Co-operators Insurance responds to comments on grant to wind power plant investors

You recall that it was announced last week, The Co-operators Insurance company’s Foundation gavce a grant of $13,000 to a “co-operative” called Wintergreen, which is a partner in a wind power project at Ernestown, Ontario (near Kingston/Bath).
We recognize this “co-operative” approach as a way to get more points with the Ontario government in its approval process for large-scale wind power projects; some WCO members have written to the Co-operators–which has a history of supporting rural communities in Canada–to express their disappointment in a grant going to a wind power project, when these projects are so disastrous for Ontario communities and residents.
This is the response that some Co-operators clients have received.
You can email the Co-operators at service@cooperators.ca
Thank you for taking the time to communicate your concerns to us.
The Co-operators Co-operative Development Program (CDP) was established in 1992 to support emerging and expanding Canadian co-operatives and through the years has directed funding to innovative legally formed co-operatives in a wide variety of sectors, including car co-ops, organic farming co-ops, renewable energy co-ops, and many others. While we understand and respect the concerns raised by some about particular wind power projects, we do support renewable energy co-operatives as part of our mission of being a catalyst for a sustainable society, and renewable energy will help The Co-operators meet our goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2014.
All CDP decisions involve strict due diligence by both our staff and third-party experts to ensure we meet our goals of co-operative and community development. Wintergreen Renewable Energy Co-operative is registered as a co-operative under the Co-operative Corporations Act. It is not a division of Horizon, but rather a community partner and co-investor in the Ernestown Wind Park project.
Wintergreen is an active member of the Ernestown Wind Park project, to which it brings increased community engagement. Wintergreen members play an active role in the decision-making of this project. The $13,000 in CDP funding to Wintergreen was approved to help it increase membership in the co-op and community engagement.
We appreciate hearing from our clients and want to thank you again for communicating your concerns.