Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 PICTORIAL CONTINUED-FAMILIAR FACES

The Good.





The Bad



And well, you know....


OUR FIRST NATION FRIENDS PICTORIAL

Easter Parade-from Queen's Park to Blacks Farm in Five Days.






Native Rally July 22, 2011


Photos: Now Magazine

Friday, December 30, 2011

TORONTO STAR ARTICLE

The opponents of the mega-quarry come from all walks of life -- from farmers to chefs and business people to retirees.  A cross selection are seen at Rutledge Farms, a large potato farm in Melancthon township, where there is a proposal for the second largest in North America.

"Here in Melancthon, farmers love the land so much they etch pictures of their homesteads on family gravestones.

When they die in this township — an idyllic stretch of rolling farmlands that juts out of Shelburne, just north of Orangeville — they are buried with a handful of the rich soil in their caskets.

So it seemed a somewhat bold gesture when strangers suddenly came calling, offering to take the land off their hands."

Click here for entire article:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

SOURCE WATER PROTECTION PLANS

From Simcoe to Wellington, municipalities are aware that the Source Water Protection Plans are going to very costly.

Source water protection plans are in place to protect MUNICIPAL wells, not private wells.  While Melancthon doesn't have any municipal wells, Melancthon ratepayers in the wellhead protection area of Shelburne's municipal well on the fourth line of Melancthon and the new one being proposed on the 2nd line NW in Melancthon WILL be impacted.

Additionally the draft plan that has been circulated shows there will be a lot of amendments to be made to Official Plans, no matter which Source Protection Area or Plan applies.

In some municipalities, such as Melancthon more than one plan will prevail.

Part of Melancthon will fall under the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Plan. 

The draft plan has been circulted there are a lot of implications for municipalities and landowners. Here is a draft of the plan http://www.ourwatershed.ca/documents/source_protection_plan.php
and a map of the region: http://www.ourwatershed.ca/sgb/map.php

There are over 30 amendments that need to be made to OP’s in that plan alone.

Part of Melancthon will fall under the Lake Erie Source Protection Plan and that plan is not complete yet. Here is a map of the region: http://www.sourcewater.ca/index/document.cfm?Sec=13&Sub1=0&sub2=0

Have we heard from Council on this? Any planning report about how and when the planner thinks he can get these amendments in the OP?  And heads up from Council to impacted rateapayers.

And if Shelburne digs a municipal well in Melancthon, I am pretty sure one or the other of these plans is going to mean big bucks for Melancthon AND adjacent landowners.

Is Council negotiating now with Shelburne to ensure Melancthon taxpayers aren't paying to protect Shelburne’s residents?

I remember a time a few short years ago when the Mayor of Shelburne had a shit fit because out of town kids, in his opinion, were benefiting from his ratepayers paying to cut grass in ball diamonds and soccer pitches so he implemented a user pay for out of town kids, which is still in effect.

Seems only fair then that Melancthon shouldn’t be spending their tax dollars for the benefit of Shelburne residents.

Here are some quotes from concerned municipalities:

Puslinch councillors are concerned its residents may end up footing the bill to protect Guelph’s water supply.   http://www.wellingtonadvertiser.com/index.cfm?page=detail&itmno=10716

There are new regulations coming down the pipes - regulations designed to safeguard drinking water, which will have major planning and financial implications for municipalities.
http://www.bradfordtimes.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3418773

“I could see this as another layer of government. When you hear some of the things they’re looking at, there may be restrictions on land use policies,” he said.  “If I’m a landowner or farmer, I’d be very concerned. I think this is going to be nothing more than a boondoggle by the time it comes out, as we’re looking at more and more policies.”http://www.insidehalton.com/news/article/1257679--province-should-fund-water-protection-plan-committee


He said the process toward implementation has been somewhat bogged down by concerns from municipalities about the implementation cost.  http://www.intelligencer.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3398506

Homeowners with septic systems near sources of drinking water could face some hefty bills when it comes time for replacement. http://www.nugget.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3406623

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 PICTORIAL

TRACTOR PARADE-Primrose to the Wallace Farm in Melancthon (August 2011)







Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 PICTORIAL CONTINUED

July 3, En Plein Air Paint in


PICTORIAL YEAR IN REVIEW

In no particular order over the next few days some picture hi-lites of 2011:


COUNCIL OF CANADIANS take up the Cause against the Melancthon Mega-Quarry-
Maude Barlow and local teen activist at Queen's Park



Stop the Quarry has a diverse group of supporters,
all generations and species





Chickenman!!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

WHAT DO ASBESTOS, CIGARETTES, IRAQ WAR ALL HAVE IN COMMON?

What do asebestos, cigarettes and the Iraq war all have in common?  Well they will all kill you, but additionally the PR Firm Hill and Knowlton is the common denominator.

Hill and Knowlton asbestos:
- Launch a public relations campaign disputing the evidence.
- Predict dire economic consequences, and ignore the cost benefits.
- Use non-peer reviewed scientific publications or industry-funded scientists who don't publish original peer-reviewed scientific work to support your point of view.
- Trumpet discredited scientific studies and myths supporting your point of view as scientific fact.
- Point to the substantial scientific uncertainty, and the certainty of economic loss if immediate action is taken.
Read more here:
http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1389
http://www.stockmarketawareness.com/wiki/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=5

Hill and Knowlton Iraq (mother of all clients) Excerpts:
Hill & Knowlton, then the world's largest PR firm, served as mastermind for the Kuwaiti campaign. Its activities alone would have constituted the largest foreign-funded campaign ever aimed at manipulating American public opinion. Documents filed with the US Department of Justice showed that 119 H&K executives in 12 offices across the US were overseeing the Kuwait account.  The story of babies torn from their incubators was repeated over and over again.  The more television people watched, the fewer facts they knew; and the less people knew in terms of basic facts, the more likely they were to back the Bush administration
Read more here:
http://www.prwatch.org/books/tsigfy10.html

And here are some of the more lucrative campaigns they have worked on.  Just like a junkie needing a fix, they will work for anyone.
http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=380

Sunday, December 25, 2011

AGENT ORGNE?

Who is Agent Ornge:

Well that would be Hill of Beans and Knowlton.

With the provincial auditor general now looking at the books, and a team of forensic auditors from the finance ministry swooping in on its offices Friday, perhaps we might also learn how much ORNGE is paying Hill & Knowlton — the damage control and public relations consulting firm that typically bills $500 an hour — out of public funds in order to stonewall the public.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1106619--cohn-the-political-roots-of-the-ornge-helicopter-debacle

Saturday, December 24, 2011

SCROOGE MCMINEBUSTER DELIVERS A XMAS CLASSIC

From my hovel to your happy home, a clip from one of the best darn t.v. shows ever:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3IywXGa5nI

Friday, December 23, 2011

MELANCTHON COUNCIL WINS FOODBANK CHALLENGE BUT LOSES THE OPTICS WAR (AGAIN)



THE ENTIRE ARTICLE TO GO WITH THIS PICTURE IS IN ITALICS BELOW.

I DIDN'T LEAVE OUT THE PART WHERE MELANCTHON COUNCIL THANKED ANYONE BUT HIGHLANDS, SO PRESUMABLY NO ONE BUT HIGHLANDS DONATED......

"In the battle between Mulmur and Melancthon, the latter came out on top in the Food Bank Challenge this year.

The township managed to collect 2,520 lbs. of non-perishable food items, which were delivered to the Shepherd’s Cupboard Food Bank in Shelburne on Dec. 16.

Melancthon officials gave a special thanks to the Highland Companies for its generous donation to the cause.

http://www.orangeville.com/community/life/article/1267902--melancthon-wins-food-drive-challenge

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

CODRINGTON PIT

A commentor on yesterdays post suggested looking closer at a pit called the Codrington pit. 

This is a proposal for a 259 acre below the water table quarry about midway between Cobourg and Trenton.  

Here are some articles on it and guess what comes up?

St. Marys Cement;
CBM;
pumping dirty water back into the drinking water;
applying for MORE than needed, so the volume of trucks won't be anything like our detractors say;
 6 days a week, 24 hour per day operation;
a community divided;
possibility of exporting water to China;
a confused Council unwilling to go to the OMB;
a quote: we can not drink money;
destruction of productive farmland and ecologically sensitive wetlands; 
http://www.northumberlandtoday.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1689799&archive=true
http://www.northumberlandnews.com/opinion/letters/article/1135437--mr-peabody-s-coal-train-has-hauled-it-away
http://www.northumberlandnews.com/opinion/letters/article/1265608--pitting-neighbour-against-neighbour

And they have the uninformed too, here is an excerpt from a letter to the editor:

I guess the only thing that I might worry about is our water supply. Now I'll admit that I am no expert on this topic, but if you think about it, we are talking about removing water from the ground, washing dirt off of rocks, then letting the water flow back exactly where it came from. Sort of like washing your truck in the back yard. I haven't heard that we are going to export it to China. We are not talking about deadly tailings from a uranium mine; we are talking about recycling dirty water. My well is about 60 feet away from my septic bed, and do you know what? My water tastes great -- come on over and have a taste.

http://www.northumberlandnews.com/opinion/letters/article/1265609--a-dark-day-for-protesters-of-the-codrington-pit

Deja vu anyone?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Interesting letter to editor in the Northunberland News:

This is shown in our inability to hold to our commitments under Kyoto; our inability to say no to gravel pits be they in Flamborough, Codrington or Melancthon Township.

http://www.northumberlandnews.com/opinion/letters/article/1266511--there-are-limits

FIRE BOARD UPDATE

Excerpt from the December 1, 2011 Melancthon Council minutes:
During this time, Deputy Mayor White advised that he attended the Special Fire Board meeting where the quint truck was discussed and said he was disgusted by the way our Representatives were treated by others on the Board at that meeting.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

NEW SUBDIVISION IN HORNINGS MILLS?

Anyone know anything about a proposed new subdivision in Hornings Mills....and who the developer might be?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

FEDERAL LOBBYIST REGISTRY

Familiar names on the Federal Lobbyist Registry.

Know any of these people?

3191574 Nova Scotia Company, operating as The Highland Companies


Charles Harnick   

John Lowndes


The Baupost Group

Here is a link to the FEDERAL registration:
https://ocl-cal.gc.ca/app/secure/orl/lrrs/do/publicSummary?language=en_CA&regDec=654605&searchPage=publicBasicSearch&sMdKy=1324132298226
 
Then there is a new name:

Caroline Pinto (same address and firm though)
https://ocl-cal.gc.ca/app/secure/orl/lrrs/do/publicSummary?language=en_CA&regDec=655765&searchPage=publicBasicSearch&sMdKy=1324132820767
 
In fact the registry shows that Caroline Pinto & Charles Harnick met with Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment on November 7, 2011; Kellie Leitch, MPP Simcoe-Grey on September 15, 2011 (Caroline met with Kellie alone on October 22), and of course our own David Tilson on September 6, 2011.

Gee wonder what they talked about?

Perhaps David Tilson could enlighten us?

ADDITION TO THE POST:
Here is Kent's address, knock yourselves out.
kentp@parl.gc.ca

Friday, December 16, 2011

MELANCTHON OFFICIAL PLAN UPDATE

Last official plan update posted on the New Draft Official Plan link on the Township of Melancthons website: October 2010.

Not posted on the November 17, 2011 agenda, but contained in the November 17 minutes (posted AFTER the Dec 1 Council meeting) the following was included:

Announcements November 17 minutes:
Mayor Hill advised that he erred in his understanding regarding the Draft Official Plan and he thought it would be here for the November 17th meeting but it will be done by the end of November and be on the December 1st Council meeting agenda.

Read that again...."but it will be done by the end of November and be on the December 1st Council meeting agenda."


And true to Mayor Hills word, on the December 1 agenda there under General Business, Item 11 number 5 Unfinished Business (2) is the item "Draft Official Plan". 

But there is no attachment with the agenda so ratepayers can see what the draft contains nor is there an update posted under the Draft Official Plan link (see opening paragraph).

Want to know why?

Well, the December 1, 2011 minutes (posted AFTER the December 15 meeting) show this little item:

Draft Official Plan ‐ the CAO advised that she had received an email from Jerry Jorden, 6 Township Planner advising that he is making substantial progress on the many revisions to the draft Plan, however, he is involved in another matter that has just scheduled an OMB hearing on January 4th and that means that much of the latter part of December will be taken up with preparations for the hearing. He advised that finalization of the plan is his highest priority and will have it available by mid December or by mid to late January.

Wonder of what year, but I digress.

And the Mayor stated the Draft would be on the December 1 agenda, but good Old Jer is explaining the last half of December will be taken up with another matter.  Why wasn't it finished by December 1 then?  Why wasn't it finished last December, or January, or February or March.....or anytime in the last FIVE FXXKING YEARS?

And here comes the transparency complaint.

"We will be as transparent as we can be....Mayor Bill Hill inaugural speech December 2, 2010"

Well that isn't entirely true.  They can be WAY more transparent, they choose not to be.  And they aren't even complying with the mandatory transparency rules as laid out.

Section 253(1) b. of the Municipal Act, 2001 provides:
Subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, any person may, at all reasonable times, inspect any of the records under the control of the clerk, including, minutes and proceedings of regular, special or committee meetings of the council or local board, whether the minutes and proceedings have been adopted or not;


So why aren't minutes, as soon as they are prepared, posted on the website.  Why must we wait sometimes 3 weeks to see what happened at a meeting?  This is NOT transparency.

The Highlands Quarry link has had nothing updated on it since July 7, 2011 yet recent minutes show an exchange of letters between Highlands and Council and now Council has decided to visit Highlands. 

And now the accountablity issue.

This sitting Council has been sworn in for over a year and we still have no Official Plan and none in the forseeable future.

This Council is accountable for the continued lack of an Official Plan that is in conformity with the PPS, and now Old Jer will be working hard to incorporate all those Source Water Protection criteria, wonder if he has even taken a look at that yet 

They are also accountable for payments to a planner who has continually product sweet dick all, well except some asisine report about plunking an industrial park on and adjacent to a wetland, next to the Melancthon dump site. 

MORE IN BAUPOST AND BIXBY RANCH IN CALIFORNIA

CANADIAN CONNECTION
http://www.independent.com/news/2011/dec/15/cojo-jalama-ranchs-canadian-connection/

For some other articles on this, go to the search feature on this blog and type in Bixby Ranch.  There are some previous blogs on it.

TILSON AND JONES

Tilson and Jones both call for action on Melancthon quarry 2011-12-15 / News

The proposed massive Quarry in Melancthon was on the minds of the local federal and provincial representatives lately.

Dufferin — Caledon MP David Tilson rose in the House of Commons Dec. 1 to ask the government to conduct an environmental assessment on the Highland Companies’ proposed mega-quarry.

He told the House the Highland Companies, backed by a Boston-based hedge fund, proposes to dig a 2,300 acre limestone quarry on prime farmland.

“They want to dig down 200 feet, well below the water table,” he said. “The end result is that 600 million litres of water per day, enough for over a million Ontarians, would have to be pumped out, treated, stored and injected back into the local aquifers.”
Tilson also told the House the project proponents say this poses no risk to the local environment.

“Mr. Speaker, Melancthon Township is home to the headwaters of four major river systems, flowing in all directions,” he said. “To claim that there would be no effect on the headwaters and beyond stretches the realm of possibility.”

“I call upon the Minister of the Environment to order that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency conduct a full environmental assessment,” he added. “The residents of my riding and of Canada deserve no less.”

And Dufferin — Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones was busy on the issue earlier in the week in the Provincial legislature at Queen’s Park, questioning Premier Dalton McGuinty on the lack of action on the EA for the proposed quarry.

“Since the October election, the government has been silent on the EA,” Jones declared.
The Environmental Assessment Act requires the proponent (Highland Companies) to develop the terms of reference for an EA. Jones pushed the Environment Minister Jim Bradley on the importance of allowing interested community members to have a say in the development of the EA’s terms of reference.

“Residents of Dufferin — Caledon need to be able to actively participate in creating the EA’s terms of reference,” said Jones. “The government needs to make an announcement on how the public consultation will proceed.”

“Actions speak louder than words,” said Jones. “The Liberal government needs to act on this important issue.”
http://www.caledoncitizen.com/news/2011-12-15/News/Tilson_and_Jones_both_call_for_action_on_Melanctho.html

I guess it is safe for Jones to come out swinging, now that the PC's didn't win.  She was pretty hard to pin down during the election.  Tilson didn't seem to have a clue DURING the campaign, but I am really really glad to see both are on board now.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

HIGHLANDS HEADED UP BY A 12 YEAR OLD GIRL????

OMG

Sorry to post twice in one day, but OMFG.

If you want to see something pissy. along the lines of a 12 year girl fighting with her mother, read pages 69 and 70 of the Township of Melancthon agenda for a Council meeting to be held on December 15, 2011 @ 6 pm.
http://melancthontownship.ca/11council/agenda.dec15.pdf

Seriously, Highlands needs to take a midol....and quit PMSing.

Hi-lites?  Well you can't top this:
"it may be easier for all parties involved if these channels of communication were used to obtain the information or clarification you need rather than burdening busy provincial cabinet ministers with exchanges of unnecessary corresondence." writes Highlands.


So let me get this straight in my mind.....

Highlands has been at every single Cabinet Ministers door who they think will buy into their asinine idea of a 2,300 acre 200 foot below the water table open pit limestone mine since BEFORE 2009 and yet they are berating Melancthon Council for writing Council's concerns to the province because of course Melancthon Council should just ask Highlands because they have such a freaking good track record in telling the truth? 

Then there is this:
"we want to empathasize that so many of your concerns could be dealt with by a simple phone call to us" writes Highlands.

What does this mean? 

Probably that master Baupost would rather deal with this in back and forth phone calls where we/they can deny anything said, as opposed to the public realm where it is WAY more difficult to deny what was said.

Just my opinion though, could be WAY off.

SUPPORT LARRY MILLER, MP FOR BRUCE-GREY-OWEN SOUND

Larry Miller, MP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound may not be Dufferin`s MP, but he deserves our emails of support and questions as to how we can support him.

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MP Larry Miller is taking the lead in a push to block bulk water sales and diversions.

Miller was to introduce a private member's bill in the House of Commons this morning to amend the International Boundary Waters Treaty Act and the International River Improvements Act.
Miller said he has been working on Great Lakes water issues since 2004 when he was elected. At that time there was a lot of talk and debate around opening up the Great Lakes to allow international water exports.
"We kind of woke the public up about it. One of my staff at the time found out about it kind of by accident and since then the prime minister has come out and said our water isn't for sale," said Miller. "I had a chance to do this and it was a bill the government was going to do and I have basically had a chance to table this on a private member's bill."
Miller said under the rules of the House of Commons, once he provides notice that he is going to table a bill he can't say much about it until it is tabled.
It is a bill that in general terms, I believe will be well-received not just in my riding but across the country," said Miller. "This is a good thing for Canada and its water."
Miller said Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government support the bill he is to table.
"I've even been contacted by some other MPs from some other parties who have indicated their support for it, without having actually seen it tabled yet," said Miller. "I think it is a bill that is supported, if not unanimously, pretty close to it."
Miller expects debate on the bill won't happen until February.

Article: http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3402106
Contact:
Riding:
1131 2nd Avenue East, Suite 208
Owen Sound, ON N4K 2J1
519-371-1059 phone
519-371-1752 fax
millela1@parl.gc.ca
http://www.larrymiller.ca/

Ottawa:
Room 510, Justice Building
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
613-996-5191 phone
613-952-0979 fax
ottawa@larrymiller.ca

Monday, December 12, 2011

NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN THIS

I had a few scathing, entertaining, yet profoundly true posts to make, you know, sort of like all of my posts.

Then I read this.   And there is nothing more important than this.

PLEASE vote for Jordan.

I met this young lady from Flesherton, once and I will remember her always.

She was poised, bright, smart, funny and beautiful.  Long and lanky, blonde and so smart, you just knew she was going to make a difference in the world.  Her parents hearts must still be breaking to lose her at such a young age.

Please vote for Jordan.  Maybe this is the way she will make a difference in our world. please help her. 
http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf11387

Sunday, December 11, 2011

HEDGE FUND NEWS

DEVENS — The hedge fund founder handed the longest prison term ever given for insider trading reported to a federal facility in Massachusetts early this afternoon to begin serving his 11-year sentence.


Prosecutors said he made more than $70 million in illegal profits in an insider trading scheme that enlisted friends and associates in the hedge fund industry and at public companies to provide inside information about earnings, mergers and acquisitions

Full article here:
http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/20111205ny_hedge_fund_founder_reports_to_prison_in_mass/

Saturday, December 10, 2011

GLOBE AND MAIL

"Unlike previous conflicts over quarries that tended to remain largely local schisms, the Melancthon battle has reverberated far and wide. The effort to stop the massive pit has united farmers and urbanites, renowned Toronto chefs and aboriginals, environmentalists and affluent entrepreneurs. Michael Wilson, a former federal Conservative cabinet minster and one-time Canadian ambassador to the United States, is also voicing concern."
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/globe-to/the-need-for-aggregate-puts-the-gta-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place/article2266761/

Friday, December 9, 2011

BUSINESS AS USUAL

"Corporate insiders have material non-public information about their companies. Although trading on such information is prohibited and insiders usually obey the rules, the information may still affect their buy or sell decisions. For example, if insiders know their company is about to release bad news, they will postpone their purchases, avoiding big losses. Academic studies have shown that insider purchases have been able to beat the market on the average.



Below we compiled a list of Dow stocks with insider purchases over the past three months."
http://seekingalpha.com/article/312764-insiders-are-bullish-about-these-dow-stocks

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Walnut Place, a group of undisclosed investors who oppose Bank of America Corp's (BAC.N: Quote) $8.5 billion mortgage bond settlement, is the Baupost Group, a distressed debt fund, according to an attorney for the bank.
http://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idCATRE7B805920111209

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/was-seth-klarman-just-exposed-bank-americas-biggest-short-and-covert-mbia-long

Thursday, December 8, 2011

DUFFERIN COUNTY WARDEN

Walter Kolodziechuk (Amaranth) won the Wardenship of the County of Dufferin tonight over Warren Maycock (cough: (weighted vote) Orangeville)

How did this happen? 

Well the weighted vote system only works when they want to sell the rail bed.

When it comes to voting in the Warden, it is a secret ballot and one vote per member.

FAIL TO PLAN....PLAN TO FAIL

You may have read in some of the interviews given that Highland Companies has neglected to plan for a worst case scenario with respect to the "water management plan".
What is their plan?
To pump, in perpetuity, 600 million litres of water a day...
They haven't made any contigency plans for any type of disruption.
Here is a link that shows what happens when things go a bit sideways.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html link is dead, but here are the pictures-wind storm in UK a week ago caused this:




Opps.

Followers