McGuinty action on waste: ‘encourage’ business to be innovative
September 4th, 2009
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty sent the following email to one of our supporters:
On Thu, 9/3/09, email@example.com wrote
Thanks for your online message about the North Simcoe landfill site
(Site 41). I appreciate your taking the time to share your concerns with me.
In Ontario, it is the responsibility of each municipality to develop waste management solutions on behalf of its residents. These solutions include landfilling, incineration and energy-from-waste technologies – as well as diversion, composting and recycling projects aimed at diverting materials from landfills.
You may know that Simcoe County Council voted in favour of a one-year moratorium on Site 41. And, since this is a local responsibility, it
will be the county’s decision whether or not it wants to proceed with
Waste management is an important issue for our government. The Ministry of the Environment launched a comprehensive review of the Waste Diversion Act, which presents a vision for waste management in Ontario that strives for zero waste. This approach encourages businesses to be innovative by designing products, packaging and processes to reduce waste before it is made, and by designing products and packaging for greater reuse.
I hope this sheds some light on the situation in Simcoe County and
conveys our government’s commitment to reduce waste at its surces and increase waste diversion. Thanks again for contacting me. Your comments are valued and welcome.
Premier of Ontario
jim tolnai says:
September 4, 2009 at 10:10 am
True waste maybe a municipal responsibility as Dalton says. But water is a Provincial responsibility with a Federal share in it as well. As long as the garbage is static and does not move out of the municipality and remains isolated then it is the local peoples problem. But water moves and when contaminated and ends up in my well then it has crossed that municipalities border and becomes Dalton’s problem. So come on Mr. Premier take your responsibility and stop the contamination of almost 2,000,000 Ontarions water. Your letter is not comforting in the least. Earn your paycheque and stop playing politics.
linda b says:
September 4, 2009 at 10:10 am
what a coincidence (not) that this is the exact letter I received, several times – to each of my email addresses! I suspect this will be showing up in many inboxes.
My next letter to the premier will be to query exactly what purpose the MOE really does have if it cannot/will not intervene in serious environmental matters.
September 4, 2009 at 11:54 am
Yes, Linda…I received the same reply as well.
It’s with dogged persistence that McGuilty continues to totally dodge the real issue. OUR WATER!!! It’s like flogging a dead horse.
jim tolnai says:
September 4, 2009 at 12:45 pm
Anybody want to bet that he (Dalton) never read any of peoples’ letters that this form letter answered????
Ruth Ann says:
September 4, 2009 at 1:05 pm
I thought my e-mail from Mr. Mc Guinty was special for me…… what a piece of b.s…..nice to know it was sent to more than me.
September 4, 2009 at 8:09 pm
Very disappointing!! Municipalities must accept a leadership role and develop creative strategies to reduce waste, because with the current program the province is literally leaving municipalities
‘holding the bag’.
We need strong municipal leadership to develop waste reduction policies and enforcement programs to make the necessary changes that will allow us to reduce waste quickly, while respecting our finances and our environment. We can no longer wait for the province to do something!!!
Ann Truyens says:
September 4, 2009 at 8:41 pm
Every time I have written to McGuinty I’ve gotten an automated form letter.
I’m sure he never bothers to read any of them. He’s just constantly playing politics with us. Disgusting!! He’s no better than Tony Guergis!
September 5, 2009 at 11:23 pm
Not sure if its just my thinking but since the moratorium everyone seems to be going in a differnt direction on this issue.We won the moratorium by standing together shoulder to shoulder.We might have won the “BATTLE” but we didnt win the “WAR” and wont if we dont continue to stand shoulder to shoulder.Lets first stick together and get the Certificate of Approval,and stop the Dewatering,then as a Family Unit we can decide were to go next.
donna deneault says:
September 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm
I sent the above letter to Kate…sad to read that lots of you got the same “canned” response.
I like the letter that was sent from Vicki, Anne etc. to Gerretsen.
As Linda said: what exactly is the job of the MOE if he does not intervene in crucial environmental issues?
I still say..we have to rally right out in front of Queen’s Park..sometime after they re-convene– Sept 14, I believe.
I could not be more disappointed and you can be sure that I will NEVER vote Liberal again.
jim tolnai says:
September 6, 2009 at 6:56 pm
Just posted a new story on http://speakingout.biz/id18.htm Political Hypocrasy. See how and why peaceful political protestors are treated different than thugs by the police. Premier make sure to stop political harrassment of peaceful protestors even if they disagree with you. But more important make sure that the police actually enforce the laws when bullies and brawls are really happening.
jim tolnai says:
September 7, 2009 at 5:34 am
Muriel you are absolutely right. Just look at the lack of comments here in this forum and on the facebook group page. Many have fallen into complacency because they think we have won. I tried to warn people right after the Moratorium that while we may have won a battle they (politicians) will continue as there is too much for all political parties and politicians personally to lose. We the people bring ultimate loss upon ourselves. Look at the loss of momentum of new sign up on facebook. We folks are standing still. stand still long enough you will sink in the mud of apathy. Sad really sad.
Lesley Spence says:
September 7, 2009 at 6:50 am
People keep asking why the MOE doesn’t revoke the C of A, why the provincial gov’t step in etc.
The MOE doesn’t revoke the C of A for the same reason they issued it in the first place: they don’t give a damn about the environment.
The provincial gov’t doesn’t step in because they don’t give a damn about our health or well being, the environment, etc.
Neither body cares about what is right, what is just or what is fair.
Does anyone believe the Ministry of Health cares about our health?
The sooner folks understand that the government agencies do not work for us and are not meant to, the better.
jim tolnai says:
September 7, 2009 at 9:46 am
The MOE and the government does nothing because they know people will simply give up and walk away anyway. What is going on right here right now is a prime example. People have a short attention span while the MaGuinty’s and Guergis’s of the world have a long one. Most battles people lose is because apathy sets in. That is why if everyone does not smarten up we will be drinking garbage in the next couple of years. But suit yourselves I know how to filter water. So sad that people simply just don’t understand this is a war that will last forever and must be fought constantly. Whether on this issue or the next one, and believe me other issues will come. They come because every battle the Guergis’ win only emboldens to go for the next scam or treachery.
September 7, 2009 at 10:57 am
Right on, Jim and Lesley. We all have to remember what Charlie Angus, of Adams Mine fame, said at our U of T rally, when commenting on the 14 year fight to stop Toronto’s garbage from being railroaded into this open pit mine, with groundwater flowing in one side and out the other. He told us that one of the first things you learn is that “the process” does NOT work for us, it works for “them.” (As a rubber stamp for capital projects?) I think we all must learn that Democracy has been co-opted by big business with huge “Political Donations,” and that when we try to fight this dump through all the PROPER CHANNELS, we are in fact playing in the Government’s arena, under Government rules, which are heavily stacked against us.
I believe that we must fight this primarily in the PUBLIC arena, regaining and building the momentum that we had leading up to the moratorium vote. We must make Site 41 such a political HOT POTATO that no politician will want a hand anywhere near it. The MOE’s inaction in NOT honouring their promise to immediately shut down activity on Site 41, when the neighboring flow suddenly became contaminated, gives us a clear signal to begin actively campaigning for public support toward revoking the C of A.
September 7, 2009 at 1:38 pm
I think that the pessimists are wrong: there are no signs that the campaign is dying down. It is simply refreshing itself, after months of intense activity. And preparing for the next steps in the campaign.
The first of these is to neutralise the site, by ending the de-watering; suspending, then cancelling, the Certificate of Approval. This will take pressure on the Province to live up to its responsibility and repair the costly error made by Jim Bradley and the Peterson government in 1990.
The next move will be to ensure that the weasel party on County Council does not try to transfer the Site to its friends in the Waste Management industry. At the same time the county must be dissuaded from wasting more of our money on a campaign to establish that the public has no right to understand what its employees are up to (for that is what legal action against ther Information Commissioner amounts to.)
And then there is the final act, the crowning justification of the years of dedication of hundreds of people to stop this Site: the reforming of the County Council.
Making sure that never again will its members put any interests above those of the people.
Making certain that every member sitting on council understands that he is working for the electorate.
Making sure that the money the county spends is put to proper purposes, not used to line the pockets of consultants, lawyers, bureauucrats and politicians. That every penny spent is documented and accounted for. That every legal action is necessary. That every contract is publicly tendered.
Around such a programme every honest voter in the county will rally: times are getting tough, there can be no justification for waste or extravagance. The Environment is under threat; we should be cleaning up, rather than adding to, pollution. The County should be leading the process of restoring our lakes, streams, aquifers and cleaning up the toxic leaks threatening them.
jim tolnai says:
September 7, 2009 at 4:37 pm
I was waiting for someone to label those of us who are Speaking Out and warning the group about complacency. For eight years I have been involved with stopping the MURF in Orillia from being built on one of the world’s worst polluted sites. Those who wanted to do that used the same tactics of labelling those of us who stood before thir ambitions. Chris calling anyone a Pessimist is so typical. His saying that the campaign is refreshing itself is pure bunk. In a war some army units can be sent to the back lines for R&R but the fight is still on. In looking at the activity on this site and on Facebook it looks like all the troops have returned to the rear. Which by the way can’t be the rear if there are no troops at the front. That becomes by default the new front which means ground has had to be lost. Which is called a Retreat. Too bad Chris doesn’t identify himself so we could know who he is and what his background might be. You see in a war there are many saboteurs and spies. They all look alike in the dark. So Chris come on out into the light and let’s see who you are? We need transparency in government but we also need transparency at protestors as well.
Sandra Cormier says:
September 7, 2009 at 6:30 pm
Well said Chris!! You are correct, we have not lost our direction not by a long shot, yes many are taking a breather so they will be able to emerge stronger and more determined than ever!!
For sure the war is not over. I heard on Goldhawk today that he knows the IPC commissioner very well and she is not about to let the County get away with this non compliance. They will be required to respond and give forth the modflo information.
Thank goodness for the internet. This is how we stay current and connected. Shoulder to Shoulder!!!
jim tolnai says:
September 8, 2009 at 6:46 am
Sandra I read and re-read the above comments and can’t find anything about losing direction. What I read is that apathy is setting in. Like a sports team or army there must be constant forward motion by the majority. What I see is that the majority of these some 9,000 individuals have stopped moving forward. It takes a huge amount of energy to get a Super Tanker up to speed. If one shuts down the engines it takes what seems like a long time for it to come to a complete stop. But the forward motion without the engines can fool one to think that Oh! we are still moving forward so everything is OK. But if allowed to slow down too much it will take almost as much energy to get back up to speed as the first attempt. You see the boilers run out of steam and the water needs to be super heated again. That takes time and energy which takes away from the fight. That is what I see is happening to Site 41 group right now. It is not pessimism it is fact. We mustn’t forget that individuals like us who get involved have to make a living. Our time to fight is spare time fighting. That is why we need the numbers in order to replace those who have to go and feed their families. The politicians on the other hand along with the lawyers, County management and consultants get paid for fighting us. They have no pressure as the largess keeps rolling in. We need more players on the ice at any one time because they never need to change players and always play with a full squad. With groups people come and go without notice. If someone doesn’t keep a count on how many players are on the ice we find ourselves shorthanded. That is where we are today. Like I said Smarten Up folks or we will be drinking garbage. Don’t allow the moment or forward motion to slow down let alone stop. It will take far more energy to start it again than is available.
Those who have brought this movement over the last 25 years to this Moratorium are to be thanked. Some can go on R&R but not all. The MaGuinty’s and Guergis’ have figured out how to take steam from people’s boilers. The Moratorium is the hole they made in our boiler to let steam out faster. We need to restart the fire and plug the hole they have made and do it quick.
Sandra Cormier says:
September 8, 2009 at 2:54 pm
Jim, I don’t believe we have met at the Protest Camp, have we, or on the front lines blockading?
I can’t place you at all. I agree the engine must keep going and I really feel it is. There is much going on all the time, behind the scenes. I have faith in that and all the people who are forever involved. Peaceful protest without panic. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then YOU Win”_Ghandi.Shoulder to Shoulder. Sandi
jim tolnai says:
September 9, 2009 at 7:17 am
I am trying to understand what your point is? Invoking Gandhi makes no sense in today’s internet and 500 channel TV world. Besides, the word peaceful and Gandhi does not fit. Gandhi did not win because it was a peaceful protest but because there was violence perpetrated by the British Authorities. Until the killings and arrests Gandhi was going nowhere. Until the News Services picked it up little progress was made until the Guergis’s back then made their mistake. Just like Our Guergis made in arresting Keith and Ina except no one was shot like in India.
Gandhi won that battle because he and those who joined him kept the cameras rolling and the momentum moving. Notice I didn’t say he won the battle because India is hardly any different today than back the. The caste system still exists and poverty still rules. Back then there was lots going on behind the scenes just as there has been with site 41. But what wins in the end is what the public is made aware of. Gandhi couldn’t negotiate with his MaGuinty’s or Guergis’ and neither can you or the Core Group as someone called you. The only thing political parties, politicians and swivel servants are cognizant of are numbers. If numbers swell they start to sweat. So job one for them becomes, reduce the numbers. Vent the steam, slow down the engine and the issue will, while not going away be manageable. Site 41 right now seems manageable as they continue de-watering.
This protest has become manageable from a public relations point of view as well because the pressure is off. To me, invoking behind the scenes as a primary positive is very disturbing. Who is negotiating and what are these people negotiating? Whom are they negotiating for. I have been told that the core group has no structure nor is there a formal group to begin with.
Sandra, Gandhi had a formal group and the group had a leader in Gandhi. A formal leader who was very savvy in using the News Reels. I am afraid that the core group should step forward and not allow the momentum to wan if the intention is to keep the momentum going??? The core group should step forward and inform the 9,000 or so of what is going on behind the scenes. After all, many have joined in because they are sick and tired of the Guergis’ making their decisions behind the scenes. In fact even those who I believe are core group people have been and are complaining of behind the scenes decisions. So to try and justify a lack of momentum by claiming that lot’s is going on behind the scenes should be disturbing to all 9,000. At least with Guergis, MaGuinty ,County Councillors there is next year’s election holding them accountable. With a core group who answers to no one I have a problem with that?
My concerns should not be read as anything other than a public airing which will actually stimulate questions, answers and conversation. I am committed to shutting down site 41. What bothers me is the new direction it seems to be going in. If we demand transparency from government then we need to be transparent ourselves. Otherwise it won’t take long for people to figure out that one set of behind the scenes is being replaced by another set. If you talk the talk then it is imperative that you walk the walk. Who is negotiating for the 9,000 and what authority are they negotiating under?
Anyway Sandra, I commend you and the others who have given of themselves in time and money. Some will always give more than others and in different ways. The risk of pulling the card out from under the house of cards in the end is usually not good. To start labeling people as pessimists or questioning as you do in your opening sentence “Jim, I don’t believe we have met at the Protest Camp, have we, or on the front lines blockading?” is a big mistake. You and Chris are on the road to pulling out key cards under this house of cards. Everyone’s involvement is as important as any others. Once you create a hierarchy of I’m more important because I did this, you end up destroying instead of building. I would rethink your statement and give it a bit of thought. There are fewer than 9,100 people on the facebook group. The goal should be simple. The goal is there are never enough. So don’t alienate, instead include. Answer people’s questions and keep them informed. You will find in a very short time the number will be 10,000 and heading very quickly to 20,000 and up. But not if un named people negotiate behind the scenes in our name. Not if when questions are asked and legitimate concerns expressed people are labeled pessimists. Not if as with your opening sentence you try to insert “I was there where were you so how dare you question” (my words of interpretation) Ain’t gonna work Sandra, we the people already have that type of representation on County Council.
Sandra Cormier says:
September 9, 2009 at 7:23 pm
Thanks for the history lesson but my point was pure and simple…I like the strength of those words!
Sorry if I have offended you in any way this was not my intention.