New Government, Same Bureaucrats (for sure).

I asked the question in June, after the provincial election, if anything would change under the new government concerning our water situation. Well, I can safely say the bureaucrats are firmly in charge and the new government isn’t going to push back.

First, let me catch you up on some things. I didn’t get a seat on council but I got a good chunk of votes…I came 4th out of 8 candidates. More importantly I kept the question of water firmly in the conversations leading up to the municipal elections.

Also, I’ve been writing my MPP, the Premier’s office, the ministry of Environment and Ministry of Health. The responses have been less than encouraging. Here is my letter back from the Premier’s office.



I have also been back in touch with the issues manager at the Ministry of Environment, Teri Gilbert. Hearing from her assured me that this whole situation is going to get swept away with red tape and bureaucracy. I keep hearing that the provincial chief medical officer, Dr. David William, will be reviewing the existing data. This is NOT the Health Hazard Investigation (HHI) that we’ve been asking for! He will not be reviewing any data collected by Water Wells First.

My MPP, Monty McNaughton, is now the minister of infrastructure. He has not answered any of my calls, letters or emails. He is also avoiding the local press on this issue. You can here the frustration in the writing of the article in the Chatham Daily News. Another bad sign.

And, our local chief medical officer is wading into this again…now seemingly a well technical expert. See his comments here.

The problem with all this is that no one has yet collected our sediments for testing. We are asking that a new water pollutant be identified with the HHI. To that end, we collected our own samples of sediment from the well. We had them delivered to the provincial chief medical officer’s office. You can read more about it in this article.

Here’s a picture of our sample outside that office.

I continue to think that this is all going to get whitewashed. This is another Walkerton situation but the effects are much slower. I am thinking that this will end up in court. Stay tuned.


Cheap Beer but No Clean Drinking Water

turbine in the distanceIt has been a very interesting few days as my campaign for a council seat is in its last four days.  We also had our issue of water brought up by Taras Natyshak – NPD MPP Essex at Queens Park.  It has been disappointing that Monte McNaughton and Rick Nichols are both PC MPPs in Chatham-Kent.  Both had said they were powerless to do anything as long as the Liberals are in power.

Well, now the PCs have a strong majority in the house.  So why does the neighbouring MPP have to bring this issue up on the agenda?  Why aren’t McNaughton and Nichols acting on behalf of constituents?

You can see the exchange between Natyshak and McNaughton on October 16, 2018 here.

If you listen to McNaughton’s response, (a) he made this about anti-wind instead of water protection and restoration and (b) he still did not promise a Health Hazard Investigation. In saying that the Ontario Chief medical officer will investigate the existing data and water samples means that the PC government is doing the same thing that the Liberal government did.  They are NOT testing the SEDIMENTS which is the health hazard.

In my previous post More Political Rumblings; an Update  I put up a copy of Doug Ford’s letter to the members of Water Wells First.  In it he states that he will seek a full health hazard investigation.  That is not what is happening.  As long as this study remains untouched, the risk to other aquifers by invasive construction practices will continue…even if the turbine projects have been halted.

As I’ve stated in previous posts, I’m not optimistic that anything productive will happen.  In fact, I am afraid that this new government will putter away so long that any statue of limitations will run out and the people of North Kent will be left high and dry (quite literally).  I am disappointed that Ford would rush in cheap beer and new Toronto wards but leave those of us with no water to wait and wait and wait…

Here is some good local coverage:  Chatham Voice

Here is coverage that is misleading…the title talks about investigating a health hazard but not a proper Health Hazard Investigation.   Blackburn News

vote 1

If you are an Ontario resident, don’t forget to vote on October 22 (unless you have already) for your municipal government.   It is the level of government that affects you most in your everyday living.  Research your candidates and if you live in Chatham-Kent make sure you know where they stand on the groundwater issue.



And Now a Word from our Hydrogeologist

dad with jars

Bill Clarke is a hydrogeologist that has spent many hours in the pump houses and basements of those of us who live in the wind farm footprint,  looking at our water and its change over time.  He studied my well before the pile driving last summer and has continued to monitor our water in the months that followed.

I am grateful for all the work he has done.  This is a two part article that  Bill wrote for Ground Water Canada about his observations here in Chatham Kent.

Part 1  Wind Turbines and Water Wells: Opinion

Part 2 Wind Turbines and Water Wells: Opinion

Still Waiting…

Its been a couple of months since my last post.  I have been patiently waiting for our new provincial government to take action on the water contamination issue here in North Chatham.   Everyone was ready for a big announcement a couple of weeks ago when all the party leaders came to Chatham Kent for the International Plowing Match.  We were hoping that Doug Ford would make the promised announcement calling for a formal health hazard investigation into the sediments contaminating the water wells within the footprint of the North Kent Wind project.

We were disappointed but most of us weren’t surprised.   As I wrote in the last blog, the ministries are still controlled by the same bureaucrats and that was evident when our local MPP, Monty McNaughton, stated that he has “reached out” to our chief medical officer, Dr. Colby.  Dr. Colby has repeatedly stated publicly, and to me personally on the phone, that the “water should be of no concern” as the sediment in the water is suspended and not dissolved.  You can read more about that here.

While this is going on we are hearing about the dangers of micro-plastics ( a material that also is not dissolved) in the water and how they pose a risk to our health and the health of marine life.

We were also graced with the required liaison meeting with the wind farm developers last week.   It was difficult to sit through the continued lies and condescension from the engineers and scientists.  It will be good when all the evidence comes to light.

Before all that we had a wonderful fundraiser for Water Wells First with a steak and lobster dinner.  It was a sold out event and we are thankful for all the people that contributed time, money, prizes and energy into the event.  It was a nice time of community as well as raising much needed funds to pay for lab fees.

In the mean time, we continue to haul water for our home.  We wonder how this will go once we are in the teeth of winter but we will get to that bridge in a few months.

I continue to campaign for a seat on the Chatham-Kent city council.  I wish to be a voice for the many people with affected wells in my ward.


Stay tuned.  I hope to be reporting more in the near future.


Political Happenings…

It, again, has been a while since I last posted so here is what has been going on.

It has been a year since we lost our well to the construction practices of the North Kent Wind 1 project.  In this past year all levels of government have abdicated all responsibility and my husband continues to spend 2-3 hours per week fetching water from the local tower to fill the tank our in our garage.

dirty water

We have been waiting for our new provincial government to settle in get things done.  We are still waiting for an announcement that a health hazard investigation will begin on the cause of the well issues in our area.

The provincial government has done a few things.

They have scrapped the Green Energy Act that has been such a road block to get any movement on questions asked about the safety of green energy projects.  They have also shut down all new or partially completed wind projects in Ontario.  The reasons are financial and political…not environmental.  Though I am happy that my neighbours in the Otter Creek area will not face imminent damage to their wells, the issue isn’t dead.

Ford Scraps Green Energy Projects

The issue of damage done by the turbine construction has not been addressed.  Both with future projects or those of us who are living with contaminated drinking water.  There is nothing to stop future governments from going ahead with construction projects that would disrupt the aquifer here in north Chatham Kent.

To that end, I have decided to jump in with both feet and run for city council for Ward 4.  You have find information about my campaign on my new Facebook page “Jessica Brooks for Ward 4 Council”.

brooks for council

I hope to keep the issues of Ward 4, specifically clean water, foremost in the minds of city council.  Clean water is essential to good life and leaving the citizens of Dover and Chatham township with live with black water is reprehensible.

So stay tuned.  I don’t know what will happen next but I’m sure it won’t be boring.


New Government, Same Bureaucrats?

So I took a bit of a break with this blog because of the provincial election here in Ontario.  For those of you that don’t know, the Liberal government had been in power for 15 years.  It was time for a change for many reasons but mostly because power held too long is not good for those in power nor for those under that power.

On Thursday, thanks to old election policies, the Progressive Conservatives gained that power here in the province.  I’m not sure what this is going to look like for our water situation but we did have assurances from Doug Ford More Political Rumblings; an Update (leader of the PC party and now premier elect) that should he come to power he will call for a proper health hazard investigation of the sediments in our well.

I am not holding my breath.

There might be a new premier and minister of the environment but all the people that can directly help us are bureaucrats that still sit in the MOECC site offices in Windsor and Sarnia and in the public health offices of Chatham-Kent.

So I guess this post is not so much a news update but a recharge as we wait and see what the new government will (or won’t) deliver for us here in Chatham township.

Similar thoughts captured by Kaitie Frasier of CBC Windsor… PC promise for wind turbines, 401 safety has advocates asking ‘when’?

queens park
Queens Park, Ontario Legislative Building



Bits and Pieces

There have been a few things that are happening right as our story continues to make it out there.

A week or so ago, Heather Gingerich, a medical geologist, came by our township to check out what was happening with our well water.   She reported our polluted water to the UN.  You can read more about it here. UN notified of dirty water.

Then the North Kent Wind project personnel had it mandatory bi-annual liaison meeting.  I missed it because I didn’t find out about it until the next day.  Apparently they advertised in the flyer wrap we get once a week (which few read as it is recycled or lost in the ditch).  The last meeting they had we got a postcard in the mail.  Apparently, I didn’t miss much.  The wind company continues to try to hypothesis reasons why the wells have gone black in Chatham township.  Now they are blaming subsurface gasses.   NKW blames other factors for bad wells.

Finally, today, TVO came out with an update on our story.  In it they highlight the call for a health hazard investigations by all the other parties in Ontario except the Liberals. The future of wind turbines up for debate…

There are lots of little things going on right now.  Stay tuned to see what’s next.

turbine in the distance