17 Feb 2016

The stink really is getting worse!



We have a guest blogger today, Jim Richards from Orono, ON. Below is his letter, and what he says makes a lot of sense.

To the Editor, (Orono Weekly Times) and to Clarington Watchdog:
In response to your excellent Editorial (The smell is getting worse) on 3 Feb. 2016, I submit the following comments, and preface each by stating in advance, that they are subject to 'in my opinion', one of the remaining rights we still have in a free and democratic society after 10 years of Federal PC rule.

The issue of incineration vs aggressive recycling arose during the local election in 2006. Thereafter, it became a major issue and has remained so until this day. No doubt it will be with us for the next 2-3 decades as class action suits will undoubtedly follow when cancer and respiratory rates in Port Hope, Clarington, Oshawa and beyond start to increase.

Who to blame: Well, we could start with our Regional Chair, Roger Anderson who' bullied' this project through the Regional Council at the time. Even when the ill-informed (ignorant for the most part) elected officials, who should have been looking out for not only our health concerns as well as our financial welfare, continued to vote this scam forward, (and that includes representatives like former Mayor Jim Abernethy, and Regional Councillors Charlie Trim, Mary Novak and Local Councillor Gordie Robinson), in the face of mounting evidence that this was a costly (in more ways than one) move, we continued down the path of smoke and mirrors from the incinerator business, their  lobbyists, and the very consultants Durham Region hired to do the oversight (who are members of the incinerator coalition)! The farce was supported too by Durham Region staffers who were taking their orders from political bosses (who are elected to represent the public) and not the public (who they are hired to serve).

We then experienced a municipal election in 2010 where local Councillors Adrian Foster and Willie Woo, strong opponents of incineration  for four years, ran for the Mayor's seat and a Regional seat respectively. With major door-to-door and financial help from the anti-incineration group, they were elected; but to no avail. I'm embarrassed to say that I worked very hard to see both of these two duds elected. Shortly afterwards, both of them flip-flopped, and started to go along with Anderson and his cronies to support the burner. To suggest that they are liars might find me in court, so suffice it to say, they were not telling the truth.
We were promised by Anderson, et al, that we would get the "best of the best", "on time and on budget". Well guess what: we did not get the best of the best, we got a 'royal screwing', and it was 13 months late and several millions of dollars over budget as pointed out in your editorial.

I would also like to point out that while the former Provincial government did nothing to assist, the current Liberals in QP are doing even less. It is shameful, and something for you to think about in the next Provincial election. Their oversight has been woefully lacking, and not in keeping with the BS they are now trying to force down your throat about their concerns about climate change and the like, and that they actually care.... it's their back door to more taxes!

A few months ago, Covanta conducted a series of tests, and it showed that two of the deadliest compounds known to mankind, dioxins and furans (according to the World Health Organization) were four times the acceptable limit ( and by the way, those limits are decades old). Was Covanta or Durham Region told to shut down the "state-of-the -art" burner; no, they were given a chance to conduct another test. Excuse me if I seem skeptical, but given that opponents had asked for pre-sorting of the crap going into the burner (and were refused) I cannot help but wonder if Covanta perhaps carefully sorted the trash going into the burner prior to the second test (just an idle thought....).  In any event, to no surprise, they passed the second test. They were now almost near their goal.

In order to mask the high readings of dioxins and furans, Covanta added yet more chemicals to the mix. Yes, to be sure, they were able to meet the rigged (in my opinion) test, but surpassed the amount of ash being produced. Roger Anderson and his political puppets made a big noise about making Covanta adhere to the original agreement, but once Covanta suggested a legal confrontation, Anderson et al. backed down, and have now given Covanta the green light to shaft us in ways we have not yet experienced. On the internet, you will find evidence of Covanta bankrupting municipalities in the US.

From start to finish, this entire sham, shrouded in secrecy has been a circus and a disaster for you the taxpayers in terms of health and the environment. My advice (for you and your children and grandchildren) in the future, is to "follow the money". Maybe someday we will get to the bottom of this scam. Think of the Mark Twain adage "We have the best politicians money can buy".

Your editorial goes on to say that our Mayor (Foster) and Regional Councillor (Woo) voted against the final agreement that paved the way for Covanta to usurp millions per year for decades, including all of our Federal gas tax rebate dollars that are intended for infrastructure spending (roads, bridges and the like). I would like to point out that Mayor Adrian Foster and Reg. Councillor Willie Woo only voted against the final proposal because they did not get what they wanted in terms of other items contained in the "host community agreement; it was not because they opposed the air, water and soil pollution that will become the legacy of the Durham Region's " mistake by the lake", and the price we will all pay in terms of health and dollars in the coming years to support Covanta. Check them out on Google if you want to see their labour and environmental record. Only Reg. Councillor Joe Neal voted "no".

By the way, the 16 or more million dollars from the gas tax rebate, that is now being given to Covanta, will require that your taxes will go up to pay for the infrastructure items it was intended to help with. As long as you the taxpayer ignore this fact, your Regional Chair, Mayor Foster, Reg. Councillor Woo and others will claim that the burner is not costing us any additional money in the form of taxes; it's the road repairs..... Wake up ratepayers! Think about this as you get your property tax forms about 1 year from now. In a few years from now we will witness a spike in cancer rates, birth defects and the like in Durham Region. There will be class action suits to accompany this travesty, and if you need a list of who to include, let me know!

Jim Richards
Orono, ON


15 Feb 2016

Hello again...

Is anyone still out there?

I've been away but am back. Much has happened since this blog was last active. Would anyone like to see it back again, attempting to hold "feet to the fire"?

The incinerator is fired up now, but not without problems and not without many questions from the public which have gone unanswered. This is an issue that will not die, will not be forgotten and will only get worse. Lack of acceptable oversight by the owners (Durham and York Regions) and lack of acceptable oversight and weak requirements and enforcement by the Province will continue unless we can do something about it. 

19 Aug 2010

In Defence of Freedom of Speech - and an APPEAL for Support

First a little refresher for you. This is an issue that began in 2008, when Orono resident Jim Richards was banned from speaking at Clarington council meetings after saying the Durham regional chairman acted like a "bully". Mayor Abernethy said he could come back if he apologized; Mr. Richards refused.

You should also know that Mr. Jim Richards was given an important Provincial Citizenship Award in 2008, and Mayor Abernethy then gave him a Clarington Award a few weeks later. The very next week the Mayor first told Mr. Richards he couldn't use the word "bully" in describing the actions of Regional Chair Anderson toward a resident the previous week (which had brought the resident to tears), and would have to retract his statement, which he was not allowed to even finish. Mr. Richards refused to retract, and the Mayor made him sit down. He later told Mr. Richards to leave Council Chambers when Mr. Richards stated he would not be giving a written apology to Council for his statement, and was banned from making further delegations to Council until he made such an apology.

Mr. Richards went to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and in 2009 the CCLA indicated council's action might "infringe the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms". In March 2009, council voted to rescind the earlier decision to ban Mr. Richards. Matter closed? Not quite.

On April 26, 2010, Jim Richards' presentation supporting direct election of the Chair of Durham Region was cut short, after Mr. Richards suggested once again, in his opinion, that the present Regional Chair is a bully.

Clarington Council has refused to apologize, or to follow the advice of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association regarding the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It seems some of them have a very short memory. I don't believe the Charter has changed in the interval between last year and this year.

So Jim Richards, who has twice been banned from speaking at Clarington council for referring to the Regional Chair as a "bully", is continuing with his lawsuit against the Municipality of Clarington, because he believes the municipality has violated his rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But due to the civil liberties issues to be dealt with by the CCLA after the G20 in Toronto, will not be able to assist Jim in his endeavour for an apology until sometime next year. With the elections only a short time away, Jim would like to see this matter dealt with before the current council.

Below is a letter written by Jim seeking public support and assistance for his legal challenge. I plan on donating and I hope you will consider doing so as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FREEDOM of SPEECH
Jim Richards

For those of you following this issue; both, those supporting the Mayor, (Councillors Trim, Novak, Robinson and Hooper) and those supporting Jim Richards and Freedom of Speech, please allow me to set the record straight.

I commend Councillors Adrian Foster, and Willie Woo for remaining committed to citizens rights. That is not to say that both or either of them condone my use of the word "bully", but only that they support my right to use it.

Two years ago, Mayor Abernethy not only stopped me from finishing a delegation to Council because I used the word "bully", to describe in part, and in my opinion, the actions of our unelected Regional Chair. Roger Anderson, but he asked me to rescind my comment and I refused. In addition to being silenced at that particular meeting, the Mayor and associates then went on to ban me from speaking at future meetings.

This was in direct violation of our rights as provided for by the Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I enlisted help from the Canadian Civil Liberties Assoc., (CCLA) and they pointed this out in a letter to the Mayor and Council.

Subsequently, I was invited back to speak and at that time, a number of councillors who understand that freedom of speech is a basic tenet of a free and democratic society offered their apologies. None was forthcoming from Mayor Abernethy however. I had already lost respect for him due to his handling (bungling) of the incinerator issue, but now, I had lost respect for him as a man, a leader and a person.

This past April, during a delegation regarding direct election of the Regional Chair, I again referred to Chair Anderson as acting like a bully, in my opinion.

Unfortunately, the mayor once again curtailed my delegation and asked me to take back the remark. I refused. Again, he would not let me complete my delegation at a duly called meeting of Council.

Can you believe this is Canada? Can you believe it's 2010? What are Canadian men and women fighting for in Afghanistan if not freedom?

I returned to Council in May and asked the Mayor for an apology. He smugly refused. The Mayor did however ask town solicitor Dennis Hefferon for a legal opinion on the matter. Mr. Hefferon informed the Mayor that the section of the Procedural By-law he was using to curtail my rights as a citizen was ambiguous, and that it would not stand up in a court of law. In spite of this, Abernethy still refused to apologize.

At a council meeting on July 12, 2010 Councillor Foster made a motion, seconded by Councillor Woo asking the Mayor for an apology on my behalf. Abernethy refused. At this meeting, the Mayor and Council were in receipt of yet a second letter from CCLA pointing out the error of their ways.

I will now launch a potentially costly lawsuit against Mayor Abernethy and the Municipality of Clarington for infringement on my rights, but I need financial assistance. "I'm setting up a 'legal defence fund' and would ask you to consider a donation (big or small) to teach not only Mayor Abernethy but all other political bullies that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated in a free and democratic society".

If you care to contribute, please contact me at the email address below. You can use the same address to simply offer best wishes, or tell me to go to hell! You can also contact the Mayor and Council and tell them what you think of their draconian behaviour (or offer support for the Mayor if you wish) by sending an email to the Municipal Clerk at pbarrie@clarington.net

If I win this lawsuit, I will be in a position to pay back your donations. If I lose, we all lose; not just the money, but our freedom of speech and expression in Clarington!

I have set up a bank account at C.I.B.C in Orono (Account #8254931, Transit #04742) and you can visit any CIBC branch to donate, or I will accept donations by mail at: J. Richards, P.O. Box 442, Orono, ON, L0B 1M0. Make all donations out to Jim Richards (you can put 'legal Defence Fund' in the memo line). I have enlisted a third party to oversee this account.

Email Jim: jmr.naturepix@rogers.com
or phone: 905-983-5605

***********************************************
Also see: "Clarington mayor refuses to apologize, freedom of speech debate escalates" (Metroland, May 5, 2010) and "Free speech exists in Clarington council chambers too" (Metroland Editorial, May 6, 2010)

9 Aug 2010

Bully for incineration?

Should we be bullied (pushed) into hosting something that is bad for our health, bad for our environment, bad for our pocketbooks?

This video appears to be quite relevant to many municipalities world-wide today. Residents are fighting newly proposed incinerators all over Europe, the U.S. and certainly in Canada, among other places. The incineration lobby is powerful and convincing to politicians who don't do their due diligence. Why listen to doctors and scientists when you can take the word of burner pushers?

Do we believe that the old technology (mass burn incineration) is without risk to human health, not to mention financial risk? Can't we use our heads and come up with something better? I've heard much better, saner, safer and less expensive proposals put forward only to be dismissed out of hand by politicians who have been sucked into the "let's burn it and it will disappear" mindset. It doesn't disappear.



So, will the new crop of politicians (we hope there will be some new ones after October) let the residents speak, and more importantly, will they listen?

It is not too late to stop this nightmarish mistake by the lake. Write to [UPDATE] NEW Minister of Environment Hon. John Wilkinson at minister.moe@ontario.ca or at his constituency office jwilkinson.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org and tell him your views on it. (The previous Environment Minister, John Gerretsen, was replaced in the latest cabinet shuffle). Tell Minister Wilkinson he must take into consideration all the research that shows considerable risk, and that the Precautionary Principle should prevail. Tell him that if he wants to be considered a "green" Environment Minister, he will not approve this travesty. Instead he will have Durham re-visit the waste management plan and come up with a green solution, not one that will likely pump another 135000+ tonnes of CO2 annually into our air shed along with other harmful chemicals, heavy metals, cancer-causing dioxins and contaminants.

This must be revisited by a new Council. Consider replacing those who supported the incinerator and refused to look at the entire picture. Elect representatives who care more about your health than their pocketbook. Otherwise we're locked into a 25-35 year nightmare (or longer).

Think about it. Should we be bullied (pushed) into hosting something that is bad for our health, bad for our environment, bad for our pocketbooks? Shouldn't we have a say in this?

6 Jan 2010

Municipal Election 2010 - Watchdog or Lapdog?

This should be an interesting year for Clarington residents, and in fact for everyone in Durham Region. It is an election year, so self-serving rhetoric will abound from many incumbents and from some challengers.
When considering your choices, take the time to get to know a little about the candidates. Incumbents have an advantage with built-in name recognition, but just recognizing a name is not a reason to vote for someone. Some of our worst representatives both locally and at Regional Council are incumbents. Certainly in Clarington that is the case in my humble opinion.

When deciding who you might want representing you at the region, keep this question in mind: Do you want a watchdog for Clarington residents or a lapdog for Regional interests and an unelected chair above all else? We need watchdogs, not lapdogs. We need people with the courage to stand up for their own municipality and residents and not people who will 'compromise' (sell out) on issues of great importance to our communities. We need politicians who don't say "I was elected to represent the Region of Durham" (Mayor Abernethy). I thought he was elected to represent the municipality of Clarington.

There are always wonderful EXCUSES made by politicians for the decisions they make. Some are valid, many are not.

Revisiting the incinerator decision

What is wrong with this picture? Lots. Do we need servicing for employment lands designated as the Science Park in Bowmanville and the Energy Park in Courtice? Yes, we do. Are we held hostage by Durham Region's unelected Chair and reduced to begging to get our fair share? Yes. Should we perhaps find another way to pay for servicing of these lands, other than being reduced to accepting buy-offs from the Region just to get an agreement to begin an EA to consider servicing? Is there a law that says we must depend on Regional tax money for our services rather than being inventive and thinking outside the box to find a better way where we can be the authors of our own destiny instead of waiting for crumbs from the Region? Clarington has not gotten our fair share without having to give up more than anyone should - being the garbage dump for the Region. Sewage plant and municipal waste incinerator, auto wreckers, nuclear plant and cement factory, new 407 link and on and on - all spewing unhealthy emissions and adding to our already poor air quality and health risks. And all right along the 401 - gateway to Clarington! Such a beautiful sight. Rationale from the consultants: this air shed is already so polluted, adding a little more won't make a difference. Well sorry, but it makes a difference to us. To the residents of Clarington!

Were our 3 Regional Councillors (Mayor Abernethy, Councillors Novak and Trim) right to completely disregard votes taken at Clarington Council (before the flip-flop of Local Ward 4 Councillor Gord Robinson) declaring us an unwilling host, and not supporting the building of an emission spewing incinerator in our community? Were they right to completely support every vote at the Region to promote the building of an incinerator, start to finish over the last few years? Were they right to completely disregard the overwhelming majority of residents who care more about their health and the health of their children and grandchildren than getting half-baked promises from an Region that we no longer have any faith in?

Are our Regional representatives right to sell out our future health for a 'business plan' that is totally dependent on Durham Region? Who has faith that the Region or Province will adequately monitor this garbage burner? Both their records are lacking historically and the vote of Regional Council to reduce monitoring from what was originally promised to residents because it would cost too much, appear to care more about their own financial health than the physical and financial health of their residents, especially those in Clarington and in Oshawa who will be most heavily affected by emissions. But remember that all surrounding communities, including those outside of Durham Region, will be affected by the increase in tiny particulate matter which can have a profound effect on health and by a substantial increase in dioxins and furans, known cancer causing emissions. These emissions won't be adequately monitored, and some won't be monitored at all. I suppose many of these politicians subscribe to the idea that "What we don't know won't hurt us".

Hype and Hyperbole

I hope those same politicians are given a pile of hurt in October. There has been too much dishonesty, too much hype and hyperbole.

Here is a question that should be asked of each one of those who voted on June 24 to approve the very faulty EA (more on that later) produced to support building of the now infamous Durham Incinerator:

"Your rationale or excuse for continuing to vote approval of the incinerator forward at each milestone was that you wanted to get ALL the information. You said that you were voting forward the incinerator at each step of the way without having complete reports or having satisfactory information at that point was so that you could get more information at the next step. If that were true, then WHY did you vote to approve an incomplete EA with incomplete reports which where completed and submitted to the Province more than a month after you voted to approve? Why have no questions been asked or protests lodged by Regional Councillors after seeing that this EA was incomplete and faulty. Why are you still supporting it?"

More questions might be asked as well, such as, "Why did you consider only the hired gun's (consultants) and proponents of incineration to have credible information but not that of local and regional doctors and doctors and scientists worldwide? Why did you not consider the credible articles in medical journals, peer reviewed and widely accepted that were presented to you by local residents? Why did you allow yourselves to be reeled in and see only what the proponents wanted you to see? Why didn't you give both sides equal consideration?"

We'll get into specific claims and comments made by our incumbents during this election year (both past and present statements). But I implore you to get involved this year. We have several incumbents in Clarington who should be replaced due to past performance on a number of issues; in my estimation 4 of our 7 Clarington Councillors need to 'feel the pain' of their callous disregard for the health of their citizens. Health and quality of life should be a #1 priority, and an incinerator is inconsistent with both objectives.

There are better alternatives. Incineration is the most expensive, least environmentally friendly solution to the waste problem. This fact is being shown across North America by Councils and Trustees choosing better solutions and refusing to capitulate to the incineration industry and their claims of safety. Sure incinerators are relatively more safe now than they were 20 years ago. But does that mean they are safe? NO. It means they've cleaned up their act somewhat, but the technology does not yet exist to make them "safe".

The horse-trading by a powerful, unelected Regional Chair must be curtailed, especially when it benefits another Region (York) and hurts physically and financially residents in our own region. Backroom deals between York and Durham have been ongoing for some time. Durham must be put first for a change. These deals so lauded by some of the lapdog politicians are not so great for Durham, if you take the time to investigate them and not just settle for the distortions and embellishments served up on a platter for and by Regional Council and Committees.

WAKE UP CLARINGTON! Get involved. Voice your concerns. Make your voice heard. Don't settle for less than we deserve. Don't settle for lapdogs instead of watch dogs for our municipality.

Watch for more information on all of this - 2010 election, incineration health risks, better solutions, Regional shortcomings, and of course the "Elect The Chair" campaign, renewed.

24 Sep 2009

Who will speak for us? Redux

I first published this in February, 2008. Not much has changed and ALL of it still holds true as it did 19 months ago. See a few updated comments in red below.

Where to begin? Although I've been away for some time, I've kept up with all the goings on over the incinerator. And in my travels I've had the opportunity to learn much more than I ever wanted to know about incineration, and the pro-incinerator lobby. They are powerful and vocal and are everywhere. They are masterful at showing the best side of incineration and hiding the deep, dark deadly secrets.

They will show you the clean, Darlington-looking control rooms and allow you to speak with those who depend on the industry for their livelihoods. They will point out a school or daycare or apartment building or clothesline just within spitting distance of the incinerator and tell you everyone is content and happy with it. And it makes you want to spit.

If you travel a little farther afield and speak to people not on the industry's "okay list", you'll find a lot of worry, a lot of dissatisfaction, and a lot of anger surrounding the incineration industry. Especially from those who were led to believe that it was safe with few emissions because of all the scrubber technology and monitoring. They found out differently AFTER the fact. They found out that livestock on farms were affected and now it's not safe to drink the milk or eat the meat that has 'bio-accumulated' toxins in them. It has now begun to hurt the farming industry and as that knowledge spreads, it will devastate it.

They found out that they are having higher rates of birth defects in infants in areas within a 20 - 90 km radius of these stacks. They are having more chronic lung disease problems such as asthma (sound familiar?) and certain types of cancers.

But in most cases, their governments are silent. They don't want to be sued and they want to keep up their denials. There are some in government who are trying to speak out and are muzzled. There are many in the general population who are not muzzled and are being heard world-wide, if you care to listen.

Our elected (and unelected) officials have chosen not to listen. They are content to listen only to the paid EFW lobbyists the Region hired to promote incineration. Yes, that's right, they were hired to get it through the EA process and get it approved. They were not hired to do objective testing or studies - and that is more than evident from the so-called studies already completed. Look at the air quality statistics brought forward at Regional Committees and Council, and at Clarington Council numerous times. Those numbers came from the appendices of the Region's very own hired consultant's studies so they cannot dispute them. But those numbers were hidden deep in those pages and never, not once, brought forward by the consultants in all their presentations to committee, council, or the public at the public information sessions, even when asked about them. When air quality numbers are hundreds and thousands of times worse in Clarington than in East Gwillimbury, but they are rated as equal or both "neutral" for advantage or disadvantage, you know SOMETHING isn't right.

And that is only the tip of the iceberg. Confidence in the EA process has been dwindling as it has become increasingly evident that results appear to be manipulated in such a way as to promote or ensure the desired outcome of the process. This is not wild speculation. It seems so abundantly obvious if anyone takes the time to actually read not only the executive summary of these studies, but also dig deep into the bowels of the consultant's analysis to extract the fact from the faeces.

That so many of our elected officials are taken in by this spin and haven't taken the time to flush out the truth for themselves is highly disturbing. These are the people who are entrusted with our health and well-being, yet they refuse to listen to the groundswell of doctors in Durham Region who are vehemently opposed to this incinerator. They refuse to read the medical journals or numerous studies that would support the contention that there are emissions that cannot be captured by present technology - emissions that are bioaccumulative and dangerous to humans, especially in the fetal stages, infants and toddlers, and those with chronic illness who are already compromised. Tiny nanoparticles that can penetrate all organs including the brain through the blood/brain barrier.

They are entrusted with keeping our environment safe and healthy, yet refuse to listen to experts or environmental groups and choose instead to believe the consultants who are paid to PROMOTE incineration, the lobby groups and the industry.

They should be protecting agriculture in the region, including livestock operations, but have ignored expert studies and peer review literature which explains the risks and already proven effects on the food chain.

They should be caring a lot more than they are - and should show some common sense. Mayor Abernethy continues say they MUST push this EA through (though he neglects to say it should be done properly instead of FAST). The way this EA is being conducted, speed is so much more important than accuracy, and speed is a good way to hide many of the facts that should be made public knowledge.

Take the ridiculous reasons given by most Regional Councillors for approving the Courtice 01 site as the preferred site for the incinerator to be built - so that they can get ALL the information needed to make an informed decision. Then they went ahead and made a MAJOR decision in the EA process steps WITHOUT having the necessary information to make that decision. Talk about loony and backward. They needed to have technology information before choosing the site. They completely ignored the information given to them by residents and doctors and experts regarding air quality, for example, using that fake excuse that they want to get more information. Why make such an important decision without having the information first? We know why - it is an excuse they can use to push the EA farther and farther down the road and enable it to skip over information that should be given tough scrutiny. Instead it will get short shrift.

Sept 2009: And it did. This Regional Council approved the EA studies at their June 24th meeting, the last meeting prior to their summer vacation. This was BEFORE all the studies were completed, BEFORE all the results had been reported, BEFORE the Peer Reviews were completed, BEFORE the final of the DRAFT EA was completed.

Which means that ALL those ridiculous excuses for pushing this EA ahead at every step were just that - ridiculous excuses. That they wanted to have "ALL the information" before giving approval? If that were really true, wouldn't they have waited for the final studies and peer reviews to be completed before approving it? There is no excuse or justification for their actions that will make this community believe them or trust them again.

The public is not being fooled, other than a few who have listened to their politicians and not questioned any of the information or done any research themselves. And those are the people who won't be changed anyway. They're probably still using that old DDT in their yards and have kept the asbestos in their walls and don't worry about it because they're not sick yet. They probably smoke too (no lung cancer yet) and think there will be hundreds of jobs to run this new facility. They certainly haven't done their homework there, either.

The incinerator lobby can be excused to some degree for their shameless promotion of EFW, WtE, incineration or whatever you want to call it. They get paid for it. But the fact that our politicians in whom we place our trust are shamelessly promoting it and not even asking questions is totally inexcusable and disgraceful.

That our Mayor Abernethy and Regional Councillors Charlie Trim and Mary Novak put the Region AHEAD of Clarington is disgraceful and inexcusable. Where they got the idea that their first allegiance is to the Region, above Clarington and its residents is not hard to figure out. They are being used by the Region to get what the Region wants. And they haven't even figured that out yet.

Add Local Clarington Councillor Gord Robinson to this bunch. He betrayed his constituents in Clarington, including his agricultural constituents by flip-flopping and voting to approve the Host Community Agreement - an agreement that did NOT contain the monitoring that had been promised to Clarington residents previously by the Region, but ended up being too expensive for them to include in the final EA. No agricultural monitoring for effects from the incinerator. He told other Councillors it was included when it wasn't. A request from the Agricultural Committee was not even considered by Clarington Council because Councillor Robinson decided to betray us all and receive it for information, not vote to endorse it. While I was not present at that meeting, it was talked about afterward by residents and the information can be found in Council minutes.

It is unbelievable that these three (Abernethy, Trim, Novak) voted AGAINST the motion by Brian Nicholson that said if a municipality was an unwilling host, the region would not force an incinerator on them. They would not even protect their own municipality - the Region as always comes first. None of the three can claim they are being protective of Clarington or NOT putting the Region first in all things incinerator.

This is why these three must NEVER be allowed to be re-elected in Clarington. (Add Councillor Robinson so there are now four) They have given up their right to speak for us since they have never spoken for us. They speak for the Region at all times. This is something none of us should forget, no matter how this incineration farce turns out. They have not stood up for Clarington. Only our four local councillors have done so. Hats off to Councillors Foster, Hooper, Woo and Robinson (REMOVE ROBINSON). They are the only ones looking our for our welfare, and it can't be easy with the pressure from the Region and from our Mayor. They deserve our gratitude and our support. And more than ever now.

Now comes the PR farce the Mayor is trying to foist upon the good citizens of Clarington. These people who will be speaking are not experts on incineration. They are promoters, lobbyists, but where are the experts? How can residents give their councillors questions to ask the presenters before they hear them speak? Our hands are tied and the Mayor knows it. That is why these people were invited by our Mayor are being promoted in this forum rather than at an open forum where residents can ask questions.

There is so much more to say on this subject and it will be said. The entire scenario as it is playing out simply disgusts me. All that I hold dear, namely fairness, openness, honesty, transparency, democracy... they are all missing from this entire process. The dirty little bag of tricks continues but is not fooling anybody. Instead it is strengthening those in opposition to this entire debacle. The word is rapidly spreading. They may have the votes at Regional Council to approve this incinerator. But WE have the votes at the ballot box, and we will not forget.

I reiterate: WE WILL NOT FORGET.

Watch now for all the green washing attempts by individual Councillors and Mayors who voted in favour of the incinerator without having all the facts first, without listening to the residents, without considering all the documented evidence against incineration and without regard for our health or that of our children. WITHOUT having any proof that is is SAFE. The best that could be said by our Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kyle, was that he couldn't find irrefutable proof that it ISN'T safe. But he also could not find proof that it IS safe.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence. Whatever happened to the Precautionary Principle?

4 Aug 2009

2010 Election not that far away - Abernethy the first target

People are already gearing up for the 2010 municipal elections, even though they are a little over a year away. But it is not too soon to begin planning to oust certain municipal politicians who very blatantly gave the one-finger salute to their residents during the last couple of years. Residents have every right to target those who refused to listen to overwhelming opposition to the incinerator, especially when so many tried to make their voices heard.

Silly me. I always thought that we elected our municipal council and mayor to represent us and to do what is best for the residents of Clarington. What happened? Do they not know that WE are their bosses? Have they become so big-headed that they don't need to listen to those who elected them? Do they honestly believe that they know better than 80% of the residents of Clarington? Do they really believe that the Region's propaganda was any more honest than the biased and misleading studies done by their paid consultants?

Those consultants were hired for one reason. They were hired to see the EA process through to a favourable conclusion (favourable to the already decided end result of the Region to make incineration the option of "choice"). Numerous times residents were told publicly that the Region had decided on this course of action in 2000, with their 20 year waste management plan. Of course that plan only mentioned that burning garbage should be looked into. It did not say that this was the course that should be taken.

Too many of our myopic councillors either can't read and comprehend or they intentionally twisted that plan to mean exactly what they wanted it to mean. The writing was on the wall (and in the direction given to the consultants) before the EA even began.

The writing is now on the wall for several councillors and a handful of Mayors of Durham municipalities. But none more so than Clarington, which harbours 4 who need to be replaced.

The Mayor of Clarington, with his sometimes incomprehensible mutterings needs to be soundly punished and relegated to the trash heap. He was not able to fool all his residents with such gems as his declaration in explaining his "No Waste by '38" motion which he made a point of making clear "didn't mention incineration or landfill". The reason for that? "Neither of these two options is acceptable to me, but you've got to do something with it," Abernethy stated.

You could have fooled us. The mayor was a huge supporter of incineration from the start, despite his attempts to convince residents that he was looking for the truth (not a very funny joke) and that he hadn't yet made up his mind. Early on he took a trip to Nova Scotia and made a home video of the Halifax Otter Lake landfill. All he was interested in was the seagulls (meaning there was garbage present) and that it didn't look pretty. He made that DVD available to people who made it available to even more residents for their viewing pleasure. Abernethy also promoted an industry made propaganda infomercial for SYSAV - yes, promoting incineration in Europe. He played it for audiences around Clarington, all the while promoting incineration. Yet he had the audacity to continue to tell people he hadn't yet made up his mind. How insulting to the residents of Clarington.

As recently as last month he said neither landfill NOR INCINERATION are acceptable. The way he has promoted incineration for the last 2 1/2 years it is apparent that he believes incineration is not only acceptable, but desirable. The facility will have floors so clean you could eat off them (his comments about the European incinerators) and even more important - no seagulls!

This mayor ran his 2006 campaign on having "an honest and open government". He also said, "The role of council is to manage the assets of the municipality and ensure that there is a democratic process." What exactly does "democratic process" mean to this man?

On his campaign video he also said, "There's a lot of important issues that have to be dealt with, and have to be dealt with uh, fairly, uh, dealt with uh in the best interest of all of the people of the municipality." Is that what he has done? NO.

"I think that what needs to be done is we need to have a look to see what will Clarington look like in 50 years from now." Well, for the next 30 - 35 years at least we will be dumping more pollution into an already dirty air shed where record numbers of children now have asthma, older adults have respiratory problems, and cancers are already on the rise. Now we will be adding to those problems and adding new ones. Does he care? Apparently not.

In 2006 Abernethy said, "Our municipal Council needs a made in Clarington agenda." Does that sound familiar? Like the "Made in Durham garbage solution" he is always promoting (which isn't made in Durham at all)? This incinerator being forced on Clarington residents is most certainly NOT a "made in Clarington agenda". Was this an outright lie, or was he so quickly and easily sucked in by Regional Chair Roger Anderson immediately after he was elected? Enquiring minds want to know! This Mayor betrayed Clarington and put the Region first and foremost, unlike the other mayors in the Region. He said on more than one occasion that he was "elected to represent the Region". Funny, I thought he was elected as Mayor of Clarington to represent Clarington.

He ranted against the "Mutton shell-game experience" - or was that "Mutton-Schell game" - (his words). "Higher taxes, higher salaries, higher mileage charges, and numerous international trips," Abernethy said. So what has changed since 2006? It has only gotten worse. Have we heard an apology to Mutton since then? No, only attacks on his campaign financing by Abernethy's former campaign team, and those charges are ongoing. Was Mutton faultless? Hell no. But was he worse than Abernethy? That is debatable at this point, but I'd say no. At least Mutton didn't give away the (Clarington) store to the Region while he was in office. Would he have, on the incinerator issue? Very possibly he would have supported the incinerator as he did quite a job in facilitating the political acceptance of the incinerator and approval of Covanta as the builder/operator. But we won't know because Abernethy beat him to the punch. At least Mutton surely would have gotten a better deal for Clarington. As it is, there is hardly anything in the Host Community Agreement that wasn't already in the works or owed to Clarington without it. That's another discussion altogether.

Speaking of Mutton, Abernethy said, "I've had enough of their experience. Have you?" I can tell you that I, along with the majority of Clarington residents (according to several recent polls), have had enough of the Abernethy experience. More than enough.

Abernethy in 2006 asked us to vote for change. This is not the change we wanted or anticipated. A Mayor who refuses to listen to the residents unless you are one of his favoured friends, or unless you are someone he considers "important to the community". Anyone who is a plain old resident, a plain old taxpayer isn't important to him and he has shown people that in spades, including not allowing street parties which could foster more community spirit. Including the elderly who have been the first to have services cut. Including those speaking out against the incinerator, who were basically given the Trudeau salute, in so many words. Including those asking for more time to speak or to be allowed more input. He shut people up, made them sit down if he didn't like what they had to say, and even went so far as to throw people out. One of the biggest complaints about former Mayor Mutton was that he was a bully. Abernethy has turned out to be as big a bully. But he hates that word because he threw out a resident for calling his best buddy Roger Anderson a bully. He'd better take a good look in the mirror.

I wonder what half-truths this Mayor will tell us during his 2010 campaign. Or will he give up and run away, knowing he hasn't a chance in hell of being re-elected?

Mary Novak and Charlie Trim deserve the same fate, although the word on the street is the Trim is retiring, allowing local ward 4 councilor Gord Robinson to attempt to move up to Charlie's regional seat. Fat chance, after the betrayal of his constituents and those of the entire municipality. Were it not for Robinson, who has now been given the label "traitor", at least we would have remained an unwilling host, which, in spite of statements to the contrary publicly by Anderson, everyone knew would be the nail in the coffin at the Regional Council vote. And it was. This man deserves to hit the unemployment line next year and there are already groups seriously working toward that end.

There are groups spread across Durham Region already making plans for the 2010 election. They are organizing and are determined. They are looking for strong, ethical and honest candidates who understand what democracy is and who will listen to their residents rather than their political bosses in issues affecting our very lives. There will be some massive campaigns not only in support of good candidates but also against those who need to be replaced.

Those who chose to ignore the will of the people will suffer the consequences in 2010. And they will deserve it. They think 2010 is far enough away that people will forget the insulting behaviour of these councillors and mayors, but the opposition to these people is building, not waning since the June Regional vote. We are not stupid. We will not forget. The damage done to our municipality which now has a very deserved reputation as being the dumping ground for Durham Region is irreparable. And Durham Region's reputation for being the dumping ground for York Region is also building. From Stop the Incinerator to Stop the Stink, we get all the crap from York while York Region gets all the benefits. Is that the sign of a good and effective Durham Regional council or leadership? We think not.

The "Elect the Chair" movement is alive and well, and has now been joined by the "Dump Durham's Democratically Deficient" Mayors and Councillors. The most targeted already of the Mayors is Abernethy, O'Connor, Pearce, Perkins, Shepherd and Ryan. Some (most) of these are very vulnerable. Pearce is probably the least vulnerable, even though Scugog could do so much better. The rest are not at all secure in their seats according to local sources. There are more Councillors already with a bull's eye on their backs. Stay tuned for more in coming days, weeks and months. Mayor Abernethy can be assured that we will "Vote for Change" in 2010.

24 Jun 2009

Big Vote Today, Big Vote in November 2010

Today Councillors in Durham Region will vote on their incinerator folly, and will anger and alienate even further the majority of their constituents.

Mr. Anderson, Regional Chair, stated last week that he could not believe people would work to put Regional Councillors out of office over one item. Well, think again Mr. Chair. This "one item" is the largest expenditure ever in the history of Durham Region. It locks us into a chemical spewing, ash producing, resource destroying incinerator that few people want and many are strongly opposed to, for 25 to 35 years. This "one item" is one which has brought out more people than any other issue since the landfill wars many years ago. This "one item" has made people realize that their Regional Councillors (most of them) could care less what their residents think, what their concerns are, what their better alternative ideas are. This "one item" has been bought and paid for with our health, our Gas Tax money that should be used to improve and increase our public transit, our roads, our quality of life. Instead this "one item" has been pushed through by this council without the benefit of all the information.

Throughout this process the excuse has been used by Councillors that they were simply voting to approve each step so that they could get ALL the information before making a final decision. Well, that excuse won't work anymore. So many large, complex studies and reports have come forward all at once that there is little time for anyone to read through them all, and we KNOW that most Councillors only bother to read the Executive Summary and nothing more, if that. We also know that ALL the studies are not completed and ALL the Peer Reviews are also not complete.

Yet these same Councillors are now voting before all the information is in, so that lame excuse that no one believed anyway, is now so much junk.

I want to tell you, Regional Council, we resent being treated like dunces. I would submit to you that it is not the residents who are unworthy of being listened to, or unworthy of respect. It is you, those who have lied to residents and who continue to do so. Those who refused to listen to the people who voted them into office.

We voted you in, and we can most certainly vote you out. This Watchdog Blog was active during the 2006 campaign, and will be even MORE active during the 2010 campaign. I won't let people forget, and I am not alone. There are many who have vowed to organize to help in each municipality to defeat those who have betrayed us right across this region. There will be qualified candidates running, with support (monetary and door to door legwork) from those who have been snubbed and dismissed by their regional representatives.

You may see more local councillors moving up to run for regional seats as well as new candidates moving in. There are a number of pro-incinerator (from the start) candidates who are already being targeted and things will only get tougher as next year draws closer.

In Clarington, the choices are obvious. Mayor Abernethy, should he choose to run again or run for any other seat whether at the local, provincial or federal level eventually, will run into a brick wall. His reputation has suffered greatly with his obviously unequal treatment of residents, his lack of understanding of the EA process and of his municipal duties (he thinks he represents the Region first, over and above Clarington, unlike the other Mayors in Durham Region). This man has lost all credibility and is known as one of the most "un-green" Mayors in this Region, and with so many ungreen mayors, that's reaching quite the pinnacle.

Mary Novak has done nothing to distinguish herself from Abernethy - they are voting together (as usual) on this incinerator, although using different excuses. No one has believed she was 'on the fence' or hadn't made her decision early-on as Abernethy did. Her continual denials only convinced people more that she would vote to approve this incinerator. Her acceptance of the Host Community Agreement that was basically blackmail and gives Clarington very little of anything shows her incompetence and her bias. She will never convince anyone she is doing what is best for the community, or that the incinerator has been proven "safe". It has not.

Charlie Trim has sold out his community and isn't worthy of his seat. The buzz is that he's not running again and has given his seat to Councillor Robinson next term. Well you can't do that. Charlie's supporters are not sheep and will vote as they please, and from those I've heard from, very few will even consider voting for Robinson after his total betrayal of the entire municipality as it was his vote that accepted the HCA and gave up the unwilling host status. He single-handedly, in one fell swoop, destroyed any future he may have had in Clarington politics. Or maybe he's been promised an appointment by Roger Anderson. Whatever the reason, no one has any respect for the man any longer. It was a total and blatant betrayal, and one that won't be forgotten. I hope he believes it was worth it.

I hope a lot of residents show up at today's meeting and aren't so discouraged that they give up. There is still much work to do, right through next year's election. I will take bets on how much larger a voter turnout there will be next year, and how many seats we can put new faces into. I do know of 4 seats in Clarington that MUST be cleaned out and re-filled. We won't forget.

Yes I may be a little premature, but I can't seen any of them changing their votes today. I've even heard that at least one municipality won't receive emails from their own constituents, and openly won't listen to them. Why Would We Wish to keep elected officials like that around?

To the good Councillors who have done the real research and have had a very open dialogue with residents, I commend you. To those of you who have listened only to one side of the story and who have betrayed your own residents, I say you deserve what you get next year, which will be a spot in the unemployment line.

And to Mr. Anderson, we will work diligently to make sure that the Durham Regional Chair is elected and accountable to the people.

19 May 2009

Rally Against Incinerator - May 20th

Stand Up & Say No To Incineration Before It's Too Late!

We have the power to avoid over 30 years of regret!
Host:
Concerned Citizen and Tax Payers from Durham Region
Type: RALLY


Date:
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Time:
5:30pm - 8:30pm
Location:
Durham Regional Head Quarters
Street:
605 Rossland Rd. East at Garden St.
City/Town:
Whitby, ON
Here is an opportunity for you to show that Durham residents want a real sustainable solution to waste management, not a heavily subsidized pollution factory that will make money for the private sector and burden us with additional taxes and health risks for the next 30 years.

The Site Liaison Committee is responsible for getting our message to the region. They have so far been stunningly ineffective and its time to show the Region how we feel.

We are blessed with the Freedom of Peaceful Assembly, the Freedom of Speech, the Freedom of Expression and the Freedom of Association to protect us from oppressive government at any level.

The incinerator threatens not only our health but the financial viability of this Region. We cannot afford to sit on our hands and be complacent any longer.

The time has come to stand up and say NO to this incinerator!
Facebook group:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/event.php?eid=55173887613

******************************************

More information:

Rally in Opposition of the Proposed Durham/York P3 Incinerator May 20th

Many questions have been raised about the potential threat this project poses to the region. In addition to the concerns about health and economic effects, residents are now faced with the the possibility that Metro Toronto garbage could be heading there way as a result of this project.

Press Advisory:

Durham Region residents are planning a peaceful demonstration Wednesday May 20th, to express their opposition to the proposed Durham/York P3 (Public Private Partnership) Incinerator Project beginning at 530 pm outside the Durham Region Headquarters, 605 Rossland East in Whitby, Ontario.

According to documents released by the Region the controversial plan would see a mass burn incinerator built in the municipality of Clarington less than a kilometer from the shores of Lake Ontario. The incinerator would burn residential garbage from Durham Region as well as waste transported from York Region on a continuous basis, for no fewer than 25 years. Once the option is exercised to expand the capacity of the facility from 140,000 TPY (tons per year) to 400,000 TPY, waste from other municipalities would also be accepted.

The initial Environmental Assessment excluded outright the possibility of accepting garbage from Metro Toronto; however, an addendum to a motion at Clarington Council last week indicates that this might not be the case. The motion outlined a $10/ton tipping fee ‘royalty’ to go directly to the host Municipality, Clarington, for waste received specifically from Metro Toronto. This is notably higher than the tipping fee ‘royalty’ previously discussed of $2/ton

Recently the preferred vendor, American company Covanta Energy, announced that it had reached a deal with Miller Waste to transport the toxic fly ash produced by the incineration process, (equal to approximately 5% of the total mass of waste burned) to a toxic waste facility in New York State for the lifetime of the facility - 25-30 years. The toxic waste will either be stored in a toxic waste storage facility near Niagara Falls, processed for landfill in Lewiston or Incinerated at a site in New York State. The bulk ash remaining after incineration, between 20 - 30% of the original mass and 10% of the original volume, would then be transported to a landfill site that is yet to be determined.

"The project once called a 'Made in Durham Solution' is beginning to reach pretty far from Durham Region." said Whitby homeowner Chris White at the Region’s Public Information Session in Bowmanville last week. “With this deal we will have trucks transporting garbage to Durham from who knows where, as well as trucks transporting toxic waste to someone else’s back yard, day in and day out."

The rally is scheduled to take place prior to the Site Liaison Committee meeting at the Durham Region Head Quarters next Wednesday.

“The SLC was designed as a conduit between the people and the Regional Council on this matter." said Rebecca Harrison resident and one of the rally’s organizers. “I’m very disappointed in the way in which the various politicians and regional staff that sit on this vital committee have acted during the SLC meetings I have attended. I know I am not alone. Our hope is that this rally will refocus these committee members and gets our message to Regional Council.”

Come May 20th the concerned residents will be joined by several labour unions who are also opposed to the Durham York P3 Incineration project.

Dave Renaud, President of the CAW Durham Region Environment Council will be speaking at Wednesdays rally. “The organized Labour movement (Canadian Labour Congress, Durham Region Labour Council, CAW, CUPE) across Canada is opposed to the use of incineration of municipal waste due to our resounding belief that Extended Producer Responsibility will lead us down the path of sustainable green production, cancer free jobs which are the opposite of what Durham Regions EFW consultants and some of the Regional Councilors want for our communities.”

Mr. Renaud will be joined by CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan who held a press conference in regards to CUPE's oppostion to this P3 Incinerator earlier this month. “This is typical of P3 projects,” said Mr. Ryan “They underbid to get the project going then the taxpayer is on the hook for the cost overruns. This project smells like an environmental and fiscal disaster.”

Jim Freeman President of the Durham Region Labour Council, who is also addressing Wednesday’s rally, expressed his concerns with Covanta’s track record in his delegation to Regional Council last November prior to the company being selected as the preferred vendor by the Region. “As you know the Durham Region Labour Council does not support the construction of an Energy from Waste facility in our community but we have specific concerns about Covanta. According to the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), Covanta has a deplorable track record of anti-union , anti-worker activity in the United States.”

All three labour leaders have made delegations in opposition to this project over the course of the proceedings.

In a Region that has been hard hit by job loss this P3 project does not appear to be sitting well with area residents who are currently out of work. According to the Business Case provided to the public by the Region this project with an estimated capital cost of $236 million is estimated to create only 33 long term full time positions.

"Burning garbage kills people and jobs.” said Marissa Kata, an Oshawa home owner and mother who recently lost her job. “Other regions are seeing garbage as an opportunity; a resource that is desperately needed right now for the unemployed and the manufacturing sector. We need good ‘green’ jobs in this community and $236 million could go a long way to making that a reality if invested in more sustainable programs. ”

With the Region prepared to vote June 12th, on a recommendation to proceed with this project, these Durham residents are confident that as a result of their increased presence Regional politicians will hear their concerns and act accordingly.

“All we are asking them to do is the same thing Halton Region did when they were faced with the decision,” said Ms. Harrison, “apply the precautionary principle and vote against the health and economic risks posed to Durham residents by this incinerator.”

For more information on the rally and Durham York Incinerator including links to Regional Documents on the proceedings please visit:

www.cawdrec.com – CAW Durham Region Environment Council
www.durhamenvironmentwatch.org – Durham Environment Watch
www.zerowaste4zeroburning.ca – Zero Waste 4 Zero Burning
What: Stand Up to Incineration Rally

Where: Durham Region Headquarters,
605 Rossland Road East,
Whitby Ontario

When: Wednesday May 20th, 2009
5:30opm-830pm
(Site Liasion Committee Meeting begins inside at 7:00pm)

Why: To oppose the Durham/York P3 (Public Private Partnership) Incinerator proposal.
Media Contact
Rebecca Harrison
(905) 999-5479

5 Apr 2009

Who Speaks for US?


Who can we count on to speak for us? It appears, not our Clarington Mayor. He is apparently under the impression (and said so) that Durham Region comes first. Clarington must come second to the Region which is the upper tier. He says he was elected to represent the Region.

Well I have two words for our mayor. WAKE UP. Believe it or not, you were elected to work for Clarington, to work for us, the taxpayers. You were elected to represent Clarington in all things, including at the Region of Durham. To put Durham Region first, as you have admitted to doing, is to slap Clarington taxpayers in the face. Either you don't have a clue or you are intentionally ignoring the words and wishes of the majority of residents in favour of kissing up to the Region, for some unknown reason.

I will qualify that previous statement. You listen to your friends, your campaign team, those who agree with and support your views and your ambitions. That is evident at the meetings I have either attended or watched on Rogers television. You blatantly cut off speakers who disagree with your warped view of what your own job as mayor is or of your complete support for the incinerator Roger Anderson wants to put in our midst. You hold them to the exact 5 minutes (which was a ten minute allowance before you decided to shorten it to five) and even cut people off mid-sentence. When your 'friends' or someone you believe to be 'important' (unlike the majority of residents) is speaking, there are no interruptions, you overlook your own rules, you give them plenty of latitude. It is blatant and you do not seem to even care.

You appear to have no understanding of what an Environmental Assessment entails, or how it actually works. You appear to be only too willing to pass the buck to others - the Region and next to the Province, to decide for you and for us whether incineration is 'safe' or not.

The incinerator plan is an iceberg... and the consultants are only showing you the tip. You are satisfied with that, but residents have made it very evident that they are not. Somebody needs a reality check.

This goes for Regional Councillors Mary Novak and Charlie Trim too. Both have voted in EVERY vote at Clarington and at the Region to go along with Regional Chair Roger Anderson's wishes to 'push this forward'. No matter that there are so many unanswered questions. They plan to push it forward to the Province with still many of those questions unanswered and then hand over the responsibility to the Minister of Environment for him to make the decision as to whether it is safe for Clarington and Durham Region residents. That is unconscionable. But not surprising since none of these people have any guts.

There are others on Regional Council who must also bear the responsibility for their actions. Some simply are glad it is not in their backyard. These councillors accuse Clarington residents of NIMBYism, when in reality it is those politicians who are the NIMBYs.

Councillor Rick Johnson (Pickering) continually talks about the old landfill wars, and how many people came out to say they didn't want a landfill in their community, and that he would not allow that to happen again. Well, Mr. Johnson, since you are the prime mover behind this incinerator, why didn't you offer to host it in YOUR community since it is, according to you, so clean and safe? It is fine to push it off on Clarington residents, as long as your residents don't have to deal with it. How much more NIMBYish can you get?

Numerous Regional Councillors have been targeted by a new group called "Concerned Citizens of Durham Region" to be unseated in the 2010 election. These are Councillors who have continued to vote FOR and be supportive of this incinerator at every step of the way. The word is that this group (CCDR) will be fielding reputable and viable candidates for each of these seats in each municipality. They will be actively involved in campaigning against the incumbents and working for the opposing candidates.

CCDR will also be supporting and campaigning for those Regional Councillors who have shown that they are aware of the concerns of the people and are willing to listen and work for them, not for themselves.

Now this list (provided to Watchdog but not yet published) may change at any time, and may have already. We received this list from members of CCDR a few weeks ago. They will also be actively campaigning for an elected Chair, and against Mr. Anderson. He has shown his complete disdain for Clarington, Clarington Residents, and Clarington Councillors as well as for residents in the rest of the region. His ego and bullying tactics may be in his own best interests, but not in the best interests of residents of all 8 municipalities.

CCDR will also be looking at and giving support to local councillors who have been supportive of residents and who have had the guts to stand up to the region. There are several who appear to be poised to move up and run for regional seats in 2010 and many of them will have the support of not only their own residents but also from CCDR. That will be financial as well as active campaign and word of mouth support.

So be forewarned - the war has only just begun. If this is pushed through the door to the Province and not decided locally by our elected regional politicians as it appears they will do, residents will NOT forget what they have done. There will be no excuses good enough for not putting the health and welfare of their residents first. And they must remember that it is quite likely that this will all come to a head, or building will begin in 2010, which will be a constant reminder to residents what has been forced upon us. We will not forget nor will we let anyone else forget. This issue will not fade into the background. And certainly not before Elections 2010.