Dear Kathleen, welcome home to Wind Turbine Watford
It just hit me- tonight is the final public meeting for the Suncor Cedar Point Wind Project in Watford. You know where Watford is – it’s where your rural roots are (right?). You always say it’s where your dad spent his summers, so you have inherited those, ah, ‘roots’… I guess. Or maybe just the boots.
In any case I thought I should at least tell you, you have missed almost all the community consultations for many a wind project in your dad’s old stomping grounds – I know, the notification sucks, that’s why most of us don’t know about the projects until they are practically built, so if you are unable to attend, I completely understand. You can always write the wind developer and complain that you weren’t properly notified. It wouldn’t change anything, but at least you can FEEL you’ve been part of the ‘process’, of being ignored.
Since you haven’t been to one of these meetings, and probably won’t get to the one tonight, I’ll tell you what it’s like. Actually, come to think of it, the meetings aren’t much different than the meetings we have had with you.
On a frosty Saturday morning in January, right before the Liberal leadership convention, you zipped into Strathroy (probably sped quickly through Watford to get there) to meet with your followers, and whoever else registered to speak with you. I registered, with 3 others. We had sat down at the Gardenia Restaurant to have lunch and tea and wait for your arrival. We didn’t introduce or announce ourselves to anyone, and the restaurant was full of regular customers who had no interest in you attendance.
A young ‘handler’ of yours slipped up beside us as we were pouring our tea and asked if we would be willing to meet with you on your bus, instead of in the restaurant. We hesitated, as our food was sure to get cold, but then accepted the invite. We walked out to the parking lot, where you met us, in the cold. No warm bus for us rural grubbies, or whatever labels we had been given. You pretended to listen, but avoided the questions that mattered like the plague. All I got out of our ‘meeting’ was that you did not believe that people were suffering ill health effects from wind turbines.
My last question was whether you would look to change the Environmental Review Tribunal process, so that it was run by a third party, like Sandra Pupatello had promised when she came to town. You said that that was Sandra’s platform, not yours. So I guess we don’t get the third party benefit, lucky us. And we get to meet you in the parking lot.
Your handlers hurried you back in the restaurant to meet the ‘good’ people. We followed and found our food was cold, our tea was luke warm. You shook the warm hands of the people who matter to you – the only Liberals left in town. You see, in rural Ontario you invite people into your house to discuss issues, you don’t tell them to meet you in the parking lot – this is why I am highly suspicious of your ‘rural roots’, as you don’t seem to have the basic manners of a rural resident.
We ran into you one more time recently, in Clinton. This time you had the red boots so that was a sign to the media that you were one of us, in case they thought otherwise. Before you had arrived one of your ‘handlers’ (again) hurried out to a group of concerned residents, told them to stand by the far doorway, write all their questions out, and Kathleen will come over and answer them for them. That did not happen. You slipped in the other door before anyone hardly knew you arrived.
Dragged us out to the parking lot, sent us in the wrong direction, slammed the door in our face. You are a phony ruralite Kathleen. All tactics and no substance.
But you are welcome to come to Watford tonight. You don’t need the red Wellingtons, unless you feel you must slip in and out the muddy back door.