The first responsibility of any elected official is to ensure that the people who elected them are being represented and secondly that in times of need, our elected leaders will make good decisions. When it comes to the decade long debate over industrial wind turbines (IWTs), our municipal council has failed us on both accounts – miserably!
It doesn’t matter if you are for or against the wind machines – what I’m writing about is the lack of public process and lack of council involvement – in other words the people we elected to uphold our democratic system didn’t do the their job. I understand the undemocratic limitations that our provincial government imposed on local councils when it came to alternate energy, but that didn’t mean that our council had to remain quiet and accept it – which they did. They could have engaged in direct conversations with this community about what the facts are surrounding these huge machines – but that would have meant for them to educate themselves with the facts, and we now know that didn’t happen. Despite the ongoing war of words between groups in our community over IWTs, our council did nothing to calm the waters or to clarify the situation. They mistakenly believed that the controversy would deflect responsibility away from them. Not so!
According to the latest news articles, our council didn’t have the basic information to appeal IWTs at Ostrander Point. After years of non-involvement, neither council nor our staff had the necessary information to launch an appeal. A fair question to ask is – what information has council been functioning on all these years? Council gave the responsibility to various citizen groups to appeal on behalf of this community! In other words our council has totally abdicated their responsibility to represent this community at a time when they are needed the most! One newspaper account reported that our council was afraid to appeal Ostrander Point in the event of provincial reprisals. What nonsense! The process was there for our council to use – instead they hired a lawyer and decided to do nothing!
For the most important development issue in this county’s history, one that could potentially impact on all aspects of county life – our council for years avoided taking an official position on turbines, and even today they still don’t have one- unbelievable!
Without an official municipal position of opposing wind turbines, it made it easy for the province to ignore us – and they did.
Even at the eleventh hour when appealing the Ostrander Point development was still possible, our council abdicated their responsibility by deciding to do nothing – again!
The mayor and every council member should hang their heads in shame – they have left our community unprotected from developers.
Filed Under: Letters and Opinion
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