After reading a press release that Minister Chiarelli would be at the Babcock and Wilcox Nuclear facility on Monday Sept 16th, the Mothers Against Wind Turbines decided to drive up to Cambridge. Upon arriving at the event, Marianne Kidd explained to Minister Chiarelli’s aide that our group of Mothers had driven up from the Haldimand/West Lincoln area in order to get some of the Minister’s time to discuss our concerns. After some back and forth, including an attempted kick out by security, the Minister’s aide agreed to give us 5 mins if there was time after the tour.
While waiting in a room away from the “Media”, we questioned whether the meeting would actually happen…but true to their word, the Minister came in to meet with us for what turned out to be approx 15mins.
We started off with questions related to the ongoing projects in the MOE queue and explaining our position on why existing projects needed to be cancelled moving forward. After he explained that they didn’t want to cancel those projects due to the legal ramifications while addressing history related to the gas plant scandals, we tried to sway him to our side expressing that Millions more would be wasted if the projects were approved…especially looking at the next 20 years. Points made by the mothers included the fact that these contracts are causing an Energy Poverty in Ontario in addition to the fact that we already had enough electricity which also includes us selling excess Electricity to New York and Quebec, at a loss.
On the next topic of health, concerns related to people suffering or abandoning their homes took over the conversation. Anita Thornton brought up the fact that children, including those with special needs such as Autism, are not being taken into account while ending with a “You are ruining our Province!” I explained how if the NRWC project was approved, my 2 small children (who were crying at the time, while one toddler had to leave) would be surrounded by 8 IWT’s within 2km of my home. The same IWT’s being proposed are the largest ones ever to be installed in North America, 3MW. Then Linda Rogers from Haldimand, explained how she was now being surrounded by 16 Turbines within 2km of her home.
Points associated with setbacks and noise eventually were worked in. We expressed how Dr. Nicholas Kouwen, from the University of Waterloo, performed a study where noise exceeded the decibel levels more than 85% of the time….with no one from any Ministry doing anything about it!
Chiarelli started to ask more questions about our specific projects while at the same time directing us to utilize the Registry Process in order to log our concerns. After explaining to him that we were fully aware of the process and have been writing to the MOE repeatedly, we expressed that once our projects was approved (because they all are)…we will fight it with an ERT using money raised from garage sales and spaghetti dinners. The fact that “garage sales” and “spaghetti dinner” money was also raised by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists to fight their ERT was expressed…..in addition to how Furious Rural Ontario was that the Liberal’s decided to appeal the decision.
In conclusion, he did remind us that Tim Hudak spoke out recently saying he would not cancel existing FIT contracts either. We asked him to plead with his colleagues to start finding “technicalities” in existing projects so that they don’t get approved. Ontario does not need the energy and already has eliminated coal.
We are not sure if Minister Chiarelli was listening or if it will lead anywhere….but we did appreciate the Minister’s time and willingness to meet with us. It is great knowing that he sat down with the “Mothers Against Wind Turbines” when it wasn’t planned in his schedule! Next stop, the Niagara Regional Council Meeting to talk about the declaration of “Not a Willing Host”!
Mothers Against Wind Turbines