It would appear that Naomi Klein and her co-authors are oblivious to what's actually going on in rural Ontario. We are the backyard where all the wind turbines and solar farms are supposed to be built, providing "clean" renewable energy to clueless city dwellers. But guess what? We don't want these installations in our back yard either!
A small town of 16,000 people in southwestern Ontario, Tillsonburg's history is famously celebrated in Stomping Tom Connor's distinctive drawl when he sung about making seven dollars a day in the tobacco fields. But in 2009 the Green Energy Act spurred on the development of renewable energy with guaranteed rates for renewable energy producers.
The Environmental Review Tribunal continues to grind through its list of anti-wind appeals. On December 5, it rejected an appeal against the Renewable Energy Approval for another wind farm, Pattern Energy's South Kent Wind facility, 127 turbines between Tilbury and Ridgetown. In each of the appeals, the opponents have argued that approval of the wind farm will cause serious harm to human health. In each case, the Tribunal has found that this allegation has not been proven.
Heidi Eijgel is an Alberta horse farmer who lives in the last house at the end of a gravel road surrounded by one of the largest wind farms in Alberta -- and she's OK with that. In 2003, the 70 megawatt Summerview wind farm was built adjacent to Eijgel's property. She has been peacefully co-existing with that wind farm since then.
I was saddened to read that Jeff Damen, a father of two and employee of a wind developer in rural Ontario, reported having a shotgun pulled on him while conducting field work on a project site in West Grey. While I am not known for expressing opinions remotely sympathetic to that of the wind industry or its employees, and certainly oppose the development of the project in question, guns and threats of violence have no place in any debate in our province.
Many of the 1,200 known species of bats are in trouble. And we humans deserve much of the blame. A bat can eat more than 1,000 insects in an hour, and without the services of bats, the agave plant, from which we get tequila, might not survive. So, if you like tequila but not mosquito bites, you should view bats as your friends.
The McGuinty version of fiscal austerity includes green-jobs boondoggles. Ontarians must overpay twice for energy: once in the form of huge overpayments to uncompetitive solar and wind producers, and then again in the form of subsidies to companies that manufacture the components for solar and wind.
Dalton McGuinty's Green Energy Act has failed to provide the thousands of high value jobs he has spent the last two years claiming it would and Canada's reputation as a free trader is being challenged by important members of the global community. But sadly, it's Ontarians who will clean up the mess.
The premier of Ontario continues to make new announcements of jobs, and promotes fear mongering that his political opponents would kill those jobs if elected. The reality is no matter who wins Ontario's Oct. 6 general election, those jobs won't be there to kill, because in most cases they aren't real.