Essex farmers, ag federation split over wind power

Mark Balkwill

CBC Windsor News
Farmers in Essex County don’t seem to have the same concerns about wind farms as their colleagues in other parts of the province. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture wants the province to suspend its plans to expand wind energy. But Mark Balkwill, president of the Essex County Federation of Agriculture, said with hundreds of turbines already running locally, a moratorium would make little difference. “We’re kind of sitting neutral on this position. [We’re] not really sure why the Ontario Federation of Agriculture has taken the position it has,” Balkwill said. “We’re a member-driven organization, so if the members are saying, ‘These issues are concerning us,’ then they’re going to take it upon themselves to look at it.” Read article

11 thoughts on “Essex farmers, ag federation split over wind power

  1. Green energy fiasco has turned NDP political
    agenda upsidedown.
    – support of multi-national firms scamming and
    ripping off the average working man.
    – total disregard for the individuals democratic
    rights.

    • ‘[Title excerpt] Ontario Federation of Agriculture wants wind turbine moratorium, but local farmers disagree’
      Places everyone – the show is about to begin
      Kabuki Theatre – Act 1 -WHAT?
      Get munchies! – this is gonna to get good.

  2. It certainly looks like the Essex County Federation is not aware of the total impact of IWT’s, and that’s a shame. I would hope they become more worldly and look beyond the Essex County boundaries. Their tax dollars are still going to green enerty subsidies, instead of toward programs that benefit their rural residents, too. Essex County is geographically isolated on three sides from the rest of the province, but do the local federations not keep in communication with each other?

    I grew up in Essex County. In fairness, most residents in the county live on the edge of the geographical area, close to the great lakes waterways–Greater Windsor, Amherstburg, Wheatley, Kingsville, Leamington, and Tilbury to the north-east. The town of Essex will be one exception, being in the centre. Unless things have changed, I remember the county as being largely farming. Leamington area was recently promoted as being a desirable retirement area, on a CBC news feature–maybe a year ago? The wind farms I have seen are not near these more densely populated areas. An off-shore wind farm has been proposed for the east side of Point Pelee, but that may not draw the interest of the Farmers Federation.

    The rest of Ontario’s rural areas seem more diverse, with non-farming rural residents, such as retirees, living all over the place. Small acreage farming may include retirees, and I don’t include them with the large size farming operations. Nor does Essex County have the inland lakes that draw cottagers and vacationers, like Eastern Ontario, so the Essex Farmers Federation has not had the same learning opportunity.

    I would ask Mark Balkwill and the county farmers have a good look at what much of the rest of Ontario is facing, understand all the issues, and then see, as individuals, as well as a federation, if they might not lean a little closer to the OFA. If the OFA can reveiw the impact of IWT’s, and revise their position, did the Essex County Federation miss something?

    • Further to my comments above, this video was shot in Amherstburg, in the south west corner of Essex County. The wind farm is the Boralex Gengrowth Amherstburg Wind Facility in Amherstburg Ontario. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1xi5KuqtMQ&context=C363e142UDOEgsToPDskLnpdtvpxWNKPO-cATSj1qQ]

      It makes it look like the Essex County Federation of Agriculture either doesn’t know what’s going on under their noses, or they turn a blind eye to their own neighbours. Either way, it’s a cousin of nimbyism, and doesn’t make for good relations with non-farming neighbours.

      I visited my sister and brother-in-law down near Leamington this past Christmas. He gave me a tour of their home, showed me their surroundings, and it was a nice wide open area, nestled in nature. We passed a wind turbine area alongside Hwy. 77 going south from Hwy. 401, but they aren’t near his home. But in conversation, he commented that there are quite a few very rich farmers in the area. Maybe that helps explain why Essex Farmers Federation may be out of sync with the OFA. Just my speculation!

      • very rich farmers in the area -cash croppers no doubt with lots of land for wind turbines
        even if they are close to their neighbors. These people have a lot of influence in the OFA
        even though it is supposed to be a “family farm” organisation.

  3. In early May of 2011 the late Bruce Crozier assured an Essex County audience that IWTs would never be placed anywhere on the Ontario side of the Great Lakes. Less than a year later they are to be installed in Lake Ontario on the Canadian side of the lake.

    • Market Research.com, http://www.marketresearch.com/map/prod/2833083.html
      Scroll down to Part 10 Canada Wind Market Deals 2009
      10. 2. 64, Government of Canada Aquires Stake in Harrow Wind Farm for $11M from International Power
      10. 2. 11, TransAlta Auires 93.5% interest in Canadian Hydro Developers
      10. 2 87 Canadian Hydro Aquires Ontario Wind Project From Wasatch Wind,Canada

      Many more 2009 Ontario Wind project deals on this web page.

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