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A’Hunting we will go

Steve Campbell

Well, it’s just like the Government Grinch to try to steal the County’s Christmas spirit.
On Dec. 21, it was announced that the Gilead Wind project at Ostrander Point had been approved. This opens the door to a whole new future of unstoppable Industrial Wind Turbine projects here.
But we have no-one to complain to. Poor Todd Smith, our provincial member of parliament, is foaming at the mouth, but he has no-one to listen, and no parliament in which to voice his objections.
On the happy side, we finally have the Provincial Government we deserve!
It is prorogued, so no-one can discuss important issues. It has effectively disconnected itself from the populace it pretends to serve. It has removed our only local voice – our MPP.
It has ignored the hundreds of submissions and concerns from County people on local IWT development.
It has created a Ministry of the Environment that gives a big ‘thumbs up’ to the destruction of unviolated – albeit crude – County land, the death of the birds, bats, turtles and wildlife it was sworn to protect, and waived its own mandate to protect endangered species.
(To their credit, the MOE made sure Gilead would set land aside for Blanding’s Turtles, possibly with tiny signs reading: “Move over here to avoid extinction.”)
It has created a Ministry of Natural Resources which frowns heavily on most human activity in protected areas like Point Traverse, such as building campfires, littering and going four-wheeling. But which also gives a hearty wave to a large corporation armed with bulldozers.
It gave us Smitherman, who allegedly signed a deal with Samsung on the plane home from Korea for old-school technology, and providing billions of dollars and lots of jobs … for Koreans. This should be great for Ontario – I’m sure our unemployed engineers are applauding mightily.
It’s a government that allowed a whopping 15 days – right in the middle of the Christmas season – to allow comment. Nicely played! Transparent as a window, but nicely played. Just when we thought you could not get more devious!
I read the final report on with great interest. On the first read, it looked like all the departments did their ‘due diligence’. Except for MPAC. Yes, the Property Assessment people that we shower with tax money. They can’t seem to figure out if there is a positive or negative impact on property values for homes near IWTs.
Apparently they don’t own cars or telephones, or have access to the internet. Or maybe they’re too busy counting their cash. But they do have a really spiffy black high-rise building – which you paid for – visible from the 401 in Toronto. Who would want to leave?
Yes, this is the government we voted for. One that owns a telephone with a voice box, but no earpiece. The lights went off, and the boss went home, but all of the equipment was still left running.
Governments which run on their own and ignore the people? We’ve seen this in other countries, and we pitied them. We’ve sent troops in to help them. But thank God we’ve learned to love governments who won’t listen to us! Because we’re a democracy!
So I started thinking: “How do we make the best of this?”
So I’m proposing we follow the lead of the Ministry of the Environment.
Yahoo! The deals are off! We no longer give a crap about the land and animals! Break out the bulldozers!
Let’s have some fun with this. For those of you who did not turn in your rifles and handguns during the notorious federal Long-Gun registry – let’s break them out and head for the Point!
With the blessing of the MOE, let’s bag those worthless little critters before the bulldozers move in! Birds, bats, turtles? Who cares?! Nothing a little buckshot or some deer rifles won’t cure.
Endangered species? Just like the MOE, I don’t know the meaning of the words. And I hear Blanding’s Turtle works into a really nice soup.
This is the up side! The MOE has given us – literally – a licence to kill! Those of us who genuinely cared about the environmental impact of IWTs were completely ignored. So let’s tear a page from their book, and a’hunting we will go! Let’s face it, wouldn’t you like a stuffed endangered species creature in your den? Of course you would. Get them before they have bulldozer treadmarks all over them.
A word of caution: At some point people with bright orange and yellow vests will move into this previously untouched territory. I advise you not to shoot them. They are humans.
And humans have a pecking order which determines which lives are expendable, in pursuit of electricity we don’t need.
In order of things you can’t kill just to get what you want:
Humans are first (you can’t change this, or you will be in trouble), cute dogs, ugly dogs (except for pitbulls), domestic cats of any kind (except for Siamese), horses, cows (except for beef cows), everything else.
The MOE used to be the protector of ‘Everything Else’. In the past, they’ve fined people for removing habitat from tadpoles by draining farmland, and people who cut cattails away from their docks. They tracked the rituals, and measured populations, of hundreds of species. But what’s the point, if you’re going to sell them out in the end anyway, to meet a political agenda?
Now, if I were a creature living in the ‘Everything Else’ category, I would be somewhat nervous about my former Sugar Daddy. You and the land you live in is now for sale, baby, so you’d better grow some legs and run.
The pro-winders are waiting for the day they will be vindicated, and the IWTs turn out to be not the monsters we imagine. But across Ontario, the losses to wind power are not worth the 20-year gains. In the County, it has already polarized friends and neighbours, and I fear the pain is just beginning.
The decision by MOE was inevitable. They stated Gilead had met all the criteria for IWT development.
They’re right. But it begs the question: “Who set the rules?”
That would be the Provincial Government, so of course they met the rules. Is it right? Not if the rules of the game are set to favour the team you want to win.
Organized Crimelords know this. And, sadly, so does our government.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElseSteve Campbell

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  1. Dayton Johnson says:

    I fully expected our County Council to fold their tent and limp away. When one depends on all sorts of funding from Prov. Gov. leadership you don’t rock the boat.Oh you can talk the talk but you always have that “we can’t afford it” card to play. That way taxpayers are led to believe that the wisdom of council is really protecting us from a huge, expensive legal battle.Will council be offering ANY support to a small group of private citizens who choose to step up and fight regardless of the outcome? Did council really think Gilead would be playing fair in this game? Why wouldn’t Council have had a backup plan or an end run to counteract a move by Gilead…God knows they have had time to hatch something…it’s called pre-planning. And where is that almighty saviour of enviromental issues and animal rights the NDP in this? Kind of silent.Lets hope that when roads are altered,waterways are changed,well flows are dried up that we can see more support from our municipal leaders. I hope they are working on a legal plan for that right now.

  2. Lorna LaFortune says:

    Happy New Year to the County – from the lack of government in Ontario, and in Ottawa! Our elected officials have forgotten how to stand up for the people who elected them in the first place! Granted, currently there is a lack of a forum in the Provincial Political scene for our elected officials, but this does not mean that they do not have a soap box, nor does it mean that they cannot create some interest in this fiasco re wind farms. The Ministry of the Environment still has an office – someone must be in residence!

  3. Mark says:

    Cheryl, I would be cautious with the words “never, under any circumstances”. The federal Conservatives are raping the environmental laws faster than many are aware. Often hidden in an omnibus bill. It seems it doesn’t matter who the party is the almighty dollar is the ruler.

  4. Cheryl Anderson says:

    Just a little correction. We have the Canadian Wildlife Service to thank for the preservation of the area around Point Traverse. In contrast, the MNR has sat on their hands and let the Gilead Project proceed in obviously the wrong place. There will never, under any circumstances, be wind turbines (or hunting or camping or campfires either)in the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area -thanks to federal legislation.

  5. Mark says:

    And Shire Hall backs down and now won’t appeal. That does not sit well with a lot of residents. Yes the bar was too high,time, cost etc. What happened to putting up a fight to the end? Who can we turn to and trust in this travesty? Leaders are elected to lead not rollover when the going gets tough.

  6. Paul A. says:

    Thank you, my old friend. You are of course bang on target (as usual) and will of course (as usual) stir up the ire of the few who can’t see the forest beyond the trees that they are hugging.

    But maybe there’s a glimmer of hope at the end of this long tunnel of economic and political chicanery. I hear that our revered elders (well, at least one is older than I) at Shire Hall have introduced a clean-up deposit and road repair billing system that might slow down the out-of-County industrialists; even if it’s a delaying tactic, we might just see some change with a Spring election.

    And I have a suggestion that has worked wonders down in New York state — it’s called “Property Value Guarantee”, and while it makes for a long read for non-lawyers, I’m told that “developers” hate it and start running with, as might be said “the wind behind them.” You can find an example at .

    In a nutshell, it obliges developers to buy, at “pre-windfarm prices” plus interest any property that owners can’t sell for whatever reason – owners don’t have to prove that they’ve suffered, only that they’ve had their property on the market and haven’t sold it.

    Anyone on Council reading this?

    Happy New Year — Paul

  7. Doris Lane says:

    As Steve says mcguinty removed the vehicle from which the MPP’s could speak==sneaky wasn’t it but what do we expect
    from a government that cares nothing for the people in our province.

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