Not here, please !
Thisnewspaper has done more than its share of defending the environment, sometimes at a financial cost when we exposed the sorry state of the water quality of our beautiful lakes, but we have always and will always draw the line at the NIMBY, the Not In My Back Yard crowd. And two recent decisions by local councils come to mind. First, in Stanstead, where the town’s generous surplus (the only a new department to the town: External Affairs. With, we can only hope, Ambassadorial postings to be announced soon, the publisher accepting immediately the post of Consul in Florence. First will be the new Ambassador to Montpellier in Vermont. He will have to discuss with the Governor of the Sovereign Commonwealth of Vermont the quixotic dilemma of whether or not a sovereign state of the Republic of the United States of America can build legal infrastructures on its territory. This Hidalgo, we can only guess who will be his Sancho Pacha, will fight the right of the State of Vermont to give or not a permit for the construction of two windmills near the frontier of the sovereign and independent countries of the Dominion of Canada and the Republic of the United States of America. The constitution of both countries gives exclusive rights to foreign affairs to their federal government who can, if they so choose, delegate part of their power to their constituent states or organisations. We have not heard from Ottawa that the Harper government has delegated any power to the town of Stanstead in this regard.
The facts are simple. Stanstead has nothing to do in discussing a matter outside its territory, more so in another country. Legally, the proposed windmills are not located inside the limits of the International Border Commission and they are not related to watersheds in any way shape or form. Scientifically, there is no evidence that windmills have any negative health issues associated with them. Fact of the matter is that Germany, where the Green Party is part of the government, has one of the largest numbers of windmills, the only objection being the aesthetic aspect of the thing.
That Stanstead takes precious deliberation time to discuss such an issue is proof positive that this council may have a lot more time at its disposal than it cares to admit.
Same in North Hatley, this time about the so called intelligent power meters of Hydro-quebec. Our utility is expert at public relation gaffes and its handling of this issue is another proof of it. But, the so called health risks are ridiculous. If those who oppose the smart meters are to be consequent with their thinking, they need to outlaw cell phones first. When implemented in a couple of years, these counters will finally be able to bring some social justice in electricity pricing in Quebec. Yes, prices will be higher for those who want to use power at their convenience and they will be lower for those who want to discipline themselves and use electricity wisely. Obviously, this will not please the owners of monster homes in the deluxe part of North Hatley; right now they are being subsidized by the average Joe who pays the same price per kilowatt on his average sized home as one who owns a home five times his size.
Both decisions by these councils are wrong: they are not environmentally sound but only respond to the latest fads and rumours. They should not be repeated.