Perth County to meet with the Minister of the Environment

Meeting with the Minister of the Environment and staff  (Open to Public)
Thursday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. Perth County Council Chambers     Map
Due to limited seating, anyone planning to attend is asked to contact clerk Kerri Ann O’Rourke at 519-271-0531 ext. 120.

by Jeff Heuchert, Stratford Gazette
Perth County and lower-tier municipal leaders will be looking for some clarity regarding their role in the development of industrial wind turbines when they meet with  the Minister of the Environment and his staff next month.

“Some of our elected officials are already dealing with (these projects),” says Perth County warden Julie Behrns, who requested the meeting with MPP John Wilkinson at the request of county council, whose members have many questions about the approval process the province introduced with its Green Energy Act.  

“Hopefully this meeting will improve the knowledge we have with what’s all required with wind turbines, and to extend to the minister any issues or concerns we have.”

Behrns says councillors hope to better understand the ministry’s approval process, setback distances and how the turbines are arranged on a property.

She adds many councillors believe the province has stripped municipalities of any authority when it comes to approving renewable energy projects.

“Because of the way (the Green Energy Act) is written, the ministry has the final say (on these projects),” she argues. “We have no say whether it’s approved or not approved.”

Much uncertainty exists in the community regarding wind turbines. An information meeting in Stratford last month, hosted by West & East Perth Against Turbines, a grassroots group of residents who are concerned about the impact wind turbines have on human health and the environment, drew nearly 300 people.

Wilkinson, in a previous interview with the Gazette, defended the province’s decision to assume final decision-making powers on any new renewable energy projects. Only the province, he added, has the legislative authority to shut down a project not complying with government regulations.

He said the ministry will judge any future proposal strictly on its merits, and that the developer must meet all requirements, including consultation with the municipality and the public, before approval is granted.

He added the process is designed so that an individual has ample opportunity to voice their concerns or appeal a final decision if they wish.

Responding to some of the criticism voiced at the public meeting last month, the minister said the government’s regulations for noise and setback distances are based on science and the recommendations from Dr. Arlene King, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer.

“The scientists and the doctors who have the responsibility to advise us on this, who are independent of us, say there is no science to say  there’s a link.

“(And Dr. King) said there is no proof of an adverse health effect on human health as long as (the turbines) are meeting the new strict requirements of the Province of Ontario,” he added.
Wilkinson said the province is  committed to replacing dirty energy, adding, “we’re well on our way of achieving that goal.”

The meeting, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. inside the county council chambers, is open to the public, though there will be no opportunity for public comment. Behrns says the meeting is not to debate wind turbines but for county and municipal leader to  to voice their concerns and to gain a better understanding of their role in the project approval process.

Due to limited seating, anyone planning to attend is asked to contact clerk Kerri Ann O’Rourke at 519-271-0531 ext. 120.

11 thoughts on “Perth County to meet with the Minister of the Environment

  1. “Perth County and lower-tier municipal leaders will be looking for some clarity regarding their role in the development of industrial wind turbines when they meet with the Minister of the Environment and his staff next month.”

    This quote from the newspaper pretty well sums up what’s wrong in Ontario………….

    What’s wrong with these elected officials?…….can’t they READ?

    Are they in a state of DENIAL?

    Here is a short answer to their “questions” which will take up a huge amount of time and OUR money to host these Politicians and Health “officials”

    Municipalities have NO RIGHTS left to question anything “decreed” by the Province of Ontario! Municipal representatives are just another arm of the Provincial Government who have to follow their orders OR ELSE!

    So I say, save us a lot of wasted money on hosting these fools and get on with your real jobs…….making sure whatever King and Wilkinson tell you to do..Get it Done!

  2. Note Wilkinson’s wording: ‘scientists and doctors…independent of us’.

    No mention is made of independence from the industry or its lobbying organizations. The ‘scientists and doctors’ being consulted are receiving funds from the wind industry to prepare their selective literature reviews. The results of their analyses should therefore be no surprise.

    It’s sad to think that our Chief Medical Officer of Health is in denial, just as the health officials in the early days of denying adverse effects of smoking. There is plenty of proof adverse effects are occurring in industrial wind developments in Ontario, for those who care to find out.

  3. It occurs to me this will be the same old, the same old (barnyard matter) the same old sales pitch given by the wind energy robber barons.

    Maybe he will surprise me and not read from a prepared text, will stand up like a homo sapien defend his opinion and listen/learn from the wind turbine victims. Certainly there’s enough of them to fill the room.

    There are none so stupid as those that will not learn, none so blind as those who will not see and none so deaf as those that will not hear and there will be a perfect example of all three appearing in Stratford on February 3 a perfect carnival side show attraction appearing free of charge.

  4. How much will it cost US taxpayers to have this gaggle of idiots transported to this meeting?………….not to mention the heightened security to protect these politicos from the onslaught of opponents who “doth protest too much methinks!”

  5. Meeting not open to the public. Only lower-tier municipal leaders allowed in. No press coverage?

    So again a controlled situation with only softball questions for the MOE and staff.

  6. Well. The Gov’t plans are proceeding apace…

    I was listening to 680 News on the way home. Mr Do-no-good claims the government is responsible for the new cleaner fresher air.

    They claimed it smelled better because we released less Nitrogen and CO2.

    Has anyone got time to educate these clowns?

    Can someone send them the link for Wikipedia?

    Nitrogen is orderless and is 80% of the atmosphere.

    CO2 is orderless and is .04% of the atmosphere. (Actually somewhere in the area of 380PPM)

    Oh my oh my. Liar, liar pants on fire.

    We know who played hooky from grade eight science class — don’t we?

  7. I am really trying to understand the Green Energy Act and the government position on it…

    So I submitted the following comment about this 680 News story about a Government News Bite…

    ***************************
    http://www.680news.com/news/local/article/169486–air-in-ontario-improving-government-report-says

    “Let’s see Nitrogen is 80% of the atmosphere… Oxygen is 18%… Carbon Dioxide Represents .04% (about 380 ppm) CO2 is of course required for plant growth. CO2 is, in effect, a requirement for plant growth. So why is CO2 a pollutant? If we have no CO2 the plants won’t grow and the air will smell a lot worse — except nobody will be here to smell it.

    As a side note this is all about 2009. If the “pollutants” were already vanishing then why did we need the Green Energy Act? Any thoughts anyone?”

    ******************************

    For this group, the Question would be….

    If the goals had already been achieved and pollution were “vanishing” then why do we need the visual and electrical pollution (and inefficiency) of Industrial Wind Turbines?

  8. Don’t expect John Wilkinson to actually know anything about Energy and the Environment…..He’s a music graduate……and a Financial Planner….This is why he just sings from Dalton’s hymn sheet about FAKE Green Energy….and we know that most Financial Planners are just commissioned sales people who know nothing about real finance…If Wilkinson knew anything about finance he wouldn’t support spending $28 Billion on FAKE Green Energy…

  9. For those who do numbers…

    Here is the press release…
    http://news.ontario.ca/ene/en/2011/01/ontarios-air-quality-improving.html

    For those who can cope with statistics, and understand methodology of “stitching data sets” please have a look at the underlying report.

    **************
    “According to Ontario’s 2009 Air Quality Report emissions of common air pollutants are decreasing. Since 2003 nitrogen oxide decreased by 21 per cent or equivalent to taking three million cars off the road per year, carbon monoxide decreased by 14 per cent or equivalent to taking 350,000 cars off the road per year and sulphur dioxide decreased by 28 per cent.”

    **********************

    I am going to suggest that the scientist(s) who wrote the report knew that it might be misused, abused and contused by politicians. I am not going so far as to say that the report is wrong or misleading. What I will say is that the “stitching” of the datasets were not fully explained. It is not that clear that there is a significant improvement as to the Ontario air Quality. If there is an improvement it is not as clear as to the underlying reasons. Hint! It was not due to wind turbines….

    The improvement was not likely due to coal plant shutdown. Think of the prevailing wind patterns and the shutdown date of Lakeview (2005?).

    Also note that some sensors were changed and repaired during the report period — making comparisons virtually worthless… just a thought…

  10. Is it due to the recession and the decline in manufacturing in U.S. areas to the west and southwest of Ontario? So many heavy industry plants are now gone from these U.S. areas.

    Steel mills in Chicago,Gary and Detroit almost gone.

  11. Building the condos would better represent how big business oversees Queen’s Park.

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