Three ways CanWEA plans to “persuade” you that wind is good


Use kids to "humanize" your message, CanWEA is advised. In 2014, Environmental Defence used "Penelope" to exhort voters to vote for kids' future, i.e., Liberal
Use kids to “humanize” your message, CanWEA is advised. In 2011, Environmental Defence used “Penelope” to exhort voters to vote for kids’ future, i.e., Liberal

The Nanos Research survey conducted for CanWEA was meant to lay the foundation for the Ontario Campaign and for the messaging meant to persuade the general public and the government(s) that wind power is wonderful.

In fact, Nanos Research suggests three steps.

Step One:

“Refine all messaging to be positive and forward-thinking. Continue to refocus public debate from wind energy’s economic proposition today to one of investing in a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable future for our kids (Track 1 Narrative) while focusing on cost competitiveness in the narrative targeted to provincial governments (Track 2 Narrative).”

It is clear that the messaging to the general population in respect to this step is to focus on the survey’s high marks for wind being seen as “environmentally friendly” while ignoring its effect on the cost of electricity.   Appealing to the “sustainable future for our kids” message is meant to strike a chord with young families, while ignoring the negatives related to the health effects on people due to noise and infrasound, shadow flicker, the killing of birds (including endangered species) and bats (more endangered species).  Sweep the bad news under the carpet.

At the same time as those electricity bills rise higher and higher, caused by past and future additions of renewable energy to the grid, industrial wind production appears competitive if one ignores the need to back it up with fossil fuel (natural gas) plants.  Likewise, the intermittent nature of wind causing it to present power when not needed is also ignored, meaning the costs of exporting power below cost is not something that will be messaged.  A recent quote from CanWEA’s Ontario regional director, Brandy Giannetta tells the story on their relationship with the Ontario Liberal Party; she says “There is more political stability with a majority government that supports our industry and has a commitment to renewables development and capacity”.

In other words, lobby group CanWEA is delighted the Liberals were re-elected because Ontario communities will remain without the democratic right to refuse industrial wind projects.

The second step recommended by Nanos Research plays to people’s fondness for celebrity.

Step Two:

Humanize the industry: Shift the overall communications strategy from a relatively autonomous wind industry talking to Canadians to an effort to engage Canadians and celebrities in dialogue on wind energy issues.

The fall issue of CanWEA’s magazine Windsight featured a “celebrity” Olympian who endorsed wind energy.  The process of engaging celebrities has already been successful so expect other endorsements from the likes of David Suzuki, Neil Young, etc., to follow.

How can the approach be “humanized” one wonders when the industry, as seen in the Nanos survey, views adverse health complaints as a non-issue. On page 75, noted as a “Consideration”: “Linking positive emotions to wind can be a powerful means to manage perceptions (e.g. focus on the well-being of families and children). Fear is the dominant weapon of those opposed to specific wind-energy projects – alleged detrimental effects on health, property values, wildlife, and utility costs. Framing wind as forward-thinking infers those opposed are backward and out of touch.

Nanos Research has completely ignored reports and studies that have confirmed the detrimental effects on health, property values, wildlife and utility costs.

Interestingly enough, the survey under another heading of “situational analysis” does note: “Several wind-related issues such as perceived health effects of turbines are locked in a virtual stalemate of conflicting expert opinions.”

So those “backward” and “out of touch” people actually do have “expert opinions” at odds with the wind industry narrative.

Step Three:

Make children and young families the face and voice of the wind industry – they represent the future and are already the strongest supporters of renewables.”

This one has already commenced as a visit to CanWEA’s website will attest.  The first thing hitting your eyes is a very young girl holding up a tablet that says:  “Wind energy.  It’s a bright idea.”

Further down the page claims wind energy is “cost-competitive,” has a “stabilizing effect on electricity rates,” and the fuel turning the blades is “free.”   Needless to say the ratepayers in Ontario are becoming aware that none of those claims have any truth in them.

Conversely, CanWEA doesn’t explain that 80% of the time the power they produce is not needed,  or because of production out of phase with demand, we export over 10% of Ontario’s generation at a huge loss. They also don’t explain that wind is backed up by fossil fuels, or that wind generation has played a major role in the doubling of our electricity rates.

The concept of using children as the face of the future in which utility-scale wind power generation is in direct opposition to the fact that a cost benefit analysis (never done) would reveal wind turbines to be a dated and worthless source of electricity except for remote communities without access to a grid.  How futuristic would wind power seem if people knew it is technology that traces back to the late 1800s and is actually older than the diesel engine.

The final look at the Nanos survey will explore the other two “Steps” recommended and touch on the costs to our electricity bills in the province, the damage to the economy, and the reason why knowledgeable people get the message that wind turbines deliver expensive, unreliable, intermittent power.

©Parker Gallant

January 2015


John Vincent

Its rather sad to say the least, but as insidius as this new campaign is, it will likely work despite the negatives thrown back at it by groups such as WCO. I’ll talk to anyone who’ll listen about the Green Energy act, its even better when they open with a question, ” What do you think about wind turbines?” or something similar. The general public who are away from the core issues don’t have a clue what’s going on. They complain to Hydro One about high rates, but Hydro One has nothing to do with it and they don’t understand. They buy into the free “fuel” aspect and it takes some explaining to get them to see where and why the costs are high. Electrcity production and distribution is a complicated subject few in the general public understand, or want to understand. For those reasons, I hate to say it, but I think the CANWEA campaign will be successful.
Anti wind/solar groups have got to get together to make the down side and its reasons far more visible to the general public. Right now the general public is grasping at straws.
What is the result of this straw grabbing? Wynne is prepping to sell Hydro One under the carpet so to speak. She’s already going through the pre steps to accomplish that, and she’s not planning on releasing it to the public until its done. If you think you’re rates are high now, wait until Hydro One is truned over to a private for profit company.
Wynne needs the Green Energy money , but its running the province into a financial hole. She’s grasping at anything to get more money to make Green Energy look good. Selling Hydro One is perfect, she has the public so wound up thinking Hydro One is the cause of the high rates, so they’ll be glad to go along with her and sell it. Another nail goes into your wallet’s coffin.
The Canwea advert campaign will go down will , with the xgeneral public, from where I see at this point.


It sounds like we need to get the truth about plans to sell Hydro One to a private for profit company out to the public NOW, along with all of these tactics being used to gloss over the disaster of industrial wind turbines. How can we best do that?
Knowing CANWEA’s tactics, helps us to steer our educational efforts even better.
Parker, your analysis skills are brilliant. I am sincerely grateful for the vital role you are playing.
I hope to see this series of articles in urban newspapers throughout Ontario as soon as possible.


Proponents of this renewable energy fiasco need to be cornered on every aspect of this situation not just on a couple of issues.

John, carry on your conversation at OWR where a broad range of issues is being discussed?

John Vincent

I will do, I’ve looked at your site and just trying to get myself oriented over there.

John Vincent

Barbara, do you have an email I can forward you a letter with regard to my statment about Hydro One sales?

John Vincent

As an adendum to my post above, here’s a web site started by the Society of Energy Professionals, of which I’m a member, to fight the privatization of Hydro One and LDC’s (Local Distribution Companies):

Parker Gallant

John/Barbara: This may be of interest to both of you.

Check out the communications contact for the Society at the bottom: “Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler,” and check out what Sue-Ann Levy wrote about him here: And this one from the Star:

Clayton Ruby who Adam enlisted to go after Ford also came after WCO as well.

The Society are also getting involved in the Sudbury by-election too as this website makes obvious:

Patti Hutton

I think this information should somehow be shared with the other power producers like Bruce Nuclear, Power Workers Union and Society as its Nuclear, Hydro Electric jobs that are at risk.

They should also embark on a communication campaign.

Patti Hutton

Has Wind Concerns Ontario/Parker Gallant ever spoke to Duncan Hawthorne President and CEO of Bruce Power?

Parker Gallant

Patti, Short answer is no, I haven’t but I am a fan of Bruce Power who set a record for production in 2014 despite being obliged to steam-off a considerable amount of power to satisfy our contracts with the wind developers who get first to the grid rights.


John, my e-mail doesn’t work anymore.

Can the government offer to sell Hydro One without offering the general public an opportunity to participate in buying shares of Hydro One? It is a Crown corporation.

Parker Gallant

Barbara, The Clark panel recommended selling off a part of Hydro One and specifically Hydro One Brampton which runs as a separate entity. The government could certainly do this without consultation. The normal process is that they would ask for bids from the investment banks. The winning bidder(s) would estimate what they could sell shares to the public for, build in a cushion (profit) and submit their bids. This process would also allow other bidders (large energy companies) to also place a bid to buy it outright. The issue is really how much the government would get and for H1 Brampton it would not amount to a lot of money. Their after tax (payments in lieu) profit for 2013 was $16.6 million. If they got 10 times earnings (unlikely to sell for much more because it is regulated) that would only generate $166 million which is what our Finance Minister needs to cover the cost of interest for less than 2 months. In other words its chump change. If they sold off all of Hydro One (LDC & transmission) they might get $10/12 billion or enough to cover the deficit for a year. This government needs to do a lot more than sell off a few assets!


Thanks Parker, and with the Canadian dollar low again U.S. investors could get a good deal on Hydro One.

Renewable energy projects can milk more money from the system with Renewable Energy Credits/RECs and/or by selling carbon emissions credits at so much per tonne.

Does the general public know about these renewable energy project
money making schemes?

John Vincent

Here’s a letter I received from Scott Travers, head of the Society of Energy Professionals with regard to my query on Hydro One privatisation. This was sent to me a few weeks ago. It may add mroe xclarity to the situation:

John —

I want to update you on a campaign The Society launched this morning on your behalf. The campaign builds public awareness of and support for keeping Hydro One distribution under public control, and opposing consolidation of local distribution companies under private ownership.

This campaign is needed because the provincial government was recently presented with a report from a panel led by retired banker Ed Clark that recommended privatization of distribution assets, including those held by Hydro One. To The Society’s disappointment, there is no indication that a transparent, public process will be available to present evidence on technical merits for and against this proposal. So we’ve made the decision to go to the public at large to make our case.

We began the first phase of the non-partisan campaign this week, focusing our energies on Sudbury, where a by-election is taking place. Voting day there is February 5, and the rest of The Society leadership and I believe this is an opportunity to bring the issue of ownership and control of electricity to the public’s attention.

Here’s what The Society is doing during the Sudbury by-election:

Placed advertisements on TV and radio, as well as in print and online that are running in Sudbury from now until Election Day;
Launched a microsite at, where visitors can watch and listen to the ads, learn the facts on public versus private hydro, and sign-up to support public hydro;
Issued a questionnaire which will be published on to all major candidates in the by-election to establish their position on our key issues; and
We will distribute a leaflet to key parts of Sudbury that educate voters on our issues.
Note this is a non-partisan campaign. We are not working in support of or opposition to any candidate – we are asking all candidates to pledge their support for keeping hydro public, and encouraging voters to support any candidate who does so.

It’s clear there is some appetite for this campaign in Sudbury. In a January 21 automated telephone survey of 1,101 Sudbury residents, we asked whether they support or oppose selling public utilities in order to raise capital – and 74% opposed a sell-off of public utilities.

Yesterday, I briefed a meeting of the Sudbury & District Labour Council, ensuring Sudbury’s labour organizations are aware of the campaign. This follows on a briefing I gave to the Toronto & York Region Labour Council, and deeper collaboration with labour leaders that represent other energy sector workers. From speaking with leaders across the province, I know we have their support to fend off the possibility of hydro privatization.

To support this campaign, I am asking members from all Society locals to contribute by doing one or both of the following:

Tell any friends and family you have in Sudbury about the Keep Hydro Public campaign, and ask them to vote for a candidate that pledges their support for public hydro; and/or
Share and the video advertisement on social media and any other platform you think appropriate.
Sudbury is just the first phase of this campaign. In the weeks following the by-election, Keep Hydro Public will pivot to a province-wide focus.

I want to thank leaders from every Society local for their support for this campaign, and especially the Hydro One Local Committee for their hard work on this initiative. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me or your local leadership.


Scott Travers


Scott Travers

Leave a comment


email* (not published)