Thank you to everyone who attended, or who “tried” to attend the public information meeting hosted by Energy Farming Inc. last night at the Town Hall. We did have a very good response with over 200 people lining up outside the hall at 6pm to proceed inside.
Fire Chief Gord Weir attended as he was concerned that the crowd attending would exceed the rated capacity of the hall which he set at 120 due to the number of tables set up inside. That capacity was easily exceeded leaving about 80 people outside who were not permitted to enter until others had left to make room, ensuring that the capacity of 120 was respected. Two police officers had also been paid to attend to keep the peace.
Our first request to Energy Farming Inc. was that they consider rescheduling their meeting to a larger venue which was also handicapped accessible so that the needs of all concerned residents could be addressed by the same meeting. Their representatives stated that they will have to host a second meeting in November and that those who weren’t able to enter the building that night would be able to attend in November. They also suggested that if the 120 people who were present in the hall could make their way through quickly, then the others outside would have the opportunity to enter. However, with only approximately 6 representatives on hand from the energy company on hand to answer questions, it is very unlikely that they would have been able to answer all of the questions of those in attendance promptly enough to allow everyone through in the “open house” format that they had planned.
We approached the President of Zero Emission People (the parent company of Energy Farming), Ingo Stuckman, and suggested that since we had so many people in attendance with the same concerns, that it would be most efficient for everyone if one of their representatives could stand on stage to answer questions. He reluctantly agreed to this, despite the urging from his consultant that the Open House format would stand.
So for one hour, Mr. Stuckman, and his consultant, stood on the stage and faced some very difficult questions from those in attendance who showed obvious distress about this project entering our community. I remained on stage with them and tried to facilitate the questions and answers as best as possible to keep order in the crowd and allow the representatives to speak to the crowd. Unfortunately due to the number of people in the hall and the lack of a speaker system, it was very difficult for those who attended to hear much of what was said at the front. A representative from our group circulated amongst the crowd and confirmed that residents were unable to hear much of the discussion.
At 7:45 the wind company reminded us that they had only reserved the hall until 8pm and that this timeline would not be extended. They asked those residents in the hall to “leave” so that others could make their way in.
At 7:55 we were reminded that they would be vacating the building in 5 minutes, and we were asked to tell our residents to clear the hall.
Mr. Stuckman has agreed to sit down to a meeting with our local Council and a representative from Clarington Wind Concerns to discuss the project further.
We should also support the residents of Manvers, Bethany, and Pontypool at their Public Meeting being hosted this Thursday July 29th between 5-8pm at the Pontypool Community Center (254 John St., just east of Hwy 35). It would also be another opportunity to ask your questions to Energy Farming representatives if you were unable to last night.
Since a great deal of our residents were not able to enter the meeting due to the limited space provided by this venue, we intend to file a formal complaint that it did not fulfill the requirements of a Public Meeting, and that the meeting should be rescheduled to a larger venue. If you were in attendance and also feel that our needs as a community were not adequately addressed by this meeting, please take the time to write a letter of complaint outlining your experience and forward a copy to:
- Mayor Jim Abernethy c/o The Municipality of Clarington, 40 Temperance Street Bowmanville, ON L1C 3A6
- Orono Times: 5310 Main St, Orono, Ont. L0B 1M0 email@example.com
- Clarington This Week: 865 Farewell Ave., Oshawa, ON L1H 7L5 firstname.lastname@example.org
Provincial and Federal
- MPP John O’Toole: Constituency Office: 75 King St. E., Bowmanville ON L1C 1N4 email@example.com
- MP Bev Oda: Bowmanville Office: 68 King St. E., Bowmanville, ON L1C 3X2, (905) 697-1699 Oda.B@parl.gc.ca
- Hon Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, Legislative Building, Queen’s Park, Toronto ON M7A 1A1 firstname.lastname@example.org, Fax 416-325-3745
- Hon Brad Duguid, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure email@example.com Fax : 416-327-6754
- Hon John Gerretsen, Minister of the Environment firstname.lastname@example.org Fax 416-314-6748
- Hon Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care email@example.com Fax : 416-326-1571
- All MPs, MPPs see mailing list
Thank you for your support and continued interest in our cause. We will continue to keep you updated about our progress. If you have purchased a lawn sign please make sure it is well displayed. We still have more available for purchase – if you are interested please let us know as they have been successful at helping us to raise more awareness of this issue in our community.