by Jim Brunow, Meaford Independent
The Provincial Government continues to cause great harm to rural Ontario. The election demonstrated that there is a serious rural urban divide and the government has done precious little to acknowledge or address it. Perhaps they are punishing rural communities for not voting Liberal.
The opposition parties need to be more effective in dealing with this divide. The Liberal party and the people of urban Ontario need to be put on notice that this issue is so important and so offensive that the Conservatives and NDP are prepared to bring the Government down if it is not addressed. A communication strategy and network is needed to keep the issue in the spotlight.
Examples of what is happening include:
- Closing jails in Owen Sound and Hanover without proper due diligence; then saying last month that we need to build new jails.
- Promising to fund court security costs; then deducting the funding from Provincial transfers.
- Decimating local school bus companies through new rules favouring foreign multinationals.
- Freezing Conservation Authority Budgets for 11 years – dumping this cost on Municipalities that are already struggling financially.
- Forcing Industrial Wind Turbines on communities that don’t want them due to negative impacts on health, property values, tourism, new home construction, and the economic and social fabric of the community.
- More than 500 Bruce Grey families needed grants from the United Way in the last 13 months to heat their homes, with the majority of grants for hydro.
- Pushing for the closure of coal plants to justify the Green Energy Act (GEA); then encouraging garbage incinerators with emissions that are much more harmful to human health and burn items that should be recycled.
In December Ontario’s Auditor General released his 2011 annual report which included a damning indictment of the GEA and confirmed what the people have been saying all along:
- Ontario consumers were not informed of the true costs of renewable energy
- New wind power would create HIGHER greenhouse gas emissions
- Ministers added $4.4 BILLION IN FIT CONTRACT PAYMENTS AGAINST OPA ADVICE
- Normal due diligence was not followed
- Consumers have to pay twice for intermittent renewable energy
- Closing coal plants will require an additional 5,000 MV of gas generation
- Billions of dollars were committed to renewable energy without evaluating the impact
- In 2010 86% of wind power was produced on days when Ontario was already in a net export position
- From 2005 to 2011 Ontario received $1.8 Billion less for its electricity exports than it cost ratepayers of Ontario
- Promised Green Jobs have not materialized and existing jobs may be lost because of higher electricity prices.
- The Chief Medical Officer of Health’s report was also questioned
This issues raised by the Auditor General are so serious and so damning of government actions that a public inquiry is warranted. The Liberals merely ignored the report in the hope that it would go away if they didn’t respond. It appears they were right. This is unacceptable. The people of Ontario need to know that the Government is being held accountable. This is a crisis of proportions sufficient to bring a Government down. It is, in my opinion, scandalous.
Ditto for the Environmental Commissioners Report.
According to Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli Ontario has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs in the last couple of years. Sixty mills have closed in Northern Ontario because of high energy prices. Jobs are being lost in all of rural Ontario at an alarming rate. The Liberal government has done little to address this urgent situation, perhaps because they are the major cause.
Both the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the National Farmers Union have expressed serious concerns over Industrial Wind Turbines and the GEA.
The Liberal Government has given public sector unions and renewable energy interests major concessions in return for their support at election time. It appears that they have placed their quest for political power above the interests of the people of Ontario.
Ontario, once the economic driver of Canada, is now a have-not Province, and Ontario’s deficit is larger than that of all the other Provinces combined! We risk becoming another Greece or California.
Jim Brunow, Meaford