Lake Superior Action Research Conservation (LSARC.ca) is pleased to report that Saturday’s meeting with Algoma Manitoulin MPP Mike Mantha engendered a refreshingly candid appraisal of renewable energy. Prince Township, sadly also the host to the pre Green Energy Act Prince Wind Farm, graciously provided the venue for a collection of voices raised in determined protest against the folly of continuing down a slippery green slope littered with crippled Democracy, gutted economies, and wounded rural communities.
Mr Mantha’s opening oration, which neatly avoided the contentious issue at hand, was followed by a presentation from Debbie Shubat RN under the agenda item, “Destruction of Democracy, economic stability and human rights”. Hers was a pointed warning of the malignancy of green politics. Debbie spoke eloquently of her personal search for reasoned discussion and struggle for representation within her professional association. The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) has taken on a role described in the Sussex Strategy Group’s leaked PR report as “third party validators” for the wind industry (to read report click here).
The RNAO and other health care organizations continue to quote thoroughly debunked and demonstrably alarmist numbers for deaths due to coal, costs to health services and state of science on adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines. Shubat provided a well-referenced FAQ sheet to help dispel some of that disinformation.
She also gave MPP Mantha and Township Councillor Amy Zuccatto copies of her resolution, a collaborative effort with Jane Wilson RN President of Wind Concerns Ontario. A growing group of dissenting voices hopes to present it at the RNAO 2012 AGM. Shubat said that the Board of Directors wants them to defer to the new policy statement it is working on however she will not accept anything short of a moratorium on wind development until full health studies are complete.
Nurses interested in joining the discussion and learning more can contact: Debbie Shubat debbieshubat2 at gmail.com
Amy Zuccatto presented under agenda item “Local experience the wind energy… sales pitch vs reality”; her first-hand experiences with the construction and aftermath of Prince Wind Farm. Her passionate yet articulate delivery prompted an outpouring of shared concerns about wildlife, water, hazards, access, landscape amenity, and the relentless dismissal of their complaints. Rather than interrupting the flow of contributions from the voluble crowd, other LSARC speakers scheduled for agenda items, “Science says boondoggle but the spin continues” and “Auditor General’s Report 2011 Report and shocking revelations”, instead contributed information and audio visual elements from their presentations to augment and support the lively discussion. Ken Lamming, Reeve of Prince Township, contributed accurate statistics and historical context.
Before he left MPP Mantha answered Jerry Pandzic’s hard questions about his own personal willingness to have an industrial wind turbine in his backyard. Mantha’s answer was “No.” So the question of how one can support doing unto others that which one would not wish upon oneself naturally followed… The group refused to accept anything but a full stop to wind development until the due diligence, which Ontario’s Auditor General revealed was missing entirely from the development of the Green Energy Act and the renewable energy policy, is properly completed.
Theresa Lepage, whose anguish was perceptible in her tense voice and rigid posture, was there with her husband Mark and their children, to express her sense of outrage and sadness at having been robbed of the ability to pass on to her offspring the beauty she once enjoyed. The family moved away from the now-blighted views of Goulais Bay.
Barb Engl highlighted the growing crisis of electricity pollution to which we are almost constantly and evermore pervasively exposed, finding no wisdom in surrounding rural schools with electrical fields instead of fields of crops. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture policy reversal on green energy and call for a moratorium was brought up, and Brenda and Dennis Ostaff spoke of the Council of Canadians’ Maude Barlow, recently in Sault Ste. Marie, expressing doubts about the veracity of green claims made by wind and solar developers.
Maralyn Pandzic joined others in pointing out the lamentable disrespect for the enormous value of natural landscapes and particularly that of Lake Superior; she sees this great natural resource as essential to mental health and social well-being of Prince Township residents and the whole region. She insisted on an action plan to get results and a commitment from the Algoma Manitoulin MPP to do more than just go back to the NDP caucus and relate our story.
Unfortunately the MPP left the meeting, which carried on enthusiastically for another hour, before seeing all the video clips prepared by his Prince Lake constituents who could not attend. Those will surely follow him to Queen’s Park, as will the continuing stream of petitions to halt the erection of more turbines in Prince Township and throughout the Algoma Manitoulin riding. Heels are now dug in and those defending their right to truth and good government will not be denied.