It’s been a busy time for CCOB these last few weeks. The hearing opened this week and will resume January 9th with public sessions in the evening Wed & Thurs Jan 11th & 12th.
You can read all about the hearings in the Expositor:
The fundraising is going awesome and we are currently at $80,675 on https://www.gofundme.com/ParisPitAppeal
A huge thanks to everyone who has contributed. You are awesome!!
CCOB 2017 calendars are now available. You can pick them up at Advance Printing or they will be delivered to Green Heron Books Thursday & we will be selling them at Wincey Mills. details to come.
Thanks for all your support!!
The partnership between the Concerned Citizens of Brant (CCOB) and Brant County Council was shattered after Council decided in a closed meeting to enter into a deal with CRH.
After several days of intensive discussion of the various options, the CCOB executive made the decision to ‘go it alone’. Several fundraising projects were hammered out since the need for funds, estimated at $100 000, was urgent and formidable. It was the right decision. The reaction of the community was immediate and overwhelming.
At noon November 29, people of Brant County and others had donated or pledged over $75,000, according to the CCOB’s gofundme page. These contributions of the community are a vote to continue.
One of the donations was from 7-year old Paris resident Luke Mitchell, who dug deep into his allowance piggy bank. While handing over his contributions to Jeff Broomfield of CCOB, Luke had some words he wanted to say to all the people of Brant County,
“It’s important to give as much as you can to keep our water safe.”
CCOB went into partnership with Brant County Council to challenge the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change(MOECC) and CRH before an Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) regarding health and environmental risks associated with the Paris Pit. It is known this pit will be operating directly above the aquifer supplying Paris’s drinking water.
CCOB wants assurances the pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers used on this agricultural land will pose no danger of contaminating the aquifer.
Council hired experts they had asked CCOB to recommend, from their decision to sever the partnership with the CCOB, it would appear that Council ignored these findings. Since those decisions were made ‘in camera’ they are not available for public scrutiny.
The first hearings for the ERT are December 12th and 13th 10 AM at Paris Council Chambers. Those hearings are public and will give this community the chance, by their attendance, to closely follow these proceedings and show the world they do care what happens in their community.
I think the real story here is how a small town is coming together to protect our water.
I really want to thank everyone, and the whole group here at CCOB want to express our thanks to you for all of your support and encouragement. We recognize the sacrifice many of you made to make this contribution. We truly appreciate all of your efforts and your faith in us.
We’re so close… We’ve managed to get an extension & our outlook is pretty good. To proceed we have to be able to guarantee that we can pay the experts.
We still need another $25,000 to move forward and we’re still collecting pledges and donations.
Many of the citizens that we have spoken with are furious with the County’s move. Rightly so. I’m with you.
I also believe that this adds further strength to our case… if we (CCOB) keep our cool and utilize the situation then we will win this case.
… but we can’t do it without out your support.
Anything you can do will be awesome!
Cheques can be made payable to CCOB & dropped off at Advance Printing or dropped in the mailbox at 8 Columbine Cres or mailed to Jeff Broomfield, 738 Watts Pond Rd., Paris N3L3E2
Donations can also be made on Gofundme https://www.gofundme.com/ParisPitAppeal
I really wish I could share more.
Mark your calendar for Monday Dec 12. That’s the 1st day of testimony for Dr. Forkert (if we’re able to go forward) and you’ll have the opportunity to hear for yourself how bad these chemicals really are.
Brant County’s toxicology and geo-engineering experts, along with CCOB’s Prof. Howard, contaminant hydrogeology expert, visited the Paris Pit site on Watt’s Pond road on Oct. 20. The visit, which included also the Telfer and Gilbert Wells and the Pit site’s connection to the Grand River, was part of preparations for the Environmental Review Tribunal Appeal Hearing starting December 12th.
Their October 28th detailed statements and submissions added considerable strength for a successful Appeal outcome to protect the quantity and quality of the water source of our community.
Shockingly, on the 25th, just a few days after the Experts’ site visit, Executive Members of CCOB were called to a meeting by Council Staff to inform CCOB that the staff had been negotiating with Dufferin since July and had agreed terms.
The negotiation was done without any notification to or consultation with CCOB as their Appeal partner. Also neither to the County’s own experts and without waiting for the experts’ evidence.
The draft terms since seen by CCOB fall far short in their protection of the water quantity and quality compared to those recommended in the Experts’ reports. The reports answer fully the shortcomings in the original Ministry of the Environment Conditions as pointed out by the Review Tribunal when it allowed the Hearing.
On Friday 18th November the Clerk to the Council informed CCOB that the Council had ratified the final deal at a special in-camera session of Council on Monday 14th . CCOB had requested to present at an open session before the beginning of the in-camera session but was refused.
Details of the deal have not been released.
Our legal team, CELA, (Canadian Environmental Law Association) have advised us to continue to move forward with our Appeal given the strength of our case. We have the opportunity right now to set a precedent for both Paris and the entire province of Ontario.
No one wants to see another Walkerton or a Flint Michigan. We all like to think it cannot happen here. The people in those communities did not think it could happen there either and trusted their local leaders and governments to prevent it. Sadly they we disappointed and lives were lost. Atrazine, one of the agrochemicals which has been used for many years on the soils which are being extracted, is one of the risks factors for contaminating our water given the vulnerability of the Paris Pit on a wellhead protection area and in such close proximity to the Grand River.One of the concerns we have with Atrazine here is that studies have shown it contributes to breast cancer, pre-term births, infertility, non-Hodgkins Lyphoma and other health issues particularly for women and children even with low dose exposure.
In order to prevent any of the above occurring here CCOB must move forward ALONE with the Appeal. This is five years of work, volunteer work, and contributions by the community and we are at the cliff’s edge. We have built a very strong case and we are left paying 100 per cent of the trial.
We need your help. This is the final move. This is what everyone has worked for and our citizens have donated and signed letters and attended meetings for. This is for all of us and our children. Realistically we need $100,000. I know that sounds out of reach but as a community we can do this.
All we need is for 100 people to contribute $1000.00 or 200 people who can donate $500.00. We know that’s a lot. Give what you can. We can also do this in installments as we only have to decide that we will move forward and let our legal team know by Monday at 3:59p.m. to accomplish this.
Please consider giving us whatever you can to support us moving forward to ensure the health and safety of our water for generations to come. We know we can do this with your help
Waterfest is just around the corner!! This will be an awesome event for our community.
Sat Oct 15 1:30PM till 1:00 AM
In order to run an event of this size, we need a lot of help.
Please consider how you can help and respond to this email. The following are some of the areas we are looking for help with:
Promoting on social media
Putting up posters
Selling tickets before the 15th
Donating auction items
Selling tickets at the door on the 15th
Selling pizza, snacks, pop
General help on the day
Setting up and cleaning up before or after the event
Organizing auction items
Helping on stage
If you could respond as soon as possible with the areas you are able to volunteer with, we can get your name on the list. And if you know any students looking to fill volunteer hours please pass this onto them.
As it looks now we will be setting up on the Friday night.
Thank you for all of your support and we look forward to seeing you on Sat Oct. 15th at the Paris fairgrounds!
You can also call Jeff Broomfield at 519-754-6229 for more information.
Hello CCOB members
This is just a reminder about the Environmental Tribunal Meeting on Thursday Sept 22 2016 at Brant County Council Chambers 7 Broadway Street West in Paris commencing at 10:00 a.m.
This is open to the public and the beginning of our case to protect the drinking water for the town of Paris. Attendance by citizens will not only back up our councils decision and CCOBs decision to Appeal the Permit to Take Water and the Environmental Compliance but also show the Tribunal that people here really care about their future and the environmental futures of their children.
Winning the Right to this Partial Appeal is a major move forward after four years of work. You will be able to watch legal decisions pertaining to our future court case take place. We need to show the Tribunal this is important by exercising our democratic rights to attend this session. Hope to see as many as possible on Thursday morning and look for ward to your comments following.
CCOB is pleased to announce that we have successfully moved to the next phase and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled. Attached you will find a press release, the pre-hearing notice package and the Environmental Review tribunal’s decision. Please feel free to share this with others.
July 22, 2016
Tribunal Grants Brant Citizens Leave to Appeal Certain Environmental Conditions for Paris Pit; Rejects Government Bid to Have Leave Decision Reconsidered
Concerned Citizens of Brant and the County of Brant have been granted leave to appeal certain conditions of both a water-taking permit and an environmental compliance approval issued to CRH Canada Group Inc. for the Paris Pit, and have also successfully resisted a government attempt to get the Environmental Review Tribunal to reconsider its decision granting leave.
A late March 2016 52-page decision of a panel of the Environmental Review Tribunal, granted CCOB and the County of Brant leave to appeal certain conditions in two licences granted CRH Canada that were issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. The licences would have allowed the company to take water for its aggregate washing operations from an area close to the well-head protection area of the Paris drinking water supply, and establish sewage works for the management of water taken.
The Tribunal decision, in granting CCOB and the County leave to appeal certain of the conditions in both licences, held that it appeared there is good reason to believe no reasonable person, having regard to relevant law and to any government policies developed to guide decisions of this kind, could have issued these conditions and that it appeared this could result in significant harm to the environment.
However, in mid-April 2016, the Ministry brought a motion seeking to have the decision granting leave reconsidered. But a different panel of the Tribunal rejected this government bid in a 59-page decision released in June 2016 holding that it was not advisable to reconsider the decision of the Tribunal granting leave. The review panel noted that there was nothing unfair or materially in error in what the leave panel had decided in granting leave to CCOB and the County to appeal certain of the environmental conditions in the two licences. Furthermore, the review panel noted that applications for leave to appeal environmental licences are often brought by citizens groups with limited resources and that granting the Ministry’s motion would have added another stage in the litigation and detract from the access to justice and public participation goals of the province’s environmental bill of rights law.
The results of the two Tribunal decisions allow CCOB and the County to now present their full case and seek a decision on the merits of the environmental licence conditions before a panel of the Tribunal, probably in the Fall 2016.
For further information contact:
CELA 416-960-2284, ext. 7218 (Joseph F. Castrilli) or 7217 (Ramani Nadarajah) – lawyers for CCOB
Click on the links to download the PDF files…
As part of the appeal the tribunal has asked for the names and addresses for all those who wish to be notified of these proceedings. If you would like to be notified please reply to this email with your name and full address and we will add you to our document. We take your privacy seriously and will only forward contact information for those who request it. Below is a copy of their letter.
Thanks for your continued support!
1. A list of the names and addresses of all owners of property within 120 metres of the boundary of the property which is the subject of the Director’s Decision. This information can be obtained from the Assessment Roll available from your local municipality. Attached is a certificate which is to be signed by the person who provides you with the list. You must provide signed certification with the list.
2. A list of the names and addresses of any other persons who should be notified of these proceedings because they may have a direct interest in the outcome.
3. Whether you require French language services.
4. Whether you have any special needs that must be accommodated.
The Tribunal requires that you file this information or any objections no later than May 9, 2016. Should this information or objections not be received by the deadline date, the Tribunal may decide not to process your appeal.
For more information, please review the appropriate legislation, “A Guide to Appeals under the Clean Water Act, 2006, the Environmental Protection Act, the Nutrient Management Act, 2002, the Ontario Water Resources Act, the Pesticides Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002”, and the Rules of Practice and Practice Directions of the Environmental Review Tribunal, all of which are available on the Tribunal’s website at www.elto.gov.on.ca.
The CCOB & the County of Brant have filed an appeal against the Permit To Take Water and the Environmental Compliance Approval. Now we wait for the Environmental Review Tribunal to contact us and setup a date. Our legal team is drafting a press release and we will update everyone once it is complete.
You should know that the Ministry Of Environment has filed a motion looking to limit the things we can discuss in this case. This is yet another example of our own government dodging it’s responsibility to protect our water. Regardless of how that turns out we are set to make huge advancements towards the protection of water.
Thank you for your continued support.
CCOB supporters need to know that the ‘Leave to Appeal’ is still pending, we expect the decision later this month.
To prevent another Walkerton, Ontario or Flint, Michigan we should be the custodians and prevent any future issues with our water.
The CCOB, the Paris community and our County Council need to be united in the protection of this irreplaceable resource. It is crucial relevant information goes out to all our supporters and the townspeople.
You are invited to an informal event at St. Pauls’ United Church, Paris on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 7:00 pm. You will be given an update on several events in the planning stage.
Communities all over Ontario are bonding to empower each other, we are part of a growing and ground breaking movement to protect our natural resources. Only working as a community can we keep our water safe.