Opposition in air for Quebec wind developments

By David Johnston,  Montreal Gazette 

Anger is growing in rural communities south of Montreal over proposals to introduce wind farms in the Montérégie region.

Complicating the political optics is that fact that Hydro-Québec has given preliminary approval to a Kahnawake company to put wind turbines on non-aboriginal land without prior approval from the applicable local municipal council.

The mayors of five large rural municipalities between Montreal and the U.S. border are to hold a regional protesting meeting tomorrow night in Lacolle. One of those municipalities, St. Cyprien de Napierville, held its own local protest meeting last night.

“I would say that the political tension has become pretty severe – especially for people who live near where the wind turbines are supposed to be placed,” said St. Cyprien Mayor André Tremblay. “We are trying to keep people calm. But it is very difficult.”

The discontent in the Montérégie region reflects similar anxieties in other regions of Quebec over the desirability of wind farms. Although wind energy is often seen to be politically correct, many rural residents say the giant turbines are a form of visual pollution for people who have to live near them.

The terms and conditions of Quebec’s emerging new wind-energy policy were set forth in three provincial decrees issued in 2003, 2005 and 2008. The first decree created guidelines for the Gaspé and Lower St. Lawrence regions. The second decree set more general terms for the rest of Quebec. The third decree opened the door to aboriginal participation in wind-energy generation.

As a result of the 2005 decree, a proposed 24-turbine wind farm in the Montérégie municipality of St. Valentin has been given preliminary approval by Hydro-Québec. That proposal, however, did not have aboriginal involvement and it had the blessing of the local municipal council. St. Valentin is the only town in Montérégie that has embraced wind energy.

It’s different story in neighbouring St. Cyprien, however, The company behind the St. Cyprien proposal is a Mohawk firm, Kahnawake Sustainable Energies, and St. Cyprien town council is upset that Hydro gave KSE a preliminary green light two months ago without requiring local council support.

Hydro says it had no choice but to follow the terms and conditions that had been set out by the government in the 2008 decree, as far as public consultation is concerned.

Last night in St. Cyprien, angry farmers protested against the KSE proposal and the 25 electrical pylons that will have to be built in St. Valentin and St. Cyprien to transmit electricity generated by the St. Valentin project. Farmers drove big tractors through town and blared their horns to make their displeasure known.

Tomorrow night, the mayors of St. Cyprien, Lacolle, Saint-Blaise, Saint-Jacques-le-Mineur et de Saint-Paul-de-l’Île-aux-Noix are to attend the rally in Lacolle.

According to St. Cyprien town manager Nancy Trottier, KSE wants to install eight 150 metre-high wind turbines. The Place Ville Marie office tower in downtown Montreal is 188 metres high.

KSE president Bud Morris has been unavailable for comment in recent days. But the company, as well as the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, have told the local Eastern Door newspaper that they are aware of the political challenges for KSE in St. Cyprien.

Now that KSE was given preliminary approval in December, “the work to build and maintain relationships with the citizens and municipal government of St. Cyprien now takes on even greater significant,” MCK economic-development chief John Dee Delormier told the Eastern Door.

It remains to be seen whether formal environmental hearings will have to be held. But final approval from the provincial cabinet and the ministry of energy is necessary before KSE project can become a reality, according to Hydro officials.

Trottier said KSE appears to have signed land-lease agreements with two local farmers for the windmill installation in St. Cyprien. But the overriding issue is whether these two private deals are enough to override the opposition of the local municipal council, said Trottier.

The KSE proposal would create enough energy to power 3,500 homes.

13 thoughts on “Opposition in air for Quebec wind developments

  1. Again they quote name plate capacity instead of reality! When the wind does not blow which is 70% of the time no 3,500 homes will be powered by wind. Coal & gas & hydro must run 24 / 7 to replace inefficient wind power! Most fossil fuels wasted!

  2. Just out of curiosity…

    Quebec’s electrical generation was already essentially 100% CO2 free “renewable” energy.

    I’m wondering what argument CanWEA used to convince the province to part with the ratepayers money putting up IWTs?

    Was this one of the reasons why MacLean’s Magazine voted Quebec “the most corrupt” province in Canada?



  3. They state, “The KSE proposal would create enough energy to power 3,500 homes.” What are they expecting 3,500 new homes to be built? Wow how much is this going to cost everyone? You won’t have to worry about the new homes people will soon be leaving the ones they have like in Arizona, were they are purposing to bull doze them down. People won’t have any money to build new homes. What’s wrong with the power they have now? Do they just like to spend money and tell you how many jobs they have created at your expense?

  4. “I’m wondering what argument CanWEA used to convince the province to part with the ratepayers money putting up IWTs?”

    The game plan is pretty consistent world wide. Confuse people take their money, spend it on frivolities…


    See the above PDF about the British Pan to deal with Climate Deniers…

    One gem…

    “14. Raise the status of climate change mitigation behaviours Research shows that energy efficiency behaviours can make you seem poor and unattractive. We must work to overcome these emotional assumptions.”

    Uhhuhu — unfortunately these strategies make us poor and our government unattractive…

    I am thinking that after McGunity and crew leave office we need special “Climate Change” legislation to claw back their pensions, their qualifications and their credibility — in a new Climate — Hostile to Carpetbaggers. The rest of the provinces should follow suit!

    Think about it!

  5. David; we hardly need to import this crap.

    We have our own home-grown “Sussex Strategy”!

    It’s a battle to the bottom!


  6. The premier of Quebec is heavily involved in pushing cap & trade in North America. So follow the money.

  7. Thanks David,

    “Climate change mitagation behaviours”. This what the general public is up against all over the world.And you can bet this has been brought here too.

  8. We mustn’t talk about Climate Change even though that’s the “sales pitch” from the beginning by politicos and Wind Reps to foist Wind Turbines on Rural Ontario and we mustn’t discuss anything “political” even though it’s the Politicians who are legislating the “ramming of IWT’s Down our Throats”……………so WHAT do we talk about?.

    I’ll leave that question to the people who KNOW?

  9. Quebec people need to search the internet for articles relating to their premier and cap & trade issues in North America.

    Since these are all in English in the U.S. & the U.K. they will require translation for many. Perhaps a great way to hide informantion from Quebec people thinking they won’t bother to search the internet and translate?

    Quebec needs IWTs to produce electricity like they need a hole in the head. So there has to be other motives involved here and the people of Quebec need to find out PDQ.

  10. Easy David…

    Crap is crap. The imported variety only gives cause to charge more for it 🙂

    Now, how do we get Dalton to import the green energy study out of the U of Madrid
    back in 2006?

    Any ideas?


  11. You could show a copy of the 2006 Madrid paper to all of the party candidates in ridings across Ontario and ask for each of the candidates to respond to the issues raised on this study.

  12. Even if IWTs produced any meaningful power, Quebec sends a lot of power south of the border. Quebec does not need expensive IWT power. Putting in IWTs will lead to supporting and selling intermittent IWT power when no one wants it, which means selling at a loss. Not a great business plan. Quebec has mainly green power so again nothing to gain from IWTs. So what is left? How do you spell corruption?

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