Election results show urban-rural divide

by Andre Den Tandt, Owen Sound Sun Times
Now that the provincial election is behind us, the results offer some startling insights into the political landscape, both locally and provincially.  At first glance, the overall results may seem inconclusive, with the Liberal Party just one seat short of a majority. But look again and the results are nothing short of stunning: The Liberals were shut out in every single rural riding, every single one. Just as obviously, the Progressive Conservative party was shut out in all the major cities, as they were four years ago. That’s an urban-vs-rural divide such as has never been seen in Ontario, and it’s very bad news: large-city majorities can run roughshod over rural people and their interests without suffering any serious political consequences.

On the other hand, the stunning defeat of every rural minister — John Wilkinson in environment, Leona Dombrowsky in education and Carol Mitchell in agriculture, food and (ironically) rural affairs makes it abundantly clear that the Liberals don’t just have a problem in rural Ontario: they are the problem. And we all know it, here and everywhere except in the big cities. We all know the cause as well: wind turbines.

We don’t want them. That is now indisputably clear. All the talk from Liberal politicians, wind energy companies and their well-funded lobbyists, all the full-page ads with pretty girls dancing among the lovely daffodils and the even prettier wind turbines, all the meetings and presentations to municipal councils by self-serving NGO emissaries serving up cliche after cliche — it’s all hogwash. These election results show that most of us in the country were not fooled.

Can we now hope to never again hear the phrase “90% of the people in the affected areas love the wind turbines” or “dirty coal,” or “the most stringent setbacks in North America?” We have heard these phrases again and again, in spite of multiple proofs being offered that it just isn’t so.

There is no need to repeat all the arguments here. Readers of most country newspapers have heard them ad nauseam. It is thanks to these same newspapers, their op-ed sections and the determination of the many letter-writers who either live among turbines or are threatened by them, that we succeeded.

In fact, these election results show that, with little or no money, we were able to drown out the noise made by the well-funded publicity campaign of the wind industry.

Where do we go from here? Will anything change? I am personally not convinced this government will learn anything, in spite of the overwhelming evidence — not to mention the threat to our democracy when it’s possible to run roughshod over a minority group, the rural population, and do so with impunity.

How can we make the big-city voters aware that without a vibrant, healthy country population, their health and wealth is also at stake? So far, ignorance is bliss.

If that does not change, different tactics may be required. We know that, when the city produces something with an unpleasantness attached, they ship it off to the country. Garbage, sewage sludge, slaughterhouse offal, compostable material, anything that smokes or stinks: not only we can have it, but we must take it. And when the big city wants something, the production of which has unpleasant side-effects, we get to keep that as well. This includes food, or ethanol (ask people in Chatham), or electricity — especially if it’s nuclear.

We are gifted with the wind turbines and generating plants and all that goes with them. It’s not right.

When faced with an invasion by machines that make people sick, lower their property value, are exorbitantly expensive, and don’t reduce CO2 pollution, we are branded NIMBYs. When we point out that the electricity produced is both unreliable and sold at a loss (because the power is often not needed at the times when the wind unpredictably begins to blow) we are called naysayers.

All this as we are seemingly headed for insolvency.

Bill Murdoch has suggested that Toronto should become a separate province. Maybe he’s right. Disgruntled French farmers have been known to dump a load of manure on the steps of their “hotel de ville” or block all four-lane highways bringing food to their fancy restaurants. Anyone have a better suggestion?

There is no obvious path ahead. But, having worked in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound for Bill Walker and the Progressive Conservatives (the one party that seems to understand rural Ontarians), I feel pretty good when I see the new electoral map of Ontario, with all that blue. Too bad all those acres don’t vote.

Andre Den Tandt, Municipality of Meaford

20 thoughts on “Election results show urban-rural divide

  1. I like the potatoe famine picture with the burning wind turbine in the back. It is so damn true. Brings the point home. This energy poverty this stupid liberal government and idealists are trying to inflict on the nation will make us all look like the picture.

  2. Well , no one can ever say we didn’t try to do it in a civil , nonviolent manner.
    Winners don’t give up.
    As a united group or movement , we are an unbeatable force.
    There were Millions going to Lobby groups to fight for their interests.
    Look at the collection of pics above.
    They had the audacity to call these people an insignificant fringe group.
    Your Evil old auntie Gert
    Just look at her., part of an ECO terrorist group.

  3. Rural Ontarians have shown their political muscle and they can also show their economic muscle if needed.

  4. More please?…………….we can stop buying Samsung products..but media has to talk aboout it.
    We can’t boycot Sam the neighbours IWT development by not buying power from it..wish we could.
    So where else do we make a financial impact?

    • The media is not needed for people to use consumer boycotts. Maybe people in the U.S. affected by IWTs might help out as well with any international corporation.
      Start by letting local dealers of any particular product that you won’t buy the product in question. Also send e-mails to the company involved to express your feelings in the matter at hand.

    • Many large consumer goods companies operate with thin profit margins due to intense competition. Same is true for “big-box” retailers who sell certain product lines. The holiday shopping season is here and this is the time of year most consumer goods are sold.So it dosen’t take a whole lot of lost sales to affect companies profits in a big way.

  5. It is our farming neighbours who have (initially) brought the turbines to our locale – but living in Melancthon doesn’t offer much hope anyway! Being so close to the original wind farm ! We are totally ‘without hope’ – not only is it our farming (multi acre land owning) neighbours who signed up for the initial project, but it is now a Chinese Government-owned company who funds and controlds it all! We are in a minority -being small ‘homesteaders. – as the Snr VP” of Dufferin Wind Power Inc condescendingly called us! In other words – go home and like it! Is this typical ? I think so! The people have no say in this! It is horrifying!

  6. The Agenda tonight – Apparently if we were just a little more educated and tech savvy we would have been down with the plan and just voted Liberal like the urban areas. Oh, and Dalton McGuinty is the person in the Liberal caucus who will speak out for rural Ontario.

    • It’s too late now! Get your e-mails out to let the manufacturer and the retailers know what you think. Rural Ontarians can make a big difference as they have already shown.

  7. Personally, I`m thinking the only way we`re going to get the attention of the corruption-loving, politically brain-dead,city (Liberal) voters, is the same way as the France farmers, by driving our tractors to queens park,early am, down HWYs #401,407,404,427 etc.,every weekday morning, until we get a commitment for proper studies, before even one more useless, harmful turbine project is started.
    It`s quite obvious the pinhead premier McStupid, has no intention of stopping his assault on rural Ontarions, until all his destuction is complete. And if that`s the case, we must do whatever is required to save our once great province, for our grandchildren & theirs.It`s our responsibility! If ‘non-violent’ civil disobedience is our last/only hope, then it`s well worthwhile doing it. Our kids are worth it!
    Dont get me wrong, I think we should try every legal way possible first, but failing that, we must do whatever is required, to stop this horrendus tragedy, from destroying Ontario forever and a day!
    P.S.I`m all for Toronto separating from Ontario, better yet from Canada. They are forever lost in their own little world. When people intentionally re-elect known corrupt,lying,theiving lowlife comon criminals,like Dipstick McGuilty, there is no hope of ever getting good governance. It`s not the politicians fault we have bad governance in Ont. now, but entirely the voters(who re-elected Libs.again,duh!!)

  8. I think maybe it is time that we the 99% join with the young people in all the nations around the world that have been active in the Occupy world wide protests against corporate greed and government bailouts. There has been almost a total media blackout on this since it’s inception. Please check out the links listed below.


    We must take a stand now before our entire province, country and the world is desecrated by the turbine invasion destroying our health, our lives, our homes, our future, our wildlife, our bank accounts and every piece of county-side that we cherish that will no longer be there for the quiet enjoyment of our children and grandchildren. I get sicker and feel more hopeless everyday as I check out other websites around the world and see what is being done to our Great Lake shores in Ontario and America, mountain tops in the USA, beautiful meadows and valleys in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, lovely ranches in Australia, historic sites in Europe. There is no sacred ground left from where the troupes landed on D-Day to where Flight 93 was taken down in Pennsylvania during the 911 attacks. Family after family in every country worldwide are being forced to move out of their homes to get relief from the constant torment, many of these people are living in homes that have been in families for generations. Everything we hold dear is fair game for these corporate giants that with the backing of our elected politicians including Mayors and councils that pretend to be with the people are trampling us down then making us pay even more and more to finance this insanity. Green Jobs – Clean Energy just who is fooling who???
    Maybe we are all just fools that are going to stand by and allow this to happen.

    For the ultimate sell out of the people please go to this link to see Mayor Hewitt of Haldimand County the new” poster boy” for Samsung. This promo video was done after the council had asked for a moratorium but just before the Oct 6th election. Does this make any sense to anyone out there????

    http://www.samsungrenewableenergy.ca/ (Hewitt’s videos is called Community Commitment)

  9. All tractors should unite, tie up traffic regularly until our message is heard. . Much signage to educate.
    “Dirty wind…It ain’t clean,,it ain’t green and it ain’t cheap. ( AND it ain’t welcome!) ” Offer a reward for anyone that can show emission reductions due to wind anywhere in the world. Demand that Toronto separate from Ontario!
    Circle and chain tractors around any turbine deliveries out of Toronto. Where do they come in? The Toronto docks? Surround them. Get the Teamsters on board… then you will see clout!

    • YES, Ontario needs to be rid of these “Engines of MAJOR minor destruction”!

  10. Those Eco PR Lobby crooks are getting involved with the Occpy wall street movement.
    This could be a good opportunity to seize for us. Before those groups begin grooming more people.
    This is about corporate welfare and greed.and a democracy that has failed us all. .IWTs and Cap and Trade are married in direction. Either we get involved or those crooks get in there and begin turning people to actually accepting paying a tax on air makes any sense at all.
    PS..great idea with the tractors!

  11. Somewhat off topic, but to Lynne who sounded ready to give up, please don’t because those who feel they have lost, if they continue to fight and help others of us we may make some progress. It seems by reading the posts here, that at least some progress has been made politically. I agree with those who feel that the media is needed, because just not buying a companies product does little. There is a divide in rural/urban & absentee land owners. Those people who live in the towns, at least here in the USA, know little about wind energy or really care – they accept the media or wind company PR and no news media bothers to actually ask questions. One wind company here stated they were going to put up a 100 wind turbine “farm” which would provide the county with 600 construction jobs – I contacted the newsperson, but it was never changed – they just put out the press release without question!

    • In Ontario there are 2 consumer goods corporations that are also directly involved in IWTs. People affected by these corporations should send them a financial message which can do them a great deal of financial damage.

  12. Liberals did win one rural seat in Glengary-Prescott-Russel. I don’t know why but they did, handily.
    I believe that is their only pure rural seat. It doesn’t change the argument of a stark rural/urban split.

  13. Barbara; Financial damage in the Christmas shopping season will get the attention of companies involved in the wind turbine business. 80% of a retailer’s yearly sales is during the Christmas season. The way to get the word out is through emails and Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Not sure how to do this? Talk to a teenager who is anti wind turbine. They know and would gladly help save their world.

    • The younger generation sure knows how to use the internet social media. Everyone else knows how to use e-mails to companies and retailers.

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