COLUMN: Dandelions in the wind

SOUTH DUNDAS — South Dundas council appears to be waffling in its opposition to wind turbine development in the municipality, despite objections from the community.

In fairness to the current council, two-fifths of the members were not on the last term, when they voted to become a “not-willing host”. However all of the members of the current council did attend last fall’s All-Candidate’s meeting in Dixon’s Corners where there was vocal opposition to wind turbines, and all candidates were asked if they would support future development. This writer attended the meeting as well, as a candidate, and no one around the table supported this. A few spoke up stating that the municipalities hands were tied, one stated that you can fight the province, but it may affect how the province deals with the municipality in the future. Not a full-on “no” but certainly not a yes.

Now the election is over and six months into the term, the dandelions are blowing in the wind. The idea of some quick money from supporting this expansion should be tempered with the thought of how, long term, Ontarians will pay for skyrocketing energy bills. Especially when high energy rates are driving business out of Ontario. The municipality’s job growth prospects are nil at present, and their track record is nothing to write home about. With the Economic Development Officer’s position now vacant, and no plan from council on how to bring jobs here, more jobs are not on the horizon.

Expect the current council to flip flop on this issue for a while, but in the end, support more turbines in South Dundas. Hopefully the residents will be more vocal in their opposition to this wasteful blight on Ontario, and sway the current council to not support EDP Renewables in its plan for more wind turbines.

As the wind blows…

So does the electoral changes in Alberta. Watching along as this column is written, it is astounding to see the amount of change in Alberta. Now outgoing Premier of Alberta, Jim Prentice, must be kicking himself. The cynical move of trying to gut his opposition in the Wildrose Alliance Party by luring Danielle Smith and eight others across the floor. A move that was the final nail in the coffin of the Alberta Progressive Conservative party.

What started with then-leader Alison Redford’s “Grant Devine-like” abuse of power and privilege, ended with Prentice shooting his electoral changes in the foot. An electoral schadenfreude if you will.

Interesting to see how this will affect the fall election. The progressives have clearly won Alberta, but will the move solidify NDP support in Alberta federally? Will those progressives fall in line with Trudeau 2.0 and the Liberals? Or will they do, like what Ontario voters have typically done, which is elect one party in Queen’s Park, and the opposite to Parliament Hill?

One thing is for sure, Prime Minister Stephen Harper must be looking at Alberta with an unsure eye, and so should the rest of the country.

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