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The Brantford Expositor - Meetings explore the alternatives

Letter to the Editor - Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A symposium on energy generation and the environment was held in Jarvis on June 19 hosted by MPP Toby Barrett.

There were displays on topics such as coal gasification, wind energy, and other renewable energy options, clean coal technology, and handouts with new innovative ideas for energy generation.

My thoughts are that the symposium was very positive, but there still needs to be many more events like this. It was great to hear so many points of view.

The Environment Commissioner of Ontario, Gord Miller, spoke very well and I was quite impressed with his presentation which focused on conservation, cleanenergy alternatives and more local energy generation.

Shawn Patrick Stensil from Greenpeace did a great presentation to explain the history of the nuclear industry and the possibilities for a cleaner, safer and less wasteful energy system in communities whether cities, towns or rural.

Ziggy Kleinau from Citizens for Renewable Energy presented the renewable energy options which are a reality in other countries and even in his own home, which is off the grid. He added the human touch when he showed a picture of himself with his six-month-old granddaughter, representing the future generations that cannot speak for themselves.

John Bowlby, a geologist, did an excellent presentation on the geology of the area of the Great Lakes and the history of seismic events and the likelihood of future earthquakes in the area. There was also a presentation about clean coal technology by Carol Chudy from Clean Affordable Energy Alliance, which provided excellent information about options for cleaner coal at Nanticoke.

OPG presented about biomass being used at Nanticoke so that less coal is burned.

A speaker from the federation of agriculture, as well as speakers from the nuclear power industry, also gave very interesting talks.

A citizens group has been formed called Grand Erie Energy Quest and a website will soon be launched at http://www.energyquest4nanticoke.ca. Citizens will be able to educate themselves about energy options and their environmental impacts and network with others from the Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant and Hamilton areas.

The evening in Jarvis was time well spent. It is a fine example of democracy at work - citizens coming together to discuss all the options for the future of their community.

Thank you to MPP Toby Barrett and his assistant Rob Willet for putting together such an informative evening.

I hope that there will be similar events such as this in Haldimand and Norfolk so citizens can network and explore the many options for the future of this beautiful and unique area of Canada.

Janet Fraser

R1 Cayuga

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