Did the Ford government renege on power project promises?

Save The Nation protester: Ford government promise not kept?

Residents ‘blindsided’ as licence granted for ‘cancelled’ power project

March 3, 2019

In July 2018, citizens of rural and small-town Ontario communities breathed a sigh of relief when energy minister Greg Rickford announced that the Ford government was cancelling more than 700 renewable energy projects. Many had had concerns about the impacts of these projects on the environment, on their own lives, and about the restrictive approval process for the projects which offered no opportunity for input from citizens or municipalities.

The projects were gone.

Or, so they thought.

Now, two renewable energy projects appear not only not to have been cancelled at all, but are proceeding full steam ahead.

CBC News reports that a solar project near Port Hope is actually now under construction despite local residents believing it had been “cancelled.” The project is located on prime agricultural land and will need hundreds of trees to be removed, despite being inside the protected Oak Ridges Moraine greenbelt area.

And, community members in The Nation, just east of Ottawa, were shocked to learn that a wind power project, “Eastern Fields” received a licence from the Ontario Energy Board to generate electricity a few weeks ago, in December. The licence is good for 20 years, and doesn’t expire until 2038.

In an email to both Wind Concerns Ontario and community group Save The Nation/Sauvons La Nation from Environment, Conservation and Parks staffer Sarah Raetsen confirms that the Eastern Fields project is under “technical review” towards achieving a Renewable Energy Approval.

“We were shocked to find out about this licence,” says Julie Leroux, spokesperson for Save The Nation. “We’re also extremely disappointed that the Ford government does not seem to follow through with its announcement.”

Save The Nation sent an urgent letter to Minister Rickford on Friday demanding clarification.

“The approval process for ‘green energy’ projects is very limited in terms of community input and favours the corporate power developers,” says Jane Wilson, president, Wind Concerns Ontario. “Now, by believing what the Ford government promised, all these citizens have lost seven very valuable months they could have been working to gather important data on environmental impacts in case they want to appeal a formal approval. They have been blindsided.”

Wind Concerns Ontario has government records of thousands of reports of excessive noise and vibration from wind turbines, Wilson says, which remain unresolved to this day, despite the change in government.

 

CONTACT

Jane Wilson: president@windconcernsontario.ca

Julie Leroux Save The Nation: sauvonslanation@xplornet.com

 

News Release from Save The Nation follows:

For immediate release

March 3, 2019

 How Can a Cancelled Wind Turbine Project Receive a Licence to Produce Electricity?

ST-BERNARDIN – Save The Nation is seeking answers from the Ontario Minister of Energy, Greg Rickford, regarding the issuance of an Electricity Generation Licence to the ‘cancelled’ Eastern Fields industrial wind turbine project. The Ontario Energy Board issued the licence on December 6, 2018, even though Minister Rickford had announced the cancellation of Eastern Fields project on July 13, 2018.

“We were shocked to find out about this licence. We do not understand why or how a cancelled project can be issued a licence to produce electricity for a period of 20 years – until 2038. We’re also extremely disappointed that the Ford government does not seem to follow through with its announcement,” says Julie Leroux, spokesperson for Save The Nation.

Eastern Fields was one of 758 projects identified by Minister Rickford for wind-down on July 13, 2018, following a promise to cancel unnecessary and wasteful energy projects in order to cut hydro rates. “We’re asking Minister Rickford to confirm that this promise has been kept and that Eastern Fields Wind Farm LP is a dead project with no chance of ever moving forward. We also ask him to revoke the useless Electricity Generation Licence EG-2018-0213” adds Leroux.

The Electricity Generation Licence was issued on December 6, 2018. Incidentally, on that same day, the Ontario Government adopted the Green Energy Repeal Act, which will affect other acts and regulations, namely the Environmental Protection Act, the Renewable Energy Approvals Regulation 359/09 and the Planning Act when fully enacted.

Save The Nation is a grass-root movement that has been opposing the Eastern Fields industrial wind turbine project near St-Bernardin in The Nation Municipality and Champlain Township since it was publicly announced in June 2015. Save The Nation is not against green initiatives, but is fiercely opposed to the process that was used for the approval of renewable energy projects in Ontario under the Green Energy Act.

– 30 –

 

Link to July 13, 2018, Ontario Media Release: https://news.ontario.ca/mndmf/en/2018/07/ontario-to-cancel-energy-contracts-to-bring-hydro-bills-down.html

 

Information:

Julie Leroux

Save The Nation Society

613-678-6471

sauvonslanation@xplornet.com

www.sauvonslanation.ca

Letter to Minister Rickford: Honorable Greg Rickford-March1-2019

Comments

Sommer
Reply

“Wind Concerns Ontario has government records of thousands of reports of excessive noise and vibration from wind turbines, Wilson says, which remain unresolved to this day, despite the change in government.”

This new government still has not responded to letters informing Ministers Elliot, Rickford and Phillips that there are at least four people willing to provide their relevant medical records, which rule out typical causative factors for their frightening cardiac instability experiences, most likely caused by low frequency noise modulations and infrasound radiation from nearby turbines. To my knowledge no one within this new government has responded to this situation. People are still waiting for a face-to-face meeting where trusted advocates will provide the relevant medical evidence.
According to Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira, this harm is cumulative and irreversible. She has stated publicly that knowing what she knows she would not live within 20 km of a wind turbine and yet we have people in Ontario whose homes have been surrounded by these turbines!

Richard Mann
Reply

On October 28, 2108 I wrote to Health Minister Christine Elliot requesting an urgent meeting on wind turbines. It has been more than three months and I have not heard anything back.

We need an open and public dialog with the decision makers on this issue.

Richard Mann
University of Waterloo

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

Again, people cannot just ask to see the Minister of Health. Our suggestion is that you work through your MPP to request a meeting.

Sommer
Reply

The MPP has been ineffective. She has tried but has failed.

Stan Thayer
Reply

WARNING – Kingston people should not read this!
Kingston councilors claim to be 13 years ahead of their emissions projections.
Great, yippee, yahoo.
Shutting down industry and calculating the lesser amount of commuters burning fossil fuels is the new math of idiots.
While extolling the virtues of intelligence they are buying their necessities from China who is building coal fired generating stations to supply the wants of the Kingston councilors.
What about this scenario needs to be explained?
Yacan’t deny stupid.
Stan

Stan Thayer
Reply

Sheesh, I forgot to mention that Kingston has the lowest producing and most tax payer funded wind farm on the planet.
Sorry about that!
Stan

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

You forgot to mention that the Wolfe Island wind turbines have the second highest kill rate for birds in all North America, after the infamous Altamont Pass turbines.

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