By way of introduction, my name is Ric Riordon. My wife Shirley and I have recently moved from Oakville, where a similar project was proposed a few years back in the face of much public concern, and thankfully rejected. As newcomers to the community, bringing our business here and making our home here, I wanted to reach out in hopes that our thoughts might be expressed in your editorial section, or if you would kindly direct me to someone else.
Last evening’s (December 11) TC Energy schmooze fest orchestrated to warm the people of Meaford to the idea of their new Power Plant proposal was disappointing for many local residents who have warranted environmental, community, and tourism concerns for this ambitious corporate profit venture.
To add insult to injury the Meaford Community Centre was already filled to capacity at 6 p.m. when the TC presentation was to commence, 365 people I was told by the guard at the door insuring no one was able to enter - “Fire Marshal’s orders”. Understood, but many like myself were turned away and for those of us who ventured one of the worst winter days of the year so far to be there, we weren’t even provided the courtesy of speakers or screens in the corridor outside the venue to listen in on the evening’s agenda. Instead we were provided a lovely corporate propaganda piece making the case for why we should welcome this Plant to Georgian Bay and told that a follow-up on their website would help us track the progression of the project, assuming we had all bought in.
Clearly the turnout shows the community concern for this development. I’m not sure who was responsible for orchestrating the venue, but in a township/municipality the size of Meaford that boasts 11,000+, there is surely a larger meeting place in the area that can accommodate more than 365 people. This in itself felt rather controlling and only adds to my suspicions about TC managing public response.
We recently moved from a lifetime in the city of aggressive development where profit often over rules reason and where the needs of the immediate community are often not seriously considered when there’s money to be made. Short term gain for long term pain.
We are investing personally in this community. We have recently made it our home, undergoing a large renovation project on the water, just down shore from this proposed project. I can assure you that had we known about this last February it would have had a negative influence on our decision to move to Meaford. I think this might be true for many.
Meaford faces a tipping point. Its strategic and uniquely beautiful situation on Georgian Bay provides its greatest future opportunity for commerce and tourism. These will play a great role in that future of this town, as it has for the neighbouring prosperity evidenced in Thornbury and Collingwood.
The current offering from TC Energy will no doubt impact Meaford’s future hopes of turning around its somewhat struggling economic reality, but not in a good way. In my initial review of the proposal and concerns expressed about it, I don’t see how it really benefits either the environmental or economic needs of the community and area. I add my name to the petition against TC Energy for reasons stated and a number of other reasons communicated by others.
Ric Riordon, Meaford