August 27, 2021

In a recent edition of Ontario Farmer, editor Paul Mahon mused about what it would be like if one or more Ontario communities could demonstrate local power generation. It would be a community effort, he said and worth a try.

Wind Concerns Ontario president and Ottawa resident Jane Wilson wrote this letter to the Ontario Farmer on the topic, which appears in the August 24th edition.

“Thank you for your comments in your most recent editorial, Ghost towns of Ontario. 

You said it would be interesting if “one village or small town [could be] a showcase for how community energy could work…a far better visual than all those wind turbines sitting idle in a steady breeze”.

That would be interesting; some municipalities have already tried it. Bancroft for example developed a hydro-electric facility that would have powered the town. It got no support from the McGuinty government and was dismantled, at a loss to the citizens.

Near Ottawa, the hamlet of Burritt’s Rapids proposed a run of river hydro facility that would provide reliable, clean power to its residents. What happened? Nothing. The Wynne and McGuinty governments were more interested in awarding huge above-market FIT and LRP contracts to large multinational wind power developers, for intermittent, unreliable power.

The City of Ottawa has embarked on a demonstration of clean power too, though it plans to encourage more intermittent wind and solar power with development being ‘directed’ to the rural areas in the city’s large rural area, and in nearby regions, the Planning department said in a bombshell announcement in June. No cost-benefit analysis, no impact analysis, and no review of how well wind turbines served Ontario in the years after the Green Energy Act in 2009. (A failure.) Most Ottawa rural residents are completely unaware of the City’s $57B energy transition plan, and of the fact that it includes 20 megawatts of turbines to be built within the next four years.

Somehow the meaning of the word “community” has been lost. Instead, more valuable farmland will be lost, and Ontario’s rural villages are threatened with industrialization and becoming energy resource plantations.”