Multi‐Municipal Working Group responds to ROMA

Letter to ROMA from Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group Comprised of Elected Officials from Bruce, Dufferin, Grey, Huron, Perth and Wellington Counties
To all ROMA members and Conference delegates:
Yesterday’s letter from the Board of Directors of ROMA requires clarification. The people who are going to be walking out on Premier Dalton McGuinty are not some radical‐fringe opponents of Green Energy but rather members of your Association who have actual firsthand experience in dealing with the impact of industrial wind turbines on our communities.

With all due respect for ROMA’s past successes, industrial wind turbines are the largest planning issue currently facing many municipalities across rural Ontario. The Green Energy Act stripped the municipalities of their planning authority to respond to the concerns of their citizens. People are getting sick and are being forced from their homes. Citizens are banding together and taking every means possible to resist new turbine developments. Municipal Councils are now caught between valid local concerns and a provincial policy that is out of touch with what is actually happening in rural Ontario.

We are not alone in expressing concerns with the Green Energy Program and wind turbines:

  • The December 2011 Ontario Auditor General’s Report noted that wind turbines are not replacing coal plants. Nor are they saving greenhouse gas emissions. They require additional fossil‐fuel gas generation back‐up because their production is unpredictable, intermittent, and cannot be stored. The Auditor General observed that this means consumers pay twice for wind energy, adding to skyrocketing electricity costs that are posing a real threat to jobs.
  • The Ontario Federation of Agriculture, representing 38,000 farm families across Ontario, in January 2012 called the current situation in rural Ontario ‘untenable’ and asked the Ontario government to suspend awarding projects until the issues with the program were resolved. The Christian Farmers Association of Ontario has called for a similar moratorium.
  • 79 rural municipalities have passed a range of motions that call for a moratorium on wind turbine installations or other actions until the issues are resolved.
  • In Southern Ontario, elected officials representing municipalities from 6 counties have come together to form the Multi‐Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group which meets monthly to coordinate responses to well‐financed wind energy developers.

As a representative of Rural Ontario, ROMA must be aware of the depth of these concerns and we hope to hear at the conference the steps that ROMA, like the other organizations representing Rural Ontario, has taken to represent the concerns of its members on this issue. If you need more information, we would be pleased to meet with the Board or any interested delegates to provide information on the issue.

While the Province responded within hours to a light rail transit motion by the Toronto Council, there has been no meaningful response to our requests for action on this issue. The issue is tearing Rural Ontario apart and it was out of frustration at the lack of response that the Municipality of Arran‐Elderslie, with the support of other municipalities, called in January on the government to respond prior to the annual ROMA/OGRA conference or face a walk out during Premier McGuinty address.

Every now and then in life, there are times when you must stand up and be counted. You must do things that you believe are right for the people you represent. I firmly believe this is one of those times. If the provincial government had done something, we would not be having this discussion.

I will be walking for those people and their families who are ill from living too close to an Industrial Wind Turbine through no fault of their own.

I will be walking for those people who have had to spend months living in motels to get some sleep. I will be walking for those people who have had to sell their homes and sign a gag order to accomplish that, so they can’t warn other people.

There are many reasons to walk and very few not to. I hope that other delegates will join me and my colleagues.

Mark Davis,
Deputy Mayor, Arran‐Elderslie
Chair, Multi‐Municipal Working Group on Wind Turbines

18 thoughts on “Multi‐Municipal Working Group responds to ROMA

  1. Brilliant!…….not much left to debate in this declaration of rationality in an otherwise chaotic issue!
    I would ask that any like-minded Councillor do their best to “lobby” other Councillors that aren’t “up to speed” with this action that will do more for their electorate than any other action taken to-date.
    Stand Up!……………Walk Out!

  2. There are those in ROMA who are trying to divide and conquer. Don’t let them get away with this. Hang in there Mark. You are doing a great job! In Unity There Is Strength!

  3. We needed a champion to stand up to the big green machine – I think we’ve finally found one!

  4. Thank you for treating your constituents as people that matter, not casualties of Dalton McGuinty’s Green Scheme.

  5. Well done Mark…if only we had more municipal leaders like you. Good luck next week. Your constituents should be very proud of you.

    Donna, Municipality of Meaford

  6. Mark,

    I look forward to meeting you at ROMA/OGRA. I want to shake your hand when you walk out.

    Lorrie and I will be there with handouts.

    Thanks for your true grit and valour .

    History will remember you and your personal courage to make an historical stand for your true convictions.
    Break a leg,
    Mayor Mike Burkett and Melodie

  7. I agree with everything you say. I just hope Adrian Foster Mayor of Clarington is
    listening. I am a very concerned citizen of Clarington . Tom Inglis

  8. I wish we had that kind of Leadership here is Norfolk. According to our Mayor and Council Delegates speaking about Health Issues and Wind Turbines are bullying them. If there’s anyone bullying it’s our excuse for a Premiere not an 80 year old retired school teacher just trying to get some justice and support from our local government. It’s particularly disheartening that they hide behind the Green Energy Act since the WInd Turbines in Norfolk are pre GEA, and were approved by the very local government that now only gives token support to those who want this madness stopped. Too bad there’s over three years until a municipal election.

    Thanks to Mark Davis and those who stick up for justice.

  9. The fight against any injustice needs people to take the lead and step up. Thanks Mark for being a leader. Mapleton council voted to join the walkout as well. It will be interesting to see how Dalton,s friends in the Toronto media will spin this or if the walkout gets any coverage at all.

  10. I believe there will be lot’s of press coverage. Why do you think Roma put out a missive begging attendees not to walk out? Surely Christine Blizzard is on top of this. ???
    A walkout is so trite when you consider that rural mayors should be sitting on the floor until a moratorium is in place for Gods sake! Queen’s Park should be covered in splattered eggs !

  11. Congratulations, Mark on your stand…..As for Norfolk county ( which is where I was born and raised ) , three years until the next municipal election gives that council three more years to REALLY screw things up..!! I uesd to be proud to say I came from there, but not any more… Too bad, really..

  12. If municipal councils would like to keep their status; it is in their best interest to walk on McGuinty. It is their duty to support and represent their constituents. No support = no vote at election time. This will not be forgotten.

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