OPP quiz Windsor-area woman over wind turbine opposition

Mike Crawley, fearful of possible protest, called in the OPP

Ribbon-cutting ceremony  to be held Friday, June 25 at 11:00 am on Gore Road in Harrow.    Map

By Gary Rennie, The Windsor Star

A farmer and mother of a 17-year-old who’s never had more than a parking ticket is complaining that an OPP visit to inquire about her concerns over wind turbines amounts to “political intimidation” from the provincial government and the turbine developer.

Colette McLean says she got a phone call last week from Sgt. Dan Michaud of the OPP’s provincial liaison team. He wondered if she planned to protest an official opening of the $110-million International Power wind turbine project in Harrow Friday.

It was an event she didn’t even know about.  She declined to be interviewed by Michaud.

The officer, based near Toronto, was at her farmhouse on Gore Road the next day. She wasn’t home, but he left a business card.

“I don’t understand why they’re using taxpayer dollars to investigate ordinary people,” says McLean.

McLean doesn’t dispute being a longtime critic of the 24 giant turbines that have risen 120 metres high near her home.

“I don’t understand why they’re using taxpayer dollars to investigate ordinary people,” says McLean.

McLean doesn’t dispute being a longtime critic of the 24 giant turbines that have risen 120 metres high near her home.

She fails to see how that qualifies her for a personal visit from the OPP.

McLean complained to Essex MPP Bruce Crozier, who told her that nobody in the Liberal government had asked the OPP to check her out.

Crozier made some inquiries with Minister of Community Safety Rick Bartolucci, who’s responsible for the OPP.

“Everyone can be assured neither the premier, nor the minister, in this case or in any other case, directed the OPP in any way, shape or form,” Crozier said in an email to McLean Monday. “It is not done.”

Crozier said the PLT unit does similar liaison work with protest groups in advance of the G8 and G20 conferences. “This process is done to provide aid to protestors to ensure that any protest is done in the confines of the law and poses a minimal threat or disruption to public safety,” Crozier said.

Michaud said Monday he was making inquiries typical of the PLT’s role to prepare for a possible disruption of major events. “It wasn’t a police investigation (of McLean),” he said. Her neighbours weren’t asked questions about her by the OPP, he said.

Michaud saw no reason why his call should be interpreted as intimidating. “Everyone has a lawful right to protest,” he said. “I called her to talk to her.” He said he wanted to better understand the people who might show up for Friday’s event.

Internet searches of stories dealing with wind turbines turned up McLean’s name, he said.

The PLT members have attended other wind turbine meetings and protests, some of which have drawn large crowds recently, Michaud said.

International Power president Mike Crawley said the company contacted the OPP after learning of a major protest three months ago in Wellington County against another company’s project.

Crawley, who knew McLean from numerous local meetings, said he didn’t anticipate either her or any other Essex County resident being disruptive at Friday’s gathering. He was more concerned protestors might come from outside the area. “We have no issues in Essex County,” Crawley said.

He didn’t know the OPP would contact local individuals in advance of Friday’s event. “They used their own judgment,” he said of the OPP.

Maureen Anderson of Amherstburg, a local co-ordinator for Essex County Wind Action Group, said she is astounded the company or the OPP were anticipating a protest Friday.

Her group didn’t know about the event and there’s only a handful of members here anyway, said Anderson. “There’s no point in having a protest with three or four people.”

Even though she’s often a local spokeswoman, Anderson said she didn’t get a call from the OPP. “I’m kind of insulted,” she said jokingly.

Most people worried about wind turbines are middle-aged homeowners concerned about health issues, the cost to taxpayers and minimal benefits to the environment of wind turbines, McLean said.

McLean, her husband Walter and son Cole farm about 140 acres. She also conducts courses on pesticide safety.

22 thoughts on “OPP quiz Windsor-area woman over wind turbine opposition

  1. Again, the OPP would be better off inquiring what drug dealers intend to do with their time instead of harassing Ontario’s own taxpaying land based citizens who are only concerned about the reckless industrialization of their farmland by Wind Turbines.
    We are not criminals and this government has no need to treat us as such.

  2. McGuinty’s Liberals enacted the anti-democratic provisions of the Green Energy Act that took away citizens’ rights to control the proliferation of wind turbine industrial zones in their own backyards.

    Many of us voiced our concern at that time about this creeping fascism.

    Now this is the result: Liberal Party honchos who have figured out how to make their family fortune at taxpayers’ expense also have control over the OPP and are using the police to intimidate ordinary citizens who refuse to allow McGuinty to destroy our rural Ontario landscape.

    When you camouflage your greed with a “Save the Environment” flag and start chipping away at a citizen’s right to voice an opinion, you lead us all into a police state.

    I’ll NEVER again support the Liberals. I do not want to be a party to the Eco-Nazi movement.

  3. Something still doesn’t add up about this episode. If the Province and the Liberal Government know nothing about this ‘investigation’, does that mean that the OPP is being used by private interests to intimidate people?

  4. YEAH – being contacted by law enforcement is not intimidating!?.
    Don’t ya know – police regularly contact law-abiding citizens to enquire on their well being.
    ‘Well being’ – negatively affected by Industrial Wind Turbines operating too close to their homes.!?

  5. These are the facts:

    Mike Crawley, CEO of the project in question, was freaked out by the mounting protests. He called the special unit to have them investigate any possible protest that might spoil his event.

    The OPP called and tried to visit Colette and Monica to get an idea on what was being planned. The residents here didn’t even know when this event was going to take place.

    The OPP, I believe, were not trying to intimidate but rather ‘investigate”.

    Regardless, it is intimidating to get a knock on the door by the police asking what your future plans are. Is this going to become standard operation at all wind events in Ontario?

    This boils down to a deep distrust of this provinces’ handling of wind development in Ontario. The GEA stripped away our rights and we have been bullied. We have no faith in this government.

    The OPP walked into a political minefield here and, although far from anything violent, there is deep animosity towards the Ontario government and every arm of it.

  6. “Everyone can be assured neither the premier, nor the minister, in this case or in any other case, directed the OPP in any way, shape or form”

    Oh really, Bruce? Well who the hell asked these guys to come to the QUEEN’S PARK protest? A wind company? I don’t think so. Me thinks there was a call put in from the big pink building. Do the wind companies reside there now? I suppose that wouldn’t surprise me.

    What Bruce is trying to say is, “WE would NEVER do THAT!”. What’s to be ashamed of, eh?

  7. Lynne:

    Oh goodness no. The OPP is not being used by Mike Crawley. He is the president of the Liberal Party of Canada in Ontario. That is an official government arm. I mean it was — if you see what I mean. I mean he was — like he’s not now I don’t think.

    Hmmm What I am trying to say is that he is an important Government Official. Ok well not exactly — let’s try this again… I mean like that’s not really Government OK But the Liberal are “The Natural Governing Party” and the represent the will of the people in all “Progressive Manners”.

    SO he’s not really government but a lot of of his friends could make a lot of trouble for anyy OPP officer who dfied or denied the request — so really it’s just alike the request came from a “really powerful person” and…

    Oh I’ve screwed this all up. I don’t seem to be able to express myself very well this morning.

    Maybe Maureen could politely and deferentially ask Mr. Crawley, “Sir” (tugs his forelock) and the OPP for an official statement on this very public and serious manner. I will bet they could explain this use of the “Official Policing Arm of the Province” to investigate mothers in a flash, and in a way that would make us all breathe ever so much easier.

    As for politicians Like him and Frank Klees abandoning their posts to gather in subsidies, well — that’s just good sharp business practice.

    Dontcha know?

    Hope that helps you follow this very complicated manner and makes it simple for you to unnerstan’. eh?

    tugs forelock again and keeps eyes lowered in presence of his magnificence, Sir Mike.

  8. Agree with Lynne that a lot of the facts don’t add up. With any public event, it would be up to the host (Crawley) to determine if and what kind of security need be arranged. Given the passive nature of wind protests to date, it appears presumptuous of the OPP to have taken Crawley’s concerns to the ‘investigative’
    level. Michaud wanted to “better understand the people who might show up for Friday’s event”. Who the hell is he, the OPP’s version of Dr. Phil. Nothing more than harassment.

  9. This is intimidation and Colette should file a formal complaint. Call the ombudsman of Ontario first of all and see what steps you can take. Secondly, get lots of publicity. These are the depths to which McGuinty has sunk! What kind of a country are we anyway? A police state? This sounds more like Gestapo tactics than “The True North Strong and Free”.

    Don’t let this be swept under the rug! It is outrageous!

  10. MA:

    Tugs Forelock, shuffles feet eyes downcast says: “Uh, sorry Moe, but My momma told me to always speak up when something was wrong.”

    On another note I just want you to know that Dante has again been proven right. There is indeed special treatment, and a special place, for resisters, denier, doubters and flouters of the Green Law…

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/06/the-global-warming-inquisition-has-begun/

    You are preventing the good work of the Premier. For this you too shall pay.

    May you be Green In All Things.

  11. This is for the “windies”, be they company, government or the passionate true believers. My daughter is one of the 3 women contacted by the police “liaison unit”. I know that the “call” was put in by the wind company that has the greatest presence in our area, Lambton/Middlesex. This idea of fixating on 3 rural women who form the main opposition to the wind industry is ludicrous in the extreme – 3 farm women??? – what kind of weasel- faced creeps are you???

  12. Spending public money to investigate Private Citizens requires a listing of “expenses” doesn’t it?

    If Public money is being spent then the public has a right to see the expenses. IF this was a “private matter” such as Crawley phoning the Police and asking them to privately contact Citizens on “his and his company’s behalf” would that be a contract with the OPP and private money would have to be paid for this investigation?

    In other words….who the hell is paying for this?………….If it is US then we have a right to know WHY?

  13. Mike (creepy) Crawley was one of the authors appointed to the Electricity Consevation And Supply Task Force which produced the attached report in 2004 addressing Ontario’s power needs. Just check out all the “appointed members” listed on page 2 of the report. a quick read through will give you an idea how this whole Green Energy IMHO “scam” was set up to benefit the task force.

    http://www.ospe.on.ca/pdf/gr_legislation_Electricity_Conservation_and_Supply_Task_Force_Report.pdf

    Just my opinion, but as they say “if there’s stink you usually find sh!#%t”

  14. One final note here………….a “man” afraid of a small group of peaceful and law abiding women who would rather hand out muffins and coffee to Police Officers who have to stand in rain and sleet along with them at past protests isn’t much a “real man” when he has to call the Police to protect him from vocal outbursts!

    Next he’ll be crying for his Mommy, only his Mommy would probably give him a good spanking for what he is doing!

  15. Wally:

    I thought of that “creepy” word too. However there are way too many personal attacks on this site. Unfortunately there are very few ways to make your displeasure known these days. So I do understand.

    I had no idea the GEA was in the works. I think I was away at the time visiting family for some months.

    If this had been well publicized, and the implications had been explained there may have been some well placed outrage and a different voting result. Maybe — there is just too much money to be made by Friends Of Government…

    Instead we have the OPP investigating “Future Crime” in the event that people protest after the fact.

    Question for everybody: Did you vote Liberal? If you did would you do so again? No need to answer here.

    Everybody should take an article to work and leave it where people look for reading material. Just make sure the article points out that Wind Power does not deliver.

    Wind Power does not work! This is not NIMBYISM — I don’t care what I hear from some in this group. There are some serious NIMBY issues with noise, stress and appearance — but first and foremost — these monstrosities do not deliver. Last and finally make sure that everybody knows they do not deliver. Put whatever you want in the middle of the sandwich BUT Wind Turbines do not deliver!

    When the Liberals are voted out we want these monsters removed.

  16. and vote for whom ???????? We need to quit fooling ourselves thinking the grass is going to be greener (pardon the pun) on the other side. Frank Klees is connected to the wind industry on the Conservative’s side. We already have the NDP’s answer and they want wind, wind wind!

    By the way, I’ve never voted for a Liberal in my life.

  17. WillR , you are absolutely right it is not NIMBYism. and my apologies for using the “creepy” reference ( I got worked up a bit there). These monsters do not deliver and most municipal governments know that, but the GEA took all the control from them. The only type of oversight that can be used by municipalities in regard to turbine installation is the Building Code, but that will only cover the construction of the foundation.

    Building inspectors can only oversee that part. My questions to the province now are.. ‘Are there provincial building inspectors who oversee the construction/ erection of these generating complexes? How can We be assured that the integrity of these structures are good? We all know that corners are always “cut” on projects and these just seem to be built very quickly.

  18. Maybe this is all the fault of the ladies. Bear with me while I explain.

    Maybe they broke a law and should be harassed. After all ignorance of the law is no excuse. Even if it is a secret law like this one.

    “The province has secretly passed an unprecedented regulation that empowers police to arrest anyone near the G20 security zone who refuses to identify themselves or agree to a police search.”

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/828367–g20-law-gives-police-sweeping-powers-to-arrest-people?bn=1

    Maybe they had special guests coming to the opening. Maybe their British Masters or their Scottish Lien Holders had someone slipping in to the event.

    After all if the law they are breaking is secret, how would they know anything about the reasons for the attempted interrogations.

    The Soviet Union used to run like this. Anything no specifically permitted was forbidden.

    In North America anything not specifically forbidden was permitted.

    You know something has been “well done” when the change is so subtle that nobody notices — until it is much too late.

    Congratulations to all who worked on this stunning change to the Ontario and Canadian system.

    We who are about to choke on our own vomit salute you!

  19. I stand corrected.

    The legislation appears to have been published.

    As bill Blair pointed out, I simply neglected to do a google search for it.

    http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/regs/english/2010/elaws_src_regs_r10233_e.htm

    Silly me.

    But on reflection, I don’t recall any fanfare that might have caused me to look, nor, do I recall any announcements to the media.

    For now I will take Bill Blairs word for it — nothing but good intentions after all.

    I suspect I am the only one that missed this.

    The rest of you? You might have mentioned it and saved me the embarrassment. Hummpphhh!

  20. Lynne is right–there is more to the story. We know that Sgt. Dan Michaud of the OPP’s provincial liaison team made the contact with Colette MacLean.

    So does an OPP officer with a rank of Sgt kind of sit at his desk and pick eeny meeny miny who he’s going to call, without any direction from a superior, or reporting to a superior?! That would be worrisome, wouldn’t it?

    I hope somebody follows the chain of command upward to ask who REALLY started this.

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