Years ago my good friend and protest sidekick, Muriel, was leaving one of the final wind company dog & pony shows. As she walked back to her car one of the wind company hacks that stood beside the boards with a blank stare and canned answers night after night, approached her. He had to tell her something that apparently couldn’t be said in the building with the others around.
From memory I’d say he always looked slightly uncomfortable in his attire, and even more uncomfortable when his morals were questioned. In any case, he told her it was his final night working for this wind company – he wasn’t going to do it anymore. Shocked that he would bother to reveal this, and doubting his sincerity, she took a second and then shot back, “So you finally got a conscience?”
Yes, he told her, he was done with it. Night after night he had stood by those posters and defended a project and a company he didn’t believe in anymore. In earlier conversations we found out that he had fought a gravel pit that was to be constructed near his home – no doubt gravel that would be used to build bases for hundreds of turbines. Slowly he started to see the similarities between our concerns for the local swallows, eagles and turtles, and his concerns for the threatened salamander in his neighbourhood.
And, just like that, we didn’t look so crazy to him, nor he to us.
Now I’m going to throw out a name that seems to have nothing to do with this story, but stick with me. Dr. David Colby, Chief Medical Officer of Health (MOH) for Chatham-Kent, specializes in microbiology and infectious diseases, outright Wind Turbine Syndrome denial, and he is president of the Rondeau Cottagers Association (RCA).
Colby is, and always has been, a chronically plugged ear to those who are suffering from the wind turbines in Chatham Kent. Here’s classic Colby cynicism in a statement made to the Huron County Council in 2011:
“You cannot design an experiment to prove that ghosts do not exist or that wind turbines do not cause harm,” he said.
Hence, he wasn’t going to do anything about the complaints in his community because – he doesn’t believe in ghosts, or something like that. There’s no way the people of C-K would even consider approaching him with their health issues after statements like this.
Colby now has his own little problem that’s occupying his time. His cottage is in Rondeau Provincial Park. He owns the building, but not the land. The province owns the land, or more correctly, we the people of the province do. The lease runs out on these cottages in 2017, and then it looks like the cottages will have to be removed. Say it ain’t so! Stand in front of the bulldozers for him! Protect his… um… home. Yeah. Fat chance. Tables turned, how do ya like it?
In defence Colby claims the land is his, sort of.
“The parks of Ontario belong to the people of Ontario. It’s for their use and enjoyment. The charter of Rondeau Park was to be developed as a health resource from the very get-go.”
Hear that? It’s a health resource! We’ve been fighting the wind battle all wrong! The MOH of Chatham-Kent says these wild areas with homes (aka “the country”) are health resources that should be protected for our use and enjoyment. Or no, maybe I got that all wrong. Maybe it’s only “wild areas with homes and cottages for the political elite” that need to be saved – the rest of us can live a life of misery in our ragged old country bumpkin abodes surrounded by transmission towers and thousands of pulsing wind turbines.
*Must remember: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
Unlike the wind rep Muriel encountered, Colby will never put himself in our shoes. He is much too self-centred to care. Just the sort of personality you want as a MOH, no?
On top of the health benefits of parks and cottages, the RCA say their cottages should be designated “Heritage,” and that the boardwalk pathways down to the beach are special habitat for the rare five-lined skink. “Ripping out heritage cottages destroys habitat of species at risk,” Colby tweeted, as Rondeau Warrior. I say: Take your concerns to the Environmental Review Tribunal and try your luck. PROVE that severe and irreversible harm will come to that skink, and your health, and the community heritage. 99% proof needed, by the way.
In the end everything will turn out just fine for Dave and his cottage, and his health, ’cause he has Wynne on his side.
Let me leave you with one last bit of wisdom, or irony, from Colby, who can’t accept the idea that he might have to move his cottage, or have it removed.
Meanwhile, many within the Rondeau Cottagers Association believe the Ontario government doesn’t have the right to take their property.
“You can’t just go in with bulldozers and expect it to be okay,” Colby said.
So true. You can’t just go in with thousands of cement trucks, cranes, towers, blades, flashing lights, oh and yes – bulldozers, and expect it to be okay.