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While Manitoba is bending over backwards to foster cooperation and benefit for both rural and urban communities, the Ontario government is doing the opposite, says PostMedia writer Jim Merriam. In fact, the Wynne government has made it very clear what it thinks of rural/small-town Ontario –you’re there to supply our power and bury our garbage.

Orillia Packet, May 31, 2016

You tiny little annoying people...
You tiny little annoying people…

Rural-urban divide a wedge issue in Ontario

By Jim Merriam

Although Manitoba and Ontario are neighbours, their differences far outnumber their similarities.

One of these differences is the way their leaders treat the rural-urban divide.

Brian Pallister, recently elected Conservative premier of Manitoba, has coined two new words: “rurban” and “urbal,” according to the Western Producer.

The Manitoba premier is trying to create a new reality in Manitoba, wherein his urban members of the legislature care about rural areas and vice versa. He is trying to convince legislators that, “You do not think about yourself. You think about your team.”

The new boss went on to say “there are rural situations that many people in the city don’t fully appreciate.”

In contrast, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has been all over the map on the same issue.

As recently as two years ago she denied the divide even existed. Then last November, she told a rural audience “the issue of bridging the rural-urban gap” has been on her mind since she was first elected in 2003.

The reasons for the divide are various, but some stand out.

No. 1 is the way this government has shoved industrial wind turbines down the throats of rural dwellers. The province is still approving new developments over the strongest objections of municipal leaders in a wide area of the province.

During the last provincial election, the Liberals told rural Ontarians their voices would be heard on wind farm developments.

Yet, in April, just weeks after awarding controversial contracts for five wind farms, Ontario said it’s opening bidding for double that amount of wind energy.

Recent approvals included a development in Dutton-Dunwich in southwestern Ontario where 84 per cent of residents who voted, didn’t want such developments.

In November 2013, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli testified before a legislature committee that municipalities wouldn’t be given a veto over projects but it would be “very rare indeed” for any to be approved without local backing.

Garbage is another source of friction …

Read the full article here.

NOTE: The City of Ottawa does not presently have any wind power projects under contract, but the IESO is set to begin its new Large Renewable Procurement process later this summer. Eastern Ontario has a “green light” in the wind power expansion process. Earlier this month, Ottawa City Council unanimously passed a resolution asking that municipal support of power projects be a mandatory requirement for new bids.

ottawawindconcerns@gmail.com

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