NIMBY still alive and well

Not in my back yard (NIMBY) is heard commonly in every town across the country.
It was part of the mandate of the Liberal party in the last provincial election to move Ontario residents away from coal. The alternatives were wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear power.
The Ontario government has made a commitment to the voters of the province that new electrical power generation would come from “green” sources, and has provided carrots to those companies that are using natural gas, wind, and solar energy to create power.
We all want the benefits of electricity, but not necessarily if it bothers our sight lines, or covers fields, or blocks streams, or has the potential for a massive accident.
Most recently, the Liberal MPP for Oakville, with community support, was able to block the construction of a gas-powered power plant. The 975-megawatt plant, to replace coal-fired ones, was deemed too close to residents where it was to be built.
In Mississauga, a 280-megawatt gas-fired power plant is drawing similar opposition. The community is worried about the safety of such a facility.
One megawatt will provide electricity for about 1,000 households.
Both Oakville and Mississauga are fast-growing cities and the power will be necessary to serve the new neighbourhoods. It will be necessary to serve the explosion of glass condominium homes going up across the south end of Toronto.
Last fall, the McGuinty government cancelled off-shore wind mills in the middle of Lake Ontario because the citizens of Scarborough were worried they would spoil the view from the Scarborough bluffs.
In Thunder Bay, a continuing struggle is taking place with locating wind mills on the Nor’westers. There appears to be considerable opposition to this form of renewable energy.
Even some proposals for new hydro-electric power in the province are being objected to.
Yet in Dorion, less than 80 km from Thunder Bay, a wind farm is growing, where 28 towers will be raised by the end of summer. No one has raised a fuss over the turbines on the north shore of Lake Superior.
Closer to home, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is opposing the development of the hydro-electric development proposed for the Namakan River. Lac La Croix First Nation had proposed the development to help solve economic issues with its community.
You don’t hear Ontario residents offering to give up their air conditioners in the summer. You don’t see Ontario residents putting up fewer Christmas lights in the winter.
We would not tolerate local governments turning off street lights in our communities to save energy. Nor would we consider putting a moratorium on building new homes in the Golden Horseshoe and encouraging the development of industry and home construction where surpluses of power exist across the north of Ontario.
In the coming provincial election, you can bet all three political parties will lose their backbone to small vocal groups and put a moratorium on power development close to urban centres.
They will say they are listening to voters and acting in their best interests. And the voices opposing development in rural Ontario and Northern Ontario will become louder.
They will be telling the voters that NIMBY will remain alive and well. Power development will not take place in locations close to urban clusters.
As the various parties seek to pacify the voters where new “green” electricity is proposed to be developed, those living in close proximity to the big coal-fired power generating stations will see those facilities’ lives extended.
And the potential harm to the environment will continue.

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