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Ontario gothic

Posted: October 6, 2017 at 9:03 am   /   by   /   comments (11)

Mary Shelley is said to have conceived the story of Frankenstein, a manmade monster let loose upon the countryside, while under the influence of opium in the cold summer of 1816. The gothic horror story, it turns out, was the work of a dark imagination fuelled by opioids.

It begs the question: what was Kathleen Wynne and her government smoking when they let loose their own man-made monsters across rural Ontario—in the form of industrial wind developers and speculators?

Even if you buy the sentiment that their motivations were well-intentioned, the undeniable outcome of the Green Energy Act is that Kathleen Wynne and Dalton McGuinty have spawned armies of amoral monstrous corporate creatures and have let them loose to roam unfettered across the province. To wreak havoc in rural communities. To despoil the environment. To slaughter endangered species. To make folks sick.

Worse, our government has paved the way, clearing hurdles and slashing regulations to enable these creatures to prey upon vulnerable communities, natural habitats and endangered species. Now they have lost control of their grotesque creations. Even Kathleen Wynne must know how this story ends.

Near Chatham, folks believe the wind developer working nearby has poisoned their wells—allowing toxins into their drinking supply. They have done the testing. They have spoken out. They have protested. Marched on Queen’s Park. Kathleen Wynne has ignored them.

Wynne, her government and her supporters comfort themselves believing the scourge they have unleashed—though ugly and abusive— is a necessary evil. That the greater good is being served. They ignore the folks holding up jars of black liquid, pleading with the province to test their water, drawn from wells that have become undrinkable since the wind developer began driving piles into the bedrock to secure its massive wind turbines. Even Chatham- Kent’s mayor has demanded Kathleen Wynne intervene to protect these residents. It has made no difference.

Left without the protection of the province—without the safeguards that would protect them from any other development— these folks took matters into their own hands. In August, they began blockading the construction site— neighbours joining together to form a line against the threat to their drinking water.

On Monday, in a cruel blow, the developers— a Korean conglomerate and its American partner—won a court injunction barring any further blockades of the project. The judge said he wasn’t trying to muzzle opponents, but to “prohibit unlawful acts”.

In Ontario’s perverse hunger for industrial wind turbines, it turns out Chatham-Kent residents must first prove they have been poisoned by the developer, before they may seek justice. By then, of course, the damage will have been done. Recourse will expensive and, for most, unattainable.

Four years ago, the giant American wind developer Next Era sued Esther Wrightman for defamation. On her website she had altered the company’s logo to NextError and Next Terror. They wanted the logos removed or they would litigate the mother of two young children into oblivion. All these years later, the legal action is still pending. Wrightman wakes up every morning with the weight of this action still weighing on her head.

In Prince Edward County, a wind developer has been barred from constructing a nineturbine project near Milford between May 1 and October 15. This was done expressly to protect the nesting grounds and habitat of the Blanding’s turtle, an endangered species in the province.

Nevertheless, crews have been busy these past few weeks clearing vegetation, preparing the site and delivering heavy equipment onto these protected lands. There are no consequences for ignoring the rules.

So, a developer ruins drinking water without penalty, another bullies a young mother into silence, and yet another crushes rules meant to save an endangered species. This is our Ontario. There are dozens more distressing stories just like these. Too many sad accounts of families forced to leave their homes because the noise and vibration from the massive machines proved intolerable.

No one is coming to help the folks in Chatham-Kent. No one from our government—those we entrust to protect us—is intervening between Next Era (market capitalization of $68 billion) and Esther Wrightman. And no one is coming to protect endangered species in South Marysburgh.

Wynne has lost control of her destructive and unscrupulous brutes. When the Liberal government eliminated the safeguards that once protected us from these threats, and cut municipalities and communities out of decision-making, they may have believed they were just streamlining processes. Instead, they unleashed wild dogs onto the Ontario landscape without oversight or the means to bring them back to heel.

Untethered by moral, ethical or community concerns, these corporate beasts consume and ravage everything they can get away with. Folks who have fought for years to protect the things our government was supposed to safeguard, have been left gasping in despair. Lacking legal remedies or protection, some have begun considering other means to protect their families, their communities and their land. If the government won’t protect them, they will do it themselves.

This is the horror Kathleen Wynne and Dalton McGuinty have wrought.

 

rick@wellingtontimes.ca

Comments (11)

  • October 16, 2017 at 2:32 am Richard Mann

    The problem is Wind and Solar are not reducing C02 and our government will not admit this costly failure. Ontario’s professional Engineers, those tasked with generation, transmission and billing, have reported the problem. our government continues to build more wind and solar.

    Reference: “Ontario’s Electricity Dilemma – Achieving Low Emissions at Reasonable Electricity Rates”. Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE). April 2015.
    (Archived at: http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ospe.on.ca/resource/resmgr/DOC_advocacy/2015_Presentation_Elec_Dilem.pdf)

    Page 15 of 23. “Why Will Emissions Double as We Add Wind and Solar Plants ?”

    – Wind and Solar require flexible backup generation.

    – Nuclear is too inflexible to backup renewables without expensive engineering changes to the reactors.

    – Flexible electric storage is too expensive at the moment.

    – Consequently natural gas provides the backup for wind and solar in North America.

    – When you add wind and solar you are actually forced to reduce nuclear generation to make room for more natural gas generation to provide flexible backup.

    – Ontario currently produces electricity at less than 40 grams of CO2 emissions/kWh.

    – Wind and solar with natural gas backup produces electricity at about 200 grams of CO2 emissions/kWh. Therefore adding wind and solar to Ontario’s grid drives CO2 emissions higher. From 2016 to 2032 as Ontario phases out nuclear capacity to make room for wind and solar, CO2 emissions will double (2013 LTEP data).

    – In Ontario, with limited economic hydro and expensive storage, it is mathematically impossible to achieve low CO2 emissions at reasonable electricity prices without nuclear generation.

  • October 12, 2017 at 9:06 am Sommer

    Yes, thank you Rick for this well written article.
    All readers need to view this newly released documentary: https://www.corbettreport.com/bigoil/ which puts into historical perspective how we got to this crisis in Ontario. I asked James Corbett to look into our situation here in rural Ontario and in his usual thorough and well researched style, he has put many of the pieces of the puzzle together. You’ll see industrial scale turbines throughout both parts of the documentary and a focus on the current energy agenda by the oil oligarchs in the last half of the second video. He names names with the accuracy of a journalist/detective. James promises to continue this work. This is truly exciting! Help get it out to all who are administrators of this energy agenda and to all government agents who are ushering it in without realizing the end goal.

  • October 8, 2017 at 7:51 am R Budd

    Well written commentary. One has to wonder where the people/NGO’s that feign interest in the environment and social injustice are (Maude Barlow aside). If this was occurring on Aboriginal lands or being inflicted on a minority group the Toronto Star and CBC would be full of fury and ferocious in there condemnation.
    Environmental groups should be outraged with the flagrant lack of appropriate environmental assessments for these massive projects, the weak mortality/mitigation requirements and the lopsided hearing process for those that challenge despicable acts of corporate muscle. But these defenders of the environment appear totally gobsmacked by the ideology that wind turbines = planetary saviour.
    Mostly though its happening in politically unimportant rural areas and its happening under a currently shiny cloak of Green, so the Liberals and the insulated GTA could barely care less.

    • October 8, 2017 at 12:04 pm Barbara

      Correction: “But these defenders of the environment appear totally gobsmacked by the ideology that wind turbines = planetary saviour” should read ‘wind turbines = money, and lots of it, heaps, in fact” Greed is the motivating factor here, not the planet.

  • October 8, 2017 at 12:10 am Ron Wardle

    Just keep giving the teachers & the OPP big raises and they’ll greedily & gladly vote your sorry ass back in, Wynne! You and you Liberal lap dogs are a despicable disgrace. And that is putting everything as nicely as I can.

  • October 7, 2017 at 1:04 pm irene

    Great Article. Best example of Corporate Welfare to Wind Companies by Wynne/McGuinty Liberals devestating small town Ontario directly and all taxpayers in hydro rates. Truly an unnecessary nightmare of devastation for so many.

  • October 7, 2017 at 10:54 am Bo Lyman

    You forgot the point that all this damage was done to serve two flawed hypotheses – that humans are causing catastrophic global warming and that anything Ontario does to reduce carbon dioxide emissions will have any significance in global terms. It is all incredibly foolish and costly environmental symbolism.

  • October 7, 2017 at 10:51 am Bob Lyman

    You forgot the main point. All this has been done allegedly to reduce emissions of a harmless gas called carbon dioxide, based on the failed hypotheses that humans are causing catastrophic global warming and that anything Ontario does will have even a tiny impact on global emissions. It is all incredibly foolish and costly environmental symbolism.

  • October 7, 2017 at 10:06 am Lorrie Gillis

    Best article I’ve seen in a long while and it sums it up VERY well. Thank you Rick for doing this.

  • October 7, 2017 at 9:05 am Greg Schmalz

    The Ontario government insidiously hired engineering companies like HCG to create wind turbine setbacks and noise measuring regulations. Those same companies are hired by turbine owners to measure illegal noise. If they found it their companies would then be liable for creating faulty regulations. Their box is further solidified by their testimony as expert government witnesses where they confirm audible and inaudible emissions from wind turbines cause harm to humans.
    This government’s doubling down on self protection while harming citizens knows no bounds.
    STOP ( Saugeen Shores Turbine Operation Policy )

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