Saturday, August 9, 2008

Haldimand "A Little Respect goes a Long Way"

In May of this year I wrote a blog about Janet Fraser a resident from Cayuga. This was in response to the lack of communications between a resident and Council. Janet had requested to speak to council in regards to the nuclear issue in Haldimand County. This issue had been on several agendas and money had actually changed hands in regards to a report that was done for council. To read the whole article you can click onto this link;

On Tuesday August 5th at the same council meeting that Council decided to hire a "Communications Manager" Council decided in a vote of 5-2 that Janet Fraser does not have the right to speak to Council.

This is in regards to Janet’s concerns over the direction that she feels Haldimand Council is taking in regards to Nuclear Power in Haldimand County.

For those that are not familiar with Janet’s story, this was the third request that Janet had made to appear as a delegation to Council. Janet was asking for a very simple thing…..Her Voice to be Heard…..I would like to say that I am actually shocked that Janet was denied. I had thought that once this was on an agenda that council would vote in favour and Janet would have her "10 minutes" to have her say.

Now in light of the fact that this vote took place at the very same council meeting that council voted 5-2 in favour of hiring a "Communications Manager", would you not think that there is a definite problem here with our "Elected Officials"?

Did Council even give Janet a chance to "Communicate" with them in an open forum?

So where do you think the problem is? Was Janet denied her right to speak because Haldimand County does not currently have a Communications Manager?

I personally believe that Janet was denied her right to speak simply because 5 members of council are not the "least bit interested in what she has to say". If Janet was to speak as a delegation the press would also pick up on this and Council wouldn't like that either.

Until we have council members that respect the residents that pay their salaries, nothing will change in Haldimand County. I just hope that people like Janet Fraser do not give up!


  1. I will not give up on this issue as a committed citizen. Grand Erie Energy Quest met last week and we are planning an Energy Symposium to be held in November to provide information and promote discussion around all the energy options for Haldimand. This will be similar to the one that was held in Jarvis in June, 2007. We hope that our local elected officials will attend this. What matters most though is that the people of Haldimand and Norfolk are well informed about the truth about Nuclear Power and are given the options for alternatives. Five peoplel= do not have the right to speak for all the citizens of Haldimand...especially when they have not listend to our opinions and concerns.

  2. This current council has no respect for the residents that voted them in. For one Councillor Sloat should have allowed Janet to speak, what was his problem? Has Janet ever called him or emailed hime and if so, did he return her calls? I would really like to know this as I voted for him as he promised many many things.

  3. It baffles me why people like you and Janet keep pressuring council members. The do not have time for your petty issues. Get a hobby ladies and you will feel better!

  4. Janet thanks for your determination. Haldimand County certainly needs it.

    As far as the comment about a hobby, thanks I have one!

    For those that do not get the Dunnville Chronicle, here is a story that Karen Best wrote at the beginning of July;

    Haldimand Council to determine if resident can talk to them about nuclear plant

    Dunnville Chronicle: KAREN BEST - July 2, 2008

    Janet Fraser was rejected twice but might just get her chance to talk about nuclear power generation at a council meeting.

    All she wanted was 10 minutes before Haldimand County members to express concerns and to basically say she and others did not want a nuclear plant in this community. Fraser also wanted to explore other energy generation options and emphasize the need for education and open dialogue with the community.

    So far there is no opposition noted on the public record, said the Cayuga woman who has strong environmental interests.

    Council listened willingly to Bruce Power presentations but had yet to spend any time hearing the community, noted Fraser.

    "I thought they would want to hear what people had to say," she p>Over the past two months, she sent two emails requesting a spot on the agenda. She was told by county clerk Janis Lankester that many council members thought it was premature to speak to them about this issue.

    In March 2007, Bruce Power president Duncan Hawthorne spoke at a few public meetings about a $3 or $4 billion investment in a nuclear plant in the Nanticoke industrial park. The impact would be great with over 1,200 jobs, more than $2 million in annual property taxes and an $180 million injection every year into the local economy. An environmental assessment on the site would cost $20 million and take three years to complete.

    After Bruce Power showed an interest in assessing the Nanticoke area for a nuclear power plant, Fraser founded the Grand Erie Energy Quest to engage people in a dialogue about energy generation options. Based on interchanges through a website, the group concluded nuclear was not the best option for Haldimand County, she said.

    Fraser felt council and residents had not completed enough discussion about whether or not Haldimand County was a willing host, a government and Bruce Power prerequisite for a nuclear power generation plant. Once an environmental assessment is underway, the county would be almost there, she said.

    On Aug. 6, council will discuss whether Fraser and others can make presentations on matters that are not on the agenda. She will attend to listen to council's discussion.

    The only reason she made it onto the agenda was because of Coun. Lorne Boyko's protest about the request to hear developer Jamie McMaster at the June 23 meeting. The Caledonia resident wanted to express concern about loss of Haldimand County tax assessment if Six Nations purchased land using cash settlements from the federal government.

    McMaster's delegation request is in breach of the rules because this was not on the agenda, noted Boyko. Requests by Fraser were denied because it was not the right time, he pointed out.

    Coun. Buck Sloat said the nuclear decision is not a council issue and may never be. This is a matter between two private corporations, he said of United States Steel which owns land in Nanticoke and Bruce Power. He added that council has not rejected by motion Fraser's delegation.

    "I will not get into a situation of who will or will not be heard," retorted Boyko.

    After the June 23 council meeting, Fraser was glad to hear that at least her request would be discussed. If, by chance, she will have an opportunity to make a presentation, it will be at a later meeting.

    Just because Darlington was selected for new plants doesn't mean Haldimand is out of the running, she said.

    "It still may be (in the running)," Fraser noted. "This gives us time to discuss in Haldimand. If residents want it after they are informed, so be it."

    I am sure that Karen will do a follow up story.

  5. To begin with, to the person who made the comment about people needing a hobby, if you choose to be a lemming and follow the herd over the cliff by all means go for it but don't expect all of us to join you, someone has to stick around to repopulate. As for council and communications, well it has become quite obvious since the first day of amalgamation that council has decided to run this county their way, not our way. Appointing a Communications manager in effect simply adds a couple of more feet to the height of the fence. The question that keeps coming back to haunt me is WHY? WHY don't they want to hear the opinions of their constituents? WHY are they so determined to make all the decisions with no interference? Is there something in it for them? Are they looking at personal gain by pushing through policies that could very well endanger the county or the lives of it's citizens? Are they afraid that if they get involved in conversation with individuals that their real interests may be exposed? I do know one thing for sure THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE! We somehow have to find a way to expose it.

  6. With the knowledge of the nuclear industry cost overruns in all of it's sectors out there, it is no wonder why Haldimand council wants this industry here. The overruns will benefit the county, but burden the Ontario taxpayer.

    This cost diffusion seem acceptable for Ontarians for some strange reason??

    I've just about had it with the taxes in this Province!!

    What the ratepayers of Haldimand should be concerned about however, is the nuclear waste that will be onsite forever, and the constant tritium fallout that will poison the wonderful dairy herds of Haldimand. Who will buy Haldimand dairy products once they know that there will be tritium in their milk. Lake Erie fisheries will suffer the same fate.


  7. To the enclosed above comment. I totally agree with you.
    Could it be that Ms. Fraser was not voted to speak as there is nothing on the council table to debate as of yet about the nuclear issue?
    Could it be that there would be a public process to attend if the nuclear plant looks like it may happen in Haldimand County?

    Comment from above:
    ".... Anonymous said...

    It baffles me why people like you and Janet keep pressuring council members. The do not have time for your petty issues. Get a hobby ladies and you will feel better!

    August 10, 2008 5:44 AM...."

  8. To the one who agrees with the enclosed.

    It is important to have a say in our energy future in Haldimand. There is a power corridor that dictates that. The ratepayers who are concerned enough to speak out on the myriad of issues surrounding nuclear power should be allowed to share their information and views. Remember, once a 20 million dollar environmental assessment starts, there will be no stopping nuclear power at Nanticoke. Nor will the voice of the constituents be heard.


  9. Thanks again everyone for your comments.

    When I was at the council meeting this past Monday night, council voted to allow a resident to speak. This was a vote of 7-0. Now council had to break protocol to allow this person their 10 minutes. This person was not on the agenda and did not ask to speak prior to the council meeting.

    Yet Janet Fraser who had the right to appear before council is denied!

    In Haldimand County it seems that if council is not interested in your opinion, they deny you the right to speak. This is simply wrong!

    Council Chambers should be the place where all are welcome, well the welcome mat has been removed and unless council changes in 2010, it will stay that way!

  10. Why should Janet Fraser be allowed to speak to something that is not even a proposal on the table yet? There is nothing to speak to at this point and would be a waste of time. It is not a reality.

    I believe that there was a changed in some of the Council members in the last term and that was not good enough. When will it be good enough?

  11. Here is the protocal for speaking to council;

    I would like to clarify the procedure for appearing before Council. Now what gets me is the County Staff and Council know this procedure as they wrote it, yet the facts don't seem to come out.

    So Bob I have to correct you on the procedure to appear before council; You state this; Council also rejected a request from Grand Erie Energy Quest to make a presentation at council. They were within their rights to deny the appearance since it wasn't on the agenda. But blocking information gathering sessions hardly promotes better communication.

    This is the Procedure as written verbatim by Haldimand County.

    19.2 Delegations

    19.2.1 Any person desiring to present information verbally at a Council in Committee Meeting shall give notice to the Clerk by twelve o’clock (12:00 p.m.) noon at least six (6) days prior to the Committee Meeting. In order to be include on the “Agenda”

    19.2.2 A written brief outlining the subject matter of the presentation shall be provided to the Clerk at the time of the request to appear and will form part of the official record of the proceedings.

    19.2.3 Delegations shall be permitted to speak not more than ten (10) minutes in total per person, per group, pr per organization.

    19.2.4 In case of extenuating circumstances, the Committee may, by a majority vote, permit a person to appear as a delegation who does not appear on the agenda.

    19.2.5 Committee may refuse to hear delegations when, in the opinion of Committee, the subject of the presentation is beyond the jurisdiction of the municipality.

    19.2.6 Delegations concerning labour relations, union negotiation and employee relations will not be heard at Committee Meetings. All signed written submissions received by the Clerk, concerning these matters shall be circulated to the Chief Administrative Officer.

    19.2.7 No person shall be permitted to appear as a delegation to address Council relating to any litigation matters with respect to the County.

    So someone should explain to me why Janet was turned down again?

    I posted this on another story and sent this in as a letter to the editor. As you can see it is simple. The item that you would like to be heard on "does not" have to be on the agenda. You need to get past the BS to get on the agenda!

  12. So what excuse did council give to take away Janet's right to Speak?

    Is it possible that council doesn't know their own rules?

    What staff member is responsible to advise council on the rules?

    We will never get the answers Donna to my questions.

    I do hope that the newspaper prints your letter, people need to know what this council is doing, shutting out the people and they have no right to do this according to the above policy.

  13. Councillor Sloat said;

    "Coun. Buck Sloat said the nuclear decision is not a council issue and may never be. This is a matter between two private corporations, he said of United States Steel which owns land in Nanticoke and Bruce Power. He added that council has not rejected by motion Fraser's delegation".

    If in fact Councillor Sloat is speaking the truth council has "illegally" spent our money ($5,000.00) on a comsultant. Half of this was shared with Norfolk. Council has also been in contact with Bruce Power, and has written letters to levels of government in support of an EA.

    Since when does our tax dollars get spent on behalf of "Private Corporations". I would say that this should be of grave concern to the residents of Haldimand County!

    I might add that anything to do with US steel Councillor Delimonte always refrains from voting. Did he also agree to all of the above?

  14. Thanks everyone for your comments.

    To the above poster, what a post! This did not come to my mind, but your point is valid and certainly needs to be looked into.

    I know that council members were also invited by Bruce and went on a plant tour.

    I am sure that what will come of this is that Sloat was looking for an excuse to not allow Janet to speak. So I believe that he may have once again put both his feet in his mouth. But regardless this is interesting!

  15. Here is an interesting article I found on Diane Finley's site;

    Local Interest In A Nuclear Nanticoke
    February 13, 2007

    SIMCOE - Area government officials met Saturday at the office of Haldimand-Norfolk M.P. and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley to learn about the possibility of attracting a nuclear power station to Nanticoke.

    Duncan Hawthorne, Chairman of the Canadian Nuclear Association, Chair of the World Association of Nuclear Operators and President & CEO of Bruce Power, presented information on how a nuclear facility with its zero emitting technology could operate alongside the existing coal-fire units to achieve a flexible supply mix with significantly reduced environmentally damaging emissions. "On behalf of the nuclear industry I was delighted to respond to the invitation by Haldimand-Norfolk leaders to provide information," said Hawthorne, "They have demonstrated significant initiative in wanting to have an informed community."

    Hawthorne’s presentation covered the basics of nuclear power, environmental issues, and the economics of power generation. Hawthorne pointed out that nuclear stations emit no greenhouse gases, and that today's technology ensures that spent fuel can be recycled.

    “I’m excited about the potential for economic growth,” said Minister Finley. “The economic impact locally of a nuclear facility could mean 1200 full time jobs and a $2 billion investment. These would be good, well-paying jobs with significant spin-off benefits to local businesses. This investment would help our kids stay and raise their own families here.”

    The initiative was launched because of the Ontario government’s plan to close all coal generating plants in Ontario, including Nanticoke.

    "Today was a good first step to see what the possibilities are. I was really pleased to learn that the nuclear industry is now developing what's called ‘Third Generation’ nuclear plants and that the spent fuel will be used in ‘Fourth Generation’ plants”, stated Haldimand County Mayor, Marie Trainer.

    Dennis Travale, Mayor of Norfolk County, commented, "I think it's important that the two counties, Haldimand and Norfolk, work together to explore the possibilities for increased jobs and economic development that could come from the development of a nuclear generating station at Nanticoke.

    Attending the meeting were Finley, Trainer, Travale, Hawthorne and Toby Barrett, MPP.

    The next step in the plan to bring the nuclear power investment to Haldimand and Norfolk includes holding information meetings around the two counties.

    The local officials also plan to tour the Bruce power plant.

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