How the uninformed attack the facts

Posted Nov 1, 2012

In the last few days, individuals have attacked guelphspeaks and its editor. Charging that I make all kinds of mistakes, subvert the truth and misrepresent the facts

Jeepers! If only they would stop hiding behind a pseudonym to call your faithful observer a liar and other bad things. Guess they don’t understand the laws of libel in this country, or maybe they do.

Normally, guelphspeaks tries to create a marketplace of opinion that is well founded and informed. Sure we get some off-base stuff with profanity and just crazy material. That goes into the cyber bin.

So today, this nameless individual persisted in calling me a liar because I referred to the capacity of the Organic Waste Processing Facility (OWPF) as 60,000 tonnes per year. I was sent a list of sources stating the plant was designed to handle only 30,000 tonnes per year.

Reading through the provided sources, I discovered a common thread running through four of the five pieces. Most of them lauded Maple Reinders for its design and construction of the Guelph OWPF.  One award was for the OWPF being designated as a Gold Seal project, “promoting construction excellence and professionalism.”

Well, I certainly hope so.

Is this a pre-emptive strike by Maple Reinders to deflect criticism of its role in creating this overbuilt facility to meet its own agenda? More important what is the hidden city agenda?

Of the five references provided, the only one reprinted from the Guelph Tribune February 16, 2010, focused on the project that was approved by council.

But here’s the rub that insults taxpayers. There was no business plan prepared for this large capital project. This has been acknowledged by the city.

On July 19, 2012, the city’s appointed consultant on the OWPF, Golder Associates, reported the following:

“Operating under the authority of ECA No. A170128, dated February10, 2011, the OWPF was approved to accept up to 60,000 tonnes per year of organic, non hazardous waste (including amendment materials) from residential, industrial, commercial and institutional sources located within the Province of Ontario.”

I think that’s pretty clear.

But there’s more. Maple Reinders is telling everyone the plant cost $28 million. Not so, the final number has not been revealed because there have been modifications. Recently the Guelph Waste Management execs asked for another $2.1 million for twinning the weigh scales at the site.

If that isn’t a reason to have a business plan, I don’t know what is.

Another revelation is how the facility was financed. Council approved using the $4,688,000 from the Federal government as the gas tax rebate. Guelph residents had already paid that refund at the gas pumps. Instead of spending it to improve roads and transportation, it went into the $34 million Dunlop Street garburator.

Gulp!

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