Wind Concerns Ontario is a province-wide advocacy organization whose mission is to provide information on the potential impact of industrial-scale wind power generation on the economy, human health, and the natural environment.
A key sign of adverse health effects due to wind turbine noise emissions is the fact people improve when they are away from the noise, eminent physician says
These are the latest installments in the series of videos produced for Save the South Shore in Prince Edward County, where two wind power projects have been approved, and endanger not only the natural environment but also human health.
The videos in the series include statements by Dr Robert McMurtry (former Dean of Medicine at Western University and a member of the Order of Canada) and Garth Manning QC (retired).
PICTON, ONTARIO. NOVEMBER 30, 2015. At the Ottawa Divisional Court, CCSAGE Naturally Green (CCSAGE NG) has filed notice for a Judicial Review of the process by which on July 16th the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change issued a Renewable Energy Approval for the White Pines wind energy project of 27, perhaps 29, turbines in Prince Edward County. As part of this REA approval process, on September 11th, 2015, the Minister of Natural Resources and Forests issued a permit for the project to kill, harm and harass endangered or threatened species at risk. Citing institutional bias, lack of science-based studies, disallowance of municipal input, and denial of natural justice, CCSAGE NG has prepared affidavit evidence exceeding 1500 pages claiming that the Ontario government’s approval process has violated several constitutional rights of rural citizens and communities as well as international treaties and agreements.
CCSAGE NG is a federally incorporated not-for-profit corporation.. It works with citizens and other groups to ensure that “Green Energy” initiatives of governments and industry are safe and appropriate for the citizens, the wildlife and the natural and heritage environments of Prince Edward County.
CCSAGE NG continues to support other groups appealing two wind energy projects in the County. However, Ontario’s Green Energy Act permits Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) appeals only on grounds of serious harm to humans or serious and irreversible harm to animal and/or plant life and to the natural environment. That Act does not permit ERT appeals on any other grounds such as biased approval processes, denial of natural justice, violation of constitutional rights, harm to local economies, harm to tourism, harm to heritage assets, diminution of property values, or violation of international treaties and agreements. CCSAGE NG has therefore filed its application for a Judicial Review of this project’s approval process, in an effort to restore equity, accountability and justice.
CCSAGE NG Chair Anne Dumbrille observed that, at an ERT, it is difficult for citizens to get a fair hearing of their grievances against government-approved wind projects because the ERT process is heavily biased in favour of the wind energy developer and the government ministries that approve its projects. “ERTs are government-appointed tribunals that follow government rules and use taxpayer-funded lawyers to permit destruction of environmentally sensitive areas and to deny natural justice to local citizens who have constitutionally assured rights and freedoms. Our only recourse is to Canada’s courts, where rules of equitable justice prevail,” she said.
In preparing the Application, CCSAGE NG has had the benefit of considerable research contributed by five students from the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University.
The Ontario Energy Board announced yesterday that a 28-km transmission line was approved in Prince Edward County, to serve the proposed wind power project by wpd Canada.
Here is an opinion written by County resident and member of WCO community group CCSAGE-Naturally Green, Garth Manning.
The pace of prospective devastation of Prince Edward County accelerated with the news of the approval on March 19th by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) of the 28-kilometre transmission line from wpd Canada’s proposed 29-turbine wind power plant in South Marysburgh and Athol to the Hydro One connection north of Picton. The project has not yet received Renewal Energy Approval. Construction of the transmission is line is to commence by March 20th, 2016, only one year away.
So many things about this decision defy natural justice. The OEB is only allowed to consider three things – the interests of consumers with respect to prices, reliability and quality of electricity service; the use of renewable energy consistent with the policies of the Ontario government; and suitable agreements with land owners, where applicable. No other evidence is allowed. No oral hearing was held, everything was done in writing and online. There is nothing to indicate that the three OEB members who wrote the decision actually drove the route to see the magnificent countryside about to be affected. The County, the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC), and two individuals were granted intervenor status. They made telling and informed objections, but in every case, they were overruled. The OEB preferred arguments from its own staff or from wpd, or they declared the objections to be outside its jurisdiction to consider.
The transmission line is (mostly) to be buried in County road allowances for its entire length. APPEC’s contention that the iconic maples on Maypul Layne and Crowes Road would be damaged or destroyed was dismissed out of hand. An intervenor whose heritage home and bed and breakfast is on the route was concerned that construction might damage his foundations and affect his business. He was given short shrift. The County asked for a Road User Agreement, given that wpd will be using many County roads to move their heavy equipment which likely will cause damage. Answer: no.
Section 41 of the Electricity Act, quoted by the OEB, gives wpd the right to install its transmission line over, under or on any public highway without municipal consent. It must restore those highways to their original condition insofar as it is practicable. It is obliged to provide compensation for any damage caused to those highways where it lays its transmission line, but not to any other highway it might damage with its heavy equipment. It specifically has no obligation to pay any other compensation as Section 41 removes the provision of the Expropriations Act otherwise authorizing an application to the Ontario Municipal Board for damages.
The combination of the Green Energy Act and the limitations deliberately imposed on evidence which may be heard by the Environmental ReviewTribunal and the Ontario Energy Board are collectively the antithesis of normal expectations in a civilized, democratic, society. Two Ontario Auditors-General have criticized the Green Energy Act for several reasons, including the absence of any cost-benefit analysis at any time and the continuing daily export of excess electricity at massive cost to Ontario tax and hydro bill payers.
Nobody at Queen’s Park appears to be listening or even to care.
If you live in rural Ontario, it is to weep.
Prince Edward County
Editor’s notes: Prince Edward County was one of the earliest communities to declare itself Not A Willing Host to wind power projects. At about $1 million per km, the transmission line described here will cost $28 million.