Maria Van B. has forgotten what her job is
I was just getting over the ‘post-protest’ symptoms, when I received the press release of Ms. VanBommel’s response to our protest in legislature today. I watched the podcast on the legislature’s website, just to confirm that it was as disappointing as it sounded in writing.
Her response is a taunt. Although I didn’t really expect her to actually help us (it’s never happened before), I didn’t think she would attack us for our concerns about our health. First, she claims that the majority of the people were not from her riding. She knows better then that. She knows our faces. The 14 or so who were not from her riding were from turbine areas such as Ridgetown (1), Harrow (1), & Clear Creek (1) – they live with these machines. Others were from areas that have turbines proposed, just like here: Grey County (3), Clinton (3), Haldimand (3) and Prince Edward County (2). Those were the only people from outside of her riding, out of 80+. And in my opinion, they have every right to be there, as her VOTES in legislature, against a moratorium on wind turbines until health studies are complete, affects them as much as us. She is trying to diminish the numbers but she KNOWS that over 250 people attended our citizen sponsored wind info meeting at our little school in Adelaide 2 years ago. And that was just Adelaide, and that was quite a while ago- who knows what it would bring today. She avoids collecting real data as to how her constituents REALLY feel about wind turbines. She is doing this to save face of her Premier, not to protect the health of my children, as Mr. Wilkinson suggests. My children’s health is not even on her radar, or she would be very concerned about their school having 14 turbines in 3 km radius of it.
I’m not sure her second question was meant to accomplish anything except to pat herself on the back. It even suggests that her constituents want to have MORE wind turbines shoved down their throats. Is 500 not enough? This was a valuable moment, where she could have asked for clarification, or reassurance, but instead, she asked that we be dismissed in the name of “Green Energy”. Makes me wonder if she has completely forgot what her job is as a MPP.
Here is her press release:
VAN BOMMEL QUESTIONS MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT April 4, 2011
QUEEN’S PARK – Keeping her word following a rally in front of her constituency office on Saturday, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Maria Van Bommel today rose in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to ask the Minister of the Environment if his Ministry has received any scientific evidence that wind projects harm people’s health.
“Minister, climate change is something every government must deal with and Ontario is no exception,” said Van Bommel. “I’m proud to say that in my riding of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, greet energy is playing a big role in cleaning up our air, but there are still concerns about our government’s approach to renewable energies. On Saturday, a protest rally marched to my office in Strathroy to ensure that I heard those concerns. The majority of them came from other parts of Ontario, but I was pleased to meet with all of them. They are very concerned about the scientific rigour behind our regulations for wind turbines.”
In responding to Van Bommel’s question, Minister of the Environment, John Wilkinson, emphasized that his Ministry has been presented with NO scientific evidence that wind turbines harm people’s health.
“That’s why our legislated 550 metre setback is the toughest in North America,” said Wilkinson. “The Superior Court recently upheld all of our provisions – agreeing that we had reviewed and based them on peer-reviewed science and expert opinions.”
In further questioning to the Minister, Van Bommel cited a study done in Lambton County by the former federal Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Ralph Ferguson, that clearly demonstrated the impact of dirty air on the high incidences of respiratory disorders and cancer rates in that area.
“My question to the Minister is quite simple,” said Van Bommel. “With many Tories still supporting coal-fired generation, will this government continue to increase renewable energy so we can eliminate coal from our energy mix and improve the environment for my constituents?”
“Yes,” responded Minister Wilkinson. “Coal plants emit lead and mercury, dioxins, chromium, arsenic, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. They are the number one cause of hospital admissions in children. We stand with the Canadian Lung Association, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. Let me repeat. We’re serious about developing Green energy in a way that protects our kid’s health, protects our environment and creates a green economy.”