Now that the provincial election is over and the Progressive Conservatives (PC) have a majority government, Water Wells First is holding them to their promises.
“PC MPP Monte McNaughton (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex) has always said he wasn’t in power,” said WWF spokesperson Kevin Jakubec in a statement, “So now that he is in power with a majority government, we’re expecting him to deliver on these commitments he’s made during the election.”
McNaughton wrote several letters to the Liberal government regarding well contamination concerns and brought the issue of a health hazard investigation up in the Legislature, but received no answers from the province.
The Otter Creek wind farm project is scheduled to start construction this year north of Wallaceburg and is being opposed by area residents due the size of the turbines (almost twice the size of regular turbines), potential well issues and noise pollution worries.
WWF is calling for a repeal of the Ontario Green Energy Act as promised by Premier-elect Doug Ford during the election campaign. In a letter to WWF dated May 5, Ford made a commitment to a full health hazard investigation into contaminated wells if elected.
“I, Doug Ford, and the PC Party of Ontario is committed to seeing clean, safe water is available to every Ontarian,” the letter signed by Ford stated. “I commit myself and the PC Party of Ontario to stopping this travesty and commit that a full health hazard investigation is conducted in north Chatham-Kent so that the full extent of the health risks and the number of families affected is known. As Premier, you have my word, Kevin, we will hold accountable every party that did this.”
WWF has a Twitter campaign going currently to remind McNaughton and Chatham-Kent Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls of the promises made by their party.
“1. Action needed. Shut down turbines in Dover and Chatham Townships. 2. Action needed. Test all water wells for presence and level of Black Shale particles. 3. Action needed. Begin Health Hazard Investigation with Environmental M.D., Nephrologist, Toxicologist multidisciplinary team,” said one of the tweets put out by WWF.
Nicholls, in his victory speech, said the first priority of his government is to do a line-by-line audit of the provincial budget to see just how much debt the Liberal government has accumulated in the past 14 years so they have a solid number to work from.
The returning MPP also told local media that his party is committed to scrapping the Green Energy Act and putting a moratorium on any wind farm developments.