Re: Violations of Section 2 of the Green Energy Act, Constitution and Charter, requiring no approval of any wind project by MOE and the government
This letter is pursuant to Community Consultation under Section 2 of the Green Energy Act and the Constitution and Charter.
I live within the proposed Arran Wind Energy Project. The proposed Arran Wind Energy Project cannot be approved for the following reasons, and for the reasons I have provided to others throughout the Community Consultation period. Further, any proposed wind project within my Community of Saugeen Shores cannot be approved for the following reasons, and for the reasons I have provided to others throughout the Community Consultation period.
Section 2 of the Green Energy Act has been violated. Our government has failed to review the Community Consultation. The violations of Section 2 invalidate the Green Energy Act and the regulations. Our ministry of environment cannot approve any wind project because of the violations and until the violations are remedied and fixed, and only after the Community ultimately approves the wind project for its Community.
Section 2 is the first and most important substantive provision in the Green Energy Act, stating:
“This Act shall be administered in a manner that promotes community consultation.”
The importance of Section 2 is highlighted by the fact that no other legislative act has similar language. Under Section 2, the Community has the final say on whether or not an industrial wind project comes into its Community and under what conditions. I know you agree with me that this is necessary to preserve our local communities and democracy, the foundation of our Constitution and Charter.
On August 17, 2010, I received a letter from my MPP Carol Mitchell, following up our meeting on July 2, 2010. I appreciate MPP Mitchell meeting with me and following up. MPP Mitchell attempted to clarify her position on Section 2 of the Green Energy Act. When we met on July 2, 2010, MPP Mitchell admitted she was not a lawyer, and she was not familiar with the meaning of Section 2 of the Green Energy Act. At the time of the meeting she was cautious and would not necessarily agree with the clear express meaning of Section 2 that the Community has the final say on the wind energy projects. MPP Mitchell conceded that the Community was important in the approval of the wind energy projects. Now, after one month since our meeting, MPP tries to clarify her position on Section 2 of the Green Energy Act.
MPP Mitchell now says Section 2 does not give the “municipality” the final say on any given project. This is troubling. First, I would expect my MPP to know Section 2 inside and out and not need any time to clarify her interpretation. It is the most important substantive provision of the Green Energy Act, and MPP Mitchell voted in favour of it. Second, “Community Consultation” has the final say. The “municipality” is included and is a part of the “Community Consultation.” The municipality has the authority to take whatever steps it needs to take to enforce “Community Consultation.” MPP Mitchell does not even mention “Community Consultation.” MPP Mitchell just says the “municipality” does not have the final say, without citing any authority. Perhaps, MPP Mitchell is erroneously referring to the “municipal consultation” which is separately required under the regulations.
Third, Section 2 expressly gives “Community Consultation” the final say over these wind projects. Fourth, MPP Mitchell suggests that approval authority for a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) rests with our ministry of environment pursuant to regulations under the Green Energy Act. A regulation cannot trump Section 2 of the Green Energy Act. Section 2 controls the approval process. The MOE cannot approve any project if Community Consultation does not approve the project. Query: Why would my elected representative and the elected representative of my Community, without citing any legal authority and contrary to the express language of Section 2 of the Green Energy Act, say that non-elected bureaucrats in the MOE [not accountable and outside the community] trump her constituency? She cannot. The absurdity is obvious.
Non-elected bureaucrats in the MOE must follow the Community Consultation, and they violate Section 2 and are liable if they do not. Fifth, Carol Mitchell’s interpretation of Section 2, not only is inaccurate and wrong, she appears to be trying to make Section 2 meaningless, contrary to every statutory construction principle known to the law. Query: Why would Carol Mitchell take such an anti-democratic position that is contrary to every fundamental democratic principle at the foundation of our community? Something is terribly wrong. As you will see in the following, the government has violated Section 2 of the Green Energy Act, the Constitution, and the Charter. The public was invited and encouraged to give input, gave it, and it was not reviewed. It probably is systemic.
The system is broken. Democracy is broken. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. You do not have to get to the Constitutional and Charter violations since Section 2 was violated. Since Section 2 was violated, over and over again [including Carol Mitchell’s letter], our MOE non-elected bureaucrats cannot approve a wind project. Sixth: To be continued.
I comment further on MPP Mitchell’s letter. MPP Mitchell at our meeting on July 2, 2010, did not know who reviewed the Port Elgin Public Meeting related to the Green Energy Act regulations [1 of only 6 in Ontario] sponsored by our MOE. She admitted to me that it had to be reviewed and she would obtain the review documentation and information for me. More than one month later in her letter dated August 5, 2010 [post-marked August 10 after my August 9 e-mail copy to Arran Wind Energy Project?], MPP Mitchell advises me that our non-elected bureaucrats [who we pay] will respond to my request through the freedom of information non-elected bureaucrats.
This is also very troubling. First, MPP Mitchell, pursuant to Section 2 of the Green Energy Act, should have reviewed the questions and concerns by our Community members, which included me. Instead of reviewing it, MPP Mitchell did not know what I was talking about, and knew nothing, and still knows nothing about the review of the Port Elgin Public Meeting [June 22, 2009]. In my view, this is a violation of Section 2 of the Green Energy Act. I would expect my Community elected representative in the legislature would review the Community concerns and questions. MPP Mitchell is our Community elected representative and accountable to us. The freedom of information non-elected bureaucrats have nothing to do with my request.
These non-elected bureaucrats should never be in a position to tell the people that pay them what they are and are not entitled to. [I need copies of the internal and external communications related to this issue]. Second, and equally important, MPP Carol Mitchell did not attend this most important public meeting wherein Community Consultation took place. 1 of 6 such meetings in all Ontario, and our local MPP did not appear. That is unacceptable. On the other side of the coin, I note MPP Carol Mitchell had time to attend, in Kincardine, an Enbridge Wind Project opening party by invitation only while her constituents protested the wind project outside the invitation only party. The police attended to stifle Community Consultation.
Since Section 2 of the Green Energy Act and our Constitution and Charter have been violated, a wind project cannot be approved by our ministry of environment and government.
We elected our government from our local communities. The government is comprised of our employees who work for us. They are employed by us to protect our voice in government. After they serve as our employees they will return to our local communities.
The Green Energy Act, Section 2, has been violated by our ministry and our government. I need to find out from you what remedy is available to me and the members of the Saugeen Shores Community. The Constitution and Charter related to basic Democratic Rights of Local Community Members has been violated by our ministry and our government and requires a remedy. I need to find out from you what remedy is available to me and the members of the Saugeen Shores Community.
Since October of 2009, I have been contacting numerous people [employees of ours] in our ministry and our government. I have asked for the documentation related to the review of the June 2009 Port Elgin Public Meeting sponsored by the ministry of the environment. The meeting was 1 of 6 in all of Ontario put on by our ministry for the sole purpose of obtaining the important Community input that was going to be reviewed and implemented into the regulations related to the Green Energy Act, and particularly to the 550 metre setback regulation. The conclusion after all my efforts is that the Community input was not reviewed.
I met with your Manager of the Green Energy Program Development, Mr. Barry Duffey [a bureaucrat, not elected by us], in June, 2010. He found for me and reviewed with me at his office the flip chart of some of the Community input made at that Port Elgin Public Meeting. He had no idea what I was talking about related to documentation and review by the ministry and government of the Community input. He still has no idea. He told me to go through the freedom of information people [not elected by the Community] who have no relationship with my request.
I spoke with Mr. Fred Ruiter, the head [coordinator] freedom of information person for the ministry [not elected bureaucrat], who told me he had no idea if the flip chart was reviewed and he had no idea if there was documentation that would accompany such a review. He told me he would ask Barry Duffey, but Barry had not told him that he knew where any such documentation was. I told Barry I just wanted to review the documentation in his office. Barry refuses to do so. [This makes no sense since Barry had already met with me and reviewed with me the flip chart that had been vetted and edited by the freedom of information bureaucrats. I need to see the inter-office communications related to this issue].
As already noted above, I have asked my MPP, Carol Mitchell, for it. — It does not exist. I further assume none of the other 5 MOE Public Meetings were reviewed either. Your predecessor’s own “quote” on the Ontario invitation to us Community Members establishes what a fraud these Public Meetings were:
[June 9, 2009: “McGuinty government invites public input”]
“I encourage Ontarians to provide input into the proposed renewable energy approvals process. It’s our goal to ensure that Ontario has plenty of sources of green energy that meet human health and environment standards.” – John Gerretsen, minister of the Environment
Ontarians provided input and our government did not review it. How is this possible? How can the violation of Section 2 of the Green Energy Act be remedied? How can the violations of the Constitution and Charter be remedied?
Our government asked for community input, got community input, and did not review it. Our government destroyed community democracy pursuant to its quick and dictator-like efforts to pass the Green Energy Act and its regulations while ignoring all dissent and ignoring all Community input. The Community input at the Port Elgin MOE meeting included lengthening the 550 setback regulation while providing common sense reasons and solutions for the request, asking for studies and investigations of actual people harmed by wind turbines [some who spoke at the Public Meeting] prior to any further wind turbines being built, and the 550 metres was not acceptable in any fashion, and providing sound reasons therefore.
None of this input was reviewed or implemented. 550 metres was proposed at the Public Meeting, and 550 metres was adopted in the final enactment of the regulation, without change and without comment, and without any review of the Community input. A clear and complete violation of Section 2, Green Energy Act.
The government invitation went on to encourage many different ways [but not exhaustive] to present input to the government to be reviewed. It was a fraud. We community members stood up and literally only spoke to the wall. I am going to be reviewing the video of the meeting. No one attending for the government [low level non-elected bureaucrats] could answer any questions. The wind project people in my community did not even attend.
Why? Because the wind project people knew the 550 metre regulation was a done deal. They knew the government was not going to pay any attention to the very community input they went out of their way to request. It was not going to change no matter what community consultation. Otherwise, the wind project people would have been at the meeting making a case for the 550 metre setback. Section 2 of the Green Energy Act is violated. The Charter and Constitution are violated. EPA section 1 is violated. Numerous other serious violations have occurred. What are you going to do about it, particularly after your highlighted quote above? Democracy has taken a fatal blow by our very own government. We, the Community, look to you to remedy and correct the serious violations.
Why wasn’t the Port Elgin Public Meeting by the MOE videotaped so that a proper record could be made to properly review the Community Consultation? An obvious violation of Section 2 of the Green Energy Act. The legislative proceedings related to the Green Energy Act are televised. We were told over and over by the MOE facilitators at the Public Meeting that our questions and comments were going to be reviewed by the government. They were not. A shocking destruction of Section 2 and Community democracy, requiring a remedy.
I note that I have reviewed the Environmental Bill of Rights related to Public Input requested by our ministry and our government related to the Green Energy Act and the regulations. This was public input, not private. I posted my comments so others in my Community could consider them and I could consider theirs, and so my Community Members could consult with me and I with them. I have discovered that someone in the freedom of information bureaucracy, an employee of the Community, blacked out material parts of our submissions, including making it impossible to communicate and consult with other Community Members, a clear violation of Section 2, Green Energy Act. Material parts of my submissions were blacked out. I gave no one permission to black out anything on my public document. I gave no one permission to commit forgery of public documents. People in our government and in our ministry have agreed with me that the blacking out was unlawful. I have asked for who did the blacking out, along with the what, where, who, why, and how. No response. Please respond. I have also asked for the documentation for the reviews. No response. The submissions were not reviewed.
One submission was blacked out, but in the next line it was not. How can you explain this double violation and what is the remedy?
My MPP left the floor of the legislature during debate on the Moratorium Motion, knowing her constituents were in the balcony. We were expelled from the balcony and advised that the legislature had adjourned for the day. That was a lie. The legislature came back, and my MPP came back and voted against the Moratorium without explanation and without us [her employers] there to witness it. What other employee in any other business would treat an employer like that? What remedy do I have, and what remedy do my community members have for these violations of Section 2 of the Green Energy Act, our Constitution and Charter?
I reside within the proposed Arran Wind Energy Project. I attended open houses sponsored by the wind project. The Notice of the open house was defective in that the map did not identify where the project was proposed. The local Community would not know where the project was proposed by looking at the map in the notice in the newspaper. Section 2 of the Green Energy Act and the regulation requiring 2 public meetings were violated. The “open house” was not a required “public meeting”. The open house was not recorded in any way. The open house did not allow for Community Consultation because we could not hear questions and comments by our Community Members and we could not hear the responses to questions and concerns by our Community Members. We were advised there was going to be no public meeting because it could not be controlled by the wind project group. 2 public meetings are required. I note that holding the 2 required meetings is merely part of the approval process and does not control approval in and of itself.
At the open houses I attended, the wind project representatives in attendance would not or could not answer the vast majority of my important questions. I did not witness one wind project representative writing or recording [by video or in any fashion] any of the questions or comments by the Community members in attendance. Those questions and comments and responses [if any] are forever lost and cannot be retrieved. I was encouraged by the wind project representatives to put my questions and concerns in writing and they would respond to them. Approximately 1 month ago, I gave and sent some of my important questions and concerns to the wind project representatives. No response. In my view, this is another violation of Section 2, Green Energy Act, and also violations of the regulations required of the wind project.
Mr. Charles Edey, the head of the Arran Wind Energy Project suggested that I meet with him, and he has set aside a time to meet with him. I appreciate that.
I need to see a “Kevin” Letter that confirms that everything done is unlawfully arbitrary without any discretion or review of particular facts. I also need an explanation on how our ministry could review Peter Lomath’s documents when the documents were returned to sender. That needs a separate investigation.
I am sure you agree with me, these serious violations require a public inquiry.
When I stand up at a Public Meeting put on by my government, I expect to be heard. I was not. My government did not review my input. I expect my Community Members to be heard. We were not. Our government did not review our Community input. When I post important submissions on the Public EBR requested by my government, I expect to be heard. I was not. My government did not review my input. I expect my Community Members to be heard. We were not. Our government did not review our input. I do not expect my public comments to be edited and censored illegally on important public and democratic issues. In my view, the Green Energy Act and its regulations, and particularly the 550 metre regulation, are invalid because of the violations of Section 2 of the Green Energy Act and the violations of every democratic principle related to community input and democracy under the Constitution and Charter. [The regulation also is in violation of the ministry’s and government’s requirement to ensure no adverse effects under the Environmental Protection Act, Section 1.] In the future, when there is a Public Meeting put on by our government again asking for public input on anything, what are we to think? I will not trust the process again as it currently stands. Something must be done. As citizens and community members this is the most serious violation of democratic principles our government can create. It probably is systemic. It is unacceptable. The system has evolved into a cancer that eliminates grass roots democracy. I have been trying to find a duo similar to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, but perhaps a Judicial and Public Inquiry is required to fix and correct the broken democracy. We owe that particularly to the Canadian men and women in Afghanistan protecting the very democracy we are losing.
Instead of reviewing our Community input and instead of investigating actual victims of wind turbines known to the government, our government summarily dismisses the Citizen Constituent Complainants as NIMBY’s. What do you think of that? How, in a civilized and democratic Country, is this possible? Any other employee acting this way would lose his or her job.
As a result, no approval of any wind project can be granted until these serious violations of the Constitution, Charter, and Green Energy Act are remedied, and the Community ultimately approves the wind project to come into its Community. In my view, MPP Mitchell’s letter to me on August 5, 2010, agrees with this. Section 2 of the Green Energy Act controls and trumps any conflict with a regulation. The regulations must first and foremost comply with Section 2 of the Green Energy Act. I am sure you and MPP Mitchell agree with me that the Community Consultation is the most important part of any wind project. You both voted for it and made it the number 1 requirement to be followed prior to any project approval.
How do you investigate and enforce Section 1 of the Environmental Protection Act, related to the adverse effects caused by the industrial wind turbines? Until you can guarantee no adverse effects under the Green Energy Act and the EPA you cannot approve a wind project. To approve is nothing more than willful blindness related to adverse effects, bordering on intentional infliction of harm to people. Without doing the actual studies on known victims [e.g., 106 known victims in Ontario out of 690 wind turbines] and setting up protocols that can be enforced [as Dr. King conceded had not been done yet] in my view establishes liability for intentional infliction of harm on people if the wind projects are approved.
My question to you is: When can I and members of my Community and other communities meet with you and your delegates to find a solution to fix and correct and remedy what we have lost? No wind project can be approved until a solution is found, and only after the Community ultimately approves the project.
I am sure you will agree with me that even one citizen harmed by these turbines is one too many.
106 victims out of 690 Ontario Industrial wind turbines are known to our government. [There are others, silenced by contracts or intimidation or otherwise]. You and our government have not investigated one of these victims, citizens of Ontario and your employers. You are elected to protect us and particularly the victims. It is willful blindness bordering on intentionally harming these people not to check it out and resolve these complaints and to make sure none occur in the future to any other citizens [your employers].
Dr. Arlene King, Chief Medical Officer, in my view could not be qualified as an expert under Justice Goudge’s Guidelines and Recommendations in his Report. Dr. King merely did a periodical review without any independent investigation and not one study of any of the 106 known victims. Our ministry of health has been noticeably absent throughout the entire process. Why? It should be front and centre. Why does Dr. King [infectious disease expert] come forward now, after the fact, with her book report without any investigation. Again, willful blindness bordering on intentional harming of citizens. Putting your head in the sand does not avoid liability and responsibility, especially when you are elected and paid by the people you are to protect.
The OPP is investigating some Community Members without any reason, stifling and violating the Constitution, Charter, and Section 2 of the Green Energy Act. What do you think about that? What a nice touch to “green energy” to have police called to the scene. Is this Iraq? How can this happen? Something is terribly wrong and needs your immediate attention to fix it.
I am encouraged by Dr. Hazel Lynn of our medical unit in Grey/Bruce, who has spoken out for more studies and make sure these turbines do not harm anyone. Dr. Lynn has stood up to the lobby groups and our government in favour of her sworn oath as a responsible doctor.
If these things were so good, people would be paying to have them on their property, and not paid for keeping quiet. The proof is in the following: Would you and your family pay to live in a wind farm or pay for similar property not near a wind farm? Dr. King concedes and admits liability on the part of our government that wind turbines annoy people. I am sure you will agree with me that our government must not allow anyone to annoy our citizens. Incredibly, Dr. King agrees these things annoy. They annoy 24/7/365. Unlike music from the neighbor, the wind turbines never stop. I know you agree with me that this must not happen, period. Let me know if this is incorrect. You as an individual cannot go to your local Community and request the ability to annoy your neighbor.
Studies establish that birds and animals disappear from wind farms. Apparently, they move out. My Partner’s sister in Amaranth wind farm was forced to abandon and move out of her house because of adverse health effects from the wind turbines. You do animal studies. You don’t do human studies. How in a civilized Country is this possible? I am sure this is not acceptable to you. Please assure me that the actual human studies will now take place before anything else proceeds under the Green Energy Act.
How do we fix and correct the broken system, and what remedy do we have? Until this system is fixed and corrected, these wind projects must stop. To allow them to continue is more than willful blindness related to liability and is unacceptable. Dr. King admitted on the part of our government that there have been no studies and no protocols and they are starting to investigate that. This is absolutely irresponsible not to have done that prior to enacting the Green Energy Act and regulations. Again, it goes beyond willful blindness.
I have just received my local community newspaper, the Shoreline Beacon. The headline reads: “Eight off-shore wind power applications in immediate area.” This is the first I have heard about it. It appears the time for public consultation ends today, the day it appeared in the community paper. A further violation of Section 2, and our Constitution and Charter. I note with interest that the setback for the wind turbines is 5 km offshore, rather than the 550 metre setback from a residence. How is this possible? The government has determined that wind turbines cause adverse effects if they are under 5 km from the shoreline, but they only cause adverse effects if they are under 550 metres from a residence. The absurdity is obvious. The government has now determined that these wind turbines should be at least 5 km from a residence. To hold otherwise would make the off-shore regulation meaningless. I also note with interest that MPP Carol Mitchell wants to extend the time for public consultation related to these off-shore regulations. Why is MPP Mitchell interested in the off-shore consultation when she does not know what the on-shore consultation was? Perhaps lake shore residents have more political clout than we in lonely rural communities. That, unfortunately, is a fact that I am sure you will agree with. I am sure you agree that the 5 km must now be part of the on-shore regulation. I am looking forward to your confirmation of this.
I live within a proposed wind project [Arran Wind Energy Project] in Saugeen Shores. I need answers quickly.
I look forward to your prompt response. I look forward to meeting with you related to the broken democracy. In the interim, immediately inform your colleagues [who we elected along with you] to stop all wind projects until this is fixed. After a solution and remedy is provided, the Community will ultimately decide if the wind project will come into its Community. Thank you.
John Mann, Saugeen Shores, Ontario