Sir: This wind-water issue in north Chatham-Kent has been dragging on – it seems like – forever. Is it just me, or does it feel like there is a lot of crap going on around the issue that is successfully distracting people from a real and serious issue. The ‘crap’ I am referring to is the politics (of wind power), the personalities (of Randy Hope and Kevin Jakubec) and the lame excuses getting in the way of meaningful action.
First is the excuse that the windmill projects are not to blame for the water quality issues. The only thing I can say to that is to please stop insulting our intelligence! It is NOT a coincidence that these wells, which have produced clean water for years and years, suddenly and en masse became spoiled at the same time that the construction of these mega-project windmills started.
The second excuse is the sediment in the water, and whether it should be tested, how it should be tested, and whether it is harmful to human health. My answer to this is quite simple: if you don’t know for sure, err on the safe side. Test it for everything you can, and if there are potential risks that exist, consider them real.
Mayor Hope wants to argue that the residents are not drinking the sediment, but perhaps he was sleeping through the science class that taught us sediment is made up of particles ranging in size from those you can see to microscopic ones that are essentially dissolved and part of the solution that can pass through filters and be consumed.
What if 20 years down the road it is found out that the black shale sediment in these wells is the root cause of widespread health issues among the rural population in these wind turbine areas? Is council blessed with some crystal ball that allows them to foresee the future? Is council willing to take the risk of being wrong? Do they want that on their conscience?
Behind all this smoke and mirrors is a real issue about water, and the rights we all have to water. More importantly, and what should concern every citizen in C-K, is the obvious and deliberate disregard our elected leadership in Chatham-Kent has towards this right. Those council members that are not giving their all to defend the water rights of those citizens in Dover and Chatham Townships are the same members that the rest of us across C-K are going to be counting on to look after our best interests when/if our need arises, whatever that need may be. How does that make you feel? How much confidence do you have that they will do the “right thing” when your time arises?
Here is the bottom-line: Water security is a principle where no exception should be made and no ground be given. It’s one of those hills that are worth dying for and something community leaders are elected to valiantly protect. We cannot let these wind companies walk away making millions off C-K’s wind resources and leave behind a trail of spoiled wells and plastic water tanks. If they are going to leave here and benefit from C-K for years to come, the least they can do is leave CK the way they found it!
We should all be paying attention and contacting our local councillors, demanding that they do their job, do the right thing and stand up for the basic rights of their fellow C-K citizens. This is not about wind any longer, it is about water – a basic human requirement and right! And we should be judging our elected leaders by their actions on this important community issue. Municipal elections are less than a year away – let’s hope this issue has a solution in-principle by then.