PC promises for wind turbines, 401 safety has advocates asking 'when?'

One day after the provincial election, and it's already time for PC MPPs to pay the piper, according to advocates.

Chatham-Kent, Sarnia and Lambton MPPs have promises to deliver on now that their government is in power

Advocates in southern Ontario ridings where PC MPP incumbents held strong are now looking for campaign promises to be kept. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

One day after the provincial election, and it's already time for PC MPPs to pay the piper, according to advocates. 

The PC incumbents of southwestern Ontario kept their stronghold of the area where two major issues were pushed in this election — wind farms and Highway 401 safety. 

On Friday, advocates for those issues said it's time for their MPPs to deliver on the promises they said they would. 

"Monte has always said he wasn't able to do more from us because he wasn't in power," said Kevin Jakubec, spokesperson for the Water Wells First advocacy group. "So now that he is in power with the majority government, we're expecting him to deliver on these commitments he's made during the election."

Those commitments refer to the black sediment appearing in the water wells of families in Chatham-Kent. They insist the silty water is caused by the pile driving work being done for wind turbine farms in the area.

Two-term conservative MPP for Lambton–Kent—Middlesex, Monte McNaughton, committed to putting a stop to the Liberal energy project, moments after celebrating his election victory. 

"Number one I'm going to stop some of these wind turbine projects that are slated for my riding," he said, specifically mentioning a plan to halt the Otter Creek project in North Kent. 

"It should be iced," Jakubec said of the project. "We have to have the completion of the health hazard report and we have to have recommendations on how to remove these particles from our water."

And there is no time like the present, according to Jakubec, who said "lets not delay."

Carnage alley upgrades

"Last night was a big night for this issue," said Alysson Storey who has been advocating for concrete barriers along 'carnage alley' of the 401 for more than a year.

Storey's friend and her daughter were killed along the stretch of highway that has seen a number of fatalities in recent years. Concrete divisions exist between Windsor and Tilbury and London moving east, but not in the Chatham-Kent area of Highway 401.

"Having all of the same elected officials going back to Queen's Park actually helps this issue a great deal because there is no learning curve, there's no need to bring anyone up to speed," she said of the project.

"The time is overdue to get this done," said Storey, who received a commitment from Doug Ford to complete the project, when he was visiting the area about a week ago on the campaign trail.

"I know Rick has talked to Doug Ford in the last 24 hours and reiterated that commitment so I am very confident," said Storey, who commended the NDP MPPs in Windsor-Essex for their contributions to the project.

PC incumbent for Chatham–Kent—Leamington, Rick Nicholls, brought up the barriers in his election night speech.

"Premier elect Ford knows he needs to get this done, he's promised us in person, as does our MPP, it's time to get it done now," said Storey. 

With files from Chris Ensing


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