“Friends of Wind” launch disparaging ad campaign against Grey Highland Council

By Wes Keller, Orangeville Citizen

At a loss of $500,000 plus undisclosed legal fees, the municipal council of Grey Highlands has opted for a Divisional Court challenge of a ruling by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) under Section 41 of the Ontario Electricity Act (OEA) that would provide the same access to roadways for alternative energy generators as that provided to Hydro One.

Section 41.1 states that “a transmitter or distributor may, over, under or on any public street or highway construct or install such structures, equipment and other facilities as it considers necessary for the purpose of its transmission or distribution system . . .” It does not specify the nature of ownership, but does state that one of the purposes of the Act is to encourage generation of electricity.

The council’s interpretation of the law differed from that of the OEB, which ruled that the Plateau wind farms fell under the required definition of a transmitter or distributor. The council therefore launched an appeal of the OEB ruling while, at the same time, drafting a roads agreement with Plateau.

The alternative to the challenge would have been acceptance of a roads agreement with the under-construction Plateau wind farm adjacent to Melancthon whereby Plateau would have paid the municipality $500,000 for the privilege of burying most of its transmission lines, and at the same time dropping the Division Court challenge.

The municipal council’s choice in a 4-3 recorded vote at its most recent meeting was to reject the agreement and to continue with the challenge.

And now Friends of Wind Ontario has launched a local ad campaign in papers in the municipality criticizing the deputy mayor and three councillors who voted down the agreement, and referring to them as “the gang of four.”

“We think of Deputy Mayor Paul McQueen and Councillors Paul Allen, Stewart Halliday, and Lynn Silverton as the Grey Highlands Council’s ‘gang of four’ because they vote as a block (sic) to represent the noisy minority of wind opponents in Grey Highlands,” reads the ad in part.

It goes on to term the vote as “strange” because the same four had earlier voted in favour of drafting an agreement.

“The new agreement would bury most of the lines out of sight with only a few poles, put more of the line on private property not on the road allowance and provide a contribution of $500,000 to the municipality. Don’t the ‘gang of four’ care about their community or do they just do what the wind opponents want?” the ad says.

It goes on to say that Plateau owner International Power Canada is proceeding in any event to build transmission lines in accordance with the OEB ruling, and to complete the wind farm, and that all the vote accomplished was to create more overhead wires and to cost the municipality money it might need, as well as making wind opponents happy.

According to a report from CAO Dan Best, quoting the municipality’s lawyers, Divisional Court might well rule in favour of the OEB decision. Should it rule in favour of the municipality, according to the report, Plateau would have the option of appealing to Ontario’s highest court.

As well, according to the lawyers, a Divisional Court ruling would not necessarily be binding on future wind farm developments and, additionally, the province could amend the OEA to clarify its position on transmission lines.

Deputy Mayor Paul McQueen hadn’t returned a phone call to his home number at press time.

21 thoughts on ““Friends of Wind” launch disparaging ad campaign against Grey Highland Council

  1. I wonder how many “friends of wind” are leasing their land to the wind co.

    • Vocal minority is incorrect. Vocal majority have major concerns. We just have a government which chooses to ignore the citizens that support Ontario.

  2. http://friendsofwind.ca/ was launched by CanWEA earlier this year to promote wind projects.

    After checking their site just now, I noticed they are holding a meeting tonight:
    The Friends of Wind next public meeting is planned for Chatham Kent on August 18 at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM in Chatham Banquet & Conference Centre, 280 Merritt Ave . The speakers will be Jutta Splettstoesser, President, Friends of Wind Ontario, Dr. W. David Colby, MSc, MD, FRC PC, Acting Medical Officer of Health-Chatham/Kent, Rudy Zubler, Ridgetown, dairy farmer and John Kourtoff, President & CEO of Trillium Power Wind Corporation.

    • Yes, they’ve already contacted the press saying they “want order” at this meeting. She’s expecting 400 people. LOL Paranoia runs deep.

      I say ignore them.

      • Oops, only 76 people actually showed up.

        Here is what David Colby had to say:

        “”(In) rural Ontario air quality is a big, big factor, and although there aren’t a lot of coal fired plants in Ontario, they sicken thousands and kill hundreds yearly, and that’s amply documented,” said Colby. “The wind voice survey where supposedly they keep a log of everybody that’s complained about wind turbine associated illnesses, there’s only about 135 people on it.”

        Colby isn’t denying people are sick but questions the true causes behind the non-specific symptoms that define Wind Turbine Syndrome.

        “I don’t count myself as a pro-wind turbine activist by any means. All I’m saying is let’s not pretend that there are health effects that aren’t actually there when we are trying to have a discussion about whether or not we should have wind turbines,” Colby said.”

      • [Group Laugh] 76 people – that many?

        Their next move? – To be announced!

    • Jutta’s New Job! – To Entice!

      As Jutta said, “If Ontario communities want to keep the agriculture industry enticing for the next generation, we need to be innovative and sustainable in terms of energy sources, uses, and applications.”

      OFA Wakes Up! – in May 2011

      …………from: Ontario Federation of Agriculture(OFA) – May 2011

      I agree with MA – stay away from this ‘gathering’ – they can teach you ‘nothing’.
      Ignore them!

    • Green Energy Reporter, Oct.5,2009, Enbridge pays C $100M/20 megawatts or C $5M/megawatt. Whats the price now?
      Jutta,how much are you getting per year for your solar investment?

  3. is “friends of wind” interested in some property in Grand Valley, 770m from an impending ITW? If so, inquire within, owner eager to sell b4 destruction of backyard begins!

  4. I see Dr Colby is presenting…thought he was told not too?

  5. Best source yet…

    I researched the topic extensively and found no scientifically credible evidence that wind turbines eroded human health. I was then asked to produce a more extensive report that was issued by the Chatham-Kent Health Unit. Since then I have been asked to speak on a number of occasions about wind turbines and health, and I have collaborated on an international panel review on the topic with some of the biggest names in audiology and occupational health.

    It’s a complicated topic that has been made more complicated by the huge amount of misinformation that has been circulated. Wind turbines do not produce unique sounds in terms of intensity or characteristics. The sound intensity is no different than what is found in normal urban environments. There is also no convincing scientific evidence of an epidemiologic link between wind turbine sound exposure and health problems. A small number of people believe otherwise; they’ve attributed illnesses of all kinds to wind turbine sounds.

    Very convincing… urban environment — of course… except the ambient noise level at many IWT locations is what 20 – 25 db without turbines?

  6. Barb and I went to the F.of wind meeting in ChathamKent last night and watched Colby disparage everyone who didn’t agree that INDUSTRIAL wind turbines should be plastered all over to save 208 people from dying a coal death without offering any facts behind what he said. What a disgrace he is to the medical profession.
    Now, on the lighter side, Jutta spoke about the ‘scientist’ on tv and radio named Bob MacDonald who has a show called Squirts and Sqarks.
    Wes Keller is definitely in the pocket of F.of wind to write an entire article on a pathetic ad in a tiny local paper put in by proponents who could use some advice on creative writing. Slow news day there Wes? Or are you just slow enough to be sucked into playing with F.of wind?

  7. Attention! Attention!
    Ask a Liberal – a Question Day! – they know everything!

    Bill 150 Green Energy and Green Economy Act – Legislative Assembly of Ontario – Bills and Lawmaking –

    What good is a regulation if it takes
    200 – or – more lawyers to understand it? [Repeat 3X]

    …please continue………..

    Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998

    memo to citizens: …….more Liberal surprises – coming!
    Hint: Water! [ugh!] – you want ‘clean water’ – right?

    Vote Conservative!
    God Bless!

  8. I sometimes ask myself why Jutta does anything. I am glad she is on the wind side though. Between her blathering about squirts and sqarks, the minister who was MC for the evening who threatened to haul people out and who made some pretty unministerial comments and Colby’s pompous, self righteous ridicule to a room full of empty chairs, I don’t think we have to worry about new windheads being recruited into the ever shrinking windhead puddle.

    • Further to your comment:
      I find it all interesting.

      The plan:
      1. Place ad to agitate.
      2. comment: they want a peaceful gathering
      3. Minister (MC) makes comment: ‘to haul people out’

      ……sounds ‘luvvish’!

Comments are closed.