Saturday, June 30, 2012


Astounding and disturbing stats from the current In the Hills issue-link at the bottom so you can read the entire article. 

Notice the annual litres for all of these operations show 859,823,200 litres per YEAR in permits to take water. 
Enough to service a population of 9,300 people.

Highlands proposal, if approved, will mean a permit to take water of 900,000,000  600,000,000 litres per DAY.


Buzz on the street is the presentation on Wednesday June 27, 2012 at the Aggregate Review Act hearing held in Orangeville that made the most profound impact was the one given by Shelburne's Deputy Mayor Ken Bennington.

Powerful and Impactful were some of the words used to describe it.

Thanks to Shelburne and really really thanks to Ken.

Friday, June 29, 2012


Baupost / Highlands / Mavis Wilson / Seth Klarman / Hill of Beans and Knowlton / Aggregate Industry / Lobbyists reaction to the ARA hearings:

ARA Update

Firstly my bad-my last couple of posts mentioned the hearings were on Thursday, NOT Wednesday-but you guys are smart, you figured it out!!

And here are the U-tube videos, media and all the great stuff that came out of the Orangeville hearings.

Only disappointment? 

Carl wasn't wearing the pink shirt-the ladies will be disappointed-but he still knocked them on their butts with the truth.

Highlands-you guys should try that sometime-it is working wonders for NDACT!!

Link to CTV Barrie 6pm coverage via Youtube:
Notes from Hansard (13-Jun-2012) where Committee chooses travel dates:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012



Well because the Farmers Almanac says you can tell the temperature by the number of times a cricket chirps.

To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, count number of chirps in 14 seconds then add 40 to get temperature.

Example: 30 chirps + 40 = 70° F

To convert cricket chirps to degrees Celsius, count number of chirps in 25 seconds, divide by 3, then add 4 to get temperature.

Ex: 48 chirps /(divided by) 3 + 4 = 20° C

I would expect the chirps per 14 seconds to exceed the boiling point-mostly by the Aggregate Industry as they see more and more of the truth get through to the politicans
and press.


No new posts until after Thursday because all you need to know until then is to get to the ARA hearings being held there. 

See previous post!!

Friday, June 22, 2012


ARA Review Hearing update
Please attend and show your support.
Wed. 27-Jun-2012 @ 2 pm
Ballroom "A", Best Western PLUS Orangeville Inn & Suites,
7 Buena Visa Drive
2:00 Ken Cressey
2:30 Ron Lehman
2:45 Mike McGarrell, Protect Caledon Inc.
3:00 Margaret Mercer
3:15 Brent Preston, New Farm
3:45 Mike Schreiner, GPO
4:15 Donna Baylis
4:30 Carl Cosack, NDACT


Here is the "public notice" on the Ontario Legislature website about the ARA hearings coming to Orangeville

The Standing Committee on General Government will meet to review the Aggregate Resources Act.
The Committee intends to hold public hearings in Orangeville on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.
Interested people who wish to be considered to make an oral presentation in Orangeville on the review of the Aggregate Resources Act should contact the Clerk of the Committee by 12:00 noon on Thursday, June 21, 2012.
Those who do not wish to make an oral presentation but wish to comment on the review may send written submissions to the Clerk of the Committee at the address below by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17, 2012.
The terms of reference for the review are available on the Legislative Assembly website at:

Can anyone tell me, from this "public notice" where in the fXXk IN Orangeville the hearing is to be held. 

Click here to read in full:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Check out this link for all local updates, weather, police, bus cancellations, etc. etc.:


The existing Walker Mine in Duntroon (Clearview) is 100 acres and is now depleted. 

Take a drive by, there is NO rehabilitating that because they have dug below the water table. 

The operator/owner applied and today were approved by the OMB to expand across the road for a 200 acre quarry. 

And THAT is the problem with approving the first 100 acres-the next comes much more easily.

And the Clearview ratepayers didn't have to just content with the proponent, but their own local and County government:

In the fall of 2009, when the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) turned down the Walker application, we expected to face an expensive and complicated hearing which was scheduled to last for 10 weeks. We were also faced with the daunting task of opposing, not only the proponent Walker, but also, Simcoe County and Clearview Township whose legal and expert fees were paid by Walker to appear at the hearing in support of the application. (See the Settlement Agreements linked on the sidebar). After a long prehearing process, the hearing began on May 3, 2010, and the oral evidence finally came to a close in June, 2011, fourteen months later. The hearing adjourned for the preparation of an extensive written final argument which was completed in early August.

I am sure they could use some words of support right now, they fought the good fight. 

Monday, June 18, 2012


The following email was forwarded to me and I do appreciate the heads rant will be posted tomorrow.
We have just learned that the Standing Committee on General Government will hold public hearings about the Aggregate Resources Act in Orangeville next Wednesday, June 27th.
As you'll recall we won a significant victory when the Committee voted unanimously to extend the public hearings into the flawed ARA and hit the road. It appears the MPPs are now packing their bags. 
Yet, once again, the Committee is giving little notice to those wishing to speak.
The deadline for those who want to make an oral presentation before the MPPs is this Thursday, June 21st by Noon.
The person to e-mail with your request is Tamara Pomanski. Her e-mail is  Her phone number is 416-325-3515. Collect calls will be accepted.

As you'll recall, the Toronto hearings provided a detailed and, at times, disturbing look at how the aggregate industry operates in Ontario.

Self-regulating, self-monitoring, royalties of a mere 11.5-cents a tonne, 7,000 abandoned pits and quarries with little rehabilitation.

As the hearings proceeded and agricultural stakeholders testified, the MPPs learned that just .5 percent of all of Canada is comprised of Class 1 farmland with most of it in southern Ontario, that the agri-food sector contributes $33-billion to the provincial economy each year and the threat posed by below-the-water-table extraction is unacceptable in areas of source drinking water.

The final words spoken by an MPP at the Toronto hearings were "Clearly, there's an urgency to protect prime farmland" from aggregate extraction.

To those able to appear, let us know ( ) and we'll ensure you'll have plenty of support. As you'll note, there's also an opportunity for those who can't testify in person to write the Committee with their concerns about the ARA.

These hearings are taking place because of our efforts to stop the proposed mega quarry. We're the reason the ARA is under review. Let's keep up the pressure. To the keyboards!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012


"The two-fold purpose of Wednesday's meeting was to provide the latest information about a plan by Dufferin Aggregates Ltd. to open a pit on 614 acres of farmland on Watts Pond Road and to rev up a membership drive as the citizen group continues to press for a halt in the company's plans until they are reviewed."

In my opinion, the aggregate industry sees some very chilling changes coming to the sweet deal they have had for years and are now going full tilt to get all their licenses under the old system before things change.


Peter Kent makes this asinine statement, tweeted by Elizabeth May (thanks Elizabeth!!):

Elizabeth May MP@ElizabethMay
Peter Kent just denied the need for a fed EA of the mega-quarry in Melanchton.

Follow up tweets?
Peter Kent has suggested, via spokesman, gov't could replace his dept's expertise, relying on U.S. EPA!!

Time allocation RT PeterKent fires remaining Environment scientists, replaces them w/parrots

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Why is it the community has to find out the facts of what is happening in their community through a national newspaper, instead of from those elected or appointed to boards?

This is all information taxpayers are entitled to, instead of a pat on the head and a brush off by "THOSE IN POWER" 

I am talking about the column by Christie Blatchford in the Montreal Gazette about the longstanding issues at the Mel Lloyd Family Health Team.

Both the Mel Lloyd FHT in Shelburne and the Humber River FHT in northwest Toronto recently have seen clashes between administrators allegedly trying to bring standard governance procedures to the FHT boards, followed by a round of firings and staff or board member resignations.

The Mel Lloyd FHT, where board directors have twice resigned en masse and where staff turnover reached 51 per cent last year, now faces two wrongful dismissal suits from a former executive-director and a former administrator.

One of the suits, which seeks $800,000 in damages, alleges some of the doctors had been lured to the FHT by promises they could work part-time hours but be paid full-time.

 ....auditors found that two board members, including one of the FHT physicians, were in a conflict of interest.
Read more:

Read more:

NOT sure when those in power are going to realize the old boys network is over as are the days of backroom secret meetings outside of real meetings and withholding information on local boards, committees and Councils.

If this information can be printed in a newspaper, why in the hell couldn't it be issued in a press release from the Mel Lloyd Family Health Team Board?

And why would it take citizens to contact the Ministry and NOT the Board?  You know, those ones put in place to protect the public and taxpayer money.

I hope Pat gets every penny in her lawsuit because frankly she seems the only one with integrity in this entire situation.


"We want to hear from everyone about how we can build demand and access to Ontario food. I'm a firm believer that when we work together, we can accomplish great things."
– Ted McMeekin
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Well, you heard him folks, he wants to hear from you, how the government can bring home more local food. 
Have at it: 

Be sure to cc Sylvia as well:



Bringing Home More Local Food

June 9, 2012

McGuinty Government Consulting on the Good Things that Grow in Ontario

Ontario is looking to encourage more families to ask for, and buy locally grown food.
Whether you grow, make, serve, sell or eat Ontario food, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs wants to hear your ideas on how Ontario can encourage more people to ask for-- and enjoy -- more locally grown food.
With summer in full swing, why not consider some of the ways to promote the good things that grow in Ontario, including:
  • Visiting a local farm market; meet the people who produce your food.
  • Discovering the variety of food products available at your local farmers' markets.
  • Choosing Ontario wines and craft beer to complement your next meal.
  • Brightening up your table with Ontario potted plants and fresh cut flowers.
  • Any time of year, looking for delicious Ontario foods including meat, dairy, eggs, honey, apples, rhubarb, mushrooms, root vegetables, and greenhouse produce in stores.
A strong agri-food industry is part of the McGuinty government's plan to create jobs and opportunities that will grow the economy.


"We want to hear from everyone about how we can build demand and access to Ontario food. I'm a firm believer that when we work together, we can accomplish great things."
– Ted McMeekin
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Monday, June 11, 2012


In case you missed this story in the Globe, there is a potato shortage in Canada and processing plants are being shut down on the East Coast because of it.

Canada is facing a potato shortage, mainly because of poor growing conditions last summer. That has sent wholesale prices for some spuds soaring and forced processors such as Toronto-based McCain Foods Ltd. to temporarily close some plants.
Apparently there is a tater shortgage at Highland Farms (aka Wilson/Downey). 
But Highland's shortgage wasn't caused by poor growing conditions, just simple stupidity. 
"Someone" forget to look in the bin and see what the status of their spud supply was until one day they were out...of...potatoes with contracts to fill.
Lyrics sung to the tune of Yes I have no Bananas...
Yes I have no potatoes,
I have no potatoes today.....
(Or tomorrow or next week for that matter)
Remember their pledge to operate a world class potato operation?

Sunday, June 10, 2012


The article posted at has the headline Where should Dufferin be Headed. 

On June 6th a meeting to get the public's input was held at Dufferin Oaks. 

The article states:  Many of the people in attendance dreamt of more reliable Internet service countywide, a flourishing equine sector, improved access to health care in north Dufferin, more business and industry, as well as land use planning authority at the county level.

Minebusters response to where Dufferin residents should be headed is as far away and as fast as possible over upper tier planning authority.

It may sound benign but what it means for the rural communities is Orangeville, I mean the County, has final say over our OP's. 

And in my opinion, with the weighted voting system at the County, and Orangeville holding most of the votes, rural Dufferin isn't going to get much, except the County's bill for this new planning service (Directors, planner both junior and senior and office space and admin staff, etc, etc,) and more turbines, landfills, little to no urban expansion in their settlement areas, more aggregate designations and NO employment land designations.

And the Shelburne County Councillor who got caught with his hand in the proverbial Conflict of Interest Cookie Jar over the Shelburne arena and is still pissed at his fellow Shelburne Councillors because they took a stand and deemed that he shouldn't have been doing that, he will vote with Orangeville on County issues, particularly if it screws his Shelburne Council.

And the Mulmur County Councillor who sues everyone who looks at her the wrong way instead of getting on with the business for which she was elected, will vote with Orangeville on County issues, particularly if it screws her Mulmur Council.

I see a very dangerous trend here. 

While not amalgamating in full, the County is taking over the County piecemeal-waste management, composting, hazardous waste, I.T., emergency management, building inspections and permits, now a call for upper tier planning authority.....

Orangeville will benefit, as well as empire building at the County because of course more staff, more departments, then more money for the senior staff who are supervising more staff and the lower tiers will pay, and not just with money, trust me.

The county’s second public forum for its Strategic Plan process will be held on Tuesday (June 12) at Monora Park, beginning at 7 p.m. For more information, call 519-941-2816, ext. 2816 or visit  to fill out a survey online.                                    

Here is the news article in full:

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Here is another approach to the Melancthon MEGA Mural (MMM) that Highlands has plastered on the side of one of the remaining structures they own and have not demolished.

For the background to this PR fiasco, see the blog posted on Sunday June 2, 2012 titled: What a Nightmare....

This picture of the original MMM was taken just to the NORTH and shows the wooden frame in the forefront, the one on which they announced to the world they were digging a 2,300 acre, 200 foot below the water table, open pit limestone mine.

Here is the MMM mere hours after Baupost/Seth/Highlands/HofB&K realized their PR blunder after, presumably, reading this blog:

You will note the big red circle in the above picture where the wooden sign used to stand, but it has been ripped out and left lying there.

They have done that to quite a few of these signs, however they left the carcasses behind along County 124 as shown in this next picture: 

For a different approach however, from the SOUTH of the MMM that is, you can see a chain link fence (circled in red below) with all the test wells they have sunk in preparation for their 2,300 acre, 200 foot below the water table open pit limestone mine they are proposing to dig.  And oh yeah, their MMM is in the background.

And the small red arrow points to a well placed

(insert maniacal laugh here)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Wow, those pesky rules that make BILLION $$ Hedgefunds file reports must make their secretative alligator skins crawl..because people actually read those reports and report on them.

Anyhew, here you go:
The mega-quarry project application filed by Highland Companies (controlled by Baupost Group) continued to face local opposition. An application for a 2316 acre limestone mega-quarry at a depth of 200 ft. below the water level was filed on March 3, 2011, but local farmers (North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Taskforce and Citizens' Alliance for a Sustainable Environment) forced the Ontario government to order a full environmental assessment of the project. The latest development is a letter dated May 7, 2012 from the Chairman of NDACT alleging that the review process of the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) largely excluded locals and should therefore make amendments so as "to conduct more thorough ARA review hearings" and to have hearings at select rural communities including Dufferin County. If Highland Companies succeed in building the mine, Baupost Group will control the second largest such mine in North America with limestone deposits worth upwards of $6B at current prices. Highland Companies acquired the entire acreage between 2006 and 2010 for around $50M.

Read more about it here:

Then there is this little gem....A May 2012 article by Gareth Browh: Read the comments at the end where the author, in response to a post by Tess Mansfield replies that he suspects we will win our battle against Klarman!!!

And yet one more:
The largest hedge funds in Boston control more than $130 billion in assets, with some of the top firms run by executives who used to manage Harvard University’s endowment, according to a Globe analysis of federal filings that provide the first glimpse into an industry that has largely been able to keep its financial records private.

Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group is Boston’s biggest hedge fund, and ranks number five in the country, with $25 billion in assets in 2011. Baupost grew by $2 billion last year, and produced a profit, according to Klarman’s January letter to investors, despite a flat stock market in which the average hedge fund lost 5 percent of its value.

Klarman, a philanthropist who also owns a minority stake in the Boston Red Sox, is known for his bargain-hunting in unusual places. Two of his current bets are on the debt of bankrupt Lehman Brothers, which is still being traded in anticipation of a bankruptcy settlement and on a Canadian company that’s trying to start a rock quarry, according to a recent Fortune magazine report.

And Baupost, can I call you Seth???, you don't have to thank, or pay Minbuster for the free publicity.  As all lawyers and PR firms worth a hill of beans will tell you, any publicity is GREAT publicity and I am glad to help.  BWWWHAAHAHAHAHAHWWWHAHAHAHAH!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012



We learned tonight that the Standing Committee on General Government will take the public hearings into the Aggregate Resources Act on the road for four days. As you'll recall, the all-party committee voted unanimously three weeks ago to extend the hearings beyond the 12 hours allotted in Toronto and to travel the province. While four days does not seem like a lot -- I had expected at least a couple of weeks to fit in travel time, the more than dozen towns that requested a visit plus the promised tours of quarry sites -- it is a victory and another phase in our fight. PC MPP Sylvia Jones says the public hearings into the budget bill were given less time. (That's not exactly comforting news, either!)

Thanks to everyone who wrote letters, sent e-mails, attended the Toronto hearings and followed the process closely. We did it. The hearings have been extended. The committee is travelling. Let's keep the MPPs busy and on the road!

No dates or specific locations have been chosen yet, but we certainly want the members to visit the proposed mega quarry site and hear from those most impacted. The committee has already received an invitation to stop by Honeywood where there is a large arena, perfect for a very large turnout! Over the next several weeks we will encourage them to add Honeywood to the list. It's only fair. If not for the proposed mega quarry, the review of the ARA would not be happening.

Thanks again for all of your hard work. Enjoy the weekend. We'll get busy again next week!



What do US Hedgefunds manufacture in Canada?

Seemingly 2,300 acre 200 feet below the water table open pit limestone mines....and well lawsuits.

Read all about it:

Saturday, June 2, 2012




After months of silence the Highland Companies aka Baupost aka Seth Klarman have come out in a spectacular flame out.

They had this mural painted on the side of one of the buildings they own which they have not yet demolished.  It is located on Dufferin County Road 124.

EXCEPT in a stupid faux paux or Foe PAW for us country folks, they did this across from the farms who hosted Foodstock.

Remember Foodstock....

That was October 2011 where 28,000 people came out to support Stopping the Quarry.

And if you notice the frame sign to the left of the picture in the you know what this is?

That is the frame on which they posted their notice under the Planning Act advising they had submitted an application to amend the Official Plan to permit them to dig a 2,300 acre, 200 foot below the water table open pit limestone mine (bigger than Niagara Falls) on the very same land on which this building sits on which they have painted this mural in support of farming.

And an online facebook initiative is now taking comments on what YOU would like to see written in the yellow on the building.  Here is the link and have fun.!/no.mega.quarry

Good god,  Baupost/Highlands entire Public Relations initiative has not been worth a hill of beans.