Multinationals could soon develop Ontario’s Provincial Parks

Crown land could help South Korea’s Samsung meet its $7-billion wind and solar developments

by Lawrence Solomon  National Post

Ontario’s provincial parks may soon be open to wind and solar developers to help meet the goals of its Green Energy Act, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has revealed in a “strategic policy review of renewable energy development on Crown land.” The government move follows fierce opposition from communities across the province, which object to having industrial wind farms and the transmission towers they require as neighbours. By locating the wind turbines in provincial parks, and recasting the wind farms as wind parks, the province hopes to sidestep much of the landowner opposition seen to date.

Opening up crown land to renewables and transmission line developers has other advantages, too. By providing land at low rates, the province could blunt one of the chief objectives to The Green Energy Act – the immense power increases that the province’s ratepayers are experiencing. The province’s vast park holdings will also assist developers who have had difficulty in acquiring large tracts of land from troublesome landowners.

This week, for example, Korean multinational Samsung failed to reach an agreement with Canada’s largest aboriginal group, Six Nations, over wind and solar projects that would help Samsung meet a $7-billion development commitment to the province. Access to crown land would not only give Samsung other options, it would also improve its bargaining ability with landowners like Six Nations who are willing to give up their land for developments, but are holding out for a better deal. Most of the renewables industry is controlled by multinationals, not by home-grown idealists, as some might imagine.

The province is now rushing through its policy review, with a completion date expected this

21 thoughts on “Multinationals could soon develop Ontario’s Provincial Parks

  1. It does NOT matter where wind turbines/”horse & buggy” wind turbines are placed in Ontario because they have to be paid for in consumers Hydro bills.

    It also does not matter where they are placed as wind turbines do not produce reliable, despatchable electricity when needed.

    It’s about time that elected officials got real and did their science homework!!!

    Instead they think they can play games with an informed electorate and get away with it.

  2. are you kidding me put them in the parks our children and there children will have nothing is this province to enjoy this government is out of there minds.

  3. This is just like the proposal that England UK has just started.

    They want to lease all the publically owned forests, but they have not told the public that Industrial Wind Turbines will be placed there.

    Soon there won’t be anyone in Ontario to farm/live etc

  4. It is time to put the McGuinty Government on notice that they will be held fully accountable for the destruction of public lands in this Province. Generations of Ontarians have contributed to the building of these natural areas – saving them from the very type of industrial development and destruction now being contemplated by this Government. These lands were protected for the enjoyment and edification of future generations – we will not allow them to be destroyed in an ill-conceived attempt to create a legacy for Dalton McGuinty!

    When elected, this Government was not given this Province to do with it what they pleased. They are guardians of this wonderous place – entrusted with the responsibility to protect it from the very type of destructive, profiteering in which they are presently engaged (or at the very least complicit).

    If they think we are upset about their behaviour so far – just watch how the people of Ontario will react to the destruction of our Provincial Parks!

    Mr. McGuinty – don’t even think about it !!!!

  5. Wind turbines in the lakes and in the provincial parks? This is becoming a freaking nightmare. It is nothing short of the wholesale destruction of our province.

  6. Chief Coun. Bill Montour, could you please show Mr. McGuinty how to reject Samsung? It would appear he is having trouble seeing through the green and making sense of the black and white.

  7. My heart is breaking.

    We are so intent in destroying our natural heritage for an obsolete technology that will not prove be the magic bullet to service our insatiable energy needs.

    It will be like DDT all over again… years later and only after people like Rachel Carson are humiliated and ridiculed for ringing the loud alarm bell – oops – perhaps DDT is not the panacea it was touted to be.

    The same will hold true for industrial wind turbines and large scale solar farms. The problem now, is that many birds species are at their lowest population numbers since bird counts were instituted.

    Even if there are many Rachel Carsons ringing many loud alarms bells, this time it may be too late. Habitat fragmentation leads to loss of biodiversity. Loss of biodiversity leads to extinction.

  8. Smitherman promised Samsung 500MW on the Windsor corridor and Duguid committed to give them 500MW on the Bruce/Milton corridor. That still leaves McGuinty about 1500MW short on his Korean deal. The Six Nations has backed out, rural Ontario is on fire facing the election, so Dalton has to find some place somewhere to meet his promises, otherwise all those green jobs he talks about will vanish.

    Secondly, by offering up environmentally sensitive crown land and parks, he can suggest to his liberal urban supporters that his (and their) dreams for a green clean future are in jeopardy in the face of small minded rural NIMBYs. His hands are tied; it is not him against us, it is them against us.

    If wind turbine development is ‘appropriate’ for crown land, then rural antis are being completely unreasonable in their opposition to a poor farmer’s ‘back-40’ income opportunity.

  9. So much for protecting our natural Crown lands! He’ll have to change the land and deem it industrial, and build roads, and allow more bird kills……… and perhaps sell the L.C.B.O to finance these schemes.
    This government reeks of desperation.

  10. The park I am most familiar with is Algonquin. This is unthinkable.

    Service roads, power lines, 40 storey wind turbines sunk in concrete in the middle of a provincial park. Brings to mind that scene from Avatar where the natives are run off their sacred ground by mercenaries hired by the mining conglomerate.

  11. I say “bring it on McGuinty!”….just TRY and place these monstrosities in Public Parks!………………..then try and live in this Province after you announce what you’ve decided to do!]

    Don’t anyone believe this idiot has the nerve let alone the audacity to pull this one off!

    Bad enough he has polluted the southern portion of Ontario with these behemoths, virtually making people sick and ruining their lives but to rip the guts out of the Province which has only one thing left to attract tourists, our “wildlands” should initiate a mental evaluation for this man. He isn’t capable of Governing anymore let alone making any “rational” decisions. McGuinty has become a “Menace!”

  12. Unfortunately, I believe Dalton already has stooped this low. There are proposed turbines on crown land on the shores of Lake Superior etc.

    These Crown lands are owned by EVERY Ontarian!

    Ontario residents will not stand for this!

    Bring it Dalton……..

  13. “Opening up crown land to renewables and transmission line developers has other advantages, too. By providing land at low rates, the province could blunt one of the chief objectives to The Green Energy Act – the immense power increases that the province’s ratepayers are experiencing.”

    I thought Lawrence Solomon was more intelligent then this?

    Private land leases HAVE NOTHING TO DO with power rate increases. This is all rolled in to the price per KW for this useless green energy! Of course the remote locals of some of these public parks and crown lands means that it will actually COST MORE to build new transmission capacity to service these new generation assets.

    Should this criminal insanity come to fruition, plan on another DOUBLING of your electricity rates within the next 5 years. The result in twenty years; people will have long since stopped buying electricity and will be either generating their own, using some other energy source to meet their needs or will have left the province.

    And what of all these wind turbines and solar panels then?

    One need only look to California for an answer to that question!

    One would have though Lawrence would have been able to grasp this obviousness.
    Whatever respect I may have had for him in the past is drastically diminished.

    B.B.W.

  14. I’ll grab my shovel and help them dig the first foundation.

    I’m sure the bunnies, chipmunks, and other park residents will “get use” to the “minor annoyance” of IWTs. Furthermore….1 or 2 information sessions should be all that is needed to convince the visiting urbanities that IWTs actually ADD to the park experience.

    Paint them green for the spring summer….yellow/orange for the fall….and white for the winter. Won’t even know they are there.

    Go ahead Dalton…. make our day!

    Jeff

  15. Installing wind turbines on Crown Lands/Provincial Parks will not stop these:

    1. The creation of energy poverty in Ontario.
    2. Will not make wind turbines produce reliable,dispatchable electricity.
    3. Will not stop the use of neodymium in turbine generators which is known to damage the environment.

  16. The north shore of Lake Superior is amazing and known for its scenic and rugged beauty so much it was made part of the Great Lakes Heritage Coast which meant it would be managed to retain the wild natural beauty. The Group of Seven painted and Bill Mason captured on film a small experience of what Lake Superior gives back. That value is becoming rarer in this world. Industrial wind companies like Brookfield Renewable Power are pushing for the government (and our money) to build additional transmission line capacity along the north shore of Lake Superior to enable as many projects as the shore can hold. Parks could be one more casualty since IWTs can be built right up to the boundary. Imagine camping in an industrial setting. The worst part is the transmission lines would need additional power other than the erratic IWTs and power loss most like most of the time. The transmission line is a waste forested land and money for no gain in capturing renewable power. The deals made to companies like Brookfield make power production secondary as profits come with the selling off of the industry. http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/full_story.asp?StoryNumber=36449

  17. The north shore of Lake Superior is amazing and known for its scenic and rugged beauty so much it was made part of the Great Lakes Heritage Coast which meant it would be managed to retain the wild natural beauty. The Group of Seven painted and Bill Mason captured on film a small experience of what Lake Superior gives back. That value is becoming rarer in this world. Industrial wind companies like Brookfield Renewable Power are pushing for the government (and our money) to build additional transmission line capacity along the north shore of Lake Superior to enable as many projects as the shore can hold. Parks could be one more casualty since IWTs can be built right up to the boundary. Imagine camping in an industrial setting. The worst part is the transmission lines would need additional power other than that produced by the erratic IWTs and power loss most likely most of the time. The transmission line would be a waste of forested land and a waste of a lot of money for no gain in power. The deals made to companies like Brookfield make power production secondary as profits come with the selling off the industry once built and of course the government grants.

  18. I’ve never been so sickened, saddened by anything in my life. Our Provincial Parks being trashed.
    What kind of a sadist is McGuinty anyway.

  19. “What kind of a sadist is McGuinty anyway.”

    There is only ONE kind Sandra. They may call themselves “green” but a leopard can’t change it’s spots!

    B.B.W.

  20. The MNR is complicit in this because for years they have been managing Parks like an entertainment/recreation business rather than biological protection entities, all those warm and fuzzy natural heritage classes have been just teaching hypocrisy.

    They can now point to falling revenues as justification for diversification under their new mandate to maximize profit; what are a few IWT since with increased industrialization of all other wilderness and wetland buffer areas the existing “protected” areas are just too small and fragmented to provide sustainable biodiversity sanctuaries.

    Park staff have just stood by allowing this to happen so they clearly expect to benefit somehow…

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