Wind Concerns Ontario is a province-wide advocacy organization whose mission is to provide information on the potential impact of industrial-scale wind power generation on the economy, human health, and the natural environment.
Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESSThe news release announcing the ceremony/photo-op — from Environmental Defence, whose agents helped create Ontario’s electricity mess — said Al Gore and Ms Wynne would join arms to celebrate “a precedent-setting climate achievement.”
Ontario Liberals, waist deep and maybe drowning in $1-billion energy scandals and soaring electricity prices, hope Big Green Al Gore can bail them out. At a downtown Toronto event Thursday, the celebrity master of climate hyperbole will join Premier Kathleen Wynne to claim essentially that all the scandal and price increases should be swept aside. The news release announcing the ceremony/photo-op — from Environmental Defence, whose agents helped create Ontario’s electricity mess — said Al Gore and Ms. Wynne would join arms to celebrate “a precedent-setting climate achievement.” The achievement, they claim, is that “as Ontario goes coal-free, the global significance of the largest carbon reduction project in North America will be highlighted.” Oh what a tangled bit of misinformation, exaggeration, distortion and misrepresentation those few words contain. You can’t call them lies, because that’s apparently only what drunken mayors do. Ms. Wynne and Mr. Gore will trumpet that by moving to close down coal plants and fund billion-dollar wind and solar farms across the province, thereby doubling electricity rates, the McGuinty/Wynne Liberals have miraculously and dramatically reduced Ontario’s carbon emissions, and helped save the planet from climate change.
Nathan Denette/The Canadian PressPremier Dalton McGuinty, right, congratulates Kathleen Wynne after Wynne becomes the new leader of the Ontario Liberal party at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.
Which is simply not true. Ontario’s carbon production has dropped dramatically, true, but closing the coal plants and going green via wind and solar had nothing to do with the reduction in emissions. They were nuked. Before Al Gore takes the stage and joins hands with Ms. Wynne at the government-funded MaRS megaplex downtown, somebody should deliver a note to the Great Green Helmsman. “Al,” it would say,….. Read the full article here.
November 20, 2013—Over the past week, the County of Dufferin and Bonnechere Valley Township in Renfrew County declared their municipalities to be “Unwilling Hosts’, bringing the total number of ‘Unwilling Host’ municipalities to 75. Despite the growing opposition to wind turbine projects, the Provincial government continues to proceed with wind turbine projects in ‘Unwilling Host’ communities. An example is the Dufferin Wind project in Amaranth and Melancthon Townships in Dufferin County which previously declared themselves ‘Unwilling Hosts’. Dufferin County Council supported these lower tier municipalities by also passing a resolution asking the province not to extend the current January 14, 2014 deadline for completion of the Dufferin Wind project. The County also filed for a stay of activity for the Dufferin Wind project that is the subject of an Environmental Review Tribunal. Despite the appeal, the wind company is currently proceeding with construction work on the project. Municipalities are looking for real local planning authority for wind turbines to be returned to local governments. Municipalities are better placed than Queen’s Park civil servants to identify local issues that need to be addressed in reviewing wind turbine projects. They also have processes in place to review and approve other complex or controversial projects building projects that take occur within their jurisdiction. These municipalities are also looking for the government to follow up on the health complaints being filed with Medical Officers of Health and for the MOE to stop denying that there are problems with excess audible and low frequency noise and actually enforce their noise standards. The preliminary results from the University of Waterloo Health Study, commissioned by the Ontario government, show that there is a statistically significant relationship between health complaints and distance to turbines. This study just confirms what is reported to local municipalities from existing turbine projects in their communities or neighbouring communities. More comprehensive study of these health issues is warranted before any further projects is approved. As Mayor April Jeffs of Wainfleet states, ‘municipalities are looking for solutions to the real problems, not public relations gimmicks’. Kevin Marriott, Mayor of Enniskillen calls on the government to hold some real consultation with rural Ontario before they move forward with this program. This request applies both to the awarding of new FIT contracts but also to issuing Renewal Energy Approvals for projects with existing FIT contracts. The Coalition of ‘Unwilling Hosts’ grew out of a meeting of municipal officials held during this summer’s AMO conference in Ottawa. The current list of the 75 “Unwilling Host’ municipalities is attached with a map available at http://ontario-unwilling-hosts.org/ouh-d14.html. For further details contact April Jeffs at 905-658-7890, Kevin Marriott at 519-844-2307 or Warren Howard at 519-291-6950. ………………………………… Editor’s note: there is a new category of Unwilling Hosts, Concerned Communities, beginning with North Gower, within the amalgamated City of Ottawa
In an article written by Garth Manning*, QC, human rights lawyer Julian Falconer says that Ontario’s Green Energy Act violates human rights, due to the potential health effects from wind power generation projects, encourage and subsidized by the Ontario government through the act.
Toronto human rights lawyer Julian Falconer argues that the GEA and the government’s approval of wind projects “implicates their right to security of the person” as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights, in view of potential health impacts. These health impacts were noted on Oct. 17, 2013 when the Ontario government’s Research Chair for Renewable Energy Technologies and Health at the University of Waterloo reported a statistically significant correlation between proximity to industrial wind turbines and sleep deprivation, tinnitus and vertigo. The government of Ontario has been widely criticized, even by its own agencies, for its roll out of the GEA four years ago. Ontario’s Auditor-General reported in 2011 that a cost-benefit analysis was never done and there was no impact study of the effects on property values, tourism and health. Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner and Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal opposed the effect of industrial wind turbines on wildlife at Ostrander Point. Economists, health care providers, mayors, and those affected have consistently made their views known, but concerns have fallen on deaf ears.
Garth Manning QC is Chair of CCSAGE, the County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy. He has had a long and prestigious career in the law and was awarded the Louis St Laurent aware by the Canadian Bar Association for his contributions to the profession. He resides in Prince Edward County.
In today’s Ottawa Citizen, subsequent to the motion by Ottawa City Council this week, to ask Ontario for more substantive role in siting wind power generation plants, is this letter from a professional planner.
Cities should have a say
The city’s motion regarding windmill projects is to the point: it is only logical that municipalities and residents should be involved in the decision-making process relating to the location of wind power projects. Windmills are significant structures that have a major impact on surrounding land uses. From a planning perspective, municipalities should have the authority to include the development of windmill projects in their Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw in order to minimize negative impacts and optimize the livability and sustainability of communities within the municipality. If it were any other type of development of a similar magnitude, there would be no question of this need. Municipal governments and citizens absolutely need a voice on this issue. May Gabbour, Ottawa Registered professional planner Ontario Professional Planners Institute
Yesterday, we covered how the Ontario Power Authority website kids.saveonenergy.cais clearly aimed at teaching our children and grandchildren about the wonders of renewable energy without scientific evaluation or offsetting arguments.
The site has links to other websites including The David Suzuki Foundation, and trade associations CanSIA, CanWEA and lobby group OSEA. The link to the Science Teachers Association of Ontario (STAO) is the one most troubling.Visiting the STAO site and searching for “renewable energy” one of the items that pops up is “Grade 5 Conservation of Energy and Resources Activities,” also referred to as “Connecting with the Natural World Junior Division Integrated Curriculum.”
This 58-page agenda, created with funding support from the Ontario Teachers Federation, sure doesn’t look like “science” as most remember it. Webster’s defines science as “the state of knowing,” not a “doctrine” which is defined as “a statement of fundamental government policy”!
A review of the suggested curriculum clearly indicates the students are being taught the latter; its content is aimed at pushing the Grade 5 students to accept wind, solar and water power generation as the Holy Grail.Concurrently, the students are led to believe the production of power from uranium or fossil fuels is toxic.For example:
“Lesson #5: Solar, Water, and Wind Energy Inquiries
Students will deconstruct a variety of other inquiry projectslinked to solar, wind or water powered energy in order to build an understanding of what others have done to test these renewable resources,and then craft their own inquiries on either solar energy, wind energy or water energy. The testing of these inquiries is best completed outside.Students will reflect on what they might wish to tell and ask their member of parliament in connection to the conclusions they make about energy consumption and alternative energy sources.” [Emphasis added, here and below.]
Other Grade 5 lessons go further and include this guiding principle:
“The notion that the use ofnon-renewable energy sources can cause depletion in one form of
energy and that bi-products of the conversion of certain forms of energy can be toxic to theenvironment should be included in the discussion.”
“Minds On What Can Governments Do?
Students will work with partners and then small groups to brainstorm what the government could do to help support better energy conservation, the environment, and alternative (renewable) sources of energy.”
“Action What are Government Platforms on Energy?
Investigate the platforms of different political parties in Ontario and Canada. What are the parties doing for our environment?What are they doing about energy conservation, production or development of clean energy?How much will this cost Ontario residents?”
At least the latter does raise the “cost” issue which, according to the Auditor General didn’t seem to be a consideration of the Liberal Party when they enacted the Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEA).
The Grade 5 Curriculum does go on though with other “social study” issues such as this:
“Write letters to the different local party leaders asking what their platforms on energy conservation and production are.Or ask for more details about what they are planning to do for our environment, specifically in the area of energy conservation and production. What are they doing about clean energy? What are they doing to ensure more businesses have incentives to beGreen?”
When I attended school this was generally referred to as “Social Studies” not science; the following from the same curriculum supports that.
“Connections to Environmental Education
Students will investigate:
• The dependency of our social and economic systems on the conservation of energy andresources;
• The scientific and human dimensions of environmental issues related to Conservation of Energy and Resources;
• The positive and negative consequences, both intended and unintended, of different energy uses, and the need for Conservation of Energy and Resources.”
What bothers me most is the Curriculum’s conclusion as to what is defined as “science.”Is a student who points out that mankind might benefit from the use of fossil fuelsor uranium likely to fail the assignment?This is not a challenge for the student to think “scientifically,” it is a foregone conclusion, based on the work of a cadre of environmentalists who have concluded that global warming is a fact, despite the inconclusive evidence presented by the likes of Al Gore and David Suzuki!
There are many other examples in this curriculum document for Grade 5 students that fail to provide them with a balanced approach on how renewable power sources such as wind turbines, or disposal of solar panels can harm people and wildlife, etc., or any indication that they contain toxic materials.
More discouraging, the examples I’ve used only scratch the surface of what students are being told. Grade 4 material located on the STAO site carried the following message: “In other words, climate change is an overall change in weather patterns resulting from human activities such as burning fossil fuels.” and“some level of change in climate is natural and has been experienced many times over the life of our planet. The problem today is that the climate appears to be changing dramatically, very quickly and on a large scale.”In other words, the children are being told, the science is settled!
This theme is prevalent throughout the material examined. There is no evidence of any counter or balancing information to the “science.”.A search on the STAO website for “McKitrick” or “McIntyre” (who dispelled the “hockey stick” model) or “hockey stick” comes up empty.A search under Suzuki, Pembina, Greenpeace, WWF, or the IPCC however, brings up dozens of articles.
So, for Ontario teachers the “science” is settled; in the real world, it is not.
This alliance of the OPA and the Science Teachers Association of Ontario needs to be exposed as a 1984 “Big Brother” approach to teaching.It is not teaching, it is pure “indoctrination!
The Ontario Liberal Party has just released a new promotional video of Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is seen running in a lovely rural Ontario setting (which we are told may be Belfountain). Wynne is the MPP for Don Valley West in Toronto. The video is not going to sit well with Ontario’s rural voters whose communities have been invaded by subsidy-seeking corporate wind power developers, with the help of their own tax dollars. Worse, Ontario’s rural residents are having to raise funds from after-tax dollars, to fight their own government in order to protect the health of their citizens and the environment.And every Ontario electricity customer is paying for the province’s disastrous green energy program and the Green Energy Act. The video is here.
Here from today’s Ottawa Citizen, the report on yesterday’s Ottawa City Council decision to acknowledge a petition by residents of the North Gower area, within the amalgamated city, to be Not A Willing Host to a proposed wind power project that would expose more than 1,000 homes to environmental noise and vibration. “The petition sends a strong message that politicians say is worth listening to,” says the Citizen.
City wants a say in where windmills will be located
By Derek Spalding, OTTAWA CITIZEN November 13, 2013
Communities need to be consulted about windmill projects near them, city council says.
Photograph by: Tyler Brownbridge , Windsor Star
OTTAWA — City council is urging the Ontario government to give municipalities more say in choosing locations for proposed windmill projects in their communities. Coun. Scott Moffat drafted the motion that council supported on Wednesday asking for legislative changes that would guarantee local residents have more influence about projects pegged for their neighbourhoods. The province has already promised to add stringent public consultation requirements to its Feed-in Tariff program, which encourages the development of renewable energy with government funding. Anyone looking to build a project would have to have “significant municipal engagement,” when responding to request for proposals (RFPs), said provincial Energy Minster Bob Chiarelli, just a couple hours before the council meeting. “The bottom line is it will be very difficult for an energy proponent to be successful in the type of RFP that’s being created without a significant municipal engagement,” he said. His government has faced public opposition from around Ontario for such projects. More than 70 communities have joined a coalition of “unwilling hosts” for wind projects, declaring they do not want such developments. The Ottawa motion does not put the city in this same group, but instead asks the government to ensure residents have a say in choosing the location for such projects. Moffat introduced his motion at council a day after receiving a petition from residents of North Gower, a community in his Rideau-Goulbourn ward, who oppose the large-scale wind-power project. With more than 1,200 signatures, the petition is a strong message that politicians say is worth listening to. “What you need is the ability for communities to be engaged in the process, and right now that’s not really happening,” Moffat said. “Mr. Chiarelli seemed to indicate that there would be a process going forward that would allow for community engagement and put it upon the wind developer to have community buy-in.” Chiarelli said the substance of Moffat’s resolution reflects what the province has been doing over the past few months. Earlier this year the Ontario government removed larger projects from the Feed-in Tariff program and added the RFP process, but details about exactly is required for public consultation have yet to be identified. Coun. David Chernushenko, a strong wind-energy proponent, supported Moffat’s motion. “This offers the opportunity now for people to make a real decision about what’s going to affect them,” he told his council colleagues. “As much as I am troubled by the anti-wind hyperbole, I’ve always felt that people need to have a say and legislation that prevents them from having that say is not healthy in any way.” Chiarelli also confirmed communities will not be able to outright reject projects. “There is no veto. We’ve said that very, very clearly,” he said. “There is no veto because there are circumstances in the energy planning of Ontario where a veto might be totally unadvisable, but the general thrust is that there must be an engagement with the local municipality.”
See the story from the Ottawa Sun here on Minister Chiarelli’s comments, after Ottawa City Council voted unanimously to support local community facing a wind power project and to ask for a greater role in siting power projects. The Sun is also running an online poll on whether Ottawa should be able to stop a wind project.
Municipalities won’t have veto powers over the locations of new industrial wind farms, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said Wednesday.
“The bottom line is it will be very difficult for an energy proponent to be successful in the type of (request for proposals) that’s being created, without a significant municipal engagement,” Chiarelli said. However, city council can’t unilaterally block a wind farm from coming into the area. “We said that very, very clearly. There is no veto because there are circumstances in the energy planning of Ontario where a veto might be totally inadvisable, but the general thrust is that there must be an engagement with the local municipality,” Chiarelli said. Companies bidding on wind energy projects will score big points in the tendering process if they have the support of municipalities. Chiarelli, the MPP for Ottawa West-Nepean, said the Ontario Power Authority is consulting on the “significant engagement that municipalities will have in renewable energy siting projects.” Rideau-Goulbourn Coun. Scott Moffatt won Ottawa city council’s support Wednesday to make sure the province includes the city in the process of siting new wind farms. Moffatt said his community just wants a role to play in the decision-making. Chiarelli said he met with Moffatt on Tuesday and explained to him that’s what the province has been doing. One company, Prowind, has been eyeing Rideau-Goulbourn for a new wind farm. Wind farm opponents argue the turbines sully the landscapes and bring health and psychological impacts. The group Ottawa Wind Concerns has sent a petition with 1,228 signatures to City Hall asking for council to declare the city an unwilling host for wind turbines. Chiarelli’s main reason for being at Ottawa City Hall was to announce the Ontario Energy Board will hold public consultations on the proposed Energy East Pipeline, which would cut through south Ottawa. (see link for more of this story and the online poll)
What has the Ontario government been teaching our children in school about its “green” energy program? And, what authoritative resources has the province been using to support its curriculum. You may be surprised. Or not. Parker Gallant‘s series Ontario’s Green Religion, exclusive to Wind Concerns Ontario, begins Thursday and concludes Saturday.
Local pixels, local products and a local protest were all on Kathleen Wynne’s agenda Friday during a stop in Stratford. The Ontario premier toured the University of Waterloo Stratford campus and Monforte Dairy before attending a fundraising dinner hosted by provincial Liberal candidate Stewart Skinner and the Perth-Wellington Liberal Riding Association. As she arrived for the meal at the Army Navy and Air Force Veterans hall, Wynne was greeted by about a dozen wind turbine protesters carrying “Not a Willing Host” signs. “We just want the premier to know that there are 73 municipalities and community groups that have declared themselves not willing hosts,” said Listowel-area dairy farmer Tim Martin, as he stood with the group waving signs to passing motorists on Lorne Ave. Despite claiming to have changed the process behind siting wind turbines, Wynne’s Liberals are still essentially ignoring municipalities — like North Perth — who don’t want them within their boundaries, suggested Martin. “So that’s why we’re here. We’re just hoping to get the premier’s attention,” he said. They did that. After arriving at the hall, Wynne stepped out of her vehicle and walked over to greet the protesters. She acknowledged that there are “strong feelings” about wind turbine projects in Ontario. “There’s strong feeling on both sides,” she told the crowd huddled around her by the roadside. “We are putting a new process in place. If we could roll back time and have a better process up front I would do that. We can’t do that, but we’re very aware that having community planning and community buy-in is the way that we need to go.” After those brief comments, Wynne met privately with Martin and another representative to hear their concerns in more detail. “It was a polite conversation,” said Martin afterward. “She listened, but I didn’t get the impression that there was going to be any action taken.” Martin said protesters were specifically looking for a moratorium on new wind turbine projects until the potential health effects can be studied more thoroughly. Larger setbacks from farming operations — 2,500 metres instead of the current 550 — would also go a long way toward alleviating some concerns, he said. “The reset button needs to be pushed on this,” he said of the Green Energy Act in general. While Wynne made him no promises, Martin said he was pleased that she at least agreed to speak with representatives from the group Friday. “But actions speak louder than words,” he said. While the protest was peaceful and polite, Wynne received a much warmer welcome earlier in the day as University of Waterloo officials gave her a guided tour of the Stratford campus.