Here is the link to the pdf mentioned on my Facebook post.
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Here is the link to the pdf mentioned on my Facebook post.
Regional Councillor Jane Mitchell is running for re-election in the City of Waterloo.
“We will all miss Chair Ken Seiling’s steady hand. With a new Chair at the head of the Region, experienced councillors are needed,” says Jane.
Jane has a solid record of hard work and leadership. She is the past-chair of the Grand River Conservation Authority. This past term, as Chair of the Licensing and Hearing Committee she guided the creation and updating of the vehicle for hire by-law that regulated and legalized services such as Uber, a process that has been very contentious in other municipalities. At the end of the process, her leadership as chair earned her a standing ovation from other councillors.
Jane attends hundreds of events, both big and small to help keep her hand on the pulse of her constituents. She works on numerous committees including, the Crime Prevention Council, Waste Management Master Plan, Alternate Transportation Advisory Committee, Budget, Planning and Works, Community Services. Jane is the Chair of the Employment and Income Support Advisory Committee which includes Ontario Works Clients and various representatives of community agencies.
This past term, Jane has worked on the Biosolids Master Plan, stopping a Biosolids Drying plant from being built at the Waterloo Landfill. She worked on the Waste Master Plan which led to the successful weekly diversion of organic waste to the green bin and onto compost and weekly recycle pickup throughout the Region. The introduction of every other week pickup of residual garbage saves the Region one million a year.
A user of public transit as well as a car driver, Jane is proud of her role in the expansion of the transit system and the introduction of the Ion. Roundabouts and road improvements and expansions have made driving easier. Segregated bike lanes and pedestrian sidewalks and trails on Regional roads will mean more options for people as they get around the Region. Two way all day trains from Toronto and GO from Cambridge are a must for the further prosperity of the Region.
Jane has recently been working on the Regional Housing Master Plan which is proposed to increase the amount of social housing in Waterloo Region. She wants to continue tackling homelessness and the creation of social housing
It is no coincidence that the Region of Waterloo is booming. Over 2.1 billion dollars of development is occurring. Waterloo has seen the expansion of both Universities and Conestoga College with the support of the Region. The Region of Waterloo has racked up a triple A rating from Moody’s for the last 18 years as long as Jane has been on council.
Jane championed the countryside line, the Environmentally Sensitive Landscapes, and urban intensification to help protect our valuable farmland. As Chair of the GRCA, she oversaw projects to keep the Grand River watershed mostly flood free and the water clean. Large investments have been made to keep our drinking water pure.
This is only a taste of the work Jane has done as a councillor. Jane’s hard work, experience and leadership keep the Region of Waterloo and the City of Waterloo vibrant and a great place to live. There is more to be done and she will do it.
Regional Staff have responded to my request to look into using Renewable Energy to power the Ion. Here is the memo. With I will say, a lot of research by staff
The Memo sent to Regional Councillors is below:
Region staff have looked at a few possible options to provide renewable power for the ION system.
The chart below shows the mix of electric power sources in Ontario. Approximately 33% of the normal power in the grid comes from renewable sources. The majority of the power (63%) comes from nuclear energy with the remainder (4%) from gas/oil.
2017 Transmission-Connected Generator Output
|2017 (% of total)||63%||26%||4%||6%||<1%||<1%|
Possible ways to use all or more renewable energy for the ION include:
Each of the options is reviewed briefly with some discussions of pros and cons:
Option 1. Region or other party creates specific source of power (solar and/or wind)
Based on the above Region staff believe that the best option at this time is Option 3.
Region staff approached a supplier of green power (who wished to remain unnamed) to determine what the cost might be to implement Option 3. This is not a firm estimate as that would still need to be determined once the exact power requirements are known.
The quote below gives 100%, 50% and 25% percentage of green electricity supply for the total electricity consumption predicted for LRT.
The cost of electricity for the LRT would be increase by $300K, $150K and $75K annually, depending on the supply percentages of total consumption, on the top of the predicted annual budget ($1.5M). Please note these costs are for electricity supply only and do not include deliver and other costs that are on every electricity bill.
Green House Gas Reductions:
It is important to note that with the current mix sources of electricity (nuclear, hydro, gas/oil etc), as noted above, that electricity from the grid already has low greenhouse gas emissions as a result of the low percentage of electricity from gas/oil. This gives an emission factor of 0.043 tonnes of ghg per MWh used, of if multiplied by 12,000MWh, equals to around 520 tonnes per year. Or $576/tonne of ghg reduced ($300K / 520 tonnes). Greenhouse gas reductions from switching to renewable energy for the ION would be relatively low and costly.
At this stage it is recommended that ION be powered using grid power. Alternatives to this can be periodically evaluated to see if they are worth pursuing.
It’s Christmas! Just tonight CTV showed schoolkids doling out soup to the homeless and addicts at the soup kitchen. However, you would never know the time of year by the people writing to me and to Facebook about the possibility of a safe injection site in Waterloo Region, particularly Galt.
The worst I saw was a post on Facebook with a picture of a man having a seizure in a Galt mini-mart. The poster was angry that he dare to be homeless and a drug addict and collapsing in a public place. Particularly disturbing to me, as the wife, mother and grandmother of people who have epilepsy and, while controlled, could have a seizure anywhere.
I understand that people in Cambridge are upset after a little boy ended up pricked by a needle left in a park. I understand people suffering from mental illness can seem scary. Writing to your council telling them you want the House of Friendship to not open a new house to support recovering addicts, you want the Bridges closed and all people who seem to be addicts or homeless removed from your community is too much.
Public Health is conducting a survey on opinions concerning Safe Injection Sites for the provincial government. The Region of Waterloo has not yet had any report on this and certainly we have not had any suggestions on where this site would be or even what it would look like. Thank you to the people who have suggested also having help, whether mental or social services, available for people using the site.
Right now no one knows what drugs contain deadly fentanyl. Recently a 14 year old boy died from one mistake. Injecting drugs is only a small part of the drug problem. Some say safe injection sites can stop needles from being left in parks and secluded areas. People using needles will not stop using them. Clean needles are given out to stop the sharing of needles which spreads hepatitis and AIDS.
For many years, Downtown Kitchener had the overwhelming majority of services for the poor and the lost, as council always heard from Mayor Carl Zehr. Now Waterloo has second stage housing for homeless men, women and children and Cambridge has the Bridges. All homeless need a permanent home, not being driven from city to city. Many addicts have underlying mental problems
Every drug addict and homeless person is someone’s family and friend. I remember when a well known Kitchener homeless man died, his family sent donuts to the Kitchener police to thank them for their help.
It’s Christmas. A couple of weeks ago I attended a regular Sunday service at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City. I had walked up two quiet rain washed blocks from the subway stop by Central Park to the side of the cathedral. Two homes made of cardboard, blankets and a tarp snuggled between the buttresses that held up the church. I walked past and around the corner and attended the service.
Sitting among the members of the church was a man with dirty hair and shabby clothes, obviously homeless, yet obviously accepted by the congregation. After the service, I passed the cardboard and tarps as I headed back to the subway. One of the “homes” was empty. It seemed it belonged to the grubby man in the cathedral.
Are we going to be like the congregation of St John the Divine Cathedral and accept those in difficulty or are we only going to reject them and make the problem worse?
Here are some links:
This past week, Waterloo Region Council continued our work on the new taxi by-law that will include Uber and other new types of vehicles for hire. Council members spoke excitedly about the potential of disruptive technology. Rideco, a local app based shuttle business, told us that part of what they do as a tech firm is research ways to make driverless cars a viable business.
Driverless cars. My baby boom friends are so excited about them. As they age, they won’t have to give up their car. In ten years, if not sooner, everyone can have one. Will everyone want one?
When I was first married, my in-laws ran rental cottages in the Halliburton Highlands. Across the road from them lived a family on a half acre with ranch house and lawn rider grass. The dad was a trucker who ferried goods from Toronto to the stores and supermarkets of cottage country. His wife was a teller at the local bank. They lived a good middle class country life. Their daughter grew up to work in the bank. I don’t know what their son did, but he may also have been a truck driver. Once again, a good life. Their millennial grandchildren could also squeeze out that life for a few years if they are lucky. The present generation of school-age children? Not happening when they grow up.
With all the excitement about disruptive technology, only a few seem to be talking about the effect of all these changes on the average person. It’s fluffed off with, “Oh, we’ll get the jobs back from China.” “It’s up to them to retrain for something (what?) else”.
Driverless cars will mean driverless trucks and driverless taxis, buses and shuttles.
According to Service Canada Truck driver statistics; 69,300 people are truck drivers. 97.1 percent of them are men, 92 percent are between 24 and 64 years old, 70% have high school or post-secondary education, and only two percent of them are bachelors. There is a shortage of long haul truckers at the present time. Average salary is around 40,000.
According to the 2006 census, pre-Uber, there were 50,000 taxi cab drivers in Canada. 21,050 bus, shuttle, and subway operators worked in 2013.
Approximately 140,356 good paying jobs will vanish in 15 to 20 years due to driverless cars. For taxi cab drivers, good paying full time jobs are disappearing now with the growth of ridesharing apps.
You may ask why didn’t Regional council just ban Uber if they are a bad employer? That is not the job of Regional government. We look after such things as requiring criminal background checks and safety inspected cars. It is up to the provincial government to make employment laws that regulate industries (Not just Uber) who say those who work for them are private contractors not employees.
The citizens of the Region like the convenience and features of the new apps. That is not the problem. The problem is that Uber runs on a part-time contractor model instead of employing people. A ridesharing company in Montreal, Teo Taxi, pays employees 15 dollars an hour.
But this dispute will be finished when driverless cars and trucks appear.
The wife in the middle class family I mentioned above will also see her job disappear. 46,000 positions in 2014, 90 percent between 24 and 64 years old, 98 percent women, 79 percent full time and $34,900 annually.Bank machines and self checkouts in grocery stores are eliminating white collar jobs as well.
Secretaries and executive assistants now transcribe minutes directly into laptops set up with the meeting minutes template. Everyone is is paperless, no more photocopying. We all look after our own calendars and memos. Bills are paid electronically. People use a computer program to do their taxes and finances instead of hiring a bookkeeper. Huge numbers of white collar jobs are disappearing.
Statistics Canada says of administrative and secretarial positions as of 2014,
Over the past few years the number of secretaries has decreased very sharply. Implementation of office automation and the diversification of administrative staff duties explain this decrease to a large extent. Since these changes are already well established, the number of secretaries should decrease significantly over the next few years, but at a much less spectacular pace than before.
Where will these employees go? What will happen to those middle class families who managed so well up to the year 2000? How will they support themselves and their families? Where and at what will the majority of school children of today do to make a decent living? We need a serious conversation about employment and disruptive technology.
Grand River as an open sewer, 1930s
Settled by Old Order Mennonites similar to the Amish, and Scots, the Region of Waterloo and Guelph have a long tradition of using partnerships to solve problems. The people of the Grand River Watershed have a long tradition of stewardship of the land and river. Partnerships and stewardship have turned an open sewer into an award winning watershed and protected drinking water aquifers.
The Grand River Watershed is located in Southern Ontario Canada. It is about the size of the state of Delaware in the USA. The Grand River is about two-thirds of the length of the Thames in England.The population of the Grand River basin is over one million with a concentrated urban area of approximately 684,000 located in Waterloo Region and Guelph in the middle of the watershed. The Region of Waterloo is best known as the home of the Blackberry smartphone and the University of Waterloo, though it has a long manufacturing tradition. 70 percent of the watershed is in agriculture.
Ten thousand years ago, as the Ice Age ended, glaciers left behind long hills of sand, gravel, boulders and dirt called moraines.
The Galt-Paris moraines run from the Guelph area southwest to Brant County. The Waterloo moraine lies under almost all of the cities of Waterloo and Kitchener. Water from the melting glaciers created spillways, carving out river valleys.
The moraines also have an important role in maintaining the health of the river system.
When snow melts or rain falls on the moraine, the water soaks into the ground and through the porous sand and gravel soil. The ground filters the water, removing some of the impurities. The water also cools off as it travels through the ground. A lot of this pure water goes into the local aquifer and becomes the source of 80% of the Region’s drinking water.
Eventually, some of that water comes back to the surface in the form of springs and seeps. The springs create streams. These cold water creeks are rich habitats and support a wide variety of fish, such as brook trout.
As the creeks flow downstream they join the Conestoga, Speed, Nith and other rivers, eventually emptying into the Grand. They help to raise the quality of the water in the river. That’s important to downstream communities, such as Brantford, which get their drinking water from the Grand River.
250 years ago, the Grand River Watershed and the Region of Waterloo were forest and indigenous created savanna. Neutral Indians lived in the watershed, then later the Mississaugas. Their footprints were light on the land and their impact on the natural system was minimal.
But in the late 1700s historical forces led to profound changes in the landscape of the Grand River valley. The Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) came after the American War of Independence when they were given land on 6 miles of both sides of the Grand to replace their lands lost to the Americans. In events now surrounded with controversy, most of the Six Nations land was sold through various developers to European settlers.
The European settlers cut down the forests to create farms. The settlers took a tremendous toll on the natural system.
In 1800, most of the watershed was forested or covered with wetlands and grasslands. By 1900 almost all of the trees and most of the wetlands were gone. Only 5 per cent of the land was forested.
The change on the river system was dramatic. Snow melted faster in the spring, because there was no tree cover. There were no wetlands to hold the runoff. Water rushed off the lands into the rivers. Floods became common. As more trees were felled and wetlands drained, the floods became bigger and more frequent.
Less water soaked into the ground, so springs dried up. In the summer, the rivers dried up to a trickle. Cities and towns grew up along the river. They needed a place to put their sewage, so they dumped it into the nearest river or stream. Very little of it was treated.
By the early 1900s the river system was a mess. Spring floods wiped out houses and factories. One massive flood in 1929 caused massive damage in Guelph and other cities. In the summer, the rivers dried up to a trickle of sewage.
By the year 1931, conditions had become alarming. In the early part of the 20th century, outbreaks of major bacterial diseases such as typhoid and cholera swept through many communities.
Community leaders throughout the watershed recognized that they had to do something to address the severe flooding, water supply and water quality issues that threatened the vitality of their communities and their residents.
Businessmen and municipalities partnered to create an organization called the Grand Valley Boards of Trade. They petitioned the province to look into the serious water problems of the Grand River Watershed.
The province responded with a detailed study called “The Report on Grand River Drainage”, often referred to as the “Finlayson Report” after the minister of the Department of Lands and Forests. The report discovered that inadequate storage during the spring run-off created disastrous floods. During the summer the flow was as low as 50 cu feet per second. The problem was made worse by the lack of trees and wetlands.
The solution was to build a series of storage reservoirs at strategic locations. During the spring, water running off the land would be stored in the reservoirs. During the summer and fall, the water in the reservoirs would be released gradually to supplement natural flows. There would be enough water to meet the sewage treatment and water supply needs of the cities and towns.
Reforestation was looked at but due to the fertile soil, it was suggested that only areas unsuitable for farming be planted with trees. 
The Grand River Conservation Commission was the first watershed management agency in Canada when it received its formal Letters Patent in August, 1934. This was the first time local municipalities had banded together to address water management issues on a watershed scale. The founding partner municipalities were Brantford, Galt, Kitchener, Fergus and Caledonia. Other municipalities soon joined the partnership.
GRCC built the Shand Dam that created Bellwood Lake. Another big flood hit in 1948 and Hurricane Hazel struck in 1954. Luther Dam and Conestogo Dam were built in the 1950s. The Commission also worked to try to restore the natural system by opening a tree nursery. They also planted more than two million trees on their land and undertook some of the province’s first large scale reforestation projects. 
In 1941, environmentalists and conservation groups came together at the Guelph Conference to discuss environmental protection. In 1946, the province passed the Conservation Authorities Act. The power to create the authorities was placed in the hands of the municipalities and they created the Grand Valley Conservation Authority. For many years, the GRCC and the GVCA worked side by side. The GRCC managed reservoirs and restoration, the GVCA focused on restoration, protection of natural areas and recreation. The Elora Gorge Park was the first conservation area created. Some friction and confusion existed. In 1966 the two agencies merged to become the Grand River Conservation Authority. In the early years, GRCA members came from municipalities and appointments by the provincial government. Today, the GRCA board is made up of municipal politicians from throughout the watershed and municipally appointed members of the public, along with hired staff. 
The GRCA and its forerunners were created as partnerships. A watershed is made up of many municipalities, each of which have their own ways of treating sewage and keeping the rivers and aquifers clean, or not clean. Rivers cross boundaries, whether counties, states and provinces, or countries. When an organization brings together all of the parties in partnerships, improvements come about. In the case of Canada and the United States, the International Joint Commission helps Canada and the United States prevent disputes over transboundary waters. The IJC works on the water quality and levels of the Great Lakes. Lake Erie is the end point of the Grand River, so GRCA staff attend those meetings. As we say, everyone lives downstream. If each jurisdiction is a fiefdom, not working with other municipalities or organizations, nothing will get cleaned up.
The river needed to be controlled to dilute the wastewater entering the river and improve the quality of drinking water. The Finlayson Report noted that the summer stream flow was essential to dilute effluents from sewage disposal plants so the water could be used in towns such as Brantford that still gets all of its water from the river. It was known at that time that well water from the aquifers could be infiltrated by the river.
In the late 1800s, cholera, diphtheria and typhoid fever were common because sewers dumped waste directly into rivers and outhouses were located close to bodies of water. Untreated waste washed up on shores and beaches. Sometimes the sewer was close to the intake pipe for drinking water. Gradually, provincial public health laws were amended to cover the pollution of bodies of water. With the introduction of chlorine treatment, drinking water began to be purified. The first sewage treatment plants and water treatment plants were built in the early 1900s in the Region of Waterloo and Guelph. The first wastewater plants contained sediment tanks and gravel filter beds. The treatment of sewage and purification of water is considered one of the top public health achievements.
Over 90 Canadian cities still discharge raw untreated sewage including the cities of Victoria B.C. and Halifax N.S.
There are 30 wastewater treatment plants operated by 11 municipalities and two First Nations in the Grand River Watershed.
The plants handle the waste from about two-thirds of the population. Most of the rest rely on private systems, such as septic tanks.
The volume of pollutants remaining in treated effluent from one plant is small. The combination of the effluent from 30 plants adds up. This has an impact on the downstream river and Lake Erie, the smallest of the great lakes. The upgrade of the Kitchener Wastewater treatment plant will prevent a current dead zone where oxygen can drop to zero in the river.
Nitrates from agriculture can run off into the rivers and streams. They can also persist in the soil for decades and cause problems in drinking water, leading to such health hazards as blue-baby syndrome.
Unfortunately, upgrading treatment plants is very expensive. The current upgrades to the Region of Waterloo wastewater treatment plant in the city of Kitchener alone cost 320 million dollars. The GRCA, the municipalities and the provincial government have partnered on ways to improve the plants with existing equipment, called plant optimization. In several cases, millions of dollars have been saved instead of spent. Managers of water and wastewater plants have worked together to create best practices for avoiding sewage bypasses and spills.
One important partnership in the Grand River Watershed is with farmers through the Rural Water Quality Program.
The program offers grants ranging from 30 per cent to 100 per cent of the cost of selected best management practices to increase water quality. Money is available for projects that include stream fencing to keep cows out of the water, tree planting, manure storage, well decommissioning and more.
In some cases, grants may be combined with funding from other sources for a combined grant of 80 to 100 per cent of the project costs.
Farmers helped create and continue to oversee the program. Local committees, with
representation from agricultural organizations, prioritize best management practices applications and decide appropriate funding levels to direct the available funding.
The GRCA administers the program. Most of the funds come from municipal governments. The Rural Water Quality Program is voluntary. 
Although much has been done to clean up the Grand River Watershed and to make sure the residents have clean, safe drinking water, not all goes well. 80 percent of the drinking water in Waterloo Region and Guelph, the main urban areas of the Watershed, comes from aquifers. Many a person drinking bottled spring water in our Region does not know that this commercial product comes from the same system of aquifers as their tap water. This pure source is not always pure.
Aquifers can be contaminated by seepage from the river and by farm practices. In May of
2000, many people of Walkerton, a town to the north west of the Grand River Watershed, experienced bloody diarrhea, gastrointestinal infections and other symptoms of E. coli. For days the Walkerton Public Utilities Commission insisted the water supply was “OK” despite being in possession of laboratory tests that had found evidence of contamination.
Five people died from drinking the contaminated water and about 2,500 became ill.
The Walkerton Commission wrote a two-part report on the incident. Lack of training of the water manager and foreman, false entries, not using chlorine properly, and lack of regulations and provincial oversight were some of the problems. The well in question was contaminated by agricultural runoff. A key recommendation was to implement source water protection. 
The Lake Erie Drinking Water Source Protection website defines the Ontario Government program as follows:
“The Clean Water Act ensures communities protect their drinking water supplies through prevention – by developing collaborative, watershed-based source protection plans that are locally driven and based on science.
The Act establishes source protection areas and source protection regions.”
It also created a local multi-stakeholder source protection committee for each area. These committees identify significant existing and future risks to their municipal drinking water sources and develop plans to address these risks.
The Ontario government paid the entire cost of developing source protection plans.
The Lake Erie Region Source Protection Committee is composed of the following partners: Seven representing municipalities, seven representing economic sectors including three from agriculture, three from business and industry and one from the aggregate industry, seven representing the public interest, and three representing First Nations.
Three non-voting, advisory members also participate in committee meetings: a provincial liaison member named by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, a representative of the health units in the Lake Erie Region, and a representative of the four conservation authorities in the Lake Erie Region (Usually the Chair of the Grand River Conservation Authority)
The other Source Protection Committees in the province took the lead in developing their Source Protection Plans. The Lake Erie Region initiated a collaborative approach to develop our plan with municipal leads (not all municipalities opted for this though) on the one hand and Source Protection Committee oversight on the other.
Martin Keller, the Program Manager describes the reasoning this way, “Conceptually the reason is that Lake Erie Region strongly believes that municipalities who have the majority of implementation responsibility need to be at the table and part of developing the solutions i. e. developing policies for addressing significant drinking water threats.”
It is also important to have representatives from industry, First Nations, and the public, as well as many public meetings to address those effected by the plan. People will follow a plan they have had a hand in making.
The plan circled areas around wells and marked where there would be a potential threat to the ground water and the well, if any. The municipalities look after zoning bylaws and official plans and risk management plans. A municipal Risk Management Official can negotiate a plan with a landowner or tenant that spells out the action necessary to reduce the risk posed by a significant threat. For example, the owner of a business or farm that stores chemicals could develop a spill response plan that would be part of a risk management plan. Municipalities also look after outreach and education programs and incentive programs.
The provincial government looks after permits under the Pesticides Act, licenses under the Aggregate Act, and Nutrient Management Plans under the Nutrient Management Act.
Each type of possible source water problem has been paired with a solution. These include voluntary stewardship with grants, permits, nutrient management plans, laws and regulations.
Partnerships sometimes take a long time to come about and then do not always work well together. The town of Elmira in Waterloo Region is a bucolic place best known for horse and buggy Mennonites and the world’s largest Maple Syrup Festival. It is also known for the Elmira Water Crisis. In the fall of 1989, the provincial Ministry of the Environment found high levels of NDMA in the town’s municipal wells. N-Nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, can occur in drinking-water through the degradation of dimethylhydrazine (a component of rocket fuel) as well as from several other industrial processes. It is also a contaminant of certain pesticides The levels were 40 ppb and the guidelines are .009 ppb. Residents were advised not to drink the water. NDMA got into the Grand River and outlets were closed downstream. A pipeline was built from the nearby city of Waterloo and it supplies Elmira to the present.
The Ministry of the Environment issued an order for Uniroyal to stop discharging wastewater into the Elmira sewage treatment plant. Instead of a partnership developing, Uniroyal appealed, creating the longest hearing ever before the Environmental Appeal Board. The citizens’ group, APT participated in the appeal, bringing an NDMA expert. The MOE had not tested for pollution at that time. The Region of Waterloo ended up leading with consultants and project teams. A second MOE order told Uniroyal to clean up the aquifer in 30 years and contain the groundwater on the Uniroyal property. Over 200 toxic chemicals were found in the Elmira aquifers and 14 buried waste pits. Sludge was in settling ponds with no clay bottoms.
The whole incident was controversial because a lot of people living in Elmira worked at Uniroyal. It was a major industry. It should also be noted that before the 1980s, no one in the Waterloo Region thought much about the by-products of local industries, whether meat packing, automotive, or chemical. The Region and the province presently have brownfield remediation grants for developers who want to clean up old factories, such as the Kaufman shoe and rubber factory in downtown Kitchener which is now condos. The loss of heavy industry is lamented but it did lead to environmental degradation.
After more adversarial appeals, Uniroyal installed pump and treat wells in the municipal aquifer. The company and the provincial government paid for the remediation. Two buried pits were excavated and stored in a “Toxidome” in the town until residents agitated to have it removed and it was taken to the city of Sarnia. The Canagagigue Creek showed high levels of DDT and Dioxins in the sediment and floodplain soils on the Uniroyal site and downstream. No action was taken as sometimes it is better to just leave the contaminants alone and monitor. Pump and treat wells were installed along the creek. APT lost a battle to have full containment of the shallow aquifer and better creek clean-up.
In 1992, the Ministry of the Environment, Uniroyal, Elmira politicians and staff, and citizens formed UPAC/ CPAC to work in partnership to clean up the mess. The committee continues to this day. The Uniroyal plant was taken over by Chemtura in 2006.
The Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee/Chemtura Public Advisory Committee has had a long and difficult history. In 1990, Uniroyal withdrew from UPAC in anger when the MOE laid charges for air emissions. A year later Uniroyal came back to the committee. A class action suit from Duke St residents was settled out of court and the smells stopped. The company issued two major reports accessing risks but little action was taken. APT worked quietly with the GRCA and the Region to reduce farm exposure to the dioxins downstream from 2004 to 2010.
Partnerships can also run into the same problems that plague any team or group. In CPAC’s case, not only was the company difficult to work with, but so were some of the citizen members of the committee. Looking at the various problems the residents of Elmira had with Uniroyal/Chemtura, from an explosion and fire, to reluctant clean ups and a toxic dust that coated cars and properties, it is no wonder some of them refused to believe the company or work with the MOE. When those people are part of a partnership trying to solve the problems, however, things quickly come to an impasse.
In 2014, a 5-year review of the off-site clean up showed that the 2028 deadline would not be reached. The CPAC committee fell apart with Chemtura and the MOE refusing to attend meetings where they felt they were constantly browbeaten. The committee was reconstituted in 2015 by the new Mayor of Woolwich as two committees, the technical advisory group and the remediation advisory committee. Some members of the public were not reappointed. The company and the province came back to the table.
Although shallow wells along Canagagigue have improved the creek by removing chlorfenyals and there are no smells and fish have returned, the amount of dioxin levels have not gone down since the 1990s. According environmental activist, Susan Bryant, the MOE is delaying. The Township of Woolwich is going to put up signs warning people not to fish in the creek hot spots.
Susan Bryant, an original member of the APT citizen group and an inductee in the Region of Waterloo Hall of Fame for her work, states, “Prevention is the only way” when it comes to combating pollution.
In 2007, the Region of Waterloo created a ground-breaking policy and planning framework
to protect more than 15,000 hectares of environmentally sensitive lands. The Environmentally Sensitive Landscapes (ESL) framework is the first of its kind in Ontario and one of the first in Canada. It protects significant ecological systems – not just individual environmental features.
ESLs are areas in Waterloo Region that have significant environmental features, such as wetlands, rivers and creeks, groundwater recharge areas (aquifers) and the habitat of endangered and threatened species. They also include farms, villages, small towns and outdoor recreation areas.
An implementation plan was developed for each ESL with help from the community. The Laurel Creek Headwaters ESL Public Liaison Committee has been set up with members who are private property owners in ESLs, as well as other people with interest and expertise in land stewardship. This committee serves as a model by: Developing tools to enhance natural features and connections, promoting responsible land stewardship, assessing possible impacts of activities such as recreational use and water extraction proposals, exploring options to acquire conservation lands, addressing relevant concerns of residents and property owners within the ESL, and investigating opportunities to provide incentives and recognition for good land stewardship.
The Regional Official Plan (ROP) contains the planning policies needed to direct growth and change in Waterloo Region over the next 20 years. Through the ROP, the Region will continue its tradition of innovative planning and growth management. One of the key elements of the plan is Protecting our drinking water and significant environmental areas. The plan includes a fixed border between rural and urban areas and directing growth to built up areas.
Building on the success of the Finlayson Report and many other plans over the years, the Grand River Conservation Authority once again brought together partners to create an integrated water management plan for the Grand River Watershed. The goals are: Ensure sustainable water supplies for communities, economies and ecosystems, improve water quality to improve river health and reduce the river’s impact on Lake Erie, reduce flood damage potential, and increase resiliency to deal with climate change.
Many groups and organizations provided input, including members of municipal councils,
the agricultural community, aggregate producers, urban development organizations, environmental non-government organizations and the interested public. The following agencies took part in the plan development and had members on the Project Team and/or Steering Committee. Local municipalities and counties, Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Ontario, Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, Environment Canada and the Grand River Conservation Authority. Meetings with the public were also held for input.
The plan was completed in 2012 with an update in 2014. The plan is a voluntary, collaborative process that brings various agencies together as partners. The plan promotes the adoption of best practices and the implementation of projects and programs that provide the greatest benefits relative to the investment. The partner agencies have set out a strategy, based on agreed-upon local objectives and targets, to meet the needs of the ecosystem and watershed communities. The strategy will assist each partner to fulfill its role and support each other. (GRCA website)
The Grand River Watershed has won two major designations.
The Grand River and its major tributaries – the Conestogo, Eramosa, Nith and Speed rivers – were declared Canadian Heritage Rivers in 1994.
The designation recognizes the outstanding human heritage features and the excellence of recreational opportunities along the rivers. Fly fishing is internationally recognized.
The GRCA won the Thiess International Riverprize 2000 for its long-term successful restoration work on the Grand River. The GRCA, its partners and local communities undertook a collaborative combination of programs that lead to the Grand River recovering after years of degradation and industrialization.
This included replanting, controlling erosion, regulating development in floodplains and wetlands, creating outreach programs to landholders, and developing outdoor recreation areas.
Solid guidelines are now in place to manage fisheries, prevent pollution and improve river water quality. The fish have returned and recreational use of the river increased significantly. Birds such as the bald eagle, once almost extinct due to DDT, now nest along the Grand. Otters and rare fauna have returned. It also led to reduced flood damage by 80% through reservoirs.
Partnerships have led to the development of the Source Water Protection Plan to protect wells and drinking water sources. In Elmira, a rocky partnership has nevertheless led to the cleaning of industrial land and a creek by the company responsible.
Ken Seiling, Chair of the Region of Waterloo and long time resident of Elmira, notes that it is better to try to work together to find solutions than to have constant fights between lawyers and numerous orders and appeals. Only working together can the environment be cleaned up.
Adams, Frank P. Engineering and Contract Record. Water Supply and Sewage Disposal to be Aided by Flood Control Measures on the Grand River. January 13, 1937, vol. 50, no. 55, p 19-22
Agcanada.com Nitrates to linger for decades in N-heavy waterways, study finds http://www.agcanada.com/daily/nitrates-to-linger-for-decades-in-n-heavy-waterways-study-finds 3/28/2016
Baine, Janet. The Grand, Spring 2009, http://www.grandriver.ca/publication/ 2009_spring_grand_web.pdf
Bryant, Susan. Timeline: Elmira Water Crisis and the Aftermath. Jane’s Walk. http://www.woolwich.ca/en/townshipServices/resources/Recreation/Timeline-Janes_Walk__2_.pdf . 3/29/2016
Canadian Public Health Association. Sewage and Sanitary Reformers versus Night Filth and Disease. CPHA Website. http://www.cpha.ca/en/programs/history/achievements/05-he/sewage.aspx. 3/28/2016
DenHoed, John, Robertson, Tim. City of Guelph Wastewater Treatment: The Historical Perspective. http://guelph.ca/wp-content/uploads/WastewaterHistory.pdf 3/28/2016
Grand River Conservation Authority. Grand River Watershed. Water Management Plan. https://www.grandriver.ca/en/our-watershed/resources/Documents/WMP/Water_WMP_Plan_ExecutiveSummary.pdf Sept. 2014
GRCA. http://www.grandriver.ca. 3/29/2016
GRCA. Rural Water Quality Program. https://www.grandriver.ca/en/our-watershed/Rural-Water-Quality-Program.aspx 3/28/2016
GRCA. Water Management Plan. https://www.grandriver.ca/en/our-watershed/Water-management-plan.aspx 3/29/2016
International Joint Commission. http://www.ijc.org/en_/ 3/28/2016
Kannon, Steve. As CPAC Winds Down, Long Standing Concerns Remain. Woolwich Observer. http://www.pressreader.com/canada/the-woolwich-observer/20150829/281509339941119/TextView 29 August, 2015.
Lake Erie Source Protection Region. https://www.sourcewater.ca/en/index.aspx . 3/28/2016
Ministry of the Attorney General. Walkerton Commission of Inquiry Reports. https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/pubs/walkerton/ 3/28/2016
Region of Waterloo. Environmentally Sensitive Landscapes (ESLs) http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/abouttheenvironment/environmentallysensitivelandscapesesls.asp 3/29/2016
Region of Waterloo. Population. http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/doingbusiness/population.asp 3/28/2016
Region of Waterloo. Regional Official Plan http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/regionalgovernment/regionalofficialplan.asp 3/29/2016
Special Collections and Archives. University of Waterloo. Grand River Conservation Commission Fonds. https://uwaterloo.ca/library/special-collections-archives/collections/grand-river-conservation-commission-fonds 3/24/2016
Schultz, Dave, Jane Mitchell, et al. Grand River Conservation Authority. It’s a Grand River, PowerPoint presentation 2013
Statistics Canada. Focus on Geography Series, 2011 Census: Census metropolitan area of Guelph, Ontario https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/as-sa/fogs-spg/Facts-cma-eng.cfm?LANG=Eng&GK=CMA&GC=550 3/28/2016
World Health Organization, 2008 Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality, http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/fulltext.pdf . 3rd edition
Region of Waterloo. Population. http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/doingbusiness/population.asp 3/28/2016
Statistics Canada. Focus on Geography Series, 2011 Census: Census metropolitan area of Guelph, Ontario https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/as-sa/fogs-spg/Facts-cma-eng.cfm?LANG=Eng&GK=CMA&GC=550 3/28/2016
 Dave, Schultz, Jane Mitchell, et al. Grand River Conservation Authority. It’s a Grand River, Powerpoint presentation. 2013.
 Frank P. Adams. Engineering and Contract Record. Water Supply and Sewage Disposal to be Aided by Flood Control Measures on the Grand River. January 13, 1937, vol. 50, no. 55, p 19-22
 Special Collections and Archives. University of Waterloo. Grand River Conservation Commission Fonds. https://uwaterloo.ca/library/special-collections-archives/collections/grand-river-conservation-commission-fonds 3/24/2016
Canadian Public Health Association. Sewage and Sanitary Reformers versus Night Filth and Disease. CPHA Website. 3/28/2016
 Ministry of the Attorney General. Walkerton Commission of Inquiry Reports. https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/pubs/walkerton/ 3/28/2016
John DenHoed, Tim Robertson. City of Guelph Wastewater Treatment: The Historical Perspective. http://guelph.ca/wp-content/uploads/WastewaterHistory.pdf 3/28/2016
 Grand River Conservation Authority. Grand River Watershed. Water Management Plan. https://www.grandriver.ca/en/our-watershed/resources/Documents/WMP/Water_WMP_Plan_ExecutiveSummary.pdf Sept. 2014
 Agcanada.com Nitrates to linger for decades in N-heavy waterways, study finds http://www.agcanada.com/daily/nitrates-to-linger-for-decades-in-n-heavy-waterways-study-finds 3/28/2016
 GRCA. Rural Water Quality Program. https://www.grandriver.ca/en/our-watershed/Rural-Water-Quality-Program.aspx 3/28/2016
 Walkerton Report. Ibid.
 World Health Organization, 2008 Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality, http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/fulltext.pdf . 3rd edition
 Susan Bryant. Timeline: Elmira Water Crisis and the Aftermath. Jane’s Walk. http://www.woolwich.ca/en/townshipServices/resources/Recreation/Timeline-Janes_Walk__2_.pdf . 3/29/2016
 Steve Kannon. As CPAC Winds Down, Long Standing Concerns Remain. Woolwich Observer. http://www.pressreader.com/canada/the-woolwich-observer/20150829/281509339941119/TextView 29 August, 2015.
 Region of Waterloo. Environmentally Sensitive Landscapes (ESLs) http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/abouttheenvironment/environmentallysensitivelandscapesesls.asp 3/29/2016
 Region of Waterloo. Regional Official Plan http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/regionalgovernment/regionalofficialplan.asp 3/29/2016
 GRCA. Water Management Plan. https://www.grandriver.ca/en/our-watershed/Water-management-plan.aspx 3/29/2016