Analysis on the federal Liberal wind and energy policy

Law firm Gowling Lafleur Henderson has published a detailed analysis of last week’s election win as regards the environment and energy policy.

With regard to energy and renewables, and climate change in specific, the analysts had this to say:

Climate Change

Mr. Trudeau has promised to “provide national leadership” and work with the provinces to take action on climate change. In the short term, he plans to attend the Conference of the Parties in Paris this December, and within 90 days establish a cross-country framework on climate change. A specific action item is the creation of a Low Carbon Economy Trust, which would provide funding to projects that materially reduce emissions. The Liberals have pledged 2 billion dollars in funds to this Trust.

This approach recognizes that the provinces hold significant power to shape climate initiatives. While the Liberals have promised a Pan-Canadian approach and a Canadian Energy Strategy, the new government has not promised that all measures adopted will be consistent across Canada. However, the federal government does have the jurisdiction to implement certain changes related to emissions. For instance, in the medium-term, Mr. Trudeau has promised to phase out subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, in keeping with G20 commitments. He will also work with the USA and Mexico to develop a North American clean energy agreement.14

The Liberals are also focused on creating more jobs, specifically in the clean technology sector. The Liberals plan to invest 100 million additional dollars in clean technology producers, and 200 million more each year to support the use of these technologies in Canada’s natural resource industries. Another aspect of their approach is to establish the Canadian Infrastructure Bank, which will provide low cost financing to new projects, with a specific interest in supporting renewable energy through the issuance of Green Bonds. These financing instruments are intended to “level the playing field” with fossil fuel energy sources.15

The Liberals, in short, have promised to kick-start a green economy, one with more jobs and funding for clean technology, and greater integration of these techs into Canadian industry. The federal government has promised to “lead by example” and increase the government’s use of these technologies such as through  expanding the federal fleet of electric vehicles.16

Our hope is that they closely examine the Ontario experience, and determine that blindly following ideology without cost-benefit or impact analysis as Ontario has (despite advice from two Auditors General) is perhaps not the wisest course of action.

Wind farm appeals: almost no chance to win, says East Oxford

No justice for Ontario communities under the Green Energy Act: appeal process stacked in favour of corporate interests
No justice for Ontario communities under the Green Energy Act: appeal process stacked in favour of corporate interests

This story is interesting not because the dismissal of the appeal by citizens (real citizens, people who live in the community and will be affected by the utility-scale wind turbines), but because of comments about the nature of the appeal process in Ontario (stacked against citizens and communities) and the so-called “community” investment group backing the East Oxford power project.

London Free Press, October 23, 2015

Construction has started on Oxford County’s first wind farm, a 10-turbine project in the Township of Norwich.

The Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm was given the final green light after appeals against the project were rejected by Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal.

“We are really thrilled, it is great news,” Helmut Schneider, president of the Oxford Community Energy Co-operative, developer of the wind farm, said Thursday.

Designed to produce as much as 18 megawatts of power, it’s developers estimate the wind farm will provide enough electricity for 6,000 homes.

Schneider said work on an access road to the wind farm started this week. Construction of the actual turbines will start in May when road restrictions are lifted.

The wind farm is expected to start producing power in August next year, Schneider said.

The towers and turbine blades will be manufactured in the Welland area. Other components will be imported from Germany.

The wind farm is a joint venture between Prowind Canada Inc., Oxford Community Energy Co-op, and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corp.

While some Oxford County residents have opposed the project, others have joined the co-operative project, Schneider said.

The co-op has 185 members and 140 investors with about one-third from Oxford County. About $9 million was raised for the project by selling shares and bonds to members of the co-operative.

“There is very good community involvement and a real proof of the confidence the investors have in us to manage their investment,” Schneider said.

Norwich Township declared itself “not a willing host” for wind farm development in 2013 and a citizen’s group, the East Oxford Community Alliance, appealed the Environment Ministry approval of Gunn’s Hill.

The objection was based on both health concerns and its close proximity to Curries Aerodrome.

Schneider said the co-op is committed to working with wind farm opponents.

“We are always open to that. We really want them to know this is a community project and we want to make sure they are informed about what is happening next,” he said.

Joan Morris, spokesperson for East Oxford Community Alliance, the citizens’ group that opposed the Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm, said she wasn’t surprised the appeal was dismissed given the Green Energy Act was written to pave the way for projects.

To succeed the group had to prove the project would cause harm, a legal standard that is unprecedented and only set up to protect the industry and not the public or environment, Morris said in an e-mail.

“How can you ever predict with 100% certainty? Therefore the public never has the opportunity to ‘win’ in the appeal process,” she said.

Morris also disputed the suggestion the project has community backing.

“This was not a cooperative that grew from the community – it was placed here by the developer who recruited Mr. Schneider to find members. Mr. Schneider lives outside the project area and his home will not be surrounded by wind turbines,” Morris said.

john.miner@sunmedia.ca

Dutton-Dunwich seeks noise protection bylaw

St. Thomas Times-Journal, October 19

Dutton/Dunwich council is vetting bylaws to regulate wind turbines in the municipality

Several bylaws drafted by Dutton/Dunwich to counter the anticipated impact of industrial wind turbines have been referred to legal counsel for review before final adoption.

Council voted Wednesday for two readings only on bylaws designed to limit light flicker and noise generated by turbines.

One bylaw seeks to regulate noise from industrial wind turbines. The other is aimed at controlling shadow light flicker from a turbine.

The preamble to the bylaw defines it as: “Being a bylaw to prohibit shadow flicker from any source including, but not limited to, industrial wind turbines …”

Coun. Dan McKillop said the municipality should get clarification on certain points before it proceeds with final adoption and implementation of the bylaws.

McKillop suggested it would be better to spend the time having the bylaws reviewed to make sure Dutton/Dunwich is in sound legal position before they are passed into law.

First and second reading of the bylaws was passed unanimously on recorded votes for each.

One other building bylaw regulating permits and fees for construction of buildings, etc, specifically stated issuance of permits also applied to industrial wind turbines. That clause should be referred to legal counsel for review, McKillop pointed out.

Both light flicker and noise have been targetted as potential byproducts of industrial wind turbine operation.

Invenergy has aplied to erect wind turbines in Dutton/Duwnich and is awaiting approval.

Ontario’s Green Energy Act limits what steps municipalities can take to control wind turbines.

Amherst Island wind farm appeal begins

Planned devastation of Amherst Island, wildlife and Ontario economy
Planned devastation of Amherst Island, wildlife and Ontario economy

CKWS-TV, October 16, 2015

(See website for video clip; transcript follows)

THE “ASSOCIATION TO PROTECT AMHERST ISLAND” HAS LAUNCHED AN APPEAL AGAINST THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT’S DECISION TO ALLOW 26 WIND TURBINES TO BE BUILT ON THE ISLAND. A PRELIMINARY HEARING BEGAN TODAY — TO HEAR REQUESTS FROM OTHER GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS WHO WISH TO SPEAK AT THE UPCOMING TRIBUNAL. NEWSWATCH’S JONNA SEMPLE EXPLAINS.

GATHERED IN THE ST. JOHN’S CHURCH HALL IN BATH MEMBERS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW TRIBUNAL HEAR FROM THOSE WHO WANT TO SPEAK AT THE UPCOMING APPEAL HEARING.
THE ASSOCIATION TO PROTECT AMHERST ISLAND HAS LAUNCHED AN APPEAL OF THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT’S APPROVAL OF WINDLECTRIC’S TURBINE ENERGY PROJECT.

WE’RE QUITE CONFIDENT THAT THE PROJECT HAS BEEN DISIGNED TO MEET ALL THE REQUIREMENTS AND THAT IN THE COURSE OF THIS PROCEEDING IT WILL BE DETERMINED THAT THE PROJECT DOESN’T MEET THE TESTS UNDER THE ERT HERE.”

TODAY 3 GROUPS AND 1 INDIVIDUAL RECEIVED PERMISSION TO MAKE STATEMENTS WHEN THE APPEAL PROCESS GETS UNDERWAY LATER THIS YEAR.

“THE CONSERVATION AUTHORITY HAS NOT TAKEN AN OVERALL POSITION ON THE AMHERST ISLAND WIND ENERGY PROJECT. IT HAS CONSISTENTLY RAISED CONCERNS WITH RESPECT TO OWL HABITAT ON AMHERST ISLAND.”

THE KINGSTON FIELD NATURALISTS ARE ALSO PLANNING TO SPEAK ABOUT THE POTENTIAL EFFECTS THE TURBINES COULD HAVE ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND BIRDS.  ONE MOTHER WAS ALSO GIVEN PERMISSION TO SPEAK ABOUT HER WORRIES OVER THE CONSTRUCTION HAPPENING TOO CLOSE TO AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

“THE GOVERNMENT ACKNOWLEDGES THE CEMENT PLANT WILL BE RELEASING CONTAINMENTS TO THE ATMOSPHERE SURROUNDING THE PLANT, WHICH IS INCLUSIVE OF THE SCHOOL. SO THAT’S SULFUR-DIOXIDE, CARBON-DIOXIDE, YOU KNOW THINGS WE GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM.”

“DESPITE THE APPEAL AND THE CONCERNS SOME HAVE ON THE NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF THE PROJECT – THE PROJECT MANAGER BEHIND THE WIND TURBINES REMAINS OPTIMISTIC.”

“OUR EXPECTATION IS THAT THE E.R.T. WILL FIND IN THE PROJECT’S FAVOUR AND UPHOLD THE PERMIT AND WE’LL START CONSTRUCTION IN EARNEST FOLLOWING THAT IN THE SPRING AND BE COMPLETE BY EARLY 2017.”

A THIRD GROUP WILL BE SPEAKING IN FAVOUR OF THE PROJECT AT THE HEARING. THE CITIZENS OF AMHERST ISLAND FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY IS A GROUP OF ABOUT 120 PEOPLE, MOST WILL HOST A WIND TURBINE ON THEIR PROPERTIES. WITNESS STATEMENTS AT THE TRIBUNAL WILL TAKE PLACE THE FIRST WEEK OF DECEMBER. THE APPEAL PROCESS IS SET TO WRAP UP AT THE BEGINNING OF FEBRUARY.
JS CKWSNEWSWATCH

ToughonNature

Economic impact of wind farm on Collingwood airport a concern

Ontario: "mitigation [for aviation safety] may reduce usability" of the Collingwood airport. In other words, this is one stupid place to build a wind power project.
Ontario: “mitigation [for aviation safety] may reduce usability” of the Collingwood airport. In other words, this is one stupid place to build a wind power project.
Simcoe.com, October 17, 2015

The Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) is concerned that the wind farm near Stayner proposed by WPD could have an “economic impact,” on the Collingwood Regional Airport.

In a letter obtained by simcoe.com from Mohsen Keyvani, supervisor of team 5 of the environmental approvals branch for the MOECC, sent to Khlaire Parre, director of renewable energy approvals for WPD Canada, the ministry is calling on the company to complete an “economic impact analysis,” by Nov. 9. In his letter, Keyvani said the MOECC expects the analysis to include input and engagement from the Collingwood Regional Airport.

“The MOECC is concerned about the project’s potential economic impacts on the Collingwood Regional Airport resulting from the operational impacts that Transport Canada has indicated will occur at the airport,” Keyvani wrote. “In its comments to the MOECC, Transport Canada has indicated that in order to maintain aviation safety at the airport, if the project were to be implemented, it will be necessary to raise the limits of the instrument approach procedures which may result in impacts on aerodrome operations at the airport.”

This letter came on the heels of one sent by Transport Canada to the MOECC in November 2014.

“In conclusion, based on the information reviewed, it appears there would likely be an operational impact on both the Collingwood and Stayner aerodromes,” wrote Joseph Szwalek, regional director of civil aviation, for the Ontario Region of Transport Canada to Hayley Berlin, manager of service integration environmental approvals access for MOECC. “There are aerodromes in Canada where obstacles are located in proximity to runways, and depending on their location, have continued operation with the establishment of specific procedures, and the marking, lighting and publication of these obstacles. However, it should be noted that such mitigation can result in a decrease in the usability of the Collingwood and Stayner aerodromes. The Department also wishes to emphasize that it is critical that planning and coordination of the siting of obstacles be conducted in conjunction with an aerodrome operator at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Mississauga-based WPD Canada has submitted a proposal to construct eight wind turbines on private property bound by Airport Road, County Road 91, Nottawasaga Concession 6 and Nottawasaga Sideroad 18-19.

The project was accepted as complete by the MOECC in December 2013 but WPD is still waiting on approval.

Kevin Surrette, WPD spokesperson, told Simcoe.com the company has filed an application with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto to force the government’s hand.

“They have a service window of six months, once the applications have been deemed complete,” he said. “Obviously, we’d like them to approve it, but at this point we’re just saying ‘please make a decision about our application.’ They’re performing their due diligence to make sure all the information is correct and the applications are good.”

Surrett says the company’s analysis shows both the airport and the wind project could “co-exist.”

“Throughout the project, we’ve engaged an aviation safety expert, we have more than 35 years experience working with Transport Canada, with NAV Canada,” he said. “He did an analysis of our project and the Collingwood airport and he concluded that both our project and the airport could safely co-exist.”

Australia’s first Wind Commissioner has ties to renewables industry

Australia's wind industry says appointing a commissioner to ensure complaints are dealt with is a waste of time
Australia’s wind industry says appointing a commissioner to ensure complaints are dealt with is a waste of time

The Guardian, October 9, 2015

The Turnbull government has appointed an academic and company director with strong ties to climate and renewables research as its new “wind commissioner”, in a move the clean energy industry says should help return the wind energy debate to “sensible”.

Andrew Dyer serves on the boards of Climateworks Australia and the Monash University sustainability unit. The government says his primary role will be to “refer complaints about windfarms to relevant state authorities” – which are already responsible for dealing with them.

The wind commissioner was promised by the former prime minister Tony Abbott in response to a Coalition and crossbench-dominated Senate committee report into the alleged health effects of windfarms. The senators demanded moves against wind energy in return for their essential votes on changes to the renewable energy target, which went beyond the deal the government had struck with Labor.

The Clean Energy Council’s chief executive, Kane Thornton, said he hoped Dyer’s appointment – and appointments to a new scientific committee on wind – would “return a more sensible tone to the debate, which had entered some strange territory during the recent Senate inquiry into windfarms.

“We expect that these new appointments will help to blow away some of the conspiracy theories about windfarms that have been championed by a small number of federal senators over the last few years.”

Dyer serves on multiple boards including Climateworks – a body that aims to facilitate substantial reductions in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions over the next five years – and the Monash University sustainability institute. The institute brings together academics from all disciplines to tackle “climate change and sustainability, and their intrinsic multiple crises”, as well as the question of how the Australian economy can become carbon neutral.

Dyer will sit in Hunt’s federal environment department. His role does not appear to involve determining the veracity of any complaints but rather passing them on to the state authorities and collating scientific information.

When Abbott pledged to appoint a wind commissioner, he told the radio announcer Alan Jones he found windfarms visually awful, agreed that they might have “potential health impacts” and said the deal on the renewable energy target was designed to reduce their numbers as much as the current Senate would allow.

“What we did recently in the Senate was to reduce, Alan, capital R-E-D-U-C-E, the number of these things that we are going to get in the future … I frankly would have liked to have reduced the number a lot more but we got the best deal we could out of the Senate and if we hadn’t had a deal, Alan, we would have been stuck with even more of these things …

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s chief executive, Kelly O’Shanassy, said it was “sad to see the federal government continuing to contribute uncertainty to Australia’s burgeoning clean energy industry.

“There have been no less than eight studies conducted at the federal level in the last five years into wind energy and every single one has found no evidence of wind farms making people sick.”

………..

In other news, the government also appointed the first independent science committee:

The government has also appointed an independent scientific committee to conduct research into potential medical impacts of turbines which will be headed by acoustician and RMIT Adjunct Professor Jon Davy. The other members are:

Associate Professor Simon Carlile, Head of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, School of Medical Science, University of Sydney and Senior Director of Research at the Starkey Hearing Research Centre, University of California Berkeley, USA.

Clinical Professor David Hillman, Department of Pulmonary Physiology and Sleep Medicine at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Perth, WA.

Dr Kym Burgemeister, Acoustics Associate Principal, Arup.

Natural Resources approved wind farm permit, endangers Wood Turtles

ToughonNature

Soo Today, October 7, 2015

Wood turtles are known for their sculpted shells, colourful legs and equally colourful personalities.

They are highly valued as pets.

Formally known as Glyptemys insculpta, the wood turtle is classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

It’s similarly listed as endangered under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act.

Ontario’s wood turtles are at risk from international pet poachers, habitat loss and degradation, skunks, foxes and household pets, to say nothing of the threat of being rendered into road kill by motor vehicles.

Add to this the wood turtle’s late maturity, slow growth and its poor reproductive success, and you have a serious situation.

There are, apparently, wood turtles in the vicinity of the Bow Lake Wind Farm.

So far as your provincial government is concerned, these are secret turtles.

So much so, that SooToday is designating them as Bow Lake Windfarm Ninja Turtles (BLWNTs).

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry doesn’t want you to see them, know how many there are, where they are, where they aren’t, what they eat for breakfast or even anything about the methods used to look for them.

When someone tried recently to learn more about the BLWNTs, ministry officials fought beak and claw to prevent release of the information.

The original decision to withhold information about the turtles was appealed.

Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Commissioner finally ordered the government’s herpetologists out of their shells.

Last month, as Batchewana First Nation and BluEarth Renewables, Inc. were preparing to commission the 36-turbine Bow Lake project, Sherry Liang, Ontario’s assistant commissioner of information and privacy, was at a workshop at Sault Area Hospital, discussing the Bow Lake turtle decision as a recent precedent in provincial information-access law.

Here’s what the requester asked for:

“Produce a copy of any data collected or reports produced, including photographs or other visual evidence, by [the ministry] from 2008 to 2013 with respect to populations of wood turtles, snapping turtles, or Blanding’s turtles, including but not limited to any ‘tag and release’ program, in the 38 Mile Road area north of Chippewa Falls, Ontario and the area known as Bow Lake, Ontario, including the area of [details regarding four] townships…”

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry released little of the requested data, citing sections of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Endangered Species Act that allow information to be withheld if it “could reasonably be expected to lead to killing, harming, harassing, capturing or taking” a living member of an endangered species.

“Poaching is one of the most insidious threats facing wood turtles,” the ministry argued. “While the populations within Sault Ste. Marie District have been fairly stable, warnings have been issued by local enforcement officers for possession of species-at-risk/ non-species-at-risk turtles, as well as one charge laid for the illegal possession of wood turtle within the district.”

“Sharing the specific location information of this population could reasonably be expected to result in the taking or harming of wood turtles…” the ministry said.

But the data withheld by ministry officials went far beyond specific location coordinates.

They also refused to disclose information about:

  • information about where wood turtles were not found
  • a description of the use of dogs in locating turtles
  • a description of river and road terrains
  • transmitter details
  • information about bird nesting sites or actual sightings of birds
  • information describing other species
  • information about camera locations
  • information about vegetation
  • approximate location of a turtle sighted by a local person with no indication as to how this relates to the actual location of wood turtles
  • positions where weather observations were recorded
  • codes or acronyms severed from email chains

The Freedom of Information and Privacy Commissioner’s office wasn’t having any of it.

“The ministry also withheld charts, photographs and maps, without providing representations as to how disclosure of these records could reasonably be expected to lead to the locating of wood turtles,” snapped adjudicator Diane Smith. “Nor is it apparent to me that these documents reveal the specific location of wood turtle populations.”

Smith pointed out that much of the ministry’s data was old, dating from 2006 to 2012, with no explanation of how it might adversely affect turtles in 2015.

The ministry didn’t indicate how many turtle-possession warnings it issued, when it issued them, or the turtle species involved, Smith said.

As for the single charge laid for illegal possession of a wood turtle in the Sault Ste. Marie area, the ministry offered no further information about the charge or the outcome of court proceedings.

“I find that the ministry has not provided sufficient evidence that disclosure of the information at issue in the records could reasonably be expected to lead to the killing, harming, harassing, capturing or taking a living member of the wood turtle population,” said Smith. “Most of the information is vague locational information referring to general, imprecise locations.”

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry was ordered to release its BLWNT data by May 29 of this year.

Searching for truth on the wind power issue

Float at an Ontario fall fair: talk to the people actually living with wind turbines
Float at an Ontario fall fair: talk to the people actually living with wind turbines

Letter to the Editor of Ontario Farmer, September 29, 2015

(Excerpted)

Ian Cumming’s search for truth about wind turbines attracted my interest. A longtime admirer of his critical thinking skills, his ability to uncover the hidden, and his talent for research, tells me he is onto uncovering the great untruths of industrial wind turbines.

In his article “Looking for truth” of September 15, 2015 [not available online], he presents several truths. However, he makes some grave basic research mistakes. Having spent six years going to meeting[s] to learn about wind turbine issues, informing myself through knowledgeable people, travelling backroads to talk to people living next to turbines, I can tell Mr. Cumming is in the early stages of his research.

In his article, he identifies the most apparent truth of all: energy companies and the farmer/leaseholders are in this purely for the money, read “greed”, with no regard for neighbours or state. Cumming’s area of growth: what is the neighbor of the leaseholder getting out of this arrangement? I question how that farmer is manipulating or ignoring the truth, the truth that 550 meters away, a 170-meter (approximately 525 feet) structure is towering over my home.

…He contradicts himself by telling people to speak the truth and then when they do he calls them hypocritical, through his reference to a meeting beginning with the swooshing sound of a turbine. He suggests that the sound is exaggerated. Interestingly, a day before I read his article, a farmer who lives within 800 meters of two turbines said, “Tom, you won’t believe it. I was standing beside my tractor, engine running and the jet-sounding turbine was louder than theb tractor.”

That was my first-hand research.

Later [in his article], Mr. Cumming presents an inverse error by stating that he heard nothing standing beside a huge windmill in a county in New York. The inverse error: if I am standing beside a turbine, I do not hear any sound, therefore turbines do not make any sounds. My research would ask, how long were you beside that turbine? The people I have talked to who live around the turbines say that wind direction and speed, atmospheric pressure, and time of day all influence the amount and kind of sound. *

Several people have told me the sound is the worst between 3 am and 6 pm when the usual ambient noise is the least. Sound travels the farthest at night–when people are trying to sleep. Mr Cumming was probably not doing his sound research at that time of day.

His concluding example demonstrates that he is a novice wind turbine researcher when he referred to New York veterinarians with multiple problem-free herds next to 28 wind turbines for over a “decade.” My research tells me that 10 years ago, the largest turbine was about .6 to .8 megawatt. The local ones are 2.2 megawatts, newer ones proposed 3 megawatts, over twice the size of the ones 10 years ago!

I suggest that he find several herd with turbines of that magnitude within 55 meters, operated by sleep-deprived farmers and find out the health problems on those farms.

His concluding statement, “Is demanding the truth from either side too much to ask?” is the saddest part of the article.

The Truth: the misguided deceptive Smitherman-McGuinty-Wynne Ministry of the Environment are aware of human health problems, bird and bat killing, infrasound noise, transient voltage, yet they continue to approve new projects, with cost-benefit analysis or regard to local municipal planning. That is the truth.

I encourage Cumming to continue his research for he is good at questioning the right people for the answres he seeks. The easiest place to start: go to a farming community that has wind turbines and talk to as many people as possible who live near them. That is what I did. That research is solid. But remember when researching the truth from the wind companies, 50 years ago we wondered if the truth was that smoking caused cancer. Not possible, said the tobacco corporations.

Tom Melady

Stratford Ontario

  • Editor’s note: the quietest place is right under a turbine.

A note about writer Ian Cumming; he is himself a farmer, not a journalist, who farms in Glengarry County. glengarryfarms@sympatico.ca

 

Wind power developer records protesters in Prince Edward County

WPD’s slogan: “Wind has no limits.” Apparently, greed doesn’t either

MILFORD Ont., September 28, 2015—

As more than 300 residents of Prince Edward County gathered on Sunday to protest the assault on their community and the environment by two wind power projects (Ostrander Point and White Pines, both being appealed) Germany-based wind power developer wpd Canada recorded the event, including speeches given by various presenters.

“Shame on them,” says Paula Peel, secretary for the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC).

If the power developer’s presence recording people was meant as an intimidation tactic, it didn’t work, Peel says.

The organizers did a brisk business selling T-shirts and protest signs, she says. “If you didn’t come to the rally with a T-shirt or sign, it’s likely you left with one.”

“The one thing wpd will take away from our rally is that the fight is only just beginning.”

 

Contact APPEC and read more here.

Fighting for the environment in Prince Edward County

More than 30 people gathered at historic Mount Tabor in Prince Edward County to protest wind power projects
More than 30 people gathered at historic Mount Tabor in Prince Edward County to protest wind power projects

County Weekly News, September 28, 2015

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY – They’ve fought the fight for 14 years and pledge to fight another 14 and then some.

A couple of hundred people gathered Sunday afternoon at Milford Fairgrounds for a rally organized by the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) in the continued effort to keep wind turbines away from the municipality’s south shore.

With two developments slated for Athol and South Marysburgh wards, including 36 turbines, rally-goers heard from a number of local politicians, they must continue the battle in an effort to keep the region turbine free.

South Marysburgh Coun. Steve Ferguson told the crowd the developments equated to a loss of democratic rights.

“In 2012 Steve Campbell wrote an article… the article went on to explain the resolve of the people of South Marysburgh to take a stand against the loss of democratic rights in this ward – a vote was held and an overwhelming majority voted against industrial turbines,” he said. “But we came together as a group and a community and expressed an opinion – we’ve made an impression.”

Ferguson said it was important to have as many local residents as possible show up for appeal hearings for the wpd Canada White Pines (27 turbines) and Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) hearings for Gilead Power’s (nine turbine) Ostrander Point development.

“The pre-hearing for wpd set for earlier this month was set back because residents had not received proper correspondence indicating how they could participate,” Ferguson said. “The ERT, which begins again for Ostrander Point on Oct. 27, — it’s crucially important that we fill every seat in that (Demorestville) hall every day and ditto for (White Pines) when that resumes in Wellington in November. We have to have a strong presence to let the Tribunal know just how the people in South Marysburgh feel.”

Prince Edward Field Naturalists president Myrna Wood said the developments threaten wildlife and natural habitat in the region.

“Today, the endangered species list in Ontario stands at 217 and the main reason of species decline is habitat loss,” she said. “We humans take over the lands and waters they need and now is the time for us to preserve the remaining habitats for their survival – that is Prince Edward County’s south shore which is one of the last remaining habitats. It provides food and shelter for millions of birds that travel from South America to Canada’s north and back again every year. Constructing these turbine projects will destroy hundreds of hectares of shrubs, trees and wetlands on which the birds depend.”

Prince Edward – Hastings MPP Todd Smith agreed, telling the crowd he was disappointed to see the effects of another development in Ontario.

“I was visiting Huron County where they have hundreds of turbines erected and I was shocked not to see a single bird flying there,” he said. “There was nothing – it was dead and that’s exactly what is going to happen in Prince Edward County if these (projects) proceed. What it has done is rip apart the community with friends no longer being friends and families even being torn apart. It’s doing the same thing here and on top of all that – we don’t need the power.”

As a sign of solidarity and protest, rally-goers joined hands and formed a circle around Milford’s beloved Mount Tabor Community Theatre.

APPEC chairman Gord Gibbons said if a planned turbine is erected just south of the theatre, it will damage the village’s heritage forever.

“It’s planned for just behind the property here and it would have devastating effects on this community,” he said. “It simply cannot be allowed to proceed.”