Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Reader Challenges Opposition to Pumped Storage Proposal

Dear Editor,

After the Pumped Storage Project opens for business every resident of Meaford will be supplied with a free hot dog at Meaford Hall every Friday as long as the facility is in operation.

That is a bald-faced lie. But it is a benign lie when you compare it to dangerous, reckless, lies. Debunked lies like “Pumped Storage Plants fail and wipe out whole neighbourhoods.” Complete fabrications intended to halt green energy progress. (Don’t get me started on the murder of innocent fish. Or water towers.)

If someone attended the Council Meeting to support the Pumped Storage Plant proposal because they were promised free hot dogs by me? I’d be embarrassed. Feel shame. If someone attended to oppose the proposal because they have been fed fairy tales regarding damage to the environment and surrounding areas, I suspect Save Georgian Bay would go the other way. Proud. Zero embarrassment from their shameful deceptions.

I perked up when I read your call for research and data if good decisions are going to be made. I’m obsessed with data and research. Laughing at disinformation that clouds the decision-making process is crucial. That probably shows up in my letters. But what’s the point of a referendum or a poll? Unless people are asked to vote based on a common set of facts – i.e., truth – it’s a complete waste of time. A referendum on the need for COVID vaccinations would have simply highlighted how many people were sucked in by the anti-vaccine propaganda vs. people who understood science. If one side is telling the truth and the other side is spreading lies, a referendum’s only value would be to demonstrate how well the propaganda has worked.

What about research and data for Meaford’s PSP concerns?

To the best of my knowledge the only person from Meaford who has travelled to meet and talk with locals about the pumped storage plant in Ludington, Michigan, is Mr. Jim Hepple. Recall that Save Georgian Bay liked to point out how facilities like the one in Ludington completely devastate everything around them? Mr. Hepple went to Ludington. What a radical idea! Talked to residents and officials who surely must live in constant fear for their lives because of their Pumped Storage Plant. Only to find out that everything we have been warned about is heifer-dust. And that some people he talked to “said that they are not even conscious of the plant being there.” Far as I know, Jim Hepple is STILL the only person from Meaford to conduct actual RESEARCH – in person – on site – of an operating PSP – to come back – and report – real DATA.

And live to tell the tale!

You wrote of the stress and turmoil inflicted on our community over the last two plus years by opposing views on the proposal.

Imagine if you will, Mr. Editor, just for one moment, how much better, more civil, and flat out nicer, it could have been to live in Meaford for the last three years if only the first time Save Georgian Bay (armed with their mandatory list of crafted misinformation that hasn’t changed since) came before Meaford Council to demand that Council oppose this proposal? What if the official Meaford Council response had been something more along these lines:

This is a huge $4.5 billion project. Just 10 km from Town!

Of course, Mayor Clumpus, Councillor Greenfield, CAO Armstrong, and Director of Operations Wiley travelled to Ludington Michigan to investigate the dangers these things present! Of course, it was in person! It’s only 7.5 hours away by car! Didn’t even have to fly!

They met with their counterparts in Ludington, as well as other State officials. They conducted research on ALL aspects of this Proposal. Completely INDEPENDENT of TC Energy!

They reported back to Council on their findings when they returned. Their Report is available on the Town of Meaford website.

If you read it, you will find that everything your group, Save Georgian Bay, just said about Pumped Storage Projects is false. In fact, most people they talked to in Ludington said “that they are not even conscious of the plant being there.””

Maybe that was too much research to ask for? For Meaford to expect? It’s only a $4.5 billion project.

What about if last Monday at the Hall new Mayor Ross Kenter had simply replied with something to this effect:

When I spoke to my counterpart in Ludington Michigan on the phone in preparation for this meeting, Mayor Mark Barnett (T: 231-690-1748) told me that every single damn thing I’ve been told about Pumped Storage Facilities by the opponents to this proposal is utterly false! Did any of you have any real concerns to share with us today?!? And by the way? Councillors Greenfield and Forder leave for Ludington tomorrow. Just in case Mayor Barnett was pulling my leg.”

Still too much research to expect? For a $4.5 billion project?

I was not at the Meeting Monday. I did pick up a new concern (to me) from your reporting.

One of Save Georgian Bay’s recurring pointless moans is that the PSP will “only” result in about 20 new good paying jobs in Meaford. “Only”. Like we pick and choose from hundreds every year.

So, if having just 20 employees can turn Meaford into a “Company Town”, aren’t we already one? A Godard’s Your Independent Grocer Company Town? I didn’t make the phone call to do the research, but they seem to have a good number of employees?

Hold on. Canadian Base Operators says 4 CDTC has 600 year-round and up to 1,400 additional personnel during Reserve Training. Isn’t Meaford thirty to one hundred times more of an Army Town?

I’ve never once heard Meaford called a Company Town or an Army Town. I don’t see TC Energy as a threat. But I’m sure the Armed Forces will look after me if those guys try to turn Meaford from an Army Town into a Company Town.

Bruce Mason, Meaford

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