June 26, 2018
Community members in Prince Edward County were shocked to learn this past weekend that Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) had granted the final approval required for the “White Pines” wind power project.
The IESO apparently gave the project final Notice To Proceed. Projects without a Notice To Proceed or NTP can still be cancelled.
Worse, the NTP was given apparently on May 11, which was four days after the writ for the 2018 election was drawn up.
It is accepted practice that in the immediate election period, certainly after the writ has been released, the sitting government does not make major announcements or take important decisions.
Especially on a subject like the White Pines power project which is involved in two separate legal actions currently, and was certainly a major issue in the local election campaign.
It is also arguable whether the Renewable Energy Approval for the 100-megawatt “Nation Rise” wind power project, announced days before the writ, is acceptable.
Certainly, there are questions to be asked about influence on the IESO and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to take these actions when they must have known they were outside accepted practice.