Since its inception in April of 2009 EWR has run a monitoring operation for severe weather over southern Ontario 24/7. However recent escalating hydro costs and policies, the addition of the Harmonized Sales Tax of 13% to utility costs and rate increases, make it difficult to maintain the system online on a constant basis. Therefore, effective immediately, I am going to experiment with an ad hoc schedule as part of measures taken at home here to mitigate untenable energy costs in southern Ontario. The only operational aspect of EWR that is affected is the network here that provides the steady updates to the Project main page: the A and B Scan complement. These will be offline unless weather prognoses favours placing them in continuous operation in the circumstances. The rest of the links and data flow on the main page, the blog and EWR WxAlert archive will continue as before as these are not hosted on my servers. Email and Twitter alerts will continue as required when the programming is brought back online. These features should not reduce in immediacy. For those who have become used to checking the A & B scans for current conditions, I apologise. Email me to let me know that you use these – I would have a better measure of who benefits from these displays; perhaps something can be done.

EWR operates wholly on a volunteer non-commercial basis and receives no financial assistance of any kind. Since I am employed in the Canadian Federal Public Service, and am subject to legislation rolling back contractual pay increases and COLA adjustments, I am forced to reduce costs in order maintain any semblance of a status quo. Taking EWR offline as a fulltime operation except under threatening conditions is but one measure being undertaken to attempt to see if utility costs can be brought under control. I regret having to do this, but in Ontario, energy costs are rising much faster than the resident’s ability to deal with them.

In a cold climate such as Canada’s, such issues will have a deep and lasting impact on quality of life and productivity in this province. Canada has flourished with, and can only survive with affordable energy inputs; the climate dictates no other choice. Ill conceived expenditures and commitments to unproductive “green” alternatives will ensure Ontario’s energy sustainability will continue to decline in the coming years, in the face of dramatically increased costs due to unsupportable contractual commitments, and energy methodologies too unstable for this climate. Ontario’s current development and expansion ethos coupled with woefully inadequate infrastructure, insufficient sustainable tax base and inadequate affordable energy capacity and reserve puts the province on a collision course with fiscal and structural failure.