Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Letter from Graham Hawkridge to OPA

Attention Colin Anderson, CEO
Ontario Power Authority
Regional Sessions
Re Oshawa forum
July 15, 2013
Dear Sir;
My Wife and I attended your forum in Oshawa several days ago now and thought it important that you hear some of our comments about its location, the timing of the event itself and the way in which it was run.
Allow me to start with some comments about how we and the rest of rural Ontarians have felt about the possible siting and various methods employed by Wind Corporations, in order to intimidate the general public into an attempted belief that they could force us all into their choice of location and not the publics.
My wife and I live next to the Oak Ridges moraine an area that Premier Kathleen Wynn’s Municipal Affairs Minister, Linda Jeffrey has bragged about quite recently as being the largest permanent Greenbelt of its kind anywhere in the world and she went on to say quote, “it plays a key part in Ontario’s efforts to protect the environment and combat climate change in its vital new role of Urban river valleys while it allows the Greenbelt to grow permanently while it cleans our air and water, and connects millions of Ontarians to the Jewel that is Ontario’s Greenbelt”
Not one word about the proposed Wind Turbine plants, planned for a site behind the Rolling Hills Public school, or the fact that it’s less than 2-3 kilometers from a 750 acre conservation area that we know is home to “rarely sited but seen” Cougars” Otters, Moose and many other species not normally seen in southern Ontario.
Nor has the minister mentioned that for over 5 years rural residents in this area have fought tooth and nail to try and keep these marauding carpet baggers out of our beloved Oak Ridges Moraine. We feel, in many ways that we have failed to keep them from getting this far along, only because we have been let down and betrayed by a government that seems to have more in common with Benedict Arnold than its own people.
This Oak Ridges that the Minister of Municipal Affairs is so fond of talking about is full of many animals that the Minister failed to mention in her glowing birthday report of the now eight year old permanent Oak Ridges Moraine Greenbelt. Nor did she mention that if the Wind Turbines get final approval to deploy their 500 foot plus machinery, all it will take is one accident, an explosion, to scatter hundreds of liters of hydraulic oil, which will find its way into the vast underground layer of streams and springs that make up this moraine, and thousands of people with wells will be without valuable drinking water, and wild life all over the Oak Ridges would be in immediate jeopardy. One drop is all it takes to contaminate one hundred gallons. Think about that please.
We have all been lied to by all wind proponents who stated quite openly that much of their technical research information came from the MOE, and when asked “where were the final results” with the culled and collected information, their answer was simply we don’t have it yet. Even though this was their last public meeting. They were asked about Wind Turbines exploding and pouring hydraulic oil all over the ground and they simply said they hadn’t done studies on its effects.
This is simply not acceptable, yet the various government Ministries have gone along with it and in many cases provided them with protective cover, which as we all know has come from a higher source..
One single item that has been the most galling of all is the denial by both government and their partnered wind corporations is the health effects from wind turbines. It is just so frustrating that the previous government would have the gall to ignore over seventy world class scientists, most of whom, have had the honour of having their research peer reviewed and then immediately ignored by the past government and is now again by this government. It has left most rural Ontarians speechless and angry at their government’s willful ignorance and is only matched by the continued repetition given to those rural residents that have lodged complaints about health effects for over 4 years now.
The favorite trick of the wind proponents in many parts on Ontario was to try and move their second or third public meetings to another location (35 kilometers or so away) in an attempt to intimidate people from driving and attending, along with insisting that we show identification, making us sign in, being filmed as we enter, plus having the OPP present. Their timing was also intended to put people off, as the meetings were always held at supper times, similar to OPA’s forum, six until eight pm, (although I must say you allowed it to go on longer than was called for)
None of this has stopped rural Ontarians from defending our democratic rights. All similar in part to the forum held in Oshawa. A public meeting by nature means exactly that, it’s public, it’s not held as private meeting for employees, nor is it held for outsiders coming to a convention. Yet we had to register on line to let them know we were coming to attend the meeting. I personally had to apply on line three times, and at that point I sent a message to the Minister of Energy and an opposition MPP, John Yakabuski in order to make sure I was going to be accepted, or at the very least, that was the way I was made to feel.
 My wife, myself and many others had to drive over 50 kilometers one way to attend this forum, why is that? Please tell us why a group of twenty five people had to do this, from outside of any proposed area, when you are only a group of four or five people at most, attending. Not one person attending was from the Oshawa area! I beg your pardon; the man who was operating some equipment was from there.
Once again it smacks of continued intimidation, although to a much lesser degree, while most felt it was paying lip service to those that “really matter” in this supposed friendly forum.
Personally, I await with baited breath to see what comes of these forums and the suggestions that this government will put forward will be quite telling in there answers to the rural people of Ontario, because after all that’s where any major energy projects will be sited, certainly not in Urban Ontario. The need for any major energy building has passed us by for the foreseeable future and if not foreseeable, certainly a very long, long time from now. I don’t see any major corporation relocating to Ontario when our electricity costs are the highest on North America, if not most of the world. We need to be looking at ways of lowering our electricity costs so that seniors and lower income families are prevented from slipping further into poverty class all of their own.
We would certainly appreciate your comments on why you held all of these forums in city centers when the Ontario Power Authority has no intention whatsoever of opening up major power plants or deploying Wind turbines anywhere close to urban centers as the noise from Wind Turbines alone would not be tolerated and the danger Gas Turbines present would also not be tolerated. All in all, both my wife and I are completely disappointed and shocked that you would allow the OPA to be involved in and used for what appears to be just a continuation of the same old baffle gab that we have become accustomed to over the last five or so years.
Graham Hawkridge