Winning back rural Ontario

by Michael Warren, Toronto Star
He was invited to bolster the chances of the Liberals in the rural riding of Grey Bruce. The most controversial local issue was industrial wind farms invading the pristine countryside.  Finance Minister Dwight Duncan addressed the crowd with an air of urban superiority. “Windmills. I know it’s a difficult issue up here . . . but in 10 years you people are going to look back and say, what was all the fuss about?” The next day’s headline read, “King Dwight tells rural Ontario: Eat cake.” The Liberal candidate, a respected mayor in the region, lost by a large margin to a neophyte Conservative who didn’t work or live in the riding.  Read article

14 thoughts on “Winning back rural Ontario

  1. Some people still don’t get it that IWTs don’t work. So it dosen’t matter who owns them. The central idea behind IWTs is to reduce greenhouse gases and reduce the use of fossil fuels. IWTs don’t do this either. They don’t understand that IWTs produce non-dispatchable power.
    The MSM needs to get their facts straight before presenting information to or on rural Ontario issues.

    • MSM distortion of fact is intentional (definitely 680 rogers bell and torstar), not many people in Toronto know there is a 2 1/2 billion dollar litigation going on………oh all the sudden all these proponent favourable stories come out the last couple of weeks about Windstream and offshore turbines. Coincidence….probably not. Only gauging public reaction for the Liberal about face, wait for it.

  2. A story yesterday by Post Media News, states that Quebec will have a huge surplus of hydro electricty over the next decade; 20 terawat hours by 2020. This is green, renewable energy avilable for sale. Ont. currently also has surplus electricty. What, if any, are the drawbacks to contracting for some of this electricity?
    The massive investment by Ont Liberals into renewable energy is the answer to exactly what problem?

    • The day Hydro Quebec lets Newfoundland out of the contract for Churchill Falls power that pays them only a small fraction of the market price we might consider contracting to buy power from Quebec.

      • Right, but surely Ont. could negotiate some deal to purchase electricity, same as the US states do, at a realistic price. Surely this kind of a deal would be cheaper than investing billions in wind and solar plants that can never deliver reliable electricty. The OPA stated in a 2007 report this would be preferable to investing in wind, anything would be, as they also pointed out.
        I think the real problem is political, McGuinty could not admit that Quebec has made a better job of securing long term electricity avaiability, than Ont.

    • The idea behind demand-side management of power in Ontario is NOT to increase the supply but to reduce the demand for power. Demand is NOT reduced by increasing supply by buying additional power from outside the province.
      Demand side managemnet is not a new idea and was applied to rationing of gasoline during WW 2.

      • That is true, but McGuinty arguments for increaed renewable supply is based on future need for power, at least in part. Of course wind and solar don’t add much in terms of supply, but that is his argument.
        My counter argument is that he could sign a contract for renewable energy with Quebec for much less than he is paying wind and solar companies and Samsung. We would at least be buying electricity. That alternative is never even mentioned by anyone, except OPA in 2007.

      • Martin, suppiles of additional power could and should be obtained from outside the province if possible.But this dosen’t suit/agree with the “green” crowd.
        The idea behind installing renewable energy in Ontario is to REPLACE the conventional power already in place and NOT to increase the Ontario supply of power. Increasing power supply does NOT fit in with making planet earth more sustainable.

      • Renewable energy developers can’t make any money with their projects if Ontario obtains power supplies from outside the province. Their renewable energy projects will not be needed. They are just another interest group in this whole “green” energy picture.

  3. Winning back rural Ontario, are you kidding me? Rural residents continue to be neglected, ignored and threatened with IWT developments; forgiveness does not come to mind. “When local groups take the lead role in wind energy, questionable health and land value concerns diminish”. I somehow doubt the citizens unable to live in their homes would agree. The issue is siting turbines too close to homes not ownership, when will they get it? “McGuinty might consider establishing a rural policy forum made up of community leaders that he trusts and respects”. That he trusts and respects aka – that will agree with his dogma. How about community leaders we trust and respect. It is crystal clear why so many seats were lost in the election and why it will take a very very long time before rural Ontario can vote or trust Liberal again.

  4. Don’t be fooled by Warren. He’s written some pro-renewables stuff in the Star. He was probably down at the OSEA Community Power shindig and that’s his idea for the day/week. It’s amazing the op-ed space certain people can get.

    Community power spreads the money around a bit (for a 100 MW project @ $ 2.2 million/MW and 30% equity, is it that easy to place all $ 66 million of equity locally ?) but it’s still paying to much for something that: wasn’t procured competitively, is problematic and expensive to integrate into the power system and has health effects that are routinely ignored. The trampling of rights is the cherry on top.

  5. Barbara:
    “The idea behind installing renewable energy in Ontario is to REPLACE the conventional power already in place and NOT to increase the Ontario supply of power”.
    I understand what you are saying, and my argument is not with you, but rather the “green crowd” mentioned.

    Wind and solar can never “replace” any conventional sources, that should be clear to everyone by now. The Green crowd would have to stand on their heads to make a convincing argument that green renewable, hydro power from Quebec, or Manitoba, at a fraction of the cost to wind developers would not be a good deal for Ont. taxpayers. I’m sure they will make the argument, but it is totally out of left field.

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