A second open letter to the Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario
[Letter written by County resident Gary Mooney]
From our municipality’s Official Plan: “In the future, Prince Edward County will be a tranquil and beautiful place to live and visit. It will be unique from most parts of the Province because of its combination of natural beauty, heritage and rural charm. These special attractions will have been properly preserved and enhanced over the years by the people of Prince Edward County.”
Premier McGuinty, you’re threatening our economic future.
Your Green Energy Act transferred all land-use control of wind turbines from local Councils to wind energy developers. While our Council would carefully consider how many turbines, where and how close, developers are not picky – they’ll put them anywhere, subject only to minimum required setbacks.
Our local economy depends heavily on “quality of place” – taking advantage of the County’s natural beauty, heritage and rural charm to develop our tourism, retirement living and creative sectors. Until recently, we’ve been successful in expanding our rural economy.
But now, the prospect of uncontrolled industrialization of the County, with hundreds of 400-foot wind turbines scattered throughout the countryside, threatens to destroy our “quality of place” image.
The possibility of turbines anywhere / everywhere in the County will discourage entrepreneurs from locating creative businesses here, and families from building or buying here. Property values will decline. Existing businesses may not expand, and homeowners may not renovate. Annual revenues of County businesses will decrease by tens of millions of dollars. Many jobs will be lost.
Premier McGuinty, this is not NIMBY. This is our local economic reality.
Anticipation of wind turbines is already contributing to an economic slowdown here. Residential building permits have dropped rapidly for four straight years. Realtors are losing sales upon mention of wind turbines. Many stores in downtown Picton are newly vacant.
Large-scale deployment of turbines here will change the perception of the County from “beautiful and tranquil place” to “industrial wind factory”, and may send our economy into long-term decline.
This cannot be allowed to happen. Our Council, not wind energy developers, must have control of our economic future.
We see two alternatives. One is for your government to return land-use control over wind turbines to local Councils. The other is for Ontario voters to elect another government that will.
Premier McGuinty, it’s up to you.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Concerned Citizens of Prince Edward County