Yet another open letter to the Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario
[Letter written by County resident, Garth Manning, Q.C.]
In the County of Prince Edward, over 200 Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs) have been proposed on shore, each 436 feet high, substantially taller than the parliamentary Peace Tower in Ottawa (302.5 feet). They will physically dominate the natural environment and residents, affect the health of those living close to them, and play havoc with our property values and local economy.
How has this happened, Mr. McGuinty, and in how many ways has your government breached the trust to which we are entitled?
Let’s start with the Ministry of Natural Resources, which manages Crown land ostensibly for the benefit of all current and future Ontario citizens. It proposes to sell part of Ostrander Point to Gilead Power, grant permits and easements for a massive access road and the IWT sites, and allow the killing of endangered species during bulldozing.
The Ministry of Environment, responsible for approval of wind development, will allow the IWTs, once operating, to kill migratory birds and bats in untold numbers, like those on Wolfe Island. It also sanctions the exposure of nearby residents to noise and low-frequency sound which can produce adverse health effects.
Within any municipality citizens trust elected councillors to regulate, by appropriate zoning and other bylaws, the location and operation of new developments of whatever nature. Yet our council, along with every other rural municipality, has been foreclosed and indeed neutered by your Green Energy and Green Economy Act. The GEA has substituted a public consultation process that is more an industry show-and-tell, and an appeal process contrived to confirm project approval.
A more fundamental breach of trust is to impose the economic disaster of IWTs upon our vibrant but, because of the GEA, helpless community relying on agriculture, tourism, the hospitality industry, the arts, retirees and small businesses. It is unmistakable political expediency when IWTs will not remotely help to solve the world’s, let alone Ontario’s, greater problems.
Finally, local MPP Leona Dombrowsky has placed her cabinet position above the interests of constituents.
All these actions are entirely contrary to what we should expect of government. Our trust in your government to do what is right has been breached beyond redemption—except democratically at the ballot box.
Garth Manning, Q.C.
Prince Edward County