Don Ross, a friend and realtor with Century 21 Lanthorn in Prince Edward County, Ontario has been recognized by the Canadian Wind Energy Association. CanWEA, as the not-for-profit organization is known, promotes the sustainable growth of wind energy on behalf of more than 450 members, with the target of producing at least 20% of Canada's electricity from wind by 2025 - bringing jobs, investment, and most of all clean energy.
I know Don has a great concern for our environment and what we are going to leave to the next generation. His journey with the development of wind energy began in Prince Edward County more than a decade ago. Don is a member of the County Sustainability Group, and an accredited green agent from the National Association of Green Agents and Brokers (NAGAB). His home in Milford is Bullfrog-powered 100% green electricity.
As a truly organic grassroots supporter of wind energy, Don is able to communicate his beliefs free of direct industry involvement.
Adress to the Mayor: The Case for Wind Farms
The following is an excerpt from Don's address to the Mayor and councillors of Prince Edward County on Sept. 29, 2009 regarding wind energy development in that region:
"Since wind farms were first considered in our county 10 years ago, the anti -wind voices have used rhetoric to raise fear in the public and media and have successfully raised legal roadblocks and delays causing dithering and government inaction. Prince Edward County’s efforts toward stemming C02 emissions matches Canada’s continued shameful inaction. We missed our opportunity to be green energy leaders back in 2001 when we rejected what would have been the first wind farm in Ontario. We appear now to be reluctant followers, too...
We are fortunate in Prince Edward County to possess some of the best wind and solar energy potential in Canada, which can provide clean electricity as long as we need it. Because of their central location and visibility, wind farms have become an easy target for their opponents.
Only 10% Guilty of NIMBYism
Yet polls consistently show that only a small minority - about 10% - of Ontario's population is averse to the appearance of wind turbines. The vast majority of nearly 90%, find them to be inspiring symbols of change and hope, while living comfortably and safely in their vicinity. Would their opponents prefer that we build the next nuclear plant in Prince Edward County? Whose backyard will that go in?
Replacing the Green Energy Act with a Green Alternative Plan won’t do the trick either, as the math simply doesn’t add up. Replacing large scale wind and solar with small scale wind and solar would be comparable to scrapping large scale transportation systems and shuttling goods and people around on scooters. Regardless of past inaction or current arguments, from here forward we need both large scale renewable energy AND we need small scale renewable energy too. It's not an either/or discussion.
We also need conservation and sustainability in every decision we make. Recognizing this reality will support the many farmers and landowners who have willingly signed leases with clean energy developers to participate in the benefits of cash-cropping the wind and sun... Wind farms will also stimulate the new green economy of the 21st century, bringing green collar jobs , tax revenues, and eco-tourism to our region.
Look no further than neighbouring Wolfe Island to see how agricultural communities are benefitting from wind farming. I was there a few weeks ago for the grand opening of the Ecopower Centre, my third trip over there this year, after 29 years without stepping foot on the island. I saw a community much like our own, on a smaller scale, thriving and reaping the rewards of their 12 years of efforts. This story is repeated elsewhere across Ontario, Canada, North America and the world, and soon will be in Prince Edward County."
James Alexander is broker/owner of Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate Ltd. in Picton, Ontario.