Troublesome winds blowing in North Perth

Listowel Banner Editorial
The proposed wind energy project for North Perth and Perth East has shaken this community.  Letters to the editor are arriving on a daily basis. Normally laid-back and meek residents are speaking out on their beliefs. Tensions ran high during a recent Invenergy Canada delegation at North Perth municipal council.  Folks are concerned, confused and many are downright fighting mad about wind turbines. It isn’t every day that a controversy of this magnitude takes a small-town community like this by such force.
The vast majority of local residents do not want a wind energy project here. We are basing that theory on the many residents who have contacted the Banner or made their opposition known in some other form.

According to Invenergy Canada, the company has acquired more than 75 per cent of the land it needs for its low-density, 23-27 turbine project. If that is the case, obviously there are residents who support the project. Who and where are they?
Why won’t they speak out? Are they afraid? Worried about what others will think? The company claims it has enjoyed broad support from residents in this community. But these residents are keeping their support under wraps.

No doubt the recent firestorm of opposition has made the wind-turbine proponents hush up about their recent dealings. But it can’t stay secret forever, especially if this project comes to fruition. Meaning, the debate we’ve seen thus far may only be the beginning.

According to www.canada.com, “Growing opposition to wind farms in Ontario has led to the delay or cancellation of at least three electricity-generating projects in recent months, prompting the province’s energy minister to warn the not-in-my-back-yard phenomenon is a threat to the province’s energy security.”

According to an article in The Sudbury Star, “Every time there’s a public meeting to discuss a project, crowds gather with questions: How far should they be from homes? Are there health effects? Do they produce enough energy? How much noise should they be allowed to create? And what happens if they’re not sustainable? Do we have rusting hulks dotting the landscape? (The recent unveiling of a solar energy project the size of nine Rogers Centres near Napanee to provide electricity for a mere 1,000 households did nothing to ease fears.)

Central Ontario is one of several prime targets. Others include Lake Erie and the Owen Sound area. At one public meeting, 150 people turned out in a village with a population of half that. In Prince Edward County, another attracted more than 300. And in the City of Kawartha Lakes, a crowd of 500 got so worked up, fist fights broke out.”

Thankfully, we haven’t yet experienced violent opposition quite to that extreme here. But it begs the question, is this what we have to look forward to? There is much passion underlying the debate here and abroad. No wonder leaseholders are keeping mum.

North Perth, Perth East and Perth County as a whole have long been peaceful, neighbourly places, especially in small towns. Let’s all hope, no matter what the outcome, that these community connections won’t be permanently severed.
-S.B.

11 thoughts on “Troublesome winds blowing in North Perth

  1. It’s about time the Minister of Energy woke up and found out that rural Ontarians’ objections to IWTs are not based on NIMBYISM but real information about the problems IWTs pose to themselves, to their communities and to all of Ontario as well.
    Rural Ontarians are on very solid ground with their objections to IWTs.

    • The only people the government is interested in listening to are companies like,Invenergy,Pattern, NextEra and IP-GDF Suez with their UN & Wall Street connections. Rural Ontarians don’t count in their view.

  2. “And in the City of Kawartha Lakes, a crowd of 500 got so worked up, fist fights broke out.”
    I`ve been to all but the very first meeting, in the city of K.L.s, (as far as I know) and although many people were understandably and justifiably, quite upset, I saw no physical altercations, or heard of any, until now. If there really were, I`d appreciate someone confirming that.
    However, that`s where this thing is headed. If McGuilty doesn`t smarten up, he`s going to start a civil war of sorts, because you can`t just waltze in and destroy peoples lives, without very serious consequences.
    Human nature is to fight for ones survival. People aren`t going to just lay down and die!
    And that is the only choice some of us have. With our homes now totally worthless and unlivable due to the negative health effects, we can no longer sell our homes & property to retire, as we`ve planned and worked our entire lives to do. It`s fight or die! Not hard to guess, which option most will choose.
    Look how upset, the layed off Cat employees are. They`ve lost thier jobs. It`s terrible! But they still have thier pensions. And thier health..And thier safe homes.
    But thier union has the nerve to take all that and more, from 100`s of innocent residents around thier CAW family centre/ turbine research centre or whatever the fools call it.
    They re-elected the Lying Liberals, and paid the price. We`re also paying the price for thier stupidity.
    I`ve not the least bit of sympathy for them!
    In fact, I think I`m going to go out & purchase a new pair of Cat boots.And hat! And coat. And what else do they sell with the Cat name?

    • Douglas,
      Are you sitting down?
      The CAW Education Centre: teaches ‘social responsibility’.

      • “social responsibility” you say, Free Thinker?
        Must admit, it`s a bit hard getting the old head around that one!

    • Kudos to you Mr. Moran.. Couldn’t have said it any better myself..Civil war is a great way to express what’s starting here..I’m of the view that we canadians are a very complacent lot..we just keep taking it up the A@s, and seem to not mind it.. However, if you keep taking it,, sooner or later, one will get tired of it, of all that pain,, and then,, look out!!.. I don’t think we have had it up there hard enough yet, but,, the day is definitely coming Things are starting to happen..

  3. There are over 300 property owners in the targeted area of North Perth and Perth East for this low density project. Invenergy claims they are making progress towards securing 100 per cent needed for the project. Approximately 12 landowners have signed leases. This will change the community forever.
    We have families, friends and neighbours divided now and the tension is definitely building. The lease holders will need to carry liability insurance to protect their neighbours’ property from damages for future years. Ontario is becoming a HAVE NOT PROVINCE!

  4. Worst Premier ever. Anyone who can create such livid civil unrest in temperately moderate rural Ontario is an absolute failure. Dalton believes that it’s “all in our heads”. He is definitely drunk with power and plugging his ears.

  5. Premier McGuinty wants the bullying to stop but the rural residents can be bullied by the Energy Companies to sign contracts immediately without time to think about the consequences. Why can’t the Liberals and NDP’s see what they have done to this province when they passed the Green Energy Act in Dec.2011?

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