Teacher of the Year

My mother (thanks Mom!) clipped a piece that was published in the Guelph Mercury. It was a full page of letters written by Ms. Witte’s grade seven class to Mr. Woschnigg. Mr. Woschnigg lives just north of Guelph, and has installed an 80 kW Lagerway turbine. The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) informed him that the assessed value of his property would rise by something like $59,000. His increase in property taxes would roughly equal the value of energy he would produce. I understand that MPAC has now referred the issue to the Ministry of Finance. I hope this is just an administrative error, and that the logic applied to commercial scale wind turbines, an earlier blog entry, can also apply to small turbines. Ms. Witte used the story as an environmental and civics lesson. I wrote her and her class a letter. Here it is.

The letters by your students that were published in the Guelph Mercury finally made their way to my attention. As a former resident of the Guelph area, and as a member of the wind industry, I commend you for the education you have provided to your class. Not only have they learned about the environment, but they have learned about at one of the solutions – wind energy.

An even more important lesson they have learned is that governments sometimes get in the way of positive action, and that in a democracy, we must demand change. The actions by your students in writing letters of support to Mr. Woschnigg, and in making those letters public, will make a far bigger difference than you or your students realize.

The energy Minister and Liz Sandals were at the OMAFRA building in Guelph to announce the Standard Offer program shortly after the Mercury published the first story on this. I handed a copy of the original article to the Energy Minister, and suggested that this was a problem that he had better solve.

I think now he knows he has to solve it. Westwood grade 7’s are on the case.

Congratulations and thank you to you and your class. It will take our collective efforts to solve some of our environmental problems. And you have all made a difference.

Yours Truly,

Glen Estill, president

Leave a Reply