Komorowski’s Korner – Cornwall Council Ignores Green Option – Cornwall Ontario – November 29, 2009

Cornwall Council Ignores Green Option – Will Continue to Plunder Taxpayers

RKProgress continues on Mayor Kaneb Drive, the new road between Second Street East and Marlowe. This week, the street lights were installed.

Last month, I suggested in this column that the city install LED streetlights on this new road, which would have saved taxpayers about $87,000, assuming that there would be 48 lights on the 1.2 kilometre section.

Well, I was wrong. I had guessed that there would be one light per post. In actual fact, there are going to be two lights per post, so the potential savings (and the potential for carbon dioxide savings) are really double – over the next twenty years, the city could save about $174,000. However, the lights they have installed look like the same old, orange High Pressure Sodium energy gluttons found everywhere else in the city.

No doubt if anyone on city council actually reads this column, they will respond that they had never heard of energy saving LED streetlights before now, and that it is too late to do anything. If that’s the case, then resign! We can’t trust you to spend our money wisely or to take care of our environment. You should have known about this option months ago, long before it was ever raised in this column.

Last January, almost a year ago, Penetanguishene, ON, replaced all their mercury vapour lights with LEDs. Here are some quotes from their website: (http://www.penetanguishene.ca/siteengine/activepage.asp?NewsID=71&SearchText=street+lights)

(Penetanguishene, Ontario, Jan. 12, 2009)  The Mayor and Councillors of Penetanguishene… were presented with a Certificate of Recognition by Ontario’s Chief Energy Conservation Officer, Peter Love, at the first Council meeting of 2009.

Mr. Love made the presentation to the Mayor on behalf of the community.  The certificate states: “…for the largest installation of LED streetlights in Canada, which will save money, protect the night sky, provide a public showcase of energy efficiency, and help create a culture of conservation in Ontario.”

“By undertaking the largest installation of energy-efficient LED streetlights in Canada, Penetanguishene has challenged other municipalities to demonstrate similar leadership,” said Peter Love. “This is not a pilot project, this is not a demonstration project, this is the real deal. I am very impressed that LED (light emitting diode) technology is the new development standard for all new streetlighting in the town.  Others should follow Penetang’s lead.”

The annual estimated power savings resulting from the installation of the 278 LEDs supplied by RuudLed will exceed 176,000 kWh/year. Public Works Director John Boucher observed, “These LED streetlights provide superior light quality, while using 60 percent less electricity than the mercury vapour technology streetlights they replace. LED technology also means lower maintenance costs. There are other direct environmental benefits such as keeping mercury out of the environment and being ‘dark sky friendly’, which means reduced light pollution.”

The City of Cornwall’s economic action plan, which can be found on their choosecornwall.ca website, states:

Action Plan 6.1

Develop Cornwall and Region as an Alternative Energy Use and Environmentally Sustainable City.

Actions should include: [among others]

  • continue to promote/develop energy conservation and recycling in the delivery of city and regional services and by residents
  • continue to adapt city and other buildings for energy efficiency and alternative energy use
  • encourage area businesses to adopt new technologies and business practices to reduce their environmental footprint

My questions to Cornwall’s City Council are these:

  • Why did you not know about this initiative?
  • If you did know about this initiative, why did you choose to ignore it?
  • Why are you ignoring your own economic development action plan, which you obviously do know about, because you voted for it?

I have never been a supporter of the Green Party on the Federal or Provincial level, mostly because I believe government is far too complex for a one-issue party to handle. However, at the municipal level, I’m becoming more and more convinced that a slate of “Greens” could help turn this city around and be a genuinely viable alternative to what we have now. Any green candidate running for city council next time around can certainly count on my vote.

Do you think the City of Cornwall should start replacing its current High Pressure Sodium lights with energy and cost efficient LED streetlighting?

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Would you support a Green Party candidate in the next MUNICIPAL election?

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The opinions above are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect that of this newspapers or sponsors.

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  1. Thank you Mr. Komorowski for this information. The decision makers dropped the ball on this one to say the least. I just do not understand why this project was handled in this manner. Certainly the environmental benefits alone would have been worth switching to LED technology…taking into consideration the potential tax dollar savings I am totally baffled by the decisions made here.

  2. Author

    I have sent out a few emails to council and hopefully someone at City Hall will address this valid question. I’ll also be at City Council Monday night at 7PM and encourage anyone concerned about this issue to visit council and ask the same questions.

  3. Great article Mr. Komorowski. I would like however to correct the notion that the Green Party is a one-issue party.

    This could not be further from reality. I invite you to read our Vision Green document at:


    as an example of the full range of policies we currently promote.

    Regards, Eric Walton – GPC International Affairs Critic

  4. I don’t get it. Looking at the poll, why would anyone oppose at least one Green Party candidate for council? Surely it’s just common sense – current council is too slow/lazy/uninterested/dumb or whatever to undertake a project which would save millions of taxpayer dollars, to say nothing about the reduced energy demand. Even Mark McDonald, supposedly a fiscal conservative, doesn’t seem concerned. Council seem to think that the citizens of Cornwall are a bottomless pit from which to extract money (for example, their idea to charge us for installation of water meters, instead of encouraging the installation of low-flush toilets throughout the city).
    Their own action plan states that the city should be encouraging energy (i.e. cost) efficiency.
    Maybe if Kilger prorogued city council until the election, it would be for the benefit of everyone, before they can mess anything else up.

  5. When will you people begin to understand that City Councillors are only in it for their own gain and to promote their own agendas! They certainly DO NOT represent us. They represent themselves!
    We need to change the members of council, we need some new faces who are really going to represent us at the city council level. We can achieve this at the next election! Vote wisely!

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