Jeff Wesley (Aaron Hall)

Jeff Wesley (Aaron Hall)

Wallaceburg Coun. Jeff Wesley is the latest to receive a ‘Shame Award’ from the Water Wells First group.

Kevin Jakubec, the spokesperson for the local group, said comment made by Wesley in the media (including here on the Sydenham Current) misled the public.

Jakubec said this quote by Wesley was the reason for the ‘Award’: “The water well testing needs to be completed by a qualified independent third party testing group that reports directly to the MOECC and is thus free from any conflicts of interest.”

“You have misled the public with this statement you have made in the Press,” Jakubec said in a e-mail sent to Wesley.

“The consultant hired by the wind developer is not an independent third party. The consultant is not without bias or without a conflict of interest in relation to the well owner. The consultant is retained. The consultant works for and receives payment from the developer. You misled the public. Shame on you.”

The announcement was made during a Water Wells First meeting on Friday.

Jakubec said Water Wells First has invited the Wallaceburg councillor to their next meeting being held in March.

The group says Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope is next in line to receive the ‘Shame Award’.

The Otter Creek Wind Farm group was the first recipient last month.

Jakubec told the Sydeham Current last month that their group doesn’t want the communities water to be destroyed.

“We won’t allow its quality to be degraded and we have far, far too many families that are financially dependent on this aquifer,” he said.

“There is two issues here… an environmental issue, we simply don’t want to see an aquifer destroyed that is 12,000 years old and we certainly don’t want to see families that are forced into financial hardship because here is the truth about north Chatham-Kent, many families cannot afford a waterline. They cannot afford it over five years, over 10 years, over 20 years. It is simply a financial burden that they are not prepared for.”

Jakubec added: “It is in that, that we now go to this new protest side of our organization where we now will single out municipal officials, we will single out Provincial officials, we will single out industries, we will single out corporations whether they be wind industry, which is the immediate threat now, or another industry. We simply have to protect the water for these families.”

Wesley could not be reached for immediate comment on this story.

Watch for a follow-up on the Sydenham Current.

– Photo credit: Aaron Hall

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