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Dufferin County residents blindsided, again

After years of educating and making headway turning this stinking wind turbine ship around, Dufferin County residents get blindsided once again. What happened on Thursday night was a blow to democracy.

After being bullied for years by the wind industry and provincial government, our last bastion of hope has been with the strength shown by our municipal leaders who have been left out of the process and steamrolled just as the innocent residents have.

The recent vote before Dufferin County Council on whether to enter into an agreement to lease the rail corridor to Dufferin Wind was a no brainer.

After years of unmitigated damage causing sick and displaced families, pets and livestock, there has been a magnificent fight waging across the entire province against the bullying provincial government/wind industry partnership.

Dufferin County Council had an opportunity to take a stand against this abusive process by refusing to enter into an agreement with Dufferin Wind and forcing them to expropriate.

All affected rural municipal representatives voted no to the agreement.

Many made strong statements as to why in good conscience they could not vote in favour. Only two voted in favour of the agreement; The Town of Orangeville and the Township of East Garafraxa.

One would think that this would have been hailed a victory for the people, a cause for a celebration of democracy in action until you find out that Orangeville’s mayor and Deputy mayor carry six votes each, while the other municipalities carry only two.

The town of Orangeville and East Garafraxa actually won the vote 14/13.

How can two municipalities who will in no way be affected by this project have power over the six municipalities that will be, and have already been, affected? How could the town members not support their rural members of council on this?

One wonders if it has anything at all to do with the hundreds of thousands of dollars they will reap from this.

Understand, we are all subsidizing this renewable energy. It is our money they are using.

When these companies pay millions of dollars in funds it will be coming out of our pockets for years.

They get their money back, tenfold through us.

It is not free money and it is not without dire consequences. Just ask those from existing projects how happy they are with the impacts on their living conditions and property values.

I hope there is some avenue of investigation as to how such an imbalance of decision making power can be put into place and used like this, especially when it is well documented that people’s health and wellbeing are at stake.

Barbara Ashbee,