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Posts Tagged ‘ROMA’

The Premier kept talking as 75 municipal representatives walked out of his keynote speech at the ROMA event yesterday, but maybe he shouldn’t have bothered: we’ve heard it all before.

He promises more consultation about wind power facilities in future and to do a “better job” of incorporating the “local perspective” on the industrial power projects. We’re listening, he said.

But, he didn’t say he is going to give local land use planning control back to municipalities where renewable energy projects are proposed, and that is really what the communities are asking for. He didn’t say he is going to get rid of the Green Energy Act, which supercedes 21 pieces of legislation passed in the Ontario Legislature over decades to protect Ontario’s people and beauty, like the Conservation Act, the Heritage Act, and the Environmental Protection Act.

He didn’t say he was listening to the people of the north shore of Lake Erie, or Prince Edward County where proposed wind power projects will certainly kill thousands of migratory birds and alter the eco-system of North America.

In North Gower-Richmond, the 20-megawatt project will be far too close to homes and our school.

Property value studies are showing decreases in value up to THREE MILES in the U.S., and certainly within 2 km.

There are so many reports of health effects now, that some commentators (like Carl V. Phillips) say it isn’t necessary to do more studies: we know there is a problem.

And on top of it all, the province says this is all to replace “dirty coal” when in fact closing Ontario’s coal plants will make such a small difference as to be impossible to measure, says the executive director of the Climate Science Coalition (Ottawa Citizen, February 27), and no fossil-fuel power plant has ever closed anywhere in the world because of wind power. Nowhere.

We revisit a paper written in 2008 by University of Toronto professor of law and economics Michael Trebilcock (who actually helped an earlier government with its energy policy). He had five objections to the then proposed Green Energy Act. They were: industrial wind turbines have minimal impact on carbon emissions;industrial wind turbines are uneconomic; industrial wind turbines cause insufficiently researched health effects;industrial wind turbines have adverse effects on adjacent property values; and, the decision-making process in Ontario is undemocratic and will undermine efficient regulation.

Nothing has changed.

Why not write to Mr  McGuinty and tell him how you feel. And Energy Minister Bentley while you’re at it. (Write to them separately and be sure to include your mailing address–otherwise, they don’t have to respond.)

dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
cbentley.mpp@liberal.ola.org
 

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and check news stories through the day at

http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

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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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