Vulnerable grassland birds abandon mating sites near wind turbines

chickenPhys.org
Shifting to renewable energy sources has been widely touted as one of the best ways to fight climate change, but even renewable energy can have a downside, as in the case of wind turbines’ effects on bird populations. In a new paper in The Condor: Ornithological Applications, a group of researchers demonstrate the impact that one wind energy development in Kansas has had on Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) breeding in the area. Virginia Winder of Benedictine College, Andrew Gregory of Bowling Green State University, Lance McNew of Montana State University, and Brett Sandercock of Kansas State University monitored prairie-chicken leks, or mating sites,
before and after turbine construction and found that leks within eight kilometers of turbines were more likely to be abandoned.

Leks are sites at which male prairie-chickens gather each spring to perform mating displays and attract females. The researchers visited 23 leks during the five-year study to observe how many male birds were present and to record the body mass of trapped males. After wind turbine construction, they found an increased rate of lek abandonment at sites within eight kilometers of the turbines as well as a slight decrease in male body mass. Lek
abandonment was also more likely at sites where there were seven or fewer males and at sites located in agricultural fields instead of natural grasslands. Read article

Posted in Bats and Birds | Leave a comment

American Bird Conservancy Wind Development Bird Risk Map

wind-map-screenshotAmerican Bird Conservancy
(Washington., D.C., May 3, 2012) A new, interactive web-based map, created by American Bird Conservancy (ABC)—the nation’s leading bird conservation organization, is now available, and has the potential to dramatically reduce bird impacts from wind turbines. Open the map. Using Google Earth as a platform, the map highlights more than 2,000 locations in the United States where birds are likely to be particularly vulnerable to impacts from wind energy development. Key sites are colored either orange or red to indicate their relative importance to birds.

Birds can be impacted by wind power both through direct collisions and by displacement from nesting, foraging, or transit areas. The map addresses both of these issues by identifying both concentrated migratory flight paths and key habitat locations. The map also provides extensive background data for each location, including details of ownership, habitats, land use, bird species, and conservation issues.

“This map offers a way to prevent millions of bird deaths from wind power, while at the same time providing ample opportunity for the prudent development of this potentially bird-smart energy source. Careful siting of wind energy remains the single most important factor in reducing bird deaths from wind power, and this map provides a means to do just that,” said Mike Parr, Vice President of ABC. “ABC strongly supports bird-smart wind energy development” he added. Read article

Posted in Bats and Birds | 9 Comments

House Bulldozed for Wind Project, Family Says

DSCF4783Courthouse News Service, Rebekah Kearn
LOS ANGELES (CN) – Wind energy companies bulldozed a black family’s house because they were the sole holdouts who refused to sell out to a huge wind farm, the family claims in court. Darlene Dotson and her sons David and Daniel sued EDP Renewables North America, Horizon Wind Energy Co., Rising Tree Wind Farm, CVE Contracting Group, and Renewable Land LLC, on May 7 in Superior Court.

The family wastes no time in getting down to specifics. “Plaintiffs in this action are the victims of a multinational energy developer who refused to accept ‘No’ for an answer,” the 32-page complaint begins. “The heart of the issue is that the Dotsons own property in Mojave that is sought after by EDP Renewables for windmills, and they refuse to sell,” the family’s attorney Morgan Stewart told Courthouse News.

Mojave, pop. 4,300, is 50 miles east of Bakersfield, below the Tehachapi Mountains, on the edge of the immense Mojave Desert. “The home on the property was a family home they used for family vacations and gatherings. EDP pressured them to sell, but they still refused,” Stewart said. “The house was damaged several times when they were away. And then one time when they went back to the house they found that it had been demolished, scraped to the foundations, along with all of their belongings. The companies did it. “We see it as intentional because EDP needed the property for the wind farm, but the Dotsons wouldn’t sell,” Stewart said. Read article

Posted in Ethics | 18 Comments

Sweetheart Deal: Lower property assessments just another subsidy for wind industry

imagesdanger-thieves-jun-05-smallPeter Epp, The Observer
Among the incongruities found within the Green Energy Plan is the way in which wind turbines are assessed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). In a word, the assessment is low.

The Ontario government’s purpose, when the plan and its accompanying legislation were approved in 2009, was to encourage the development of wind energy in this province. Developers would be given incentives, including generous subsidies. They would also be modestly taxed, which was just another form of subsidy.

For those rare municipalities that actually welcomed wind turbine development (Chatham-Kent, for one), the relatively low assessment on turbines wasn’t seen as a hurdle; it was viewed as new-found tax revenue, even if that revenue was modest when compared to what other developments might generate.

But for those municipalities that called themselves “unwilling hosts” to turbine development, the lack of sufficient assessment has become just another irritant.

In Plympton-Wyoming – which has been on the forefront of those municipalities that have been actively and vocally campaigning against wind turbine development – Mayor Lonny Napper says wind turbines worth an estimated $5 million have been assessed at a mere fraction of their value, by an estimated $60,000. Indeed, Napper suggests that every time a new turbine is erected in Plympton-Wyoming, his municipality loses tax revenue. Read article

Posted in OWR | Leave a comment

Cutting down trees for wind project in provincially protected zone was a “mistake”, Suncor and NextEra say

1297699121425_ORIGINALSarnia Observer, Tyler Kula
Ontario’s Environment Ministry is investigating after protected trees were recently cut down during land development for Suncor and NextEra’s Cedar Point wind farm in Lambton County. Strips of protected woods, together measuring 3,000 square metres, were levelled near Fuller Road and Proof Line in Lambton Shores last month, said Kate Jordan, a ministry spokesperson. That violates one of the conditions of Suncor’s environmental approval for the project, being built in Lambton Shores, Plympton-Wyoming and Warwick Township.

“We have reminded the company that it must make sure that all of its contractors that are operating on its behalf do follow the requirements of the ministry approval,” said Jordan. “We have also referred the incident to our investigations and enforcement branch.” Ministry officials are talking to witnesses, the company, and others — gathering evidence to see if charges will be laid under the Water Resources Act, she said. “Certainly it is something that we are taking seriously,” Jordan said.

Some of the woodlots impacted, listed as provincially significant wetlands under Suncor’s Natural Heritage Assessment – Environmental Impact Study, include rare red bark hickory trees, said Santo Giorno, with the We’re Against Industrial Turbines – Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PW) group that’s fought against wind turbines in the area. Read article

Posted in Environmental | 93 Comments

Leaked Samsung documents prompt declaration to dismantle HDI: launch investigation

1297489333163_ORIGINALTwo Row Times, Nahnda Garlow
SIX NATIONS – A declaration was presented during Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council this weekend calling for the immediate dismantlement of HDI and dismissal of lawyer Aaron Detlor, HDI Director Hazel Hill and HDI board member Brian Doolittle.

This declaration, read aloud in council by Cayuga Wolf Chief Sam General, calls for the dismantlement of the HDI for not negotiating in good faith on behalf of the Confederacy, the immediate dismissal and removal of Detlor, Hill and Doolittle for misrepresenting the Confederacy, immediate halting of all HDI business and the launch of a full investigation into HDI by the Confederacy.

These demands come after copies of two Engagement Agreements HDI signed with with Samsung in 2013 and 2014, locally known as ‘the Samsung deals’, were leaked to clan families.

Those leaked documents reveal that HDI agreed to, on behalf of the HCCC and all Haudenosaunee member nations, waive Haudenosaunee sovereign immunity and any other claim of traditional or treaty rights surrounding Haudenosaunee right to lands that the projects are utilizing in exchange for financial compensation. Read article

Posted in First Nations | 9 Comments

Wynne’s green scheme could deal massive blow to Ontario and Canada

web-rob-wynne-0503Gwen Morgan, The Globe and Mail
Last month’s announcement by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne that her province would link up with the existing Quebec and California carbon dioxide cap-and-trade systems prompted an editorial in this newspaper headlined, “Is this Green Energy Act Round Two?”

Ontario’s Green Energy Act offered so-called “feed-in rates” almost four times existing electricity rates for wind and more than 10 times for solar power. Like bees to honey, wind and solar companies rushed in. By the time the government realized that these subsidies were driving Ontario from one of the lowest to one of the highest power cost jurisdictions in North America, the province had signed myriad 20-year-locked-in-rate-guaranteed contracts that will drive power rates up a further 40 per cent to 50 per cent in coming years. Adding salt to this self-inflicted wound is the reality that much of the green power comes on stream when it isn’t needed. This unneeded electricity is dumped into the United States at bargain-basement prices that Ontario’s Auditor-General found has already cost Ontario power consumers billions of dollars, with much bigger losses yet to come before those 20-year contracts expire. Read article

Posted in Ontario government | 80 Comments

Dr. Swinbanks: Direct Experience of Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound within a Windfarm Community

[This paper was to be presented at the Glasgow International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise last week, but Dr. Swinbanks was relegated to only presenting his poster. Typical of this whole wind fraud – silencing the voices that speak the truth. So let’s do our part and share Dr. Swinbanks report far and wide!!]

Direct Experience of Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound within a Windfarm Community

swinbanks6th International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise
Glasgow 20-23 April 2015
M.A.Swinbanks, MAS Research Ltd
8 Pentlands Court, Cambridge CB4 1JN
E-mail: malcva@msn.com

Summary
The author first became aware of the adverse health problems associated with infrasound many years ago in 1974, when an aero-engine manufacturer approached him to consider the problems that office personnel were experiencing close to engine test facilities. He had been conducting research into the active control of sound, and the question was posed as to whether active sound control could be used to address this problem. At that time, this research was in its infancy, and the scale of the problem clearly lay outside practical implementation. Five years later, however, the author was asked to address a related problem associated with the low-frequency noise of a 15,000SHP ground-based gas-turbine compressor installation, having a 40 foot high, 10 foot diameter exhaust stack. This problem was of a more tractable scale, and the author and his colleagues successfully reduced the low-frequency noise of the installation by over 12dB. He subsequently was requested to address a similar installation of significantly greater size and power, again with accurately predicted results.

As a consequence of this and subsequent work, the author has gained considerable experience of the disturbing effects of low-frequency noise and infrasound. So when he first became aware of the nature of adverse health reports from windfarm residents, they were immediately recognisable as effects with which he had been familiar for as many as 35 years.

Since late 2009, the author has lived part-time within a Michigan community where wind turbines have been increasingly deployed. Consequently he has had significant interaction with residents whose lives and well-being have been damaged, and moreover has experienced the associated very severe effects directly, at first hand. His resultant perspective is thus based on both detailed theoretical analysis, and extensive personal, practical experience. Read full paper

Posted in Health, Noise | 37 Comments

Failed rink wind turbine investments to be returned

PEICBC News
The four P.E.I. communities that put wind turbines up at their rinks have been given their initial investment back by the province. The province will also cover the cost of taking down the turbines in Alberton, Kensington, Crapaud and Murray River.

Kensington CAO Geoff Baker told CBC News the town is happy it’s getting its $70,000 investment back and that the turbine is coming down. “We’re disappointed that the project didn’t work, really from the very beginning,” said Baker. “I would say we’re very pleased that the Wind Energy Institute and the provincial government came through and really looked after us as far as the investment we made into the project.”

Kensington’s rink was one of four that hoped to reduce electricity bills through wind energy, a project that received joint funding of almost $1.3 million from the communities, and provincial and federal governments. The Wind Energy Institute of Canada was the project manager. It chose a turbine made by Seaforth and decided which P.E.I. rinks were the best sites.

But Kensington’s turbine only produced a third of the power the wind institute projected. Read article

Posted in OWR | 7 Comments

Turtle beats turbine

Blandings turtle rulesQuinte News
An endangered species has won the power struggle over Ostrander Point as Ontario’s top court has ruled in favour of the Blanding’s turtle over turbines.

In a historic ruling the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned a provincial court decision in relation to the Renewable Energy Approval of Gilead Power’s nine turbine project.

[…]

Gillespie says Gilead now has a couple of options going forward one of them being to ask the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa to hear the case. He says there’s no automatic right to do that you need leave or permission from the Supreme Court.

Gillespie says the other way that this is definitely going to play out is the Environmental Review Tribunal has been asked by the Ontario Court of Appeal to hear some further submissions on what the solution to this situation should be. Read article

Posted in Fish and Wildlife, Legal | 6 Comments

NextEra still doing the “eat, drink & sign wind lease” meetings

Eat, drink and sign your property away! NextEra serves a buffet to people with land in Hardy Creek Wind Project area (Middlesex/Lambton).

Notice that a public meeting hasn’t happened yet for this project. NextEra needs to get all the land signed up first, then they’ll tell the rest of you about it (maybe). This invite was sent to some landowners, but not all. Those with a few acres are still left out of the loop on what is happening in this project.

Can you see how this way of ‘doing business’ DESTROYS communities?

image1-2

Posted in Ethics, Leases | 19 Comments

Wind Leaseholders May Be On The Hook For Billions

global-landgrabA recent visit by members of the Ontario Landowners Association to the Land Registry Office in Goderich (Service Ontario) has revealed the registration of a one billion dollar mortgage by K2 Wind Ontario Inc. on 100 wind leaseholder properties in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh (ACW), home of the 140 turbine K2 Wind Project. They were looking for the original deed for a property and stumbled on K2 Wind’s charge. Certified public records indicate that some properties may be encumbered at twenty times their farm land value, or more.

“We don’t know the full ramifications of what we have discovered this week”, stated Dave Hemingway, President of the Huron Perth Landowners Association. “We know that K2 Wind is not the only wind company following this practice but we don’t know at this point just how many others are involved.” Mr. Hemingway went on to say, “This raises some serious questions. Have the wind developers been smooth talkers and have rural leaseholders been too naïve and trusting? This might very well impact leaseholders’ ability to borrow money for their farming operations.”
Mr. Hemingway states that this discovery could have a profound effect on a leaseholders’ ability to borrow money, sell the farm or otherwise do what he/she sees fit with their own land.

The Ontario Landowners Association has been promoting the concept of property rights for landowners and has been encouraging them to make application for their Crown Land Patent. As part of this program the association encourages property owners to get a copy of the original deed for when the property was transferred from the Crown to private ownership. In the Huron Perth area, this happened from around 1830. The Crown sold the land to the Canada Company which then sold parcels to the local landowners of the time. The Huron Perth Landowners Association has published a Crown Letters Patent booklet to explain what a Crown Letters Patent is and how to get one for your own property. The association also recommends getting the original deed for one’s property which sets out the terms under which the first individual landowner received the property rights which have subsequently becomes the current owner’s property rights.
For further information, contact Dave Hemingway at 519-482-7005 or davehemingway@gmail.com.

Posted in Leases | 55 Comments

Wind turbine fires ignore pathetically short setbacks

This is in Estonia. Could be Ontario. Except Ontario firefighters are told to evacuate the area and let it burn out… you can imagine the spread of this fire if the firefighters didn’t put the flying debris’ flames out.

Posted in Safety, Setbacks | 25 Comments

Ontario’s greenhouse gas plan: Is this Green Energy Act, Round II?

Ontario’s cap-and-trade system, in contrast, comes with risks. Ontario has all but promised that the money raised by emissions caps will not be used to cut other taxes. Instead, the hundreds of millions or billions raised each year will be “reinvested” in “projects that reduce greenhouse gases and help businesses remain competitive.” In other words, targeted subsidies – the lobbyists’ delight.

mcwynnetyThe Globe and Mail
Monday’s announcement that Ontario is about to take steps to reduce greenhouse gases contained one bit of good news, one serving of bad news – and one giant question mark.

The good news? Ontario plans to put a price on carbon, with the goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

The question mark? Ontario’s plan for a cap-and-trade system – which would cap carbon emissions from each sector of the economy, and allow trading of pollution permits – contains few details, including no costs or pricing.

And the bad news? Ontario will not be following in the footsteps of British Columbia – whose carbon tax is Canada’s simplest, cheapest, best carbon-reduction strategy. Cap-and-trade, in contrast, is not transparent, has a distinctly mixed track record and runs the risk of being captured and gamed by powerful interests. Lobbyists, start your engines.

For all of that, Ontario, which is linking up with existing cap-and-trade systems in Quebec and California, could end up building an excellent program. Then again, it could also end up delivering Green Energy Act, Round II. The first incarnation was an industrial strategy camouflaged as a pollution-reduction solution. It doled out hefty subsidies to favoured businesses, paid for by electricity consumers. It was arguably the Liberal government’s biggest mistake. Have they learned from it? Read article

Posted in Ontario government | 58 Comments

Wind Turbines proposed in Barn Owl (Endangered Species) habitat – file your comment now

barn-owlEnvironmental Registry
“Boralex Inc. – Port Ryerse Wind Farm Limited Partnership has submitted a proposal in relation to an overall benefit permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) with respect to Barn Owl in order to construct and operate a Wind Generation Facility near Port Ryerse, Broken Front Concession, Geographic Township of Woodhouse, County of Norfolk.”

The proposal to construct and operate a Wind Generation Facility has the potential to adversely affect Barn Owl as described in regulation. The proposed permit conditions would provide benefits that exceed
the adverse effects on Barn Owl and their habitat.

Barn Owl is listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) List, in O. Reg. 230/08 of the ESA, as Endangered.

Subsection 9(1) of the ESA provides for the protection of endangered, threatened (and extirpated) species on the SARO List.

Habitat protection under the ESA applies to Barn Owl (subsection 10(1)). The specific habitat of Barn Owl has been prescribed by section 24.1 of O. Reg. 242/08.

The ESA allows some activities to proceed under a clause 17(2)(c) permit with specific conditions if: avoidance and reasonable alternatives have been considered; adverse effects will be minimized; and an overall benefit will be achieved for the species in Ontario. Providing an overall benefit to a protected species under the ESA involves undertaking actions to improve circumstances for the species in Ontario. Overall benefit is more than “no net loss” or an exchange of “like for like”. Overall benefit is grounded in the protection and recovery of the species at risk and must include more than mitigation measures or “replacing” what is lost. Read more and file comment

Posted in Bats and Birds | 10 Comments

From France, watch “Wind Energy: The Big Swindle”

“It is time for the French people, the politicians and ecologists who have remained somewhat honest, to put a stop to this monstrous boondoggle whose consequences will become rapidly irreparable.”

Posted in Europe | 2 Comments

Solar company sues Ontario Power Authority for $9 million

BentleyDonovan Vincent, The Star
An Ottawa company that participated in a provincial program helping homeowners and farmers develop renewable energy projects is suing the Ontario Power Authority for $9 million, claiming it lost hundreds of customers and was forced to lay off all its employees after the OPA retroactively reduced fees paid out under the plan.

The claim, which the province disputes, relates to the government’s microFIT program, an ongoing initiative introduced by Ontario’s Energy Ministry in 2009. The program was launched to encourage homeowners, farmers, small businesses and institutions to produce small renewable energy projects.
These owners are paid for the electricity they produce, and the prices are set to enable them to recover their costs and earn a “reasonable return” over a 20-year period.

According to court documents, Capital Solar Power Corp. says it expended “vast sums of money” and time recruiting participants for the program, and in September 2011 saw about 275 of them apply for microFIT. Read article

Posted in Solar, Subsidies / Costs, Viability | 13 Comments

Another lacking ‘review of literature’ on wind turbines and health

another stupid reviewThey should have called this review “Undermining the Evidence”…

Review: Understanding the Evidence: Wind Turbine Noise
“The Panel used a comprehensive approach to identify and review relevant research. They identified 32 symptoms and health outcomes that have been attributed to exposure to wind turbine noise by members of the general public (e.g., annoyance, sleep disturbance, stress, irregular heartbeat, muscle pain etc.). The Panel then reviewed the empirical research for those symptoms and selected 38 key papers that constituted the core evidence base for their assessment. After completing their assessment the report was sent out for an anonymous peer review. The final report is reflective of the input that came from the peer-review process.

It should be noted that the Panel’s ability to fully assess the prevalence of adverse health effects was limited by a lack of available data.  As a result, the report outlines where more research is required in order to fill knowledge gaps, including for vulnerable populations.

Key Findings

 The Panel has 11 main findings that are outlined in the full report. Some findings include:

  • The evidence is sufficient to establish a causal relationship between exposure to wind turbine noise and annoyance.
  • There is limited evidence to establish a causal relationship between exposure to wind turbine noise and sleep disturbance.
  • The evidence suggests a lack of causality between exposure to wind turbine noise and hearing loss.
  • For all other health effects considered (fatigue, tinnitus, vertigo, nausea, dizziness, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc.), the evidence was inadequate to come to any conclusion about the presence or absence of a causal relationship with exposure to wind turbine noise.
  • Technological development is unlikely to resolve, in the short term, the current issues related to perceived adverse health effects of wind turbine noise.
  • Impact assessments and community engagement provide communities with greater knowledge and control over wind energy projects and therefore help limit annoyance.”

    Barbara dug this up on the Panel Members:

Posted in OWR | 82 Comments

Watch: Inquiry on Wind Turbine Noise in Australia

TodayTonight

The scientist told to keep silent while the community demand full disclosure and the coming clash with the local EPA

today

 Hansard from the Senate Inquiry 

Posted in Health, Noise | 1 Comment

Ontario’s Wind Powered Energy Poverty

alternative-energy-failStop These Things
Around the globe, the true cost of the great wind power fraud is catching up with a vengeance. The phrase “energy poverty” is now synonymous with the insane (and utterly pointless) costs of subsidising the ‘production’ of electricity, using a wholly weather dependent ‘system’, that has to have 100% of its capacity, backed up 100% of the time by conventional generators:

Wind Industry’s Bogus Claims about “Powering” Millions of Homes Scorched

Ontario is the place where the most bizarre energy policy in the world has seen thousands of giant fans speared into the backyards of homes – in the most agriculturally productive part of Canada.

When we say “bizarre” we mean completely bonkers, as Canada has one of the “cleanest” power generation mixes on the planet, with the vast bulk of its electricity coming from zero-emissions sources, such as nuclear and hydro.

As explained in this post, Professor Ross McKitrick: Wind turbines don’t run on wind, they run on subsidies, Ontario has built a policy that sees wind power (when the wind is blowing) “displace” emissions free hydro at enormous cost to power consumers and taxpayers, as wind power outfits are guaranteed to reap fat profits, despite market conditions. Read article

Posted in OWR | 5 Comments

Not just 300MW of wind power this year, it’s another 300MW and …

Ontario Project Map1It’s concerning when action groups just hope their area won’t be named in the upcoming “300MW” of wind projects the Liberals have planned this year. Because that’s not it, of course not. As this article shows, another 300MW will be next year, and guess what will be the next year, and the next…? Yeah. This isn’t a one year battle for anyone.

ReNews

“The Florida-based proponent plans to submit the project in the province’s upcoming large renewable procurement program, which includes 300MW of wind power. NextEra has been named a qualified bidder.

Competitive bids are due 1 September and the Independent Electricity System Operator is expected to award contracts by year-end, said Dudek. A second 300MW tranche is to be procured in 2016.

Posted in Ontario government | 62 Comments

Ontario wind turbine leaseholders vent about dealings with NextEra Energy

screwed2There is always a silence that falls over a community when the turbines are being built. Always. Some of it’s shock. Some residents start to question whether they can live with these machines or not – and wonder what they will do next. Then there are those who are hit the worst with sleeplessness, tinnitus, vertigo, massive migraines. People start to quietly pack up and leave. But what about those leaseholders? Where are they in all this mess? Below is a report sent in from a meeting held the other week in Adelaide-Metcalfe. (I have to warn you, there is no apology to the neighbours they affected, yet). 


DSCF4811I went to a meeting tonight at the Kerwood Hall. It was packed, not even enough chairs. It’s a new group that had a panel of 6 people who talked to the crowd about getting a feel if the community wants turbines or not and doing ballots and forming an email group (same old same old). They even had a few NextEra leaseholders from the Adelaide and Bornish projects show up and give a few opinions about the company.

DSC_0641An Adelaide NextEra leasholder spoke (for almost an hour) of all the issues he has been having with NextEra and the turbines on his land. He touched on the fact he has not signed off with NextEra yet, and he wont until they fix his tile which they apparently really messed up, and really changed the lay of his land. He said he never got to deal with the same person in the company – he had a stack of business cards. He didn’t like the way they took over the land and where they put the lane, leaving unworkable spots that his equipment wouldn’t reach, and the fact that they built up the area around the concrete to the point where its a big slope around it which makes pools of water in his field.

DSC_0833He said the property had a few natural ponds… which were just filled in one day. The stripped topsoil is missing, and he was concerned about the soil being completely compacted now. He described the access lanes being so poorly made, layers of crap, and they never cared if they drove around his field anywhere they pleased. He said they had all the rights, and he had none. One day two cranes came in, side by side, not one behind the other. Continue reading

Posted in Leases | 50 Comments

Access to justice is not blind when Wynne is in power

Letter to MPP's March 26 2015 SLAPP


CP24
Wynne: Lawsuit against Hudak and MacLeod will be dropped if they apologize
TORONTO — Premier Kathleen Wynne offered Monday to drop a lawsuit against former Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak and Tory MPP Lisa MacLeod if they’d apologize, but the Tories accused her of bending the law for political gain.

Wynne launched the suit last April after Hudak and MacLeod said the premier oversaw and possibly ordered the destruction of documents on cancelled gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga, an act being investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police.

“If the two members would just apologize, the whole thing would go away,” Wynne told the legislature. “There was a completely unfounded allegation made on the eve of an election. Just apologize … and the whole thing goes away.” Read article

Posted in OWR | 7 Comments

Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.

suuBrain Pickings

Reconstructionist Aung San Suu Kyi, born on June 19, 1945, is one of modern history’s greatest champions of peace, following in the footsteps of Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolent resistance. In her 1991 essay “Freedom from Fear,” found in the altogether essential anthology Freedom from Fear: And Other Writings (public library), Suu echoes fellow reconstructionist Susan Sontag’s timeless words on courage and resistance as she explores the fundamental relationship between fear, courage, and human flourishing:

It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.

[…]

Fearlessness may be a gift, but perhaps most precious is the courage acquired through endeavor, courage that comes from cultivating the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one’s actions, courage that could be described as ‘grace under pressure’ — grace which is renewed repeatedly in the face of harsh, unremitting pressure.

Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man’s self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man.  Read more

Posted in OWR | 16 Comments

Watch TVO documentary “Big Wind” online

TVO – Big Wind
tvo big wind

“Big Wind” explores the conflict over the controversial development of industrial wind turbines in Ontario. It is a divisive issue that at times pits neighbour against neighbour, residents against corporations, and the people against their government.

Posted in OWR | 58 Comments

Wynne says “interests of a few current litigants” reason for changes to anti-SLAPP bill

Have a read through this. Wynne needs to protect the “people”, you know, like Florida corporations, wind companies… that’s her kinda “people”.

WYNNE NEGLECTCTV News
TORONTO — Premier Kathleen Wynne says her libel case against two Progressive Conservatives is not the reason her government is making changes to a bill on so-called SLAPPs — strategic lawsuits against public participation.

Wynne filed a $2-million lawsuit last spring against then-PC leader Tim Hudak and energy critic Lisa MacLeod over comments that Wynne “oversaw and possibly ordered the criminal destruction of documents” related to the $1.1-billion cancellation of two gas plants prior to the 2011 election. Media website Canadaland noted Tuesday that a reintroduced Liberal government bill to crack down on SLAPPs, which use the threat lawsuits to intimidate opponents, no longer contains a provision applying it to lawsuits already before the court.

Wynne’s office says the only reasons the change was made was for procedural fairness to people with cases in progress and because debate on the first version of the bill “became clouded by the interests of a few current litigants.” Read article

Who, pray tell Kathleen, are these “few current litigants”? And why are they so damned as to not receive anti-SLAPP suit protection because YOU say so? A tad dictatorial, don’t ya think?

On Canadaland they report that former AG Gerretson replied to the change with:

“Obviously the bill is weaker than the one we originally introduced and, presumably, it won’t do anything to protect people who have made expressions in the public interest in the past… I have no specific comment as to why the retroactive protection is gone except for it probably shouldn’t be gone.”


Coincidentally (?) I received this letter from the Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur today, in response to my question to legislature a month ago:

The government changed the application provision from the predecessor legislation (Bill 83) on the principle that it was fair to people who started litigation to have recourse to the rules in force at the time the lawsuit was initiated, rather than have the rules change after that time.

Continue reading

Posted in Ethics | 12 Comments

C-K Mayor Hope: “[Wind companies] Don’t Give a Shit. They Don’t Have To Pay You”

CANWEA-Municipal-World-2011by Harvey Wrightman
The recent Ontario Good Roads Association/Rural Ontario Municipal Association(OGRA/ROMA) conference chose it’s presenters for something other than insight. Listening to the self-absorbed mayor of Chatham/Kent, Randy Hope, I had the sudden feeling of wanting to flee the room. Here’s a taste of him for starters:

“I’ve dealt with the people who claim the wind turbine has created obesity. I’ve created the issue about the birds and the bees and the bats. And, trust me, we’ve dealt with every health standard – even the Federal government’s ploy to divert the attention around the pipeline and put the health study on the wind turbines. Done, completed and no issue. And even recently I had somebody complain about my wind turbines too close to my airport. And which I found was pretty ridiculous and it was politically motivated. But you know at the end of the day, Transport Canada, my pilots, and NAVCAN all agreed there is no unsafe condition that is applied to my airport in my community.                   

Phew! That’s a lot of first person ego to deal with at one sitting.  It’s a bit hard to decipher exactly where he’s headed but I’ll bet you can guess already.

“I’m not trying to convince you to support wind, that’s your personal choice. But I hear, “Why am I providing power to Toronto…  There’s a “community benefit program” we put in place based on the size of the project, so we have it going into a community foundation fund… (which) has specific areas in which that money needs to be utilized for – which follows the lines which the community is trying to do???”

Ahhh! – It’s the Money!!! Hang on.

 So we have the community strategic fund which the monies go into. We also have the tax revenues which are associated to it. We probably get about $3500 for industrial tax base which comes from each turbine based on the size of megawatts that are there…and currently we are looking at from a municipal point of view is to actually invest in it. Payback in return over the investment years that are there. We have some companies that we still have areas that we’re probably dealing. I probably have availability for another 120 turbines in Chatham/Kent, and we’re looking at ownership in one of those and there’s ways to formulate that it doesn’t cost me nothing but I get revenues from. So those are formulas in which we’re utilizing. 

I must say though from our perspective and because of my relationship and council’s relationship with our developers, they know we mean business, we’ve meant business since day one. They’ve come with great community programs and supported a lot of community stuff that local, federal and provincial government haven’t been able to support. And they’ve been there. They’ve been participating in the community and been good corporate citizens. 

But let me tell you – and I don’t know when to do this but everybody says, “I’m a no wind zone, and council’s not going to pass a resolution.”  Do you know under the new system they don’t really  give a shit. Sorry. They don’t give a shit whether you’ve got a resolution or not.  Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Municipalities of Ontario | 21 Comments

OFA’s response to those affected by wind turbines: “Cough on him”

coughby Harvey Wrightman
The speaker leaned into the mike and in a voice heavy with authority said, “So every time you hear somebody  complain about the health effects of a wind tower – cough at him.”  It was easy to imagine the smirk on his face as he said it.  In this day of information saturation and overload, most stuff just floats on by. But comments that are all smart-ass smugness have a way of pulling me out of my chair. And that’s how it was while listening to the podcast of a workshop held at the recent conference of Ontario Good Roads Association/Rural Ontario Municipal Association (OGRA/ROMA).  The speaker was Ted Cowan, “policy researcher” for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). He has a PhD in Economics and speaks in a folksy old geezer, full of himself style.

With large swaths of SW Ontario now looking like an over-sized pin cushion, a rural resident would have to be brain dead not to have some apprehension for the future. No one talks about the grace and beauty of windmills and how it will bring in tourists anymore.  Rural Ontario is now a brave new world of industrial fantasy.

So hated is this program and so sullen and fearful are residents, that there’s only 2 ways for government and the wind industry  to force the program forward – money and/or the whip if you aren’t on board.  That was essentially the message delivered by two of the three panelists at the ROMA/OGRA workshop. Ted Cowan and Randy Hope (mayor of Chatham/Kent) were the 2 bullies tagged for the operation.             Continue reading

Posted in OWR | 61 Comments

How ’bout wind turbines around… Algonquin Park? okay then, Temagami??

Well your government knows best and this is what they have lined up for your (once) beautiful province:

 

list

See full map of here

Posted in Ontario government | 3 Comments

ANOTHER wind development for Chatham-Kent

Proposed project map (click for full size)Sydenham Current
A two-phase wind farm project is being proposed for North Kent. The project by Samsung and Pattern Energy could lead to an additional 90 wind turbines being constructed in the former Dover and Chatham Townships. Chatham-Kent staff is recommending that both phases of the project be approved by council.

After completing the South Kent Wind project last March, Samsung and Pattern informed Chatham-Kent staff they were moving forward with the North Kent Wind project. A staff report indicates that phase one of the project will be approximately 100 megawatts and consist of approximately 40 to 50 turbines. The turbines would be constructed on private land, and the design, specifications and layout are still under development.

The project will be subject to the Renewable Energy Approval process, a permitting process which evaluates projects for environmental, social and archaeological impacts, a staff report says. The second phase is dependent upon an award by the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO.) If it proceeds, it will also be of a size between 50 to 100 megawatts and between 20 and 40 turbines.

Staff says Samsung and Pattern have offered the Municipality the option to purchase a “15% equity interest” in the North Kent Wind Projects, as an additional community benefit. Read article

Posted in OWR | 18 Comments