"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Monday 7 October 2013

Environmental Purity

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Why Oh Why are there no sensible answers.":

We think we are such big shots ! I once watched from high on a hill how Quebec City got rid of their snow. It was an awesome sight. Trucks came from all directions, in convoys, down to the docks. The snow was simply dumped in the river. 


I read once years ago, Montreal has a trap door in the bridge over the river. They dumped the snow through that trap door into the river.

The  Provincial Ministry of the Environment has invited nominations from Municipalities for environmental initiatives. 

The Environmental Advisory Committee was created in 2006, I think. 

It was to have 7 members.  Thirteen people applied. Councillor Gaertner suggested all should be appointed.

They were. 

The Director of Public Works was required to attend meetings  of the committee as staff support.  

He said;  "I don't mind Councillor Buck"

In the next budget  funds for an environmental engineer were included .  Budget for the position, salary, benefits and equipment ,eight years ago was over $100,000.

The Director wasn't required to attend  any more meetings. 

I  queried the function of the environmental engineer.  To identify environmental initiatives, was the response. 

Every year I asked what environmental initiatives had been identified.

Early this term, a treatment facility for melting snow was recommended. The relatively small gravel permeable parking lot being used to dump the snow ,as to be paved and a facility constructed underneath, intended to remove salt from the snow as it melted in the warmth of the Spring.

This story extends over three Council terms. Different Councillors. Different Mayors. 

The project   was  included  in  the capital forecast in 2007. 

 Original total  cost  was estimated at $ 750,000.

The design of the facility was undertaken at a cost of $167,000.

Early in  this term , the  project was recommended to proceed.

This Council did not  accept the recommendation for the treatment facility the first time . It was established salt could not be removed from snow melt. 

The capital forecast increased to $850,000.

The recommendation returned  It was no  longer salt that needed to be removed. Now it was about pathogens. animal excrement.

Still it  wasn't accepted.

The final reason was because the snow dump was in the wellhead protection area. Still it  was a no go.

Finally, it is approved to be included in the plans for the  $20 million dollar joint facility for works and parks.

It  adds a $1,000,000. to the project.

All  members of Council, with one exception, agreed to proceed .

No argument was presented to support the decision.  The vote  was taken and  passed


Anonymous said...

Oh my heavens !

Anonymous said...

Is it too late? Is that thing cut in cement the way the software program was sealed ?

Anonymous said...

Off topic as I don't know where to put it
Did you know that Aurora's communications people told the consultants that they spend time writing speeches for the Mayor & councillors? For the mayor. Maybe. But for the rest of you ?

Anonymous said...

It would be great being Councillor Buck's speechwriter, 09:28. You'd just have to write a few, knowing that she'll just keep repeating them.

Anonymous said...

To the glee of another blogger... I post this link....


Anonymous said...

Someone should suggest that Councillor Ballard cease quoting Mr Churchill out of context. That great old guy wrote reams & you can find all sort of goodies, often contradictory. The councillor should use his own words since I doubt if staff are writing his lines.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy the Council meeting tonight. I'm not sure if any business will be accomplished but that is not unusual. The silly season used to be limited to the summer. Now we seem to have it all year 'round.

Anonymous said...


Possibly I am failing to understand a situation that would have been obvious to members of Council.

If members of Council had gone to the lot to view the house and the trees, accompanied by the appropriate Staff Director, it would have been apparent that the necessary grading would not permit the survival of the three trees. I have been there and I have seen this for myself.

Countless hours of Council's time have been wasted on this matter.

This is absolutely stupid and intolerable behaviour on the part of our elected officials.

Anonymous said...

Shortly after 9:00 p.m. Clr. Gaertner commenced her speech with the following words:

"I don't want to do what people want. I want to do what is right."

This is the same creature who sat around the Council table for four years while the hound from Hell did "what was right."

This included a lawsuit commenced against three Aurora citizens for defamation, a lawsuit that was ultimately discontinued.

Clr. Gaertner is a complete hypocrite, a person who doesn't know from which direction the sun rises and sets.

Anonymous said...

Le Renard !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Watching tonight - & I have quit- was like being one of several judges at a school public speaking event. You hear one exceptional kid who blows your socks off. Then you look at your fellow judges & know deep in your soul that some youngster pontificating on his boring stamp collection will win.
Well done, sleep well.

Anonymous said...

Councillor Abel actually got 1 thing right. Aurora can't do anything but maybe fine the property owner if he takes a chain saw to those trees.

Anonymous said...

It is easy to see why Aurora's service charges are through the roof. We waste staff time and hours on matters that are none of the Towns business. Now it appears we might be headed for the courts over a dispute between neighbours which should never have reached the council table. Completely nuts. It s taxpayers' money - not some re-election fund.

Anonymous said...

Am I correct in saying that there is an existing tree by-law and that it is under review?

Under the existing by-law it is permitted for a property owner to remove up to four trees a year without a permit.

Is this a correct statement?

If it is, why the waste of time by council on three trees? It appears that the property owner could have removed them whenever he wished.

Your clarification would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I believe i might be coming around to your way of dealing with Council, Evelyn. Last night was so bad that I found myself laughing out loud.

Anonymous said...

Canadian Press
" Toronto judge acquits 89-year-old peace activist who refused to fill out census. "

Anonymous said...

A man's tree is his castle, except in Aurora.

Anonymous said...

Loved the show. Hated the ending. & the cost.

Anonymous said...

10:16.... should have thrown the crackpot in jail.

She objected because the company that had the contract to tablulate the census was Lockheed-Martin (a US mega corporation that among other things is a defense contractor).

When the RFP was issued, Lockheed-Martin was the ONLY response.

What can you do? The government would have been chastised if they did not issue an RFP; then they are chastised when they do and award the contract.

Now you have wackos objecting. Lock her up!

Anonymous said...

What, no recap of last night's events? (Haven't calmed down yet?)

Anonymous said...

Suppose you provide your version of events.

Anonymous said...

Apr├Ęs vous, 14:59.

Anonymous said...

I hear several councillors trying out the Blame Game. Like the trees had been concealed. Like all those neighbours did not select their lots because of proximity to the trees. There was no concealment. A bunch of horse-puckey. That owner did nothing wrong.

Anonymous said...

When I heard those residents say that they bought their lots because of those 3 trees...I almost fell off my chair. So...if those 3 trees did not exist they wouldn't of bought those lots?...Really?...Who were they trying to kid?

Anonymous said...

I had a neighbour once poison a tree on the other side of their property. Should I have reported them? It was felt that it was an ugly specimen (in their minds) and the branches hung over their lot.

Drill a little hole, inject some poison. And Bob's your uncle!