Shifting winds could push Liberals onto rocky shore

By John Kastner, Stratford Beacon Herald

There are more than a few people in Ontario anxiously awaiting the decision of three divisional-court judges in Toronto because their opinion could change the landscape in Ontario — literally and politically.

At stake is the province’s Green Energy Act, more specifically windmills. The opponents of those electricity-producing turbines argue that they cause health problems. The lack of a smoking gun is of no concern to those citizens’ groups that have rallied against them and they have managed to get the matter into court. 

A short drive from Stratford — towards Chatham, Kincardine, Shelburne — gives one a clear indication of the future of electricity production in this province as hundreds of turbines have popped up like dandelions.

However, wind farms still produce a small percentage of our electricity. That said, they are an integral part of the province’s energy strategy as it tries to move away from other sources, particularly coal-fired generators.

It’s doubtful the judges will outlaw them altogether, but who knows. One would suspect that the most the three learned justices will do is insist that there be stringent rules regarding distances from buildings and people and so on. So it’s not realistic to expect that the decision will be life and death for wind farms in Ontario.

The same cannot be said, however, for the political future of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. His popularity has waned, and the Conservatives and leader Tim Hudak have identified electricity as his Achilles heel.

Should McGuinty’s grand plan for hydro, the Green Energy Act, get a thumbs down from the courts, the Conservatives will make hay for months — right up to voting day this fall.

Combine that with the general malaise about the Liberals in Ontario and the HST and suddenly one senses its the winds of change that are picking up speed across Ontario.

Looking forward, should the Green Energy Act hit the curb so might Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals in this year’s election, which brings us to the local impact of all of this on our own MPP, John Wilkinson.

Wilkinson was the point person for the much hated HST yet has managed to deflect most the anger — usually by presenting rational arguments for its implementation.

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As environment minister, the Green Energy Act will be critical to his portfolio as well.

So, as we await the decision by the courts in relation to wind power in Ontario, we also know that some of us, McGuinty and Wilkinson for example, will be watching this situation with quite a bit more interest than the rest of us. Their future may depend on it.

9 thoughts on “Shifting winds could push Liberals onto rocky shore

  1. Wilkinson didn’t deflect any of my anger….I still hold him responsible for the HST ….and I think about it every time I put gas in my car or pay my energy bills or when I get a haircut or when I play golf…etc…etc….He will pay for his part in the FAKE Green Energy Travesty….

  2. Apparently John Kastner is a Liberal.

    Why do I know this? Because he obviously could not be bothered to spend the hour or so it would take to learn the truth about green energy. You know, just like the Liberals!

    Thanks John!

    We really appreciate it!

    NOT!

    B.B.W.

  3. Wilkinson has NOT deflected anything!………………..PEC among many other Countys’ sick wind experience will stick to him like molasses all the way down the road when he is looking for a new job after the Fall Election, just like every other signatory of the Green Energy Act.

    This guy should not only be concerned but like all the other “carpet baggers” in Queen’s Park should actually sharpen their resume pencils and start writing up presentations for job interviews.

    Good luck in the Private Sector…..nobody wants you!

  4. There already are “stringent rules regarding distances from buildings and people”, it is just that the rules are arbitrary, based on no scientific or medical evidence.The time has come to move beyond the setback arguments and state categorically that no additional industrial wind development will occur in Ont. untill the technology can be proven on sound economic grounds. Usually overlooked is the staggering opportunity cost of not investing in alternate energy sources.

  5. Wind power makes no sense at all. It can’t help with baseload power since the wind is intermittent. It may not help with peaking power if the wind isn’t blowing & then it requires back-up natural gas fired turbines. Natural gas is not as beneficial to reducing greenhouse gases as often claimed. Turbines change our landscape into industrial zones. Imagine Easter lake Ontario with thousands of wind turbines in its shallow regions… disaster.

  6. “McGuinty’s Energy Folly”

    That will be what this man will be known for in his later years when people describe what they remember about the McGuinty Years!

  7. “the province’s energy strategy as it tries to move away from other sources, particularly coal-fired generators”

    Why is no one making this happen for Ontario !
    http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,2035398,00.html
    over 5 years ago Germany has clean coal
    remember turbines are only 25% Efficient some of the time

  8. concernresident:

    Before you go a Ga-Ga on this absurd CO2 sequester nonsense you may want to take a close look at Fischer Tropsch synthesis…

    CO2 is NOT the demon the misinformed have made it out to be…

    The planet would be for better off with about 3 times MORE CO2 in the atmosphere
    then is currently the case. At least, that is where it has been for fully 80% of the 1 billion year long fossil record!

    There ARE intelligent energy answers out there. Unfortunately, these require intelligence to implement.

    Something which is egregiously absent in government!

    B.B.W.

  9. The McGuinty govt has wasted what is supposed to be our most protected foundation in this country: health.
    I won’t forget the e-health scandal and nor will I forget those living near Industrial Wind Turbines.
    Money wasted that was meant to help us stay healthy and money thrown at a poor energy plan that harms people and animals.

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