Some ‘open house!’

Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal

On Aug. 4, my husband and I drove the several kilometres down Highway 61, through construction and gravel country roads to attend the Big Thunder Wind Park Open House held at the Blake Community Hall. When we arrived we were stopped at the door by four Apex security guards. There were also two OPP officers.

One of the security guards told us that no more people were allowed in because the hall was “filled to capacity.” After finding out that the hall capacity was 150 people and by looking at the number of cars in the parking lot, we suspected it was not full.

An OPP officer approached us and said that the “open house” was closed due to a “turn in the mood of the crowd.” Which was it — too full or too moody?

A representative of Horizon came out and gave us some information pamphlets and a survey to fill out. We wanted to hear the proceedings so we were forced to stand outside and listen at an open window.

The discussion indoors sounded orderly and we could not understand why we could not enter. My husband asked to speak to the OPP staff sergeant. He spoke to someone inside, after which we were allowed in.

Upon entering the hall, we were mandatorily videotaped, forced to give our names, address/email and group affiliation, if any, and made to wear nametags. If we did not agree to these terms, we would not be allowed in.

There were additional security guards inside, another OPP officer and at least six representatives of the PR firm hired by Horizon to make sure the citizens of Thunder Bay have a positive view of the company and their wind turbines.

I would like to know who paid for these OPP officers to be at this “open house” instead of doing their regular jobs. Were they on overtime? Was this planned? Were three OPP Officers and six security guards really necessary?

I have never felt so intimidated. I was made to feel like I had done something wrong, and therefore had to be policed and controlled. As concerned, taxpaying citizens, we had every right to attend this so-called “open house.” I wonder how many people will avoid future open houses due to this atmosphere of intimidation. This was a strange way for Horizon Wind to present a project that is supposed to be open and transparent.

Helen and Joseph Cimone, Thunder Bay

9 thoughts on “Some ‘open house!’

  1. What’s next?……..being beaten with Billy Clubs if you ask any questions?………………………..here’s an idea….instead of going inside these meetings tell the Bums to get out of town and blockade the doors so nobody can come inside!…………..better yet, set up road blocks to keep the Wind Sleaze out of your town!

    A good old fashioned Welcome Wagon greeting these “sleazeballs” when they try and cross into your township should tell them they aren’t wanted!

  2. More taxpayer’s money being wasted. When good programs get slashed because there is no money you have to remember where the money was spent. Industrial wind turbine developments are nothing but a drain on the economy of the communities and the rest of the province. Anyone involved in industrial wind is after our money, for nothing in return. Industrial wind turbines provide no benefit to our power system, especially in the north.

  3. ” NEW TACTICS”

    Was “PAPER CLIP” Crawley there and afraid that the crowd was going to be asking to many questions that the wind company couldn’t have answered without lying.

    To Helen and Joseph Cimone of Thunder Bay, you didn’t miss anything because these meetings do not mean anything. These meetings are just for show. The first thing I would be doing is lodging a complaint with your Mayor and ask her/him what is going to be done by your municipal representatives about what you experienced at this meeting. Ask whether your tax dollars are paying for these officers and if not then all their presence dictates and or amounts to is that they were paid thugs. As far as I am concerned if the OPP are being paid by TAX dollars then they should be in full uniform. If they are not then they should not be there.

    The second thing I would do is I would complain to Minister Bartolucci. Complain to him about the way you felt about being intimidated. Bartolucci’s responsibility is for community safety. Your presence there didn’t have anything to do with safety no matter what type of spin they put on.

    The third thing I would do is write Minister Gerretsen and ask him were it says in the Green Energy Act or in its regulations that says that the proponent and or developer has the right to demand that you be video taped and named tagged. This is a violation of your CIVIL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS. It’s an invasion of your privacy I would demand that Gerretsen do something.

    With each letter you write, send a copy to the Editor(s) of your local news paper.

    To sum up all of the above what would you expect from a wind company anyway as they are all crooks. A crook will interpret governances to suit their best interest and your situation is a classic example. It’s been said:

    “a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy, but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion”

    ….. this my friends is called Fascism. Welcome to the new McOntario designed by the Premier and the boys.

    It’s only going to be a matter of time when all of Ontario sees its police force for what it is. The day will come when one of them needs the public’s help and it won’t be there and when that comes there will only be one person to blame and that will be the police Commissioner of Ontario.

    Do not let what happened to you go by without any action on your part. It is essential that you make your complaints in writing. You cannot stand by and allow your civil liberties to be taken away from you. If we do not react in this manner to each time that this happens we open the door to allow this type of harassment and intimidation without cause to escalate. They are pushing us and we have to push back and make it known that we will not tolerate this type of treatment.

    Whatever anyone plans to do as reaction to this sort of situation we must be very firm in our actions but it is also essential that we remain this side of the law. In a short while I’m sure that we will experience the situations where we are being set up to react in an aggressive manner and in turn there will be negative consequences and the punishment that is awarded will be used to be portrayed in the media by those awarding the punishment that we are just an isolated group that is out of control. We cannot get involved in this charade. We have to remain strong and focused and determined and involved and do not do anything that they can use against us. Loud voices and finger pointing and angry faces should be within our repertoire as long as things don’t get out of hand. It is very obvious that the wind companies can’t handle the fact that we want answers and proof and we want to be heard and listened to, which is our privilege under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and we should never lose site of that.

  4. Just to reiterate what Mr. Alias said:

    To all the new people just coming into this:

    Public Consultation means NOTHING! There is not even a pretense anymore of accountability, transparency or acceptance of public input. None.

    Developers just want to get it over with ASAP. Any comments you write to them will be promptly thrown in the garbage. If you come to protest, you will be treated like a criminal. The OPP and security will be there watching you (paid by the wind company and sanctioned by the Ontario government).

  5. I think it is time for municipalities to institute a fee for public meetings that are specifically about Alternative energy. A fee of say $50,000 per meeting sounds about right.

    Further a security clearance for all alternative energy presenters should be mandatory along with a criminal background check to be carried out by the local police force — not by the OPP. The criminal background checks and security checks should be presented to council well in advance of any public meeting.

    As far as actually proving service to the alternative energy industry it seems to me that a fee for engineering and design services as well as alterations to local emergency services should start at $250,000 up front fee for initial planning and service coordination. Road permits, fire control permits and “Green Fees” for assessment of municipal environmental impact should also be considered.

    Let your imagination run wild local councils!

    Review your building permit fees.

    Review your road usage fees.

    Upgrade your infrastructure.

    It’s just a away of redirecting provincially collected taxpayer fees to local coffers — it;s fair game.

    Set rates for Solar and Wind environmental fees depending on habitat destruction!

    WAKE UP!

  6. We all know why security is required. Persons hosting these “open houses” identify themselves as the lying manipulators they are and have reason to feel “threatened”–all self assumed.
    Meaning–they know the damage being caused in rural communities.
    Maybe it’s as simple as having a guilty conscience. It looks good on them.
    Should they appear on a programme such as the Dragon’s Den they would be shown the door and fast. That’s what happened to someone selling “snake oil”.

  7. As a person who was visited by the OPP at my home because I was a known dissenter of the wind project in my area, I can empathize with the Cimones. This is a classic example of intimidation by the windies and it is extremely important that we do not succomb to this kind of tactic. We are doing nothing wrong by opposing this kind of development. You will often hear that you have a right to your difference of opinion, but in turn do not have the right to impose your opinion on anyone else. Don’t take this B.S. how else will the truth be revealed if we do not have shared debate on this gov’t’s policies and iniatives. Remember, silence is considered by politicians as consent even if you do not agree! I applaud the Cimones for having the courage to recount their story. We need more of this in the public eye. Complain to your MPP, your council, file a complaint with the OPP. Do it all!

  8. IF we all had a Municipal Council doing their “due diligence” then none of this would be happening.

    I would suggest that Municipal Councils pass a By-Law that NO Public Meetings will be allowed within their townships without an application of approval being presented to Council prior to the meeting and if there is one single possibility that the citizens of that Township’s safety may be compromised by the people who are hosting that meeting then the application should be DENIED!

    Turn the responsibility for civil behaviour back onto the people causing this.

    For a taxpayer and citizen of this Province who is going about his/her business in a lawful and peaceful manner to be placed in a position of harm by our very own Government is despicable, unlawful and can no longer be tolerated!

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