Energy Minister on the defensive over distant aboriginal support for wind farm


Community protest at Dutton Dunwich; the community says no, but people 1,000 km away get more say
Community protest at Dutton Dunwich; the community says no, but people 1,000 km away get more say

London Free Press, April 14, 2016
Ontario’s energy minister is making no apologies for a locally unwanted wind farm being built in Southwestern Ontario with the backing of remote communities more than 1,000 kilometres away.
“We believe that providing opportunities for aboriginal communities to become involved in renewable energy projects is a key component of the renewable procurement process, regardless of whether the project takes place on their territory or not,” a statement by Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli’s office said.
Under a new competitive bidding process that was promoted as taking local sentiment into account, Chicago-based Invenergy won a contract to build the Strong Breeze wind farm in the Elgin County municipality of Dutton-Dunwich.
Eighty-four per cent of Dutton-Dunwich reidents who voted in a referendum last year opposed wind farm development.
But Invenergy partnered with six First Nations communities in northwestern Ontario — Fort Severn, Keewaywin, Deer Lake, North Spirit Lake, McDowell Lake and Poplar Hill — which boosted its bid in the intense competition for 16 renewable energy contracts. More than 100 bids were submitted.
“People are upset,” Jeff Yurek, Progressive Conservative MPP of Elgin-Middlesex-London said Wednesday after speaking to people in his riding.
“They assumed that it would be local groups that would be directly affected,” he said of the government’s policy of garnering First Nations support for the project.
Yurek said he believes the Liberal government is trying to divert attention from the fact it said municipalities would have a say on wind farms. “They ignored the wishes of the municipality.”
The new bidding system for the first time required companies to compete on price. Under the old system, companies were offered fixed rates for power.
But along with price, companies were awarded points if they could win the backing of landowners and the municipality and participation in the project by First Nations.
Local opponents of the wind farm said it was ludicrous for the remote communities to influence the decision to build in Elgin County. …
Read the full story here.

What's your reaction?


  • Little ol' me
    Posted April 14, 2016 10:57 pm 0Likes

    The sooner Chiarelli is in jail with the rest of them, the better.

  • Barbara
    Posted April 14, 2016 11:13 pm 0Likes

    Good Jobs First
    ‘Uncle Sam’s Favorite Corporations’, March 2015
    “Identifying the Large Companies that Dominate Federal Subsidies”, 20 + pages > Follow the link to the above report.
    Invenergy included along with other wind developers that also operate in Canada.
    Follow the money!

    • Barbara
      Posted April 15, 2016 12:14 pm 0Likes

      Compare the financial institutions included in the above report with those listed at UNEP FI/UNEP Finance Initiative.

  • Pat Cusack
    Posted April 15, 2016 9:17 am 0Likes

    Well said, Little ol’ me! Has he now lost all of his marbles?!

  • Bert
    Posted April 15, 2016 9:20 am 0Likes

    Industrial wind projects are dividing local communities already. And now the Ontario government found a way to divide us and First Nations.
    I am disappointed to see that First Nations “support” a wind project that is opposed by 84% of the community in Dutton Dunwich.
    Health care, education energy, and housing for First Nations is a responsibility of the Wynne government. Should not be a burden for Dutton Dunwich.

  • Little ol' me
    Posted April 15, 2016 3:11 pm 0Likes

    Why would First Nations support wind energy in a community where 84% of the people oppose the development….Did they accept money/a bribe?
    I question the true ethics and values of not only the younger First Nations generation, but also of the Elders. Knowing the destruction created by wind turbine development; it is very hypocritical and disrespective to Mother Earth and the people of Ontario to support a project as such.
    Put the turbines in the far north in their community. Create jobs for them, they certainly need employment. This may reduce alcohol and substance abuse, and tge number of abused and murdered Aboriginal women aswell as provide relief for the state of emergency of the suicidal people. Provide leases to their land for hosting iwts.
    The government is sure not to piss off the Natives. Give the Natives what they want $$$. Best to have their support; opposition could be nasty.
    Infrasound and low frequencies emitted from these turbines will negatively impact the health and in some cases will result in death; however only 20-25% of the population will be effected; a small price to pay to reduce global warming…..
    For those who have had no choice but to suffer the ill effects caused by exposure to infrasound radiation, thanks..better you then me 😉 (sarcasm)

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