What Is Addington Highlands Worth?
Editorial by Kevin J. Breau, Ward 1 resident- Addington Highlands
Reeve Henry Hogg, Deputy Reeve Helen Yanch, and Councilor Bill Cox, all from Ward 2 of Addington Highlands, have in my opinion, decided to sell their souls to the devil himself and collectively vote against a motion that would tell Queens Park in Toronto, Addington Highlands is not a ‘willing host’ for the development of industrial wind factories. Is it a case of blind sightedness by all that green stuff they stand to gain by doing nothing. Well, except destroy the natural beauty of Addington Highlands Ward 1; pit families that once respected each other against each other over disagreements on the benefit/harm of industrial wind factories; and destroy environmental species by stripping hundreds of acres of pristine lands. Why would council from Ward 2 want industrial wind turbines in Ward 1? What is Addington Highlands worth?
What influence could have such an effect on three people that logic and fact need not apply? Wind turbines create massive damage to the environment, they will never reduce our dependency on other sources of energy, the energy from them cannot be stored, they cause negative social issues, health issues; the list goes on.
Here are some thoughts I now believe may have influenced Wards 2 councilors/reeve’s decision to support wind factories:
- Ward 2 will see no damage to its environment nor landscape if some 150 or so industrial wind turbines are installed in Ward 1. Ward 2 stands to benefit immensely by all the money tossed to them by the wind companies. Ward 1's beauty will be destroyed forever. Ward 1 might not see one cent.
- Ward 2 will not suffer any infrasound damage, shadow flicker, obstruction to Doppler weather radar signals and radio frequencies. Ward 1 residents will potentially suffer health issues, sleep deprivation, inaccurate Doppler weather reading which could potentially cause serious issues for firefighters, possibly lose the only radio station some residents in Ward 1 have for radio media.
- These same three council members may think 81% of ratepayers don’t know what they are talking about when they say ‘NOT A WILLING HOST’ to wind factories, so, why listen to the ratepayers that elected them? Besides, for every year round resident in Addington Highlands there are two non-resident ratepayers; cottage owners anxious to see wind towers whooshing and blinking next to their cottage on that once pristine lake.
- They may have seen many glossy pictures of wind factories worldwide and have concluded they look cost effective, environmentally safe, pose no health risks, and look beautiful towering some 550 feet above the ground from miles away, whooshing and blinking.
- They may think Kathleen Wynn is number one and she knows more than they do about these sorts of things. Just look at her track record with Hydro One and industrial gas plants.
- They may think installing wind factories will dramatically reduce the need for other sources of energy even though wind factories will never produce enough energy to satisfy Ontario’s energy needs. As a bonus maybe, those huge blades will keep Addington Highlands cooler in the summer heat making it easier for everyone to stare at those beautiful blades rotating non-stop whooshing and blinking and creating shadow flicker.
- They may think it’s better to be wrong and remembered for it for years to come than be right and no one notice. After all, they will get a wad of dough thrown at them for being wrong, so hey, win win.
- They may have trouble distinguishing the difference between a ‘bribe’ and a ‘vibrancy fund’. Who cares as long as Ward 1 bears the damage. Just think about all that cash!
So there you have it the way I see it. In my opinion, Henry Hogg, Bill Cox and Helen Yanch, elected by the people, for the people, have decided to ignore those same people, sell their souls to the devil, and go for the bribe, er…vibrancy money.
Ontario has a serious problem. It has to update it’s energy sources soon. It needs to reduce it’s use of fossil fuels. It has options available. Industrial gas fired generators, hydro electricity from Quebec is available cheaper than Ontario can produce electricity. We have options. Industrial wind turbines will have little to no effect on achieving this goal. They are expensive, inefficient, pose health risks, cause negative social issues, the energy cannot be stored for later use, and require the massive destruction of plant and animal life.
If an individual wishes to live off the grid by installing residential solar and wind devices, that’s one thing. They choose to do so willingly with the knowledge there will be days they will have to use some sort of backup power, like gas or diesel powered generators, or simply go without. Their choice has no impact on others or the environment. Most people in Ontario want constant electricity in their homes, right or wrong. They want that air conditioner keeping the home cool for when they arrive home after work. They want a warm home to come to in the winter. They want dish washers, deep freezers, dryers, yard lights, electric tools and appliances at their disposal. That takes constant energy. Industrial wind turbines can never provide that, period.
Addington Highlands is not a cash wealthy township. It needs economic development. It needs jobs. It has resources; natural resources worth massive amounts of money waiting to be capitalized on, not by destructive turbines, but by infrastructure. Year round accommodations in tourism, ecological businesses, and possibly manufacturing of wood products such as hardwood flooring through careful forest management can provide what the township needs. It needs an economic development plan put in place and executed to do just that. It needs an economic development officer that has a budget to actively pursue investment from the private sector, not governments. Common sense can go a long ways when presented with facts and ratepayers wishes. Until then, that burning question remains; what is Addington Highlands worth? To a few, apparently, just a few fast bucks.