With a pair of high-profile St. Thomas court cases in the past couple of years dealing with abuse and neglect, this week’s announcement the province is proposing a new animal welfare system is encouraging news for animal advocates. The legislation was introduced Tuesday (Oct. 29) by Solicitor General Sylvia Jones and, according to a release from MPP Jeff Yurek, “includes the strongest penalties ever in Canada for people who violate animal welfare laws and a more robust enforcement system.” No specifics, however, are contained in the release introducing the Provincial Animal Welfare System (PAWS) Act as to what those penalties may be. “Ontarians can be confident that the government is proposing a system that will protect animals,” assured Jones.
Launch into a debate last Monday on a proposed code of conduct for city council and those involved are poetry in motion. Best behaviour all and let courtesy prevail over controversy.
Why, anyone tuning in for the first time would swear a code of conduct would simply be superfluous.
Well, call up the track record of the past three councils – and several current members have sat on all three – and you’ll discover a litany of indiscretions.
How about a bogus address for at least two aldermen who were not residents of the city. At least two aldermen never declared a conflict of interest on numerous items of council business dealing with hockey and a local industry.
Then there’s the matter of hockey tickets as compensation for sitting as a board director and the current squabble involving aldermen Lori Baldwin-Sands and Cliff Barwick.
And speaking of the latter, the deft puck-handling that allowed the former mayor to assume the seat held by the departed Sam Yusuf a year ago will not be forgotten by many of the electorate come the October municipal election. Continue reading →
It’s a move this corner has endorsed for at least a couple of years, to the chagrin of former mayor Cliff Barwick and more than a few faithful readers who have questioned the move to promote Graves into the office without a full-scale search.
He is more than qualified for the CAO title, he’s proved himself a key asset to the city and the financial implications will benefit city ratepayers. Continue reading →
The most glaring dishonesty peddled by the wind industry — and echoed by gullible politicians — is vastly to exaggerate the output of turbines by deliberately talking about them only in terms of their ‘capacity’, as if this was what they actually produce. Rather, it is the total amount of power they have the capability of producing.
In Ontario, the mostly dismal daily performance of wind farms is documented here . While today, March 2, has been a productive day with output running above 80% of generation capability, March 1 figures are truly bleak, with nearby Erie Shores in Port Burwell contributing literally nothing to the power grid for much of the day and climbing to just 30% of its rated capability for a mere two hours.
Days like that are more the norm than the exception.
The second great lie about wind power is the pretence that it is not a preposterously expensive way to produce electricity. No one would dream of building wind turbines unless they were guaranteed a huge government subsidy.
What other industry gets a public subsidy equivalent to 100 or even 200 per cent of the value of what it produces?
The third great lie is that this industry is somehow making a vital contribution to ‘saving the planet’ by cutting our emissions of CO2 – it is not.
Guest editorial from Ross McKitrick that appeared in the Stratford Beacon Herald. Original piece can be read here.
Anyone remember the Sprung Greenhouse fiasco? In 1987, Newfoundland Premier Brian Peckford attempted to boost local employment by subsidizing the building of a massive hydroponic greenhouse operation that its inventor, Philip Sprung, said would turn the province into a world leader in green produce. His plan had failed in Alberta, but in Peckford he found a gullible partner willing to abandon common sense and start signing over other people’s money.
During the construction phase the premier pointed with pride to the hundreds of jobs apparently created. Meanwhile the province kept signing cheques and promising that cucumbers and economic renewal were on the way in equal measure. Continue reading →
Ontario has so far approved thousands of green energy contracts, ranging in size from a few solar panels on the roof of a family home to industrial-scale projects, in which they agree to pay several times the going electricity rate for periods of up to 40 years. It has also signed a controversial $7-billion deal with a consortium led by South Korean giant Samsung that includes a massive investment in wind and solar electricity. The hope is that all the spending will seed a new green energy industry in Ontario (all projects must source a percentage of materials locally), creating some 50,000 new jobs in the process.
Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Caucus will introduce a motion in the Ontario Legislature today calling on the McGuinty Government to restore planning authority to Ontario municipalities so that no industrial wind farm can be imposed on a community that does not want one.
Dalton McGuinty’s so-called ‘Green Energy Act’ allows the Toronto based energy bureaucrats at the Ontario Power Authority to arbitrarily place industrial wind farms anywhere in Ontario regardless of the views of the democratically elected local governments.
Municipalities across Ontario have expressed economic and environmental concerns about the wind farms that are being forced upon them under Dalton McGuinty’s so-called ‘Green Energy Act’.
Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak is calling on all Liberal Government members to support the motion and give back municipal governments’ ability to decide what is best for their own community.
“Dalton McGuinty’s so-called ‘Green Energy’ scheme will force Ontario families to pay more for industrial wind farms over which they have no control. This has little to do with the environment and everything to do with rewarding Dalton McGuinty’s friends at Samsung.”
— Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak
“If Dalton McGuinty’s plan for placing industrial wind farms in the backyards of Ontario communities was as popular as he pretends it is, he should not be afraid of supporting our PC motion and, once again, allowing Ontario municipalities to have their say.”
— Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak
– Schedule A of the Green Energy Act empowers the McGuinty Government
to overrule municipal by-laws and local concerns when locating
industrial wind farms.
– Municipalities across Ontario have passed resolutions expressing
significant concerns regarding the economic and environmental impact
of industrial wind turbine technology being forced on them through
the ‘Green Energy Act’.
For further information: Christine Bujold, (416) 325-1330, firstname.lastname@example.org
While investment analysts are telling their clients to get out of solar power firms and warning about the continuing risks in wind and bioenergy schemes, Ottawa and the provinces are on a mad populist stampede to throw billions of dollars at the green energy monster. The politicians don’t seem to be keeping up with the trends. “Don’t try to catch a falling knife,” warned J.P. Morgan this week in a report that told investors the market continues to fall out of the solar panel module market. It downgraded a bunch of solar companies that have already been in a tailspin since the fist signs of a solar crash back in 2008.
Other alternative energy sectors are hitting walls. Jurisdictions with wind power regimes face continuing issues related to the fact that the wind often doesn’t blow much, turning investments in wind farms into cash-draining albatrosses. In Ontario, the 1,100 megawatts of built wind turbine capacity are often running a few megawatts at a time, and even on the best of days have trouble producing 150 megawatts. Full story