Category Archives: Kathleen Wynne

Liberals wanted to sue opposition; instead they ran away

1322856886207_ORIGINALA most interesting letter of legal opinion written on Nov. 20, 2012, by former Supreme Court Justice, Ian Binnie, popped up with the latest regurgitation of Gas Plant e-mails. Justice Binnie replies to David Livingston, McGuinty’s former chief of staff asked about the possibility of suing opposition members citing outrageous allegations made by PC leader Tim Hudak and MPP Todd Smith in Question Period in October of 2012.

Hmmm this sounds familiar – like The Nexterror SLAPP lawsuit against Esther Wrightman where she is accused of unfairly competing with NextEra by referring to the company as Nexterror. McGuinty got good advice and, unlike Nexterror, he followed that advice. The letter of opinion is a reality lecture wherein Justice Binnie, with rather dry humour, paints out the possible scenarios and why for Dalton, this notion of suing his enemies is not a good notion at all.

Justice Binnie begins, “Many of the allegations…are in our view clearly defamatory…the law provides a low threshold. It is protective of reputations.” That sounds promising. He further states, “Mr. Hudak’s statement is also defamatory”

Hudak had said: “Not only did Dalton McGuinty misuse a billion dollars of taxpayer’s money, he tried to paper over it, cover it up (and) keep the details from the public.” Remember, this was written on Nov.29, 2012. As it turns out, what Hudak said isn’t too far off the mark. Read the rest of this entry

Warwick Township Not a Willing Host

notawillinghost

St. Clair not a willing host for turbines

st. clairSarnia this Week
ST. CLAIR TOWNSHIP – St. Clair Township is not a willing host for wind turbines. That’s the declaration councillors made – unanimously – after a recent discussion to establish a by-law about where they can be placed within the municipality. Deputy Clerk and Coordinator of Planning Jeff Baranek made a presentation to council suggesting it adopt a by-law to establish building permit fees for industrial wind turbines.

“You can’t make revenue off building permit fees,” he said, “but you can ensure all costs… are harboured by the developer.” Baranek’s suggestion was a $10,000 fee per turbine plus $100 per metre to the highest point of the structure. He mentioned that some municipalities – most notably Bluewater – are issuing other fees, like a $220,000 decommissioning fee by that municipality, but such a cost was not among his recommendations. He did, however, suggest that council adopt a two-kilometre setback from any property line, which he said would essentially “sterilize” the township. Read article

Wind announcement raises questions, and doubts

empty gestureBy Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Ontario’s pledge to increase local control over large wind and solar farms is “a lot of smoke and mirrors,” says one Lambton County anti-wind activist. Marcelle Brooks, a rural Lambton Shores resident with the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group, dismissed Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli’s announcement Thursday that municipalities will have a greater role in where future large renewable energy projects locate.

“There’s not a lot of credibility here,” Brooks said. “Truly, did they change direction, or did they just put a new spin on it?” Chiarelli said Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT) system for awarding renewable energy contracts will be replaced, for large projects over 500 kilowatts, with a new competitive process where the government says wind companies will be required to work with municipalities on locations and site requirements.

The change comes as a growing number of municipalities are declaring themselves unwilling hosts for wind farms, and some mayors are saying Ontario’s wind energy push is dividing their communities. The Liberals lost the Lambton-Kent-Middlesex riding, and other rural seats, in the last provincial election. Brooks said Thursday’s announcementsdoes nothing for residents opposed to projects that already have FIT contracts, including Nextera and Suncor’s proposals to build a total of nearly 140 turbines in Lambton Shores, Plympton-Wyoming and Warwick Township. Read article

Demonstrators heckle premier as she begins her address in Sarnia

1297423491607_ORIGINALSarnia Observer
About 50 protesters greeted Premier Kathleen Wynne when she arrived at the opening of the Goodwill One Tomato garden in Sarnia around 10 a.m. A combination of Save the Jail and STOP wind turbine demonstrators waving placards attempted to talk to the premier as she walked by. Wynne took the stage and began her opening remarks while protesters continued to yell “Hey, hey Liberals, you’re fired, you’re fired” and “Hey Wynne, you’re not listening.”

Mayor Mike Bradley stood at the podium and attempted to quiet the demonstrators during the opening ceremonies. “We appreciate dissent but we also appreciate respect,” he said. Wynne told the crowd that she had earlier told about 20 Queen Elizabeth II students who were serving fresh vegetables to the crowd of 200 that she appreciates freedom of expression. “I am working to address your concerns that have been raised,” she told the crowd. Read article

Demonstrators Greet Premier

Blackburn News
The weather was warm but not the reception as an Ontario Premier visited Sarnia for the first time since 2007. Kathleen Wynne was met by anti-wind turbine and Sarnia Jail protesters as she arrived for the opening of a Community Garden at Goodwill Industries at Wellington and Murphy. The new Liberal Premier’s first order of business was an interview with Sue Storr on CHOK’s The Talk Show at 9 this morning. She said the province’s new green energy rules are not necessarily retroactive with 22 projects already approved, many of which are in the Lambton-Middlesex area. Read article

wynne sarnia

CTV News: Wynne greeted by protests in Sarnia

CTV Newsctv

Kathleen Wynne’s grudging wind turbine reforms unlikely to end rural anger

rural ontarioThomas Walkom, The Star
After years of dismissing rural opposition to wind turbines, Ontario’s Liberal government is belatedly trying to defuse the problem. Its efforts may be too little. They are definitely late. In cities, the giant, industrial, three-blade windmills are back of mind. When, as has happened in Toronto, urban voters do object to wind turbines the Liberal government is quick to back off.

But most wind farms are slated for rural Ontario. And here, the government, until now, has been unbending. It refused to accept persistent claims from local residents that wind farms put their health at risk. It overruled municipalities that tried to regulate or ban turbines. Instead, in virtually all cases, the Liberals sided with the big, private generating companies seeking to establish these profitable wind farms.

No wonder then that the Liberals were virtually wiped out in rural Ontario during the last election. Wind turbines helped to deprive them of their last footholds. Read article

Appalled by actions in Ontario legislature

Protest at Ontario Legislature

Larry Smale, Sarnia Observer
Myself and seven other friends, neighbors and the Mayor from Enniskillen Township, County of Lambton, Province of Ontario, Country of CANADA; attended the reading of Bill 39 in Toronto on Thursday, April 18. During the course of the day I was completely appalled by the misleading information and rhetoric coming from the Liberal side of the House as well as those of the NDP members. I wondered at times if these members had even read the bill.

Members from both of these parties talked out of both sides of their mouths. Prior to this bill all parties unanimously passed a bill to grant access to grandchildren by their grandparents where families had been subjected to divorce or other separation. Following this Bill they showed their true colours for the health, safety and consideration for the people of rural Ontario by defeating this bill, which as a result will allow the continuation of placing wind turbines in our back yards, next to us, next to our children and next to our grandchildren, an obvious disregard for the people of rural Ontario. Read article

Reason to be skeptical

Mcguinty Killed DemocracyBy Peter Epp, Sarnia Observer
No matter what you think about wind turbines and whether or not they are the cause of some health problems, the fact the structures are not wanted by some municipalities remains the enduring issue in this part of Ontario. Indeed, some people seem to forget that municipalities like Enniskillen Township or the Town of Plympton-Wyoming are so dead set again wind turbines that they’re doing what they can to keep them out.

But because permission and planning for the towers’ development is tightly held by a provincial authority, as enforced by the four-year-old Green Energy Act, local councils can do little – even if their ratepayers are firmly against such development, and even if councillors share that same opposition.

Indeed, the legacy of the Green Energy Act isn’t green energy, but the ability of a central political power to overrule the will of locally-elected politicians and their constituents. That legacy remains the number one threat. And every wind turbine remains a standing symbol of a senior government that purposely ignores the will of its junior government counterpart. Read article

LKDSB sending letter to premier and other ministers

blenheim[Ed note: the school board plans to have a presentation and a workshop with Dr. David Colby – This UNACCEPTABLE.]
Chatham Daily News
The Lambton Kent District School Board plans to inform the Ontario government some industrial wind turbines are being constructed near two of its elementary schools in Lambton County. Trustee Jane Bryce was successful in having a majority of trustees accept her motion during Tuesday’s board meeting in Chatham that a letter be sent to Premier Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews and Minister of Education Liz Sandals. She wants the letter to make them aware that provincial government of approval has been granted for two wind projects being build near the two schools.

She said five turbines are approved to go up near Aberarder Central School between Camlachie and Forest and another four turbines are to be built near Bosanquet Central School in Lambton Shores. Bryce questioned if the LKDSB were looking for a site for a new school “we probably wouldn’t put in the middle of where industrial turbines are.” She said she just wants to make sure the premier and ministers are aware of this situation, considering the number of people who have been asking for a moratorium on the construction of industrial wind turbines over potential impacts on human health.

Bryce raised the issue, which was discussed during a delegation to the board of trustees at the March 26 meeting about NextEra Jericho Wind Project near Aberarder or Suncor’s Cedar Point Wind Power Project near Bosanquet. Read article

Dear Kathleen, welcome home to Wind Turbine Watford

wynne bootsDear Kathleen,
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. Read the rest of this entry

Farmers may offer Wynne their own boot

wynne2By Greg Van Moorsel, The London Free Press
Buying a hockey jersey with No. 99 on the back doesn’t make you Wayne Gretzky. Any couch potato will tell you. Wearing a Spider-Man mask and red-and-blue tights doesn’t confer Spidey’s powers on you. Even kids know better.

How, then, does slipping on a pair of bright red Wellington boots and walking around in barnyard muck make one an agriculture minister? The truth is, it doesn’t. It’s about time someone told Ontario’s rookie premier just that.

Two months ago, when she was sworn in as premier, Kathleen Wynne decided she’d do double duty — but only for a year — as the minister in charge of the province’s largest industry. Other premiers before have moonlighted, usually as intergovernmental affairs minister.

Wynne, however, would be different in the farm beat. While clinging to office by her fingernails, learning to be a premier and trying to hold a fragile minority government together, Dalton McGuinty’s successor would — what, on her lunch breaks? — also tend to a complicated industry that employs more than 700,000. Read article

CTV, LFPress, Sun News videos of Clinton Wind Protest on Wynne

CTV News

CTV:  Energy Board flooded with objections to NextEra’s transmission project Posted on 03/30/2013	by windaction   AFTER Nextera Transmission lines over Heritage Keyser Store  Sarnia Lambton Independent NextEra Energy is facing stiff opposition to its transmission plan. Dozens of people, organizations, and businesses have filed to be interveners at an Ontario Energy Board Hearing on the transmission line project to serve three of NextEra’s projects including the Jericho Wind Energy project in Lambton Shores.  The company plans to erect 100 foot poles over 30 km along roads in Middlesex County to carry the power generated by the wind projects near Strathroy and Lambton Shores. But some neighbours are not pleased. The OEB allowed 10 days for people to register to take part in the hearing to approve the plan, at least 15 landowners and nine other organizations want a say in the hearing.  Middlesex County, Adelaide Township and North Middlesex want to be involved in the hearing. So does Hydro One, the Independent Electric System Operator, and Entegrus Transmission Lines. The Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group – a citizens group which has been objecting to the industrial wind projects in the area – also wants a say. Read article  Posted in Heritage, Ontario Energy Board, Transmission, Wind Industry	| 2 Comments | Edit	 City positions itself for possible appeal of wind farms Posted on 03/30/2013	by windaction  kawartha_lakesThe Lindsay Post MANVERS TWP. – The City of Kawartha Lakes is positioning itself for a possible appeal if three wind farms are approved in the former Manvers Township. City solicitor Tony Sutcliffe tabled a report on appeal options for Sumac Ridge wind farm at Tuesday’s (Mar. 26) city council meeting. It is proposed for the former Manvers Township as are two other wind farms, with a combined 15 industrial wind turbines.  Sutcliffe said that under Ontario’s Environmental Protection Act, anyone, including a municipality, may notify the Director of Environmental Review Tribunal that they wish to appeal the Ministry of the Environment’s (MOE) decision regarding a renewable energy application.  He said the municipality would have 15 days to lodge a written appeal and must describe how the project will cause serious harm to human health or serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment. The report added there were other rights of appeal under a number of pieces of legislation, federally, provincially and municipally. Sutcliffe could not provide a cost estimate on an appeal or appeals. Read article  Posted in Legal, Municipalities of Ontario	| Leave a comment | Edit	 Northumberland wind project plans called a nightmare Posted on 03/30/2013	by windaction  NorthumberlandNorthumberland News NORTHUMBERLAND – Residents throughout Northumberland County should be worried about industrial wind turbines being built in their area, say opponents of the Clean Breeze Wind Park proposed for Alnwick-Haldimand Township. “These are two projects in one township but the risk is that they could come to any of the townships in the county,” said Gwyer Moore, a member of the Alliance for the Protection of Northumberland Hills, a citizens’ group that’s fighting to prevent a pair of 10-megawatt wind energy generation facilities proposed near Grafton and Centreton. “It’s a nightmare waiting to happen.”  Mr. Moore and another Alliance member, Tyne Bonebakker, appeared before County council March 20 to summarize the “serious threats to the social and economic fabric of our community and the health of our citizens” that wind turbines represent. They include “huge health issues” caused by the emission of low frequency sounds inaudible to the human ear, a potential decline in property values, and the adverse effect wind turbines could have on the county’s robust tourism industry. Read article  Posted in Health, Land Values	| Leave a comment | Edit	 Kincardine rushes to provide input to Quixote One wind project Posted on 03/30/2013	by windaction  Wind turbine noiseThe Kincardine Independent Confusion around the deadline for comments on the Quixote One wind project had Kincardine council scrambling to make a decision on what to submit last week. During last Wednesday’s meeting, council was unclear on whether the deadline to submit comments to the project’s developers, Leader Resources Services Corp. is March 31 or April 30. The Quixote One project is a single 2.5 megawatt industrial wind turbine project north of Kincardine, near Tiverton. The project received a FIT contract in July 2011. The final public meeting was held on Feb. 21.  “I think we need a discussion at council of what our comments will be,” said deputy mayor Anne Eadie, and suggested that council should hold a special meeting if need be. “We don’t want to miss it and we need our comments ready to go.” Others around the council table stated that they would be happy submitting comments similar to those sent to Pattern Renewable Holdings and Samsung Renewable Energy for the Armow Wind Project. Read article  Posted in Municipalities of Ontario, Wind Industry	| Leave a comment | Edit	 Six Nations man posts trespassing notices near wind turbine sites Posted on 03/30/2013	by windaction  Bill MontureJennifer Vo, The Sachem Six Nations resident Bill Monture said he is resorting to using Ontario’s law in an attempt to stop Industrial Wind Turbines from coming into the Haldimand and Six Nations area. “All we’re doing is standing up for what’s rightfully ours,” said Monture. “The Mother Earth is our mother. She’s our life giver. She’s our sustenance. Yet, what are we doing? We’re destroying her.”  Monture along with Six Nations resident Lester Green had noted in the past during the turbine appeal process that if the appeals didn’t follow through, native residents would put up trespassing signs on the land. Monture said the trespassing notices should hold up in court, as he said the sites of the proposed wind turbine projects in the county fall in the Haldimand Proclamation Nanfan Treaty area. He said that land is their traditional hunting area, and he believes that since trespassing is a law of Ontario, the Ontario Provincial Police should enforce it.  “My argument is that it’s a valid thing,” said Monture, citing incidents when he said trespassing notices have been put up on disputed land against non-natives and the charges stood in court. “Now, we’re putting up the same thing in here within our traditional hunting areas.” Cayuga Detachment Commander Inspector Phil Carter said the OPP would investigate every call that comes to them. Read article  Posted in Environmental, Ethics, First Nations, Human Rights, Take Action	| 3 Comments | Edit	 Watch out. It could happen in your community Posted on 03/30/2013	by windaction  Amherst Is2Alena Schram, Financial Post I love the look of serene, shimmering wind turbines standing sentry on a hill. Especially when they’re in some isolated place. In Europe. And green energy delights me. I’d like to bequeath my grandchildren a clean Earth. And the many billions of dollars they — and the government — will need to pay for it.  I’m resigned to our house value plummeting once the 36 turbines proposed for our small rural community are in place. Our children have promised to look after us when our nest egg suddenly evaporates. “You and Dad just need a bedroom and bathroom, Ma, and a blender in case you sometimes want steak!,” son Peter explained obligingly.  I even get that my neighbours who have signed contracts to have turbines installed on their land —­ especially those tethered to hardscrabble family farms — regard turbine payouts as their pension incomes.  I am, in short, a progressive, responsible, ecologically sound, live-and-let-live sort of person. I do my live-and-let-living on an idyllic island near Kingston, where the Presbyterians still hold Strawberry Socials each summer; the Anglicans still host Turkey Dinners in autumn; and where, if you go into hospital for even a night, you’d better have a freezer empty enough to hold the casseroles your neighbours will deliver to your door. Read article  Posted in Ethics, Green Energy Act	| 2 Comments | Edit	 New PC Wind Turbine Petition – Please print & gather signatures! Posted on 03/30/2013	by windaction  sign-the-petition1PETITION (Please print and get signatures!) To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:  Whereas, residents and municipalities across Ontario want the ability to veto and/or plan for industrial wind turbines in their community; And Whereas, ratepayers in Ontario want all forms of energy generation to be affordable, and reliable; And Whereas, residents of Ontario want the feed-in tariff program to be eliminated; And Whereas, residents of Ontario want to protect environmentally sensitive areas like the Niagara Escarpment and the Oak Ridges Moraine from the development of wind turbines; We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows: That the Liberal government support Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson’s private members bill the Ensuring Affordable Energy Act, and call committee hearings immediately on the bill.  Ensuring Affordable Energy Act Petition Please return ORIGINALS to Lisa Thompson, MPP for presentation in the Ontario Legislature: Room 430, Main Legislative Building, Toronto, ON M7A 1A8 408 Queen St., PO Box 426, Blyth, ON N0M 1H0 807 Queen St., Unit 2, Kincardine, ON N2Z 2Y2 www.lisathompsonmpp.ca  Posted in Ontario Election, Ontario government, Take Action	| 1 Comment | Edit	 Wind power is all about subsidies not green energy Posted on 03/30/2013	by windaction  1297394437153_ORIGINALCelia R. Papertzian, Belleville EMC I would like to provide an explanation to those of you who question the anti-wind turbine opposition movement in Ontario. Having been involved in the fight to stop around 37 industrial wind turbines (each 156 meters/515 feet high) on Amherst Island, west of Kingston, for the last few years, I have gained considerable insight into the issues.  First, the surge of industrial wind power development in Ontario isn’t really about fighting climate change. As usual, it is about money subsidies. The multitude of wind companies developing industrial wind facilities around the Great Lakes are not operated by idealistic entrepreneurs but by giant corporations. The wind lobby is very powerful and there are huge profits to be made.  Put these interests together with politicians who pursue agendas that are not well considered (and not fiscally enlightened) and we have a “wind rush.”  Unfortunately for us, our politicians have put the cart before the horse in the case of renewable energy in Ontario and we will all pay for it as huge increases in our electricity bills. Consider this: Ontario has an aging grid and no storage system for surplus power. Read article  Posted in OWR	| 7 Comments | Edit	 Sun News: Anti-wind turbine protestors greet Premier Wynne Posted on 03/30/2013	by windaction  Sun News Anti-wind turbine protestors told Premier Kathleen Wynne that the turbines are ruining their lives. Rebecca Thompson reports on all the details.ctvclinton  Posted in Ontario government, Protest, Take Action	| 8 Comments | Edit	 CAW turbine is turning Posted on 03/30/2013	by windaction  CAW protestOwen Sound Times A Canadian Auto Workers’ wind turbine that has sparked protests, petitions and a strong public backlash is now in full operation in Saugeen Shores. The turbine, at the union’s Family Education Centre in Port Elgin, was turned on and the blades began spinning at about 12:30 p.m. Monday, according to Ken Bondy, the CAW’s national health, safety and environment co-ordinator. “It was a long time coming for us, about nine years from the initial thought process,” he said Tuesday in an interview. He said the turbine is expected to generate enough “green energy” to offset 350 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.  While the union is celebrating the “milestone” — it is the first union-owned and operated wind turbine in Canada — opponents of the project are still fuming. Karen Hunter, spokeswoman for Saugeen Turbine Operation Policy (STOP), said the group is “extremely disappointed” the CAW has decided to “roll the dice and take a chance on our health and their own employees’ health. “They’ve chosen to ignore the massive evidence that turbines located too close to people destroy health. Their decision to start the turbine shows that the CAW’s priorities are money first, people second.” She said STOP will continue to be involved in “noise monitoring and legal action.”  STOP and other opponents of the CAW turbine say it is too close to homes and, as a result, threatens the health and safety of many people and reduces the value of nearby residential properties. About 100 homes are within 550 metres of the turbine, which is the minimum setback in the Green Energy Act. The turbine is exempt from the act since approval was granted before it became law. Read article  Posted in Ethics, Protest, Safety, Setbacks	| 10 Comments | Edit	 GOOD News! Clean Breeze & Collie Hill wind projects cancelled!! Posted on 03/29/2013	by windaction  ontario_cannot_afford_to_bet_its_future_on_windpower go4-Traders [excerpt] Ontario Projects Update – Wind Works is continuing to work with Sprott Power in order to close the transaction that is subject to the signed Letter of Intent announced on October 29, 2012.  In the meantime, Wind Works has decided to discontinue the development of the Clean Breeze and Collie Hill projects in Ontario due to insufficient economics. Read article ———————————————–  From the Alliance for the Protection of the Northumberland Hills. April 11 Meeting is still on in Baltimore! Although developer Windworks has cancelled its proposed Clean Breeze projects, there is an ongoing risk that they or other developers will attempt to gain approval in our community. This meeting is an important opportunity to hear from qualified speakers about the various issues and have your questions answered. The Alliance for the Protection of the Northumberland Hills is committed to supporting efforts of all rural Ontario communities to resist wind turbines. We have aligned with our neighbours, including those on the environmentally sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine, to raise awareness and communicate our opposition.  Posted in Viability, Wind Industry	| 4 Comments | Edit	 Kincardine to set aside up to $100,000 for possible turbine noise study Posted on 03/29/2013	by windaction  wind-farm-noise-mapBarb McKay, Kincardine Independent Kincardine will establish a fund to conduct independent noise studies on industrial wind turbines to ensure they are in compliance with provincial regulations. The motion, introduced by councillor Jacqueline Faubert, set off a heated debate amongst council members during last Wednesday’s meeting. “I feel really, really positive about this motion,” she said. “This is an area where we have some say, where we otherwise have had obstacles and barriers.”  The motion requires the Municipality to set aside up to $100,000 per year from municipal tax revenue from the Armow Wind Project to be placed in a reserve fund. The money would be used, if needed, to hire professionals to conduct independent studies on Armow wind turbines to make sure that noise levels are within provincially-mandated limits (40 decibels at a minimum setback of 550 metres from neighbouring properties).  Faubert said that she had hoped that the project’s developers, Pattern Renewable Holdings and Samsung Renewable Energy, would have agreed to fund independent noise studies when the memorandum of understanding was being worked out with the Municipality. The companies agreed to fund an independent review of their own noise report. Read article  Posted in Health, Municipalities of Ontario, Noise	| 2 Comments | Edit	 Survey & Petition: respect the will of the residents of Amherst Island Posted on 03/29/2013	by windaction      12 More Signatures Needed!     Sign The Petition     Fill in The Survey  A Petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario  To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:  Whereas, there is significant evidence that the proposed wind turbine project for Amherst Island will have long term negative consequences for the environment, health and prosperity of Islanders;  And Whereas, the Green Energy Act pays exorbitant subsidies that will benefit a few at significant cost to the many, to create power that is unneeded, and that the majority of residents have expressed their opposition to the project;  We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows: That the Liberal government now respect the will of the residents of Amherst Island, and cancel the contract with Algonquin power immediately. [Amherst Is] [Amherst Is3]  Posted in Ontario government, Take Action	| 12 Comments | Edit	 Wind development planned near Grand Bend Posted on 03/29/2013	by windaction  Grand BendBy Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer Aamjiwnaang First Nation officials gathered Thursday to celebrate the community’s investment in a $380-million wind farm near Grand Bend. Aamjiwnaang and Bkejwanong First Nation at Walpole Island have each taken 25% shares in Northland Power’s Grand Bend Wind Farm project.  “We’re expecting a large influx of generated revenue from the project,” said Aamjiwnaang Chief Chris Plain. “It’s going to create some opportunities for us for further development in the community … we’re excited about those opportunities.”  Northland CEO John Brace said construction could begin as early as this fall on up to 48 turbines planned for Huron County. The company has a contract to sell power from the wind farm into the province’s electricity grid and is now awaiting provincial approvals. “We’re aiming for being online and in full production by the end of next year,” Brace said. He said a pair of provincial programs helped make the partnership with the First Nations possible. One program adds an incentive to the price paid for the energy generated by renewable projects involving First Nations. The second is Ontario’s Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program that helps First Nations borrow money to investment in renewable energy projects. Read article  Posted in OWR	| 3 Comments | Edit	 “Voluntary” notice of permission from MNR to harm, harass & destroy Bobolink habitat Posted on 03/29/2013	by windaction  BOBO-Bobolink_Photo_by_Bill_Schmoker-www_schmoker_org_fsEnvironmental Registry EDP Renewables, permit for activities with conditions to achieve overall benefit to the species – ESA s.17(2)(c) — This notice was originally published on March 28, 2013.  Members of the public are invited to submit their written comments by April 29, 2013 by email to sar.kemptville@ontario.ca and quote ER number 011-8655 in the subject line.  Rationale for Exemption to Public Comment: This proposal is exempted by Ontario Regulation 681/94 under the Environmental Bill of Rights as a classified proposal for an instrument, because the species for which the permit is sought is an animal. The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is voluntarily posting this notice to advise the public of the proposal and to invite the public to submit written comments on this proposal to the contact person identified in this notice.  Description: EDP Renewables has submitted a proposal in relation to an overall benefit permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) with respect to Bobolink in order to construct a 30 megawatt wind farm near the community of Brinston, in the Geographic Townships of Edwardsburgh and Matilda, Ontario. Read more  Posted in Bats and Birds, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario government	| 6 Comments | Edit	 CTV News: Could wind developments impact tundra swan visits? Posted on 03/29/2013	by windaction  CTV Newsctvswans  Posted in Bats and Birds	| 1 Comment | Edit	 CALL TO ACTION  CALL TO ACTION  Sign board seen on Townsend Line , in Lambton Shores, near Arkona Ontario  Image | Posted on 03/28/2013	by windaction | Leave a comment | Edit	 Menacing turbines Posted on 03/28/2013	by windaction  They even have sharp teeth!? Wind Turbine pictures from Haldimand County, ON. [DSC03845-2-1] [DSC03849] [DSC03823] [DSC03825] [DSC03846-2]  Posted in Wind Industry	| 11 Comments | Edit	 Day 6 of Ostrander Point — More cross-examination of Dr. Catling Posted on 03/28/2013	by windaction  Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasinby Henri Garand, CCSAGE Monday’s ERT hearing was largely a reprise of the cross-examination Dr. Paul Catling had already endured by the Ministry of Environment’s lawyer.  Gilead’s Cross-examination This time Gilead Power’s chief lawyer, Douglas Hamilton, conducted Dr. Catling’s five-hour ordeal. The questions were all about field notes vs. final reports, research methodologies and sample sizes, and botanical vs. engineering issues:      When had Dr. Catling visited Ostrander Point? How long had he stayed? Which parts had he visited? Who accompanied him? Why were certain plant species listed in the two articles he had written on Ostrander Point, but were not recorded in his field notes? How did his field notes relate to the habitat and plant communities he had described?     Had Dr. Catling read one or another Stantec report prepared for Gilead Power? Was he familiar with the mitigation measures proposed? Read article  Posted in Environmental, Environmental Review Tribunal, Legal, Ontario government, Wind Industry	| 2 Comments | Edit	 LFPress: Wind issue won’t blow away for Wynne Posted on 03/27/2013	by windaction  London Free Press clinton  Posted in Ontario government, Protest, Take Action	| Leave a comment | Edit	 Protesters worried about migrating tundra swans Posted on 03/27/2013	by windaction  swan protestTerry Heffernan, Special to the Times-Advocate GRAND BEND — About 70 people were in attendance at a protest Sunday of the planned installation of wind turbines in or around the Thedford Bog near the Lambton County Museum.  At issue is the tundra swans that use the bog to rest and feed on their way from their wintering grounds in Chesapeake Bay to the Arctic shores breeding grounds. Protesters believe that building turbines in the bog will disrupt the flight path of the swans and they will disappear from the area and never return as long as the turbines are in place.  Before the turbines get final approval, members of the Trees Not Turbines on Ontario’s West Coast, Ontario Wind Resistance, Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group, WAIT Plympton-Wyoming and Wind Concerns Ontario are attempting to convince NextEra to stop the turbine invasion in the area. Read article  Posted in Bats and Birds, Protest, Take Action	| Leave a comment | Edit	 Hmm…OPA says they don’t have a map of the wind projects either… the search continues Posted on 03/27/2013	by windaction  question-markThe OPA does not currently have a map of all OPA contracted wind facilities.  There is a map of renewable generation on the Ministry of Energy’s website, however, it does not list all OPA contracted facilities, as well, it lists certain projects that are not contracted by the OPA. This is not an OPA map so we cannot verify it’s accuracy.  http://www.energy.gov.on.ca/en/ontarios-electricity-system/new-energy-projects/  Best regards, The microFIT Team  Posted in Ethics, Ministry of Energy, Ontario government	| 14 Comments | Edit	 Thompson not big on Wynne’s visit Posted on 03/27/2013	by windaction  1297394437125_ORIGINALThe Dock 92.3 No surprise that the new Liberal premier didn’t get the warmest of greetings when she visited rural southwestern Ontario yesterday.  Kathleen Wynne made stops in Middlesex and Huron Counties wearing both her premier and Ag Minister hats.  In Clinton she took part in an agri-food round table after announcing a new risk management program for the corn-fed beef industry.  Something Huron Bruce Tory M-P-P Lisa Thompson doesn’t think much of…says the ten million dollar announcement isn’t really a new idea… Thompson  Thompson also says she’s anxious to see how Wynne does with the agriculture portfolio… Thompson  And as expected…Wynne was greeted by a group of wind turbine protestors at her Clinton stop. Read article  Posted in Ontario government, Protest	| 2 Comments | Edit	 Pettapiece demands moratorium on wind farm development Posted on 03/27/2013	by windaction  Posted in Municipalities of Ontario, Ontario government	| 3 Comments | Edit	 PC’s introduce “Ensuring Affordable Energy Act” Posted on 03/27/2013	by windaction  Lisa ThomsonMPP Lisa Thompson You have been clear—and Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak and the PC Caucus has listened. We need to do something immediately about industrial wind turbines in our communities.  I was proud to introduce the Ensuring Affordable Energy Act today.  We know that energy issues; particularly wind turbine issues have been of great concern in many communities, including my own riding of Huron-Bruce. The Ensuring Affordable Energy Act addresses many of these issues.  The Ensuring Affordable Energy Act contains six key pillars:      Wind turbines will only be placed in willing host communities, and municipalities will be given full veto over wind turbine projects in their communities;     Wind power must be affordable—meaning the cost per kilowatt hour must line up with other sources of generation;     The costly feed-in tariff (FIT) program will be eliminated;     Municipalities will have the ability to decide whether or not they want to promote wind energy;     The Niagara Escarpment and the Oak Ridges Moraine will be protected from wind turbines; and     Municipalities will receive their planning powers for renewable energy back Continue reading →  Posted in Ministry of Energy, Ontario government	| 38 Comments | Edit	 McMurtry commentary on Chapman “nocebo” paper Posted on 03/27/2013	by windaction  McMurtryDr. Robert McMurtry ‘Spatio-temporal differences in the history of health and noise complaints about Australian wind farms: evidence for the psychogenic, “communicated disease” hypothesis.’ Pre-Print: submitted for publication. Chapman S et al. 15 March 2013 This paper appears to require more vigorous editing or peer review in regards to its bibliography and many other elements (see below). The references are highly selective and appear to reflect a confirmation bias by referencing industry and their consultants sources while omitting more than 20 peer review publications regarding the presence of adverse health effects in the environs of industrial wind turbines.  The introductory section has an editorial tone disclaiming the validity of reports before the research is undertaken. It has the appearance of stating the conclusions of the enquiry before critical analysis. The bias evident in this section undermines any claim to objectivity by the authors, particularly the senior author who has been making these same claims on his active “Crikey” blog site. The title of one the articles cited on the blog Simon Chapman states: “Latest wind farm research is a load of hot air”. The date of the article is October 14, 2011. This statement provides an insight into the senior author’s bias. He had reached the principle conclusion of his paper before publishing the research. Read article  Posted in Health	| 2 Comments | Edit	 Warden worried about second wave of wind energy; 900 turbines possible in southern Ontario Posted on 03/27/2013	by windaction  CHATHAM - KENT ONTARIO KRUGER ENERGY PORT ALMA WIND FROM MERLIN ROAD 5Sarnia Lambton Independent Lambton County Warden Todd Case is worried southwestern Ontario will be flooded with industrial wind turbines when the provincial government offers energy contracts to large companies soon. He wants the provincial government to rethink the green energy agenda before awarding any more contracts to produce power.  Case was recently in Windsor at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainability Conference. He visited a wind turbine plant in the city where the talk was about the province’s next round of announcements for the Feed In Tariff (FIT) projects to large energy companies. Case says industry leaders expect that next round will place hundreds of turbines in southern Ontario and that has him worried.  “There are rumblings from the government there will be about 900 expected in (the region) the second process,” says Case. Read article  Posted in Green Energy Act, Municipalities of Ontario, Ontario government	| 2 Comments | Edit	 Support sought for wind turbine moratorium Posted on 03/27/2013	by windaction  kids signsBy Barbara Simpson, Sarnia Observer SARNIA - A concerned Lambton County resident is calling on the local public school board to support a moratorium on industrial wind turbines being built within the school board district. Plympton-Wyoming resident Keith Douglas said the board needs to act especially since wind projects are being proposed for sites near two Lambton Kent District schools.  Scientific research shows wind turbines generate both audible and inaudible noise, which could potentially impact the health of students and teachers, Douglas told trustees. “Closing the windows in a school will not keep (low frequency sound) away from the children or teachers,” he said, adding low frequency sound has been linked to cases of motion sickness and disorientation. Suncor Energy Products is proposing to erect as many as 46 turbines in the area of Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township. Read article  Posted in Health, Human Rights, Take Action	| 2 Comments | Edit	 MOE Field Officer: “We were told no.” Posted on 03/27/2013	by windaction  Ontario Ministry of Environment Officer Martin McConnochie November 29, 2012 at the home of a person affected by wind turbines. He explains why he could not measure the noise of the wind turbines on a particularly windy/noisy night. More evidence of corruption in this wind energy scandal.  Posted in Ethics, Human Rights, Ministry of the Environment Ontario, Noise, Ontario government, Protest	| 13 Comments | Edit	 Brockton Passes Turbine Motions Posted on 03/27/2013	by windaction  1_fullsizeBlackburn News Brockton is testing the new Premier to see if she’ll keep her word. Council approved two motions recently. The first calls for a peer review of the health study conducted by Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health and the second calls for a moratorium on the construction of any new turbines. Councillor Anne-Louise Gibbons says they want to see if Premier Kathleen Wynne is true to her word. There are no plans yet for any wind developments in Brockton but Gibbons says when they come they want to be ready.  Posted in Municipalities of Ontario	| 4 Comments | Edit	 CTV News: Wind activists make noise at Wynne event

London Free Press
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Sun News

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Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne greeted by anti-wind protesters in Clinton

1297394437125_ORIGINALBy Chip Martin, The London Free Press
She faced a hostile crowd of about 80 wind-turbine opponents later in Clinton, when she arrived to address a roundtable on agricultural issues sponsored by the Huron Chamber of Commerce. Huron-Bruce riding, which takes in Clinton, is considered hostile territory for Wynne and the Liberals because of opposition to turbines.

In the 2011 election, the riding opted against returning agriculture minister Carol Mitchell as MPP, a reflection of the fight against her party’s energy policies that have left 1,100 industrial wind turbines dotting rural Ontario with thousands more planned. “I am aware there are people outside who are angry,” Wynne said after running a gauntlet of signs, chants and catcalls, some amplified by loud hailers. Security was tight.

“I met a lot of people who are concerned about placement of wind turbines and how we could have a better process,” Wynne told the crowd of 100. Earlier, she told her Lucan audience Energy Minister Brad Duguid is modifying the approvals process for wind farms. The Liberals took away local control over where the massive wind turbines can be built, angering many in rural areas. Wynne said in Clinton she was in farm country to listen and she spent time over lunch hearing concerns of the chamber guests. Read article

Greta Thompson writes to Premier, politicians

greta thompsonBy Bob Boughner, Chatham Daily News
[Excerpt] “I know how many good people there are in our rural farm communities and I believe farmers do care about their neighbours,” she said. ‘We can do better together.” Thompson said she considered selling her home in south Chatham-Kent because of nearby turbines but has been told she would have to list it for 50 to 55% of her investment or 30 to 40% of replacement value.

Thompson has also asked the Power Authority and Ministry of Environment to not allow the two closet turbines to her home to be activated until there is proof they won’t interfere with her husband’s ICD heart implant and until her other concerns have been satisfactorily addressed and resolved.

Thompson said she is opposed to any cash payments to municipalities, local residents and community trust funds by wind turbine companies. “If they believe something has to be done to address identified or perceived adverse impacts and feel some obligation to do something, any money made available should be used for physical protection and enhancement of the rural environment and rural family heritage,” she said. Read article

Ontario wind farms are really wind factories

CHTHAM KENT ONTARIO  BORALEX FRONT LINE WIND FROM HWY3 TABLOT TRAILJim Merriam, London Free Press
The twin counties of Bruce and Grey, which lie south of Georgian Bay and west of Lake Huron, have been the source of much of rural Ontario’s opposition to wind factory developments. These developments are commonly called wind farms, but wind factories is a more accurate description.

The opposition to turbines spread across the province just about as fast as the giant turbines started to crop up. Since Ontario has been in the throes of a rush to wind power for a number of years, that was fast indeed. The breadth of the opposition to wind turbines is nowhere better documented than in the results of the last provincial election when voters across rural and much of northern Ontario turned their backs on the McGuinty government. They did so largely because of the way local planning controls were neutered so wind factories could be forced down rural throats.

A major argument against wind factory developments is the adverse effects they have on the health of nearby residents. Provincial health officials gave no credence to those concerns and news releases to that effect from 2010 still show up when you search the topic on government websites. Read article

MPP waiting for proof of Liberals intention to change

PW- WAIT BaileyHeather Wright, Sarnia Lambton Independent
[excerpt]  But he [Bob Bailey] says details of how much say communities will have in wind energy projects may come sooner. The Rural Ontario Municipal Association meets next week in Mississauga and many Ontario cabinet ministers will be there. “I would expect to see the details there because it those are the people they have to convince,” says Bailey adding the province has made similar statements before the legislature prorogued without giving details. “We’re not convinced they’re going to do anything…We’re not going to take them at their word because they haven’t done it yet.”

Bailey was also disappointed that the Premier – who named herself Agriculture Minister saying she was committed to helping rural Ontario – only used the word agriculture once while writing the speech. “It is such a big and important part of the Ontario economy; it is a lot larger than the auto sector…it contributes $15billion to Ontario’s economy… you’d think there would be more than one mention in the throne speech.” Read article

Casino logic should be applied to green energy

IMG_1648Peter Epp, Chatham Daily News
Premier Kathleen Wynne wants to see more autonomy in provincial decisions that could impact municipalities, and as an example says the extension of casino gambling into a new community should not happen without the consent of local government. Good for her.

Now if our new premier would only apply that same logic to her government’s Green Energy Policy, communities in Southwestern Ontario might begin to believe that their concerns over wind turbines aren’t being ignored by Queen’s Park.

But as it stands right now, those concerns are being ignored. Despite its outrageous expense and dubious benefit to the public, the most troubling aspect of the Liberals’ green energy legislation has been its ability to circumvent the local will of Ontario’s citizens. Local planners and local government have absolutely no control over the location or approval of wind turbines.

True, municipalities in mid-2012 were extended the privilege of providing a small comment on impending projects… but that’s it. That comment has little or no bearing on whether or not a turbine project is approved. That decision is made in Toronto only. Read article

Rural issues go beyond agriculture

watford protest2Jim Merriam, Chatham Daily News
Would it be Premier-Agriculture Minister Kathleen Wynne? Or does Agriculture Minister-Premier Kathleen Wynne sound better? No matter how you slice them, it is difficult to make the two titles work together. But how you say them is but a tiny problem in comparison to how you combine the two jobs and do them both well.

Wynne mentioned after she won the Liberal leadership she would serve a term as agriculture minister. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Under Premier Dalton McGuinty, agriculture was no more than an afterthought. Time and again the policies of the ag ministry worked against, instead of for, farmers.

On one hand, the ministry hit small abattoirs in the province with such burdensome and often ridiculous regulations that many closed. At the same time, the government was promoting local food — you know, eat food produced within 100 kilometres of home to help local farmers. With no abattoir within 300 km, that becomes pretty difficult.

But those are only part of the concerns. The full name of the ministry is the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs or OMAFRA. As much as agriculture and food production are in serious need of attention, there are major issues under the broader “rural” heading.

Main among these is the placement of wind turbines, an issue that has torn communities, rural churches and even families apart. In addition, the government has trampled the democratic rights of rural residents in its attempts to kiss up to overseas corporations that bring us the giant wind turbines. Read article

Wynne isn’t fooling rural residents

rural ontarioBy Christina Blizzard, London Free Press
Some of Kathleen Wynne’s best friends are farmers. Seriously. Don’t think of her as the premier-designate. Think of her as city slicker turned agriculture minister. In Toronto, she’s the cool downtown gay negotiator. In the country, she’s the Wellington boot-wearing, down-to-earth, carrot-packing agriculture minister.

Heck, she probably calls square-dancing in her spare time. Wynne hauled reporters to Gwillimdale Farms in Bradford to tell us how much she likes farming and how her dad used to go to a farm every summer and how she still knows people who are farmers. She likes them. She really likes them.

City slickers call it bafflegab. Farmers call it horse manure. Or words to that effect. Either way, it’s going to take a lot more than a photo-op with tractors for Wynne to undo the damage the Liberals have done to rural Ontario. “I’m very serious about this,” she told reporters. “I’ve made it my business to get to understand what goes on in rural Ontario and in the agriculture community.”

Oh, please. The Grits have destroyed a way of life. The countryside has been blighted with ugly wind turbines that have not just destroyed the landscape, but are also part of the Green Energy Act that’s pushed up the price of electricity to astronomical levels and thereby pushed up the cost of farming. Read article

Wind Turbine Protest Toronto Jan 2013

Former Liberal (Pro-turbine) MPP Maria Van Bommel to provide “rural insight”…ahem…

VanBommelBothSidesBy Tara Jeffrey, Sarnia Observer
Maria Van Bommel is hoping to be a voice for rural Ontario now that she’s part of an advisory team to incoming premier Kathleen Wynne. “It’s not every day the premier calls you directly and asks for your participation,” said the former Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP. “I take it as a real opportunity to present rural Ontario to the premier and hope it will have some impact in bettering communications.”

Van Bommel was one of several key players named to a transition team that Wynne says will help shape her government. Others include Arnold Chan, vice president, Aboriginal Affairs and General Counsel, former Toronto mayor David Crombie, and Lyn McLeod, Ontario Liberal Party leader from 1992 to 1996.

“I’m in very impressive company here,” said Van Bommel, pointing to a series of upcoming meetings for the group, as Wynne prepares to open the Ontario legislature on Feb. 19. For years, the Middlesex County resident has operated the family farm with her husband. Van Bommel says her contacts within the farm community will help strengthen the relationship between the premier’s office and rural Ontario. Read article

Wind turbines: that rural Ontario “thing”

IMG_0510Dear Ms. Wynne,

Now that we have gotten this “Toronto thing” out of the way; let’s get this rural Ontario “thing” – wind turbines – out of the way. We want a moratorium and answers to our questions as to why so many people are being adversely affected. We will not accept replies that are condescending and dismissive.

Dr. Michael Nissenbaum, one of the authors of “Effects Of Industrial Wind Turbine Noise On Sleep And Health ,2012” – theMars Hill epidemiological study, says it best:

“If someone came into a doctor’s office and said they have chest pain and the physician said ‘It’s all in your head,’ without investigating, that would be the height of malpractice. It’s the same thing if patients are complaining of sleep disturbances and other ill effects, and off the top of your head you claim they’re making it up and it’s about the way the turbines look, especially when there’s a known, plausible mechanism for why people could be affected. There’s nothing magical about the effect that people are sleeping poorly due to the noise. There’s nothing difficult to understand or fantastical. Nothing stretches your belief.”

This whole issue has always been about ethics and what the application of the practical limits are of harm – i.e., what you can reasonably accept in the way of harm of the rural population.

I would hope that instead you will want to know why it is, despite the all the excuses of the wind industry and the MOE, that people still are being affected? Why are there increasing reports of vertigo and nausea with the latest projects?

The first step to getting those answers is a moratorium on construction of projects. That would be a real show of understanding and respect for rural Ontario.

And, instead of becoming the Minister of Agriculture, you should create and head a new Ministry, “The Ministry of Ethics” to oversee the other ministries.

We need a Minister to protect us from the Ministers.

Sincerely,

Harvey Wrightman
Adelaide/Metcalfe Twp

“Pay attention. We vote”

lfp1London Free Press
“Pay attention. We vote.”
That’s the overriding message The Free Press heard during a 600-km road trip through Southwestern Ontario’s heartland as Ontario Liberals get set to choose a new leader and premier this weekend.

The 10-riding region is largely an ocean of Tory blue, with a two-seat Liberal island. Little wonder some residents feel they’re afterthoughts to Queen’s Park policies on wind turbines, education, job creation and other issues.

We hit the road with the question: If you had one message for Ontario’s new leader, what would it be? Here are some of their answers.
[excerpts]
RIDING: Chatham-Kent-Essex
PARTY LEANINGS
: Strong Liberal loyalties, even against a Tory tide, but voted Conservative last time.
ISSUES: Turbine towers, farming are rural hot buttons, with boom-and-bust manufacturing sector underpinning the urban economy.
Wayne Glassford, Muirkirk- A power struggle — its source, availability and cost — is frustrating Glassford in his plans to add a dryer and storage facility to his corn-growing operation. A line of turbines starts just south of the Agris co-op where he’s parked himself to check out grain trends, but somehow it’s still too expensive to get sufficient, reliable power to his farm a few kilometres north. “Energy is what this all revolves around. How to generate it, how to distribute it and how to make sure we make best use of it. We need equitable distribution of energy within the province so that all people have access to it, and access to it within a reasonable price level.”

RIDING: Sarnia-Lambton
PARTY LEANINGS
: Has a Conservative MPP now but the riding has been known to vote against the provincial tide.
ISSUES: Announced closings of Sarnia jail, Hiawatha Horse Park, coal-fired generation plant. Natural gas power plant to be built; ethanol, solar, wind economies growing.
Jean-Guy LePage, Wyoming – Wind turbines are the big issue, with hundreds either planned or built within half-hour drive of his home. “I don’t think it’s working, the windmills. I think it’s bad for the health. It devalues your property.”

RIDING: Lambton-Kent-Middlesex
PARTY LEANINGS
: Conservative now, but historical voting preferences all over the map.
ISSUES: With no community populations larger than 14,000, this is one of the largest ridings in region. Wind turbines, farm policy and education dominate political landscape.
Christopher Thorne, Kerwood – He’s baking tea biscuits for his two children as they return early from school. His daughter, having had to forgo her favourite school sports, is worried about the fate of her Grade 8 graduation party and school trip. Meanwhile, Thorne’s anxiety grows about a wind turbine that will soon sprout in the cornfield behind their country kitchen. To the soft-spoken Thorne, both issues have a common theme: his children. “This is my backyard and we bought this house to bring our kids up in a safe area.” McGuinty forced turbines on rural residents and will leave before he sees their impact; he imposed a teacher contract and then left parents, kids and teachers to sort it all out. “I think he came in and made a mess and then walked away with his tail between his legs.”
Phil Patterson, Strathroy – Gardenia Restaurant is the unofficial gathering spot for town pundits and local and visiting politicians. Patterson, the cook here, rarely gets to speak his mind but he wonders why none of the politicians seem to bring spending under control. “The onus is on the people to bail out (politicians’) bad decisions.” He’s annoyed that wind turbines have been forced upon surrounding communities despite neighbours’ objections.

Riding: Perth–Wellington
PARTY LEANINGS
: There have only been two elections since the riding was founded in 2003. It’s Conservative now, but the first election went Liberal.
ISSUES: St. Marys, Stratford, Minto and Mapleton all fall within Perth–Wellington’s boundaries. The towns are full of independent businesses, and soaring hydro expenses have put an extra strain on small business owners.
Ron Cottrell, St. Marys – Cottrell has chocolate on his apron, which is just one of the perils of owning The Chocolate Factory. But making the sweets requires more than getting your hands dirty — it also means using a fair bit of electricity. “We’ve noticed a sizable increase in our hydro bills,” Cottrell says. He says small-town businesses already fight to keep customers from heading into nearby cities and rising expenses are an added strain. He hopes a new premier could bring relief from the rising costs. “Take another look at how much the whole green energy thing is going to be costing consumers and business people.”

RIDING: Huron–Bruce
PARTY LEANINGS
: A Conservative win in 2011 turned the tide after two Liberal victories, but Huron-Bruce was blue in the late 90s, too.
ISSUES: Wind farms have been sprouting up across Southwestern Ontario, and Huron–Bruce is no different. The turbines are championed for their clean energy but have caused debate as many worry about their effects on property values, health and scenery.
Steve Olley, Zurich – Huron–Bruce envelops kilometres of Lake Huron’s scenic shores, but the beautiful horizon might soon be dotted with energy-producing turbines. “Many of the local people think that it’s going to completely destroy the beauty of our area,” says Olley. “I would say the population is pretty split as to if this is a good thing or not.” While he worries the wind farms could wreck the area’s natural beauty, he recognizes the importance of green energy. He says he hopes a new premier will still put up new turbines — just somewhere else. “Find areas that maybe not so many people live in, you know? Not so many people would be affected by what you’re going to do.” Read article

Somewhere west of Brampton . . .

rural ontarioPeter Epp, Chatham Daily News
[excerpt] The fact that Wynne would use the “rural card” shows how desperate she must be. The agriculture ministry was fiscally gutted by former Premier Mike Harris in 1999, and that status was upheld by successor Ernie Eves and then by Premier Dalton McGuinty. It remains a mystery why Wynne would measure her possible success in Southwestern Ontario by promising to head up a ministry whose influence at Cabinet has been greatly diminished. It further suggests that she knows very little about the province as it exists west of Brampton.

It’s this kind of political paternalism that remains so offensive to Ontarians who don’t live in Toronto. Agriculture is a large part of the economy in this region, but so is the automotive, manufacturing and petro-chemical industries. And we also have more wind turbines than any other part of Ontario, a direct product of the Liberal government’s Green Energy Policy.

Wynne said she wants to address the issue of wind turbines, but in typical Toronto-Speak said her role as premier would be to better convince the people of Southwestern Ontario that wind turbines are good for us. She obviously doesn’t question her government’s judgment in introducing legislation that has changed our landscape forever, created divisions in some communities, and raised questions about health and safety.

And Wynne wonders why the Liberals failed in the last election to retain some seats in Southwestern Ontario? Read article

Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group meets with Wynne

Wynne_Visit_Jan_2013_2Strathroy MyFM
As the Liberal Leader Candidates tour Middlesex and Lambton, the Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group aren’t far behind. The local group were able to talk with Liberal Candidate Kathleen Wynne in Strathroy Saturday about the issue with wind turbines, but WAG Member Muriel Allingham wasn’t very convinced with what she had to say.

She added no matter who’s elected this weekend, they will be hearing from the Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group. Allingham says they have to be involved because they have to continue moving forward with this issue and we need to get a moratorium on further wind development until it is proven to be completely safe. (Listen here)