Sunday, February 25, 2024

Not Everyone is Opposed to Proposed Pumped Storage Facility

Mr. Editor,

I do not doubt that SGB has 3,000 signatures from community members on petitions opposing the TCE pumped storage project. Reference is made to the petitions being signed by community members. I would like to know the definition of ‘community’ in this context. Did people who live in Wiarton or Parry Sound, for example, sign these petitions? Is the SGB definition of ‘community’ anyone who lives on Georgian Bay? If so, please don’t insinuate that the 3,000 are from Meaford.

Many people have told me that they regret signing a petition and wish they could remove their names.

They realize now that many so-called facts given to them by SGB members who were knocking on doors, information which convinced them to sign, was misleading or false.

When they were told, for example, that the foundations of their homes were going to crumble because of the vibrations from the pump/generators, of course they signed. Convinced that our blue bay would look like a muddy pond they quickly added their signatures. The water temperature of Georgian Bay would increase significantly and kill off the fish! Where do I sign?

I sat in our plaza parking lot after grocery shopping, where SGB sometimes had a display, and watched and listened as people going and coming were asked to sign a petition. They were shown before and after pictures of the shoreline at the military base as part of the pitch. I wandered over when there was a gap in the traffic. It was suggested that I sign after having the ugly ‘after’ picture pointed out to me. I asked who the artist was. (It was obviously a photograph, not art, and I knew it was a shot of the Luddington site.) When told it was a photo I asked how SGB could get a genuine ‘after’ photograph when the project was only in the discussion stages and then suggested that this ploy was a little dishonest. The response surprised me. “If TCE can tell lies it is OK for SGB to do the same.” (The message, if not the exact words.) Up until that time I had not made up my mind about the project. I decided, after hearing that quote, to become a fact checker and what I found surprised me, as you know if you have read my previous letters.

Unlike many others, who believed and thought the end of the world was nigh, I did not add my name to a petition so I don’t have any regrets. The guy who tried to convince me to do so, boldly using a phony photo, is no doubt still convinced that the end justifies the means.

Jim Hepple, Meaford


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