“In Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario, rural residents are considered second-class citizens.” –Bill Walker
QUEEN’S PARK – Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker says Dalton McGuinty is unfit to be premier so long as he keeps discriminating between rural and urban Ontario.
Walker’s comments are in response to Premier McGuinty’s admission to the Toronto press that he is billing the Ontario taxpayers for at least $190 million to cover the cost of cancelling the Mississauga gas plant, a project that the Premier scrapped just days before last fall’s election at the behest of irked Mississauga voters. The Premier also admitted yesterday he traded the gas plant cancellation for four Liberal seats in Mississauga.
“The Premier listened and obeyed the call of Mississauga residents to cancel an energy project that they didn’t want in their community, but the Premier refused to do the same for rural residents with respect to the building of industrial wind turbines in their communities,” Walker says. “I’m calling on him again to immediately bring in a moratorium on industrial wind turbines in rural Ontario.”
Walker says he wants the Premier to take responsibility for the well-being of rural residents by halting wind turbine development while Health Canada undertakes a study into the links between human health and wind turbine noise.
“Why does the Premier so consistently undermine our rights? In Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario, rural residents are considered second class-citizens. This political mockery must stop now,” says Walker.
Walker says the government-engineered demise of rural Ontario started with the release of a scathing government report in 2004, entitled Investing in People: Creating a Human Capital Society that recommended a slow phase out of small towns by pushing for growth in urban centers.
“It’s clear to us in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound that the ending of the Slots at Racetrack partnership, the closure of the local jails and the forced industrialization of rural landscapes through wind turbines means rural Ontario has been officially abandoned by this government,” he says.
These anti-rural government directives also signal that if Ontarians keep sending the same Liberal government back to power at Queen’s Park the prospects for change are slim to none.
“So long as the balance of power is held by primarily urban interests, the politics will continue to play a big problem in the survival of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound and other rural communities,” says Walker.