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New government’s environmental decisions reckless and short-sighted

Open letter to Premier Ford and Ministers Rickford, Smith, and Phillips

The terrible environmental decisions being made by your party since being elected by only 23 per cent of all eligible voters in our province, are reckless, dangerous, short-sighted and show no regard for the health and welfare of this and future generations.

There are no reasonable justifications for cancelling over 750 renewable energy projects, violating legal contracts of the wpd White Pines Wind Farm in the ward where we live, threatening to end the GEEA, withdrawing from the Cap & Trade system, refusal to participate in federally mandated emissions programs, and promotion of dangerous and costly nuclear energy.

These are just some of the ways you are demonstrating to all the world that you have no understanding of what is required to combat climate change, the most dire issue facing humanity.

Ontario has gone in a month from being a respected leader in environmental actions, to a laughing stock and embarrassment. You have made us ashamed of this province that my wife and I have grown up in, and of Prince Edward County where we have lived, worked and raised our family for the past 38 years. Our children and grandchildren will look upon this bleak period in Ontario’s history with scorn and ask how you failed to lead us into the future and instead chose the regressive path of setting progress back by decades.

Why would any company or country choose to do business in this province when the government in power shows no respect for legally binding contracts? You must reconsider your rash actions, stop misleading the public by blaming the cost of electricity on renewable energy when it is only a small fraction of the pie compared with the massive costs of nuclear, and face up to your responsibility to protect current and future citizens of this province from the worst impacts of climate change.
Sincerely, Don & Heather Ross
Milford

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. Chris Keen says:

    An excellent article by Kevin Libin on the business case for cancelling the wpd IWT project. Hint – it involves ridiculous government subsidies and unfair contracts that harm the public, costing Ontario taxpayers what the provincial auditor general estimates would eventually total $170 billion in needless, above-market costs for electricity by 2032.
    https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/fords-ontario-is-only-closed-for-business-to-businesses-hosing-ontario?video_autoplay=true

  2. SueB says:

    It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. While I stand behind green energy, I must ask, why does Ontario sell off the over supply of hydro energy to the US for a cheaper rate than is offered to Ontario consumers? Corporate greed and political favors are sinking this province, and this country. Perhaps there’s an ability to use the cheap hydro the Americans are getting to negotiate the economic tariffs disputes. use it as leverage for the citizens, not power for the politicians. Just a thought.
    Why is there such a push for green energy if Ontario already produces more than it can use, and in return sells it off at a discounted rate?

  3. Paul Cole says:

    The real losers here are the folks who invested a fair amount of money on smaller scale solar arrays to power their homes and feed any left over power back into the system to help recoup the costs of their initial investment. Smaller businesses, Municipal buildings and some Schools bought into the FIT (Feed in tariff) 10kw to 500kw and microFIT (below 10kw I’m guessing here) projects. The projects could includes solar arrays,on-shore wind (smaller windmills or for Gary wind turbine systems),bioenergy including biogas, landfill gas, and biomass also waterpower. They were included in the 758 projects cancelled by the Ford PC government

  4. Emily says:

    How could these people be so ignorant of the carbon emissions of wind turbines, or are they just blinded by believing they are doing the right thing? And in the community they live that over whelmingly reject this charade.

  5. Renee says:

    The renewable energy projects that were cancelled will no longer be subsidized through the GEA program. Many I noticed were on government buildings and schools.

    Perhaps they will consider moving ahead with the projects on their own to produce some of their own energy and offset their consumption.

  6. John Hirsch says:

    Gary Mooney has made the economic case against more wind and solar very well.
    Let me add the environmental case.
    The fact is, since wind and solar are intermittent and effective storage technologies don’t yet exist, they have to be backed up by flexible generation which is gas generators. As a result, carbon emissions per kwh of wind power are more than double other forms of generation.
    See the work done by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers. They have no political agenda and strongly recommend no more renewables in the system.

    https://blog.ospe.on.ca/advocacy/3105/

  7. ADJ says:

    For all the fears about nuclear energy I believe Ontario has had a pretty good track record.. Wind and solar not so much! Show mw that big storage battery that wind power stores their energy in so that the cities of Ontario can operate 24 hrs. a day.
    Mr. Ross should really plead his case to the rain forest countries of Central America and then of course India and China all who reportedly ignore the global warming crisis.
    Yes it would be nice if all of us like him could create a self sufficient home generating system but not all can afford it. Maybe the Liberals at the time should have offered more incentives and encouraged off grid generation. Probably wouldn’t work for industry and so I question the statement about other countries investing here. hmmm?
    This idea of creating sufficient and sustainable power by wind and solar is the joke…and what is embarrassing is how our government got sucked into the deal in the first place. Shame.

  8. Henri Garand says:

    Ontario residents clearly wanted political change in the last election because voter turnout rose to 58% compared to 51.3% in 2014 and 48.2% in 2011. The PCs took 40.5% of the popular vote, while the Liberals had a mere 19.6% and the NDP 33.6%. In 2014 the Liberals retained power with only 38.7% of the popular vote. More Ontarians (2,326,632) voted for Doug Ford’s government than for Kathleen Wynne’s (1,862,907) in 2014.

    Don Ross questions the authority of the PC government to make changes, but the Liberals had less support for continuing their repressive policies.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/06/08/ontario-voter-turnout-2018-election_a_23454169
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario_general_election,_2018
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario_general_election,_2014

  9. Dennis Fox says:

    We can nit-pick about how much the different sources of energy may cost and claim that they are not efficient methods of alternate energy -however, that approach doesn’t solve the real problems of global warming and climate change – caused by fossil fuels. Has anyone costed out what that is costing us now – particularly in the field of healthcare?

    The problem that we and other countries are facing are governments without a vision or a plan to save this planet. Like I said prior, the cancellation of WPD was right for the County because a previous government screwed up the process of including the public and listening to them – but don’t believe for one second that Ford is taking environmental concerns seriously by this decision either. As a result of Ford’s opposition to the carbon tax and the cancellation of 750 energy projects, Ontario has taken huge steps backwards in the fight to protect our environment. That is not something to be cheering about. While flawed, the GEA was at least a plan to clean up our environment. What does the Ford Conservatives offer as a replacement plan? Nothing, zip! And no doubt we will all end up paying for this.

  10. Mike says:

    Wind turbines do not belong in any community that does not want them. This project was forced upon a community where the vast majority simply did not want them (Don and Heather Ross excluded).

    To force these industrial power plants adjacent to quiet picturesque communities is abhorrent. Has anyone even attempted to calculate the loss of property value the Green Energy Act is responsible for? There is plenty of empty space in this country. Put them there, but not here.

  11. Fred says:

    People need to go to South Marysburgh and see for themselves the environmental damage that has been done. Corporate rape of our rural spaces, for an energy source uneeded and not dependable.

  12. Emily says:

    “RIP them right out of the ground”!! 98% of the County are pleased.

  13. hockeynan says:

    Well said Don.Isn’t it a sad shame this happened.God knows what will happen in the next four years but we are in trouble.We have to quit kissing the nimbys a–.

  14. Chuck says:

    This Milford resident had no issue with the Liberals tramping on local decision making and forcing their Ministry of Natural Resources to turn a blind eye to environmental harm. Not drinking the kool-aid.

  15. Susan says:

    The environmental destruction caused and future destruction awaiting made cancellation the smart and right decision.Wrong project, wrong location and uneeded. Kudos to the PC government on acting wisely and swiftly.

  16. Gary Mooney says:

    The vast majority of the 758 renewable energy projects cancelled are for solar power, to be paid 20 cents or more per KWh, as compared to exceptionally safe*, clean nuclear at 7 cents and pretty safe*, clean hydro at 6 cents.

    Solar power that is safe*, but unreliable and requires backup from not-so-safe*, CO2- and pollution-emitting natural gas.

    Solar power that is really not needed and is resold into export markets for about 3 cents.

    * Mortality by energy source in 2018:
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/494425/death-rate-worldwide-by-energy-source/

  17. Dennis Fox says:

    Good for Don and Heather Ross for expressing their well taken point of view. Unfortunately here in PEC, it will fall mainly on deaf ears, due to the current sense of joy and exuberance being felt by the Ford government’s announcement to cancel ALL 750 renewable energy projects – a blind stupid decision indeed. The fact is, for PEC, the cancellation of wpd was the right thing. There was no real science behind the set-back distance between IWTs and a person’s home, also there was no meaningful consultation between the public, our council and the provincial government, at that time. Under the GEA, basic planning principles went ignored for far too long with the IWTs issue. That alone turned out to be the killing factor for the GEA. The Ford government has just made the same stupid mistake as did McGinty – they over-reacted to the minority. In Ford’s case, he was elected with no platform, with absolutely no plan for our future and for the creation of new energy. It was strictly a populist decision – just as Trump would do it. Once the reality of what a Ford government means in the areas of education, healthcare, school closures, funding for mental health, the cost of electricity, water and infrastructure, etc.. – I hope PEC will still be feeling exuberant.

    In the meantime, I will wait with bated breath for the day we have Dougy’s “Buck a Beer” and 10 cents off every liter of gas – which no doubt it will all come for free, no lost jobs and there will be a roast in every pot! And anyone believing him has to be nuts!

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