More than 100 Municipal Councilors walk out on McGuinty

by Heather Boa, Huron Bullet News
TORONTO – More than one hundred municipal politicians – including some from Huron County – walked out on Premier Dalton McGuinty en masse in protest of wind energy development during his opening address at the county’s largest annual conference for rural municipalities.

Politicians were gathered for the opening ceremonies of the combined conference of Ontario Good Roads Association and Rural Ontario Municipal Association in the Royal York’s main meeting room, which has the capacity to seat 1,670 people, where McGuinty was scheduled to address municipal leaders for the first time since his third consecutive electoral victory and after the release of the Drummond Report. As he made his way to the podium, municipal politicians from across the province stood and left the room.

Among the local politicians were: councillors Burkhard Metzger, Alex Westerhout and Brian Barnim of Central Huron; Coun. Tyler Hessel of Bluewater; Mayor George Robertson, Deputy Reeve Jim Deitrich and Coun. Dave Frayne of South Huron. Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson and Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker also walked out of the meeting. Outside the room, they were greeted by a crowd opposed to wind energy development, and anti-wind buttons were handed out.

“I have issues with how it’s pushed into the community. [The government] is not listening to the concerns that are out there,” Metzger said. “What it really boils down to is: What is their agenda for rural Ontario? If they choose to behave that way, I think it’s only fair to walk out on the guy like that.”

Metzger said the majority of people who elected him to municipal council in 2010 wanted him to walk out on their behalf.

Prior to the conference, the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie circulated a resolution to Ontario municipalities calling for the Premier to invoke an immediate one-year moratorium on wind energy development with yearly extensions as required. It demanded the moratorium be in place before the ROMA/OGRA 2012 conference or municipal officials would walk out on the Premier “in a show of solidarity to once again demonstrate to our provincial government our frustration, anger and disappointment over their complete and total mishandling of the Green Energy Act and industrial wind turbines in particular.”

The Green Energy Act, in part, created the Feed-In Tariff program and associated pricing structure for renewable energy contracts in Ontario.

68 thoughts on “More than 100 Municipal Councilors walk out on McGuinty

  1. Woo hoo!!! Fabulous news! I’m so proud of every single person who made a statement there today. McGuinty must realize by now that his “Shangri-la” days are over.

  2. “They don’t like the government’s energy policies”
    Now where would he get that idea?

    Congratualtions to all who participated.

  3. Mcguinty has no respect left except attention for those who make money off him.
    I can imagine that some of his family at the dinner table are disgusted with him.
    Time to get rid of this Liar, he slithers around like he’s a gift to politics.

  4. I am very proud of those who had the backbone to walk out !!!!!!!!!
    We need heroes like them to help right the injustice done by the wind industry and current gov’t.
    THANK YOU !!

  5. Note: the reporter of this article (Heather Boa) used to be Communications Director for Leader Energy with Chuck Edey. She managed to produce an unbiased article.

    • The author also worked on former Agriculture Minister Carol Mitchel’s unsuccessful campaign for re-election in Huron Bruce.
      I did notice the author referred to the capacity of the facility but not the actual attendance. Obviously in hope to minimize the walk-out event. Nice try Heather. It almost worked.
      Unbiased? Hardly.

  6. I plan to use this mass protest to show local politicians in the US that A) they too CAN stand up to ignorant wind energy policies, and B) the community response to industrial turbines can be easily predicted as overwhelmingly negative.

    Polling urban dwellers to provide “straw votes” in favor of turbines being placed in the rural areas makes about as much sense as having a vote in rural areas on building height and lack of noise limitations in cities.

  7. Thank you Heather Boa for this coverage.
    If you’re interested in a side job, there’s lots of work available here. It doesn’t pay anything, per se, but the rewards are tremendous!

  8. I have the greatest respect for those walked out, decent people for the people.
    If there is a video of this, I sure hope it is posted.

  9. Very Good, from what i read on this excellent website you have
    a Premier that needs to be removed from office.

  10. This may be ignored by the Mainstream News Media but WE know how important this is and we have to make sure that this news is blasted everywhere!………….This may seem like a small issue to the Windies, but I would suggest this may be a first in Ontario Politics, if not Canada. There is no bigger INSULT in Politics than turning one’s back and ignoring another politician’s actual presence! Native North American’s greatest punishment to people who did bad things to their tribal members was to banish them from the tribe and ignore their very existence! Time we all inspired Hudak and his followers to show some spine here and begin a “STAND UP and WALK OUT” protest at Queen’s Park…………”when there is nobody there to hear you, then your redundant”!

  11. Yeah – What is their agenda?

    ‘[excerpt] “I have issues with how it’s pushed into the community. [The government] is not listening to the concerns that are out there,” Metzger said. “What it really boils down to is: What is their agenda for rural Ontario? If they choose to behave that way, I think it’s only fair to walk out on the guy like that.”’

    Combined ROMA/OGRA Conference
    The agenda of speakers:

    What else is on the agenda?

    I’m glad you asked – Mr. Metzger.
    Who else is @ ROMA/OGRA Conference?

    Let’s Toc – transforming our communities
    Communities of Tommorrow

    The Green Energy And Green Economy Act (Bill 150) was –
    designed to battle Climate Change – wind energy – gas plants – less destructive.
    Well that’s a joke!

    • Mr. McGuinty – a penny for your thoughts!
      What’s wrong in Ontario?

      The Green Energy and Green Economy Act (Bill 150)

      Explanatory Note:
      The explanatory Note was written as a reader’s aid to Bill 150,
      and does not form part of the law.
      Bill 150 has been exacted as Chapter 12 of the statutes of Ontario, 2009

      The Municipal Act is a consolidated statute governing the extent of powers and duties,
      internal organization and structure of municipalities in Ontario.

      A full text of the Act may be found on the Government of Ontario’s e-Laws web site.
      The new Municipal Act, which took effect on January 1, 2003,
      represents the first comprehensive overhaul of Ontario’s municipal legislation in 150 years
      and is the cornerstone of a new, stronger provincial-municipal relationship.

      Salacious appetites: What’s cooking now?

      • …….from your link Trevor Falk:

        My opinion:
        Scariest speech – ever – in Ontario!
        yeah – who wrote the speech?

        ‘[excerpt Because Ontarians need to know:
        You and I don’t see a world that threatens us.
        We see a world — a future — that beckons us!’

        ‘[excerpt] You and I keep demonstrating our shared commitment to work together for the benefit of the people
        we are privileged to serve.

        I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your advice and goodwill.
        My government won’t get everything right.

        But, I believe we can come pretty close, if we keep listening to each other and learning from each other.

        The great news is that, here in Ontario, we have a foundation of tremendous strength on which to build.

        Municipal leaders, like you, are an important part of that foundation.

        Again, I want to thank you for your strong leadership.

        And your optimism.

        Because Ontarians need to know:
        You and I don’t see a world that threatens us.
        We see a world — a future — that beckons us!

        It’s a “different” world, our post-recession world, and it’s not for the faint of heart.

        Neither will it reward the ponderous.
        But it’s filled with new opportunities.
        Together, let’s seize those opportunities.

        Let’s continue to move forward on the road to recovery.

        Thank you.

        Sit up!
        p.s. McGuinty’s ‘Our World’ speech – Ugh!

      • Why was this line in Mr. McGuinty’s speech?
        ‘[excerpt] Neither will it reward the ponderous.’

        ……..sounds like something taken from:
        Sermon on the Mount.

        Shame on you! – Mr. McGuinty

      • Who was Mr. McGuinty speaking to?
        Yeah –
        Mr. McGuinty’s,
        Green – Sustainability Planning – ‘Just Believe’ Speech
        – just luv-vish!

        A Green mayor becomes king – council is cut out –
        because ‘working groups’ form ‘consensus’,
        and ‘consensus rules.
        Well – you get – I hope

        Volunteerism – to save the planet!
        For example:
        The Chatham-Kent Final Plan
        1. What is a Community Sustainability Plan?

        2.. As a ‘growing movement’….

        3. Re: Sustainability plans …..are not mandatory

        4. However, traditional definitions are often difficult to ‘implement’ – on the ground.

        5. The ‘establishment’ of a shared vision of what sustainability means;

        Chatham-Kent : pdf.4 (8 – 110)

        Impossible Fantasies –
        may require – you give up your first born child – not known yet.

        Rip it up – Boot the facilitators out

        Am I wrong?

  12. Thank you and Congratulations to those who participated this morning! Keep the ball rolling. ’tis the beginning of the end….WOOT!

  13. Is anyone contacting their local news stations & news papers to find out why there is no coverage of this very important statement made by these exceptional municipal councillors.

    Have not heard a peep about it on CHCH!!

  14. Mcguinty has a hard head I wonder if any of this got through . Mcguinty’s sole purpose seems to be making off shore companies rich.Glad to see politicians walk out on him Bravo

  15. I know for sure that CBC and the Globe and Mail were there this morning. Tonight on the 6 oclock and on the 11pm news might get some coverage.. We can only hope.

    • Melodie,
      Do you have any estimate of how many might have been in the room at the time of the walk-out? Since the article only states the ‘capacity’ of 1670, the author could be guilty of bias unless it was full to capacity.

  16. I applaud the municipal politicians for their fortitude to send McGuinty a strong message. My fear is that the wind turbine fiasco has become so large, it’s now out of his control.

  17. Need to send a press release.
    Way to go to our representatives who participated! You are the cream of the crop!
    Thank you

  18. Does anyone know if anyone from the Haldimand group walked out?
    Pretty sure I know the answer, but thought I’d ask.
    Wouldn’t want Hewitt and his cronies NOT to get some mention on this topic – however pathetic they might be.
    Kudos to ALL who did walk out, however. Thank you very much.

      “Changes are coming to the Green Energy Act that will restore some autonomy to municipalities that want to limit the number of wind turbines erected in their jurisdiction” Premier Dalton McGuinty said Monday. ———————-
      “We’re listening, and taking municipal concerns into account as we make thoughtful choices.”———————–
      he twists his words, uses this propaganda to delay, and trick Rural Ontario.
      he is desperately trying to save his face.
      Walk out on anything more he does.

      • Yes, – I believe you are right – desperately trying to save his face – yes, there is only one way – he has to go!

    • Jonathan Jenkins failed to mention in his press release that over 100 municipal politicians walked out on the Premier. Queen’s Park Bureau press release, all spin no substance. Shame on the Sun for not being aware of the issues and reporting all the news from the Good Roads Conference.

  19. Thank you to all who walked for standing for us – both figuratively and literally!!
    Now we will see what mainstream news does with this.

  20. My congratulations to all of those who walked out!

    The text of Premier McWindy’s speech (as written, not necessary as read) is on the ROMA website ( It’s the usual irrelevant, platitudinous, self-congratulatory drivel: Ontario is great … we’re making it better … going in right direction … tough decisions … strong economy … parents want good education for their kids … health care … blah, blah, blah.

    On the Green Energy Act, Mr. McWindy says that Al Gore thinks it is the best in the world, and that the Samsung deal will be “giving” us green energy and green jobs up the wazoo.

    In summary, those who left didn’t miss anything, and those who stayed didn’t learn anything except that very little of Ontario’s energy policies will likely change as a result of the Auditor General’s report, the Drummond report, and the strong, urgent calls from rural communities for a return to sanity.

    • Al Gore dosen’t just believe that only light bulbs need to be changed but laws should be changed so renewable energy can be forced upon the people.
      Anyone back in 2009 could have gone online to check out the news on Samsung. So why wasn’t this done or was the news just ignored? Same thing with Pattern Energy Group. What a combination Samsung, Pattern and CPC make in the IWT business.

  21. Make sure you all send your thanks to your councillors or address them in person. Show them they’re efforts are applauded.


  23. This is how a minority government worked to our advantage, this would never have happened if McWindiny had a majority. Next step is to turf Mclier on a confidence vote.

  24. I believe that the Canadian Room was filled to capacity. It certainly was last night for the meet and greet and 2 free drinks! I can not imagine anyone coming all the way to the conference and then not going the first morning to hear D. McTurbine. There was a sea of councillors pouring past our gaunlet that were given our Mark Davis hand outs as they entered the Canadian Room . At dinner this evening it will be very interesting to hear what has been said to and by the politicians that did not walk out. I will let you know the consensus…and it damn well better be good!

    thanks all.

    • No comments allowed either. It looks like the Star doesn’t want anyone commenting who might tell what really happened.

  25. THANK YOU to our Municipal Councillors for their support. We are proud of you for walking out!
    The battle is far from over yet! Keep up the good work.

  26. Melodie your enthusiasm and first hand reporting allow those of us who are there in spirit to enjoy the thrill of this courageous protest to the fullest!

    Can you post the hand-out you distributed?

    If there is an accurate record of the individuals who walked-out we could send messages of thanks to them and the Municipalities they represent so that their action is acknowledged as a positive benefit to rural Ontario.

    Whatever happens, they, and the organizers of this splendid response to the government’s disrespect of rural Ontario, have our undying gratitude.

  27. Yeah the Canadian press articl is similar with the handful comment but The Star goes further down the path towards lying: “At the Royal York, where it was easy to spot delegates wearing anti-wind power buttons on their lapels, McGuinty acknowledged the walkout of about a half-dozen people as he took the podium.”

    • Since we know Bill Walker and Lisa Thompson were among those who walked out, the Star’s half-dozen would only include 4 more. That is a long way from 80 – 100. On the other hand, maybe they just don’t know how many are in a dozen? Or they are just lying. Hmmmmm I wonder which one I believe…..

  28. Thank you to all councillors and MPP who stood up for the rural people of the province and not those who are profiting from the harm inflicted on our neighbours health and safety,our environment, and our economics.
    Well done!!!

  29. I wish we had thought to make a list of all who walked out. I think we were stunned at the greater amount of walk outs than we anticipated. The Press were shining lights and doing interviews and you felt rude to go into a crowd of strangers and crouch to read their name tags. Over 1000 hand outs were given out. ( I forgot to keep one for my scrapbook!) It was basically the letter that Mark Davis wrote in response to the ROMA letter that tried to disuade a walk out. It would have been impossible to educate all on all the complexities of the wind turbine issues but I came away feeling that a big dent was put in the green bubble. I will be having dinner tonight with some folks that did not walk out…I will be able to hold my head high. They will have to wonder why it is that our Premier is doing some back paddling.. It is because of all of you good folks reading this right now, that are in this fight for the long haul.. You have never given up, against near impossible odds..and for that I thank you from the bottom, top and both sides of my heart.


    • Was anybody able to get at least some cell phone video or photos of the apparent “half dozen / handfull” that walked out?

      And now with the spin doctoring going on, do the municipal leaders who chose to stay and be “respectful” to McGuinty wish they had taken a hike instead?

      It’s becoming blatantly obvious that hardball is the only game to play in order to stop this IWT nonsense in it’s tracks.

      • Maybe everyone that actually walked out should send an e-mail to appropriate parties to confirm the correct numbers.

        As well, the “respectful” group who chose not to walk could send a similar e-mail noting their opinion on the matter.

        This way, the biased news outlets would be exposed as well as the offending politicians.

  30. Well we we can always hope that CBC can’t resist airing Melodie’s STOP THE WIND TURBINES buttons on butt (would that be a “butt-on” protest?) audacity and the exodus from the meeting may be documented properly.

  31. I’m sure every Council member that walked will be well known by their “Wind Warrior” in each township. Once everyone is back home from ROMA could each person in this group that “knows” that their Municipal Rep was part of the walkout inform OWR who it was and they could be listed on this site so that they are respectively mentioned as being truly representatives of the PEOPLE?

  32. One last thing here…………..if you want to know why there are so many Councils intent in staying to hear McGuinty and are afraid to move their arse off the chairs to walk out and why mainstream media is basically shut down any expose of this action against this Government, here is the true Agenda of what they are following!

  33. TO all the Mayors , Deputy Mayors and Council members of rural Onatrio that claim “Our hands are tied behind our backs by the Green Energy Act” …..You don’t have to throw those same hands up in the air and give up! These are YOUR towns that are being invaded by corporations that are ruthlessly fighting their way into the public trough. YOUR Fire Chief can stop them. YOU can send your Roads Dept to build berms to block their access to the project site. YOU can make a stand to protect rural Ontario and go down in history as the “Brave Township” that wouldn’t be bullied by the Province. Three years from now…the stand you take today will be the one you are remembered for…think about it.

    I know that I will never forget that moment in time, when time seemed to stand still as I watched a brave little Deputy Mayor, Mark Davis of Arran-Elderslie, square up his shoulders and head all alone into the Canadian Room at the Royal York Hotel, where his Premier Dalton McGuinty was to make his address to ROMA. Deputy Mayor Mark Davies dared to stand up, turn his back and WALKOUT, in front of 1600 delegates for rural Ontario on the Premier that refuses to listen to the families in rural Ontario. Mr. Davies will never have to apologize for making that stand…I am sure that the story of his bravery on February 27, 2012 will pass down through his family and many many other families of rural Ontario for generations to come. My husband Mayor Mike Burkett of Severn Township along with 99 others walked out as well. They dared to stand up and make a difference.
    As a rate payer , a stake holder and citizen of Rural Ontario, I am grateful.

    Melodie Burkett

  34. Thank you so much Melodie and others for the courage and support at the RONA piss up on behalf of residents of rural Ontario. You are absolutely right; there are deterrents that can be employed to stop the development of industrial wind turbines. Municipal council has to be on board – supporting what is right for the people of the community. Unforunately Norfolk County plays the same game as McGuinty. It’s called don’t bite the hand that feeds them; to hell with their constituents, their health and well being. Integrity and courage, Mayor Travale and Councillors need to start acting in our best interest. In not doing so, is negligent. Law suits will trickle down-on the provincial government all the way down to municipal governments, big wind industries land owners who hold the leases. It will be a very bumpy and interesting ride.

  35. Yes Crazy Train…I happen to know of some law suits coming down the pipe. Others will follow I am sure. We have gained much traction now as the wind industry and their house of cards is say the least. Slashed subsidies, lack of investor dollars and a disdain for being duped by our own governments are taking a toll. Mr. Smitherman and Premier McGuinty will rue the day they decided to push the Green Energy Act through. They poked a stick in a bee hive and soon they will be running for their lives instead of running for political power. Unfortunately, Andrea Horvath missed a golden opportunity to really make a stand for the working people. She blew it big time. Shame on her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *