CAW faces boycott over Port Elgin wind turbine

by John Spears, Toronto Star
A Port Elgin community group has launched a boycott of products made by CAW members to protest a wind turbine being erected by the union in town.  The group, known as STOP, will target any workplace where members of the Canadian Auto Workers are employed, said spokesperson Karen Hunter.  That includes auto makers, airlines and retailers organized by the CAW, she said. In Port Elgin itself, the group is calling for a boycott of the CAW banquet hall, the town’s biggest facility.

STOP is worried about the impact the turbine will have on the health of residents, and on property values in the town on the shore of Lake Huron, a big tourist and summer cottage centre.

The $2 million turbine, which has already been the target of protests and picketing, is now under construction on the CAW’s family education and conference centre in Port Elgin.

The boycott is asking local residents to tell their family and friends about the campaign, and will roll out more tactics as time goes on, Hunter said.

It won’t be easy for everyone to avoid products made or handled by CAW members, she acknowledged.

“Our objective is to raise awareness and educate people about what the CAW is doing,” she said.

The CAW has declined invitations to attend community meetings organized by STOP, she said.

The turbine is being built under rules that have been superseded. Current regulations call for turbines to be at least 550 metres from the nearest dwelling.

But 60 or more homes lie within the 550-metre radius of the CAW turbine.

Town council rejected the turbine, but was over-ruled by the Ontario Municipal Board.

11 thoughts on “CAW faces boycott over Port Elgin wind turbine

  1. Does the turbine meet the Fire Regulations of the Township?
    If not a cease and desist order on it’s actual operation should be sought!………..then it just becomes a perch for seagulls!

    • With an unsafe zone of 400 meters radius around the turbine then it would be unsafe for anyone to enter this danger zone when the turbine is operational. This is in a public area where people come and go everyday.

  2. When Plateau Wind Inc. project received it’s ESR approval from the MOE it was told that it was a transitional project as it did not fall under the new REA. However it was told that it had to use the new 550 meter set back rule. How come CAW dosen;t have to?

    • That’s exactly what residents, the town and the chamber of commerce, which are all fighting this monstrous health and safety hazard, are wondering too! CAW president Ken Lewenza and Dalton McGuinty obviously have a very cosy relationship since the industrial turbine, which CAW received provincial subsidies to build, now towers over the beach, the town and residents’ homes. It doesn’t even conform to the province’s own laws requiring minimum setbacks of at least 550 metres.- more than 100 families live within that radius alone. McGuinty, ministry hacks, Lewenza, and other CAW minions, have all refused repeated invitations to meet with residents to discuss. When tyrants impose their will on the people, its called dictatorship. Here, there isn’t even a pretense of due or democratic process. It makes the Ornge, ehealth, and lotto scandals look like minor infractions.

    • Re: CAW @ the OMB:
      I noticed citizens did not participate – very sad.
      …..possibly could have changed the outcome.

      I learned something – the CAW freaks me out!

  3. Somebody start a class action lawsuit. I live an hour east of Port Elgin and just found out Turbines have been approved within a concession of our farm. I’ve got a lawyer on notice that as soon as the machinery arrives to start building, he’s to file papers for the loss in real estate value of our far.

  4. Will it be safe for CAW retirees to attend their annual conference there in September.will it make a lot of noise and keep the old farts awake half the night?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *