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Gotta love South Marysburgh

Steve Campbell

The wind turbine issue never seems to end. Like Celine Dion’s heart, it goes on and on and on …
Everyone is waiting for an announcement from the Ministry of the Environment which, by its very nature, is sworn to protect the environment.
Fast-hand Dalton saw trouble brewing on the County’s south shore, so immediately set about to change the Endangered Species Act, to allow the province to override the rules the rest of us are bound by.
We’ll see how this turns out in the next few weeks, but it seems clear the government is clear-cutting a pathway through South Marysburgh by giving the Ministry of the Environment an ‘out’ – since continued efforts for wind farms rely on their approval.
Sweet deal, and it shows how slippery-smooth our Premier can be. If the law gets in your way, change the law to allow development for the ‘good of the people’. Hmmm, when the law gets in the way, simply rise above the law.
All of a sudden, the heart-warming concern for birds, bats, turtles and habitat – safely protected for future generations in a most noble fashion – can be wiped off the blackboard, and replaced with bulldozers and concrete.
Nice to be in a position to write your own rules. Maybe I’ll try it.
“Sorry to take your time officer, but I have a document here that says Steve can drive any speed he wants on any Ontario road. So you just go on your way and catch those other people who aren’t protected by my law.” A nod and a wink, and I’m on my way.
The jury is still out on wind (endlessly since the first shadow on Point Petre 10 years ago).
In the meantime, the war continues, with facts and non-facts flying around like bird bodies around a turbine blade.
In a typical unsigned editorial in County Weekly News, some writer said that anti-wind people can’t claim to be the majority of County people, based on a lack of statistics. And then he/she manages to claim the majority of County people love wind power, apparently based on the same total lack of statistics.
Maybe he/she has one of those Magic 8-Balls that you can shake to get the absence of information to line up in your direction.
(I have to comment that anyone who writes editorials, or even letters, without putting his name and his ass on the line, like the rest of us, is pretty much discardable. I have lots of wild unsubstantiated freaky crazy ideas, conspiracy theories and wacko conjectures I would like to see in print, without owning up to it. Yay, Sun Media!)
But wait! There’s a light on the horizon!
In an unprecedented show of true democracy, the South Marysburgh Mirror reports they are holding their own vote, for the township residents, to determine who is ‘for’ and ‘against’ industrial wind turbines on the south shore, and upwards to Milford.
Never in my lifetime in the County have I seen ‘the people’ take over and do what our provincial government refuses to do, and what our municipal government is unable to do.
The funny thing is, they’ll probably do it at 1/1000th of the cost of a government-run poll! And they probably won’t lie when they’re done.
According to Mirror editor Steve Ferguson, the vote will be held July 14 in Milford Town Hall, 9-4.
“The vote is open to all SM township residents and property owners, full-time and seasonal, over age 18.” Photo ID and a tax bill must be presented.
And you gotta love this, because I sure did:
“To my knowledge, this is the first vote in Ontario wherein an entire community potentially affected by the placement of IWTs has been invited to express its opinion and quantify its views.”
Pro or anti? It’s a dice-roll as to the results, but I’ve got to hand it to Steve and the Mirror to slam the issue down on the table.
It is an opportunity for all the township residents to voice their opinion. It’s a referendum of sorts.
A referendum is a collection of public opinion. It does not always reflect the path that is right, but it reflects what the people want.
In this case, it will be very interesting to see what the residents of South Marysburgh want, as they are directly affected by the outcome. And I think this is important.
I’ve talked to lots of County people who really don’t care what happens there, because they live in Picton and Wellington and Ameliasburgh. And the weenie Belleville Intelligencer guy who is too afraid to sign his name? Yes, him too.
This adds a new Backyard to the old Not In My Backyard argument. It’s not here, so why should I care? Metro Toronto and the GTA would be right on board with you.
As someone who travels the County from corner to corner on a regular basis, and stops regularly to admire the natural solitude of Long Point and the whole south shore, I can only advise you to not let this go under the bulldozer blade.
Everything we lose in the County can never be replaced, or reversed.
Having spent my life here, I can’t count the number of buildings and places of peace and solitude we’ve lost because nobody cared. Or because money could be made.
That’s something of an emotional plea, from someone who is watching the County change and change.
Lots of the changes help us. But destroying our greatest assets should not be on the list. Waterfront is being sold like Tim Hortons’ donuts. My personal ‘escape places’ are now studded with three storey homes. (Apparently they haven’t experienced County winds!)
I still contend that our grandchildren will thank us for saving rough, uncultured, unpopulated  land, and accessible waterfronts, more than they would thank us for bulldozing it down for profit.
For those of you who have followed my columns for a long time, you know I am not anti-windpower. But the plan for the south shore is just plain wrong on three fronts:
1. Bad economic plan. Paying suppliers more than customers are paying to buy? Exporting excess hydro at discount prices, for free, or actually paying neighbouring provinces and states to please, please take our power? Clear stupidity.
2. Buying into old technology, and pulling down acres of trees to install it? Innovate. Put provincial money into Canadian brainpower, instead of buying way, way offshore.
3. South shore of Prince Edward County? Totally the wrong place, hence the necessary changes in the law to kill endangered species in a designated Important Bird Area.
Take the south shore off the plate, and Dalton will find many other more suitable places here to fulfill his Legacy Dream of appearing ‘Green’ while destroying land and wildlife.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElseSteve Campbell

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  1. Denis Zimmerman says:

    Hey, Steve. When we spoke in person in 2008, you seemed all in favour of all-out wind development in PEC. You said that the anti-wind opinions were all “rhetoric.” In fact, didn’t you write an op-ed piece in the County Weekly News opining that the only ones opposed to wind turbine projects in the county are “imports” (i.e. not born in the County) and that every bona fide County resident was in favour? It seems like you have undergone a conversion on the road to Damascus. (with apologies to Acts of the Apostles 26:14). So now you realize that real damage to the County’s environment and heritage could occur.

  2. Marnie says:

    I thought newspapers were supposed to explore both sides of the issue. Seems that editoral lit quite a few fires and that may not be such a bad thing. It provoked discussion and gave some space to the pro-Windies. Guess you must read that paper before you light your fires, Bill, so it can`t be a complete waste of time.

  3. Bill Woods says:

    You always make great sense of what’s happening. The only thing that paper is good for is lighting my fires. It’s a waste of paper!
    Your comments make me think that you should be the premier of Ontario!!!

  4. David Norman says:

    Steve, you state, “I have to comment that anyone who writes editorials, or even letters, without putting his name and his ass on the line, like the rest of us, is pretty much discardable.” I agree that not taking ownership of your publicly expressed opinion shows a absence of integrity regarding motivation and credibility. This does not invalidate the opinions but does make them subject to increased skepticism and scrutiny. In addition, the terms of reference should also be clearly defined, particularly when used as credential. For example, Rob Williams of the County Sustainability Group for a time took to authoring his pro-wind commentary on CountyLive by adding PhD to his authorship. This was in relation to many subject areas from biodiversity to Provincial law. Did this term of reference in some manner relate to and validate his commentary? I point this out because you also state that “For those of you who have followed my columns for a long time, you know I am not anti-windpower.” I’ve been reading your columns for over three years now and do not yet know what you mean by this. Are you for Industrial Wind Turbines under certain conditions? What are those conditions?

  5. Doris Lane says:

    If the July election that Dalton is threatening comes to pass rural Ontario will have its chance to get the truth as Steve says it out to all Ontario

  6. Janet Grace says:

    Wonderful article Steve – the voice of reason is gaining ground and thousands of Ontarians are starting to question the Green Energy Act and a premier who is willing to sacrifice the health of the people and the safety of endangered wildlife in order to line the pockets of big business (and probably secure himself a comfortable and profitable board position once he is defeated). Rural Ontario WILL be heard, will not back down and are prepared to do battle.

  7. Doris Lane says:

    Not only that Pamela but we have so much excess energy that we pay Quebec and the States to take it from us

  8. Refreshing! The truth has power. Truth explodes the myths. All the king’s horses and all the king’s lobby men can’t put the pieces together again.
    (With apologies to H. Dumpty)

  9. Pamela Stagg says:

    Thanks for the voice of sanity, Steve.

    By the way, did you notice the logo on the editorial page of County Weekly News? It’s not just a Sun Media paper, it’s a Quebecor company. That got me thinking. A number of Ontario companies have moved to Quebec because McGuinty’s new green energy is simply too expensive, and Quebec has cheap energy to spare.

    So a Quebec-owned company is promoting an Ontario green energy policy which forces Ontario companies to move to Quebec. Now I get it.

    Pamela Stagg
    North Marysburgh

  10. Dayna Law says:

    Thanks Steve for your words that cut to the chase…
    The County will not be bullied… the County will never give up without a huge fight! Don’t mess with us Dalton!

  11. Doris Lane says:

    Excellent article Steve–you have said it all and better than most of us can
    And yes I always put my full name

  12. Mark says:

    A common sense article that hits home and few after sober thought could disagree with. Well done Steve.

  13. cHRiS says:

    thanks steve for giving voice to many thoughts in my head, as well to the more quiet “resource”.

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