by Larry Miller, MP Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, Chair of Agriculture, Agri-Food Chair – Rural Caucus
Owen Sound Sun Times
Just a couple short weeks ago, as I stood at a Remembrance Day ceremony, I watched as a surprisingly large number of elderly veterans marched to the front of the cenotaph. I thought to myself -what is going through their minds today? Do they still think it was worth it? Many of them went through a hell we will never truly know or understand, just so we can enjoy the rights and freedoms we have today.
One of those rights is the ability to own our own land. Those of us who are fortunate enough to own land take great pride in our property, but with the ownership of that land also comes responsibility. As a landowner myself, I am a strong proponent of property rights. However, when I do something on my property that affects the enjoyment of another property owner, that is unacceptable. It makes all the hardships that our veterans went through many years ago, all for naught.
Here in Ontario, (and of course that includes Grey and Bruce counties) the Green Energy Act brought in by Premier Dalton McGuinty has taken away all decision-making by local authorities and in effect a lot of the rights of property owners. You can hardly pick up a local paper anymore without the front page being covered with an article about opposition to wind farms. Nobody can argue that producing green or renewable energy is not a good thing for the environment. However, the public pushback on wind-farm proposals cannot be ignored.
While wind farms do not come under federal jurisdiction, I am more and more frequently being asked about windfarms and to take a stand on them. Bill Murdoch has called for a moratorium on wind farms until the proper studies have been done on the health effects windmills have on those living close to the turbines. I fully support our MPP’s call for this. McGuinty cannot ignore the fact that what Mark Davis started in Arran- Elderslie has now spread across the province to where we now have 67 municipalities who have endorsed the call for a moratorium on wind farms. I’m sure there will be more.
We all know that at least 75% of the power produced by wind farms in rural Ontario will be used in the GTA and other large cities to the south of us. If McGuinty is so hell-bent on providing Toronto with wind-generated power, I urge him to build a couple hundred wind turbines on the waterfront in plain view of those million-dollar condos that look out onto Lake Ontario. He could save hundreds of millions of dollars in transmission line costs, but more importantly, he would definitely hear the squeals of indignation from our urban cousins over the placement of turbines in “their” backyard. Maybe then he would listen to the people of rural Ontario.
In closing, I am going to use part of the slogan of the Ontario Landowners Association to send a message to Dalton McGuinty and his use of the Green Energy Act.
Back off government, take a deep breath and listen to the people. Do the health studies on wind turbines called for by MPP Bill Murdoch
Larry Miller, MP Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound
Chair of Agriculture & Agri-Food Chair of Rural Caucus