A Shoe Has Dropped

Dedicated to Digging for Truth, Blasting the Myths, and Etching Reality in Stone.

It really doesn’t matter if you call it the left or the right shoe, but it came down with a huge “thud” earlier this year.

 The “thud” we are talking about was the Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision that the giant Wind Turbines that keep littering our countryside (thanks to McGuinty/ Wynne), and allegedly cause serious health issues, have caused PROPERTY DE-VALUATION! That’s right, someone astute and knowledgeable actually came out and spoke the words thousands of people have been waiting to hear. Property values are negatively impacted by Wind Turbines! wind-turbine-house

Read about it here: http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1151369/ontario-court-allows-lawsuits-against-wind-company-and-landowners-just-a-matter-of-time

 Here’s an excerpt from the news report:

After reviewing the evidence of appraiser Ben Lansink, the court states: “(i)n summary, the plaintiffs’ evidence shows that they have already suffered harm through a loss in property values and the corresponding interference with the use and enjoyment of their properties.”  [Para. 9] “The plaintiffs have filed expert appraisal evidence indicating that their properties are likely presently devalued by between 22 to 50 per cent or more, based upon the Proposal as presented.” [Para. 31] “… (I)n this case the court accepts that the plaintiffs have suffered, and are currently suffering, losses culminating in diminished property values …” [Para. 34, emphasis added]

 What does this mean for the citizens of Ontario who live next to pits and quarries? Well, we believe it means that the same realization regarding property values and negative health impacts around aggregate operations will soon be acknowledged.

 Why do we believe this will be the case you ask?

 The only difference we see with the two industries is timing.

 The aggregate industry has been operating with impunity for decades. Their operational methods are entrenched. They open their operations with zero “sunset clauses”, almost zero oversight, and definitely zero compensation for the homeowners living next to these mega-monstrosities! dickpit39

 It has been business as usual for far too long and it’s about time they were reined in.

 This recent court victory for the citizens of Ontario resulted from research conducted by highly qualified experts. Value studies were performed by certified specialists in their fields. The information they brought before the court could not be refuted!

 And that, friends, is what will be required to push an aggregate agenda for “fairness” forward – competent studies by professionals.

 These studies cost money! So individual citizens were called upon to support the cause. It takes many private donations for fairness to prevail! It is extremely unfortunate that the citizens of Ontario must pay extra for the fairness and protections that should come from our governments, but that seems to be the case.

 So, please, if you have the opportunity, open your wallets to help correct a long-standing injustice.

 Now, thanks to the court decision, there is momentum! Let’s ride the wind!

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Fraud and Deception in Disneyland?

Dedicated to Digging for Truth, Blasting the Myths, and Etching Reality in Stone.

 We’re told that in Disneyland there’s a place called the ‘Magical Kingdom’. It’s where wonderful things happen – where wishes and dreams come true. Who knew that here in Ontari-ari-ario we have our own version?

 It’s near Palgrave in the north-east corner of Caledon. This place, where the magic happens, could be called ‘Brockland’ because Brock Aggregates owns the Tottenham Pit. The magic appears to happen whenever reality doesn’t coincide with Brock’s wishes. Not long ago, when Brock decided they wanted permission to nearly double the size of their ‘footprint’ and dig out more sand and gravel from below the water table, they were faced with opposition from concerned neighbours with whom they ‘share’ the water source. Neighbours pointed out that previous site plans and hydrogeological studies showed underground water flow directions that might mean a threat to their private wells.

 So here’s where wishful thinking and magic occurs. First, Brock wished that opponents to their dream would just vanish.

 Didn’t happen.

 So then they got out their magic wand … errr, wallet … and presto! all the arrows on the site plan that showed the directions of underground water flow magically changed direction! Where formerly the arrows pointed in somewhat natural directions, and towards neighbouring residences, they now conveniently changed direction, sometimes totally REVERSED direction, to point away from all the neighbours’ wells.

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 How can this be?

 Well haven’t you ever heard of Fantasyland? It happens every day! Take a drive; take a look; wish upon a star! You won’t believe your eyes when you see the magical transformations at Bibbidi Bobbidi Brockland !

brockland

Getting Stoned … or Getting Out of the Stone Age?

Dedicated to Digging for Truth, Blasting the Myths, and Etching Reality in Stone.

Hempcrete Could Change The Way We Build …

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When it comes to new and sustainable housing ideas, it seems to always be about creating a more efficient home in terms of insulation, lighting, electricity etc. Mainstream belief on the subject would have you believe that top corporations and government projects are working with the best possible technology to bring forth solutions that work and are going to be great for the environment. If that was truly the case, we can guarantee you that the whole world would be using Hempcrete right now. Haven’t heard of it? … Not too surprised.

First off, what is Hempcrete? Hempcrete is a building material that incorporates hemp into its mixture. Hempcrete is very versatile as it can be used for wall insulation, flooring, walls, roofing and more. It’s fire-proof, water-proof, and rot-proof as long as it’s above ground. Hempcrete is made from the shive or inside stem of the hemp plant and is then mixed with a lime base binder to create the building material. This mixture creates a negative carbon footprint for those who are concerned with the carbon side of things. It is the worlds strongest building material and is much more versatile, easy to work with and pliable than concrete. In fact, earthquakes cannot crack these structures as they are 3 times more resistant than regular concrete.

Since lime is the binding material, and the lime does not need to be heated as much as is necessary in creating concrete, a lot of energy is saved when producing Hempcrete vs. concrete. Jumping back to the carbon aspect, Hempcrete sequesters (hides or puts away) carbon because it is very high in cellulose. During its growing cycle, it takes in large amounts of carbon, which is then built into the structure. This prevents the carbon from being released into the atmosphere. A Hempcrete home can save about 20,000lbs. of carbon.

Hempcrete is a superior building material due to the fact that it is a very strong, lightweight and breathable material. When used as exterior walls, it lets moisture in without rotting or damaging the material. In a practical sense, instead of needing to build homes with space between exterior walls, which are then filled with insulation, you can simply use a Hempcrete wall. As humidity is absorbed from the external environment, the Hempcrete holds that humidity until it is ready to be released again when the climate is less humid.

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Over time, the lime used in the matrix seeks to revert to rock, so the material becomes harder and harder until it petrifies completely. This means the wall will last thousands of years vs. 40 – 100 like normal building materials today.  Another great aspect to Hempcrete is that if too much is mixed during building, you can return it to the soil as a great fertilizer. Since hemp grows to maturity in just 14 weeks, it is a very powerful, versatile, cheap and sustainable solution.

Other notable factors are that hemp crops require no fertilizer, weed killer pesticide or fungicide. The hemp seed can be harvested as a nutritious food rich in Omega-3 oil, amino acids, protein and fiber. It is considered a “super food”. The outer fibers can be used for clothes, paper and numerous everyday items. This truly is a very powerful plant and should be a no-brainer when it comes to it being used in a very mainstream way.

You would think that if governments and corporations were truly concerned with resource conservation, ecology, and the massive effects they claim climate change is going to have, they would begin implementing this solution very quickly. They would most likely make hemp legal in the US and start producing this stuff like crazy. But this doesn’t seem to be the case. Are they exaggerating about climate change and how much OUR carbon is affecting it? Or are they so concerned with their massive-profit system that they fear changing things?

Either way, something is up here.

A Joke … or a Gag?

Dedicated to Digging for Truth, Blasting the Myths, and Etching Reality in Stone.

So they set up special committees to review the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) and Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), announced ‘public hearings’ and asked for citizen input, appearing as if they would seriously consider all submissions, and make revisions accordingly.

Some people happen to have spent a couple of decades studying the issues and are as close to being an ‘expert’ as can be. So they asked to appear before the ARA committee to make an oral presentation, and made written submissions.

Were they invited to appear or were they ignored?

They were ignored.

There were several more hearings scheduled so they politely asked once again.

Again they were ignored.

WHY?

Did those in charge really want to hear from knowledgeable people, or just from those they might agree with, or who can more easily be dismissed?

We may never know.

The hearings are finished and the committee is supposed to be carefully considering all the submissions, both oral and written, that were put before it.

That’s how it was supposed to work, and that’s what we’re paying for!ratsleave ship

But our Premier and his party have abandoned ship, taken the whole crew with him, and sunk the good ship ‘Legislature’.

So – What is happening to all the recommendations submitted in these two reviews?

– What is being done to remedy the many current problems with the way the current ARA is being administered by the Ministry of natural Resources (MNR)?

– What is being done to head off the threat that existing pits and quarries might be used as industrial recycling plants and potentially toxic landfills?

– What is being done to expose the distortion contained in the SAROS reports, where it suggests we are in the midst of an aggregate crisis.

– What is being done about questionable or non-existent justification for the industry-biased ‘close to market’ and ‘no questions allowed regarding need’ provisions of the current PPS?

– How can we protect ourselves from erosion of the Oak Ridges Moraine Act, Greenbelt Regulations, and Niagara Escarpment legislation that might permit ever more aggregate to be mined in these ‘protected’ areas?

In short, how can we get our high-priced ‘representatives’ to go back to work and actually earn their keep?

Are we being ‘gagged’ or is this just a bad joke?

False Pretenses …

Dedicated to Digging for Truth, Blasting the Myths, and Etching Reality in Stone.

On the 25th of September 1974, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) decided in favour of a license application by Dufferin Aggregates for a gravel pit near Paris Ontario. The proponents used an argument that there was a “deficiency of supply”, a “market demand” for the product, and “a critical shortage of sand and gravel pits in the Province”.  Experts testified that there was an  “impending crisis of supply” and that without the proposed extraction, “within 15 to 20 years all available materials would be exhausted”.

The plan put forth by Dufferin was to extract between 800,000 to 1,000,000 tonnes per year, with progressive rehabilitation, which would result in an estimated life for the operation of between 30 to 40 years, at the end of which time “the total property would be restored for agricultural use”.

The OMB believed these claims and promises, and the license was granted.

So, what’s wrong with this picture?

Today it is 38 years later, and only now is Dufferin moving to begin extraction of the resource.

Does this suggest that the applicants misled the OMB back in 1974? That the fear of a critical shortage was unwarranted and overblown? That having the same dogma entrenched in the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) to this day amounts to perpetuating a lie?

It sure looks like it!

Over the years, going back at least to 2004 and perhaps beyond, numerous submissions and recommendations have been made suggesting that the PPS clause stating there shall be ‘no requirement to demonstrate need’ should be dropped.

Those recommendations have been totally ignored!

Why?influence Could it be some sort of  ‘inappropriate relationship’ between our elected representatives or bureaucrats and lobbyists from the aggregate industry?

As we’ve stated before, reputable experts have calculated that aggregates sufficient for between 1 and 2 CENTURIES of supply can be obtained from existing sources, without licensing any more pits!

 Are our politicians, bureaucrats, and Ministries still being lied to? Can YOU believe it?

Isn’t it high time our representatives began representing US!

2 Cents Worth …

Dedicated to Digging for Truth, Blasting the Myths, and Etching Reality in Stone.

You know the old saying when referring to opinions. “I’ll give you my 2 cents worth” or better yet, “an opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it.”

The idea of course is “talk is cheap.”

But there are times when calculated advice, ideas, and opinions, free or otherwise, should be sought and thoughtfully received.

A good example of this occurred when our provincial Government held hearings to review the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA). We have very little confidence that they will act on anyone’s advice except the Aggregate lobbyists, but at least they went through the motions. Well done!

An example of government NOT requesting public input, when they really must have it, is at TAPMO – the Top Aggregate Producing Municipalities of Ontario.

The other day we received an article that originally appeared in the Caledon Enterprise.

In the article, the mayor of Caledon was discussing levies on the aggregate industry and how the municipalities required more in order to fix the roads destroyed by gravel trucks doing their daily hauls.

She commented, and we are paraphrasing, that she believed a deal could be done to increase the levies at this time because TAPMO, of which she is the chair, had all the parties at the table. The mayors, the provincial representation, and Moreen Miller, president of the Ontario Stone, Sand and Gravel Association were all there.

Is it just us, or does anyone else notice that something essential is missing here?

Let’s have a look at the individual agendas of the parties in attendance.

The mayors – they want more money.

The province – expects cheap gravel.

The aggregate industry – streamlined processes, cheap operating costs and higher profits.

What could possibly go wrong within this self-serving group?

We’re sure they’ll all walk away with close to what they want.

The only people who won’t get what they need, are the ordinary, taxpaying people of Ontario, because they were not invited to the party, and therefore have no voice.

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Now in a perfect world, our elected officials, the mayors, should be looking after our best interests, but in reality, they can be bought off with a ham sandwich and a dime per tonne in revenue!

So why are the citizens of Ontario not represented at this table?

Are none if us worthy? … or intelligent enough?

Are citizens’ opinions not wanted?

A representative from the watchdog group Gravel Watch should be sitting in on all TAPMO meetings to ensure our elected officials and bureaucrats are not sidetracked by special interests or bought off by a few trinkets and baubles.

These are people who have “skin” in the game, years of experience, top-notch knowledge … and they are people who actually care.

Are their opinions worth 2 cents?

Nope, we’d say they are priceless.

What You Can’t See …

Dedicated to Digging for Truth, Blasting the Myths, and Etching Reality in Stone.

What You Can’t See … CAN kill you!

So you’re walking along a Railroad track and you hear a train. What do you do? Well, duh! You get out of the way, because what you hear could kill you.

The same applies when you see a gravel truck barreling towards you as you ride your bike down the road. Or a mean dog running towards you might cause you to take evasive or defensive action. Even small hazards like wasps and mosquitoes can be ‘seen’ and avoided, if you’re alert.

But what can you do about E.Coli? Can you see it coming? Or how about various viruses, bacteria, SARS, radioactivity, asbestos, etc. etc., and … crystalline silica?

What? Crystalline Silica? We know about those other things and how our health authorities have programs and methods – some more effective than others – to monitor the hazards, and even some programs to protect us.

But Crystalline Silica as a health hazard? Who knew?

Well, we do know it is classed as a Group 1 human carcinogen. We know where a lot of it originates (HINT – Gravel Pits and Quarries). We know it has other damaging cumulative health effects besides cancer. We know we can’t see it. We know that the SMALLER the particles (and even less visible) the greater the risk and damage.

And we also know that virtually nothing is being done to obtain data on the extent of this ‘War on Lungs’! No measurements or testing other than very infrequent and simple visual observation of source sites. No standards that can readily be applied by any identifiable regulatory agencies. Nobody acting responsibly!

Technologies are available, such as LIDAR (google that) to measure particle size and plume ranges. They are just not being applied.

Is it because ‘death by dust’ is often slow and painful, and symptoms can have other causes or be confused with other ailments? Or perhaps bureaucrats really don’t want to get off their butts and actually DO something about the issue because there aren’t enough citizens ‘demonstrating’ at their door? (When was the last time you got what you wanted by voting?)

You can stay off railway tracks. You can get a shot for the Flu. You can even dress for the weather. But you can’t stop breathing the Silica-laden dust if you’re anywhere near, or even miles downwind from, a gravel pit or quarry.

And it CAN kill you!