By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer
HALDIMAND – A surprise native protest in southwest Haldimand Thursday disrupted work at two wind turbine projects near the Nanticoke Industrial Park. As many as 30 natives in a convoy – some wearing traditional garb and waving native flags – interrupted work at several turbine and substation construction sites. At least one work crew gathered up its equipment and left for the day after they arrived.
The protests occurred in the area of Walpole concession roads 3 and 4 between Nanticoke and Varency. Const. Mark Foster of the Haldimand OPP said the roving protest touched down at half a dozen sites. The projects affected belong to NextEra Energy Canada and Capital Power Corporation.
Josie Hernandez, spokesperson for NextEra, confirmed that the protest was motivated in part by her company’s removal of an eagle’s nest near Fisherville two weeks ago. Hernandez said the company welcomed the opportunity to share NextEra’s plans for habitat enhancements in the area where its turbines will be situated. “We understand the need for protest,” she said. “That was good. We appreciated that. We will continue to communicate with them as this project proceeds. It is something we understand.”
Some predicted that aboriginals from Six Nations would react badly to the nest’s destruction, which occurred Jan. 5. A young pair built the nest in November in an area slated for three turbines. Aboriginals in southern Ontario consider eagles sacred.
Aboriginals weren’t the only ones upset by the incident. Nancy Nicklan, owner of Floyd’s Bar & Grill in Nanticoke and a witness to two of the protests Thursday, says everyone in south Haldimand is “furious” about it. “That was it,” Nicklan said. “Everyone has been losing their minds since.” Read article