Posts Tagged ‘Wind Energy’
Wind Concerns Ontario has successfully launched the latest province-wide organizing effort of 2011, this time with a strong election focus. Over the next forty or so days, Wind Concerns Ontario members in sixty seven ridings will be mobilized to actively work to defeat Liberal incumbents, and candidates in their respective ridings. I look forward to personally visiting over two dozen ridings to hold rallies, canvas blitzes and other events.
We pulled out of Toronto last night around midnight and didn’t roll into Owen Sound until 3am. I was pleased to visit the AM 560 CFOS studio again at 9am to talk with Manny Paiva about the problems with Dalton McGuinty’s industrial wind schemes. By 10:30am over fifty members of Wind Concerns Ontario groups from around Bruce-Grey Owen Sound had come to the pavilion at the very beautiful Harrison Park to formally launch Winds of Change, talk about the importance of the coming election and the need to elect good MPPs who will represent rural Ontario.
Although Bill Walker was unable to attend in person, he was kind enough to send a statement to be read on his behalf to the folks who were present and it was very well received. To make it clear that Wind Concerns Ontario means business about doing its part to ensure winds of change help blow the McGuinty Liberals from Queen’s Park, many of those who came for the morning went for a canvas after lunch.
I had a couple of other interviews about the Winds of Change tour, followed by a quiet afternoon to catch up on Wind Concerns Ontario stuff.
Tomorrow Bob Rae is going to be in Owen Sound, so we’ve decided to attend his event because as a former Federal Liberal Riding President, who did not vote Liberal for the first time federally in the last election, I’m curious how he can reconcile his desire to rebuild the Federal Liberals in rural Ontario, and support the re-election of Dalton McGuinty, whose government has ended local democracy, destroyed property values, harmed human health and the environment while selling out rural Ontario largely to Ontario Liberal Party donors and industrial wind welfare recipients.
If I get the chance to ask Rae, I will be sure to share how that goes.
By John Miner – London Free Press
After losing one round in court to the McGuinty government, anti-wind-turbine activists can sniff political victory in the air.
The wind energy issue has turned red hot in rural areas and there are enough people angry to bring down Liberal candidates, said John Laforet, president of Wind Concerns Ontario.
“Wind is a far hotter issue on the local level than anything else. The government did it to themselves because they took away local control,” Laforet said on the weekend during a break at Wind Concerns annual meeting in London.
Formed as a coalition in October 2008 with 22 organizations, the group that opposes wind farms now has 57 members.
“Our members are in 35 counties. We think we can play a significant role through direct political action,” Laforet said.
Wind Concerns Ontario is calling for a moratorium on all industrial wind projects until a health study is completed on their impact.
Once that’s done, the coalition wants the McGuinty government to return authority for approving wind turbine development to municipalities, something it stripped in the Green Energy Act.
That was a political blunder, according to Laforet, who was a Liberal party member and former Liberal riding president.
“I resigned to fight them on this issue,” he said.
Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak has pledged to return control over wind farms to municipalities.
Laforet said the coalition hasn’t endorsed any political party and won’t until platforms have been released.
“We are in talks with the Green party, the NDP and the PCs,” he said.
The anti-wind-turbine activists lost a court challenge in March over how close wind turbines can be from homes.
The court ruled the Ontario government had followed the proper process when it decided the turbines could be 550 metres away.
That ruling may be appealed.
While wind-turbine opponents met Saturday, the Canadian government announced it was investing $117,000 in a start-up company in Middlesex that will build foundation bases for wind turbines and solar installations.
DrillTech Canada is expected to create eight full-time jobs in its first two years of operation.No Comments »
Live chat on lfpress.com draws hundreds
By Jonathan Sher
Last Updated: December 13, 2010 4:12pm
It was the one question many asked of Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid — and one he dodged for the better part of an hour.
During a live chat on lfpress.com, Duguid was asked again and again by readers if he’d be willing to live next to wind turbines of the sort he is pushing across the province.
The question was asked so often it was raised a few more times by the live chat moderator, city editor Greg Van Moorsel.
But while Duguid wrote much about the benefits of wind power — more than 600 words over the course of 11 responses — he wrote nothing of whether he personally would be willing to live next to a turbine.
That led to much frustration among some readers who accused Duguid of ignoring concerns and simply repeating the exact same phrases he uses whenever he defends wind power and Ontario’s Green Energy Act.
“(The minister) can’t speak without cue cards,” wrote Maureen Anderson, an organizer of an umbrella organization representing dozens of anti-wind groups across Ontario, Wind Concerns Ontario.
It was the head of Wind Concerns Ontario, John Laforet, who joined Duguid in a live chat in which readers could write questions and comments.
The event generated so many responses that only a fraction could be posted in the chat.
While most who posted were opposed to wind energy, the split was closer among those who watched the chat and replied to online questions about wind power.
What was bracingly clear was this: Those on both sides of the debate believe wind power will be a force in the next Ontario election in Oct. 2011, with 84% responding to an online question saying turbines would affect how they voted.No Comments »
I was pleased to have the opportunity to write a piece for the Thomson Reuters Environment Forum on the reality of risk and investing in wind developments in Ontario and worldwide. Called ‘Caveat investor: Wind may let you down’ points out several ‘inconvenient truths’ investors, industry, their lobbyists and governments can choose to either address or not.
It serves as a great opportunity to get our message out to a far larger audience (Thomson Reuters is the world’s largest news service) and I hope will spark some healthy international debate on the merits of this industry and technology in light of the clear process and due diligence failures worldwide.No Comments »
All things above have been mused about me since my interview for the Toronto Star’s “McGuinty vows to stop wind-farm NIMBY’s”. I have since completed media interviews with Radio Canada, CBC French Television, and CBC Radio’s ‘Here and Now’ this afternoon. Unlike those who take shots at me, I have the courage to stand by what I say and have nothing to gain or lose by sharing them. For me it is principle, not principal.
To clear up each of the suggestions made about me in comments on the article or youtube videos of mine relating to the project, I will address each of these in order.
On Conservative Ties:
I am not and have never been on a Conservative Party Payroll. I’ve never voted Conservative, or supported a Conservative Candidate for public office. I have been on the Provincial Government payroll as a political staffer to a Liberal MPP and the little known Liberal Caucus Services Bureau. I have also been the President of a Federal Liberal Riding Association.
I am not a “not in my backyard” type. I don’t consider my backyard to be anywhere near 2-4 kilometres offshore. My friends in Guildwood aren’t NIMBY types either. It’s a nice label to throw around when you don’t have a response to valid environmental concern, I guess. Can anyone actually answer why Wind Turbines are allowed to do untold damage to the environment during the construction and operation phase without any government oversight?
The Nuke Lobby:
I’m also not a Nuclear Lobbyist. Probably not qualified – certainly not interested. I don’t even own a microwave. That being said, senior Liberal Party officials do have uncomfortably close ties to the wind industry and the political masters who set government policy. What’s more, they do business together. One helps elect a Liberal government and builds turbines in their spare time, the other shovels money out the door to pay for turbines without any oversight.
On Being Unemployed:
First. To suggest one’s employment status has any correlation to their right to participate in the political process is disgusting. We are far from the time when one had to own property to vote. With so many Ontarian’s losing their jobs this comment is particularly insensitive to those hardworking people out of work due to no fault of their own. Shame on you. Second. I’m not unemployed. My employment has no conflict of interest with the political positions I take. Franz Hartmann and Joyce McLean (two strong proponents of this project) both have questionable affiliations that compromise their ability to act in the best interest of Ontarians. Both of these individual’s incomes are tied to work they do advancing the cause of wind power. At least one senior Liberal has a conflict so bad, both the Opposition Leader and the Leader of the NDP have publicly challenged the government on it in the Legislature.
Not Having a Life:
As for not having a life – that is in the eye of the beholder I guess. I feel it is pretty well rounded, and certainly not something I will take advice from a guy who won’t name himself and seems unable to use proper punctuation. My friends can spell, save the occasional text message or blackberry error. They also sign communications they send my way.
My Community or My Party?:
As someone who has traditionally been a Liberal both in the card carrying sense and the ideological sense, being pitted between my community and party is not a comfortable position to be in. I joined the Liberal Party when I was 14. I came home from the hospital to Guildwood. Choosing between the two was not difficult. It was principled.
Some Other Thoughts:
If this the best the wind lobby can come up with, keep it coming. Your lack of courage is representative of the folks at Toronto Hydro Energy Services who read each of my posts but will not reply to my charges. I guess they are only comfortable lying in person. Incidentally, it appears my good friend Anne Mometer found some time in her busy day at Gartner Lee – an AECOM company and Toronto Hydro Energy Services environmental partner, to visit today.
For the record: I do not oppose renewable energy in principle. I do oppose bad public policy. I oppose attacks on our democratic principles. I believe there is merit to following well established international standards and don’t think we can forget key facts. I know the wind folks and government types don’t like facts because they don’t agree with their position, but they are what they are.
This is a bad bill. Premier McGuinty needs to withdraw the legislation and apologize to Ontario residents like me who have valid concerns that he has chosen to label “NIMBY” even though, my stance is identical to the Ontario Power Authority’s position on offshore wind and the Canada Wind Atlas agrees with me (or me with it) that there just isn’t the wind out there for this to make sense. It is highly irresponsible for Premier McGuinty to support anything that will stir heavy metals and PCBs into Toronto’s drinking water without an environmental assessment to give us a sense what that will do to human health. This is the same man who was responsible when it came to making sure Ontarion’s knew what happened at Walkerton, but appears not to have appreciated the message that water quality is critically important to human health. He knows better. It is irresponsible for him to allow for untold damage to be done to an area of the lake that has seen millions spent to restore fish habitat and preserve erosion. Seriously, what harm would doing an environmental assessment cause?
This is a bad idea. The bill is undemocratic. The community needs to stand firm and the opposition parties need to step up where our government has failed. Liberal MPPs with communities facing wind projects they oppose need to recognize the impact this could have on their careers and stand up in caucus and tell the Premier he needs to blink.
I wonder if who is working on the economic crisis in Ontario if the Premier is running around smacking the grassroots activists throughout this province? Perhaps this is a bit deflection for a guy who just isn’t sure what to do on that front?12 Comments »