The pumped storage facility planned for the tank range certainly has been raising awareness of the beautiful environment we have in this community and this country as a whole.
My hat is off to the folks bringing their concerns to the attention of the authorities, municipal, provincial and federal.
'Save Georgian Bay' as a group is rightly concerned about the impact this planned facility would have on their properties, and our region.
However, there are many more aspects to this issue than the negative ones raised.
My concerns are a little older and more insidious than the ones raised by 'Save Georgian Bay'.
On January 15, 2018, at the 3 p.m. Meaford Town Council meeting, I made a detailed presentation about flotsam of all kind, but mostly everyday garbage washing up on David Johnston Beach from Georgian Bay. I also detailed my observations on the origin of where it was likely coming from. There has been no response of any kind, from Council, or any councillor individually to this day.
I wish that I had been able to get support from a group such as 'Save Georgian Bay'...
While I wholly identify with some of their concerns, there are many more aspects to this initiative that have not been mentioned.
I must assume that most of the objectors are users of electricity, and hooked up to the provincial grid... unless they have already converted to renewable sources. These transmission lines are crossing over many people's properties before the electricity arrives at the end user. They are, however, essential to support and maintain our present and future lifestyles.
The objections raised about the disturbances caused by construction are well founded, BUT apply to every construction, including construction of their often ostentatious homes, and end once construction is complete.
Building materials such as lumber and gravel come from somewhere where residents have to live next door. These sites are obvious across Grey County, especially where gravel pits can be an eyesore, but also a danger to other road users and to the roads themselves. They cannot be avoided, but can be regulated by authorities IF there is a will.
To alleviate some of the fears expressed about this pumped storage facility, I have to go back in history where for the first 20 years of my life I virtually lived next door to such a facility, Koepchenwerk on the Hengsteysee1 which is part of the Ruhr River in Germany.
This facility has been in constant operation since 1929 and I am not aware of negative impacts of any kind. Complete details of this operation are readily available on Google.
As a citizen indirectly affected by this proposed project, I have to advise caution when relying on Provincial Ministries to regulate in the PUBLIC interest. Their track record is not confidence inspiring. Neither are the Federal Ministries. They all have to comply with what the government of the day instructs them to do. A case in point is the federal Fisheries Act. A good piece of legislation intended to protect every kind of water in this Great Country... until some mining company comes along and wants to dump their effluent into a lake or water course... see Sandy Pond in Newfoundland, a pristine body of water now filled with toxins, to improve the bottom line of a foreign corporation. There are many others across the nation. (see Globe and Mail, June 23, 2008, page B3 for full details).
It is my opinion based on actual experience, that the proposed facility can be a win for the environment, as well as the municipality... IF DONE RIGHT.
But we have to be vigilant and involve both MP and MPP at every step of the way. WE elected them to stand up for OUR interests. Let us hold them to it.
Karl Braeker, Meaford