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Posts Tagged ‘Ontario Federation of Agriculture’

Well, we never stopped, really.

Premier Dalton McGuinty will be facing angry rural municipal councillors at the Ontario Good Roads conference beginning this weekend.

Organized by the  Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group–which is headed by Mark Davis, Deputy Mayor of Arran-Elderslie–the event will be a Walk Out on Dalton as the Premier stands up for his speech to open the conference. (In Ottawa we don’t have much hope of any representatives standing up for us, as the vice-president of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association or ROMA is Doug Thompson…he won’t likely abandon his position to act for us in North Gower and Richmond. But we can hope.)

The organizers acknowledge that such an action will be a first at a conference that is known for its bonhomie but they also say it’s about time. At last year’s conference, Mayor of Amaranth Don McIver met with then Environment Minister John Wilkinson to talk about what’s happened to Amaranth since the turbines started spinning in his community in 2006 (people are sick, property worthless, homes abandoned) and followed up with a letter. It was never answered. He sent another. No answer. Wilkinson of course was roundly defeated in the October election, but for his department to ignore a sitting Mayor is appalling.

Now, says Davis, it’s time to act. “Why not?” says Davis. “McGuinty has walked out on us.”

Here is a story from QMI today. http://www.lfpress.com/comment/2012/02/24/19422056.html

Rural Ontario set to blow up at McGuinty

By Jim Merriam, Special to QMI Agency

Last Updated: February 25, 2012 12:00am 

It won’t be the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral but next week’s meeting between Premier Dalton McGuinty and rural municipal leaders is shaping up to be a major confrontation.

The issue involves shunning Premier Dad at the Good Roads convention in Toronto.

One organizing group is urging delegates by letter to greet the premier with respect.

However, the Multi-Municipal Working Group on Wind Turbines isn’t backing down on plans to walk out on McGuinty’s speech if a one-year moratorium on installation of wind turbines isn’t announced before the meeting.

The Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA), which sponsors “Good Roads” in partnership with the Ontario Good Roads Association, suggests such a walkout would be shortsighted.

“We invited the premier to our conference, we appreciate his decision to come, and we will respectfully listen to what he has to say,” says the ROMA letter, hoping for the final word on the subject.

The working group’s chair will have none of it. In his written response, Mark Davis, deputy mayor of Arran Elderslie said, “There are times you must stand up and be counted. You must do things that you believe are right for the people you represent. I firmly believe this is one of those times.” ROMA’s letter looks back at its successful history to discourage a walkout by the folks concerned about the way wind power has been forced down the throats of rural residents.

“As a group, Ontario municipalities have worked very hard over many years to build a relationship with the Government of Ontario that is based on open doors and frank discussion. The mature and respectful relationship that makes these exchanges possible provides us with our greatest opportunity to achieve meaningful progress.” But members of the six-county wind turbine working group are more interested in what ROMA has done for them lately?

“ROMA must be aware of the depth of these (wind turbine) concerns and we hope to hear at the conference the steps that ROMA, like the other organizations representing rural Ontario, has taken to represent concerns of its members on this issue.” ROMA goes on to list the issues it is discussing with the province including the global recession, economic development, funding for roads and bridges, the costs of emergency services and the Drummond report.

In response the anti-turbine group has a list of its own, pointing out those who have serious doubts about the “green energy program and wind turbines.” This includes the Ontario Auditor General who said the turbines are not replacing coal-fired plants nor cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

“They (turbines) require additional fossil-fuel gas generation back-up because their production is unpredictable, intermittent and cannot be stored.” This means consumers pay twice for wind energy, adding skyrocketing electricity costs that are a real threat to jobs.

Also joining the anti-turbine movement is the Ontario Federation of Agriculture that represents 38,000 farm families.

In addition 79 municipalities have called for a moratorium on wind turbine installations.

The working group also points out that the province responded within hours to a light rail transit motion by Toronto council, but there has been no meaningful response to rural concerns about wind turbines.

In summing up the fighting words ROMA attempts to speak for all Ontarians: “Ontario residents are counting on us to work co-operatively and productively.” The conclusion from the working group is quite different: “There are many reasons to walk and very few not to.”

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Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and please donate to our efforts. You may donate securely by Interac or PayPal.

The North Gower Wind Action Group is a member of Wind Concerns Ontario http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

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After the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) announced it had serious problems with Ontario’s renewable energy policy, especially wind power generation which is being forced onto communities throughout Ontario, there has been plenty of reaction. Citing the expense of this unreliable power source and the fact that wind projects are dividing communities, the OFA asked the province to STOP until a plan was in place to deal with the many, serious problems.

Hardly surprising, the wind developers’ lobby, the Canadian Wind Energy Association/CanWEA, said it was “disappointed.” Interesting, that: people are losing the value in their homes, communities are being ripped apart by controversy, friendships and even families affected by the greed of a few, and worse, people are being made ill from the environmental noise produced by these huge machines (But CanWEA doesn’t want us to call them “industrial”), and the corporate lobby group is “disappointed.”

From this week’s The Advance, the following editorial comment:

Wind turbines, once touted as the answer to all our energy ills, are spinning in limbo. There was a time when agricultural energy experts saw the wind turbine as not only a source of inexpensive and renewable energy but also as more revenue for the farmer’s bottom line. The turbines could redeem all the usable wetlands on farmers’ properties that cannot be used to produce much in the way of crops.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has waded in on the controversial topic of wind turbines on agricultural land, despite the temptation to believe that the giant windmills may be the answer to everyone’s energy problems. While urban residents south of Ottawa have been of two minds regarding wind turbines near their homes, farmers and the OFA have been quietly looking at the pro’s and cons of wind turbine use.

These slow economic times may be a blessing in disguise as rural Ontario takes a breath to think over the wind turbine issue.

In a recent note of caution from the OFA the province is asked to pay special attention to the developing tensions between rural residents and community neighbours rergarding this alternative energy source.

The OFA wants issues such as health, pricing, the efficiency of wind power, setback issues and the loss of municipal input about industrial win turbine projects to be placed on the table for discussion. The province is not about to run out of power in the foreseeable future but the OFA’s request for resolution or at least a very loud argument about wind power may be just what the area needs to set the stage for what comes next.

It is time to make a plan.

Well, thank you. But it must be noted that the Auditor General’s Annual Report for 2011 pointed severe criticism at the Ontario Government, not for not having a plan but rather, for having a plan that benefitted  few companies in terms of huge profits while pretending to create jobs (it won’t, said the AG), won’t save the environment (wind needs back-up, most likely natural gas) and won’t create a stable electricity system for Ontario (wind actually destabilizes the system and produces power exactly when it’s not needed). In fact, the AG said, Ontario launched this plan without doing ANY sort of cost-benefit analysis, and without looking at the effects on the economy (every “green” job created comes at a huge cost in subsidies and acually results in job losses) or the environment.

The OFA was being very low-key. The truth is, Ontario’s plan to push wind power onto rural Ontario’s communities is a monstrous “boondoggle” that will wreck our landscape, ruin our economy, tilt our electricity system toward expensive undependability, and make hundreds of people ill, while slashing property values for young families and others.

It needs to stop. Now.

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Member of Wind Concerns Ontario http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

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The Ontario Federation of Agriculture today announced it is asking the Ontario government to stop industrial wind power generation development. Too many  problems and unresolved issues, the Federation said in a news release, here:

http://www.ofa.on.ca/media/news/OFA-calls-government-suspend-wind-turbine-development-in-Ontario

 

We say, AT LAST!!!!

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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One of the myths about industrial wind power generation here in Ontario is that it will “help” the family farm. That, of course, is nonsense: it’s Ontario’s policies on agriculture and its insistence on cheap food that have got the farm in trouble and has resulted in situations where Ontario’s pork producers over the last few years have been getting prices as low as were prevalent in the 1960s for their product. And, Ontario, over the course of several governments, has seen fit to centralize agriculture, opting to encourage giant industrial farms and processors, instead of local farms, abbatoirs and cheese producers to name a few. (More on that in Thomas Pawlick’s book, The War in the Country.)

Anyway, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s new president (we understand there was a bit of a story behind his election as opposed to another candidate) recently released a statement on the OFA website, underscoring the Federation’s support for industrial-scale wind power development. His comments indicate a blind trust in what the wind power consortium is doing and still doing the rah-rah for wind and the Ontario farmer.

The comments, however, are most interesting. Note the comment from Kerwood-area farmer Dan Wrightman, who has a chapter on this subject in the book Dirty Business, the reality of Ontario’s rush to wind power.

We fail to see how paying Ontario farmers $4,000 to $10,000 per turbine a year (in the turbine hot area of Chatham-Kent-Essex, the rents are going over $20,000 per year) to lose almost total control over the rights to your land is worth encouraging when the wind developers are getting half a million or more per turbine per year.

Visit the OFA website here: http://www.ofa.on.ca/media/news/Improving-the-green-energy-fit

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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