Category Archives: Ontario Federation of Agriculture

OFA Betrays Farm Communities

wind-turbines-are-bad-neighbours-proof-line.jpgTom Melady, London Free Press
One of the biggest violations against Ontario agriculture and its rural communities has prompted our farm business to ask for a refund of our membership fees from Ontario Federation of Agriculture. Industrial wind turbines are wreaking havoc on Rural Ontario and OFA fiddles as the countryside burns. The social, financial and agronomical impacts of these 500 ft. monstrosities demand great analysis.

In January 2012, I, along with a group of 3 farmers including a 19 year old female farming enthusiast, presented our detailed concerns and impacts of industrial wind turbines to the OFA Board of Directors in Guelph. When OFA heard of the 6000 wind turbines intended for rural Ontario, the dysfunction of the communities in which they are placed, and the sacrifice of 20,000 acres of prime agricultural land, one would think that OFA would seriously investigate these negative repercussions against agriculture. To not research the topic is irresponsible. However, the Board issued some whimsical doublespeak statement and forgot about the issue, the issue that will have the greatest negative impact on agriculture, ever! Read the rest of this entry

Bob Bailey: McGuinty, get off your high horse

Sarnia & Lambton County THIS WEEK
Queen’s Park Report with MPP Bob Bailey

 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. Read the rest of this entry