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County residents blow into Toronto for wind protest

About 70 Prince Edward County residents joined about 700 Ontario rural residents yesterday in Toronto to protest industrial wind turbines and a Liberal government they say is steamrolling a green energy agenda over rural Ontario  by pitting big energy corporations against the livelihood and health of rural residents.

The County’s Paul Wallace reports protesters from 20 communities, including many from Wolfe and Amherst Islands and from as far away as Thunder Bay, gathered at Simcoe Park, beside the CBC building.  They chanted, sang, rang bells and blew whistles and carried placards that read: “sWINDle”; “Ill Wind for Ontario”; “Rethink, Refuse, Remove”; “Watch the Amazing McGuinty make your tax dollars disappear using only wind”; “Health Studies Before Wind Turbines”; “Turbines Lower Property Values” and “Give Our Rights Back”.

“There were several speakers discussing how these turbines are being planned and installed without rural say and costing tax payers billions with money Ontario does not have,” Wallace said. “Vic Fedeli, Conservative MPP and energy critic spoke of the absurdly high cost of the current Liberal FIT program when better alternatives should be sought.”
Following a series of motivating speakers, a march proceeded to the front doors of the Metro Convention Center where the Ontario Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) Forum was being held. Wallace said police presence and the centre’s security staff prevented the protesters from entering the building. The protest proceeded along the width of Front Street, blocking traffic in every direction, then up Simcoe, east along King, down Bay then back along Front.

Photos and Video by Paul Wallace


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  1. David Norman says:

    To virginia or anyone else who might “entertain” me with an opinion: I am truly curious about folks perceptions regarding the engineered sacrifice of sentient life to the blades of Industrial Wind Turbines. It is as though individual birds or bats who meet death in this manner have no personal value… that they have no meaning since they are viewed as superfluous, perhaps replaceable. Their deaths are reduced to relative comparable mortality to other human engineering. They are simply necessary victims, and made justifiably so by human legislation such as the Green Energy Act. That this is about to be exacerbated by Bill 55 makes this even more poignant. Similar to the marginalization of people that experience adverse physical and/or psychological effects to the proximity of Industrial Wind Turbines, it seems as though they are little more than collateral damage… viewed with callous disregard to extent. Unfortunate but necessary sacrifices to a chauvinistic ideology of human endeavor. Like the male calf that is removed from its mother after birth to be butchered for veal, or the piglet that is killed for a roast. Do their mothers not morn? What reasoning, power, permits this to happen with human legislated impunity… acceptance? What say ye oh self appointed bards of County sustainability?

    David Norman, Rogue Primate of Bloomfield

  2. Chris Keen says:

    To your comment, Mark – sadly, I suspect if the McGuinty government ignores its environmental legislation/regulations this is where we’ll end up.

    From Simcoe.com – April 13th:

    Wind turbine proposal generates more legal action

    STAYNER – John and Sylvia Wiggins, who earlier this year launched a lawsuit against WPD Canada, regarding its application to erect eight wind turbines west of Stayner, say that 20 more landowners have joined the legal fight.

    The allegation, which hasn’t been proven in court, is that the WPD proposal is causing a devaluation and loss of use and enjoyment of the plaintiffs’ property.

    The Wiggins own a property at 1185 Nottawasaga Concession 6 North.

    In a news release issued Friday afternoon, the Wiggins said 15 additional landowners “are now also proposed plaintiffs,” in the action against WPD, as well as legal action that was launched against Beattie Bros., Ltd., which owns land north of County Road 91, where six of the turbines would be situated.

    The same news release noted that five other landowners have started a second legal action and that it applies to WPD and Ed Beattie and Son Ltd., which own land south of County Road 91, where another two turbines would be placed.

    “All of these landowners near the proposed wind turbine development are clearly upset that 50-storey turbines are being foisted upon them arbitrarily,” John Wiggins said in a statement. “These groups are establishing a model that other groups across Ontario will now be able to follow.”

    He added the legal action is part of a “snowball effect that wind companies, landowners and the Ontario government should take note of.”

    The total value of the two claims now exceeds $17-million, the news release noted.

    Kevin Surette, a spokesperson for WPD, said the company would defend itself against the actions.

  3. virginia says:

    Dear Mr. Sarcastic–you know, I think that you are guilty of fakery. I think you will say anything just to get people going for your own amusement. Thanks, but no thanks. I’m getting off of this ride.

  4. David Norman says:

    virginia… I’ll assume the Mr. Camus comment was directed at me… that is a compliment which I would not even pretend to be capable of living up too. I had no idea that raising hogs and cattle, at least in your perception, was a prerequisite to such great anthropomorphic understanding. You are a marvel of understanding indeed! You still have not stated on what basis you come to your conclusions about sentience. On what authority do you make this presumption?

  5. Mark says:

    I really feel sorry for property owners in South Marysburgh. A great rural community. They never saw this coming and the frustration in seeing your health and what you have worked for threatened is a sad situation. And all for what? To pay to dump excess energy.

  6. virginia says:

    Dear Mr. Camus–We raised hogs and cattle for nine years on a REAL farm, not a hobby farm. I know what they are capable of, and what they are not capable of. The only animals I would consider as approaching sentience on this planet are dolphins, whales, and members of the ape family, of which we are one branch.

  7. Marie says:

    Good friends of ours are down from Toronto this weekend. Really nice people, young, in their 40’s. We would be lucky to have them as neighbours in South Marysburgh. They are looking at property in the county and will NOT be considering any homes or properties near Milford on account of the possibility of turbine development.

  8. David Norman says:

    virginia… you have absolutely no idea what “experience” I have with other sentient beings with whom we share this planet. I’m not threatened by people with degrees. I too have a few. I’m just amused by the attributes you ascribe to them. The only thing that is “simple” about this exchange is your perception of it. Just curious, on what basis do you make your assumptions about sentience? Although self awareness is not in fact inferred or required for the definition of sentience you clearly are of the view that other living beings do not posses this attribute… on what is this determination based?

  9. virginia says:

    I have experience with animals that you don’t.
    It’s that simple.
    And why are you so threatened by people with degrees? btw, John Thompson has one, too.—in agricultural science. It does mean something you know.

  10. David Norman says:

    virginia… use that “degree” of which you are so pride full, look up the definition!!! What you stated is incredibly ignorant and I might add, not supported by science. I’m sure that’s what you want to believe. Relieves you of any guilt. You can kill or be responsible for the death of another sentient being and not have to reconcile your actions with any conscience.

  11. Marnie says:

    Better to live in a Disney world with sentient chickens than to callously scorn the feelings of “dumb” animals. Three cheers for Foghorn Leghorn.

  12. virginia says:

    Putting all the other questionable assertions aside, for the NTH! time—farm animals are not sentient! Sentience implies self awareness. Would you call a chicken self aware? Have you ever met a chicken????
    Life is not a Disney movie, and enough with the “red herrings”, ALSO not sentient.
    Consider this scorn.

  13. David Norman says:

    John, there is measure of logical pragmatism in the reasoning you present. As a scenario for “energy security” it even seems to have some merit, albeit naive in construction. That it does not address the direct ecological and health concerns by denial also has many cultural justifications. If for example, our society is unable to address the problems associated with “homelessness”, a continually growing phenomena quite visible in the urban centers that surround us, of what possible consequence can the relatively few folk displaced by Industrial Wind Turbine developments be? And, given that our society in general seems to endorse and accept the captive production and murder of many hundreds of thousands of sentient creatures for their dinner tables each and every day, how could we possibly be expected to demonstrate concern for the birds and bats sacrificed to the turbine blades, or the habitat of other sentient creatures destroyed by Industrial Wind Turbine development? Ironically and illustrative, is the fact that the largest contributor to the GHG emissions which you use to justify your “energy security” scenario is the production of meat and dairy for food. As an aside, this impetus for a vegan diet produces very similar arguments/justifications as that for Industrial Wind Turbine developments. That you understand in a tinkering handyman fashion the systematic application of renewable energy technology is not in question… what I’m more curious about is how you will feel when you watch some of the members of this community driven from their homes … or what you experience when you view the mutilated carcass of the sacrificed creatures at the blades of these industrial fetishes. There is absolutely no doubt that much sentient life, human and otherwise, will be at best marginalized and in some cases physically/psychologically injured/killed by Industrial Wind Turbine development. This, you cannot prevent and in accordance with “Natural Law” on which our entire social/cultural system is based, should be held accountable. I’ve no doubt you and your ilk will dismiss what I have said here as diatribe and deny your guilt by association… aren’t cultural ideologies wonderful in this respect!

  14. John Thompson says:

    GHG’s are about CO2 and Methane etc., not greenhouses. Greenhouse production does require heat though which may be fossil fuel but some are converted to carbon neutral biomass instead.

    Power exports are a two way street of exports and imports which adds security and may be a profit or loss. The supply comes from the grid mix, not segregated wind power. So, exports can be reduced by closing the remaining coal burners for example. Excess surplus base load can equally named as the problem. This could self correct as nuclear reactors come to their end of life. Germany has shut their reactors down and in the long term, plans to have enough renewables on the grid to supply the base requirments even during the low periods.

    Storage and smart grid technology also comes into play in time. There is a proposal for a pumped storage facility at Marmora at this time. This has received endorsement from the Councils in the region as well as our own Council.

  15. Chris Keen says:

    http://www.audubonaction.org/site/News2?abbr=aa_&page=NewsArticle&id=5509#wind

    The U.S. Federal Government is listening and acting on advice from Nature/Wildlife organizations. It’s a shame that hasn’t been done in Ontario.

    The second article details the work being done buy the Audubon Society in the U.S. to minimize the impact of Industrial Wind Turbines on Important Bird Areas and migratory pathways.

    http://www.audubonmagazine.org/articles/climate/putting-wind-turbines-out-wildlifes-way

  16. David Norman says:

    John, I have a much simpler and obvious solution… if it is greenhouse gas emissions we are concerned about let’s just stop building, dismantle and/or seal up all greenhouses… duh!
    … and I would be happy to take on this task for a FIT subsidy of 11.5 cents per calorie energy expenditure. That’s 4.18400 joules for a measly 11.5 cents… beats any Industrial Wind Turbine currently on the market.

  17. Dayton Johnson says:

    @ John…,OK, but have you got the answer to storing that 11.5 cent power? Will we pay less to USA to take our excess? Can we expect “healthier air” from our neighbours to the south because of turbines in the County? C’mon John,,it’s time.

  18. John Thompson says:

    The new FIT price for wind is 11.5 cents/kwh. New generation must be built to replace facilities which need replacing/refurbishing and the wind price with inlation protection is more than cost competitive. Results in healthier air, reduced GHG emissions and less resource depletion over the life cycle. Parts replacement (repowering) after 20 years is expected.

  19. Mark says:

    I agree with Ray on this one. The minority government should fall. This province cannot continue with this mad Green Energy policy and survive. It will kill the average family, decimate the poor and drive industry out. Dalton just doesn’t get it.

  20. Ray Hobson says:

    John, there is no intention to pull a “fast one”. The Liberals are a Minority Government and it is their Green Energy initiative that is still driving policy; although it was soundly repudiated by rural Ontarians.

    Do you honestly believe that the majority of voters is willing to pay the existing premium for wind power electricity?

    We need an election now.

    Dalton, clearly has not received the message and the NDP should show Leadership.

  21. Gary Mooney says:

    Ray, you can find out much more about both the Gilead and WPD projects at http://ccsage.wordpress.com.

    Gilead’s Ostrander Point project (9 turbines) is scheduled for construction starting in October, 2012 and commercial operation in April, 2013 — one year from now. All they need now is approval from the Minsitry of the Environment.

    WPD has just held their first of two required public meetings for their 29-turbine White Pines poject. They plan to submit their application to MOE in late summer, with construction in the fall of 2013 and commercial operation in spring, 2014.

  22. Brock McKay says:

    It’s also worth noting, in regards to John’s comment, that he oversimplified the NDP position. The New Democrats campaigned on local control over these projects in the last election. So, you could argue that a majority of Ontarians voted for parties that supported local control over renewable projects.

  23. David Norman says:

    John Thompson, you and other members of the County Sustainability Group continue to make the claim “Random and statistially analyzed polls also find that is the minority which are opposed to wind generation. Ask everyone that you see in the County and you will probably come to the same conclusion.” If you’re speaking about the majority “City” populations you might be correct. For the most part, the folk from my old neighborhood in Toronto couldn’t give a rats ass whether they plant Industrial Wind Turbines in PEC or any other rural Ontario location. In this neighborhood most had two and often three cars per household. We lived a short 3 minute walk from the subway. They have huge carbon footprints and beyond a few green pretensions such as recycling, which they are required to do by-law, I observed few efforts to be “sustainable”. I do not in fact officially know if the majority of PEC residents are in fact for or against Industrial Wind Turbine development, but neither do you. But this does not matter, it is clear that you do not care regardless… or do you? Would you change your position if the majority were not in favor?

  24. John Thompson says:

    Not so fast Ray. The Liberals are the elected party and the NDP also supports sustainable energy. That leaves just the PC’s opposed but not all of their voters are. So it is the anti wind minority that is trying to control the majority. Random and statistially analyzed polls also find that is the minority which are opposed to wind generation. Ask everyone that you see in the County and you will probably come to the same conclusion. Agreed that it would be obscene for the minority to be in control.

  25. Anon says:

    @Gil: About your call for an election, if the population were to vote every time politicians did something they didn’t like, we’d be at the polls every month!

  26. Mark says:

    Hang in there Doris. Your voice is important. Council need to continually hear that the taxpayer want a staffing review completed now, not next year, not 2 years from now. Staffing and benefits are the largest municipal expense. You cannot make sense of a budget without putting that significant piece of the puzzle under the microscope. What is so difficult with that concept? Why will they not do due diligence? You have failed if you go to the taxpayer with huge tax increases and haven’t done your homework. Have they looked at negotiated agreements? Have they compared contracting out as a comparable model? It’s difficult work and unpleasant but it is part of their elective responsibility. Let’s get to the task at hand.

  27. Ray Hobson says:

    I have been converted from pro-wind to anti-wind. There is nothing more obscene than a minority controlling the majority. Makes me question the type of government system under which we live.

    However, I have not seen any calendar details about the Gilead & WPD Projects. At which point in time are the wind turbines “officially” approved. I think that date should be a focus for all PEC protesters and used as a pressure point on all the political parties. Maybe we do need a provincial election right now.

  28. Gary Mooney says:

    Doris, I hope that you’ll reconsider. We need you to keep reminding us of the importance of controlling spending in municipal government and to reinforce the need to keep the County turbine-free.

    Take a break over the long weekend, recharge your batteries and return refreshed next week.

  29. Doris Lane says:

    Between the federal, provincial and municipal government all spending OUR money on things they do not need we the poor ratepayer does not have a chance Our council has just decided to hire two new contract people when we should be getting rid of staff. to everyones relief I have decided that this will be my last comment–what is the use–might as well just accept that we are being taken to the cleaners by all levels of government–Goodbye everyone

  30. Chris Keen says:

    @MArk – the devil is already in office and he’s not doing anything about gas prices either.

  31. Mark says:

    Here is an idea:

    Why don’t you put a fraction of your passion behind something a bit more pressing like gas prices?

    The devil could rise from the depths of hell and run for office on a gas price cut agenda and i’d vote for him.

  32. Gil says:

    A Great Day to Stand UNITED.!!
    Thank You to all the PEC Organizers of this well attended March.Whether our Message of total disagreement on the Wind Turbine/FIT Program sinks in to Dalton’s Liberal Government remains to be seen. Dalton,as a leader with “Tunnel Vision” and his “I are the Boss Attitude”, I personnally don’t think that will happen.
    We need an election NOW before we are rammed further into debt as a Province.

  33. David Norman says:

    “There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” Albert Camus

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