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Dozens of residents of Ottawa, North Gower, Brinston and Shanly gathered at Ottawa City Hall yesterday to declare their communities “NOT a willing host” to proposed giant wind power projects.

Energy economist Bob Lyman addressed the crowd, noting that the day before, the Ontario Energy Board announced yet another rate hike, effective May 1st.

“Ontario’s renewable energy plan is unaffordable,” Lyman said. “We’re just beginning to feel the costs, which will amount to billions every year to be paid by Ontario ratepayers.”

Because wind power is produced when it’s not needed, he said, Ontario is shipping power out at “depressed” rates. “Ontario is subsidizing New York ratepayers by $500 million a year.”

Lyman blames the changes to structure in Ontario’s power system: “We’ve come a long way from the days when policy was to ensure that Ontario consumers had reliable and competitively priced supply. Today, the goals of environmental groups have displaced the interests of consumers and industry. It is time to take back Hydro for the consumers of this province.”

Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson said that the Ontario government is not listening to concerns about the rising price of electricity, about health problems, property value loss, or the environment. “Right now,” she said, “the citizens of Prince Edward County are having to raise money to fight their own government, the Ministry of the Environment, which has approved a wind power project at Ostrander Point. The government is not doing its job.”

Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod noted the cost of electricity in Ontario is hurting small and medium sized businesses, while huge corporations are benefitting from wind power subsidies. “The Premier says she is listening,” MacLeod said, “but I’m not sure who she’s listening to.”

The text of Bob Lyman’s remarks is available here: Remarks for April6event-RLyman, 2013-1

Email us at ottawawindconcerns@gmail.com

Donations welcome: PO Box 3, North Gower ON  K0A 2T0

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[Photo courtesy Lisa MacLeod]