Wherever wind turbines pop up in Canada, division surely follows.
Broadly speaking, the proponents of the Hermanville wind farm tend to be permanent residents (though support isn’t unanimous) while opponents are seasonal residents; some yearn for the millions of dollars of investment into the sparsely populated area, while opponents fear health consequences and a spoiled view of the scenery.
Compromise is impossible - the turbines are built, or they’re not.
But regardless of the merits of either position, the seasonal residents have been unfairly treated. Some feel that permanent residents’ interests are more important simply because the seasonal residents aren’t there all year long.
This is all exacerbated, of course, by the lack of a municipal council. Despite the best intentions of the Northeast Community Alliance, there’s at the moment no accountable body to weigh public opinion and make a decision.
This means residents are dealing directly with the provincial government, which has completely dropped the ball on engaging seasonal residents.
Government knew months ago they would be looking at Hermanville. There should have been lots of time to track down landowners living in America.
Instead, one of the engineers of the project was contracted to go door to door around Hermanville to drum up support before a meeting was even held, and he was unable to contact all the seasonal residents in time. It’s a job that was government’s responsibility and one he should never have been asked to do.
The predictable consequence of the communication breakdown was seasonal residents finding out at the last second all at once and getting steamed.
Debating a point of view is fair game but where a landowner lives shouldn’t make a difference in how they’re treated.
Head in the Game
This week The Graphic presents our yearly collection of soccer team pictures.
Collecting all the pictures is a challenge but one of the perks of the job is a chance to reminisce while wandering around the fields.
The beautiful game is fundamentally a simple game. But it can also be painful.
My earliest memory of playing soccer was during recess at Springfield Public School.
I was in Grade 2 (I think). I was goaltender for our team, a small horde of Grade 2ers against Grade 5 and 6 students - the Big Kids.
To this day, I’m not sure who thought that was a good idea.
In any case, at one point in the game one of the Big Kids booted a shot that evaded all the little arms and legs of my teammates and headed straight towards me.
I didn’t have a chance to get my hands up. The ball, grimy and partly deflated, smashed into the side of my face like a meteor and I collapsed faster than house of cards.
A couple of the Older Girls helped me to the washroom to clean the mud and the grass off my face. They asked me if I was ok.
I wanted to impress upon them that I was tough - no, that I was heroic in my stoicism. I shrugged off the concern.
“Did it go in,” was all I asked.
It turned out yes it did, off my head and into the net. I may have got an aww for my efforts.
Soccer, then. Lots of fun, some pain, occasional heroism.