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