Ontario has few unspoiled “getaway” destinations for city folks, but Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government has been perpetrating a prolonged assault on scores of bucolic places.
Industrial wind turbines, gridmonsters as I prefer to call them, have been the chosen weapon of defilement.
Just as loggers despoiled Prince Edward County’s virgin countryside nearly 100 years ago by harvesting the majestic white pines, Wynne’s gang has been forcing gridmonsters upon the County, and upon many other unwilling rural municipalities.
These attacks on Ontario’s countryside have been a collaborative effort, led by Wynne and aided by her accomplices.
They include multinational corporations, highly-paid Bay Street lawyers, the Ontario Energy Board, and provincial and federal officials ostensibly charged with safeguarding public health.
The victims are rural communities whose natural beauty, quiet nights and safe, wildlife habitats have made them, until now, attractive destinations for visitors from Canada’s cities.
The lead perpetrator is the Wynne government. The Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry are supposedly entrusted to protect the environment and its wildlife.
But these ministries systematically approved projects where gridmonsters were allowed to harm wildlife, to say nothing of endangering public health.
The Ministry of Energy and the Ontario Energy Board are accessories. They enabled constantly rising electricity prices for the Ontario grid, to finance this devastating industrialization of rural neighbourhoods.
Ontario’s Municipal Property Assessment Corp. published a study claiming industrial wind turbines do not reduce the assessed values of nearby properties, which ignored what is actually happening to property values in turbine-infested communities.
Bay Street lawyers helped to defend the turbine perpetrators against citizen appeals. They’re paid for by publicly-subsidized wind factory profits awarded to private developers.
Those subsidies come from taxpayers and electricity ratepayers, who have to pay their own legal costs when they appeal offending projects.
Health Canada, entrusted to protect citizens’ health, fails to enforce its own Radiation Emitting Devices Act that requires wind companies to report complaints from citizens who experience sickness from annoying turbine noise.
Urban citizens watch from the sidelines, as their “getaways” are defiled by Wynne’s accomplices. But now there is hope. The prolonged assault on rural Ontario may soon end. After years of appeals, Prince Edward County residents have finally won in two courts.
The Ontario Court of Appeal and the province’s own Environmental Review Tribunal recently ruled against Wynne’s wind predators by revoking approval for the Ostrander Point project.
It would have decimated endangered Blanding’s turtles and migrating wildlife. Still under appeal is an adjoining wind project that threatens not only Blanding’s turtles but migrating birds, endangered Little Brown Bats, and hundreds of angry residents.
Nearby, Amherst Island residents are appealing a similar proposed violation of their pristine neighbourhoods and wildlife areas.
Although Wynne’s government has been forcing gridmonsters on many rural municipalities, perhaps this organized violation of bucolic countrysides will finally begin to retreat.
Too much money is being wasted in courtrooms. Too many rural neighbourhoods are being spoiled. The precautionary principle recognized in the Ostrander Point decision, should now be legally applied whenever wind projects are approved or appealed.
It is time for bucolic rural Ontario to be returned to its residents. It is time for victimized communities to be compensated for the ravages they have suffered from government-led wind energy predators.
Atonement is now becoming possible.
McPherson, a retired professional engineer now living in Tweed, is a former resident of Prince Edward County
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