“As a final conclusion, the writer is of the opinion that the authorities must not under any circumstances give approval to the proposed quarry, because blasting in the location of the proposed quarry is unacceptably dangerous. New quarries should be located far from inhabited regions and pipelines. Quarry operators should accept this, even if it raises their costs of transportation of the excavated stones.”
~ Dr. R. F. Favreau, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Royal Military College
This website was created by residents of Fall River who are opposed to the establishment of an aggregate quarry (known as the Fall River Quarry, Goffs Quarry, Aerotech Quarry, Miller Lake Quarry) in the vicinity of residential areas in this community. The proponent is Scotian Materials, with president Rob MacPherson, and the owner of the land is New Brunswick company Northern Construction. We are concerned about the nearby watercourses and lakes, wildlife, the natural gas pipeline, the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, and our well water. The intent of the website is to share information and to keep residents informed of the latest developments.
November 9, 2016
It’s time to be concerned if you live near the proposed Fall River Quarry / Goffs Quarry site and rely on well water. Do your research on what happens when quarrying below the water table occurs (it isn’t pretty, most well water loss is due to quarrying below the water table). Below is confirmation just received that Scotian Materials plans to “dewater” the quarry. Nova Scotia Environment’s regional hydrogeologist confirmed in a face-to-face meeting that this means they are planning on quarrying below the water table. Nova Scotia Environment also stated that the onus is ENTIRELY on the home owner to establish baseline well water data, regardless of the cost. Yes, we know Rob MacPherson promised they had “no plans” to quarry below the water table. He promised a lot of things.
What can you do? Write your government (Premier Stephen McNeil, MLA Bill Horne, NSE- Margaret Miller & Lori Skaine) and explain to them that this project is not in the public’s best interests. There’s a section in the Environment Act that states just that. There’s lots of information on our website if you need more fuel for the fire.
July 21, 2016
The Liars Win
Update: The motion to amend the record was pretty much denied. Paul Miller found himself facing a narrow crevice of opportunity in court yesterday. The justice was arguing every one of his submissions which was completely abnormal and the over all perception was that NSE’S lawyer would do her job properly and ethically. This made no sense based on what was on the table. Absolutely no sense. One page out of 150 was added to the record. I have reached my limit when the courts would disregard this incredibly essential motion. Going forward government can now rely on this decision to withhold anything that doesn’t work in their favour because one stupid, arrogant and maybe biased twit in a robe felt our government was honest.
As well, this decision permits Robert MacPherson to continue to lie in September.
July 20, 2016
NSE is collaborating with the Proponents.
As I write this, Paul Miller is arguing in chambers to support an affidavit entered demanding the record for our Supreme Court hearing be amended to include the whole file. As you may recall we received over 150 pages of emails and other documents through FOIPOP that were excluded from the record. These documents prove meetings were taking place between NSE and the proponent. NSE, who claimed they could not talk to US during the appeals, was also visiting the site. The proponent who claimed he had no idea what was in the appeals until he heard through the media, was working on at least two of these issues from the appeals. These meetings should have been outlined in agendas, minutes, memorandum…
As I write this, Paul Miller is trying to convince a judge to force Nova Scotia Environment to NOT withhold pertinent information that could cause an incorrect decision to be made. Withholding such information should be considered comtempt. NSE is breaking the law.
As I write this, I am seething with anger over further details about this case that have come to light recently.
Ever since this case began, and we became a part of the proceedings, NSE’s lawyer (A member of the Dept. of Justice) and the lawyers for the proponent have been collaborators. They have had discussions about the case while excluding all others. They don’t even try to hide it. It seems they are trying to rub Paul’s nose in it. They have made decisions together, and today I received a copy of this briefing letter below, filed at the same time as NSE’s briefing letter. (please refer to the last paragraph, where Scotian is adopting NSE’s brief as their own, in complete agreement.)
To be clear, both letters were filed at the same time, meaning Scotian had no opportunity to read or cross reference NSE’s briefing. UNLESS NSE GAVE IT TO SCOTIAN BEFORE FILING IT!!!
PLEASE keep in mind that NSE and Scotian are supposed to be on opposing sides in this case. Scotian is appealing NSE’s decision to revoke their permit. NSE should be fighting to uphold their decision. But instead NSE is cherry picking what items they wish to include in the court file, and is obviously communicating with Scotian behind the scenes, helping Scotian. NSE has no intentions of fighting to uphold their revocation. Did Scotian write NSE’s brief for them for them. This is so completely unacceptable, entirely inappropriate. It gives further cause for our lack of faith and most definitely real and concrete grounds for never trusting this government, expecially NSE to act on behalf of the people they work for. This calls for further concern as to the real reasons Andrew Younger was fired two days after revoking this permit.
This community has tried to remain polite. We have been consistent. and we have turned to facts and science all along. Now we turn to right from wrong. While accepting our affidavit today may delay the hearings and create more work, these records should have been included from day one. We even asked the lawyer for NSE to include them voluntarily, but she refused. We know that this example of political interference in this application could be devastating to more than just the residents of Fall River. If the courts side with the proponents, Nova Scotia will prove to be the most corrupt and unjust place in Canada.
Paul was going into chambers today wilth his arguments packed and fully loaded. We should hear soon. I am unable to do anything until he shares the results.
July 18, 2016
Look what we found. Proof positive that Scotian Materials was FULLY aware that only hand tools should be used in the wetlands surrounding the site (4th line). How is it now that they can claim they “harvested trees” with their bulldozer and excavator when they clearly knew before the time of “harvesting” that they shouldn’t be driving through the wetlands at all with heavy equipment, let alone over and over and over again for months? How is it that Nova Scotia Environment can let them get away with this? It’s one thing to turn a blind eye but it’s quite another to staunchly refuse to admit that a company has done wrong. Why are they covering for them? Why are they loyal to Scotian Materials to the point that they themselves could find themselves in hot water? What is going on here?
Here’s another photo of the wetland that was illegally altered. You can read more about it on our website (http://stopthefallriverquarry.com/problems-with-the-2016…/…/).
We have provided much more information to Nova Scotia Environment, including expert opinions. We are trying to let them work this out amongst themselves until we get the official report on our request for investigation under the Act. At that point, if they continue to stick to their guns, look for the full story, we will be publishing all.
July 4, 2106
The following was posted to our Facebook page and as of this morning has reached more than 10,000 people, thanks to all of the outrage and shares by people in the community.
“Certain folks have taken a position and are uninformed.” – Rob MacPherson, President of Scotian Materials, January 22, 2016, to NovaNewsNow about the Fall River Quarry proposal and those opposed to it.
Uninformed that your current application conforms to none, not one, of the seven Pit and Quarry Guidelines of Nova Scotia?
Uninformed that when you say you ‘harvested trees’ in a wetland, you actually cleared it of all vegetation, compacted the soil, and diverted the water flow?
Uninformed that analysis shows the nearby natural gas pipeline will likely rupture by industrial blasting in this location?
Uninformed that you say you “could” use urban-style blasting, but you have no intentions of doing so, as shown in multiple blast plans (and because it’s not economically feasible)?
Uninformed that you say if our concerns were real about safety you wouldn’t continue the project, but then you disregard an expert with a PhD who works at the Royal Military College?
Uninformed that you say outside our homes we hear noise at levels of 55dBA, and it’s actually 18dBA?
Uninformed that you say the required setback from a pipeline is 30m but that’s for construction and not blasting thousands of kg of explosives?
Uninformed when you say the quarry will support 30 jobs but really it only needs about 2 full-timers, and there’s already someone from New Brunswick on the payroll?
Uninformed that the quarry could throw rock hundreds of meters beyond where planes fly, in the approach to the main runway of Halifax Airport?
Uninformed when you say there’s no fish in the watercourses nearby but people fish there daily?
Uninformed about the depth of the water table because you couldn’t be bothered to figure out where it is (or you kept it out of the application purposely)?
Uninformed that you say there’s no political interference but yet it’s you who has to go on record to dispute this, and not the politicians?
Uninformed that you say you don’t know what goes on in the premier’s office but you’ve worked with premiers before and you say yourself you liaise with senior government officials?
Uninformed that you say this quarry is for the “local market,” yet there’s no local shortage and later you say you’d like to score a P3 highway project?
Uninformed that the parent company of Scotian Materials was caught faking invoices and evading taxes during an RCMP/CRA raid?
Uninformed that you continue to act as a consultant to “liaise” with government, mostly on re-zoning projects, all the while acting as “president” for multiple companies, all at the same time?
Uninformed that you sent your blasting contractor to our “public consultation” Open House with a business card to make him look like he was working for a safety-oriented business?
Uninformed that you’ve paid for or produced “research” that wouldn’t get a passing grade in first year university due to the poor methodology, lack of quality control, unexplained data dropping, unwarranted conclusions, and blatant errors?
Uninformed that you say there’s been no political interference, and yet your application has now extended 2 months past the period of review?
Uninformed that you “cleared” (bulldozed) the wetlands first, before the footprint area, and before any approval was given?
Uninformed that you’ve had a bulldozer and excavator at the site this year even though there’s no approval?
Uninformed that vibrations from blasting will in all likelihood throw off sensitive equipment at Pratt & Whitney, L3 and the TIR weigh scales?
Uninformed that your industrial application is ultimately a book of lies, and we’ve pointed them out one by one?
Uninformed that right now you’re still trying to keep water out of the proposed quarry footprint from that dastardly wetland north of the site, which because you’ve messed with it, now drains into the footprint?
Uninformed that the explosives MSDS sheets say they should not be released into the environment, and yet your plan says specifically that they will?
You can call us a whole lot of things, Rob MacPherson, but “uninformed” should not be the word you reach for. The only thing we are uninformed about is what’s going on behind closed doors, in secret telephone conversations and texts. The only thing we don’t know is the fine print of your contract with the Belangers of Grand Falls, and how much you’re getting paid to make sure this quarry gets pushed through.
July 1, 2016
Update: Andrew Younger’s affidavit was rejected on June 29th. According to Paul Miller…”However, it was not a complete loss as the court also found that the reference to Scotian being a “new” company was irrelevant and the appeal would not turn on this issue. Hence, neither MacPherson’s assertion nor AY’s rebuttal are relevant factors.” This means Macpherson’s claims that Younger erred in his decision are irrelevant in his appeal.
Now we wait for July 20th, where Stacey Rudderham’s affidavit will be argued. This affidavit was submitted to force NSE to disclose the additional 100 + pages for the record which included details that would void Mr MacPherson’s basis for appeal.
June 30, 2016
Folks. It’s been a while since we wrote you about the wetlands. Rest assured that we are continuing to push hard on this issue, but do not rest assured that Nova Scotia Environment will listen. Where do you go when the top levels of government refuse science, fact, and reason?
We have evidence this WAS indeed illegal wetland alteration. The problem is not proving it. The problem is finding a regulator for the regulator, who is showing they are more aligned with Scotian Materials than wetland protection.
June 20, 2016
Upcoming Supreme Court dates:
June 29 – All parties will debate Andrew Younger’s affidavit. His affidavit was filed in response to Rob Macpherson’s affidavit. Robert MacPherson asked that the record be amended to show that Andrew Younger erred in finding Scotian Materials was a new company. This after spending a year and a half trying to convince the world that Scotian Materials was a new company. He also signed as owner, provided a new address and staff who reviewed the appeals last Fall advised in their report that it was a new company. Mr. Younger states while he was Minister of Energy, MacPherson came to him as a constituent claiming Scotian Materials was a new company. The Province has filed an objection to this affidavit even though it would support the defense of the revocation of Scotian Material’s permit. They even took time to try insult Andrew Younger. It is unamusing that the province is so blatantly fighting for Scotian Materials.
July 20 – All parties debate Stacey Rudderham’s affidavit. Her affidavit requests the record be changed to include over 100 pages from the file that were excluded from three previous attempts at disclosure. Requests were made for the Province to willingly amend the record by supplying these documents voluntarily. Council for the Province declined. Now it is necessary to ask the justice to order them to do so. Again, it is incredibly unamusing to witness our government allow a false appeal, stand by and refuse to force the truth in our high court. Our government. Our Honourable government.
September 12, 13 and 14, 2016.
If you are able, take time on those days to attend court. Take a day or two off from work and come to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. This could be a most important hearing for this entire province.
June 18, 2016
Did you know Rob MacPherson is a consultant? Yes, according to his own website he acts, “as the liaison with senior Government officials on P3 projects.” So, he liaises with ‘senior government,’ just not the premier, so says Rob MacPherson. Kind of convenient that Rob MacPherson can take on the name of President for multiple companies over the last dozen years, where he gets to lobby-er-I-meant liaise with senior government officials on P3 projects, all while running his own consulting firm where he… gets to lobby-er-I-meant liaise with senior government officials on P3 projects.
If you haven’t read about P3 projects and their issues before (private-public-partnership), just for fun Google “P3 corruption.” Lots of great reading.
We’ve been blacklisted by Nova Scotia Environment because we are perceived to have an interest, “lobbying” against the quarry. As volunteers, we are not required to register. Rob MacPherson, he has shown how little he knows about asphalt and quarries, but the door is always open for him. Lobbyist? No no no, he’s the owner, no I mean he might be an owner, I mean he’s president? Whatever he is, he gets a response from Nova Scotia Environment in less than an hour sometimes, certainly never longer than a day or two. Us? Well, we’re going on months for some of our questions. We’ve been refused meetings and telephone calls. MacPherson? We have records of him having conference calls, site inspections together, and phone calls. Rob MacPherson knew when the Nova Scotia Environment employee handling application 2 was on vacation.
And you wonder why we’re angry. Why we’re the difficult public.
Explanation of lobbying from Wikipedia, a condensed summary of the lobbying we are witness to in our fight against the quarry.
“Lobbying (also lobby) is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in a government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies.
The ethics and morality of lobbying are dual-edged. Lobbying is often spoken of with contempt, when the implication is that people with inordinate socioeconomic power are corrupting the law (twisting it away from fairness) in order to serve their own interests. When people who have a duty to act on behalf of others, such as elected officials with a duty to serve their constituents’ interests or more broadly the public good, can benefit by shaping the law to serve the interests of some private parties, a conflict of interest exists. Many critiques of lobbying point to the potential for conflicts of interest to lead to agent misdirection or the intentional failure of an agent with a duty to serve an employer, client, or constituent to perform those duties. The failure of government officials to serve the public interest as a consequence of lobbying by special interests who provide benefits to the official is an example of agent misdirection.
‘Lobbying’ (also ‘lobby’) is a form of advocacy with the intention of influencing decisions made by the government by individuals or more usually by lobby groups; it includes all attempts to influence legislators and officials, whether by other legislators, constituents, or organized groups.
A ‘lobbyist’ is a person who tries to influence legislation on behalf of a special interest or a member of a lobby.
Lobby groups may concentrate their efforts on the legislatures, where laws are created, but may also use the judicial branch to advance their causes.”
Listed as the top 10 worst corporate lobby groups:
– The Tobacco Lobby
– Big Oil
– International Swaps and Derivatives Association (Wall St and other investment banks seeking deregulation)
– The BioFuel Lobby
– The Mining Industry
– Confederation of Food and Drink Industries
– Anti-Labour Rights in China Lobby
– The Arms Industry
– The Carbon Trading Industry
And then we have our own little wings of these groups in Nova Scotia. One prime suspect is Robert MacPherson. According to the NS Lobbyist Act (http://nslegislature.ca/le…/bills/58th_2nd/3rd_read/b007.htm), Mr MacPherson is a couple years late in filing his registration.
June 13, 2016
One of our members asked two weeks ago to meet Environment about the following items, as it has been promised that environmental concerns will receive a response. The member offered to meet on behalf of the community. The member followed up twice, asking politely for a response and stating it is affecting the well being of residents to carry this much stress about a pending approval with such risks as yet unaddressed. Sadly, to date, no response whatsoever has been given by Nova Scotia Environment.
Here is the list of outstanding issues:
1. Pit & Quarry Guidelines – written waivers for structures located within 800m (gas pipeline, scales)
2. effects on well water quality and quantity, baseline measurements, contingency plan, and depth of water table
3. Pit & Quarry Guidelines – sediment levels exceeding allowable amounts released into watercourses as a result of air or water transmission
4. lack of test results for sulphide-bearing rock as per regulations
5. habitat disruption as a result of timing and extent of land clearing
6. Pit & Quarry Guidelines – noise levels predicted to be exceeded at property line
7. Pit & Quarry Guidelines – minimum separation distances not adhered to
8. site preparation prior to approval
9. blasting causing vibrations to be exceeded at pipeline
10. certified wetland delineation
11. land survey showing accurate measurements
12. size of quarry exceeding 4ha (previous approval specifically states the size includes access roads), existing pits on property instigating an Environmental Assessment
Why do they give out contact information when they don’t want your input and they won’t get back to you?
June 6, 2016
If you haven’t had a look yet, take 5 minutes to watch a video prepared by one of our members, spotlighting just a few of the issues we have here in Nova Scotia.
Issues that have not been dealt with, or could have been avoided altogether if our government would listen to the people. These stories make us want to fight harder to stop this before we end up in the same situation as these many communities, too small or too far apart to get the attention they deserve.
June 6, 2016.
Your Monday Morning Mystery. There are spies among us. No political interference? No interest by the premier? Really?
Why, then, WHY, would the Liberal party send someone to one of our community meetings to report back directly to the Premier’s Office on what was said?
The Premier stood in the Legislature on Friday May 6, 2016 and said, in reference to the proposed Scotian Materials’ Fall River Quarry, “at no time, since being the Premier or before, was I involved in that quarry.”
Rob MacPherson of Scotian Materials has three times recently reported to the media that there was no political interference.
Let’s think logically, folks.
You’re the premier of a province.
There are 357 communities in that province (in addition to 27 towns, 22 villages, and 3 municipalities, according to wiki).
There are thousands of quarries in that province.
There are multiple groups protesting decisions you’ve made.
You send one of your people to a community meeting to report back on what appears to be a very specific portion of that meeting, and you have them send it to a non-government email address of someone working closely with you in your office.
(Actually… that might be stretching it, we don’t know for sure that the premier SENT that staff person. That person may have gone voluntarily and sent the message voluntarily. Oh and that person may have wanted it for themselves and not to hand over to the premier. Because those types of things happen in government ALL the time.)
WHY. If you’re the premier, and there’s no political interference, WHY would you be interested in keeping tabs on our community meeting? If you’re the premier, what possible logical explanation is there for sending a staff member to a community meeting in one of the 357 communities in your province and to have them report back to you? What, you’re concerned? If you were truly interested in the issue and were concerned for our well being, would you only receive a report of a specific PART of the meeting, and would you THEN stand in the legislature and claiming no involvement?
AND why does the quarry operator stand up on your behalf and reiterate to any who will listen that there is no political interference?
Have a look yourself, folks, the video is available on the Nova Scotia Legislature website under May 6 at around 5:30:
“I thank the honourable member for the opportunity to clarify that misinformation that has been floating around, an improper allegation that somehow, that letter which was dated long before I became Premier, is effected when I was the Premier of this province…. I want to tell her again at no time, since being the Premier or before, was I involved in that quarry. The reality of it is, the honourable member who represents that riding has continued to stand with his community, and continues to make sure that he’s representing the community’s interest across this province.”
Kind of reminds us of this:
“I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people. Thank you.”
(And if you’re from the media or the Liberal party, why yes, we do have more to say about this, and yes, we do have evidence.)
June 3, 2016.
An allNovaScotia article published last night is quoted below. It shows the Liberals can’t resist calling Andrew Younger names, and Nova Scotia Environment fights to keep his affidavit out of court citing it would “raise the spectre of political interference in the judicial system.” I guess Nova Scotia Environment refusing to provide full disclosure on the file doesn’t raise the spectre of political interference in the judicial system?
Margaret Miller Chides Andrew “The Unbecoming”
More legal salvos are being fired off in the ongoing dustup over a proposed quarry in Goffs, with the current Liberal environment minister arguing submissions from former Liberal environment minister Andrew Younger are “unbecoming.”~
A Nova Scotia Supreme Court filing on behalf of minister Margaret Miller says Younger should not be able to file additional evidence as his decision to nix Scotian Materials Ltd.’s project heads to appeal.
“Younger is not correcting a slip or an error… rather, this affidavit is a blatant attempt to bolster his decision by referring to reasons he did not include in his decision letter,” says Miller’s filing.
“It is not open to him to revise the reasons or add references to more evidence… Not only is Mr. Younger’s attempt to bolster his decision impermissible, it is also unbecoming.”
The document, filed by government lawyer Alison Campbell, says the legal tactic is like a lower court judge filing evidence before an appeal court. It says it could set a dangerous president and “raises the spectre of political interference with the judicial process.”
Quarry proponent Scotian Materials has filed documents making similar arguments.
The quarry saga, a bizarre dog’s breakfast of approvals, appeals, cancellations and more appeals, revolves around a 10-acre parcel near the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
After Younger’s department originally approved the decision, he cancelled it in November, saying there was a lack of public consultation on the project (see 2015-11-04).
Scotian Materials has argued there was plenty of consultation when the application was made under the Northern Construction Enterprise Inc. company name. It argues the firm, which has since changed its name to Scotian Materials, remains the same company.
Younger is no longer a minister, or a Liberal, now sitting as an independent. He has signed an affidavit saying he met with Scotian president Rob MacPherson long before the decision.
Younger was energy minister at the time and says MacPherson told him Scotian was a new company applying for an approval.
Whether Scotian filed for a new approval as a new company, or carried on the previous file made under the Northern Construction banner is key to the appeal.
Lawyer Paul Miller, representing quarry opponents Stacey Rudderham, Dwight Isenor and the Shubenacadie Watershed Environmental Protection Society, argues none of the case law cited by Miller or Scotian is relevant.
“Younger is not seeking to bolster or explain his reasons for decision,” says the document.
“His affidavit regards a conversation that took place in 2013, long before Mr. Younger even contemplated making a decision on the quarry project.”
The documents add that Younger’s affidavit speaks to the credibility of MacPherson and offers evidence from outside the decision-making process directly contradicting him.
Allegations have not been proven in court.
June 1, 2016
Rob MacPherson of Scotian Materials spoke on Rick Howe last week, and reminded us Scotian Materials is owned by the large family-run New Brunswick company Northern Construction. His intent appeared to be to legitimize his statement that the “opposition group” (us) are interfering with the process. We are not impressed by the name Northern Construction any more than Scotian Materials; we are particularly unimpressed that Northern Construction and one of the family owners were convicted of tax offences which resulted from creating false receipts in the construction business. Daniel Bélanger plead guilty to 12 of the total 37 counts and was sentenced to pay $78,526.04. His charges related to the payroll tax fraud portion of the charges. Other charges related to HST and Corporate Tax. The fine was paid in full the day it was ordered. This case also notes the owners didn’t show up for the hearing that was held in Quebec, and that they had opened a business number in Quebec but were never awarded any contracts.
We continue to get push-back and generally a lack of replies from Nova Scotia Environment. Minister Miller may have said it best in the legislature this Spring when she stumbled in her answer to former Environment Minister Andrew Younger’s question and basically confirmed what we say doesn’t matter. We have pointed out falsities, shoddy research, and absence of contingency plans in the current application but apparently that is of no concern to Environment. Very frustrating.
May 29, 2016
Last week Rob MacPherson at Scotian Materials told radio host Rick Howe that he wouldn’t know what goes on at the Premier’s office. We doubt that very much. We found a picture of Rob MacPherson with the New Brunswick Premier-at-the-time Shawn Graham. Why are they together? Oh, they worked on a little project together… Rob MacPherson has experience in P3 schools and this is a school in Shawn Graham’s hometown, at a P3 school named after Shawn Graham’s grandmother. Robert MacPherson was president of Scotia Learning Centres, and they were “the preferred proponent for the construction of these important new facilities in Moncton and Rexton,” according to the NB Minister of Supply and Services.
Interestingly enough, the NB auditor general blasted the project that saw this school and another one built using the P3 model, saying not only did the government say they saved money when that was untrue, but that the government spent $1.7 million more than it would have using the traditional model of payment.
According to the Scotia Learning Centres website, they “own and operate 13 Learning Centres which were designed, and built through the “Public-Private Partnership” process… Scotia Learning Centres worked hard to prove the concept of “Public-Private Partnership” as an effective method to provide positive, creative and exciting solutions to issues facing our Province, our school boards and our communities.”
Contrast that with Tim Bousquet’s quote, “Even more worrying is that the contracts are so mismanaged that children are at risk… P3 school employees were hired without child abuse or criminal registry checks, and did not have required CPR and first aid certification.”
In a Coast article Tim Bousquet wrote in 2010 that discussed auditor Jacques Lapointe’s report, Bousquet stated that in “his audit of $830 million in public-private partnership school arrangements entered into in 1998 and 1999… Lapointe suggests that taxpayers are losing as much as $52 million in value through the contracts, which went to three companies owned by a collection of politically connected developers: Ashford Investments, Nova Learning and Scotia Learning. That’s 723 times as much as was misspent by MLAs.”
“As for the media, they should now put 723 times the time and resources they’ve put into the MLA expense story into investigating the P3 story.”
Six years after this article by Tim Bousquet, we couldn’t agree more that these P3 developers need to be investigated. And that includes Scotian Materials, who by Rob MacPherson’s own admission, is interested in P3 highway contracts. The bigger problem with P3 is that it invites corruption. The largest P3 infrastructure corruption and money laundering case in the world was investigated by the Charbonneau Commission. The study revealed $100,000 fundraising goals for Liberal ministers, often demanded from the construction industry, according to the media. It appears that 43 charges have been laid against 7 people so far. According to the Montreal Gazette, one way election contributions were made from companies was under the guise of being from individuals. “Employees of private companies (and their family members) handed over personal cheques to political parties at the municipal and provincial level, and were then reimbursed by their employers through the payoll, cash or bonuses.”
May 11, 2016
Revised Blasting Report: Blast Report May 2016
On Monday we received the above “revised” blast report by Dr. Roger Favreau. Our original blast report was based on sample blast plan from the 1st and 2nd applications and Mr. MacPherson said we were using the wrong information and were fear mongering. He implied several things to mislead the media as well as the public as to the severity of the impacts of the plan for the proposed blasting. Once we received copies of their latest application, it was confirmed that Dr. Favreau was not using incorrect volumes and in fact, more information from their new blast plan has concluded the results would be much more severe than initially anticipated. You can read the report for yourself and share it with your elected officials and ask why the premier would be willing to put people at this level of risk.
May 5th, 2016
We sent a letter in reply to the Ministers response to the Wetland Destruction letter that we sent. Her reply was expected (sadly) so we were ready to explain why we do not accept her responses and told her what she has yet to address. Take a look~ Open letter to Minister Miller re wetland destruction response.
April 18, 2016
*******Today, after further research on blasting and pipelines, the following letter was sent to NSE. Please take some time to read the letter, and perhaps voice your concerns directly to NSE. Environment Letter Apr 18, 2016
RECENT LETTERS TO NSE: We have sent critical information about the destruction of wetland at the Goff’s site as well as wildlife concerns to the Dept of Environment. You can read them here: Wildlife letter wetland destruction
Quarry status update: Scotian Materials is challenging the Department of the Environment’s decision to revoke the September 15 permit at the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and has submitted another application to establish a quarry, at the same location, in tandem. See media coverage from the Hants Journal and The Laker. The Stop the Fall River Quarry Group, SWEPS and HIAA (who the proponent claims gave them 2 thumbs up on the project) have all filed congruent appeals.
Blasting Report: Dr. Roger Favreau is a world renowned expert in blasting and the creator of the BLASPA simulator technology used in modeling and testing blasting worldwide. Dr. Favreau issued a horribly grave list of issues that cannot be ignored including the risks to the airport, air traffic, the pipeline, Highway 102 and the residents and anyone else in the area including the staff at NS TIR scale house. The risks are associated with fly rock, vibrations underground and what that may do to the pipeline over time, as well as the alterations to the underground fissures and water sources that may erode the bed the pipeline is currently resting on, the miscalculations provided by Scotian’s experts.
Golder estimated a maximum height of 84 metres and based on the proper simulation by Dr. Favreau that height is more like 350 metres not to mention that horizontal distances have been found at almost 2 kms in recent years. The vibrations from blasting would exceed the Pit and Quarry Handbook Guideline Limits by 8 times, etc. Dr Favreau does clarify that fly rock is not sure to occur with every blast but rather is possible with every blast. He found that any risks from fly rock or vibrations on the pipeline would eventually lead to rupture and specifically, possibly explosions.
His conclusion was “the repetitive blasting of rock aggregate at the quarry site proposed by Scotian Materials Limited, at Goffs, HRM, poses an unacceptable risk to motorists, the inhabitants, and the MNE pipeline, and should not be allowed to proceed.” Read the full report
Letter of opposition: Also available here is a full letter/report submitted by a member of our group that covers all aspects of why this quarry should not be in this location. Follow up letters are being prepared by other members of our group and the community, as most of the questions were not answered in the proponents responses. Environment Letter 2016
Continue writing: Write the Minister of the Environment, write council and ensure you send comments to the clerk, so all councillor’s know your opposition and are informed. Scotian wishes to move ahead with the asphalt and concrete plants and have submitted an application — council needs to know our opposition.
Halifax to appeal Fall River Quarry decision to the Supreme Court: The city is asking for a leave to appeal a N.S. Court of Appeal decision giving Northern Construction the go-ahead for their proposed Fall River quarry to the Supreme Court of Canada. The community will also move forward with it’s appeal. The request for a leave could take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. And, although the community has won at four of the five decision levels to date there are a few other quarries being proposed for the area—notably a couple in Fletchers Lake, one reportedly near Schwarzwald subdivision, and one in Enfield, on the HRM side.
Share your voice—send your concerns to the Minister of the Environment and your councillor(s). Scotian Materials is applying for not only a quarry but also an asphalt plant and concrete plant, all within close proximity to our communities, our schools and our lakes—voice your concerns for your health, your children’s health, the effects on the environment (water, air) and your property values.
Member of the Nova Scotia Road Builder’s Association Robert MacPherson. Scotian Materials Limited. Rob MacPherson. Contact. Address: 100 Venture Run, Suite 103. Dartmouth. #scotianmaterials scotianmaterials.com scotianmaterials.info scotianmaterials.ca Halifax quarry quarries aggregate gravel #noFRquarry Scotian Materials Ltd.