Raising Toronto’s Blue Flag on the Beaches, Bullshit that baffles brains.

January 15, 2014

blueflag

The Blue Flag is a certification by the Denmark based Foundation for Environmental Education assuming a beach meets it’s standards. The certification is granted by individual organisations on behalf of the FEE, of which there are 65 organisations in 60 countries. The Canadian organisation that bestows a flag on the Toronto Beaches is the scaremongering Environmental Defence Foundation, known to use junk science to back up their anti-corporate and pro-union agenda.

The Blue Flag criteria include some standards for water quality expected of any Beach, yet the vast majority of the requirements to become Blue Flag certified are purely bureaucratic and administrative. Examples include such gems as “Information about the Blue Flag Programme (sic) must be displayed”, “Code of conduct for the beach area must be displayed and the laws governing beach use must be easily available to the public upon request”, “A minimum of 5 environmental education activities must be offered”, “A beach management committee must be established to be in charge of instituting environmental management systems”, “Waste disposal bins/receptacles must be available on/by the beach in adequate numbers”, “On the beach there will be no unauthorised camping or driving”, “Regulation concerning dogs and other domestic animals on the beach must be strictly enforced”, “Beach area must be patrolled”, “A Supply of potable drinking water must be available on the beach”… and the list goes on and on and on about bylaws, rules and taxpayer funded services required to have the esteemed honour of raising the blue flag.

Take for example the Foundation for Environmental Education’s requirement that “an adequate number of lifeguards, first aid kits and lifesaving equipment must be available at the beach”, and “there must be safe access to the beach”. Common sense policies in place at every single public beach in the civilized world. It has nothing what so ever to do with the quality or cleanness of any beaches.

Does the blue flag make you feel any safer about taking a swim? Well it should not, as most Torontonians found out. While the blue flag does have a very small set of poorly worded requirements such as “the beach must be clean” and “no industrial or sewage related discharges may affect the beach area”; they do not seem important enough to deny a blue flag as long as the endless red tape and government oversight is present to make sure a Blue Flag beach has “wheelchair and accessibility features”. It’s no wonder why Toronto was the first city in North America vain enough to apply for Blue Flag certification.

In the August 2013 edition of Your Ward News reporter Robert James covered Lake Sewage Ontario in the article “Poo in the pond”. After the tropical rainstorm dumped over one billion liters of human sewage into the lake due to corrupt city counsellors bending backwards to condo developers without a care in the world about dilapidated sanitary systems. With record levels of E. coli in the Beaches, Toronto’s Blue Flag certification should have been revoked. Just goes to show you bullshit baffles brains, and affects those without brains dramatically.

S.O.S. = shit out sinking! The Environmental Defence Foundation is proud supporters of the so-called “Wet Weather Flow Management Master Plan”, one of the most incompetent wastes of taxpayer dollars in Toronto history. This 25-year study to figure out what happens when it rains or snows and the water runs off is estimated to cost taxpayers $1.2 billion dollars (with a “B”). How in the nine hells does it take two and a half decades and tens upon tens of millions of dollars a year to study the effects of what happens to storm-water??? If city councillors claim to be so concerned about the environment that a King’s fortune must be spent on an endless study, then why in the hell did they not care about the 400 Olympic-sized swimming pools of raw crap dumped in the lake in just a single night?

Since 1989 there have been several programs to date in an effort to clean up the Great Lakes and get rid of pollution. The Canadian government has invested $355 million into all of the Great Lakes since then and the results were nothing short of miraculous. This was not another study, this was action – and it worked. Just who the hell do these tax and waste left-wing municipal counsellors think they are spending over three times that amount just for paperwork while doing little about outdated sewage systems that were never built to handle towering condo developments? This spend frenzy insanity will bankrupt us all!

Funding for Blue Flag Canada is currently provided by anonymous donors and annual Blue Flag certification fees. The yearly costs of the city to be a bluebuddy is $400,000.00 for the implementation of the Blue Flag program, $50,000 public outreach and an annual membership fee of approximately $7,000.00. Yet get this, as a requirement the city has to raise a blue flag on each beach in the city, they spent $300,000 alone just installing flagpoles and signage with the Foundation for Environmental Education’s logo. NO, I am NOT making this up!

Let’s take a look at the organization that calls the shots for all Blue Flag beaches in Canada. The eco-terrorist sounding Environmental Defence Foundation, and it’s Executive Director until recently received the Rubber Duck Award in Junk Science Quackery. Rick Smith, a Toronto environmentalist who ran the Defence Foundation for the past decade is not only an NDP member but also served as Jack Layton’s first Chief of Staff. His book ‘How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health’ informs the public how everything man made on the planet is killing us. Backed up with plenty of pseudoscientific “facts” based on unproven evidence from experiments committed on his own co-author Bruce Lourie, who is still very much alive and spouting gibberish how every product we buy is toxic.

According to the Rubber Duck Awards. “Junk Science occurs when scientific facts are distorted, when risk is exaggerated or discounted, when science is adapted and warped by politics and ideology to serve another agenda.” It has everything to do with the Environmental Defence Canada’s courtship with the NDP Party, the United Steelworkers Union and the Communications, Energy and Paper Workers Union. Well at least that $300,000 blue fag means are Beaches are environmentally friendly… right?

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