Craig’s Commentary Volume 1 Number 50

No need for Sauble Sewers

 Editor, OSST:

 Dan Kerr’s November 11 letter about Sauble sewers may have had a little different impact than what he intended. While his tongue-in-cheek presentation of himself as a stupid opponent of Sauble sewers was clearly intended to mock and denigrate the real opponents of the insane 70 million dollar Sauble sewers project, the letter did nothing more than demonstrate Mr. Kerr’s ignorance.

 Mr. Kerr suggests that the Grey Bruce Health unit must be right about Sauble needing sewers because they are, after all, the health unit.  That’s why Mr. Kerr, in October 2010, when he sat on TSBP council, asked the Grey Bruce Health Unit (GBHU) for a letter in support of Sauble Sewers.

 Mr. Kerr was very pleased with the October 25th, 2010 letter from Bob Hart of GBHU, until he found out that in the October 25th letter Mr. Hart had fraudulently portrayed data collected in the tiny downtown Sauble core as data for all of Sauble, thereby destroying his own credibility and that of the whole GBHU.  In a November 9, 2011 letter to Dan Kerr, Mr. Hart made a veiled admission to the huge error in his report. And in a December 2, 2011 report to council, I demonstrated that the GBHU view that sewers are needed at Sauble is baseless, and worthless.

 Mr. Kerr suggests that the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has some concerns about septic systems at Sauble.  This is typical Kerr, claiming some authority said something but providing no reference for readers to check to see if the MNR actually said what Mr. Kerr claims they said.  Without the reference, I am skeptical.

 Mr. Kerr suggests that Sauble sewers must be needed because town staff support Sauble sewers.  I think Mr. Kerr must be talking about one former public works manager, Phil Dwyer, who in an October 2010 public consultation was so confident in his own thinking ability that he substituted his own views for those of the Sauble residents because the Sauble residents were, in Phil’s words, “irrational and misinformed”.  There is no one on town staff with the ability to know or determine if sewers are needed at Sauble.

 Mr. Kerr implies that high ditch “readings” are caused by septic systems.  He should know better.  My letter to council of October 31, 2010, submitted while Mr. Kerr was a councillor, completely debunked the septic-systems-contaminating-Sauble-ditches-myth.

 Mr. Kerr suggests that because Sauble residents are the only ones using septic systems, we must have it wrong.  First of all, Sauble is not the only community. HopeBay, Red Bay, Howdenvale, even parts of Wiarton are on septic systems. And even if Sauble residents were the only ones using septic systems, so what?  Sauble residents are quite capable of deciding, without Mr. Kerr’s “assistance”, what the proper course is for Sauble.  The last thing Sauble residents need is another arrogant outsider (Mr. Kerr lives more that 25 kilometers from Sauble) telling Sauble residents they are “irrational and misinformed.”

 Mr. Kerr’s gratuitous shot at Sauble Councillors Jackson and Bowman (“they don’t know the difference between new sewers and septic reinspection”) is ridiculous.  Councillors Jackson and Bowman demonstrated that the engineering firm Genivar had proposed a 70 million dollar “solution” to a “problem” which Genivar freely admitted was no more than conjecture, and of which there was no evidence.  The two councillors were also responsible for getting the engineering firm fired for that misstep, and for getting the whole sewers process put on hold until an ad hoc committee could answer the simple question “is there an identifiable, scientifically documentable problem related to Sauble septic systems?”

 Like John Close did in October 2010, Mr. Kerr suggests that Sauble is a “Walkerton 2”, waiting to happen.  All that shows is that Mr. Kerr is just as ignorant of the facts as Mr. Close is.  Sauble resident W. Yule’s rebuttal of Mr. Close’s fear mongering shows how ridiculous the “Walkerton again” comments are.

 Mr. Kerr accuses Ms. Mason of illegitimate claims of representation, basing his accusation only on Ms. Mason’s use of the first person plural as in “How many times do we have to inform you that sewers are not necessary for the majority of residents in Sauble”, and, We have repeatedly told you through letters, e-mails, public meetings, newspaper articles, documented reports, etc., etc., that sewers are not necessary in Sauble” (emphasis added)Rather than claiming to represent anyone, Ms. Mason, in using the word “we”, is clearly only making statements of fact based on observation of the dialogue in public meetings, in submissions, and in letters.   But then, not having participated in any constructive way, how could Mr. Kerr possibly know how we Sauble residents are speaking out to save our little Sauble community from the ravages of scoundrels the likes of Mr. Kerr.

 No one will ever take Mr. Kerr’s rants very seriously, just as no one ever listened to a word he said in council.  I have to wonder what would motivate him to once again try to sell his bag of tiresome hackneyed mistruths.

 After “no sewers”, the most popular comment at the TSBP strategic plan public meeting on October 13th at Sauble was “leave us alone”.  Mr. Kerr should take heed.  Because what happens at Sauble is none of Mr. Kerr’s business.

 For readers of print versions, all links (underlined text) are on


 Craig Gammie



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