Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Rachel McAdams
photo by Jason van Bruggen

Unlike Minebuster's photo's, this one is real, NOT photoshopped. 

For more check out:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


The March 1 Council agenda is posted.

Not much on it.

It is more what ISN'T on it.

Not one peep from the contract planner is scheduled at 1 pm.

We were advised in the November 17, 2011 minutes, by the Mayor, that there would be something on the December 1, 2011 agenda regarding the Official Plan that the planner has been working on for about six years now.

We were advised in 2009 that he was billing about $20,000 a year for OP work alone.

But Nope, nothing.

I guess we can't be trusted with an actual copy of what he will be presenting in advance.  If you want to hear it, you will have to take the day off work and be there.

The time has passed for excuses from the planner and now there needs to be accountability from Council as well as transparency.

Ratepayers deserve nothing less than a written staff report outling the date the planner was retained to work on the new official plan, original time lines, commitments made by the planner, why council is not having the planner produce work and EXACTLY how much taxpayers have paid to date for pretty much diddly squat.

And if the Mayor wants to equate it to a 1% tax rate (1% = $14,000.00) that would be better.  Put it into proper context for us.



(1.47 Stop the Quarry and Jeremy Taggart, good local boy!!)

Monday, February 27, 2012


At OGRA/ROMA today McGuinty made this promise....


McGuinty made this promise....(so don't get your shorts in a knot, may never happen)
You will see that we chose many of your suggestions to improve our (renewable energy) program,” McGuinty told delegates at the Combined Rural Ontario Municipal Association and Ontario Good Roads Association Conference.
“We’re listening, and taking municipal concerns into account as we make thoughtful choices.”
Rural outrage over wind farms is widely credited with costing the Liberals several southwestern Ontario seats in the 2010 election.


There is really no one to thank for making it possible for Minebuster to win a Tater Award for best blog except...

Highland Companies
Michael Daniher
John Lowndes
Hill (of beans) and Knowlton
Seth Klarman
Bruce and Mavis

In the words of Elvis, Thank you, thank you very much!

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I will admit I am not the smartest person in this big gene pool.

So I may have misunderstood this picture Highlands has on their site.

This is a picture of the Bingham Canyon Copper Mine, the deepest mine of this type in the world. 

And as you can see, they way Highlands has shown it, THEIR mine (and it is a mine, NOT a quarry, check out the definition) will be deeper?  (See the orange line)

Did I get it wrong? 


Friday, February 24, 2012


Well, maybe there is someone more deserving of a Tater Award than Minebuster.

Bigger audience.

More reasoned rational arguments instead of the ones Minebuster makes like "Highlands are poo poo heads!!:

So here they are, fresh off their BIG Tater Award win.

Dale and Mary, Dynamic Goldhawk Duo!!

I am sure they had it in the bag the first time they interviewed Daniher.

Daniher was answering questions like a one armed wallpaper hanger-nothing was straight.

Goldhawk put him on hold, telling him (and I am paraphrasing here) he would get back to him when Daniher could actually answer a direct question with a direct answer.

Pretty sure Daniher is still on hold and it was days after that Daniher disappeared from the face of Melancthon.

And here is my fundraising idea for the stop the quarry movement.

Tater Tour

A Tater Parade....

Hobo Wally's theme song - with Stompin Tom's potato ballads thrown in here and there (Ketchup loves Potatoes, Bud the Spud)

People make donations to get their picture with the Tater Award. 

Tater Award buttons.

Create a Tater Dance, (aka the Time Warp)
You will raise MILLIONS.....maybe not in money, but in cultlike followers!!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Still reveling in winning a major award!!!

No time to blog, working on my acceptance speech!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


In the words of Sally Field, You like me, you really like me!!

LOOKIE here, Mining for Truth in Melancthon got a Tater Award for best blog!!!!!!!

Click here:

And oh yeah, a bunch of other people got awards for some pretty cool things they did towards stopping the quarry!!

They are in good company!! ;)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012



Amazing group of folks that know and care about stopping the MegaQuarry in Melancthon. See how many you recognize - then click on the caption button on the bottom left of Jason's site and see the names! such names!


Sunday, February 19, 2012


Makes me wonder how a large company would have trouble securing an operating loan for their business.

Makes me also wonder if their investors know about that.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


The Stop the Quarry initiative is suggesting that you forward this letter to Mr. Klarman at
 For the special attention of Seth Klarman and the Baupost Group


As 2011 draws to a close, Mr. Klarman, we hope this report finds you in good health and spirits. It’s been a remarkable year for thousands of us in Canada, thanks to you folks in Boston. We didn’t really know much about you when 2011 began, just that you had set up the Highland Companies in 2006 and bought 8,000-acres of prime farmland in the lovely Hills of Headwaters northwest of Toronto. We were told by your Highland reps that you were here to farm our rare Honeywood silt loam. “We want to become the largest potato producers in Ontario!” they said. There were rumours you had other plans for the land and the aquifer beneath the fields, but being polite Canadians, we didn’t want to believe them

Click here for full article:


Another local family who thought they would be able to deal with a big company and be treated fairly and not get screwed.

Hydro One project leaves family farm in shambles

GRAND VALLEY, ONT. - A massive construction project by Hydro One has turned this small corner of paradise into a hellish nightmare.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Mount Kilimanjaro!!


The Orangeville Citizen is conducting an on-line poll as to whether you are concerned about Highland’s rail deal proposal with Orangeville. (As you know, Highland is trying to buy a rail-line stretching north to Georgian Bay, far from the GTA market it claims it will serve.)

Please VOTE:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Stats/hits on the blog are down.

H&K must be on their winter vaykay?


I opened this email this morning:

Artists Against the MegaQuarry would like to create a special segment that focuses on the 31 homesteads that have been destroyed by Highland.

They envision paintings, photo collages, old letters from previous owners -- a visual history of the farms, the families who lived on them and what's been taken from the community since Highland bought the land.

They need photos of the old places -- homes, barns, laneways, families -- anything that can inspire the artists. They will post the images on the Artists Against the MegaQuarry website and put out the call to the artists to submit artwork depicting these lost places so should you submit something, please know that it may be posted in the public realm and reproduced.

Can you help in finding those photos, letters and history about the properties from the past and help tell their stories before they are lost forever.

Before and after photo's would be wonderful.

If you were an owner or resident of a property that is still standing, but which Highlands now owns, please forward the same things-as these homesteads face the same fate.

Please indicate the name of the homestead/lot and concession as well, which helps in identifying the properties.

Thanks for your help.

I have removed the email and contact name from the above, so check out the facebook site or to find out details where you need to remit the stuff.


"Fortune magazine in the U-S has published an article about Seth Klarman and the mega quarry fight. A reporter from the magazine visited the area in December for a couple of days and interviewed several farmers about the controversy. Keep in mind it is a business magazine which applauds the business acumen of investors like Seth Klarman. But it's the first time a leading American business magazine has covered our fight. There's room to comment below! "

Here is hoping these comments don't disappear like the last ones!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Guest anon blogger tonight....
from The Banner this week:

In nearby Melancthon, data shows the municipality losing 56 residents, bringing its total population down to 2,839 from 2,895 in 2006, or 1.9 per cent.

In addition, Melancthon has the lowest population density ranking in all of Dufferin, with 9.1 residents living on each square kilometre of land.

“I’m actually surprised by the number,” commented Melancthon Mayor Bill Hill. “So, it does concern me.”

Surprised by the number!? Does the Mayor really know what is going on in the township?

Can you take down 30+ farms and still have the same population? If the quarry (and the next batch of turbines) goes through, he could be Mayor of an uninhabited wasteland, but he might be raking in $5 million per year due to the generosity of our biggest taxpayer ( Lowndes did say that). Maybe then (ha!) the remaining hangers on, trapped by economic circumstances, might have (or better yet, deserve) ZERO property tax.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Shelburne cites major mega-quarry concerns

In a hard-hitting letter to Environment Minister Jim Bradley, the Town of Shelburne has listed six major concerns about the Melancthon mega-quarry and set out stringent demands for a full Environmental Assessment (EA).

Simply stated, Shelburne’s position is that “given the magnitude and duration of the proposed Highland quarry operations, the livelihoods and quality of life of the people who would be adversely affected by the project for generations to come should it proceed, and the need to fully consider and evaluate the rationale for, the alternatives to, and the alternative methods – locations – of carrying out this undertaking, Shelburne urges you to only approve a TOR (Terms of Reference) document from Highland that proposes the preparation of a full EA, as promised by Minister Wilkinson, pursuant to Sect. 6.1.2 of the EAA,” the letter states.


First an article appears early in the week about a new proposal for the abandoned rail line-the chinese want to use it to construct a hydro corridor to service their turbines. They make the statement that:

“It would be placed on the side of the rail line easement, which would not prevent any future rail use,” Hammond said. “It was actually a stipulation in the discussions.”

Awfully good of them to be worried about maintaining the bed for rail.

Then a flier went out to all mailboxes in Melancthon.  In my opinion, while it purported to be against wind turbines, it was thinly veiled disguise against opponents against the mega-quarry (either those who wouldn't sell out or have been very visible and vocal against the quarry).  The flier spoke more about the mega quarry, specialty crop and opposing the mega quarry than it did about wind turbines.

Then this little article appears today:
The Town of Orangeville and the Highland Group of Companies are arranging a five-year extension of an agreement regarding sale of the town-owned Orangeville Brampton Railway to the company.

This is the little deal where Orangeville is paid $500,000 a year from Highlands for the option to purchase the rail bed located in Dufferin should the votes at County happen to fall in favour of Highlands.  To date, Orangeville has received $2 million and over the next five years will received $2.5 million more.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


UPDATE: It would seem the author of the article calling Seth the World's Greatest Living Value Investor has Seth's back.  All of the comments that were posted to the article have been removed and there is no ability to post comments at all.  Freedom of the Press?  Free speech?  I guess not. 

Read this article and then be sure to check out the comments and then be sure to comment:

Best quote in the comments?

"Value but no VALUES!!!"

Spot on.


The biggest, deepest limestone mine in North America.

The MOST freaking turbines in Ontario.

When is enough, enough for Melancthon?

Now another rail plan.

Instead of trails and rails it is proposed to be rails and a FREAKING HYDRO CORRIDOR to service wind turbines.

Dufferin Wind Power Inc. has requested permission to run a hydro line alongside the county’s rail lands from its proposed 100 MW wind farm in Melancthon to the Orangeville Transfer Station on County Road 11.
The company, owned by a North American subsidiary of China Longyuan Power Group Corporation Limited and Farm Owned Power (Melancthon) Ltd., would use the easement to install a single, wood-pole utility line to connect its proposed wind farm to Ontario’s electrical grid.
We just think that this is a good solution for the community,” said Jeff Hammond, senior vice-president of Dufferin Wind Power Inc.

I am so tired of foreign companies telling us what THEY think would be good for OUR community. 


Excerpt from the Orangeville Banner article:

"Melancthon is within 75 km of areas with a high need for aggregate.  If we bring it down from North Bay, the cost is three to five times as much,” Lowndes said."

Full article here:

In my opinion, I think they are really saying is if they bring it down from North Bay, the anticipated PROFIT to Baupost would be less.

So instead of making $43.2 BILLION as the article in ValueWalk suggests, their return would ONLY be say $35 BILLION? 

And what no one is mentioning in this argument is, Ontario will always need aggregate.

Even if they get their shit together and figure out how to use less and recycle more, the Province of Ontario will still be the biggest consumer of aggregate and will continue to need aggregate.

So, when Baupost mines out Melancthon and disappears with their BILLIONS in profit, not only will someone else HAVE to go north to mine that limestone with all the resultant extra costs, Ontario will also be left with a big hole in the ground, 75km from the GTA that once produced "local food".

Oh yeah, Ontario taxpayers will also be left with a big bill for pumping water- not in perpetuity- just until the sun explodes!! (I stole that from the speaker at the NDACT meeting).

So the only one who wins here by "selling the close to market" strategy is Baupost investors.



"So goes the health of the water, so goes the health of the community." Bruce Davidson from Walkerton

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Orangeville Banner reporter Bill Tremblay is looking for assistance.  See his Twitter account:
Bill Tremblay
@billtremblay Any geologists out there specialize in the relationship between limestone and agriculture? #longshot

Can anyone help?  Anyone but Hill of Beans and Knowlton and of course Lowndes.


Lowndes added removing the limestone would not affect the land’s class one prime farmland designation following rehabilitation.

“It’s not the limestone that makes it class one prime land,” Lowndes said. “I do not believe that to be a true statement.”

And remember, this guy is a supposed Queen's grad with an engineering degree.

Read the rest of the asinine statements being made by Highlands.

Analysis tomorrow.

Monday, February 6, 2012


The stunning closure of a London locomotive factory shows the federal law on foreign purchases of Canadian firms needs more teeth, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Monday.

That’s the only way to shrink the odds that plants will be “bought and stripped clean.”

So, based on his position on the Caterpillar plant, and his calls for Ottawa to protect Canada, our Premier can hardly support a US based hedgefund from buying and stripping clean prime agricultural land in Ontario.  And leaving nothing but a hole wider and deeper than Niagara Falls.

Send your emails of support to Premier McGuinty and thank him for supporting laws to stopping the Highland Quarry!!!

Twitter: @Dalton_McGuinty


Dale Goldhawk interviewed Kim Palacios who is an investment analyst with the U-S website, ValueWalk, and has written three critical articles about Baupost's plans for the project in the past six weeks.

If you would like to thank Dale, please forward your emails:


For those of you who are not on twitter, here are some recent posts. 

Remember the good guys are, well anyone EXCEPT @Teamhighland

Team Headwaters @TeamHeadwaters
Given delays & opposition to the Highland #megaquarry, @valuewalk analyst says "strong possibility" Baupost could lose $$. @dalegoldhawk

Team Headwaters @TeamHeadwaters
U-S @valuewalk analyst tells @dalegoldhawk "none of what I heard was encouraging" when Highland #megaquarry reps spoke to council Jan 12th.

Team Headwaters @TeamHeadwaters
@taggart7 Is it just us or is one Highland rep using the other as a human shield to avoid the TV camera? 4:52 mark:

Team Headwaters @TeamHeadwaters
@TeamHighland Your vague promises about the supposed economic benefits of the #megaquarry take another hit in the U-S.

And Teamhighlands cutting rebuttals?  Well the last tweet was February 3 so clearly they aren't being paid by volume.  Hope they also aren't being paid by quality because both are lacking:

Highland Companies @TeamHighland
Yesterday’s presentation to the Melancthon Township Council has been posted online and can be found at

Sunday, February 5, 2012


What I understood yesterday at the NDACT meeting in Honeywood is in all EA's the proponents are in charge of the "process".

Meaning Highland/aka Baupost will direct the "process"

Which does NOT provide any comfort.

We are to believe these people?

Truthiness: The quality of stating concepts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than the facts.
Origin: Stephen Colbert, "The Colbert Report," 2005

June 2009:
At an NDACT meeting Michael Daniher, then the spokesperson for Highlands, stated the demolished houses had been condemned. The only person who issues demolition orders is the Chief Building Official for the County of Dufferin who stated in a June 22, 2009 email: “None of these properties you are asking about have been as you say "condemned" by the County of Dufferin Building Department. “

January 14, 2012:
When asked why Highlands demolished the farmsteads, Public Relations guru Hill and Knowlton employee Lindsay Broadhead said it was because many of the properties were of “low quality” and that the company  converted the space to farmland. (  )

So between June 2009 and January 14, 2012 what changed?  The houses were condemned or of low quality or you needed the land to farm?  And notice she said MANY of the houses were of low quality, not ALL, just MANY.  So why take downt the rest?  If Highlands was going to farm the land then why are there no crops growing where homesteads and barns once stood?  And what happened to all septic systems attached to these houses/barns?  Were they just bulldozed into the land you intend to farm?

June 2009:
Michael Daniher, spokesperson for Highlands, made a public statement at an NDACT meeting that Highlands would be taking down structures in LESS than double digits.

January 14, 2012:
They have demolished over 30 now

So from 2009 to 2012 what changed?  Besides the loss of 30 homesteads.

January 27, 2011:
Daniher said: The proposed quarry will not and cannot have the impact alleged by NDACT. Quarries are highly regulated, and a water management plan must be contained in the application." (  )

December 12, 2011:
TeamHighland Highland Companies @ @TeamHeadwaters @nomegaquarry: We're committed in all of our operations - farming and quarrying - to having no adverse effect on water

So which is it?  Can't have the alleged impact (which means there WILL be an impact) or to having no adverse impact on water?  And frankly saying "we're committed in all of our operation having no adverse impact on water" is exactly like saying I am committed to losing 50 pounds this year.  Doesn't mean it is going to happen, just that I committed to trying.

January 2009:
At meeting held in Honeywood, at which NDACT was organized, an individual named Michael Daniher stood up and identified himself as a spokesperson for the Highland Companies (would not confirm when asked if he was a lawyer-which he is) and stated in front of about 300 witnesses that Highlands intention was to farm the land NOT to develop aggregate.  A ratepayer stood up and stated the MOE, MNR and MMAH had confirmed with her that Highlands had in fact been in discussions with these ministries about a quarry.

Less than 3 days later:
In a phone interview Tuesday, Michael Daniher of the Toronto consulting firm of Special Situations Inc. — representing The Highlands Companies Inc. — said the group has never attempted to hide the fact that it will continue farming while looking beyond for other opportunities such as wind and bedrock resources. Mr. Daniher would not confirm that the group has already discussed aggregate extraction with the Province, but he did say it had discussed a number of issues with a number of ministries.”” (Orangeville Citizen, January 22, 2009 author Wes Keller)

So unless you catch them lying....they will not own up.  And when they do own up, as you see it is NOT their fault, everyone else just misunderstood.

January 14, 2012:
“At the time of purchase they [company representatives] were keeping all options open and they were always very clear to people when questions were asked,” says Lindsay Broadhead, of the public relations firm Hill and Knowlton Canada, which speaks for Highlands. (

December 30, 2011
“To the extent they asked us, we said we were going to do farming; and we said there are other alternatives; and the question is, how much more did they ask?” says Izhakoff . At the time the land was purchased, the company could not even be assured a quarry was feasible, he adds. ( )

Catch the wording-"to the extent they asked".  Not true.  Daniher was asked at the January 2009 meeting about gravel extracation and denied it. 

Spring/Summer 2011
Mr. Daniher asserted in an interview on Dale Goldhawk's show that Highlands stone is 90% for use in the Greater Golden Horseshoe and 10% in the Barrie area and that Owen Sound and export are scare tactics of opponents.

November 14, 2011
TeamHighland Highland Companies tweeted:
Ontario needs aggregate. 100% of the aggregate extracted from the Melancthon Quarry will be used in Ontario / Greater Golden Horseshoe.

So which is it-100% or 90% to the GTA

So, with Highlands in charge of the EA Process, god help us all and thanks to NDACT for standing on guard for us.

From the NDACT site:


On February 3 the blog posted a great synopsis of Lowndes attendance with his pp, I mean powerpoint, at Melancthon Council.  It was written and submitted by an anon contributor.

It was titled the Great Escape and the video was there for all to see. 

That smile plastered on his face while he hid behind PR people, grabbed his coat and scuttled to his vehicle.

But it reminded me of something and then I remembered.

That wasn't his first instance of hiding behind the coattails of someone. 

Here is a series of pictures from Highlands "public meeting" last April after they filed their ridiculous plan under the Aggregate Resources Act with the MNR.


STEP AWAY FROM JOHN LOWNDES, he knows nothing!!!!
And the lurch guy in the background?   I noticed him at the NDACT meeting yesterday.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


BREAKING UPDATE: THE PERSON BEING INTERVIEWED IS KIM PALACIOS who wrote those GREAT stories about Baupost and what a crappy investment they have made in the Highland Companies Mega-Quarry.  Kim was on Goldhawk before, here it is:

Donna W and Dale Goldhawk at the rally following the
Walk from Queen's Park
(Easter weekend 2011)

On Monday Goldhawk is interviewing an american investment writer about the Baupost and its troubles in Melancthon.   740 AM from 11 am -1 pm

Tune in
call in
spread the word
support the movement to Stop the Quarry
and support Goldhawk
who has been a good friend of the movement!!

Friday, February 3, 2012


Detailed, fact based site on Highlands.



Do not take this 2,316 acre quarry lightly. The environmental impacts of this proposed quarry are complex and far-reaching due to its scale. Opponents are estimating that the drinking water of one million people in southern Ontario could be affected. While the Aggregate Resources Act does not require an Environmental Assessment for this quarry, enough concern has been shown by the people of Ontario to prompt the Government of Ontario into taking this unprecedented step.

Broad concerns are: loss of water quality, loss of prime farmland, community impact, loss of long-term jobs, blasting impact, additional heavy traffic, dust, loss of air quality, noise pollution, Niagara Escarpment impact, potential to take water, potential to export.

Currently, the ball is in Highland’s court. The Province of Ontario mandated an unprecedented provincial environmental assessment (EA) in Sept-2011. The first step of the EA is for Highland to file the terms of reference. In the mean time, opponents are (i) generating awareness, (ii) demanding a Joint Review Panel (includes a Federal environmental assessment), and (iii) raising funds for the upcoming fight. Yes, this will be a long (10 years?) and expensive ($2 million?) fight.

The principal of the Highland Companies, Mr. John Lowndes, is the brother of Mr. David Lowndes of Lowndes Holdings who initiated zoning for a quarry in Flamborough. Lowndes Holdings ultimately sold its Flamborough interest to St. Mary’s Cement. St. Mary’s continues to pursue the Flamborough quarry despite heavy opposition and is now suing the Government of Canada under NAFTA. See FORCE for further information. [Also General FAQs and glossary courtesy of FORCE.]

Finally, to quote an article by Our Innisfill, Melancthon Quarry and Lessons from Site 41, “In other words, the foreign-funded commercial mining enterprise reaps the benefit of maximum extraction and profit during a finite lifespan while Ontario residents are expected to assume all the risk of unknown, possibly unforeseen, consequences without limit.”


If it wasn't for facebook I would have no material at all.

Once again, stolen openly and shamelessly from facebook:


submitted via email by a guest contributor

Hi everyone -- Earlier today, the Highland Companies appeared before Melancthon township council to make a PowerPoint presentation about the proposed mega quarry. A reporter from CTV News in Barrie attended the meeting and tried to get Highland reps John Lowndes and Joseph Izhakoff to speak to him immediately after the presentation. Scroll to the 4:52 minute mark in this newscast. You will be treated to a remarkable scene. Lowndes appears to hide behind the much larger Izhakoff and neither man will mumble a word to the reporter. They must be pouring stiff drinks at Hill and Knowlton tonight.,-2012-ctvnews-at-6-webcast

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I am not sure how much Baupost is paying Hill of beans and Knowlton for their "expertise" but they are being ripped off.

Did you catch Lowndes on Roger Klein's report 10 minutes ago, scuttling across the parking lot to evade the camera, kinda like a dung beetle on its way back to its hole in the ground?

And Highland refused to be interviewed on camera.  They did commit on twitter to post their PowerPoint but I am sure it will be as santized as their "official" questions and answers they posted a couple weeks ago. 


Seriously, Hill of beans and Knowlton is digging a PR hole bigger and deeper than the proposed HIGHLAND (not Melancthon) Quarry.


Bigger than the Beatles

Today at 11 am - Melancthon Council

Highland Companies POWER POINT presentation.

Wow, I can hear the teenage girls screaming in the background and everyone else laughing.

Hope this POWERPOINT is better than their "professionally" done DVD. 

I hear the "Highlands DVD game" is now bigger than Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with the college kids.

The kids have turned the DVD into a drinking game-everytime Highlands utters something completely untrue and/or unbelievable on the DVD you take a drink.

Except the game doesn't last long, there are so many untruths that people are too loaded to continue after the first five minutes!