When Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne held her first interviews after being elected the Ontario Liberal Party leader, and thus, Premier, she was asked about the controversy over wind power projects in Ontario. She said, her government would not be forcing the power projects on communities that were not “willing hosts.”
Today, 72 Ontario municipalities have declared themselves to be “Not a Willing Host” ( see windconcernsontario.ca Not a Willing Host tab for the list of communities).
North Gower is not a legal municipality since amalgamation with the City of Ottawa, but residents plan to be declared Not a Willing Host by using a legal petition to the City of Ottawa.
“This petition is a legal document, signed and witnessed by members of our community,” says Ottawa Wind Concerns chair Jane Wilson. “We will take this petition to the City of Ottawa and make sure the City overall knows that there is no support here for a wind power generation utility so close to homes, and our school.”
Wilson notes that Ontario often has a surplus of power and has sold excess for a loss to neighbouring jurisdictions such as Michigan or New York State, and that the Ontario government recently announced it is paying wind power companies NOT to add power to the grid. “So why build another one?” she asks. “Why subject yet another Ontario community to the dramatic impact of a wind power project it it’s not even needed?”
The proposed 20-megawatt wind power project will be within 3.5 km of more than 1,000 homes, Wilson explained. A conservative estimate of the average property value loss is over $130 million.
MPP Lisa MacLeod, now energy critic for the opposition has often spoken against the wind power project; MP Pierre Poilievre has said it makes no sense financially, and commissioned a Library of Parliament study to show that subsidies for the project from Ontario taxpayers would be about $4.8 million per year.
The petition-signing debut for North Gower residents is Saturday October 26th at 10 a.m. at the Alfred Taylor Centre on Community Way. Special guest Parker Gallant, frequent contributor to the Financial Post series “Ontario’s Power Trip,” will deliver a presentation “What’s in your electricity bill?” by videolink at the event.
Residents who are unable to attend will be able to sign the petition when volunteer canvassers come to their door, or on a special “voting day” at the Alfred Taylor Centre on Saturday November 9 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
For more information, email Ottawa Wind Concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org