjacent counties and municipalities in Ontario;

Click here for further details:

Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn: Speaker, my sincere congratulations on your election as well.
I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. A company named Highland Companies has acquired about 3,000 hectares of land in the Melancthon and Mulmur townships in Dufferin county, and it’s for the purpose of building a very large limestone quarry. The project would be one of the largest in North America.Click here for further details:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


"Shelburne council has given a green light to a transportation study that could serve as a catalyst for a large-scale retail development.

Council agreed last week to partner with Dufferin County and Cole Engineering to complete an East Area Traffic Study.
The study is needed to gain the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) approval of an entrance and exit for a proposed retail complex that would span 36 acres at the northeast corner of County Road 24 and Highway 89. "
Full article here:

Something about this intersection however is nagging at me...oh yeah, that is where up to 7,000 gravel trucks per day, as proposed by Highlands OWN traffic study will pass.

Wonder if Blackwood Partners Inc., the proponents know about Highlands proposed quarry?

Might have a bit of an impact on their plan.  Big trucks, big box, big trouble.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


So yes, it did take alot of "convincing" or rather browbeating for MP David Tilson during the spring 2011 Federal election to make him realize the importance of the Melancthon Mega Quarry.

But here is a politican who has listened to his constituents and has responded, in a big way.

Not only has he been presenting the petition with hundreds of names in the Federal Parliament calling for the Environment Minster Peter Kent to call for a panel review, but here is the latest from his website:

David Tilson, Member of Parliament for Dufferin-Caledon, on Thursday formally asked the Government to explain why it hasn't pursued his request for a federal Environmental Assessment to be undertaken on the proposed Melancthon mega-quarry.

Click here for link:
I would suspect that most politicans only hear from people when they are NOT happy.  If you would like to thank him, however, here is his email:

Monday, November 21, 2011


Melancthon Council has sent out an open letter to ratepayers.

And good for them.

Lack of communication was a HUGE issue and this is a step in the right direction.

While the letter (which I see more as a type of report card) lists accomplishments in the past year, it is completely silent on the Official Plan and a Strategic Plan-two of the most important guiding and management documents in any municipality.

And I would bet that in a couple of months, when Jordan gets around to taking a peek at the Source Water Protection Plan and sees what is going to be needed to bring Melancthon in compliance regarding OP implications we will hear, I can't get it into conformity because of the province.

More transparency is needed around the OP-how many years has Jordan been working on it, how much money have taxpayers paid, why do we not have an updated official plan and why in the hell does Jordan still have a job as a consultant at the muncipality?

And the other thing that was not mentioned in Councils report card-not a word on their industrial park proposal.

Sunday, November 20, 2011



Saturday, November 19, 2011



Friday, November 18, 2011


artist: Gail Prussky

And all that the Lorax left here in this mess
was a small pile of rocks,
with the one word ...

"UNLESS." ...

UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It's not." ~ The Lorax


Hm, wonder what benevolent company might want to do that free of charge for them?

Excerpt:Local farmers currently use the harbour to deliver grain and the port also handles shipments of road salt for the cities and paving stone for local construction.

Full article:

Thursday, November 17, 2011


The Hills of the Headwaters Tourism Association held their annual tourism awards last night and Foodstock won big!!

The Chef's Congress won Best Culinary Tourism Experience and Carl Cosack, NDACT Chair and Michael Stadtlander of the Chef's Congress won for the Tourism Ambassador of the Year.

Minebuster was wrong (again, I know!! jeez, there goes my Nobel prize in journalism)

Carl and Michael didn't win Tourism Ambassador of the Year (they were robbed I say, robbed!!) but Foodstock did win two awards.  Best Culinary Tourism Experience, noted above, AND Best Agri-Tourism Experience.


A retired Mulmur resident, Donna Wells, PhD has produced a book called Landscapes and the Proposed Mega-Quarry

It is comprised of 50 scenic photos of the area and proceeds are being donated to NDACT.

Please support this woman in her support of NDACT and think about purchasing the book for someone you know for a Christmas gift.

Booklore in Orangeville is stocking the books, as well you can order online at

Excerpt: Donna has serious questions about it, and has arranged for proceeds from her book to be donated to the North Dufferin Agricultural Community Taskforce (NDACT). As well, she said she would be delivering 10 of the first copies to NDACT vice-chairman Carl Cosack as a donation.
Full story here:

Monday, November 14, 2011


How?  Just change them.

Mining amendments to exempt 'lower-risk' activities

The B.C. government introduced amendments to the Mines Act Monday that would exempt “lower-risk” mining activities from the permitting process.
Read more:

Problem solved.

Friday, November 11, 2011


It appears as though I have some urls that are referring my site somewhere and I need to pull this down until I figure out how to stop it so people don't get spammed by this blog. 

See you in a couple of days.

PS Hope all the computers a Baupost have been spammed already!!


There has been a bit of a flap of late over the Shelburne Fire Department's wish to purchase a new truck.  Specifically a quintuple combination pumper,” which is a fire vehicle serving five functions; including pumper, water tanker, fire hose, aerial device and ground ladders.

Costly, yes, no argument there.

But since the rural areas contribute to the fire costs in a shared servicing agreement, they have some valid questions too.

How will the big shiny new truck benefit them?  Rural area's typically have no big industries or box stores.  Will it be able to manoeuvre in rural settings?  Will there be enough water in the rural areas to be able to pump at the rate it requires?

Melancthon Deputy Mayor White had a good point which was reported in the Citizen: "He had previously said the manufacturer should bring a quint up and provide a demonstration. “Does anybody buy a car without driving it? Buy a house without touring it? I don’t think I’m being unreasonable.”  (Full article here: )

Which got me to thinking.

Wouldn't it be great if Highlands could give us a test run on their little proposal?  You know that 200 foot below the water table 2,100 acre open pit limestone mine?

Foodstock gave everyone a test run of the traffic chaos caused by 7,000 cars.

What about the rest of it?

Well there is a little spot in California, who has a mine, operated by Lehigh Southwest Cement.  

The mine/quarry is called Permanente (can you guess why?) and existing operations cover 618 acres and plunge 700 feet deep. There is a plan to expand to 917 acres. Quarry officials note 238 acres have been added as buffer lands that won’t be used for mining. That leaves 61 additional acres that could be mined. Quarry lands total approximately 3,200 acres.

So take a peek at what that looks like, then times it by five to have sort of a test run of Highlands little proposal.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


In honour of those who served, please be at a local cenotaph tomorrow at 11 am and observe.



The World’s Most Famous WAR MEMORIAL POEM

By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead: Short days ago,

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie

In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw

The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915 during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium

On May 2, 1915, John McCrae’s close friend and former student Alexis Helmer was killed by a German shell. That evening, in the absence of a Chaplain, John McCrae recited from  memory a few passages from the Church of England’s “Order of the Burial of the Dead”. For security reasons Helmer’s burial in Essex Farm Cemetery was performed in complete darkness.

The next day, May 3, 1915, Sergeant-Major Cyril Allinson was delivering mail. McCrae was sitting at the back of an ambulance parked near the dressing station beside the YserCanal, just a few hundred yards north of Ypres, Belgium.

As John McCrae was writing his In Flanders Fields poem, Allinson silently watched and later recalled, “His face was very tired but calm as he wrote. He looked around from time to time, his eyes straying to Helmer's grave."

Within moments, John McCrae had completed the “In Flanders Fields” poem and when he was done, without a word, McCrae took his mail and handed the poem to Allinson.

Allinson was deeply moved:
“The (Flanders Fields) poem was an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


This blogger will be the first to admit that I have been somewhat critical in my observations of the current and past Council, mostly in their lack of handling the mega quarry issue, openess and transparency, closed meetings, oh I could go on and on.

BUT this, this takes the cake.

At the November 3, 2011 meeting of Melancthon Council, they considered Geriatric Jorden's Planning Report titled: Initial Planning Considerations: Possible Township Industrial Park, Part Lot 13, Concession 4 NETSR, Melancthon.

Can't blame Ol Ger for producing the report, as Council would have needed to come up with this asinine idea.

But the first thing I note in this professional planning report, is NO map.  Not a single map of the area showing the location, existing land uses, etc. etc.

Small, I know, but I had to start with something positive.

They are proposing an industrial park on approximately 98.5 acres of land owned by the Municipality next to the dump.

I won't bore you with the astute observations provided in the report such as:
a portion of the property is located on and near provincially significant wetlands;
not consistent with the Provincial Policy statement that directs development to urban settlement areas;
must ensure the necessary infrastructure is provided;
subject lands are not consistent with growth management policies;
located on prime agricultural areas which shall be protected for long-term agricultural use;
no municipal services either water or sewage;

No, I won't dwell on any of that.

I will mention the studies that will be required after provincial consultation:
need/market study;
study demonstrating why a site in a prime agricultural area is needed;
a study demonstrating that there are no sites avaialble on lower priority lands;
noise and emissions study to determine potential impacts on sensitive uses;
documentation justifying and describing the proposed method of providing  water supply, sewage disposal and utilities to the proposed development;
stuides of soils, hydrology and hydrogeology;
evaulation of environmental impacts;
transportation study;
Stage 1 archeological study;

If SOME of these studies seem familiar they are. 

They are all the same ones Council told us they couldn't afford to do regarding the mega quarry, so they would just take a look at the information provided by Highlands. 

And the biggest problem with this industrial site idea?  This is NOT economic development in the new world.  This is the 1970's way of doing economic development, called chasing the smokestack.

Not only is Melancthon competing with neighbouring towns and municipalities for "industry", they are competing globally.

With no infrastructure in place, (meaning water, sewer, hydro etc.), hundreds of miles from a major transportation network and something called the US/Canada Border, the ONLY "industry" that would come near the place is a compost, crap plant or soil remediation facility.   

Those companies will have guys drive a mountain in Nepal with three wheels and no brakes to haul that crap to an "industrial" site.

In fact, one of the positives Jorden reports on is the fact the site is located next to the dump.  Hmmm....

The report starts on page 93 at this link:  ttp://

If you rezone it, they will come.  Just ask Southgate.

If they want to get it approved in accordance with the Provincial Policy Statement, locate it near a settlement area - you know Corbetton, Hornings Mills, adjacent to Dundalk or close to Shelburne...just a thought.


Apparently not so much free speech.
REMOVED: Seth Klarman’s 2010 Shareholder Letter

October 31, 2011
By Jacob Wolinsky
You can all thank the person who posted w/o my permission Klarman’s S/Ls under my name on a big site, which alerted Baupost’s CCO to my site. I will no longer be able to publish anything from Baupost Group in the future.
Read more:

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Forget about spending time reading this blog.

Here is a blog that you should read...often.

Jeanine Cressey


If the Mayor of Shelburne wonders where that offal smell is coming from, he needs to look no further than out his front window and watch the trucks filled with raw human waste and offal passing by his house as they head to the 26 acre "fertilizer" facility in the works for Southgate, aka Dundalk.

Don't forget, however, these trucks will be jockeying for position with the 7,000 trucks PER day with Highlands hole in the ground and yet even more trucks will be trucking contaminated soil to another 20 acres adjacent to the fertilizer facility in Southgate, aka Dundalk.

But they will ALL be competing with road space with the trucks who will be hauling to the DEEP plant, which of course the Mayor of Shelburne has and is championing.
So here he is on another horns of a shituation.

He can't really object to Southgate hauling crap (bad pun, I know) through his Town and past his house, because that is  what will happen to others if the DEEP plant goes through.  Garbage and stink past their place.  Which of course the Mayor has been championing-did I mention that?

This will require some DEEP thought.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Good catch by someone on the Stop the Quarry facebook site:
Both John Scherer and Joseph Izhakoff (Minebuster note:we met them on the CBC show where a 20 second pause seemed like 20 years and we met the Barney Rubble Double on Paiken the other night) are principals of Nationsrent Companies. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, this company provides rental equipment for construction and industrial customers in the U.S. They cater to general contractors, sub contractors, highway contractors, manufacturing plants and distribution centers. Very interesting.....Nationsrent is currently controlled by none other than our good friend Seth Klarman of The Baupost Group and Phoenix Rental Partners. Baupost bought Nationsrent out of bankruptcy in 2001 for $80 million. In 2006 Nationsrent was acquired by Sunbelt Rentals for a cool $1.05 billion. Sunbelt is currently one of the largest equipment rental companies in the U.S."

Did you catch that?  Baupost bought it in 2001 for $80 million and sold FIVE years laters for $1 billion.  Tidy profit for forty investors in the Baupost Group.  Wonder how you turn a company around in five years to make that kind of profit or is it just shuffling paper and bamboozling buyers?

And Izhakoff's name first surfaced around here in 2009 : Joseph Izhakoff is president of the investor group trading under Highland Rail Group. In email responses to this newspaper, he says the rail line could serve as a spur to economic development - and would be complementary to farming operations. (In a technical sense, the farm purchaser and the rail bidder are separate corporate entities.

He goes on to say that his company, "Like our agreement with the Town of Orangeville, we are not against accommodating special interest groups, such as the snowmobilers and trails, however you can appreciate that we are not in those businesses and our priority will be continuing to provide, and expanding, rail service along the line"

Full article at this link: