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From the latest online version of the EMC Manotick-Winchester, an account of a news conference held by Conservative MPPs Lisa MacLeod, Vic Fedeli, Randy Pettapiece and Bob Bailey.
Conservative MPPs decry wind power in North Gower
Posted Aug 30, 2012 By Emma Jackson
EMC news – A group of Progressive Conservative MPPs joined Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod in North Gower on Aug. 21 to oppose the Ontario government’s commitment to wind power in Ontario.
A small group of North Gower residents have been fighting a Prowind proposal to build 10 industrial wind turbines just outside the village boundaries, and PC energy critic Vic Fedeli and MPPs Bob Bailey and Randy Pettapiece took time from the Association of Municipalities Ontario conference in Ottawa to show their solidarity.
Fedeli did most of the talking at the brief event at the Rideau Township Archives on North Gower’s main street. He said the McGuinty government’s plan to bring green energy into the province is failing.
“The government’s dream of bringing green energy was forced on Ontario by overpaying for FIT (the feed-in tariff program) and guaranteeing to buy the power whenever it’s made, which is usually at night,” he told a small gathering of residents. “And they stripped municipalities of their decision-making power.”
He said the PC party would like to reverse those three elements of the Green Energy Act, so that residents can have more power to decide what energy projects are built in their communities.
“When you want green energy in your community, (municipalities can ask) is it in a willing host community, do we need the power and is it at a price we can afford,” Fedeli said.
The party is also asking to put all proposed wind projects in the province on hold until a federal study on the health effects of wind turbines is completed.
Gary Thomas, owner of Thomas Tree Farm on McCordick Road, said his house and farm will be within one kilometre of “four or five” turbines planned for the area. He said he’s done some basic calculations and thinks that from about December to February he will experience shadows from the turbines in the afternoons.
“It would drive you crazy. I couldn’t live there, and we’ve been here for 32 years,” said his wife Ruth Thomas.
Thomas said he’s concerned that it will ruin his old-fashioned Christmas tree cutting events. “With the turbines across the road, I don’t know how old-fashioned it will be,” he said.
Passing on the family farm will become difficult as well, because his son’s family will likely refuse to come because of health concerns.
Thomas said he wishes he could be more supportive of such an initiative.
“If they were of any benefit, it would be a different story,” he said. The Conservatives have long lambasted the McGuinty government for their commitment to wind power, claiming that turbines are inefficient and less green than traditional sources of power such as hydro.
Fedeli said he wants the government to focus on retrofitting existing dams and hydro plants to harness water energy, which he said would be more environmentally-friendly and more cost-effective.
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