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Posts Tagged ‘Jim McDonell’

From the last edition of Ontario Farmer, Tom van Dusen’s Eastern Limits column, excerpted here.

Powerful people

Power of the People seems to have played a crucial role in the minority Liberal government outcome of the provincial election. Power of the anti-wind people, that is.

An advocacy group called Wind Concerns Ontario (WCO) says it targeted 10 ridings where existing or planned wind farms have become controversial, with an eye to defeating sitting Liberal members who supported the projects, or to getting opposition candidates elected where vacancies existed due to retirement.

It’s hard to know if WCO should get all the credit…but, in fact, Grits were shut out of those ridings.

Some prominent rural Liberals who backed wind and solar energy bit the dust on election day, including two former OMAFRA ministers, Carol Mitchell, who held the post in the last government, and Leona Dombrowsky, the province’s most recent education minister. Both went down to spectacular defeat. Also blown out of his riding was the pre-election environment minister, John Wilkinson, also an outspoken supporter of his government’s green energy policy which offered some subsidies and high energy generation payments to wind and solar power entrepreneurs.

…At the east end of the province, it looks like turbine opponents helped elect Tory Jim McDonell in Stormont-Dundas-South Glegarry which had been vacated by Liberal MPP Jim Brownell. McDonell’s stock seemed to go up after he called upon Dalton McGuinty to stop the proposed South Branch Wind Farm at Brinston before it got to the construction phase. A collection of 14 turbines, South Branch has been promoted by Prowind Canada dating back to 2008. Over the intervening years, there have been scores of meetings and studies about the impact of the project.

For WCO, Prowind is similar to all industrial turbine installations: the advocacy group claims they all threaten human and animal health, habitat, and property values as well as cause noise and aesthetic concerns.

WCO says it set its sights on toppling Liberal candidates because the government “denied science” indicating turbines could be harmful, and refused to accept “local democracy” by pushing forward with turbine projects against the will of residents.

The anti-wind turbine lobby appears to have registered a big blow to the McGuinty Grits. Retaining only a few of the lost 10 seats would have made a difference between majority and the premier’s so-called “major minority”. … the WCO campaign proves resoundingly that taxpayers can have an impact on voting day even if it’s not the ultimate outcome of defeating a government.

“The Liberals have an opportunity to change their course during this minority parliament, act on our concerns and put the interests of people ahead of special interests behind the industrial wind lobby which cost them their majority,” WCO gloated in a news release.

… There’s nothing wrong with modestly encouraging development of new energy sources. However, the last Liberal government seemed to want to make it happen right now at whatever cost, and damn any side effects such as the potential health hazard.

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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