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Letter a plea to premier to meet with ‘unwilling turbine hosts’

Robert Quaiff’s working group out of the Township of Wainfleet has sent another letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne. The letter and a request for support has been sent to all municipalities that have declared themselves to be “unwilling hosts” of turbine projects.

The letter, written by Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs, is in response to last week’s provincial government announcement giving municipalities” more control over the placement of renewable energy projects” but not enough to make a difference.

The announcement by Energy Minister Peter Chiarelli last week, only applies to new projects, not ones already under way, as is the situation in Prince Edward County.

The letter is a follow up to one dated April 9 which outlined specific recommendations on how to address municipal concerns.

“Municipalities in rural Ontario continue to ask the government to respect the views of municipalities in decisions related to wind turbine projects. We have seen the problems with the existing operational projects, and for this reason, many municipalities are not willing to host further expansion of the program in their area. Substantial change in the siting rules, as well as the attitudes of wind companies toward addressing problems, are required before more projects receive REA approvals.”

The letter quotes comments made by Wynne confirming the government wants willing hosts for wind turbine projects, noting that municipalities saw her comments as an invitation to declare their status. Since, 40 communities have adopted resolutions to be ‘unwilling hosts’ with additional resolutions under way.

The letter also repeats a request for a meeting to discuss concerns.

Quaiff says the group hopes Wynne will take some action. The letter, he says, also includes examples from across the province of people who are unhappy with industrial wind turbines.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Marnie says:

    The coming of wind turbines and the proposed cuts to our hospital won’t be seen as positives by people considering retirement in the county. But it’s far too late to turn back the clock.

  2. Paul says:

    So I guess the questions must be asked would a few (wind turbines) slow the influx of retiree’s into The County slowing demand on infrastructure, decreasing propery values(lower taxes)as well as demand for services would they (wind turbines) inadvertantly KEEP The County character and beauty intact..I say HMMMm again ?

  3. Marnie says:

    It’s also ironic that almost everything they have done has served to change the character of the county which they inititally saw as a peaceful rural getaway. They might as well have stayed put for slowly and surely they have reinvented themselves here, mansions and all.

  4. fed up says:

    It is ironic. It must also be very frustrating to find that although demanding all the services that they are used to in the city, they cannot keep the county in the state they IMAGINED it to be in, in the first place.

  5. Paul says:

    The catch 22 is alot of people have invested in property in The County with an eye to future, Wind turbines (I use that term lightly) could cause problems with those property values… Makes ya go Hmmmmm don t it ?

  6. Marnie says:

    I’m afraid you’re right, Fed Up, and after we have finished being the playground of the well-to-do what will be left of the county as we knew it? On the up side we’ll have lots of wine to drown our sorrows.

  7. fed up says:

    Prince Edward County has become the chi chi, less expensive alternative to Muskoka and the Kawarthas. This won’t change anytime soon.

  8. Marnie says:

    Interesting Donna when you say that Prince Edward County must open its eyes and see reality. That’s exactly what happened when the cement plant came here. It provided sorely needed jobs. You may see it as a blight on the landscape but men in the county needed work and it has given employment to hundreds through the years.

    I totally agree that wealthy retirees from other areas have bought up much of our county shoreline and built overdone mansions that look out of place in our small rural community. The wineries did us no favours either. Taxes went up for those living near them. A lot of these vintners paid ludicrous prices for farm land that would have sold for far less in other circumstances. Real estate prices have soared as a result of an influx of wealthy retirees and the arrival of the wineries. Check out the winery ads and you will see that most of them offer minimum wage jobs to locals. It is increasingly difficult for many of us to afford to live in our own county because of the way in which real estate prices have been pushed up by wealthy newcomers who will happily pay triple the value of a piece of property and call it a bargain. We have become a playground community. There is a different festival or show of some sort every weekend with ticket prices so high that most locals are unlikely to attend. It will only end when we stop being a novelty and a new area is discovered as the in place to be.

  9. fed up says:

    Like or not, there are provincial, national, and global realities. This county cannot be isolated from the rest of the province, or from the world at large. Of course our electricity will be shared, and why not? None of us lives in a self-sufficient bubble. We are part of the global community, and we must share the good and bad, just like everyone else. We cannot live in the past, only try to make the best future that we can.

  10. Doris Lane says:

    Donna I agre with you about some of the negative things that have happened in our county. I have lived here for over 70 years and the County has no resemblance to the place I was born.
    However, I do not see the need to destroy it further with huge IWT’s.
    The turbines you mentioned that are already here are small privately owned ones.
    ANy electricity we produce in the county will be hooked into the grid at county rd 5 and go on line to connect to the main grid to Toronto

  11. Donna says:

    Yes, change is inevitable. The County has continued to evolve as time, markets, technology, and society have changed. That’s life.

    Observations:
    – land has been denuded of trees to grow crops to feed animals instead of people; currently tree lines on many fields are being destroyed to make the fields bigger for larger equipment and efficiency.
    – the waterfront has been bought up for monster homes and huge lawns.
    – a cement plant was built that belches dust and toxic fumes; ugly coal docks despoil the waterfront.
    – gravel pits have stripped our ridges.
    – highways are lined with ribbon development, house after house after house.
    – farms in the countryside (and garages in town) amass broken down vehicles and rusty parts for all to see.
    – big box stores take up our farmland.
    – historic Waring House is now cluttered up with ‘plastic’ box development.
    – apple orchards have been destroyed and taken over by vineyards with dangerous bird netting.
    – ‘plastic’ condo developments clog our harbour and preventing enjoyment by the public and tourists.
    – acres of transmission towers exist at Point Petre and on Loyalist Parkway.
    – even those old canning factories are eyesores (at least the low wages and child labour are gone).

    In truth there’s very little that’s natural and green about the County. It has not been pristine for centuries. Interestingly, there are at least 7 wind turbines operating here already without disastrous effects.

    Prince Edward County has to get its power from somewhere, and should be responsible for producing some of its own. Right now the choices are a nuclear power plant in Darlington or a CO2 belching plant just across the water, both of which spew hot water into Lake Ontario.

    The County is not without its charms but we must open our eyes and see reality.

  12. Marnie says:

    You’re right, Fed Up, times do change. Cheap off-shore canned goods spelled the end for most of our factories. Change is the only constant and often it is for the better. I don’t believe this is the case with the county. Its entire character is being transformed and much of what drew people here initially is rapidly disappearing.

  13. fed up says:

    When we came here in the 80’s from another rural community, the canning factories were on their last legs. Times change—many factors are at work.
    I’m sure people have shaken their heads over change since the beginning of time. That’s the only constant.

  14. Marnie says:

    I suppose it all depends to some extent on when you came here Jack. I remember the county when agriculture was its major industry. Small farms dotted all of the rural roads and in the fall produce was drawn to the many local canning factories. Many men in our county fished for a living, some of my relatives among them. The fishing community at Long Point was picturesque.

    There was a limited amount of tourism in the county but not what you see today. There were no traffic jams on Main Street because travel trailers were lined bumper to bumper past the liquor store.

    The county was remarkable for its beautiful scenery. Not a lot seemed to change over time. Life moved at a relaxed pace and we all knew our neighbours. There were no bitter fights about wind turbines in those days or about much of anything else for that matter.

    Slowly all of the peaceful rural areas of the county are disappearing and this is unfortunate. If windmills one day scar the landscape here it will be a sad day for all of us who love the county. The wind controversy already has set neighbour against neighbour. When they start to cut trees and bring in the power lines it will be even worse. A lot of the supporters of the wind turbines came here from other communities to retire. They may not feel any sense of loss when those windmills go up but for those of us for whom this county has been home for generations it will mark a truly sad day in county history. We’ve lost enough and if we lose much more there will be nothing left to remind us of what was once called the Garden County.

  15. Jack D says:

    I didn,t realize I had an evil twin

  16. Jack says:

    Marnie: I wonder if you could explain your comment about the death knell of our beautiful rural community more in depth?

  17. Marnie says:

    Yes, “go wind” and blow out of our county. If indeed wind is the future of efficient power production – and this is highly debatable – it is also the death knell for our beautiful rural community.

  18. Matt says:

    Wind turbines are the future of efficient power production go wind.

  19. Chris Keen says:

    Good luck Mr. Quaiff. This is thelatest example of the tenor of the Liberal government.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2013/06/05/ontario_power_plant_cancellations_privacy_commissioner_finds_indiscriminate_deletion_of_emails_by_top_liberals.html

    Ann Cavoukian:

    “I am deeply concerned about the apparent lack of responsibility and accountability over records management within the offices of senior political leaders in Ontario,” the commissioner said in a statement.

    “I am very disturbed the former minister of energy’s office produced absolutely NO records in response to the speaker’s ruling on the gas plants issue, and that the former premier’s office had so few records that were responsive to two freedom of information requests relating to these decisions.”

    She singled out Craig MacLennan, former chief of staff in the energy minister’s office, for deleting all emails, calling it “a matter of great concern” given legal requirements to keep records of public policy decisions like power plant closures.

    “It is simply unbelievable that MacLennan would have no understanding of this,” Cavoukian wrote. “I find it strains credulity to think . . . no records documenting the decision-making process were ever created.”

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