Category Archives: Ontario Farmer

Frustrated rural residents complain at Queens Park about wind

Bill Wright of Wyoming with Monte McNaughton, MPP for the rural riding of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex.

April 5 –  Ontario Farmer

By Anne Howden Thompson – Rural residents frustrated with the provincial liberal government’s Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program took their concerns into the heart of Toronto’s financial district yesterday, staging a peaceful protest rally that attracted hundreds of protestors from across Ontario.

Held in Simcoe Park adjacent to the CBC headquarters, the location put the protestors on the immediate doorsteps of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and underneath a digital sign with rotating messages, including one featuring a wind turbine, saying “this screen is powered by green renewable power.”

The location of the rally was purposeful.

Inside the convention centre over 600 delegates were gathered for the two-day, sold out, third annual Ontario Feed-In Tariff Forum, the annual conference for FIT contract holders, developers, manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and government.

Despite strong opposition in some Ontario communities, the provincial Liberal government remains firmly committed to building a clean energy future that includes the FIT program, a guaranteed rate program that provides stable prices through long-term contracts for energy generated using renewable resources.

Since it was launched in 2009 the provincial Liberal government report that almost 2,000 small and large FIT projects have been approved through the program; enough to produce the electricity needed to power about 1.2 million homes.

The government released its FIT program two year review a few weeks ago, announcing they were be developing an accumulated point system for communities to ensure better community engagement. At that time, Ontario’s agriculture minister Ted McMeekin told Ontario Farmer he believes the changes would bode well for proposed community-based and/or community-owned projects.

“I think it would be pretty fair to suggest that (the point system) will preclude in most instances any project from proceeding that is not seen as being in the best interests of the area,” he said at that time.

But some residents of rural Ontario disagree.

Bill Wright of Wyoming made the trek into Toronto for the rally to signal his support for the anti-wind turbine movement. “It’s not an efficient use of money…and it is an intrusion on the people in the rural setting… I’m strongly, strongly against it,” he said. Wright says he has been growing more active, “day by day” in the anti-wind movement, saying a group of concerned citizens have formed an advocacy group in the Wyoming area that will operate under the umbrella of the Middlesex Lambton Wind Concerns group. “We are going to do everything we can do to fight this issue,” he told Ontario Farmer at the rally. Read the rest of this entry