Thunder Bay looking for outside help on Horizon wind project

By Leith Dunick, 21 September 2010

The city is hiring an outside consultant to help them make a decision on the proposed Big Thunder Wind Park.

After a closed-door update on legal and property matters on Monday night, city officials on Tuesday said council has authorized them to engage an expert to review information requested on the project, in particular information relating to the financial data on each turbine and view sheds that illustrate their location.

“The city is being thorough in its due diligence and it is important that we deal with this project in a timely way,” said city manager Tim Commisso in a release.

The $75-million wind farm, which Horizon Wind would like to build on the Nor’Wester Mountain range, has drawn the wrath of Neebing Ward residents who cite property devaluation, threats to endangered species and health concerns as reasons for opposing the project.

Horizon has picked the sites for each of the 18 turbines, but the city has final say on the location. The city has already agreed to lease municipally owned Neebing Township land to Horizon for the project, which now falls under the province’s Green Energy Act.

11 thoughts on “Thunder Bay looking for outside help on Horizon wind project

  1. “The city has already agreed to lease…”

    But have they signed anything and could this “outside consultation”, depending on the qualifications of the consultant, kill the project?

  2. Hiring a “Consultant” is just another way of wasting taxpayers dollars and allowing Council to sound like they are doing “due diligence” in their decision making so they can be “excused” from any liabilities down the road for “selling out their constituents!”

    Consultants and Planners are just another “arm of the Provincial Government” which has put this destructive agenda on the “road to ruin” for Rural Ontario!

    Fake reports and biased studies are just one more “False Flag” in the Governments arsenal to ruin this Province!

  3. Quixote, do you mean that the consultant will be from the Ontario “government”?

  4. Consultants are nothing more than “glorified” Planners!

    Many Planners that used to work for the Provincial Government quit and went to work for “Consulting Agencies”

    These are facts. Planners that work full time for a Municipality always promote Provincial Legislation like the GEA over any concerns of residents.

    If a Consulting Agency EVER took the side of the people against legislation from the Provincial Government they would be out of business after their very first contract!

    Consultants know where the money IS!

    Now I say this knowing very well it could stir up a beehive of condemnation and accusations saying I have no proof!

    All I can tell you is that in over 30+ years of fighting MOE regs and being involved in Waste Management Consultations and Planning Strategies at Municipal level I have see personally the progression of the “players” in these matters from: …………employees of the MOE and Planning Authority of The Ontario Government move onto being employees of Private Consulting Companies who are deeply involved with the very discussions with which they were involved as a an employee of the Government, then seeing the very same “players” show up inside Municipal Townships as full time “Planners” advising Council on all matters regarding Laws from the Ontario Government.

    Now this is full circle and without a long term view of these people’s movements, one would never notice that the same people keep popping up with different titles along the way!

    not that there is anything illegal about this……..but it sure smacks of “bias?”

  5. City and town councils got the message loud and clear about potential liabilites involving the installation of IWT.s on their property.

    They may also have to consult with lawyers to make sure they won’t be liable. Any future legal settlements will have ot be paid by the rate payers.

    It’s common practice for consulting firms to hire former government workers as employees as they are already trained workers familiar with government regulations.

  6. Perhaps in the interest of the concerned citizens of Thunder Bay they should demand that outside independent lawyers be hired to investigate the liability issues pertaining to the installation of wind turbines on city owned land.

    Let the independent lawyers render their opinion/opinions on liability issues regarding wind turbines on city owned land and require that any opinions rendered be made public and published so as to inform all of the citizens of Thunder Bay.

    This must be done before any turbines are installed on city owned land.

  7. This makes a lot of sense, Barbara. And hopefully some city reps will attend the conference in Picton at the end of October.

  8. Claire,
    There is no way of finding out what the liability issues are when wind turbines are installed on private property.

    However,installation on city or township land is the publics business and the public has the right to know what liabilites are involved as the rate payers will have to pay for any legal settlements concerning turbines on that property.

    They also have the right to know if liability insurance can be purchaded for wind turbine installation on city owned or township owned property and what the cost of the insurance will be.

  9. Thanks Barbara. So the consultant is an insurance and liability “expert”, I suppose.

  10. Claire,
    Any liabilty insurance would be written by an insurance company after they have investigated the situation. This would be separate from a concultants work.

    It’s possible that the consulting firm they hired has lawyers on their staff.

    The best situation would be to hire lawyers who were independent of the consulting firm to avoid conflict of interest issues.

    We would need to know just which issues the consulting was hired to investigate. It’s likely that the consultants are only dealing with issues pertaining to the Green Energy Act.

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