Report on ERT preliminary hearing on South Kent wind project

This report comes from the Chatham-Kent Wind Action group.

Report on the Preliminary ERT Hearing of Platinum Produce vs South Kent Wind
 
The second appeal of the South Kent Wind project began with a preliminary hearing in Blenheim yesterday (Sept 5). Robert Wright was the only tribunal judge presiding. Two lawyers (Bunting and Powell) were there to represent South Kent Wind, and at least 3 lawyers (Jacobs, Horner and ?) were there for the MOE as well as a representative or two for the minister of the Environment. The appellant, Platinum Produce, was represented by Graham Andrews (from the Gillespie firm).
   No one requested any status to present material or raise issues at the hearing.
   South Kent Wind began by seeking dismissal of the constitutional challenge raised by Platinum Produce as well as a complete dismissal of the hearing. This was echoed by the MOE who also said that the Tribunal was not the proper jurisdiction to raise constitutional issues.

   The proceedings continued as per normal while schedules, correspondence, etc were discussed… kind of like watching paint dry.
   Eventually Horner for the MOE began his argument regarding the need to strike the constitutional part of the challenge, that is– the right to life, liberty and security of person. His argument was that a company (Platinum Produce) has no direct standing to make such a claim, because it is a corporation, not a human.
Bunting for South Kent Wind continued with the same opinion that a corporation can’t raise a charter challenge.
   I’m not sure how things progressed after that as I had to leave. But here is a bit more background about the appeal…
   One of the turbines was originally located less than 550m from Platinum Produces’ permanent bunkhouse. This was not discovered until the last day of the first appeal of the project which took place about a year ago. South Kent Wind eventually moved 3 turbines and reduced the power rating on another in an effort to correct their mistake and meet the (inadequate) noise requirements for the bunkhouse. They had to reapply for approval which opened the door for Platinum Produce to file their appeal in an effort to protect the health and safety of its workers (some of which are migrants).
  BUT… what was the most revealing incident of the day came when I took a few photos. The leaseholders and at least one South Kent Wind employee in the audience, turned away!!!! Then they ran to the South Kent Wind lawyers to have the photos stifled. That really should tell you everything you need to know about the wind industry… those involved are guilty of harming others and don’t want their neighbours to know who they are.
Chatham-Kent Wind Action

Parker Gallant on wind power developers: in it for the MONEY


Robert Hornung, President of the Canadian Wind Energy Association(CanWEA), and former Policy and Communications Director and Program Change Director at the Pembina Institute, spins the tale that industrial wind turbines are all to do with “climate change.” His interviewin 2010 (published on June 23, 2010) after he left Pembina for CanWEA, supports that belief. 
   By November of that year, he had reflected on the issue of low frequency noise and submitted his opinionto the Ministry of the Environment as President of the 400-member CanWEA: “…CanWEA submits that the proposed requirement for infrasound or low frequency noise monitoring as a condition of the REA [Renewable Energy Approval] be removed.”
  Almost one year later (October 12, 2011) Hornung  admitted in a Global-TV interviewthat “wind turbine sound…can have potentially indirect health impacts.”
  Despite that revelation, Hornung abides by the wishes of his members (his job depends on it) and wrote in January 2012 that he was “extremely disappointed that the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has called for a suspension of wind energy development.” After the recent announcement by Energy Minister Chiarelli that a review of the Long-Term Energy Plan was to take place,   CanWEA released their views:  The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) will be an active participant in upcoming consultations to review and update Ontario’s long-term energy plan and will advocate for further growth of wind energy* in the province.
  The CEO of a CanWEA member corporation was interviewed on the BNN (Business News Network) September 3, 2013.  Capital Power Corporation CEO Brian Vaasjo was asked about the company’s “wind projects”; the host declared in his question that the “skeptics” view them as boondoggles.  The CEO’s response was direct; he didn’t mention either “global warming” or “climate change.” Instead he declared that wind turbine projects do not stand on their own in a merchant market place, but, they provide substantial cash flows for companies like ours.  He went on to cite the benefits of “government procurement processes” and to single out the Ontario FIT Programas an example.
Bruce Vaasjo, CEO, Capital Power: wind can’t stand on its own
   
This is exactly what the Ontario Auditor General said in his 2011 report when he noted that the Ontario government had not done a cost/benefit analysis in respect to the implementation of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act.  Vaasjo’s frank comment simply proves that if the government hands out “money for nothing” there will be a lineup at the doors of Queens Park and a group to lobby for the largesse!
   The time has come to close the vault door at Queens Park– it is empty, and the taxpayers and ratepayers of this province have no more to give in welfare for huge, well-capitalized corporations.
Parker Gallant
September 4, 2013
The opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily the policy of Wind Concerns Ontario.
*Editor’s note: wind “energy” is the wind itself; wind “power” is what is produced from it. But “energy” sounds so much nicer than big, noisy, industrial power machines, doesn’t it?

Port Elgin citizen turbine impact presentations on video

Although the wind turbine at Port Elgin erected by the Canadian Auto Workers  has only been in operation for a few months, complaints of health problems from the environmental noise and vibration produced by the wind generator started almost immediately.
  This is a 90-minute video with presentations from residents. What is shocking is that this turbine at 50 kW is relatively small compared to the 2-3 megawatt machines now being built and proposed for Ontario.
  The video is here; the first quarter-hour gives you plenty of useful, if depressing, information.

Hoen (again): what a surprise

In spite of the fact that properties near wind power projects remain unsold, or take a long time to sell, and sell at reduced prices, the Ontario government, MPAC, and of course the wind power lobby organization all insist there is no effect on property values. On the one hand, we have the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) including wind power plants as a negative to be disclosed on the Sellers Property Information Sheet, and we have Realtors telling us buyers don’t even want to SEE the turbines, let alone live next to them, and on the other we have these industry-supported opinions that say, everything is just fine.

Ben Hoen has released yet another study on property values (the last one was roundly trashed, in particular by Sunak and Madelener of Aachen University) which this time seems to answer criticisms that past studies did not look at property values prior to the announcement of wind power projects.

In all the manipulation of statistics present in this report, there is one grain of truth: there is little data about properties very close to wind power projects, Hoen says. That’s because, Mr Hoen, you can’t measure what didn’t happen; expired listings are as important as sales, but they don’t register.

Here is an analysis of the study by Wayne Gulden.

Amaranth turbine fields; the area has been the subject of studies by Chris Luxemburger and Ben Lansink, both of whom found significant property value loss.

Citizens group: time to speak up in Cavan-Monaghan

A citizens’ group says it is time to show that a proposed wind power project is not acceptable to the community. A peaceful demonstration is called for at the Council meeting, next Tuesday. The story is here.

Group calls for wind farm uproar 23

Examiner staff writer Rob McCormick

By Rob McCormick, Peterborough Examiner

Opponents of a proposed wind farm that straddles Cavan-Monaghan Township and the City of Kawartha Lakes are urging area residents to attend a township council meeting Tuesday to register their opposition to the project.
“Unless you are happy with the continued invasion of our area by industrial wind turbines, please save this information and take action,” states an email sent to residents by ManversWind Concern (MWC), a group opposed to wind farms in the area.
Public meetings on other area wind-turbine projects have been raucous protests, with hundreds of angry residents shouting down representatives of the companies behind the wind farms.
“Some more of your neighbours have decided to steal your property value and carpet-bomb your countryside for a few pieces of silver from a wind company,” the MWC email states.
“Everyone who can, please show up…signs in the parking lot by noon, please…If we do not react, it will be taken as a sign of acceptance.”
The email reminds residents that “rules of decorum at council meetings apply.”
The council meeting takes place at 1 p.m. at the council chambers on County Rd. 10.
The project, the Stoneboat Community Wind Farm, consists of five industrial wind turbines between Stewart Line and Sharpe’s Line on the east and west sides of Dranoel Road north of Hwy. 7A, according to the email.
“This essentially would overlook the Devil’s Elbow area, the new subdivision on the east side of Ski Hill Rd. just north of Bethany, and the new Buddhist temple,” the email states.
“No one will want to purchase property in a town surrounded by a ring of turbines,” the email states. “If you are in the area of this new project, or if you have had enough, please get in touch.”
MWC is fighting three other wind-farm projects in the area.
“We need skill sets and we need contributions to the legal fund,” the email states. “We are well on our way to where we want to be to launch actions against Sumac Ridge (Bethany), Snowy Ridge (Bethany) and Settlers Landing (Pontypool ), but we are nowhere with Stoneboat. So let’s get started.”
At Tuesday’s meeting, council will hear a deputation from Martin Ince of M.K. Ince Inc. the developer of Stoneboat project, the email states.
“It is so important that there is a large turnout at the council meeting… to support Cavan Monaghan council, who on Sept. 7, 2010 passed a resolution requesting a moratorium on industrial wind turbines until independent health studies have been completed and on May 6, 2013 declared the township an ‘unwilling host’ for these industrial projects,” the email states. “Little or no display of public interest will mean that there are no concerns about this power plant.”

To vote in a poll by the Peterborough Examiner, go to http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/polls/179131

The bullies win in Bluewater?

Here is a report on the Bluewater Council meeting this week, from resident Hal March, who made a presentation to the Council.

      What a disaster! Last night, Bluewater council passed the Building Permit changes unanimously without making a single modification! The IWT companies are happy for sure. For details of the by-law check http://www.town.bluewater.on.ca/
   Mayor Bill Dowson did not declare a conflict until the last five minutes of the meeting and led the meeting for the three hours until the vote. He asked the very first leading questions to lawyer Eric Gillespie, which were clearly asked to support his agenda. When he declared a conflict it was after being asked about his prior conflicts (with the same by-law) and he said it was about building permits not IWT.  
   Clearly all the changes from the original were solely for IWT and due to Nextera and Northland negotiations with Bluewater. Two by-laws were passed the amended building permit fee and the decommissioning and it was the latter Bill Dowson had a conflict on. Councillors Klopp and Becker who also previously declared a conflict were absent.
  There was a gentleman there who warned Council about the risks of putting IWT and related equipment on top of the massive underground natural gas storage in Bluewater. No one seemed to be too concerned, even when compared with unforeseen disasters like what happened in Lac Megantic. $5million insurance should cover it right?
  Councillor John Gillespie was the most disappointing as he indicated the original building by-law he proposed for IWT was there to protect Bluewater not the residents. He seems to think that if Bluewater cannot afford to take on the IWT, each individual resident can! There was no protection discussed for the residents, it was all about protecting the government of Bluewater.
   They took no notice of the Bluewater Shoreline Residents Association suggestion to get the parent company guarantee beyond the $5 million unspecific insurance policy. This was clearly done for the wind company demands who had representatives in the audience.
  Paul Steckle a former Liberal MP with IWT leases stood up and demanded that council provide the legal cost “wasted” on fighting IWT at the next council meeting. Zurich residents and the Zurich chamber complained about the notice but refused to ask for a vote to defer. There was little notice: the only reason there were 40 or so people there was they read about it on Monday on the municipal website.
   A suggestion was made that the decision be postponed several times, but Eric Gillespie said they needed to talk about that in-camera. After the in-camera session, they all looked very sheepish when they came back and obviously agreed to go 100% support so no one looked bad.
   I could see George Irvin was disgusted by the look on his face, but he fell in line anyway.
   I feel like we have been sold out due to a council fearful of legal action, and they should have been at least willing to force a corporate guarantee from the publicly held companies.

 

What’s in a large-scale wind turbine (you’ll be surprised)

In keeping with our theme today of how miraculously clean and green the equipment involved in power generation from wind is, here from physicist John Droz is a listing of the chemical and construction components of a single 3-MW wind turbine.
   The list of ingredients includes 2 tons of “rare earth elements” which we know is an environmental health hazard in China, where the rare earth elements are mined, polluting air and water.
  And where does all that stuff go when the predatory wind power developers have sopped up their subsidy money and left town? (Still in possession, however, of lease agreements that mean they virtually own the land they leased…)

Wind power project announced for Quebec nickel mine

Here is a story today from the Globe and Mail announcing a wind power project for a nickel mine in Quebec’s Nunavik region.
Many people (including the lawyers for Gilead Power at the recent Environmental Review Tribunal) try to characterize Wind Concerns Ontario and our members as being opposed to anything “renewable” or “green.”
Not true.
Here you have an industrial use of power generation from wind (note that otherwise, the mine would be totally dependent on diesel fuel for power generation) for an industrial use. There are several diamond mines in the Northwest Territories also using wind energy to generate power.
These examples simply underscore how wrong-headed Ontario’s policy is regarding wind power: these industrial-scale turbines are more appropriate for an industrial use–they should never be placed near homes and schools.

Harper announces wind energy project for Nunavik mine

Stephen Harper used the final stop in his annual northern Canadian tour to champion a project that would harness wind energy to help power a massive nickel mining operation in Quebec’s Nunavik region.
Remote communities and industry such as Xtrata Nickel Inc.’s Raglan Mine are dependent on diesel-based energy generation today.
The Harper government has given $720,000 to TUGLIQ Energy Co. and Xstrata Nickel Inc. to study the feasibility of integrating wind energy into an existing diesel-based electricity system in Nunavik.
The proposed system would generate energy from wind and store surplus wind energy through hydrogen, providing a stable and sustainable source of energy at Raglan Mine.
If the plan works, a clean energy project could be operating at the mine by March 2016.
“Canadians … expect that Canadian resources will be developed with future generations in mind … in ways that make sensible use of energy and respect the environment,” Mr. Harper said.
“If this technology works here in the way we hope it will, the implications for power generation across the North are enormous. In other words, it could be a ’Eureka!’ moment.”
This project is one of the 55 that aim to produce and use energy in a cleaner, more efficient way. Support is being provided through Natural Resources Canada’s ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative.
Raglan Mine, located in the sub-arctic permafrost of Northern Quebec, was brought into production in 1997. Raglan employs almost 1,000 full-time workers, many of whom come from local communities.

Good times at Charter challenge fundraiser!

More than 100 people are gathering at this hour for the fundraiser for the Charter of Human Rights legal challenge, sponsored by SWEAR, S.T.O.P., and Central Huron in Clinton!
  Among the many special items auctioned were a golf bag, and Billy Beer from former MPP Bill Murdoch’s own brewery—the last bottle went for $100.
 Pictured are guests at the fabulous steak dinner, which followed a day of golf. Stephana Johnston of Norfolk and Helen Brimley of Ashfield.