London area residents protest Invenergy wind power project

No “green” benefits, power not needed, community opposed, and a First Nations member says it’s not helping the environment

Oneida Settlement member Darryl ChrisJohn speaks with Dutton Dunwich Mayor Cameron McWilliam: they have no right. [Photo: DDOWT]
London Free Press, March 23, 2017

By Jonathan Juha, Postmedia News

 

DUTTON – A year after it was approved by the province, residents of a London-area rural township are still fighting against a wind farm that’s going ahead despite an overwhelming local vote against such projects.

Thursday, more than 60 people gathered at the Dutton Community Centre during one of two public meetings, organized by Chicago-based Invenergy, to protest against what they say is another broken promise by the Liberal government and a violation of their rights.

“Everything about it is a slap in the face, especially when you look at what is happening to our hydro bills,” said Dave Congdon of Dutton Dunwich Opponents of Wind Turbines, a community group opposed to the project that organized Thursday’s demonstration.

“As a democratic society we voted in opposition of this (project) and yet here we are still fighting them . . . it doesn’t seem to matter that we don’t want (the turbines).”

Dutton Dunwich, in Elgin County, in 2014 became Ontario’s first municipality to hold a referendum asking residents their opinion on such mega-projects.

More than half the residents took part, with 84 per cent voting against the wind farms.

Last year the province gave Invenergy the green light to proceed with the project, called the Strong Breeze Wind Farm, in part thanks to the support of six Ontario First Nations groups, one of them located 1,000 kilometres and a time zone away from the municipality.

One local First Nations man at the rally said outside aboriginal communities have no business in Dutton Dunwich’s affairs.

“They have no right and no say in bringing corporations to this land,” said Darryl Chrisjohn, a member of the Oneida Settlement near Dutton Dunwich.

Protestors say the provincial Liberals are ignoring residents.

“That’s what bugs people the most,” Dutton Dunwich Mayor Cameron McWilliam said. “They don’t want to have, as I call it, the ‘province of Toronto’ dictating to rural communities what to do.”

James Murphy, vice president of business development for Invenergy, defended the project, saying it has received 75 per cent support from adjacent landowners to the site.

“We are well aware of the sentiment in the community and we are doing everything we can to help address it,” he said.

Murphy said the company is still in the permitting process and is expected to present a final application to the province this summer. If everything goes as planned, the company would begin in 2019 the construction of 16 to 20 wind turbines capable of generating a combined 57.5 megawatts of green energy, with the facility going online later that year.

Last fall, the Dutton Dunwich group circulated a petition among residents asking the government to reverse its decision of approving the project. Congdon said his group collected more than 1,400 signatures and the petition was sent to Premier Kathleen Wynne.

“We have to continue to believe that we can stop it from happening, and it’s not something just for our community but for everyone in Ontario,” Congdon said.

The government “has admitted already many times that they have made mistakes when it comes to the energy sector, so hopefully, they will wake up and realize this is another mistake.”

NOTE: DDOWT is a community member of Wind Concerns Ontario

Comments

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

Just setting up at the protest site here at the community center and what a perfect example of why we don’t need these wind projects… wind at 15 % of the grid for 2500 mwh and we’re exporting 2900 kwh mostly to new York and Michigan!!!! Will try to keep all posted but can not guarantee it….

Agneta Sand
Reply

All this ‘humming’ and ‘hawing’ and dragging out ‘forever’ a decision makes me believe that the whole thing is an elaborate way of ‘make work’ program for lawyers! It is not a nice feeling ! Once and for all – just say NO ! ! ! ! !

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

Not sure what “decision” you are referring to. The process at the moment is for Invenergy is to file its application for a Renewable Energy Approval (REA), which is why they are now having the necessary community engagement sessions (read: “dog and pony shows”). The application is merely a list of boxes to be checked, there is no oversight on the part of the Ministry of the Environment. Communities, including local government, have no input. Lawyers aren’t involved until the community appeals an approval if it comes. However, the government is within its rights at this point to use the “pre-construction liability” clause in the contract to cancel the contract, because Ontario doesn’t need the power that will be produced (sometimes) by this project.

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

Well an excellent information session last night from inveridiots….
“yes that’s a valid point”
” yes we are addressing that … not”
” we hear what you are saying”
“We were unaware of that and will note it”
One of the reps was even “SHOCKED” that there Bald Eagles all along the lake bank!!!

Best video of the nite on the DDOWT Facebook page goes to…..
Jim Ford of the Dutton strong breezes wind project….. for…..
Asking for $100.00 an inquiry to find out who is the board of directors of the strong breezes wind project…..
Watch it…. it’s hilarious…
Mr. Ford is asked several times who the strong breezes wind project board of directors are…
(Insert crickets here)
If you would like to know this information you must…..
pay $100.00…..
fill out a inquiry form……
pass thier vetting process (only fans of wind power projects will be accepted) …..
Then and only then are you allowed to know who is in charge of our open…. transparent…. public …. community project…..
Even the local paper printed the co-ops benefits to the community letter in the editorial section and was signed by “the co-op ” NO NAMES!!! even though right below that the local paper states that your name… address.. phone #… are required to print but……. no names…. kinda makes you go hmmmmmm…….

Special thanks to our PC member of parliament Jeff Yureck for coming out to support our non support of this project….

Special thanks to Darryl Chrisjohn and his communities vow to help better guide this mixed up process…. you are right Mr. Chrisjohn….. we are all way off track and out of balance!!!

Special thanks to everyone who came out to support…. inquire…. question…. this whole undemocratic process we are all being forced to endure…..
Keep fighting everyone!!!

Bert
Reply

No happy faces, only mad people! at the Invenergy public meeting in Dutton Dunwich.
I asked the Stantec consultant why they use a incorrect promotion graphic from Environmental Defence, and not IESO data. His admitted “I don’t know anything about Environmental Defence, but I visit the IESO website a lot, but have never seen the Global Adjustment data.
I asked Invenergy’s James Murphy if there were Rare Earth magnets in the proposed turbines. He did not know!
I asked Invenergy’s Ryan Ralph, that if wind energy is so great, why they built a project in Dutton and not in their own country. No answer, only a stupid smile. Than I asked project questions. The answers ” I cannot say, I cannot say, I cannot say”.
It made me very upset. I told him he is a lying b……I left, mad and very frustrated.

Sommer
Reply

The levels of anger, frustration and distress caused by the threat of these projects is real, especially when people have done the research and know why they are trying so hard to protect their community from the harm they know is possibly coming their way.
Try to imagine what it’s like for people who have members of their family being harmed by turbines and/or their infrastructure sited too close or surrounding their homes. The level of distress at having one’s life suddenly changed, such that they can no longer experience the safety, security and pleasure of their homes is severe. It is abuse. Being stonewalled or derided for telling the truth, or watching the bungling efforts and delay tactics used by ministry agents who feign concern is abuse upon abuse.

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

Attention all turdbine leaseholders in Ontario…. Stop Threatening local businesses and their hard working employees with boycotts to said businesses….. it is absolutely disgusting and embarrassing that you are threatening to boycott local businesses because of your mistake…. YOUR money that YOU spend in those businesses belongs to the hydro ratepayers of the province…… if you wish to threaten those businesses you need to go home and sell 50 acres of land that YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES HAVE EARNED…. then bring that money in and spend it or threaten businesses with….. you leaseholders forget that we know that it is our money you are trying to threaten us with….

Stan Thayer
Reply

Hey people, wake up! As of last Thursday, April 13th 2017, there were 1700+ employee’s working on the cancelled gas plant across from Amherst Island. I can see some of the IWT’s from there. Since about 2004 I have witnessed this same Liberal party lie, cheat, steal, beg, break promises, etc., etc.,,,,,,,,,and still get elected.
Now that happening I would like explained to me.
If they get elected again even murder will be condoned by this Liberal government.
Why not?
Many property owners have had heart attacks over their constant Liberal government abuse already!
Don’t forget what I said in 2006.
The IWT’s never were about electricity!
Stan the power man was right again!

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