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Rural Ontario needs a unified voice now  

Credit:  www.goderichsignalstar.com 7 February 2012 ~~

Ontario has to thank the OFA for stepping up to the plate on the Industrial Wind Turbine issue. They join the Christian Farmers Federation also calling for a halt. Now the National Farmers Union needs to speak out clearly as well.

Now more than ever rural Ontario needs a unified voice.

It’s becoming clearer daily that the Green Energy Act is very flawed. Whether it’s the recent Auditor General’s report that blasted the gov’t for billions wasted with no cost benefit analysis or the IESO saying that unless they can shut down wind at high output times it is going to increase both emissions and system costs to the tune of 2megatons and $200 million per year.

At the same time the Ministers in charge act like bobble-heads while reciting the same babble that the media relations people tell them will surely work. Curiously it’s the same lines that rural Liberals used relentlessly throughout the election and resulted in their extinction.

The 3 farm organizations can do all of Ontario a favour by starting an intelligent dialogue on wind turbine development. What’s happening now is going to make it very difficult for many in this province. Our electricity rates are putting both industry and agriculture in uncompetitive situations. Individuals are hit both by increased costs and loss of value due to poorly considered wind development.

For Ontario wind power is a poor contribution to the system. It really doesn’t fit our demand and it doesn’t make it cleaner, cheaper or more efficient. It could be used as a modest rural development vehicle or as an equally modest manufacturing opportunity if the best parts of what Europe has done were used.

The reality appears to be this gov’t has used the rural areas as a “bargaining chip” to lure very large corporations to what initially appeared to be an immense public trough. Oops forgot about the $16 billion deficit.

The promise made was that the province would offer very lucrative contracts while tying the hands of local gov’ts and streamlining the approval process. The role-out of the Green Energy Act was done much hoopla and a gov’t coordinated industry media campaign. Unfortunately the media let the public down as far as scrutiny.

Two and a half years later we’re at the stage where fiscally, environmentally and socially the GEA is a “turkey” (no offense to the very fine bird). It looks quite nutty now and no doubt played a part in recent threats to Ontario’s credit rating.

But Premier Dad keeps his head down and listens not. Why? Dad made a bad wager that got him in a little too deep. These very burly corporations now envision an end to contract offers and push and arm twist harder. As the one local politician who actually got to sit in at Queens Park cryptically put it… “there have been promises made to very large corporations that will be hard to get out of”.

The three GFO’s have their work cut out for them. They MUST certainly speak as one as difficult as that is. Certainly it is a challenging situation that’s been forced upon them. There are many competing interests, even within their own organizations but rural Ontario is worth fighting for. It won’t be the first time farmers have pulled together to make the world better.

Sincerely.

R. Budd

RR#2 Goderich.

Source:  www.goderichsignalstar.com 7 February 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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