As always, I am looking forward to going back to Thunder Bay to stand with the folks who volunteer countless hours with the Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee (NMEPC) as they oppose Horizon Wind’s plans to clear cut and blast watershed protection lands to install industrial wind turbines. These turbines would tower 1200 feet over the community, when the height of the turbines and the escarpment are factored in and are irresponsibly close to humans.
The environmental devastation required to build this project is something not seen in southern Ontario and is something that I can only describe as shocking. Having seen the results of clear cutting and blasting for industrial wind development underway in Dorion Ontario near the Ouimet Canyon, and being able to visit the proposed site for Horizon’s project, I see no responsible way anyone can argue any environmental benefit with this kind of development. Each turbine site requires the clearing of a full hectare of land. In Dorion, the developer used something like four hundred dynamite blast caps per turbine location. Under Horizon’s plan they will clear cut and blast 150 acres of pristine, untouched, until now protected escarpment under a deal that will see the City and ratepayers financially hosed for the privilege of enabling all of this (as the land owner) to happen.
The Green Energy Act has gutted the environmental planning process, and fails to recognize the genuine environmental uniqueness and significance in the North that is threatned by irresponsible developers who intend on bullying their way through the process and blasting their way through the environment.
I’m really happy to be heading back to Thunder Bay to lend my voice and the support of Wind Concerns Ontario to resident’s fight up there. It will be my third trip up since December 2010 and the start of Wind Concerns Ontario spring tour titled the ‘Truth about Turbines Tour’. It’s an ambitious project that will see events, meetings, marches and rallies throughout Ontario to raise awareness and organize opposition to this government’s industrial wind energy proposals. Wind Concerns Ontario can only do these kinds of things because of the thousands of volunteers on the ground in communities all over our province. It’s their strength and support that makes this all happen and it’s something not even the best industry strategy can defeat.
As the election approachs, its becoming clearer and clearer that should the Liberals choose not to back down, they will lose a number of seats on this issue as concerned citizens take political action in defense of their homes. I continue to be amazed by the lengths folks will go to stand up for what they know is right and am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from, meet and work with such an amazing range and diversity of people from all over our province.
Spending forty-four days on the road, travelling six-thousand kilometres, visiting thirty six communities, in sixteen Liberal, eight PC and one NDP riding is not how I intended to spend part of May and most of June, but is something I think is important, because of the hard work so many are doing to stand up for their communities. I look forward to doing my part to help, and to lay the ground work to defeat this government in the fall, should they decide to force a de facto referendum on this issue through their candidates.
Tags: Big Thunder Wind Park, Brad Duguid, Dalton McGuinty, Dorion, Green Energy Act, Horizon Wind Inc, Ontario Provincial Election, Ouimet Canyon, South Neebing, Thunder Bay, Truth about Turbines Tour, Wind Concerns Ontario, Wind Concerns Ontario Spring Tour, Wind Energy Opposition