OPEN HOUSE not so open

OPEN HOUSE not so open.

On January 20, 2016, Scotian Materials held an information session in order to fulfil the requirement to include public consultation in the Fall River Quarry Application. Three business cards collected from this event are below, the relevance of which will be explained:

Scotian Materials Robert MacPherson

MSDS Consulting. A man, purported to be answering questions about blasting, displayed the third business card on the table nearest him. This card identified him as Paul Caza, of MSDS (Maritime Safety Development Systems) Consulting. We think Rob MacPherson of Scotian Materials was intending to show that third-party “experts,” who because they operate independently are more objective, could show the project did not pose the negative risks claimed by the public. In this case, Mr. Caza was likely supposed to address the safety concerns about blasting. Not only could Mr. Caza not answer questions about whether the highway scales would need to be re-calibrated, and had difficulty answering direct questions in general, but it appears the information on his business card is fraudulent, and this is likely yet another instance of misleading information given by Scotian Materials. The indicators that this “MSDS Consulting” business was operating illegally at the public consultation are:

  • Maritime Safety Development Systems Consulting is not registered with Nova Scotia Joint Stocks or Industry Canada
  • MSDS Consulting Inc (Registry ID 3284246 ), directed by/ president Paul Pierre Caza, was revoked for non-payment on 04 December 2015
  • MSDS Consulting Inc (Registry ID 3138791), with partner named as Paul Pierre Caza was dissolved on 03 October 2014
  • 2 Bluewater Road, suite 213, the address on the business card and on third party listings for MSDS Consulting, appears to be occupied by Econo Express Courier
  • the website domain, the website address provided on the business card, is available for purchase and currently has no website presence (searched Jan 25, 2016 on and, and there is no indication it has ever been used
  • one of the few [free, third-party listings] traces of MSDS Consulting in Canada on the internet is a free listing at and it is listed as “defunct”
  • the phone number on the free listings pages (902-821-2320) links back to Paul Caza in Tantallon NS and is thus likely his residential phone number

In addition to this discovery, which causes concern about the validity of any information this consultant may have provided to Scotian Materials or to the public, there is another reason to be concerned about using Mr. Caza’s advice on blasting safely in general. Open source media articles reported that Paul Caza was Dyno Nobel’s supervisor when the company pleaded guilty, in April of 2005, to violating the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act. Dino Nobel was fined $50,000 for an explosion from blasting that sent boulders crashing through the Parkland Arms Apartments in Clayton Park in Halifax in 2003 (retrieved from and These articles cite Mr. Caza as stating small bore holes would be used following the incident. Mr. Caza stated to a member of the Stop the Fall River Quarry community group that in order to prevent cracks in foundations in densely populated areas, small drill bore holes and less explosives are used. The member asked Mr. Caza if those measures would be taken at the proposed quarry site and his response was an emphatic, “No.” It’s an industrial site, that would be crazy, is essentially what his thoughts were.

Contrast that to Rob MacPherson stating to CTV news on February 5, 2016, just 2.5 weeks later that urban style blasting such as that used in New York City could be used.

“There’s blasting that’s designed for areas that are… like in downtown New York,” he said on camera.

Really, Rob MacPherson, really? Earlier that day a crane collapsed in New York city, killing one person. Poor choice of words. And just one example of misleading statements fed to the public when Scotian Materials has no intention whatsoever to follow through on the suggestion.

Sure, urban style blasting exists.

So does our expert’s analysis which shows Scotian Materials intends to use the furthest thing from it.

Watch for yourself at 1:33, look for the telling smile right after he says New York:

Golder Associates. The main consultant used by Scotian Materials in their quarry applications in Goffs / Fall River Nova Scotian. We looked into them too. Check out what we found on their website. They advertise working for an anonymous aggregate producer, a “confidential” mining client, for whom they did “Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, M&A and Due Diligence Consulting.” It’s small print so we’ll quote what’s important here: “Assignment. In much of Canada, the occasionally difficult relationship between the public and the aggregate industry…. has influenced pit operations. The need to meet tighter regulations, developed to protect human health and the natural environment, has made valuations of aggregate resources more complex…. Understanding the timelines.. helps inform and, in some cases, direct the client’s cash flow calculations.”

Hmmmm…. understanding more of the background certainly brings more meaning to these words. Time is important. Timelines are important. Cash flow is important. Valuations are complex… Because. The public is difficult. Regulations are tight.

Scotian Materials Scotian Materials

Scotian Materials. Last but not least, Scotian Materials. On the way out the door from the anger-inducing open house, full of people who wouldn’t answer a question directly and served only to waste our time, a member thought to ask “Tina” where she worked. Either too honest or too caught off guard, she answered New Brunswick. But, she added, she worked for Scotian Materials. Sure you do, Tina. On their payroll maybe. So who, Tina, actually works in the Burnside office? Oh just Rob and one other guy. Really, Tina? Is that why when one of the residents dropped by with documents no one was home? Perhaps Rob MacPherson is too busy with his other consulting- er- I mean Presidency- jobs to sit for too long at the Scotian Materials “head office.”