Sick communities

March 25, 2015   ·   0 Comments

Dufferin Wind started operating their wind turbines and no surprise to any of us; we are getting reports of families with health impacts. I am not sure why any elected body or authority would suppose that the first 600 turbines in this province that caused illness and displacement would be any different today, especially with the increasing size of the turbines being used. But here we are with people asking who will help them? Will it be the same Ministry of Environment (with the recent name change to Ministry of Environment and Climate Change) that has vigorously denied what is happening, has intentionally suppressed thousands of complaints and closed files for the first round of victims that were displaced or remain trapped? Hardly. Certainly not the McWynnety Liberals who, in disbelief, continue to approve thousands of new turbines on their agenda to become the Emperors of Green while their well-connected friends and lobbyists get wealthy on spectacular tax-payer funded subsidies.

We are forced to watch as their aspirations to puff their chests in pride has lost its shine in their ongoing disregard for human life, animal welfare and our precious rural environment that every Ontarian, regardless of where they live, rely on. Investors are dropping like flies and underhanded industry tactics are being exposed worldwide. But it continues.

When you have sick people, you have sick communities. When you have sick communities, you lose your social and economic spirit, and when you lose those you risk everything. Ontario is that mess.

For those impacted, feel free to contact VOW – Victims of Wind has been in place since 2009 and is a confidential channel for victim information. Your identity will remain private.

Barbara Ashbee

Mulmur, Ontario


The Endangered Species Act

The “Species at Risk Act” (SARA) is a federal act that covers all federally owned land and allows provinces and territories to pass an equivalent act.  It was passed in 1904 and amended in 2004, in both years by the Cretien government.  It does not affect privately owned land.  In Ontario, the “Endangered Species Act” was passed in 2007 and came into effect in 2008; it does.

The ESA endangers the 200-odd (and growing) listed species because it threatens “possession” with a fine of $250,000 and a year in jail per item or part of item (Paragraph 9(1)(b).  “Possession” is not defined in the ESA, but Black’s Legal Dictionary says that “possession” is having or harbouring anything.  As 99% of any such species would be found on farmland and Crown land – not in towns or cities – the onus is on the landowner to rid himself of the “endangered” species.

The ESA endangers farmers and other landowners because a great many of the listed species are not well known.  Could you identify a Kidneyshell, Purple Twayblade, Toothcup or Dense Blazing Star?  If one of these, or a nut from an American chestnut tree, were found on my land, my family and I would be bankrupted and thrown into jail.

On learning of the ESA, and before it came into effect, several farmers took action.  One group tore down a grove of thorn bushes, which are habitat for the Loggerhead shrike – a bird that impales other birds live on thorns and eats them at leisure.  Another farmer cut down some 600 Butternut trees he had planted.  A home builder near Cobourg destroyed a grove of American chestnuts. Subsequently, regulations elaborating the ESA were (and are being) published.

One allows those who plant Butternut trees to use them as they wish.  Another prevents any land use for a distance of a half mile around a badger hole.  A third  prevents removal or renovation of wooden barns in case a Barn owl (not native to Ontario) happens to stagger into this province.  A Bobolink is protected by forbidding harvest of any field crops in June and early July, when hay is at its best.

Wolverines, Black bears and Cougars are “endangered.”  These animals are dangerous and could kill humans as well as livestock; that is why they are scarce.  To protect them is to endanger farmers.

The ESA authorizes “agents” of the Ontario government to enter private property, outbuildings and vehicles without a warrant on “suspicion” that a violation may have been committed.  Police do not have that power; why should unemployed provincial government friends be able to do so?

The Ontario list of “endangered” species is established by an anonymous body labelled COSEWIC.  I suggest that very few COSEWIC members could identify all those species of which they are so fond, or would be willing to fondle a Wolverine.

In short, the ESA is but one example of why so few farmers have any confidence in a government that passed such a ridiculous law.  Combined with the many costly and stupid mistakes Queen’s Park has committed in the past ten years, one wonders why that regime continues to exist.  Perhaps it is because the voters of Toronto, and the government ministers, are ignorant of farm life and its realities.

Charles Hooker

East Garafraxa

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.