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Turbine talk tops candidates’ energy debate

Five provincial election candidates shared personal and party views on everything energy – but centred mostly on industrial wind turbines – at last night’s debate at Picton United Church.
Moderator Richard Johnston told about 200 in attendance to respect the place they were in and that he would not tolerate abusive comments from the audience.
All candidates received applause over the course of the evening. Liberal MPP Leona Dombrowsky was subject to one session of booing when she said “municipalities and residents have a say in where turbines are erected” and was victim to some heckling as she explained the party line on the Green Energy Act.
“We must hand down to our children an energy system that is sustainable, that is affordable and one that has the least impact on our environment and their future,” she said.

Journalists Rick Conroy, Stevie Cameron and Steve Campbell asked questions during the first half of the meeting. Public questions followed.

Green Party candidate Treat Hull garnered the most applause for  detailed responses. He also received a vote recommendation from Trueman Tuck, running for the People First Republic Party.
Thunderous applause followed Tuck’s comment that no Crown land in Prince Edward County should have industrial wind turbines.
PC candidate Todd Smith and Treat Hull were applauded for vowing to return power to the municipality.
“We are fully committed to having a moratorium on any industrial wind turbine development until after a health study is completed,” Smith said.
“No further development of industrial energy until zoning responsibility is returned to our community,” said Hull.

NDP candidate Sherry Hayes said “We need a government that will build community, not tear it apart.”
She was applauded when she said the NDP sees huge waste and duplication in having several electricity generating bodies “so we would move forward with creating one body for overseeing electricity which would save several million dollars just in CEO salaries each year”.
Hull noted concern that Ontario is “having to dump hydro electricity… we’re having to shut down at least some nuclear plants… you’ve already paid for it but we can’t use it because we have a surplus of energy.”
“Both the Liberals and the Tories are committed to spend in excess of $35 billion on new nuclear construction as the top priority of their energy plans, despite the fact that no Ontario nuclear project has ever come in on-time or on-budget. In fact, we are still paying off the debt retirement charge from previous nuclear projects but the Liberal and Conservatives propose more of the same. Nuclear power should become the source of last resort, not the primary energy source for the province.”

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  1. Ernest Horvath says:

    If more people understood how their money was being spent.
    This is a very accurate accounting.

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/09/23/ontarios-power-trip-the-backroom-funding-of-the-mcguinty-liberals/

  2. Ernest Horvath says:

    If you are concerned about the debt in Ontario and Canada then please research Carbon Tax and Cap and Trade because it goes hand in hand.
    In January 2012 we will be implementing Cap and Trade which McGuinty signed us on to.
    It has enormous costs to us all.
    The hard line sell is Climate Change.
    The real goal is to make carbon a tradable commodity like a barrel of oil.
    It will affect the costs of everything in your lives.
    If you are in the top wealthiest bracket , or trade at Goldman Sachs….you will push for it.
    If you are a family working to make ends meet….hang on to your wallet.
    Billions have been made in the EU , trillions globally trading carbon credits.
    Germany has not lowered their carbon emissions under their carbon tax system even with all their alternate energy.
    But there are a handful of savy investors that are making a killing while the cost of living is skyrocketing for the majority.
    You are seeing the impact now with Italy , Spain , Greece and the default fears.
    If you watch the story , the discussion is always austerity measures….in order for these countries to get bailout dollars , their unions are being attacked and social services too.
    One thing that is not talked about is what has caused all this mess in the first place.
    Carbon Tax ..which goes hand and hand with oversubsidizing alternate energy.
    Because alternate energy is a means for industries to gain emissions credits in their sector. So they invest. Doing so gives them enormous profits , while lowering their emissions numbers , in effect rewarding them , while they continue business as usual with no need to stem pollution.
    It is enormously attractive , even union pension funds are investing in it..even Canadians.
    Which may explain what is going on and why they support the party they do.

  3. Doris Lane says:

    You are correct Mark–of the three leaders Andrea was the best and Dalton the worst.
    They don’t know about debt–there will be a credit crunch in the next couple of years and we will all be down the tube
    As you say Treat is the only person who speaks who knows what is going to happen

  4. Mark says:

    Having heard the Party’s dabate I will keep it short at this time with just one key point. Not one leader addressed the sky rocketing debt in this province that will take us down if not dealt with. They have no answers, so squeeze your nose and vote! The only person running for election that has spoken to the debt crisis has been Treat Hull. This guy has it right.

  5. Mark says:

    Let’s drive energy prices up even further. This province has topped 240 billion in debt. This is a most critical situation that is projected to worsen quickly. You have to pay the piper at some point and all Ontario citizens will soon be made aware of this. What is frighteneing is that neither the Liberals or Conservatives want to talk about it or put forth solutions. This is not a problem that can be fixed quickly. It will take a long term strategy. Let’s get on with the job at hand. What we don’t need is big money deals for foreign companies to tinker with some wind projects. Other than Treat Hull this is one of those elections where you just have to pinch your nose when you vote. There is no leadership at the party leaders level and the 2 local front running candidates are both party puppets. Sad state of affairs indeed.

  6. Ernest Horvath says:

    I strongly suggest you get informed on the financial impact of Cap and Trade and carbon pricing very quickly.
    You have Richard Sandor the father of pricing air as a commodity already set up at the Montreal Climate exchnage along with some ex Goldman Sachs people.
    Do you want air traded and speculated on like a barrel of oil driving your living costs through the roof so you enable global corporations to continue polluting while benefitting with enormous profits by investing in alternate energy ?
    This industry is trying to set up here in Canada , which Mcguinty is bought you into already with his cap and trade policy.
    You have no idea how much more expensive your lives will get under this….”misguided direction”.
    And it will do nothing but create an industry whose sole purpose is to drive your costs up to make more money on the markets .

  7. Killashandra Ree says:

    APPEC has decided to drop it’s non-partisan policy and follow in Wind Concerns Ontario’s footsteps and endorse the Provincial Conservative Party’s local candidate, Todd Smith. In a statement sent to members, the board came to this conclusion as they feel that only the Provincial Conservative Party can halt the spread of IWTs by forming a majority government.

    At the “energy” candidate’s meeting last week in Picton, PC candidate, Todd Smith, stated that his party was only committed to cancelling the SAMSUNG deal, that there are noplans to cancel the Green Energy Act (GEA), which is what defines the FIT program, and is responsible for the removal of local zoning controls over large scale solar and wind turbine developments. He stated that the PCs backed the idea of returning power of local zoning to municipal governments, but was very careful not to say they were committed to doing so. The only thing he said the party was committed to was the moratorium on IWTs until proper health studies could be completed. This from the party that gave us LHINs, the eHealth debacle etc.

    I fear if his party gets voted if, we will find very little changes. Todd Smith was forced on the riding by the powers that be in Toronto, not by the people here who supported the previous candidate for the riding – will his allegiance be to the citizens of the County/Riding, or the party? He will toe the party line and that is not necessarily a good thing with their record and the current version in Ottawa.

    I truly think we should be supporting Treat Hull and the Green Party which had the best answers and the best plans, whether you are for IWTs or against them. It makes much more sense not to run up huge debts building power generation facilities when we are already generating excess power – that is the very reason the current Liberal party has cancelled yet another gas generation plant

    Leona and Todd just kept falling back on the party line for every answer whether it was relevant to the question asked. I am tired of that sort of representation – it’s what got us in this mess and I want someone in Queen’s Park who will listens and return calls. Leona’s record is abysmal, Todd is an unknown but I do not trust the PCs to do more for us than big business as they are traditionally more aligned to large corporations and their interests.

    the APPEC board and WCO may feel that the PCs will save us from IWTs but I think we need people like Treat Hull in Queen;s park to make sure our interests are heard and make headlines. Someone who is just a party puppet can;t do that.

  8. Mark R says:

    Doris, I wasn’t talking about natural wind. More so, the wind on here.

  9. Tom says:

    Hey Mark……we are not the same person. Just two individuals expressing similar views. Surprise..Surprise.

    Do you suppose all the other anti-wind mill people are really the same person?

    Thank God we live in a free country where we have the right to speak. I am an individual who is in no way connected to the industry. I just want to be free of coal/oil/gas fired and nuclear energy. Those forms have a much greater impact on the enviroment. You must agree with that. Or those “forms” are OK as long as it is located somewhere else.

  10. Chris Keen says:

    And McShifty wants us to believe that Ontario really has a green energy plan? One of the reasons for this flip flop? We have ample electricity supplies according to Dalton. However, we still need to erect 40 story turbines in an environmentally significant area. Go figure.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/provincialelection/article/1059406–mcguinty-denies-killing-mississauga-power-plant-to-save-his-skin?bn=1

  11. Doris Lane says:

    Mark R and Lori are right on. As for living here it has become not such a great place to be. I was talking to a lady that said even though the IWT: would not effect her personally she would not have moved to this community if she had known about them because of the disruption to our life style they are causing
    Treat has a an outline on his web site about the amount of money we are paying out in interest each year on the deficit. We cannot afford to keep going this way but Dalton seems to think it is OK to live beyond our means and pay out huge sums to internationals to come here and do things

  12. Mark R says:

    Living here is incredibly frustrating sometimes.

  13. Lori Cairns says:

    Well said, Ernest! I couldn’t agree with you more, especially the line that the other side of the room gets very quiet when the topic of each home generating its own energy comes up.
    Greed cloaked in “environmentalism” is still greed.
    If we really want a better future for our children, we need to become a hell of a lot more self-sufficient. IWTs won’t get us there.

  14. Ernest Horvath says:

    8 years ago McGuinty was elected to stop privatization of Ont. Hydro.
    Prior to election he was for Harris direction, then to get elected he reversed his position
    After election he reversed again and began privatization.
    These are stats from Germany which by the way have not reduced emissions at all.

    The Costs of CO2 Reduction
    To reduce CO2 emissions by one ton, it costs (in euros):
    Building Renovations (90% of cases) 100
    Modernizing an old black-coal power plant 20
    Reductions in industrial CO2 emissions >20
    Replacing black coal with natural gas 28
    Brown-coal power plant with carbon capture technology >30
    Modernizing a new black-coal power plant 50
    Replacing brown coal with natural gas 50
    Black-coal power plant with carbon capture technology >50
    Biomass >50
    Biofuel >50
    Wind Energy 50-60
    Geothermal Energy >100
    Solar Energy (Photovoltaic) 300-500
    * A value less than zero indicates that the measure is actually profitable.
    Sources: McKinsey, RWE, German Renewable Energy Federation

    IWTs require vast amounts of land..hundreds of thousands of acres. And their true environmental impact are severe.
    You will be appalled at what is required to install just one.
    Many Industries are major polluters that cause a great deal of GHG’s like concrete and steel.
    People have this is idea that once we close down our coal plants that have scrubbers , that all will be well.
    Despite the war on terror ..energy. It will not make a hill of beans of impact.
    But you will pay more for power to private business.
    Ontario had an opportunity to tap into Hydro Quebec.
    Any European country would have jumped at the chance.
    To date it is the best energy source, and the cleanest.
    Solar small scale is the future for us. Or community based energy systems.
    And I am not talking FIT programs paying 15 times more for power like solar.
    The environmental impact with large scale IWTs are enormous with the ones we have seen in Ontario.
    Just the land space required should have us running away from it.
    We need grants and really good subsidies provided by government.
    But when this is mentioned….the other side of the room gets silent.
    After seeing how this has been playing out , and how our children are being groomed in schools to support IWTs , and the millions provided by Ontario to Enviro groups to go out and set up programs in communities to sell us a product. Millions of our hard earned money not being used for healthcare of senior social programs for example but used to support something that is nothing more than a public relations industry….I want it stopped.
    This kind of politics must be stopped.

  15. Mark R says:

    So, if two people come on here as pro-wind advocates, it must be the same person trying to fool everybody?

  16. Dave says:

    Wow! The debate goes on.

    It’s too bad we can’t clean the slate and start again, but McGuinty put the kobosh on that, by removing local concerns from the equation, and has doomed us to bickering amongst ourselves, while he does what he damn well pleases.

    My comments:

    I think ‘Donna’ and ‘Tom’ might be the same person, continuously slapping themselves on the back for a job well done. I don’t get Donna’s argument that she is miserable because of nearby woodsmoke, so everybody else should tough it up, embrace wind turbines, and be miserable too. Misery does love company.

    I’m afraid Ernest hits closest to the mark. The Green Energy Act has some good things going for it. But when it comes to IWT – ill-conceived, poorly-researched and really, really badly executed.

    This is clearly not about Wind Power at all. The dollars and cents make no sense. Paying out more than you’re billing is death to any business. Unless we get hit real hard further down the line.

    This is a very bad deal between the government and overseas corporations, and it’s all being run through a giant calculator, in which millions and billions are being made with every agreement.

    The pro-wind people keep asking us to wake up. They need to wake up too. Wind power is good. Renewable energy is great. We can probably all agree on that.

    But the deals McGuinty is making suck.

    Open your own eyes, and see the wheeling/dealing that’s going on way above our heads. If you want to bring Wind Power into the County, walk away from this horrible deal between Big Gov’t and Big Non-Canadian Corporations, and then we’ll all be on the same playing field.

    Then we can see eye to eye.

    I have also used a fake name, but Tom and Donna were already taken.

    I remain,
    Dave

  17. janet says:

    Oh dear. Just read that CBC story http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/09/21/wind-turbines.html and the main message appears to be They Lie. Telling someone “You’re the only ones who have complained…” is gentle intimidation. Because others who signed a gag order decided to stay gagged and keep the money, those pesky complainers filed a Freedom of Information request and discovered 199 other people had complained. Doesn’t fill me with confidence in the powers-that-be.

  18. Mark says:

    If one questions the health concerns in regards to wind turbines they are labelled as rude. The pro wind $$$$ folks would like to shut us down much the same way as the political drive on this front. In terms of setbacks the latest surveys are indicating a minimum of 3 kilometers.And I don’t know how the citizens questioning the safety of these huge machines can be called a minority. Was there a referendum result I missed?

  19. janet says:

    One more from me. Just a word about Europe – Wind – and Hydro. I grew up in Canada and thought electricity and hydro were the same thing. I lived in Europe where I realized it isn’t. They HAD to use nuclear, coal and gas – so expensive IWTs were their green alternative. They would LOVE to have our renewable hydro resources. They are puzzled that we dismiss it as Yesterday’s Power. “Oh, have you run out of water?” On the other hand, Danish turbine manufacturers are thrilled. (note: Canada is #2 for installed hydro capacity in the world and #1 for the percentage it uses – too bad some gets dumped or sold to the U.S.)

  20. janet says:

    Donna says health-offending turbines were erected BEFORE the Liberals made longer setbacks. Original setbacks were based on IWT industry developers suggestions – at Royal Rd I believe that was 250m from residences. Transalta must have thought “Rats!” when the yokels did their homework and discovered Europe now demands much more – in Germany it’s 1km. “Oh, did we say 250m? We meant 500m!” I just don’t trust them.

  21. Donna says:

    Thanks so much, Tom. And you’re right: the minority that opposes environmental responsibility should not control the health of our planet. We all should be working together to ameliorate the damage that our generation has done to the earth.

  22. Ernest Horvath says:

    I was all for alternate energy , still am.
    Some directions make good sense.
    But lets talk facts here.
    Your wind industry is being paid 3 x conventional rates..pretty good business.
    Solar is worse , they are paid 15 x conventional rates…pretty good business.
    But for Ontarians , not only are they forced to overpay for your product , they now have to pay to build conventional power generation using GAS to make your power you produce reliable on a constant basis.
    So we don’t even get emissions benefits for the sales pitch.
    But you do very well.
    McGuinty came to power after first fully supporting Harris privatization , then flipflopping and went against privatization to get elected.
    No sooner had McGuinty been elected he began his privatization direction using your industry to do it.
    This is not an open market , it is a monopoly, with a captured market that is being forced to overpay for power.
    The entire direction has been built on nontruths.
    If it is about cleaner air and sustainability…McGuinty claims..then why would this Liberal Party not provide grants and subsidies to Ontarians to adopt some form of alternate energy?
    The billions flowing to your industry is our money.
    It could have been used to benefit Ontarians , instead it is being used to entrench your business selling us power.
    Not such a great deal for Ontarians as it is for your industry.
    What sparked my fight was cap and trade.
    Most of your industry is gas and oil or other energy companies.
    To lower your emissions numbers you can invest in planting trees in Africa or invest in alteranate energy where you make enormous profits on the backs of Ontarians.
    So not only does your industry get rewarded through emissions credits , so why bother with your environmental impact globally , but you get overpaid to sell us power.
    Somehow..at least to me , that doesn’t sit well with my take of things of what is and what is not right.
    Your industry is not here to save us from global disaster.
    Or clean air , and certainly not for the health of people.
    You are here because it benefits your bottom line and helps your emissions numbers elsewhere.

  23. Tom says:

    Way to go Donna!!!!! Your comments were well thought out and constructive. It is too bad that some people seem to go into the “attack” mode when someone exercises their right to express a different view to alternative energy. You are absolutely correct in saying that some may experience health problems as a result of changes in the enviroment. These people who do, should not be able control the greater good of society.

    Well done!!!!

  24. Donna says:

    It’s unfortunate that you are so rude to those with differing opinions. This is a venue for public comments and being a PEC resident, I do have the right to express mine.

    If you read and considered my post, you’d see that my points are valid: 1) The turbines in question are older with closer setbacks than are now mandated; 2) People can have sensitivities to many things in our natural and man-made environment which we have no control over. I will add that our attitude towards these things influences our health. Which came first: the health issue or the negative attitude?

    It could be claimed that the ferocious attitude of the anti-wind groups is enough to cause health problems for pro-renewable energy people! 😉

  25. Mark says:

    Latest surveys are indicating health issues for people living beyond 3 Kilometers from wind turbines. People have been demanding answers to the health concerns in regards to the turbines but no one seems to care. Just ram it through and to hell with legitimate concerns. Reminds me of when factory owners told workers to work with asbestos, it’s fine. Of course we know better now. And we will know better in regards to wind turbines as well however we don’t need to gamble on people’s health in a rush for the allmighty dollar! Put the facts on the table I say.

  26. Doris Lane says:

    Ernie most of us know who Donna is so she might as well put her real name on what she writes.
    If some of you have not read Steve Campbells Rant on his blog turn to it–it is really good–entitled something like we are McGinty’s garbage dump.
    According to the Auditor General of Ontario on CBC last evening we are headed for a difficult time. It is time the government stopped wasting money on things we do not need

  27. Ernest Horvath says:

    Donna…I am always very ineterested in how all you lobby people try to spin this , redirect it , minimize it……
    It is very well done.
    How is it done?
    If someone says this ..you use reply B
    If someone says this ..you use reply H
    Try something different….you all come back with the same redirect and spin.

    What does you reply have to do with the implications of the CBC article…..?
    We are being lied to , the government knows there are health issues , ..even the IWT developer was more concerned about the people, the MOE employers were trying to do their jobs..protect the people…the only ones that were trying to shove it under the carpet was the McGuinty government.

    So your turn Donna …if that is who you are..what do we spin it towards ?
    Shoes , lawn care ?

  28. Ernest Horvath says:

    I was a Liberal supporter until the GEA was passed and I began researching IWT developments and cap and trade.
    Cap and Trade is corporate welfare on a global scale.
    You already see it’s intent here.
    A global polluter in order to lower emissions levels in their industry invests in alternate energy here , makes 3 times the price for wind or up to 15 times for solar..gets emissions credts for the investment and rewarded by massive profits that McGuinty has set , and this business can pollute without worry of lowering emissions.
    It is unbelievable what the Liberals are up to.
    Appalling.

  29. Donna says:

    1. The turbines in question were built BEFORE the McGuinty government increased the setbacks to 550 metres.

    2. People are sensitive to different environmental stressors. Some exhibit health problems from air pollution, some from high voltage transmission lines, some from tree pollen. My home is surrounded with unregulated outdoor woodburning furnaces and woodstoves; the pollution causes serious health symptoms for me and often prevents me from operating the HRV (heat recovery ventilator) that is supposed to ‘refresh’ the air in my home. I realize that I live in a rural area and am in a minority so I have no choice but to live here and deal with it, or move. The minority that are sensitive to wind turbines, for whatever reasons, mental or physical, need to do the same.

  30. Chris Keen says:

    “A family from southwestern Ontario has launched a $1.5-million lawsuit accusing power company Suncor Energy of inflicting a long list of serious health issues on them by erecting a wind farm next to their home.”

    http://sync.sympatico.ca/news/wind_farm_health_risks_claimed_in_15m_suit/a5ba164c

  31. Ernest Horvath says:

    This is the story exposing the health issues with IWTs.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/09/21/wind-turbines.html

  32. Ernest Horvath says:

    Using MOE documents , the CBC just ran an story exposing the Liberal Governments intentional hiding of the health issues caused by close proxinmity to IWTs.
    The IWT developer in their defence was concerned about the people as well.
    This information went to the highest levels of MOE and government.
    McGuinty shelved the issues and continued on with IWTs.
    Even the people that train the MOE in measuiring noise were telling the government they were causing health issues.
    Now cut the nonsense and lets move forward with a government that will work with the people of Ontario and put their health and their rights to have a say in their own communities first.
    It’s over.

  33. Linda Logan-Smith says:

    I chose not to go to this debate. I am planning on attending the one at the Regent where I HOPE other issues than the **** turbine issue will be discussed! There are other issues affecting our province and our communities, although people seem to be rather fixated here.

  34. Doris Lane says:

    I guess Tom you are a Liberal–I used to be but no more and I do not agree that Leona had the best answers. It is the Liberals that put the GEA in place and took away local control. They are spending a fortune on IWT’s that we do not need.
    Lennox was built many years ago and is hardly ever in operation–It is part oil and part Gas.
    Treat is not saying something to get votes, he believes what he speaks about.
    He has a degree in engineering and has been a consultant for many large companies.
    He researches everything carefully and only makes comments about the facts.
    How do you know that IWT’s do impact our health. There are many people who feel that they do and they are people who have had to live near IWt’s

  35. TM says:

    Don’t forget some of the huge Hydro Debt occurred as a result of the Ernie Eves Conservative Gov’t freezing the hydro rates at BELOW what it cost to produce it.

  36. Tom says:

    I just listened to the all party debate on wind energy. Seems to me the Liberal party had the most responsible answers to the questions about wind energy everywhere in Ontario. The Green party who advocates clean renewable energy is only trying get the County vote by resisting this form of renewable energy. The Conservative party only offers promises and we all know about politcal promises at election time. Promises that are often broken once the election is over.

    Europe uses wind as a sustainable form of energy. Let us face it, everything we do has an impact on how we live and survive. Why not use the devices that give us the energy but,have the least impact on our lives and our health?

    I know that I am going to get a lot of replies from the anti-turbine group. I expect that but, please make the replies responsible and inteligent.

    Thank-you

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