Lambton Cty Council says yes to appeal

“No respect in this process.”

 

Lambton County councillors vote in favour of participating in ERT case

By Barbara Simpson, Sarnia Observer

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 5:42:17 EDT PM

In a rare move, the County of Lambton will join another private party in appealing a recent Ministry of the Environment decision that granted renewable energy approval to the Jericho Wind Project.

That approval is one of the key pieces needed in order to establish an industrial wind farm in Ontario.

A hearing before the Environmental Review Tribunal has been set for June 26. It will focus on the potential health impacts the NextEra Energy project could have on both human and animal health.

If the tribunal finds the project could cause “serious harm” to health, county solicitor David Cribbs said the MOE could be ordered to revoke its approval of the project.

County councillors made the decision to proceed as a party in the appeal during two separate standing committees of council Wednesday. While the issue would normally go before full council for a final vote, county staff needed to respond to the notice of the hearing by Thursday.

Deputy Warden Bev MacDougall told fellow councillors she feels the county needs to act after she saw hundreds of concerned residents turn out for a recent public forum on the issue in Camlachie.

“I believe the issue has built momentum since we first talked about it in November,” she said. “The voices have gotten louder and it’s time for the county to stand behind its citizenry.”

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said the county’s participation will also send a message about the “cavalier treatment” it has received from the province.

“If we were treated fairly in the road use agreement, the response here would be muted,” he said.

The Ontario Energy Board recently granted NextEra the right to build a substation and more than 15 kilometres of transmission lines for the Jericho project, despite the fact the county was still collecting public input before it reached an agreement with the company.

“There’s no respect in this process,” Bradley added. “That to me needs to change.” …

Read the full story here.

Carmen Krogh U Waterloo presentation

Carmen Krogh awarded Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal by MP Cheryl Gallant
Carmen Krogh awarded Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal by MP Cheryl Gallant

For those who missed it, here is a link to the presentation made by Carmen Krogh this past week at the University of Waterloo.

The livelink from the University of Waterloo, Ontario seminar of May 7, 2014 is available at http://new.livestream.com/itmsstudio/events/2968290

Carmen has also made available a copy of the presentation slides available here. University of Waterloo Seminar May 7 2014 FINAL 3

Thanks to the University of Waterloo for hosting this important event.

Niagara turbines to be near 1,000-year-old historic trail

Ancient Trail Threatens Turbines
SMITHVILLE, ON – April 27, 2014
A local amateur historian may have stopped the imminent start-up of a Niagara wind farm by simply highlighting the importance of a thousand year old trail on the very doorstep of the turbines. And while largely
forgotten by locals and historians alike, Neil Switzer contends that this 35 km trail that stretches from the Grand River to the Forty (Grimsby) is a major legacy trail to both native and Canadian cultures alike which
upon further study should qualify as a cultural heritage landscape of major Provincial significance under the Ontario Heritage Act.
Unfortunately for the wind power developer Vineland Power Inc., their heritage assessment consultant missed this historically significant feature and making matters worse the Ministry of the Environment failed to forward Mr. Switzer’s comments back to the heritage consultant or the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport for appropriate review. The trail comments were formally submitted to the MOE’s Environmental Registry as part of the Green Energy Act’s public consultation process but that Act does not supersede the Ontario Heritage Act and all projects must have clearance from the MTCS before approvals are granted.
This convenient oversight previously allowed the MOE to expeditiously grant approval to the wind project but now, owing to property line setback violations of 4 of the 5 turbines, an amendment must be approved prior
to final project start-up. This time however Mr. Switzer is making sure the MOE cannot cover-up such an important heritage asset. And in order to ensure that the MOE follows due process this time he has submitted
a complaint to the Ombudsman’s office detailing how the MOE will effectively be in contravention of the of Ontario Heritage Act if it proceeds with the amendment prior to the completion of a full trail heritage
assessment.
Mr. Switzer stated “the depth, richness and importance of Niagara’s native and pre-confederation history is unparalleled in Ontario and MOE’s disregard for this significant historic trail is a major insult to all Canadian
and First Nation’s people alike”.
Examples given of the cultural significance of this trail as submitted to the MOE included:
• One of only three major north/south Iroquoian/ Neutral Indian trails connecting the Grand River to
Lake Ontario with major archaeological resources along its 35 km route (i.e., Grimsby Neutral ossuary of 373 burials)
• Gateway trail influencing earliest settlement pattern of the United Empire Loyalist after the American Revolution including many officers and soldiers of the famous Butler’s Rangers and Indian Department
(i.e. Captain Robert Nelles, friend of the British and Chief Joseph Brant, homesteading land grants at both ends of the trail and frequented the trail so often that it became known as the Nelles Trail).
• Trail played major role in war of 1812 which not only transported local members of the 4th Lincoln Militia to battle but significantly it was the influx of Grand River native warriors arriving along this trail
to attack the retreating Americans after the Battle of Stoney Creek together with Sir James Yeo’s naval bombardment that sent the Yanks running back to Fort George. Without this native attack the Americans outnumbering the British 5 to 1 and with further reinforcements on
their way could easily have regrouped and overwhelmed the British at Burlington Heights and today we’d be under an American flag.
• Captain John Norton the famed native leader of the Grand River warriors lived at the southern terminus of this trail and regularly frequented this route on his way to battle or rendezvous with the British at the Forty.
• Chief Mesquacosy, an Ojibwa warrior who fought beside General Brock and Tecumseh in several battles had a son born in 1811 on the banks of the Forty Mile Creek named Maungwudaus who become one of North America’s most famous Indian in the 1840s and 50’s. Capitalizing on his native heritage he formed a troupe of native performers who toured the United States and Europe performing and lecturing before huge cheering audiences as well as having private audiences with the US President and French. Belgium and English royalty.
• Historically this trail symbolizes one of the best physical and literal representations of that formative nation building era when the ties between two of Canada’s three founding nations were strongest as
having been forged “as brothers in arms” during the American Revolutionary War and when natives and UEL settlers respected and depended on each other as equals.

Mr. Switzer admits this is a last ditch attempt to stall the turbine start-up until the upcoming Provincial election where if the PC’s win, Hudak has said he’ll cancel the costly $20 billion subsidy to wind and would hold wind developers accountable to comply with all setback requirements. Otherwise the future for anti-wind protesters appears extremely bleak so long as the Liberals remain in power and continue to approve hundreds more turbines every week in spite of electrical surpluses and spiraling energy costs.
While all Ontario homeowners, businessmen and industries are suffering from the highest electricity rates in North America due to the Liberal/NDP Green Energy Act, the real victims are the immediate neighbours.
Experience elsewhere has shown they stand to lose 20 to 40% of their property value as well as sleepless nights and the resultant health problems from turbine noise and low frequency infrasound.

One of the neighbours whose property will be directly impacted by an MOE amendment to legitimize the setback infractions stated in their comments to the MOE that she and her husband had fled their homeland in Yugoslavia 40 years ago in an attempt to escape a communist government who always put their own interests above the people and the community. Unfortunately, the way this issue has been handled by the
MOE has made them question whether life in Canada is really much different from our previous life under a communist regime halfway around the world.
Not so says Neil: “We may have strayed from our Canadian roots of “peace, fairness and good government” but it’s not too late to set things right and a little history lesson might be a good place to start.

Neil Switzer Chair, WLGWAG
www.wlwag.com

 

US-based NextEra racks up wind power project number 7 with Jericho approval

Middlesex-Lambton community group considering an appeal

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment issued a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) earlier this week for the company’s proposal to build a 150-megawatt wind farm spanning Lambton Shores, Warwick Township and North Middlesex.

Some final details still need to be worked out, but construction of the Jericho Wind Energy Centre is expected to begin as soon as possible, said Ben Greenhouse, director of development with Nextera Energy Canada.

The project has been in the works since 2008, he said, and was submitted for ministry approval 14 months ago.

“We’re excited,” he said, noting a laydown yard — headquarters for construction — will soon be built on Thomson Line, north of Jericho Road and south of Northville Road.

But not everyone is enthused about the approval.

Lambton Shores resident Marcelle Brooks, with the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group, has been a vocal opponent of the project.

It was a sad day when she saw the approval, she said.

“It was just devastating that our voices simply aren’t being heard.”

Concerns raised about whether turbines are being set back the required 550 metres from residential properties, and environmental concerns about nesting eagles near powerlines, haven’t been adequately addressed, she contends.

Concerns have also been raised about wind turbines affecting tundra swan migration, and the potential health impacts to people living nearby.

Brooks said she was planning to convene a meeting Wednesday with people affected by the project — connecting to Hydro One’s distribution system — to talk about options.

Read the full story here

 

WCO request to Ombudsman in “early stages of consideration”

QP Briefing
April 15, 2014
Grassroots group asks Marin to shine a light on wind power

A vocal anti-wind development group is calling on Ombudsman André Marin to investigate what it calls a “lack of transparency” in how renewable energy approvals are granted.

“Municipalities, in particular, are really getting fed up with being promised more say [over wind projects] but really things haven’t changed very much,” said Jane Wilson, spokeswoman for Wind Concerns Ontario.

By the time municipalities know about wind power projects coming to their region, many aspects of the build have already been determined, she told QP Briefing Monday. Couple that with a lack of full disclosure on projects approved by the Ministry of the Environment and municipal governments and citizen groups feel left out of decision-making, she said.

“When companies come in and start leasing land, there is no documentation, no engineering reports made available to anyone about where these projects are going to go,” Wilson said.

What’s more, she claims that projects “deemed complete” by the MOE often have not completed, submitted or made public all of the necessary documentation for where turbines or access roads will be located.

On April 8, her organization filed a six-page letter with Marin’s office suggesting he investigate the lack of transparency in the Renewable Energy Approval process. Marin received expanded powers under the new provincial accountability act.

The current permitting process is “placing many municipalities in an awkward situation relative to concerns being raised by their residents,” the letter stated.

Some of those concerns include:

The need for transparency and full disclosure in how projects are approved.
How renewable energy approvals are processed.
How the Environmental Review Tribunal conducts cases.

“We are requesting more stringent guidelines as to how companies should behave and in the case of documentation being provided by the developers, that complete really means complete,” Wilson said. “We are looking for the Ombudsman to say [to a wind company]: ‘The rules are the rules and here are the rules and what you should be doing.’ ”

And the rules governing renewable energy companies are changing. In a May, 2013, sop to anti-wind activists and angry municipalities, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli introduced measures to give municipal governments greater say over if and how renewable projects operate in their backyards.

The feed-in-tariff program for large-scale developments was replaced with a competitive bidding process based on the idea that any company looking to secure a contract for wind development now has to possess municipal support for its plan. This is an increasingly tough sell when many Southern and Eastern Ontario townships are declaring themselves “unwilling hosts.”

Ultimately, Chiarelli’s FIT changes fell short of a veto over future wind developments near residential areas, which is what many communities are after.

Marin spokeswoman Linda Williamson told QP Briefing Monday the request from Wind Concerns Ontario has been received and is in the early stages of consideration. “As with any complaint we receive, our staff will assess it to determine whether or not an investigation is warranted.”

Marin has received dozens of complaints regarding wind turbines — such as noise and siting — but determined in 2009 and again in 2011 the issue did not deserve a special investigation, such as the one being requested now.

The Ombudsman currently has a full caseload, including investigations into over billing by Hydro One, the de-escalation of lethal force by police services and the lack of accessibility services for adults with developmental disabilities.

Action needed for Sumac Ridge appeal

Action needed: Sumac Ridge ERT Appeal
Thanks in part to some fine legal footwork on the part of counsel for the appellants, it appears that the Sumac Ridge ERT appeal will be adjourned for  a period of time – until April 8th before  it commences again. At the heart of the adjournment is the problem of Turbine # 1. Although several people pointed out to the MOE that there is a non-participating receptor closer than 550 m, the Sumac Ridge project was approved. Now the MOE Director acknowledges that there is a receptor (residence) too close to a turbine.  Until it is known what will happen with Turbine # 1 – whether  it will be removed or relocated and what the Director will decide, the ERT will be adjourned and the clock stopped. This does not mean the ERT has been dismissed.  From the official  ERT Notice: 
“The Tribunal adjourns the proceeding on its own initiative pursuant to s. 59(2)1(ii) of Ontario Regulation 359/09 made under the Environmental Protection Act to April 8, 2014, with reasons to follow. On that date, the Tribunal will review the status of the proceeding. The Case Coordinator will give notice to the parties, participants and presenters with respect to the time and location of the status review.  
The Director shall give notice in writing to the parties and the Tribunal of his decision to revoke, amend or take no action with respect to Renewable Energy Approval No. 8037-9AYKBK issued on December 11, 2013 and new information regarding a noise receptor. The notice shall be given as soon as practical after he has made a decision.“ 
Call to Local Wind Action… 
In the meantime… to continue the fight to protect this area from unnecessary and unneeded industrial development, the call is out for people to show up in the Sumac Ridge project area next Tuesday March 4th at a little after 11 am. The  Toronto based Chinese TV Network, Fairchild Television is coming out and would like to interview COKL Councillor Heather Stauble and Cavan Monaghan Deputy Mayor Scott McFadden as well some of the protestors who were in Toronto and other concerned residents. There will be a very brief meet-up at Rolling Hills School at 11 am with Manvers Wind Concerns and then a convoy to the heart of the Sumac Ridge project. 
The call is out by Manvers Wind Concerns for people to show up at the corner of Wild Turkey Road and Ballyduff Road at a little after 11 am with signs… MWC will also supply signs.   The safest way to approach Wild Turkey Road is from Highway 35 via Ballyduff… Wild Turkey Road is NOT maintained.

Bow Lake appeal begins next week

Bow Lake Wind Farm appeals begin next week

Thursday, February 27, 2014   by: Darren Taylor, SooToday

The main hearing for an appeal against the Bow Lake Wind Farm project has been rescheduled to 11 a.m. on Monday, March 3, 2014 at The Days Inn at 332 Bay Street in Sault Ste. Marie.
Members of the public are invited to attend.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) approved the Bow Lake Wind Farm project December 16, 2013.
The Bow Lake Wind Farm project is a partnership between Nodin Kitagan of Batchewana First Nation (BFN) and Calgary’s BluEarth Renewables.
The Bow Lake Wind Farm project, a plan for 36 wind turbines, is to be located on traditional BFN land approximately 80 kilometres north of Sault Ste. Marie.
In early January, Save Ontario’s Algoma Region (SOAR) spokesperson Gillan Richards and Lake Superior Action Research Conservation (LSARC) Co-Chair George Browne announced by email that James Fata and 2401339 Ontario Ltd. (a corporation resident in Ontario) will request the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) revoke MOE approval of the Bow Lake Wind Farm.
Groups such as SOAR and LSARC state they are opposed to wind farm development in the Sault and Algoma region, maintaining that wind turbines are hazardous to human health and wildlife, an environmental disruption, and spoil the natural, rugged beauty of the Algoma landscape.
SOAR and LSARC say Fata is challenging MOE approval of Bow Lake on constitutional grounds, questioning whether the project’s approval has violated his right to security of the person as granted under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
A preliminary hearing was held January 28 and continued by teleconference January 31, February 7, 14 and 21.
The March 3 main hearing will include opening statements for all parties.
The appeal by 2401339 Ontario Ltd. will be heard at 9 a.m., March 3 to 7, 2014, and at 9 a.m. March 17 to 21, 2014.
James Fata’s appeal will be heard at 9 a.m., March 25 to 27, 2014.
All meetings will take place at The Days Inn.

Sumac Ridge ERT adjourned until April

Here from Manvers Gone With The Wind, a report on the ERT from City of Kawarth Lakes Councillor Healther Stauble.

Sumac Ridge ERT UPDATE Feb 26th- Hearing Adjourned until April 8th!!!

IMG_3100
MPP Laurie Scott (Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock) with Manvers Wind Concerns’ Paul Reid at the protest at Queen’s Park, Feb 24, 2013

UPDATE: Sumac Ridge from COKL Councillor Heather Stauble
I am attaching a copy of the Order that was issued yesterday regarding the Environmental Review Tribunal on the Sumac Ridge Wind Project adjourning the Hearing until at least April 8th, 2014.
At the beginning of this process, the Director at the Ministry of the Environment came forward acknowledging that a noise receptor had been identified that was within the 550m setback established under the Green Energy Act regulations (O. Reg 359-09).
The Tribunal has now cancelled all Hearing Dates and called an Adjournment until April 8, 2014 at which time the Tribunal will re-assess the status of the proceedings. The Director at the Ministry of the Environment must now bring forward his decision to revoke, amend or take no action in writing.
If the turbine that is currently within the 550m setback is not eliminated from the plan, and either moved or left in place, an opportunity to comment on the revised plan would be important.
In the meantime…email action required!

MPP Tim Hudak, MPP (Niagara West--Glanbrook) Leader of the PC Opposition
MPP Tim Hudak, MPP (Niagara West–Glanbrook) Leader of the PC Opposition
  • In addition, wpd has applied to the Ontario Energy Board to have access to Gray Rd. Road allowance and Wild Turkey Rd. under the Electricity Act.  The posting on the Ontario Energy Board website requires that they notify adjoining landowners, the Clerk at the municipality and post the information on their website.  There does not appear to have been any notice on the wpd website as of yesterday and no notice was provided to the City of Kawartha Lakes. Adjoining landowners who were NOT notified should advise the Ontario Energy Board and copy me athstauble@city.kawarthalakes.on.ca.

http://www.rds.ontarioenergyboard.ca/webdrawer/webdrawer.dll/webdrawer/rec/423905/view/noa_%20Sumac%20Ridge_20130127.PDF
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Heather Stauble
Councillor
Ward 16
City of Kawartha Lakes

Wrong, wrong, wrong: Ostrander Point decision

 

The Times

Wrong to assume

Rick Conroy
Blanding-Small

The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists are wrong. Ontario Nature. Nature Canada. Both wrong. Dr. Robert McMurtry is wrong. The South Shore Conservancy is wrong. So too is the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. Alvar, bird, butterfly, turtle and bat experts are all wrong. The municipality of Prince Edward is wrong. As are the majority of County residents who believed Crown Land at Ostrander Point should be preserved—rather than industrialized for the profit of one corporation.
And now we have learned that Ontario’s own Environmental Review Tribunal is wrong. A Toronto court has said so. This ought to keep Premier Kathleen Wynne up at night.
The Tribunal’s Robert Wright and Heather Gibbs spent more than 40 days hearing evidence, challenging testimony and witnesses and weighing competing claims. They began their task in a snowstorm in February; and delivered their decision on a hot July day last summer. Wright and Gibbs visited Ostrander Point. They walked around. They saw, with their own eyes, what was at stake.
They dug deep into the evidence. They weren’t satisfied that the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) had sufficiently scrutinized the developer’s plans before issuing it a permit to “harm, harass and kill” endangered species, including the Blanding’s turtle.
They discovered that mitigation measures proposed by the developer to ensure overall benefit to the species were untested and worse, according to evidence presented before them—unlikely to work, particularly for the population at Ostrander Point.
However, the Toronto court ruled that Wright and Gibbs should have given the MNR the benefit of doubt.
In my view, the Tribunal ought to have assumed that the MNR would properly and adequately monitor compliance with the ESA (Endangered Species Act) permit,” wrote Justice Ian Nordheimer in the decision.
But Wright and Gibbs, after listening to 40 days of testimony and examining nearly 200 documents entered into evidence, concluded they could not make that assumption.
The Tribunal’s error was that it didn’t believe the MNR would adequately look out for the Blanding’s turtle.
Wright and Gibbs had gone backward and forward through the proposals prepared and submitted by the developer and accepted by the MNR. They concluded the “Blanding’s turtle at Ostrander Point Crown Land Block will not be effectively mitigated by the conditions of the REA [Renewable Energy Approval].”
The court didn’t say Wright and Gibbs were wrong about their conclusions, but that they should have “accepted the ESA permit at face value” or explained better why their conclusions were different than the MNR.
The Tribunal was obliged to explain how the fact that the MNR had concluded under the ESA that the project would lead to an overall benefit to Blanding’s turtle (notwithstanding the harm that would arise from the project) could mesh with its conclusion that the project would cause irreversible harm to the same species,” wrote Justice Nordheimer.
This is the bit that ought to send a cold shiver through Premier Wynne and anyone else who is worries about the welfare of endangered species in this province.
 …
Read the full article here.

The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists have decided they will persevere, and appeal this decision. They need HELP!  www.saveostranderpoint.org to donate or learn more

Prince Edward County vows to fight on

Ostrander Point Appeal Fund 

Preserving critical natural habitats

turtle
“one of the worst possible places to construct a wind farm” (Ontario Nature)
*************************************

Press Release   –  February 24, 2014

Round 2 goes to the Turbines

PICTON Ontario.  On January 21-23, 2014, lawyers assembled in Osgoode Hall to hear the arguments of the Ministry of the Environment and Gilead Power against the ERT ruling that revoked the Minister’s approval of the wind turbine project at Ostrander Point.  The decision of the Divisional Court was received on Thursday February 20.
Justice Nordheimer reached the decision that the Tribunal erred in its ruling.  Unless appealed, this decision will result in the industrial development of Ostrander Point Crown Land Block on the South Shore of Prince Edward County (PEC).
Prince Edward County Field Naturalists are disappointed with the ruling of the Divisional Court and do not agree that the Environmental Review Tribunal was wrong.  The group will be seeking leave to appeal the Divisional Court ruling to the Court of Appeal of Ontario.
Ostrander Point is in the middle of the PEC South Shore Important Bird Area.  It is the home of the endangered Blanding’s Turtle and many other species at risk.  Millions of birds fly through and stage for migration from the south shore of PEC in the spring and fall.  The Crown Land Block is adjacent to the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area designated as an international Monarch butterfly reserve.  Ostrander Point includes significant areas of globally imperilled alvar habitat.  Gilead’s wind turbines project will expose migrating birds to lethal turbine blades at a time when they are most vulnerable.  At nearby Wolfe Island the turbines kill more birds than any other installation in Ontario because the eastern end of Lake Ontario is such an important migratory pathway.  The turbine pads and access roads will damage vast swaths of the Crown Land Block – and expose Blanding’s turtles to high road mortality and nest predation while destroying their habitat.  The south Shore of Prince Edward County is the last undeveloped natural habitat along the north shore of Lake Ontario.
For these reasons the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists opposed the development plans from the beginning.  Nature Canada, Ontario Nature, Environment Canada, the Suzuki Foundation, the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, Bird Life International and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds agree that Ostrander Point is the worst place for wind turbines.
The cost of the ERT appeal and subsequent defence of the ERT decision has been very expensive.  PECFN is a small club of mostly retired people.  People all through Ontario and in several other provinces have donated about $130,000 to the cost of this legal battle.  This amount is at least $100,000 short of the estimated final legal bill.  Fund raising continues through events and activities in the County and beyond. The small group is “girding their loins” and arming their slingshots to continue this David and Goliath struggle.

Please Donate. It is important.

For More Information Contact: Cheryl Anderson, Past President
  cherylanderson23@sympatico.ca