Lorrie Goldstein contrasts the treatment the mainstream media is giving Prime Minister Harper on changes to the regulatory approval process for the Northern Gateway pipeline with the dumb silence on Premier McGuinty's initiatives.
While Harper gets pummelled, McGuinty gets a pass | Lorrie goldstein | Columnists | Comment | London Free Press:
...compared to Harper’s proposals, McGuinty’s Green Energy Act was far more Draconian in taking away the rights of ordinary citizens to have any meaningful input into the location and size of industrial wind turbines and factories.Read the entire article at the London Free Press site
The act eliminated the right of municipalities to any say in the planning process, disenfranchising local residents.
Public consultation was reduced to tokenism, the appeal process gutted.
McGuinty warned rural Ontarians, who were the targets of the legislation since wind turbines aren’t practical in big cities, that he believed most of their objections were based on “Not-in-My-Backyard Syndrome” (NIMBYism) and he would not tolerate them.
He said the only valid objections were legitimate environmental and health and safety concerns — an onus his legislation placed entirely on local communities to prove — while denying their requests for timely, independent research on potential adverse health effects from wind turbine noise and low-level vibration.
When citizens complained about experiencing health problems, they were misled by the government into thinking they were the only ones complaining, when in fact the government was receiving hundreds of complaints.
The government ignored advice from its own environment ministry its noise setbacks for rural turbines were inadequate, that it had no way of monitoring or enforcing them and that the computer models on which they were based were flawed. In one case, law-abiding, middle-aged protesters against a wind project — all women — were visited at their homes by Ontario Provincial Police and warned against breaking the law in future protests, even though they had never shown any propensity for doing so.