Bob Bailey: McGuinty, get off your high horse
Better Late Then Never: OFA Calls for Wind Farm Moratorium
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), the largest representative of farm interests in Canada, is calling on the provincial government to immediately stop installing industrial wind turbines (IWT) in rural Ontario.
Since the passage of the 2009 Green Energy Act, which stripped municipalities of local planning rights, countless communities across rural Ontario have been threatened by the McGuinty government’s push to install industrial wind farms, with no regard to local expertise or the concerns of residents. These IWT developments have done more to turn neighbours and communities against one another than solve any of the problems of energy production in Ontario.
In its call for the moratorium, the OFA cites the high cost of power produced by turbines, its inability to be stored, and the fact that it can’t be effectively transmitted to areas of high demand as just some of the reasons to stop the senseless expansion of IWTs across rural Southwestern Ontario. But far and away the most troubling outcome of IWTs in our rural communities is this issue’s tendency to divide and polarize long time friends and neighbours. These concerns over health impacts, negatively affected property values and quality of life issues are not being seriously considered by the McGuinty government. These issues weigh heavily on the minds of many rural residents and are causing serious problems in our rural communities. In his statement, OFA President Mark Wales says that these projects have “alienated the rural population” as “neighbours are pitted against neighbours.”
Last April, in the Legislature, I demanded that Premier McGuinty get off his high horse and explain why his government is choosing to ignore the voices and concerns of rural Ontario communities by jamming through his unproven and unwanted wind farms. Countless communities across our province have watched helplessly as the McGuinty Government pushes to install more industrial wind farms whenever and wherever he wants, with no regard to local expertise or the concerns of residents. It is my hope that more organizations, like the OFA, will take a stand and let Premier McGuinty know that it is local residents that know best when it comes to making decisions regarding their communities.
2012 Pre-Budget Consultations
Along with neighbouring Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton, I will be hosting pre-budget consultations regarding the 2012 Provincial Budget later this month. MPP McNaughton and I saw the need to schedule these meetings after the decision by the McGuinty Government to host “virtual town halls” using “modern technology” rather than the traditional in-person public hearings held annually across the province.
Instead of the traditional eight-member Finance Committee directly hearing from the people, the government has set up ‘virtual’ telephone town halls to hear “Ontarians’ views regarding what more the government can do to create jobs and improve services for people, while eliminating the deficit” (Ministry of Finance).
If the McGuinty government really wanted to hear from people they should not have eliminated the traditional all-party Finance Committee pre-budget consultations.
Ontario is facing a tough road ahead; it is more important than ever that MPPs sit down with those who elected them to listen, learn and consult about the future of our province. The Liberal government’s plan to sit back inToronto and avoid meeting the very Ontarians who will be affected by their Budget decisions is simply unacceptable.
In previous years Provincial Pre-Budget Consultations were held across Southwestern Ontario.
I invite everyone who is interested to attend one of the consultations to be held in both Sarnia and Strathroy on Friday, February 24, 2012.
Event Date: Friday, February 24th, 2012
Locations: 9am – 11am
St. Clair Corporate Centre-Gateway Conference Room, 5th Floor
265 North Front Street
Sarnia,Ontario N7T 7X1
1pm – 3pm
Bear Creek Golf & Country Club
571 Metcalfe Street East
Strathroy, Ontario N7G 1R1
Local organizations or individuals wishing to provide a pre-budget submission paper and/or a brief presentation are asked to register beforehand. For Sarnia, please contact Michelle Roe at the Office of MPP Bob Bailey at 519-337-0051. For Strathroy, contact Eileen McCoy at the Office of MPP Monte McNaughton at 519-245-8696.
As always, I very much appreciate hearing from you and I will continue to welcome your questions and concerns. I can be reached by phone: (519) 337-0051, email firstname.lastname@example.org, through my website at www.bobbaileympp.com, or on facebook at facebook.com/BobBaileyMPP.
Posted on February 17, 2012, in Bob Bailey, Dalton McGuinty, Government, Green Energy Act, Monte McNaughton, Municipalities, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Take Action. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.