Letters to Editor

Open Letter to the General Public, regarding chemical analyses of artesian flows in the Elmvale area,

by William Shotyk and colleagues

Dear Michael,

At a public meeting early last year, the representative of an aggregate mining company (Dufferin Aggregates, part of CRH Incorporated, Dublin, Ireland) cited one of my scientific publications about groundwater quality in the vicinity of Elmvale, and indicated that I had tested samples from only two artesian springs in the area, one being located on our family farm property. These remarks may have left the public with the impression that I have published a single paper on the topic, and only studied two artesian flows. In fact, some of the results of my testing have appeared in seven, peer-reviewed journal publications. Moreover, in those publications, it is clearly indicated that the waters being tested were collected from 15 artesian flows in the area. The list of our publications, numbered in chronological ordered, is appended to this letter.

To help avoid possible misunderstandings in future, we have created the map attached which shows the approximate locations of the 15 artesian flows that I have been testing in the area, since 1990. I very much hope that you will publish this map along with my letter. From 1990 to 2000, testing was done in my laboratory at the University of Berne in Switzerland; from 2000 to 2011, in my laboratory at the University of Heidelberg in Germany; since 2011, in my laboratory at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. The labs in Heidelberg and Edmonton are both metal-free, ultraclean labs designed specifically to enable the reliable determination of trace elements in pristine natural waters.

The purpose of my letter is simply to

  1. correct the public record about the number of artesian flows tested to date, and
  2. to ask your readers who have artesian flows on their properties, or know of other artesian flows in the area, to contact me, to help further our on-going research. I can be reached by email as follows: bill(AT)elmvale(DOT)org. Got a flow ? Let me know !

Our measurements of antimony (Sb) in these pristine waters led us to find that all bottled waters in PET plastic are contaminated with Sb leaching from the containers. Similarly, using this same spring water as our reference, we found that bottled waters in glass are contaminated with Pb leaching from the containers. To say it another way, these spring waters represent a kind of “gold standard” against which other waters have been compared. Because the water is so clean, I have had to design and construct dedicated groundwater sampling wells for my research. Since my presentation to Simcoe County Council in 2006, when I first described the remarkable quality of the water to area politicians and administrative staff, we have installed three dedicated groundwater sampling wells to support our research. In fact, this water is SO clean, the air must be filtered when we sample, to prevent the water becoming contaminated by ambient air.

Why is this beautiful spring water so clean ? At the same public meeting last year, the representative of the aggregate mining company had suggested that the clay minerals which dominate the glacial lake sediments of the groundwater discharge zone (ie. the Simcoe Lowlands), are responsible for the quality of the water. This suggestion is extremely unlikely because the water being tested in all of our studies is sampled from the aquifer underneath the lake sediments. It is far more reasonable to expect that the water filtration process takes place predominantly in the soils which cover the hills to the east (ie the Simcoe Uplands), consisting of glacial deposits.

To help us all better understand these unique, artesian groundwater flows systems, an interdisciplinary team of scientists has been assembled from several universities, to bring all available expertise to bear on this topic. We welcome the active participation of all interested parties, including the aggregate mining industry, to support this initiative. For further information about the project currently being planned, I encourage your readers to contact me.


William Shotyk, Ph.D. , Dr. rer. nat. habil., P.Ag., FRSC

President, Elmvale Foundation


Jill Dunlop, MPP, Simcoe North

Bruce Stanton, MP, Simcoe North

Springwater Township Council

Tay Township Council

Tiny Township Council

Simcoe County Council

Elmvale Foundation, Board of Directors

Elmvale Foundation, Science Advisory Board

Prof. John Cherry, University of Guelph

Prof. Beth Parker, University of Guelph

Prof. Ian Clark, University of Ottawa

Dr. Michael Krachler, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Directorate Nuclear Safety and Security

Dr. James Zheng, Natural Resources Canada, Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa

SWAMP laboratory members, past and present


Letter to the Editor 

Subject: Wetsuweten Protest on Bay Street, Toronto, on January 7, 2020. 

 It was a beautiful day here in Toronto for a protest to support The Wetsuweten natives trying to stop the pipelines from going through their traditional homeland. It is always nice to see old faces on these protests because it’s been almost thirty years or more since I started helping Mother Earth survive and heal from all the mining, logging, urban sprawl, etc.

Listening to some of the speakers and chants almost brought tears to my eyes because I used to organize protests at Queens Park for over ten years and never had the large numbers that were here today on Bay Street. I’d like to start off by saying if these pipelines, cracking oil development and mining for uranium continue, there’s bound to be another Valdez or Chernobyl or Fukushima. Scientists know already the ocean has been damaged very badly from contamination. If you study global warming - now they call it Climate Change - you can see what native elders have been saying is we are taking what is in Mother Earth and putting it in the sky by industry, cars and trucks. What our old elders are saying is we should try to minimize the use of fossil fuels, but the industry and society won’t listen and our bad habits are now out of control.

The indigenous people and supporters in British Columbia are trying to protect their traditional lands, which are sacred and holy, from becoming a city or wasteland which does not support life; but what is natural forest and rivers will soon be like our Great Lakes here, polluted and contaminated. We all are witnessing the death of our planet. If we allow it to continue, nothing will be left. All the old elders who I worked with over the years are gone to the other side, the Spirit World. So whoever is holding the ground, whoever is trying to protect Mother Earth is sacred and society should know this by now. What hurts me the most is knowing the OPP city police and military support the mining companies, the negative corporations and I really worry for the safety of all the innocent protesters trying to defend Mother Earth from devastation.

Thank you SPRINGWATER NEWS for printing my words at this time.


Danny Beaton, Turtle Clan Mohawk

50 Walmer Rd, Toronto M5R2X4

Tel.416 921 0014


Holly Crap Batman !!!!!

Dear Michael, 

I usually look forward to the " little paper that could  " especially your editorial musings, because even though I suspect we are miles apart philosophically, politically, and possibly socially, I like to read stuff that sometimes makes my little bit of hair that I have, bristle..... I strongly believe in friendly discourse especially with people whose opinions I respect but I may totally disagree with.....

Which brings me to the little article in your Dec 26th issue ( # 563 ) . Where on earth did you find that absolute and utter moronic dribble with the heading " I used to be Normal " ??. I would classify the logical conclusions in that article that the person had to all his points not just as an insult to a 62 year olds intelligence, but to the intelligence of a 6 year old......

 On another note,  I really liked your tongue in cheek musing on proper use of English in the last issue, and have forwarded it to some of my friends who also thought it was funny.

So keep up the good work, and looking forward to the next issue, especially the funnies, and words of wisdom......

take care..... George ---- Hillsdale. 


  Good day

I am curious to know why a litre of water costs more than a litre of gas at virtually all stores in Ontario. Do you have have any knowledge or opinions you would share as to this mystery?

Geoff Currie

Editor - Anyone want to comment?


Did these people save Mother Earth

Between 1610 and 1613 the first Europeans known to have paddled the shores of Georgian Bay were E Brule and S Champlain ( and crew). Roughly fourty years later. C Columbus would land at Plymouth Rock (USA). The French were moving inland far more quickly then their Dutch and English colonial counterparts to the south. This brought the French into far more contact with the local First Nations. S Champlain discovered a community of 30,000 members. The city of York now Toronto did not attain a population of 30,000 until 1850 250 years later.

       One has to wonder how did the 30000 people sustain themselves with no metal , no draft animals , sawmills , running water, guns,  liquor , and a host of other colonialist wares and tools. Incidentally by 1880 York had grown to 180000. The eastern shores of Georgian Bay were clear cut of trees to help build the rapid growth. Thousands of tons of fish were taken from the Bay and shipped to York and many other markets as far south as N.Y.C.

       The First Nations community Brule and Champlain “ found” in the vicinity today known as Midland Penetang sustained themselves by what some describe as primitive means. They were a combination of farmer / hunter gatherers. They grew squash beans and corn mainly. Gathered local fruit , rice , herbs and medicinal plants etc. They fished and trapped and hunted large and small game. At the time early in 1600 life in Europe was fraught with hardship by modern standards. Life on the land around Georgian Bay in the winter can be brutal relative to colonialist standards of the time. How did they stay warm through the harsh winters?  How did they gather and store enough food to sustain them through cold months ? One reason for their sustainability was the communal chores , water fire food shelter the basics. There was little private ownership. Virtually all activities of all members was motivated in a one for  all and all for one attitude

       They sheltered in communal uninsulated bark longhouses and cooked and gathered around communal fires. It was a one for all attitude that allowed them the ability to maintain such a large population. Another apparent factor in their survival and success was the respect they had for the land they gathered almost all the materials from.

      It would be suggested in these current times ,for continued human sustainability perhaps some of the “ primitive “ wisdom in true community living and respect and stewarding of the land we are guests of might help and certainly wouldn’t hurt or harm as the current calamities seem to environmentally intensify and Mother Earth ?

      She will always be here. Humans, at this “ rate” ?

Geoff Currie

Editor: The Life Expectancy in 1600 was 35 years.


Letter to the Editor

Are there no regulations governing the use of manure wagons and derelict trailers in Springwater and Oro townships? 

Travelling north on Bayfield St. as one leaves the city limits, three attached manure wagons announce "Paul Sadlon Country". Apart from the fact that the message is somewhat arrogant and presumptuous, these signboards are simply visual clutter.  Are they permitted in Springwater Township?

Again travelling west on Hwy 27 out of Barrie, derelict trailers with signs attached tell the motorists about septic services and off road vehicles.  And a multitude of signs are popping up along Horseshoe Valley Rd., one of the most scenic in Ontario.

 Central Ontario is a very beautiful area with rolling hills and magnificent vistas. Have the owners of these trailers  been granted permits to put signage on abandoned vehicles?  If not they should be removed and the bylaws enforced.

Joffre McCleary,   Barrie On.


Waverly Uplands - Teeden Pit

Thank you for the Notice of Objector Response I received hand delivered by Registered Mail  on Sunday January 2, 2020 concerning the Teeden Pit Expansion. 

 I have several comments and have decided to send this email response to all the parties I originally included  in my first two emails on March 22 and May 2 for continuity as I believe this “Notice”, while directed  by the Provincial Government apparently as a prerequisite in the process, is timed, and worded to perhaps cause a number of complaints to fall by the wayside because people are away, or because they don’t respond in the proper fashion. I think this is an expensive, wasteful bureaucratic process, particularly when I receive a registered package delivered to the door on the first Sunday of January. But I’m glad I was home...many won’t be this time of year.

 1) On the header page there is a statement saying “...recommendations must be delivered personally or by registered mail with the above-noted 20 day period or it will be deemed that there is no longer a valid objection”.   I do not agree that objections that were previously accepted by the Government can be dismissed if I or anyone that objected do not respond hard copy by Registered Mail or in person by January 30, 2020.  My understanding from the government in an email to me July 26th, 2019 from Tracy Allison (on behalf of Shawn Carey – District Manager) was that”...if there are unresolved objections MNRF may refer the application and objections to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) for a decision. A referral may occur before February 7, 2021, depending on when the applicant fulfils the appropriate notification and consultation requirements under the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA).”

 2) CRH appear to have done a good job in  answering various community concerns and providing good communication of why they consider their request to move aggregate from the Teeden Pit. I also realize now that the request does not involve taking water from the site. However, while they have addressed many concerns they really did not address my two specific concerns. First, while they state that they will extract no closer than 1.5 meters  above the water table there are no guarantees what happens when a mistake occurs above the pristine water underneath. Yes, clean-up. But long term damage?   We do know that if a mistake happens and the water table is compromised then so is the water degraded and we know now this is no ordinary water which is the crux of this whole issue.

 3) Second, my ‘Hold the Decision” file attached announced a new groundwater study, being done by several eminent groundwater experts and funded for 5 years by the Federal Government. The fact is that this area, in spite of being under a Provincial Policy Statement(PPS) has attracted Federal interest simply because the water underneath is so pristine. And in particular, according to these scientists very little is known about groundwater movements and how contaminants impact the water and spread.  Given the new knowledge we have about our land, our area, the perfect, very unusual water underneath, the lack of knowledge about ground water movement, this land, I feel, should not have any Provincial Policy Statement on it for aggregate extraction, let alone considering an expansion of the area affected.   

 4) To me it is ludicrous to carry on with this decision to expand the area aggregate expansion, until the results of the study are known, and published at the end of the 5 year grant and I look to the Provincial Government to revamp the PPS.  We are into new knowledge and an unknown phase.  CRH, understandably, want to pursue every avenue to work the area based on the old agreements that were put in place many years ago.  With new but unknown knowledge it is important that the elected powers that be slow down the rush to push product to market until the results of research are known and by changing the PPS.

 However, for the record, I plan to fulfill the deadline submission by Registered Mail to First, Ministry of Natural Resources, 2284 Nursery Road, Midhurst, ON L9X 1N8 (Attention: Robert Herbst) and secondly to CRH Canada Group Inc., 2300 Steeles Avenue W. 4th Floor, Concord, ON L4K 5X6, (Attention: Jessica Ferri).

 Many people have argued specifics; ecology, Wells, Traffic etc....my point is the future of our country and how we are perceived by the billions of people with no water when we squander ours on gravel pits, ignoring scientific water studies that are in process.  I know CRH have their priorities, but times have changed and unless we as individuals change our mindset life will not be the same for our kids and those that follow.

 Canada, with 0.5% of the world’s population has 15% of the worlds water (30 times our share), and what do we do with it?  More important “What should we do with it?” Protect it? Build bridges?  Or take a breath, do the research and then decide what is safe and what is feasible? 

 Yours truly,  Ray Nason

Tiny, Ontario.


"Consultations on medical assistance in dying (MAID) eligibility criteria and request process"

Thought of the Day – Recently I had been asked to comment on “Consultations on medical assistance in dying (MAID) eligibility criteria and request process,” and yet unknown to many I had done quite a bit of research into the “Bill C-14 - Right to Die Act” when it was proposed. 

The question:  Is Canada’s “Right to Die Act” the same slippery slope of Nazi Germany’s “Right to Die Act”? 

These are not my words but the words expressed in 2018 by Nancy Valko, RN in her book review of:  “Nurses and Midwives in Nazi Germany: The “Euthanasia Programs”. By  Susan Benedict, Linda Shields . Routledge Studies in Modern European History.  London:  Routledge,  2014.”  The comparisons are very concerning and all Canadians should pay more attention to history.  “Decades after the Nazi atrocities, we are seeing a resurgence of the same “life unworthy of life” justification that drove Nazi eugenics. We see how this perspective increasingly approves the deliberate termination of some lives as “merciful” and “humane.” There is an emerging, shocking consensus that we can—or perhaps even should—choose to have our own lives terminated when our lives are considered not worth living either by ourselves or by others if we cannot speak for ourselves.

The authors of this book make it clear: we all need to know and understand the past in order not to repeat it. Hopefully, it is not too late to turn the tide of history back toward respect for all life.”


Many of us, myself included, have had loved ones who have gone through some terrible illness.  We have had to deal with the sadness and frustration of wanting to do more and yet cannot.  Then the government introduced the “Right to Die Act,” and for many Canadians the thought was finally a government had listened to a number of people’s prayers.  Not me.  Although I had to watch as my loved one went through a slow and at times painful death, I understood their wishes and the ramifications of the “Right to Die” with what it could mean to Canadian society.

That knowledge was upheld by my loved one, who had lived during the era of Nazi Germany and its “Right to Die” propaganda.

From Nancy Valko’s, book review:

“In 1939, the German Ministry of Justice proposed two new clauses:

“Whoever is suffering from an incurable or terminal illness which is a major burden to himself or others can request mercy killing by a doctor, provided it is his express wish and has the approval of a specially empowered doctor.”

“The life of a person who, because of incurable mental illness, requires permanent institutionalization and is not able to sustain an independent existence may be prematurely terminated by medical measures in a painless and covert manner” (76–77).”

And “In his “Medical Science under Dictatorship”, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, July, 1949, Dr Alexander observed:

“Whatever proportions these crimes finally assumed, it became evident to all who investigated them, that they started from small beginnings. The beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitudes of physicians.

“It started with the acceptance of the attitude, basic to the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived. This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick.

“Gradually the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted, and finally all non-Germans.”

It would seem that Canadians already have the right to end their life. They have what has been determined as the right to withdraw from medical treatment and they also have the right to palliative care.  Common Law recognizes the right of an adult, competent person to refuse medical treatment or to demand that treatment, once begun, be withdrawn or discontinued. 

(Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Canada, Background Paper, Publication No. 2010-68-E Revised 15 February 2013, by Martha Butler, Marlisa Tiedmann (Social Affairs Division), Julia Nicol, Dominique Valiquet (Legal and Legislative Affairs Division) – Parliamentary Information and Research Service, 2.2.4, p. 11 )

And so why would Canada need to even enact such a slippery slope of legislation such as the “Right to Die Act”?

Statements from Carter v. Canada (Supreme Court of Canada) are very concerning as it would seem the right of Canadians to withdraw from treatment and/or discontinue treatment may be in jeopardy. It also seems that the Courts and the Legislators are merely trying to find an avenue to cut back on health care costs. 

“The increasing cost of health care is another relevant consideration. Estimates indicating that individual’s incur their highest health care costs in the final days of life illustrate the delicate balance between sustaining life and containing health care expenses. This fact, some health policy analysts suggest, will become increasingly apparent as more and more of the population move into older age groups, in which health care needs and their attendant costs increase.”

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Canada, Background Paper, Publication No. 2010-68-E Revised 15 February 2013, by Martha Butler, Marlisa Tiedmann (Social Affairs Division), Julia Nicol, Dominique Valiquet (Legal and Legislative Affairs Division) – Parliamentary Information and Research Service, p. 2. 

And was this not part of the Nazi reasoning for its program? 

“Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, marshalled the resources of the state-controlled media to persuade Germans that euthanasia was a humane social policy, the foundation for building the Master Race. Graphic pictures portrayed mentally ill and disabled “subhumans” in a series of powerful and popular films, to reinforce the message.”

“German school children studied maths problems and calculated how many services, how much bread, jam, and other necessities of life could be saved by killing people - the chronically sick and crippled - who were a “drain on society.”

“The policy of sterilization progressed into one of euthanasia after the start of WWII in 1939. Resources were needed to support the troops, and it was considered wasteful to continue the support of those who could not contribute to the wellbeing of the state. In Berlin, Hitler issued a decree to establish the “Charitable Foundation for Curative and Institutional Care” to be formed under the auspices of Reich Leader Philipp Bouhler and Hitler’s personal physician Dr. Karl Brandt. The decree stated that “Reich Leader Bouhler and Dr. Brandt are charged with the responsibility of enlarging the competence of certain physicians, designated by name, so that patients who, on the basis of human judgment, are considered incurable, can be granted mercy death after a discerning diagnosis.” Together they developed and implemented the “Action T4,” (named after the address of their headquarters: Tiergartenstrasse 4).”


When there are statements, in government Background Papers, regarding the saved costs to health care all Canadians should be very concerned.  This is a very serious issue and one that all Canadians should think very hard about.  They might also want to understand that someone who is merely 18 years old can make these types of decisions for themselves and others.

Is Canada’s “Right to Die Act” the same slippery slope of Nazi Germany’s “Right to Die Act”? 

To make comment on this issue one can go to this link. 


Elizabeth F. Marshall,

Non-Partisan Advocate

Director of Research Ontario Landowners Association

Author – “Property Rights 101:  An Introduction”

Board Member/Secretary – Canadian Justice Review Board

Legal Research – Green and Associates Law Offices, etc.,

Legislative Researcher – MPs, MPPs, Municipal Councillors,

President All Rights Research Ltd.,

I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice.  Any information relayed is for informational purposes only.  Please contact a lawyer.