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Bye Bye, Turtle, Bye, Bye

Steve Campbell

Steve Campbell

Leave it to Conroy and The Times to keep a watchful eye on the Ostrander Point debacle, as noted in the last issue.
I think everyone in the County would like to see an end to the ongoing debate about Wind Turbines but, like the wind itself, you never know when it’s going to come up and bite you one more time.
Since the shocking ruling by the Ministry of the Environment’s own Tribunal to save the Blanding’s Turtle – as mandated by their own Endangered Species Act – the MOE apparently values money and politics more than integrity, and has joined the fight to overturn it own findings.
Sometimes politics is an enjoyable game. I thought it hilarious that the MOE appointed its own tribunal judges to come to a fair decision, and then brought its own lawyers to sway their decision.
If I got in trouble, I would be happy to fork out the money for my own judge and my own lawyer! And at taxpayers’ expense! You can’t beat that.
But, sadly, the Tribunal judges backed the plaintiffs, and a turtle. The poor judges are probably now demoted to stapling endless sheets of trial transcripts, in English and French, and have lost their parking spaces at Queen’s Park.
But the story that ends: “And the turtles lived happily ever after” did not end there. No. Someone came up with turtlegates.

I suspect that these are tiny little gates that turtles can use to safely cross their natural habitats. Probably they can push their wet turtle noses against a button, which will activate a ‘Turtle Crossing’ signal for about 72 hours. Problem solved.
This would certainly suit the MNR’s stated mission: “When a species becomes listed as endangered or threatened on the Species at Risk in Ontario List, it automatically receives general habitat protection under the Endangered Species Act.”
Now a whole pile of new lawyers have joined the table to fight the little turtle. Frankly, I’d rather have a table full of turtles than a table full of lawyers, but I’m funny that way. Turtles I can understand.

The Big Guns from CANWEA are now on board, because living creatures should never trump glorious dreams. In secret, I’ll bet that even the CANWEA people shake their heads at the travesty the Ontario government has wrought on its people, and the damage it’s done to a decent cause. If I were them, I’d pretend I’d never heard of Dalton McGuinty. He ruined a pretty good idea.
Make no mistake, money and politics will win in the end. County people will run out of money. And the one who runs out of money first loses.

Still, there’s encouraging news from the Toronto newspapers.
Sure, they could care less if Rural Ontario looked like the Sahara Desert, as long as they can heat their jacuzzis, but they are suddenly awakening to the ridiculous economics of Dalton’s Legacy Dream.
“Ontario tilts against wind turbines as costs spiral,” The Star reported last week. “Economics. more than politics, is causing the greatest drag on wind power as Liberals look for light at the end of the wind tunnel.”
The article notes that the Wynne government is backing away from future wind expansion, according to their recently-released Long Term Energy Plan.

It’s interesting that the urbanites are now going to school on the information we were forced to discover.
For example: Wind is undependable, and requires back-up. The Star: “This back-up requirement meant that, as a new source of power supply, the integration of wind by natural gas-fired technologies was 30% more expensive” than by gas alone.

Does this mean the death of wind power? I hope not. But the birth of wind power in Ontario is an abomination – driven by money, handshakes between government and corporations, and a vision of global applause to Ontario for ‘doing the right thing’.
We will pay for that, long after the last IWT tower in this province goes silent in 20 years. We haven’t begun to pay for it yet, but it’s coming soon.

Good idea, wrong time. Built by the wrong people. As a private study said: “(it shows that) an unrealistic idea can intersect with the political process and set in motion environmental policies that run counter to the underlying costs and complexity of the electric power sector.”
Meanwhile, the political process continues, with its endless bureaucrats, bountiful lawyers, bottomless bank accounts funded by us and used to fight us, and a complete inability to grasp the concept that their dream ain’t gonna come true, no matter how hard they sell it.
As for the turtles, run for your lives. We don’t have enough money or political savvy to save you. Or us.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElseSteve Campbell

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  1. All the wind turbines in the world are the same colour of white!! .IF And I mean IF we do end up with these things I would like to suggest that they should be painted in bright and different colours .the county would be the only place in the world to have this colour full display ,tourist will want to see this from everywhere.

  2. These windmills are great for duck hunters ,just sit under a mill and the ducks will fall dead at You feet .

  3. BH says:

    Getting back to the point. It’s the environment.
    Ostrander Point is part of a migration flyway for birds, bats and butterflies.
    Ostrander Point is home to 19 species at risk.
    Ostrander Point is home to provincially significant wetlands.
    It is part of an internationally recognized ‘Important Bird Area’.
    Globally rare alvar landscapes predominate Ostrander Point.
    The Prince Edward County Field Naturalist successfully appealed to the Environment Review Tribunal, an adjudicating body established by the Province of Ontario.
    So why the counter appeal by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment set for January 21st.
    (I do worry about people’s health, economic considerations, loss of freedoms, morally corrupt behaviour by government and businesses)
    But lets focus and win one for the Blanding’s Turtle.
    Lets start by filling the Regent for the Cinefest/PECFN fundraiser co-presentation of Watermark on January 13.

  4. Loretta says:

    Its not the cost of cancelling the IWTs, it’s the cost of running them. We are forced to buy any and all power generated by the IWTs at way above market price (gaurenteed for 20 years by the GEA contracts) then forced to sell the excess below market cost. We have plenty of power in Ontario, much of it is already green, being produced through hydro dams. I believe the cost for 2012 was $1.4 Billion. The high proce of electricity is driving the manufacturing sector out of Ontario, see recent headlines of closing factories, therefore giving us evne more excess power to dump below cost. Studies have shown there is no carbon offset in the manufacture of turbines and solar panels that is outweighed by the power produced. Until we can harness cheap storage these technologies are not ecenomically feasible on the scales we are implementing them, I am all for green energy that is trurly eco friendly, just because they label iot ‘green’ does not make iot so.

  5. jp says:

    If it is costing Ontario $1.2 billion to cancel the gas plants , what might it cost Ontario to try to reverse all the deals it has made with all the people in the wind industry who stand to profit from this energy initiative.
    Anyone have a guess?
    I suspect it may be a very large number and may be the reason no parties seem to be particularly eager to take on this challenge.

  6. Sam Lanfranco says:

    There is a slight glimmer of hope that some evidence based decision making will rise above the fog of financial self interest, and misguided and misinformed opinion that has driven Ontario’s industrial wind turbine folly. For a Province with no energy storage capacity, a declining demand for electricity, and (finally) waking up to the good economics of energy conservation, the IWTs are a bad investment that does virtually nothing for climate concerns. It pays its investors well, on the backs of Ontario’s hydro users – and it will export its excess power to the US at a negative price that is also covered out of the pockets of Ontario’s hydro users. There is a place for smaller wind turbines – mainly for on grid and local use – but IWTs are costly dinosaurs from the start. If they enriched the lives of turtles, birds, bats, and local residents, they would still be a bad idea.

  7. Andy R. says:

    Municipal Council should consider erecting gates to the County to keep out unfit bureaucrats, corrupt politicians and ill willed industrialists.

  8. Mark says:

    Yep, a few gates will cure all. “Don’t eat that Harold”! When do they start to get it? We don’t need them, we can’t afford them, we don’t want them. Listen to the voices of the constituents.

  9. John Thompson says:

    Looks like the journalists have missed the point that the proposal is not for turtlegates but for gates to control vehicle traffic, as the potential for roadkill and poaching was the tribunal’s concern.

  10. Mark says:

    It’s just ludicrous that are own tax dollars are being used against us. And how the Ministry of Natural Resources can pretend to have any credibility when they are quite prepared to destroy and kill what they are sworn to protect is mindboggling. World gone mad I’d say!

  11. Doris Lane says:

    Excellent article Steve. You have said it all
    I love the reference to a table full of turtles better than a table full of lawyers–That would make a good cartoon.
    The Wellington Times was the only paper last week worth reading
    Keep up the good work Steve

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