IS ONTARIO STILL A DEMOCRACY?
*Wind Concerns Ontario was a Participant in the original proceedings.
The 75-MW wind power project proposed for tiny Amherst Island near Kingston was posted on the EBR for comment today.
For more information on Amherst Island www.protectamherstisland.com
Take up Premier Wynne on word and demand action on wind turbines
Grimsby Lincoln News
The Ottawa Citzen‘s Matthew Pearson lays out the challenges before Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne for 2014. Funny, despite the billions being spent on wind power, and the dramatically rising electricity rates which may be traced in part to renewable power sources, this issue is not mentioned.
Despite scandals, Wynne says government moving Ontario forward
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne looks back over her first 10 months in office and ahead to what 2014 will bring in a wide-ranging year-end interview with the Citizen.
OTTAWA — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has graced the province’s television and computer screens lately dressed in a Liberal red jacket, jogging through the peaceful countryside near Orangeville.
Her party may hope the ad instils confidence in voters; that it suggests the 60-year-old is training hard for the toughest race of all — a provincial election widely expected next spring.
But it could also be seen in a much different light, one in which Wynne is running from the scandals that continue to chase her minority government and mounting criticism that, after 10 months in the premier’s chair, there’s been a lot of talk and little action.
The last month alone has not been her government’s finest.
Consider the damning auditor general’s report that revealed a system of overly generous salaries, pensions and bonuses at the provincially owned utility Ontario Power Generation. Or the revelation that Chris Mazza, the embattled former CEO of the Ornge air ambulance service, collected $9.3 million in salaries and bonuses from the province over six years.
There was also a long-term energy plan that will see hydro rates increase by 50 per cent over the next decade and news out of southwestern Ontario that Heinz and Kellogg’s will both be closing factories, leaving nearly 1,300 people without jobs.
Even the recent announcement that Cisco has partnered with the province to create as many at 1,700 new jobs in Ontario — which came on the first day MPPs were back in their ridings for winter break — had some observers suggesting it was not a job creation plan but rather a government handout to a deep-pocketed technology giant.
Read the full story here.
Letters should be less than 300 words and preferably less.
On this, the eve of a new year, we would like to put forward a list of wishes for 2014.
We wish that the Ontario government would put people first and, recognizing that people want to do the “right thing,” stop punishing Ontario citizens for conserving power, and instead support innovations for power conservation and generation that we can all use in our own homes. Many people would love to have home solar arrays, on-demand water heaters and geothermal systems—but these are out of reach. Meanwhile, billions in taxpayer dollars are going to huge corporations in subsidies for forms of power generation that are not fulfilling the promises made for them.
Wind Concerns Ontario is not “anti-wind” or “anti-green”–those are labels meant to demean us and the efforts of thousands of Ontario citizens who want only to protect their communities from industrialization by wind power plants.
We wish that the Ontario government, and specifically the Ministry of the Environment, would re-draft its regulations to actually protect the natural environment, including unique landscapes, and vulnerable wildlife such as migratory birds, turtles, and bats. Bats may not be cute but they are critical to a healthy environment, for everyone.
We wish Ontario’s public health officials would take seriously the noise complaints being filed by the hundred in Ontario communities forced to host industrial-scale wind power generation facilities, and follow up on these complaints. The Ministry of the Environment sure isn’t. And, while you’re at it, recognize that infrasound from these turbines is just as harmful as it is from other sources. This environmental health problem is not going away.
We wish the Ontario government would do a cost-benefit analysis on power generation from wind, and include impact studies on local economies and residents of the communities. Many communities asked for this to be done pre-Green Energy Act, but it never was; the Auditor-General said in 2011 this was a major shortcoming…it remains uncorrected.
We wish the entire energy sector could be de-politicized and that the credo of Sir Adam Beck was once again respected: electricity should be available and affordable for everyone.
Wind Concerns Ontario will continue working for justice for Ontario’s small and rural communities, and for those people in Ontario who have had their health and their financial stability affected through the forced installation of expensive and unnecessary wind power generation projects.
It is our hope that Ontario can return to a state of economic health, and to being our home, where the rights of citizens are respected, our heritage preserved, and the beauty of our natural environment cherished and protected.
Best wishes to all for 2014.
Jane Wilson and Parker Gallant
and the Board of Directors, Wind Concerns Ontario
We return January 2nd.
Here in an interview, Middlesex-Lambton citizen activist Esther Wrightman talks about what resources and recourse ordinary citizens have against the huge wind power industry, and our Ontario government.
Here from today’s Globe and Mail, a scathing review of Ontario’s energy management portfolio, which is a rather dignified way of describing a complete and total failure.
Ontario is tilting at the wrong windmills
In Ontario, the generation and pricing of electricity have become a never-ending story of confusion, secrecy, illogic and rising costs. The only thing that can be banked on with certainty is the rising cost. Earlier this month, the Liberal government released its latest long-term energy plan, an attempt to water down the cost-escalation brought on by the 2009 Green Energy Act – the gift that keeps on cooling the provincial economy and warming the opposition at Queen’s Park. The government is now promising residential electricity rate increases of 9.6 per cent next year, 5.8 per cent in 2015 and 15 per cent in 2016. Ten years from now, the average family’s bill will be 50 per cent more than today.
Read more here.
This is from today’s Toronto Star. While Martin Regg Cohn still doesn’t “get it” (he still think resistance to wind power plants is “NIMBYism”) he at least has opened his eyes to the numbers and the economic cost to Ontario.
Ontario tilts against wind turbines as costs spiral: Cohn
Economics, more than politics, is causing the greatest drag on wind power as Liberals look for light at the end of the wind tunnel.
Resistance to wind turbines in Ontario emanated mostly from rural residents and was quickly exploited by opposition politicians eager to steal Liberal seats.
Read the full story here.
Scott Stinson: Ontario Liberals celebrate energy plan with forecast — appear to forget they’ve achieved almost nothing
There is a distinct whiff of futility in trying to assess the impact of Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan, if only because the governing Liberals have released 20-year forecasts for the province’s electricity demand, supply and costs in 2007, 2010 and again on Monday, three years after the last one.
Suggested slogan: This Time We Mean It.
But, to the extent that the government has released this version of the LTEP to celebrate all that has taken place in the energy sector in the past few years, with an eye toward championing those accomplishments during an expected spring election campaign, it is worth examining what the Liberals have to be triumphant about.
Short answer: Not much.
The document released by Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli makes conservation the government’s central energy goal, a position that is dramatically undermined by the fact the province’s regulated time-of-use residential electricity rates just jumped by 7.5% for the off-peak hours of the day. The rates increased the most, in fact, for off-peak times, which sends a strange signal when trying to convince consumers to switch their energy use to periods of low demand.
The other main thrust of the new-new plan, which expects total energy production in Ontario to increase not much at all over the next 20 years, is that consumers will continue to see electricity bills rise steadily — although, as the Liberals say, not as sharply as they were expected to increase. This counts as progress….
Read the full story here.