ROSSMORE – An informal group of Prince Edward County residents in favour of wind energy is starting to make noise about the cancellation of the White Pines Wind Energy project.
On Friday, three of the people met at Bay of Quinte Todd Smith’s constituency office in Rossmore with executive assistant David Joyce, while another dozen gathered outside. Smith was in Montreal on provincial business and could not attend the meeting.
Don Ross, a local environmentalist, said Joyce echoed comments made by Smith and told the trio wpd Canada’s White Pines project would not be resurrected, despite being near completion.
“We pressed Mr. Joyce on nuclear energy because we want to know what their plans are for six or seven years down the road when we are short on energy and could use the energy White Pines could produce,” he said. “He did say he’s concerned because he’s worried about what his grandchildren will be faced with down the road, but was clear that (White Pines) is dead and won’t be resurrected.”
In July, the new Progressive Conservative government cancelled the White Pines project which had been reduced from 27 turbines to nine through various legal challenges. The project was officially cancelled when the Urgent Priorties Act was passed on July 25.
On Thursday, Ross attended the meeting with Angela Lammes and Jen Ackerman.
Ackerman said her concerns go beyond the need for renewable energy.
“If they actually do dismantle this and there are 42 dump truck loads of cement, 52 tones of rebar in the ground and it’s a metre and a half high above ground – they take a high-hoe and smash it all up, it will be mixed together – where are they going to take these tons and tons and tons of cement and iron to dump it? That’s my big environmental question, but I don’t believe it will ever get to that point. I do believe the Ford government will come to senses and turn this around after they logically think about, but the environmental impact is what’s bothering me now.”
Ackerman, who was to have turbine No. 9 on her Milford-area property said it was time for people in favour of wind energy to start making more noise.
“Well, Mr. Smith claims he never heard from more than six people who are in favour of wind turbines while all of this was going on, which is not even close to being true,” she said. “This (Leadnow) petition has close to 20,000 signatures from across the province and the petition that was in my store has about 350 signatures from local people. When the project was proceeding, why would we be out protesting? We were happy.
“They say it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, well obviously the loud and rich people that have come to the County, the newcomers, they were loud, they were relentless. We sat back because the project was going ahead and there was no reason for us to jump out in front of trucks and throw things at people like they did. Now it’s a revered role and you’re not hearing from them, but you’re going to hear from us.”
Smith did release a comment to The Intelligencer from Montreal when asked on Friday morning.
“I’ve heard from the vast majority of Prince Edward County residents and the local municipal council which has declared itself an unwilling host community for industrial wind turbines.
“My position on wpd and other costly, intermittent projects has not wavered and was well known for the last seven years,” he said. “ This project was going to continue the Liberal legacy of soaring hydro rates and it makes sense for ratepayers to scrap this unwanted and unnecessary energy project. Our government is committed to reducing the cost of electricity and making life more affordable for families in Bay of Quinte and across Ontario.”
Ackerman said the group will soon take their battle to Queen’s Park.
“Out of this office they refuse to admit we even exist,” she said. “We’ll continue and we’ll get louder (because) we’ve been really polite so far. The people from (wpd) Germany came to speak to Mr. Ford and he turned them away because they were going to bring up White Pines. I believe Mr. Ford has been influenced by Todd Smith and I believe Todd Smith was influenced by all these ‘no’ people. Now that the petition is in, we’ll be taking this to Toronto soon.”
[rest of article available at source]