It’s too bad Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government didn’t have its epiphany on the pointlessness of subsidizing any more expensive, unreliable and unneeded wind turbines before it tore apart rural Ontario.
The Liberals’ treatment of rural Ontarians has been a disgrace.
They overrode local planning rights by passing the Green Energy Act of 2009 under Wynne’s predecessor, Dalton McGuinty, then rammed industrial wind factories down their throats.
Sometimes, it was hard for people in these communities to believe they were living in a democracy.
Rural communities were torn apart – neighbours cashing in by leasing land to wind developers for turbine construction, against neighbours forced to live in the shadow of the mega-structures.
The province received hundreds of complaints about health problems which people believed were being caused by the turbines and suppressed them.
During the 2011 election, the CBC reported government documents released under Freedom of Information legislation showed environment ministry staff had issued internal warnings the province needed stricter rural noise limits on turbines, that it had no reliable way to monitor or enforce them and that computer models for determining setbacks were flawed.
Ontario Provincial Police showed up at the homes of middle-aged women in one rural community who had never been involved in any form of law-breaking, warning them to keep their demonstrations against wind turbines peaceful.
As we reported, these visits were made at the request of a wind developer. (The government denied any involvement.)
While the Liberals dismissed wind protesters as NIMBYs, they simultaneously cancelled two unpopular natural gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga due to local opposition, at a public cost of $1.1 billion, in what the Tories and NDP dubbed the Liberal seat saver program.
When local residents wrote to Liberal MPPs asking for help in fighting the industrial wind factories imposed on them, they received form letters in reply.
For many rural Ontarians, the Liberal blunder into green energy, launched without any meaningful business plan according to the Auditor General of Ontario – and which wasn’t needed to eliminate coal-fired electricity – wasn’t just a case of their government wasting billions of dollars and sending their electricity bills skyrocketing.
It was a case of their government robbing them of fundamental democratic rights.