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Well-known journalists take politicians to task on energy

Stevie Cameron

Candidates for the Oct. 6 provincial election – Treat Hull, Todd Smith, Sherry Hayes, and Leona Dombrowsky – will square off on the issue of energy with questions fired off by Stevie Cameron, former host of CBC’s The Fifth Estate, and local journalists Steve Campbell and Rick Conroy.
The debate, set for Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Picton United Church, is sponsored by an ad hoc citizen’s group “committed to thoughtful and engaged political discussion, and counts among its members people who have voted for each of the four parties at one point or another.”
The event will be moderated by Richard Johnston, whose experience includes years as an MPP at Queen’s Park, terms as President of Centennial College, the First Nations Technical Institute and the Prince Edward County Wine Growers Association. His is currently the Chair of the Great Waterway Tourism Region and a board member of Taste the County.
The Ontario government’s Green Energy Act has dominated conversation in Prince Edward County over the past three years.
Among possible questions:
Why have electricity rates been going up so dramatically? How can we decrease our emissions from coal? What alternatives do we have? Is more nuclear power the way to go? Could conservation and cheap renewable hydro get us the power we need? Are current long-term subsidy agreements a good deal for taxpayers? Who should decide where wind and solar projects go? What restrictions should be placed on their locations? What are the implications for landowners and neighbours of the 40-year leases?  What about the Economic Development Office report, that County residents might lose up to 30 or 40 per cent of their property values and creative economy if turbines are built everywhere they are proposed?  Should the Ministry of Natural Resources have issued a permit to “kill, harm and harass” endangered species in an Important Bird Area, and to allow their habitat to be destroyed? Or will a rural landscape of turbines be the legacy we owe our children? How will we be able to afford to keep the lights on?

Journalist and author Stevie Cameron has written for the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail and Macleans magazine. She is the author of several books, including On the Take, and the Pickton File. The former host of CBC’s The Fifth Estate is no stranger to The County. She comes from Belleville but her family (the Roblins) founded the West Lake Boarding School and established a summer camp near Rednersville for orphans.

Steve Campbell

Steve Campbell was born and raised in Prince Edward County. He has worked as a reporter and writer at The Picton Gazette and other local papers, founded County Magazine 35 years ago and authored four County books. His “Word on the Street” column tackles controversial local issues in an attempt to create an ongoing discussion about the County and its future.

Rick Conroy

Rick Conroy is the publisher and editor of the Wellington Times. He has been writing about energy policy issues for more than seven years. Prior to moving his family to Prince Edward County, he assisted emerging companies tell their story to investors in capital markets in Canada and abroad.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Mark says:

    Could have bet money yesterday that response would be forthcoming. You can call county folks anti wind forever but what they really are is concerned citizens that want to ensure that #1. they are safe and will not harm human health #2. they do not impact environmentally sensitive areas and #3. if we are to mar the beautiful landscape with these towering machines that the power delivered in return is worth that cost. To date those concerns have not been adequately addressed. Mr. Hull is Pro Green but he does see the dangers of the present move to push wind turbines down our throats like it or not.

  2. Donna says:

    Well, I should have known that this event was organized by the anti-winds! What a one-sided farce with all 3 journalists obviously being selected and coached by the anti-winds. The moderator allowed their rude, rowdy behaviour as well as allowing the anti-wind questions to run on while cutting off pro-wind/pro-green questions. Ridiculous!

    Leona Dombrowsky should be given an award for bravery for standing up to this so-called ‘debate’.

  3. Ernest Horvath says:

    There is more than one direction other than privatization for the future of electricity.
    You are the end consumer and you are being spun and misinformed by your own government.

    I can attract any global investment by siggning deals to force you to pay 15 times what a product costs.

  4. virginia Hair says:

    It occurs to me that the population of the province is bound to rise over the coming decades, and our energy needs must follow that increase. Shouldn’t we be looking to the needs of the future and not spending time talking about what we consume now? How is it relevant?

  5. Ernest Horvath says:

    TM , whether it is 25 or 22 , still doesn’t take away from Duncans spin. And it also doesn’t justify taking the rights away from the people to have a say in the planning of their communities.
    There is no person or political party that deserves consideration in our political system that would take away the say from the people of Ontario.
    This kind of thinking is dangerous and leads down a pth we should never allow.
    If they feel they have the right to do this…what next?
    What will the future hold for your children with this kind of thinking?
    Put the soft spoken guy on TV aside….this is not a dictatorship.
    The core of this party is dangerous to democracy.
    Their actions prove it….

  6. TM says:

    On July 21,2011 the peak load was actually 25,450 MW, not 22,000 as mentioned. The 4,000 MW inter-provincial and interstate transfer capability cannot be counted on at any given time as neighbouring utilities may not have surplus power to sell to Ontario when needed.

  7. Doris Lane says:

    This is a great opportunity to hear all the candidates on the important issues that are facing Prince Edward County and the Province of Ontario.
    This may be one of the most crucial elections of our time.

  8. Treat Hull says:

    I encourage everyone interested in energy issues in the provincial election to attend this important meeting. The innovative format and the character of the journalists involved means that there will be no room for spin or bafflegab from any of us as candidates. This event promises to be a real service for voters who want to get a good handle on the issues and where each of us stands.

    Treat Hull
    Green Party Candidate,
    Prince Edward-Hastings

  9. Jack Dall says:

    I am looking forward to hearing their answers regarding property values. I have been in the work force for 45 years and want to retire.I have worked for a small organization my entire working life and have no fat pension. The equity in my property on the south shore was my ticket to retirement. I have been told that I should shave off 100,000 dollars . I don,t think the turbine people or the provincial govenment are going to help me with my problem.

  10. Ernest Horvath says:

    I would like to remind those who may have forgotten the Liberals were voted into power to STOP the privatizarion of Ontario Hydro.

    This may be of some interest to those with no time to understand what is really going on and why with power:

    Dwight Duncan 2005

    ” Ontario currently needs about 25,000 megawatts of power and can produce up to 30,000 at peak times. In addition, the Ontario government predicts the population will skyrocket << skyrocket don't you just love that ? by 4-million people by the end of 2031, which will cause an increase in electrical consumption."

    However this is REALITY ,

    The Ontario Power Authority's Integrated Power System Plan 2011 , a blueprint for our province's electricity system outlines needed investments in conservation, generation and transmission.
    This report states that we have 36,000 Mega-Watts (MW) of installed capacity now and we have 4,000MW of Inter State and Provincial transfers for a tidy 40,000. Back a few years ago in the summer heat we were using 28-32,000MW. This recent hot spell we tipped the MW scales at less than 22,000. In their plan they expect we could save about 7,000MW due to conservation and we may be slightly ahead of their prediction.

    The spin keeps right on going.

    Then here is our future with Cap and Trade which is the foundation of our alternate energy direction. More corporate welfare , globally , while rewarding those that invest in alternate energy here so they can continue to pollute globally.
    Great deal if you can spin it to your advantage and make not appear that way.

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