So long as this does not get into her local weekly, Mom may not find out I have done a most uncomfortable thing (for many small-town folk, it seems) and raised a little hell from my home here in the big, often unlovable, city of Toronto.
I have emailed the CAO, Reeve and Councillors of a rural township near Mom’s pretty little town (and sent a copy to Ontario’s Environment Minister and the NDP’s Environment Ministry Critic).
This township council is the jurisdiction most closely responsible for a cemetery where the remains (cremated and otherwise) of many relatives, my father and grandparents among them, are buried. (The extensive listings at the link do not include my Dad who died in 2002.)
Pity that I do not have a picture of the offending property to which I refer in this letter:
To: CAO, Reeves and Councillors of Tay Valley Township
Re: Access from Cty. Rd. 10 to Scotch Line Cemetery
You will know, I am certain, that anyone accessing the Scotch Line Cemetery from County Road 10 is confronted with an unacceptable eye-sore – rusted out automobiles, other scrap metal and tires, and goodness knows what else (much of which could be finding its way into the already fragile watershed).
This is obviously not a new problem; certainly not created overnight!
May I ask, with all due respect, how long this unsightly property will be permitted to remain as it is?
With many relatives still living in the area, and others who visit from all parts of Canada, the disgraceful appearance of the property in question loses its urgency at a time of grief. However as my family – and many others from around the world – visit the cemetery, on occasions when we just want to stop by the final resting places of our loved ones, this dump – apparently sanctioned, passively at least, by some political office – annoys us to no end.
I would ask that, if you do not have some sort of rural Property Standards regulations in place, that you consider such measures and take remedial action as soon as possible.
Kenneth George Chaplin
(full address deleted)
To my pleasant surprise I received an almost immediate reply from the township CAO:
Mr. Chaplin, I appreciate your concerns and will pass them along to Members of Council. I must note that the Township does not have a Property Standards by-law. Council has however referred its own concerns to the Ministry of the Environment, given the proximity of Grant's Creek. While an MOE order was issued requiring remedial work, the Ministry indicates this site is not yet a priority concern and is not currently scheduled for enforcement.
…to which I replied that I had, since writing her, forwarded the same email to the provincial Environment Minister’s office.