Wednesday, July 24, 2024

From Farmland to Military Base in Support of War Effort


In 1942, the Canadian government expropriated 17,350 acres of land in Grey County in north Sydenham and St. Vincent townships to support democracy in Canada and the world during World War II.

Farmers, fruit growers, and fishermen were forced off their lands only to find that the reimbursement was insufficient to replace their losses. This was their sacrifice to support the war effort. The understanding at the time was that unneeded parts of the “tank range” would be returned to former owners.

The military “made efforts to heal old wounds” to return the land. One suggestion was to form a National Park but the land was declared “too dangerous due to unexploded shells”.

Now 80 years later, the DND is considering TCE’s proposal to turn the unused land for a pumped storage facility in perpetuity. Many people are protesting, and over 3,000 have signed petitions. Already, owners within the proposed surroundings have had their homes and properties decrease in real estate value. Getting insurance will be an issue.

This is an ethical/environmental disaster in the making. Is it even legal?

This pristine area will be destroyed forever so that a private consortium whose only motivation is to maximize profit – the kind of “green” stuff that Rupert Murdoch talks about.

The destruction of habitat – both flora and fauna, and the pristine waters of Georgian Bay, the quality of life, the air we breathe, the survivability of the planet – this is the green stuff that matters.

Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last river has been destroyed, and the last fish has been caught, will we realize that we can’t eat money – Costa Rican philosophy.

Andrew Dinmore, North Sydenham

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