Arran-Elderslie showing courage and leadership

Mark Davis

Owen Sound Sun Times

In response to the article by Mary Golem, “Gloves off on wind turbines,” let me commend the courage of Arran-Elderslie council in taking a stance against the ill-conceived and costly wind power initiative that is being forced down the throats of Canadians by our provincial and federal governments.

Wind power has been tried in Europe and has failed to come even close to living up to its promise as a viable alternative energy source. Denmark, the leading proponent over the last decade, stopped putting wind turbines in several years ago and is building coal-fired plants to meet electricity demand.

Wind is unreliable, costly and has not been independently proven to be safe from either a health or environmental perspective. In my opinion government is pushing this to appear “green,” and developers are getting rich off the government subsidies (i. e. our taxpayer dollars).

Any intelligent, forward thinking people would support a viable long-term renewable energy initiative, but wind turbines are not the solution. Let’s learn from the lessons of our European cousins before it is too late, and not throw away precious dollars that could yield greater environmental benefits elsewhere.

It is reassuring that a reported 40 Ontario municipalities have considered this issue and chosen to support the Arran- Elderslie bylaw. I hope that those municipalities who have yet to do so will research the facts and conclude this wind energy initiative is a mistake. There are no truly independent studies to discount the adverse health effects reported by residents close to the installations.

Hopefully all municipal councils will have the wisdom and courage to protect the people and challenge our provincial and federal governments to produce the scientific proof in support of their assertions on this issue.

The comments by Charles Edey (president of Leader Resources Services Corp.) reflect his obvious bias. He says the Arran-Elderslie bylaw was designed to be insurmountable. One could say the same for Bill 150 which enabled the Government of Ontario to bypass public objections and give the green light to developers like Mr. Edey and their wind turbine projects. And Mr. Edey’s statement about taking this to the Supreme Court (despite his denial) is a rather obvious threat. He knows that the cost of going to the Supreme Court is often enough to make municipalities throw in the towel and give developers what they want, since they (municipalities) have limited funds in their budget for such legal action.

This is where the municipalities from across Ontario, with support from their association (AMO), need to get together to contest this to the highest courts if necessary. I urge those sitting on the fence and other municipalities across Canada to step forward and support this bylaw, or initiate similar ones.

We need to see more of the courage and leadership displayed by Arran-Elderslie council to protect the rights of the people they serve.

Curtis Anderson, Markdale

6 thoughts on “Arran-Elderslie showing courage and leadership

  1. It is about time municipalities don’t allow the provincial government and developers to divide and conquer to take advantage of residents of Ontario.

    There is no reason that councils can’t support more than one bylaw that is covering different issues

    Municipalities working together can represent thier residents well. Doing nothing can create a larger liability for municipalities and ratepayers.

  2. If anyone expects “support” from AMO ………..think again!

    AMO is promoting the Green Dream as much as Smitherman did and McGuinty still does!

  3. You mean this AMO?

    http://www.amo.on.ca/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Green_Energy2&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=157006

    “AMO supports new generation from clean sources and distributed generation as the means to enhance grid security, develop local economies, and fight climate change. AMO believes municipalities are well positioned to assist Ontario to become a leader in the energy efficient economy via numerous, distributed renewable generation projects.”

  4. It looks like a lot of organizations “bought in” without checking any of the facts.

  5. One other thing here…….before everyone get’s all enthused and over the top on Municipalities who are gung ho on stopping any further Wind Development just remember that if WE had their support last May in stopping the passage of Bill 150 the GEA we wouldn’t be where we are today…………..

    Not one single municipality out of 440 across Ontario stood up during the Standing Committee Hearings at Queen’s Park last April and May and said NO!

  6. Municipal elections are near. Seems like the stance on industrial wind power is so important that it should be a litmus test over-riding all other criteria.

    Voters need to ask the questions, parse the answers, and trust in their own ability to detect BS and lip service–heck, they’ve had lots of practice.

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