Open Approach Would Only Lead to Chair-Throwing ~Windrush Energy

About a half hour into the meeting, Ron Stevens called for the attention of the room and asked J.C. Pennie, chairman of Windrush Energy — the company behind the proposal, to answer questions posed by the public so that everyone could hear the answers.

Pennie turned down the request, noting such an approach at other meetings resulted in people yelling and throwing chairs.

People leave wind meeting frustrated   Owen Sound Sun Times

Several people who attended a public meeting Tuesday about the Skyway Wind wind turbine project in southern Grey County said they came away frustrated.

“The meeting was ridiculous. A whole lot of people crowded in a small room and no place to sit and no presentation. You have to go up to somebody and ask them a question. I don’t think people are getting the answers they are looking for,” said Barbara Tupling, who lives in the study area at the corner of Grey County roads 9 and 124 and within sight of the proposed project.

“We’re able to ask questions, but they don’t give us any answers,” she added.

Skyway Wind Group wants to build up to 15 wind turbines on agricultural land it has leased in an area from Feversham south to the boundary with Melancthon Township and between County Road 2 and County Road 124. The study area also extends east into Clearview Township in Simcoe County.

The open house was part of a notice of commencement of a new project, which replaces a notice issued in January 2008. The new project involves a larger area and more wind turbines.

Several people at Tuesday’s meeting expressed frustration with the size of the building used — with a capacity of about 90 people — standing room only and no chairs. People had to wait to enter until others left to avoid exceeding the legal capacity of the building.

“What meeting? there was no meeting in there. The room was so crowded you couldn’t move, you couldn’t get over to see the boards on the wall, all four of them . . . there was supposed to be a question and answer period where we get our questions answered. Well, apparently that’s not going to happen,” said Ann Murray, who lives near Feversham.

“With so many people crammed into such a small space it was impossible to hear conversations or explanations above the din of chatter,” said Lorrie Gillis.

Company spokesperson Tracy Oliver said she chose the building in Dundalk because it was wheelchair accessible. She said someone would find something to complain about no matter where the meeting was held.

About a half hour into the meeting, Ron Stevens called for the attention of the room and asked J.C. Pennie, chairman of Windrush Energy — the company behind the proposal, to answer questions posed by the public so that everyone could hear the answers.

Pennie turned down the request, noting such an approach at other meetings resulted in people yelling and throwing chairs.

“If you have a lot of questions, and that appears to be the case, then send them to us and we’ll answer them,” he said to a chorus of boos and catcalls. “The meeting is for you to see the study area and what we are doing,” he added.

Company spokesperson Derek Tennant said this is a new proposal in the early stages of planning and preparation of the environmental screening review which is why there isn’t much information available.

He and others wouldn’t say where the proposed turbine sites are. He didn’t know when the visual impact assessment would be completed, which is a requirement under Grey Highlands’ official plan.

Gillis noted that it was Windrush Energy that developed the turbine project in Grand Valley and took the project through an OMB appeal. That project sold a couple of weeks ago to Schneider Power.

“I asked a Wind Rush representative if the company would be the ones actually putting turbines up for this project and he didn’t know,” Gillis said.

Opponents of wind turbines are holding their own public meeting on June 27 at the Maxwell community hall starting at 10 a.m.

By Don Crosby

The Owen Sound Sun Times

5 thoughts on “Open Approach Would Only Lead to Chair-Throwing ~Windrush Energy

  1. What a farce! These people are just going through the motions to comply with their consultation requirements. The wind companies are not even bothering to pretend to care about the concerns of the communities and their inhabitants. Their arrogance is disgusting.

  2. If you are leasing your property to a wind company, how does it make you feel to know within a short period of time the company has sold and you no longer know who is leasing your property or where they are located? If you stop recieving payments what do you do? You first have to figure out who is supposed to pay you. Good luck. You have to get them to pay you. Good luck. Companies are out to make money and some will not be honourable. Is your future lease holder going to be honourable?

  3. I was at the Windrush meeting this week and at the AIM wind meeting in Feversham the week before.
    One of the wind people, under the guise of a citizen wrote a letter to the editor and accused protesters at the AIM meeting of not allowing people into the meeting, which is a complete lie and I’m not shy to state that openly on this post.

    At both meetings I asked if the wind company had a study done by health professionals on real, live people to show that wind turbines are safe to be sited so close to residents and both refused to answer the question. I guess when a company hasn’t got an honest answer to give to an honest question, they resort to evasive measures.

    Interestingly enough, anti wind turbine signs were stolen from my property just last night after being posted for the last 6 months without any problem.

  4. Wind turbines are a structure of urbanization. As such they should be used, if used at all, in already urbanized areas and/or fringe suburban areas. Logical in the extreme since the government, designers and builders do not acknowledge medical issues with their installation and use close to human settlements!

    To install and utilize wind farms in rural and agricultural areas is the height of complacency against the backdrop of the already rampant despoiling of rural landscapes by the New Home Construction Army.

    I mean, are our “Honourable” Queen’s Park representatives taking their families for a brief respite from College and University to the environs of Collingwood, Orangeville, Keswick, Orillia, Wasaga Beach, Town of the Blue Mountains (to mention but a few) yet crave the comfort in feeling they have merely driven to North York?

    Wind turbines are especially ludicrous given their inherently poor energy utlization ratios (elementary physics) and merely made more dinosaurian by the advent of evolving solar technologies that brings green power generation down to individual homes….even to the handrails on a deck. See: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Ascent-Solar-to-open-new-apf-14735426.html?.v=1

    It is clear that the advocates for wind power generation are self-serving sycophants of government largess under the guises of the most benevolent of masters. Well, “we don’t get fooled again.”

  5. it just seems that these wind companies are never prepared for real debate or discourse. They have failed to realize that when you have an impact on peoples health you can’t get away with green washing the situation, people see through that kind of stuff. the more the wind industry treats people with a lack of respect the more people are going to turn against this Green Energy Act. for those who ahven’t yet go and sign the petition against the GEA here.

Comments are closed.