Dufferin County to Ontario: you have to listen to the people

As we know, Dufferin County recently passed a Not A Willing Host motion. Here from today’s Brampton Guardian, a report and interviews.

No more wind turbines, county tells province

Wind turbines

Bill Tremblay

Dufferin Wind Power Inc. doesn’t expect that its wind farm will be up and running by its commercial start deadline on Jan. 30, 2014.

Orangeville Banner

Wind farm developers should look elsewhere than Dufferin, according to a motion passed by county council.
On Nov. 14, council approved a motion declaring Dufferin County as an unwilling host for any future industrial wind farm development.
Although the Green Energy Act prohibits municipal councils from actually denying wind farms from setting up, Melancthon Mayor Bill Hill said the motion aims to dissuade such development.
“It will send a message that Dufferin County is tired of the Green Energy Act,” Hill said, who moved the motion.
Amaranth, Melancthon, Mulmur and Grand Valley have all approved similar motions announcing their request that wind farm developers find another home.
Hill said more than 90 municipalities have approved similar motions.
“We’re one of many. We may be the first county that’s done it and we don’t mind being leaders,” Hill said.
Will the motion hold any weight at Queen’s Park?
“Based on what I’ve seen so far, regarding the province and the Green Energy Act, no,” Hill said. “But  at least they should get the message that we’re serious about what we’re saying.”

Read the full story here.

Not A Willing Host sign vandalized in West Lincoln

Wind action group angered by vandalism

Homophobic slur splashed on sign

Grimsby Lincoln News

Wind turbine activists are fuming after vandals took target on one of their signs.
Sometime overnight on Nov. 15, vandals spray painted vulgar messages and images on a large sign on Westbrook Road. Vandals painted a male sexual organ and wrote the word “homo” on the sign, which read “West Lincoln is not a Willing Host.”
“Vandalism is a destructive action,” said Greg Masi, a member of the West Lincoln Glanbrook Wind Action Group. “It is the malicious and deliberate defacement or destruction of somebody else’s property. ”
Police are investigating the vandalism as the property owner’s property was also damaged in the incident.
“Local residents are concerned about the provinces lack of peer reviewed scientific research into health effects, environmental degradation and the loss of property value for those in close proximity to the industrial wind turbine sites,” said Masi. “The turbine issue has created division in the community, but now our freedom of expression has ended with an attack on public property.”
The WLGWAG formed in opposition to the first of two industrial wind turbine projects proposed for West Lincoln. The first project is in the final construction stages. Five, 80-metre turbine towers can be seen from Highway 20 in rural West Lincoln. Their blades will not spin until the new year, a company spokesperson previously told The News.
The second project, proposed by Niagara Region Wind Corp., proposes 77, 135-metre wind turbines with 50-metre blades. Forty-four of those turbines will be built in West Lincoln, the remainder in bordering Wainfleet and Haldimand County.
The sign has been repaired and moved to a new property on Westbrook Road.

Comments are open on the story here.

Manvers Town Hall Meeting November 27


Hosted by Councillor Heather Stauble

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

7-9 PM

Manvers Arena – upstairs, (Hwy 7A and Hwy 35)

Update on all proposed wind projects
Cham Shan Buddhist Temple meeting with Minister of Energy

Guests and Speakers:
Mayor Ric McGee, City of Kawartha Lakes
Carmen Krogh, Author & Researcher

Please see attached map to see all proposed project areas

NONE of the projects have been approved to date

Manvers residents give Wynne a message: Not A Willing Host!

From the Peterborough Examiner, a report on Premier Wynne’s reception at a Liberal insider event in the Peterborough area last evening.

Premier in town for Leal’s 10th anniversary bash 

By Galen Eagle, Peterborough Examiner

Outside the premier was met with boos, chants and placards.
Inside she was met with warm handshakes, introductions and applause.
Premier Kathleen Wynne met with boisterous wind farm protesters outside the Evinrude Centre Thursday night before heading inside for a private party to celebrate Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal’s 10-year milestone in provincial politics.
“I know that you have some concerns on wind turbines,” Wynne told the protesters who surrounded her outside the hockey arena. “I think you know that we are putting a new process in place. We acknowledge that there needs to be more community input and we are changing the process.”
There were two groups of protesters present Thursday night. The wind farm protestors, about 100 in total, were by far the loudest, singing chants, blowing whistles and encouraging honks from passing motorists.
About 30 No Casino Peterborough protesters also gathered outside.
Wynne, who showed up an hour late, was ushered through the back door of the arena, but immediately came outside alongside Leal to meet the protestors, who had been gathered there for about 1 ½ hours.
Spokesman Paul Reid, with Manvers Wind Concerns, said the protesters wanted to get across a clear message.
“We would like these wind farms situated two kilometres or more from people’s homes and we’d like to stop having them shoved down our throats without any say in the process,” he said before Wynne’s arrival. “Any time that the premier comes to rural Ontario, we want to send the message out loud and clear that if she’s ever looking to get a rural vote again, we need some help here.”
Reid was the first protester to have a dialogue with Wynne as others shouted out questions and some heckled.
“We haven’t even had a definition, premier, of what a willing host is. We’d love to have one of those because then we could prove to you that we’re not,” Reid said.
“Some of the projects that are in the pipeline will go ahead. Some of them won’t depending on the approvals,” Wynne replied.
She reiterated her government’s promise to give communities more say when it comes to the location of future wind projects.
“The process from here on in will mean that there will be more weighting to the community’s opinion. We have heard loudly and clearly that the way the process unrolled the first time was not appropriate for communities….”
“So cancel existing projects,” a woman interrupted.
“Well, you know what, it’s just not as straight forward as that,” Wynne said.
Cavan Monaghan Township Deputy Mayor Scott McFadden was in the crowd.
“It’s really important for everybody to come out and demonstrate that we’re not a willing host and we don’t want the industrial wind turbines out in our area,” he said.
After talking to the increasingly hostile group of protesters for about five minutes, Wynne returned inside where she was greeted warmly by the 120 people in attendance.

Bonnechere Twp is Not A Willing Host number 75!

Coalition of ‘Unwilling Host’ Municipalities

Press Advisory

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

Ottawa City Council: we want stronger role in wind power decisions

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
City wants a say in where windmills will be located

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.”

Energy Minister Chiarelli: cities can’t “veto” wind projects

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.

City of Ottawa can’t stop wind farms: Chiarelli

By ,Ottawa Sun
First posted: | Updated:

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)

Ottawa group petitions City Hall to be Not A Willing Host


FOR RELEASE AFTER 12 NOON November 12, 2013
North Gower area citizens tell Ottawa City Hall: NO to wind power project
OTTAWA: A community group concerned about the health and property value impacts of a proposed wind power project in the North Gower-Richmond area of Ottawa delivered petitions with more than 1,100 signatures to Ottawa City Hall today. The petition tells Ottawa Council that the community wishes to be declared “Not A Willing Host” to the 20-megawatt wind project, which would be near 1,000 area homes, if approved.
The group also sponsored an online poll for all Ottawa; 94.56 % of respondents said “no” to a wind power project  in the area.
“The wind power lobby keeps saying resistance to wind power projects is a ‘small but loud’ group,” said Ottawa Wind Concerns chair Jane Wilson. “Our experience is that the majority of people in this area—the people who would actually have to live with a wind power plant—don’t support it. Yes to green energy, we’re saying, but no to huge power projects this close to homes and our school.”
The group cited the fact that Ontario is now paying wind power producers not to add power to the Ontario grid due to an oversupply and because wind power is produced at night when power demand is low, and the fact that Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said last month he would not force power projects on unwilling communities, as reasons for their petition. Concerns about health effects from the environmental noise and vibration produced by the wind power generators, and lost property values were also key concerns.
“Ontario has already shut down the coal plants, and we don’t need more power generation,” Wilson said. “Why force a huge expensive power project on yet another community?”
The Germany-based wind power developer Prowind told Ottawa Wind Concerns last week it is waiting for the new provincial application process to be announced and will reapply on reviewing requirements.
Seventy-three Ontario communities have passed a motion at Council declaring themselves Not A Willing Host to large-scale wind power projects.

Woman with a turbine wants Huron County to be a willing host

From Blackburn News, the views of one landowner in Huron County, who does not want the County to declare itself Not A Willing Host.

Woman Wants Huron To Be A Willing Host

By on November 7, 2013

Turbines and hay bales

A woman from Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh is asking Huron County councilors not to declare the county an unwilling host to wind turbines.
Jennifer Miltenburg has a contract for a turbine on her property and has six voting adults in her household who support that contract. She says if that is extended to all of the people who hold contracts, there is likely at least as much support as their is opposition for wind turbines.
She also objects to the suggestion that the unwilling host declaration is just a symbolic gesture. Miltenburg explained that councilors are supposed to reflect the feelings of their constituents, and if they don’t have the support of all of their constituents, then it’s not a symbolic gesture.
Huron County Council will bring the matter up for further discussion at one of this month’s committee of the whole meetings.