Gloves off in wind farm showdown

Industry ready to fight Arran-Elderslie bylaw
Posted By Mary Golem   Owen Sound Sun Times

115-megawatt wind farm project in Arran-Elderslie “is going ahead,” the developer said, although one councillor called the turbines unwelcome “floppy monuments to government stupidity.”

Charles Edey, president of Leader Resources Services Corp., told council at a meeting in Chesley Monday that not only is Leader proceeding with the 46-turbine project near Arran Lake, it has also pooled $250,000 among seven other developers and manufacturers to fight an Arran-Elderslie bylaw — which uses a section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in a bid to control turbine development — and the municipality “all the way to the Supreme Court.”

“We will build resources, including capital and marketing materials, to challenge this bylaw and any similar bylaws passed in other municipalities including funds to support any legal challenge as a result of delayed issuance of building permits,” Edey said.

“That is not to be looked at as a threat, because it is not,” Edey told council and about a dozen wind energy opponents at the meeting. “We don’t believe going to court is a good use of resources, but if that’s what it takes to move the project forward, well . . .”

Edey said he believes council’s bylaw “is designed to be insurmountable.”

The bylaw, passed in May, calls for “the protection of life, liberty and security of person” under Section 7 of the Charter, claiming wind turbines cause serious health effects. The bylaw, circulated to all Ontario municipalities, has received the support of more than 40 municipalities to date.

The bylaw calls for developers to provide certificates issued by Health Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Natural Resources confirming that wind generation facilities being applied for do not cause ill health effects.

Last month council imposed a building permit fee of $150 per $1,000 worth of construction for any turbine project.

Tara ward Coun. Paul Eagleson agreed with Edey that spending money to take the issue to court isn’t a wise use of resources and asked Edey why his company would not spend the money on a health study instead “to prove to us that what you’re saying is really true.”

“We’re trying to our utmost to mitigate issues,” Edey responded. “The reality is that when you take energy from Mother Nature there are going to be costs. I realize there are individuals who believe the turbines should be somewhere else, but there are also others who believe that this is the right spot,” Edey said, assuring council a contingency fund would be put in place “to deal with issues as they arise.”

Edey did his best to sell his proposed project, which he told council has been ongoing since 2006 “when a group of landowners came to Leader Resources to suggest a project area”. He said additional campaigns for participating landowners were undertaken in 2008 and 2010. Edey said more than 80 lease options, consisting of over 7,000 acres of land, have already been signed.

Public consultation meetings have been held in both Saugeen Shores and Arran-Elderslie, he said, and “work is progressing on the archeological review, pre-engineering work and responding to public concerns,” adding Leader Resources is working toward a commission date in the fall of 2011.

Outspoken opponent of wind turbines, Elderslie ward Coun. Mark Davis bluntly told Edey that his company “is not welcome in Arran-Elderslie. All those things are are floppy monuments to government stupidity,” Davis told Edey.

“What sets you and us apart on these things is that you are making a lot of money. We’re trying, as elected officials, to protect the health and well-being of our citizens. I just wish you’d go somewhere else with them.”

Edey responded by saying the chosen location in Arran-Elderslie “is the right spot” for a project, saying there will be both short and long-term benefits for the municipality as a result.

“We recognize the project will have some impact, and we are trying to deal with problems as they arise,” Edey said. “We recognize the turbines will not be invisible . . . and we are trying to more transparent as we move along in the process,” he said, “providing as much information as we can.”

“If you truly care, you’d shut down the project until you know it is safe,” Davis responded.

Port Elgin area lawyer John Mann told Edey it was “willful blindness” on Leader’s part “to not check out all of the reported cases of adverse health effects” caused by turbines.

Long-time wind energy opponent Keith Stelling of RR 1 Southampton criticized Edey for his “arrogant approach to council” and challenged Edey on some of the information he presented saying it was different from what had been presented to council on earlier occasions.

“This whole area is totally unsuitable for a project of this nature,” Stelling said, citing concerns about the loss of a tourism-dependent landscape, dangers to people’s health, concern for birds and other wildlife and “the total lack of consultation” with affected landowners.

Edey assured Stelling “before there’s a shovel in the ground, you will know in explicit detail the project description.”

Later in the meeting, Davis asked chief administrative officer A.P. Crawford to investigate the municipality’s height restrictions bylaw as yet another measure to oppose turbine development.

Davis said the municipality does not have the equipment or trained personnel to deal with emergency situations should they arise on structures the height and size of a turbine.

“If there was ever a fire or any other type of emergency with these things, we cannot offer any type of protective service,” Davis said, adding neighbouring municipalities, such as Kincardine, have rescue trained firemen and equipment to deal with such emergencies.

15 thoughts on “Gloves off in wind farm showdown

  1. IESO – Wind Power Generation In Ontario
    Wind Tracker – August 10 – 6-7am reports
    2 megawatts of power being generated by
    industrial wind turbines. They say:
    “Ontario is on the forefront of wind in Canada with almost 1100 mw of installed capacity on the grid.”

    Mark Davis is right when he says the unwelcomed turbines are a “floppy monument of government stupidity”.

    The only thing Ontario is on the forefront of is
    stupidity. The people of Ontario are not going
    take it anymore. And that is ‘a threat’.
    As Quixote says, “Kick the bums out”.

  2. Of course Edey and all the other “merchants of greed” will sue Municipalities for trying to stop their projects.

    They see their chance to “dive” into the Citizen’s “trough of money” quickly slipping away with every challenge to their “trumped up” sales pitches!

    Come October 26th hopefully there will be a huge additional number of Councils in Ontario stating this very thing: Get Out of our Town!……….You are Not Welcome Here!”

    THEN we go after McGuinty!

  3. One has to wonder if they are using our tax dollars to threaten our municipal governments.

  4. Quixote:

    Are you suggesting they have another source of funds? Who is providing the subsidy? Who is paying for their presentations to OPA and OMB? or whoever?

    I think we know…

  5. At least Mr. Edey is admitting there are issues, not that they care. $250,000 among 7 developers of $100,000,000 projects?

  6. I would suggest that the $$$ that would be made available to Edey and company to fund a law suit would be from the inside investors in the Wind game. These would include Doctors, Lawyers and Investment Junkies who know little if nothing about Wind Turbines and don’t really give a damn!

    When billions of basically “free money” is on the line you will see the “worst of the worst” greed merchants line up at the trough no matter how bad the scheme smells!

  7. Cornered dogs lash out.
    Edey is such a dog.
    The bylaw is sustainable.
    Stay the course.

  8. Desperate measures by a desperate Industry………..I think this By Law could be the beginning of the end for the Wind Scammers!!!!

    Let’s see how much money is thrown at this defiant action…it will be interesting!

  9. I wish McGuinty would create a for certain area without Industrial Wind Turbines. I suspect that would be out his back door? How much to buy a house there?
    Really nice that Wind Turbine developers want to fight the neighbours. Probably are used to it world wide now. This is what happens when a net is spread in someone elses’ pond.

  10. Greg,

    I’ve forwarded your message on to those in that area that might be able to answer your questions.

  11. I just came from a wind turbine meeting in Ripley and was never so disgusted at the people that were there. They had no clue the costs of these turbines nor the income they generate. I showed them the wind output for Ontario for today but still they claim 30% efficiant. We need to swamp their offices with the turbine outputs every day. Also there were a couple of brave farmers that came in after the meeting was over and everyone was gone to talk sign up dealings. There was even a councilor from a nearby township that was there for the free dounuts and come to think of it he wants a windmill.

  12. Shame on US!………….trying to save our homes, land and health from destruction!

    Ever wonder how on D-Day the Canadians ended up behind the “German lines” while the Americans were “hunkered down” on the beaches?

    “Don’t piss off a Canadian!”

  13. Mr. ALias:

    The link to the David Thring article is worth a separate post and discussion.

    http://www.langmichener.ca/index.cfm?fuseaction=content.contentDetail&ID=8447&tID=244

    The deal for turbines looks better than a a mining “venture”.

    Flow-through shares
    Subsidies
    Tax incentives
    Emission reduction credits

    And the Capper!

    “Renewable portfolio standards

    The federal government’s “purchase of electricity from renewable resources” (“PERR”) program aims to provide leadership towards the development of consumer markets for electricity generated from wind and other renewable sources. This initiative commits the federal government to purchase electricity from these sources for use by federal facilities.

    The Ontario government has set targets of generating 5% (1,350 MW) of Ontario’s total energy capacity from renewable sources by 2007, and 10% (2,700 MW) by 2010. A recent Request for Proposal seeking an additional 300 MW of new, renewable electricity capacity for Ontario constitutes the first step towards attaining these renewable energy targets.

    The government of Ontario has also recently amended the Electricity Act, 1998 to restructure Ontario’s electricity sector, encourage the expansion of electricity supply and capacity, including supply and capacity from alternative and renewable energy sources such as wind energy, facilitate load management and electricity demand management, encourage electricity conservation and the efficient use of electricity, and regulate prices in parts of the electricity sector.”

  14. David, you are absolutely correct, this is what the wind industry is all about, these wind companies are not interested in making electricity, they are only interested in making money from taxpayers dollars. This is what the Ontario people need to know.

    If you found that Link interesting, check this one out.

    http://www.langmichener.ca/uploads/content/LM%20In%20Brief%20Spring%202007.pdf

    Then search the brief for the MPP for Ottawa Centre and see how many times his name appears within the brief.

    I made this connection some months back, makes you think about who’s really running the government.

  15. With Apologies to JM

    Big Whirling Turbine

    They razed paradise
    And put up a windmill lot
    With a sub station, a new road
    And a whirlin’ bird masher
    Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    ‘Til it’s gone
    They razed paradise
    And put up a turbine plot

    They killed all the bats
    And put them in a bat museum
    Then they charged the people
    A dollar and a half just to see ’em
    Don’t it always seem to go,
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    ‘Til it’s gone
    They razed paradise
    And put up a substation!

    Hey farmer, farmer
    Rip up that contract
    Leave me peace at my home too
    Just LEAVE me the birds and the bats
    Please!
    Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    ‘Til its gone
    They razed paradise
    To install a subsidy plot!

    Late last night
    I heard the turbines howl
    And an OPP SWAT team
    Come and took away my old man
    Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    ‘Til it’s gone
    They razed paradise
    And put up a parking lot
    For A howlin’ turbine plot!

    I said
    Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    ‘Til it’s gone
    They razed paradise
    And put up a money plot

    They razed paradise
    And put up a turbine lot
    They razed paradise
    They made up a subsidy plot!

    –30–

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