Rural-urban divide makes waves in Ontario race

Lib candidate protestAdam Radwanski, The Globe and Mail
One of the candidates for the Ontario Liberal leadership is proposing a new system for setting provincial electoral boundaries that would give much more power to the Greater Toronto Area, at the expense of under-populated rural ridings.

According to his campaign officials, former government services minister Harinder Takhar is calling for the province to stop mirroring federal districts, as it has since the 1990s. He would give an independent “Ontario boundary commission” the task of drawing a new map that would provide something closer to “true representation by population.”

f it were to gain steam, the proposal could play to both the Liberals’ strengths and weaknesses. It would increase the number of seats in the fast-growing “905 belt,” which the governing party nearly swept last election. But it would also further alienate rural and small-town regions, making it harder for them to rebuild in areas where they were virtually wiped out.

Although Mr. Takhar is seen to have little chance of winning Premier Dalton McGuinty’s job at the Liberals’ convention later this month, his policy proposals are drawing attention from other candidates who will be looking for second-choice support from his delegates. And reactions from the two perceived leadership front-runners were indicative of significantly different perspectives on the urban-rural balance.

Sandra Pupatello, a former Windsor MPP who has made much of being the only candidate from outside the GTA, was lukewarm at best. “It is essential that we acknowledge the growth of our population in urban and suburban areas, but not at the expense of the democratic rights of our rural and northern regions,” she said through a spokesperson.

In an interview, Kathleen Wynne – who appears to have considerable provincewide support, but is strongest in her hometown of Toronto – was more open to what she called “an interesting idea.” While acknowledging that both rural sensitivities and the cost of adding new constituencies would have to be taken into account, Ms. Wynne said it “makes a lot of sense” to strive for more equal representation. Read article

Will Wind Turbines Save the Farm?

London Free Press
In the swirling debate in rural Ontario about wind turbines and the Ontario government’s plans to saturate the countryside with these bulky appliances, it is common to hear the government line that wind energy is a solution to the income crisis that agriculture faces here in Ontario.  Listed below are 5 reasons wind energy is a poor income support program for farmers and a bad idea for the agricultural economy of rural Ontario.  Continue reading

Where are our 3 farm organizations when we need them most?

Orangeville Citizen

The numerous wind farms being built should make apparent to everyone that southern Ontario will be covered with wind turbines from Lake Huron to Lake Erie & Lake Ontario. That is provincial government policy and the Green Energy Act “streamlines” the approval process to the benefit of the wind turbine companies. 

Sadly, all the farm organizations appear to have been bullied into submission and are not looking after farmers’ interests. Simply stated: Continue reading

Digby Wind Farm Landowners Also Facing Liens

taxlienforeclosuresBy Gillian Cormier AllNovaScotia.com
13 November 2009

One of SkyPower’s creditors is looking to put liens on properties owned by people who planned to lease land for a wind farm in Digby.

The Terrain Group Inc, based in Dartmouth, filed a statement of claim this week against SkyPower and 17 landowners, representing 14 plots of land in Gulliver’s Cove, Digby county.

The Terrain Group claims it is owed $42,950 for professional surveying services on the lands. Continue reading

Open Letter to All Ontarians

No one asked for this.  Nobody looked to have their life and homes exposed in the news, trying to explain how the most promising form of renewable energy was causing such destruction of their family. 

Sleep deprivation, headaches, migraines, heart palpitations, tinnitus, pressure in the ears, sores that won’t heal, dangerously high blood pressure and the list goes on.  This was not the plan that any of these quiet and unassuming rural families had in mind, but this is what they got.  And countless months later it continues. 

Nobody wanted to get sick; nobody wanted to be forced to leave their home, the place they raised their children, the place they intended to live out their retirement.  Not one of them asked for this. In almost all cases, these symptoms were non-existent before the start up of the wind farm.

Continue reading

Urban vs. Rural

Toronto - Center of the Universe

Toronto - Center of the Universe

By MICHAEL DEN TANDT  London Free Press

….The same provincial government has imposed the Green Energy Act.  Its primary consequence, large industrial wind farms, promises to change permanently the character of rural Ontario.  Objections are everywhere and growing — outside Toronto.  So far, nobody in the megacity cares.

Deputy Premier George Smitherman is convinced wind power puts him on the side of the angels.  That’s all that counts.

Has it occurred to any of the folks complaining about disproportionate stimulus spending in Tory ridings that these ridings tend to be badly underserved in most areas of infrastructure?  Not likely.

They don’t get out of the city enough to know.        Read entire article here.

We cannot accept this for rural Ontario

VACATED

Home in Shelbourne Vacated Due to Turbine Noise/Vibrations

Many welcomed “green energy” into their community although some felt unease at a 400 foot tower with its massive base being placed so close to their home. They were reassured by the wind company that the turbines were as quiet as a whisper in a library and would be no trouble.

First comes the construction period with loads and loads of concrete, steel, transportation of massive turbine parts, new transmission lines, access roads and transformer stations.

Then the turbines start up. Continue reading

Agricultural and Environmental Considerations

irrigation-systems_10852663_250x250Northumberland Today

For a farm, or a rural property owner, to bear the cost of digging a new well, due to the imposition of a proven faulty technology, by a government or a company, for political-or taxpayer-subsidized gain, is unacceptable.

Continue reading

Wind Impact Study – Property Values, Health and Quality of Life

Download Appraisal Group One Wind Turbine Impact Study (4 MB, .pdf) Released 09/09/09    

Appraisal Group One is an independent appraisal company specializing in forensic appraisal, eminent domain, stigmatized properties and valuation research.

Conclusion:  After reviewing articles and studies on wind energy, wind turbines appear to have a negative impact on the property values, health, and quality of life of residents in close proximity. Of the studies that found no impact on property value, nearly all were funded by wind farm developers or renewable energy advocacy groups. Of the studies and reports showing property loss, the average negative effect is -20.7%. Continue reading

Kawartha Lakes Wind Proposal Raises Ire

david_marsh

David Marsh, Councilor Ward 16

 By Peggy Armstrong, Lindsay Post

MANVERS TWP. – The possibility of wind farms is blowing into the city and it’s causing a big stir.  Energy Farming Ontario Inc. held an open house last month in Pontypool that left one attendee with more questions than answers and a city councillor very frustrated.  The meeting was, according to Ward 16 Coun. David Marsh, “despicable, deplorable.  It’s unbelievable the province endorsed this.”

“They refused to answer questions,” he told The Lindsay Post. He noted that the province requires public open houses concerning wind farm proposals, but he said no one from the province was in attendance to oversee it. Continue reading

National Post: Northern Ontario Residents Critical of Process

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Protestor at Enbridge Wind Facility, Kincardine

Drafty reception for wind farm development
Megan O’Toole, National Post  Published: September 03, 2009

A group of Manitoulin Island residents is taking on a Toronto-based energy company, accusing Northland Power Inc. of fast-tracking a wind farm project without proper consultation.

The dispute is the latest sign of a groundswell of unease over wind power projects in the province have been highly critical of the effects of such development on local communities. Continue reading

We are Victims of Wind – Don’t Let This Happen to You

Residents of Ripley, Ontario

Victims of the Ripley, Ontario Industrial Wind Facility

We suffer from: 
House Vibration                              Electrical Pollution
Tightening in the Chest                   Ringing in the Ears
High Stress                                    Cardiac Arrythmia
Acute Hypertension                         Sleep Deprivation
Depression                                     Severe Financial Loss
Altered Living Conditions                  Abandoned by our government

OFCA: Stop the Turbines Until Health Study Conducted

By Hugo Rodrigues, SENTINEL-REVIEW  

The Oxford County Federation of Agriculture is adding its voice to those calling for a freeze on wind-farm developments in this county.   Read entire story here:  oxfordreview.com

UK Noise Association Report on Wind Turbine Noise

Download Full Report Here (3 MG pdf)SIROCCO_small

  1. Wind Farm noise, in common with noise generally, affects different people in different ways, but the evidence suggests there is rarely a problem for people living more than 1-1.5 miles from a turbine.
  2. For many people living relatively close to turbines, the noise does not present a problem. For those who are annoyed by the noise, it is overwhelmingly the “swish, swish, swish” of the turbines which troubles them. Continue reading

Ontario Municipalities: Never Give In to Force

Some 2,500 years ago, fable author Aesop opined that, “Persuasion is often more effectual than force.” It is an idea the current provincial government has decided holds no place, at least when it comes to matters it feels are important.

The list of areas where the government has chosen to exert the force of law over the persuasion of education is becoming legion, including but not limited to smoking, cellphone usage and, most importantly, wind power. Continue reading

Green Backlash: Just Put the Cold Hard Facts on the Table

Ripley Ontario

Ripley Ontario

As the nation rushes to add renewable energy to its power portfolio, a growing chorus of homeowners and others are expressing concerns about how industrial wind projects are affecting health, safety, lifestyle and property values.

Green marketing campaigns typically show rows of industrial wind turbines in remote windy locales. However, wind projects are increasingly finding their way into rural residential areas. With investment tax credits and government mandates advocating for additional installations, more homeowners and property owners may soon find themselves facing a turbine project proposal. Continue reading

Life in an 86-Turbine Wind Farm

Turbines-Comic

Wolfe Island: From beautiful place to an industrial wasteland

I am a resident of Cape Vincent, New York. Over the past decade, I have made numerous and regular visits to Canada. I have been a season ticket holder to the Thousand Islands Playhouse, have attended Kingston Symphony and other cultural events, have given contributions to Canadian charities, and have shopped, dined, toured and shared in the joy of all things Canadian. Continue reading