THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Has Hazel McCallion sold her soul & the heath & welfare of Mississaugans and their families to the Province so Mississauga can be separated from the Region of PEEL? Is she dropping power plants like bombs on Mississauga's communities?
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Town of Milton - Minutes for its Administration and Planning Standing Committee - Feb. 19-07
Toronto Star - Oct. 11, 2006 - By Mike Funston
Milton fruit farmer fears power plant plan
Rollie Willis has toiled for 20 years to build a thriving family farm, growing apples, raspberries, pumpkins and cash crops close to the Niagara Escarpment in Milton.
His pick-your-own apple orchard attracts a crowd every weekend, and at holiday times like Thanksgiving he'll get up to 2,000 people visiting the farm on Fifth Line and Britannia Rd.
But Willis got a shock recently when he learned that two Calgary-based energy companies have proposed building a $500-million gas-fired power plant about three kilometres away.
"It will ruin me," Willis said. "My farm is very important to me and I don't want to move."
He believes the polluting effects of such a huge plant will not only damage his soil and crops but ruin the scenic rural atmosphere that attracts city people on weekend outings.
The area also has beef, dairy, cash crop and horticultural farms.
He regards the plant as a potential threat to the escarpment, designated a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations.
And it's bound to anger existing residents and those who have bought homes in the new subdivisions going up because they'll be able to see the plant's 45-metre smokestacks from anywhere in Milton, Willis said.
Several candidates for Milton council have seized on it as an election issue, arguing that current members haven't done enough to raise the alarm.
The Ontario Power Authority had called for proposals for a 600-megawatt generating plant in Halton to service the needs of up to 650,000 GTA households.
The other proposed Milton project is on Auburn Rd., east of Trafalgar Rd.
It hasn't attracted as much attention in town because it's closer to Mississauga.
The one that has Willis and others most concerned is proposed by Pristine Power Inc. and Fort Chicago Energy Partners, called the Milton Clean Energy Centre, to be located on the 9-hectare site of a tree nursery at Fifth Line and Main St.
A spokesperson said companies aren't allowed by the authority to comment during the bid process. But according to their website, the plant will have "state-of-the-art emission controls," and be environmentally safe.
The company also pledges to establish a conservation area on the site.
Also, according to the website, pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide emissions will be low or "negligible," and there will be continuous monitoring of emissions.
Colin Best, who's running for a regional council seat in Wards 2 and 4, said council hasn't done anything to draw attention to the proposal. "They're too busy trying to get themselves re-elected," he said.
Council should be calling for a full environmental review, he said.
His opponent, incumbent Ron Furik, said council will do its due diligence if and when the site is selected, but can't react to something for which there is no application on file at the town.
Mayor Gordon Krantz said he doesn't believe the power plant is compatible with the Milton Official Plan.
Tim Taylor of the Ontario Power Authority said he can't release details or even identify the companies involved during the procurement process.
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