Summary update on outstanding issues

magnifyIt’s July 2nd and I have not yet received any meaningful replies from my MPP Ted McMeekin, Mayor of Hamilton Fred Eisenberger, or Ward 13 Councillor Arlene VanderBeek regarding construction projects in environmentally sensitive areas of Dundas Valley, violation of construction permit limits, lack of law enforcement, and possible corruption in issuing and implementing building permits. These issues should be investigated and taken care of but, unfortunately, officials responsible for enforcing rules and policies are not willing to help. Why? Are they part of the corrupted system?

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Life will not be defeated!

Deer-4 June 14: Newborn fawn near Merrick Line, DVCA. Photo: L. Biegalski. (Click to enlarge)

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Update 2 – Development and construction in environmentally sensitive parts of Dundas Valley

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Deer in Dundas Valley Conservation Area. Photo: Lech Biegalski. (Click to enlarge)

In response to my post, Protection of Dundas Valley Deer and Ecosystem Neglected by Officials, I have received an email from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Guelph District – (posted below). In particular, the MNRF confirms that responsibility for planning and enforcement “on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development” lies with the City of Hamilton and with the Niagara Escarpment Commission. I am, therefore, asking the Mayor of Hamilton Fred Eisenberger, the Ward 13 Councillor Arlene VanderBeek, our local MPP Ted McMeekin, and the Niagara Escarpment Commission for their substantive opinion and information on what they can and will do:

  • to better protect environmentally sensitive land in Dundas Valley;
  • to stop new development that keeps cutting deeper and deeper into the habitat and remaining natural areas of Dundas Valley;
  • to enforce existing construction/development limits;
  • to effectively control and immediately stop violations of current development permits.

A previous reply from the Office of Mayor Eisenberger – (See HERE) – was both misleading and unsatisfactory. I have sent additional inquiry but have not received any further correspondence from the Mayor. Until today, I have also not received a substantive reply from our Councillor Arlene VanderBeek, or any replies at all from the Niagara Escarpment Commission and from Ted McMeekin, our local MPP and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing responsible for the Land Use Planning and for overseeing the implementation of both the Provincial Policy Statement [Link 2] and the Planning Act.

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Posted in Ancaster, Conservation, Deer Hunt, Development and Construction, Dundas, Dundas Valley, Dundas Valley Conservation Area, Ecosystem, Environment, Hamilton, Hamilton Conservation Authority

2015 Paris to Ancaster Bike Race

The 22nd annual Paris to Ancaster Bike Race took place last Sunday, April 26th. Weather cooperated – the course was dry and fast, except for the usual muddy sections.

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Bob Haufler (#553) of Midweek Cycling Club leads a small group of Wave 1 riders on Paris to Cambridge Rail Trail

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Protection of Dundas Valley Deer and Ecosystem Neglected by Officials

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Dundas Valley Deer in the Spring. Pixel bending technique. Photo: Lech Biegalski
(Click on the picture to see the 1200 x 800 pixels version. Click 
HERE to see the 2400 x 1600 pixels version.)

The white-tailed deer, a unique feature of Dundas Valley, deserve our help, consideration, and compassion. The peak in their population has been recorded in 2009-2011. After 2011, their numbers have been consistently declining. Today, you can hardly spot them. They are not present in places, where they could be seen every night, just a few years ago.

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Posted in Ancaster, Conservation, Deer Hunt, Dundas, Dundas Valley, Dundas Valley Conservation Area, Environment, Government of Ontario, Hamilton Conservation Authority, Nanfan "Treaty"

Paris to Ancaster Bike Race – coming soon…

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2014 P2A race (Sharps Lane) – (Click to enlarge) – Photo: L.B.

“For over a century the roads of northern Europe have been home to the toughest bicycle races in the world. The most famous of these, Paris to Roubaix, takes place each spring over brutal cobblestone roads that have been preserved in their historic condition for over 100 years. Inspired by this classic race, the Paris to Ancaster has taken place for the past twenty two years over the roughest farm lanes, trails and gravel roads we can find. Combined with unpredictable spring weather and the largest field of riders assembled in Canada, it has become a classic race experience for everyone from average riders to Canadian Olympians. Join us on April 26, 2015 to become part of the history of this unique race.”  /…/

“We are pleased to confirm that Sue Palmer Komar, 1996 and 2004 Olympian has confirmed for the VIP. Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) reigning and 3x USA National Cyclocross champion is back. 2014 P2A winner, Anthony Clark (JAM Fund) is also back for the 2015 race.”  – [P2A Website: http://parisancaster.com]

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Posted in Ancaster, P2A, Paris, Paris to Ancaster Bike Race

Good Friday Road Race, Ancaster, April 3, 2015

Short iPhone video taken by Lech B. near the Ancaster Fairgrounds
PM Races (Master 2 Men, Elite 1-2 Women, and Elite 3 & Junior Men):

Video taken from the bicycle by Sebastian Zdyb, Midweek Cycling Club
AM Race (Master 3 Men):

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Beautiful Dundas on a cold December morning…

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Photo: Lech Biegalski

You are welcome to keep and use this picture:

Posted in Dundas

Thinkers, writers, conservationists meet to discuss formalized land ethic for Canada at Speak to the Wild

Faisal MoolaBy Faisal Moola,
Director General, Ontario and Northern Canada

In early September, some of Canada’s leading writers, conservationists and scientists, including some from the David Suzuki Foundation, met near Wells Gray Provincial Park two hours north of Kamloops, B.C., to discuss whether it’s time for Canada to enshrine a land ethic in Canadian laws and policies.

The conference, Speak to the Wild, was co-hosted by Thompson Rivers University and the Wells Gray World Heritage Committee. Those attending included notable writers Robert Bringhurst, Sharon Butala, Ted Chamberlin, Lorna Crozier, Trevor Herriot, Patrick Lane, Tim Lilburn, Candace Savage, and former Canadian Poet Laureate John Steffler, as well as ethnobotanist Nancy Turner and philosopher Jan Zwicky.

Participants considered two questions.

The first concerned the possibility of legal reform around the rights of wilderness: Is it time to move Canada’s Constitution toward a formalized land ethic, and if so, what would that look like?

The second question pertained to our personal connection to wild places: How can we strengthen this connection in ourselves and encourage it in others? In particular, what is the role of narrative and the poetic experience in developing a meaningful relationship with wild Canada?

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Posted in Conservation, Policy | Tagged ,

Christie Lake Conservation Area must retain its character

Commercialization

“We have to pay our bills”, is the answer. Last summer, a poster was placed near the entrance to the Christie Lake Conservation Area informing the users that access to the area surrounding the beach and beach pavilions was to be temporarily limited due to a commercial show. White exhibition tents were erected, a fence was erected, the event has run its course. The tents were not removed in a timely manner, they stayed there for weeks. The fence is to stay there permanently.

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Posted in Christie Lake Conservation Area, Commercialization, Hamilton Conservation Authority, Recreation | Tagged , ,

The “Nanfan Treaty” – legal considerations

Part 3 – (Last updated on October 18, 2014)

Justice 1Is the “Nanfan Treaty” legally valid? Does the 1701 Conveyance of lands by the Native American Chiefs of the Five Nations constitute a valid treaty between the Crown and the Indians? Do the Haudenosaunee have a valid case to claim hunting rights in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area? Does the Hamilton Conservation Authority have the right to enter into relevant Protocol Agreements with the Haudenosaunee, based on alleged “treaty rights”? Were the Ontario learned justices in R. v. Ireland and Jamieson [1990] and R. v. Barberstock [2003] wrong? Is the Ontario government wrong?

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Posted in Deer Hunt, Dundas Valley, Dundas Valley Conservation Area, Government of Ontario, Hamilton, Hamilton Conservation Authority, Nanfan "Treaty", Ontario Courts, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , ,

Gas Prices around Dundas, Ontario

gas1“As of this morning, gas prices around Dundas have dropped by an average of 12%. This is a result of a drop in global oil prices to a 47-month low. The global price of oil now stands at $84 per barrel, about $31 cheaper than its highest price this year. This comes as the global price of oil was relatively stable for nearly four years, averaging about $110 per barrel.”

“Experts say the sudden drop is partly tied to production enhancement in the United States, Canada, and Iraq. A drop in demand caused by a weak global economy is also thought to be another reason for the plunge.” – [Source]

I personally think that the real reason behind this surprise is purely political and is part of unofficial sanctions targeting the economy of Russia, which largely depends on exports of crude oil and natural gas. If this is true, this trend will last for a while. Whatever the case might be, here are the real numbers around Dundas, at 8:00 a.m. this morning:

  • Petro Canada on Cootes:  117.9
  • Pioneer on Cootes:  117.6
  • Esso on Main:  117.9
  • Shell on Main:  115.9

The winner is:
shell-sign

As we can see, the global oil prices decreased by 23.6 percent. The average prices at gas stations around Dundas decreased by about 12 percent. Even considering the cost of gas station operations, we can still expect further reduction.

Moreover, as food prices began to rise in the fall of 2006, we were told that this was caused by the increase in gas prices. Consequently, we can now expect a reduction in food prices in our monopolized supermarkets. Then, all other prices should be reduced, as all of them depend on energy-consuming production, transportation, and warehousing.

Oh, really?

Posted in Cost of living, Economy | Tagged

Blood Moon in Dundas Valley

Lunar Eclipse, October 8, 2014, around 5:30 a.m.:

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Picture taken from the hill near the main entrance to the DVCA at 650 Governor’s Road
(Photo: L. Biegalski)

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In Defence of Life – Standing Up Against The Lust for Culling Wildlife

By Lesley Docksey

Early in 2013 I thought I had reached a low point as I reacted to the way the animal-loving British elite happily slaughtered anything that got in its way. The most visible sign of its lust for ‘controlling’ wildlife by culling has been the project to kill badgers on the poor excuse that they are responsible for all the bovine TB in cattle. So the start of the second year of badger culling coinciding with Medway Council trying again to destroy a protected site where nightingales breed forced me to revisit the war we wage on nature.

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Posted in Conservation, Deer Hunt

No Treaty with Six Nations Shown on Map to be Used in All Ontario Schools: A Can of Worms Opened?

EnglishMapVisualBy: Deyoyonwatheh (DeYo)
Six Nations – Haldimand Tract – Beliefs versus Facts

Issues Concerning the Publication of a Map of Indian Land Treaties in Ontario: In “Turtle Island News” (TIN), May 14, 2014, p.4 is an article entitled, Feds Ontario treaty map released to schools ….. but no Six Nations. The content here concerns a map entitled, “First Nations and Treaties” which is to be used in schools across Ontario, and is based on information from the Federal Government’s Ministry of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Canada (see here). Thus the document represents the distillation of what is in the Federal records relating to treaties signed by various First Nations peoples throughout the years (see here).

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Posted in Deer Hunt, Dundas Valley Conservation Area, Nanfan "Treaty" | Tagged , , ,