Ontario OK with killing endangered species: Big Wind gets a pass

Two recent news items have pointed out the Ontario government’s stance toward endangered and at-risk species. If they’re in the way of “progress,” it’s OK to kill them. Ontario Ministry of the Environment lawyer Sylvia Davis told a court last year during an appeal related to Ostrander Point, habitat to endangered Blandings turtles (but also a site for migratory birds, and a rare, fragile alvar environment) : “So what if a few turtles die?” she said. “Wind power is important public infrastructure…”
A recent court decision has upheld the government’s ability to grant industry a pass when it comes to protecting endangered and at-risk species. Ontario Nature put out a news release last week to express its disappointment: “This is a disappointing decision for Ontario’s endangered and threatened wildlife,” said Ecojustice lawyer Lara Tessaro. “The Endangered Species Act is intended to put species first — not to let their survival be balanced against competing industrial interests. That would tip the scale towards extinction.”
The Environmental Review Tribunal also recently dismissed an appeal of the approval of the Niagara Region Wind power project, where as many as 20 turbines would be in established Blandings turtle habitat. The Tribunal would not even hear the evidence about the endangered turtles. MPP Tim Hudak protested in the Legislature last week, saying the government needs to “do the right thing” and protect the turtles.
Both these events underscore the simple reality of utility-scale wind power and all its promises to be a tool to save the environment, while producing “clean” power for Ontario. It is, as consultants to the Suzuki Foundation noted in a report on 2002, a high-impact form of power generation for low benefit.
We prefer turtles, thank you. And birds, and little red-sided fishes, and ancient maples, and yes, bats.
Once again, no cost-benefit analysis of ALL the impacts of Ontario’s rush to wind power has ever been done, despite recommendations from two Auditor General.
Ontario, and its unique environment deserves better.

What's your reaction?


  • Sommer
    Posted June 1, 2015 12:36 pm 0Likes

    Who would have ever guessed that renewable energy projects would actually threaten the progress we were making in Ontario to protect not only the lives of endangered species but also the lives of rural residents and the habitats of all sorts of species.
    This disgusting incursion must be stopped.

  • Grant
    Posted June 2, 2015 8:58 am 0Likes

    And for What? Often we’re losing around $200,000/hour dumping surplus power in other jurisdictions–an activity that would be deemed illegal with other products.

  • R Budd
    Posted June 2, 2015 9:35 am 0Likes

    Yes, and for what? Ontario’s Long Term Energy Plan shows by 2032 we will be more reliant on natural gas not less. We’re replacing only 30% of nuclear. As the Globe editorial pointed out a few weeks ago..”this is an industrial policy masquerading as an environmental one”. And the loss at the WTO makes that idea a falacy.
    Sad part is the so called environmental groups like Canadian Assoc. of Physicians for the Environment, World Wildlife Fund, Ontario Waterkeeper are playing thier part in the social marketing scheme for this destructive delusion.
    Waterkeeper ifor example s having a fundraiser on Wolf Island this coming weekend with “windmills” listed as one of its sponsors. Would that mean TransAlta (wind/gas company) and one of the deadliest windfarms for birds and bats in NA, according to Nature Canada, is their host?

  • Sommer
    Posted June 2, 2015 4:08 pm 0Likes

    One has to learn how to manage the disillusionment that comes as the result of these realizations.
    The more we understand about this situation, the worse we feel, the more we must find constructive ways to cope with this madness.
    I met a woman today, touring Huron County, asking directions. Her husband knew plenty about the turbines and was very sympathetic. When I asked her how she felt about them, she said, “Oh, I don’t pay attention to such things”. I cringed.

  • ScepticalGord
    Posted June 2, 2015 11:56 pm 0Likes

    The Endangered Species Act was gutted in conjunction with the Green Energy Act to specifically allow IWTs to be installed anywhere and everywhere. The other “major industries” mentioned are just red herrings.
    Ontario Nature, headed by Caroline Schultz and Anne Bell, Wildlands League and Ecojustice all hailed the creation of the GEA and it’s wonderful planet-saving “green” wind turbines.
    Now they reap that which they have sown … and they still won’t admit that they’ve been part of the problem.
    I hate saying “I told you so” because it’s so schadenfreudian, so I won’t.

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