September 8, 2011
For a number of our riding’s rural residents, the issue of wind turbine development will be the deciding factor when they mark their ballots in next month’s election.
The Liberals have not wavered in their resolve to do away with coal-fired energy. The Progressive Conservatives, in comparison, are promising a moratorium on any further developments until after a third-party health study into turbines. They have also pledged to return local planning powers back to municipalities. The NDP, meanwhile, have taken a middle-of-the-road stance that is sure to appease some but alienate many others.
If the issue of wind turbines is to be as decisive as some around here are making it out be, then there’s no room for sitting on the fence; it’s either you are for turbines or against. This kind of all-or-nothing approach may be unrealistic, even dangerous, but it’s what gets parties elected.
The issue was at the forefront last week when on the same day a rally was held out front of John Wilkinson’s campaign office organized by Wind Concerns Ontario (where people were encouraged to vote for PC candidate Randy Pettapiece,) and a press conference was hosted by the incumbent MPP and Minister of the Environment to tell us why turbines are a much safer alternative source of energy.
The rhetoric aside, there are real questions for both sides of this debate. Will the Liberals continue to ignore the seemingly growing number of people who believe they are suffering adverse health effects from wind turbines? If the Liberals are as confident as they come across, why not authorize an independent study? Wouldn’t that quiet some of their detractors?
As for the PCs, how effective will they be pursuing any sort of long-term energy policy if they are unable to fully explore renewable sources like turbines because they are handcuffed by municipal leaders unwilling to give final approval to potential developers?
There’s still four weeks to go; hopefully we get more answers