Parker Gallant: Who really sets Ontario’s Energy Policies?

green_deal_scrEnergy Probe
(October 7, 2013) In Ontario it’s a well-known fact that the Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEA) was developed because a small group of people convinced a past Energy Minister, George Smitherman, it was needed. That group, the Green Energy Act Alliance (GEAA), even claim they helped him write the Act!

Several Ministers later and things haven’t changed even though current Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli has talked a lot about engaging communities, smaller municipalities and other stakeholders in revisions to the siting of gas, wind and solar generating plants. Minister Chiarelli has even invited input on revisions to the Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP). Despite the rhetoric however, it still appears that the time spent by all but the environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs) will fall on deaf ears.

The writing was on the wall from the first announcement by Minister Chiarelli on April 16, 2013, when he was the keynote speaker at the Ontario Power Conference, where he told all present that revisions to siting, the feed-in tariff (FIT) program and the LTEP would shortly occur and that Ontarians would have a chance to provide input. Since that announcement the renewable energy approvals (REAs) issued by the Ministry of the Environment have not stopped. All have been issued without the consultations that were promised by Minister Chiarelli back on that April day! Read article

Health “experts” wrong in nuclear/wind debate

un_dia_en_las_carreras_39Peterborough Examiner, Re: “Energy plan must shrink nuclear and grow renewables” (Column, July 23) –

I am very disappointed that our medical officer of health, Dr. Rosana Pellizzari – along with Dr. David Colby, medical officer of health for Chatham-Kent – both of whom were “technical experts” for the infamous May 2010 King Report – would allow their names to be added to the opinion piece published in Monday’s Examiner.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons in a report noted that Dr. Colby’s “expertise is in medical microbiology and infectious disease, an area quite distinct from audiology or other fields related to the physical impact of wind turbines on human health.” He simply does not possess the necessary credentials.

Most of us know that Gideon Forman is simply a paid pawn for an organization that has questionable ethics. Continue reading

Vestas plans to fight us in Canada, when they’re done with Australia. Good luck with that, boys!

“After Australia, the company plans to expand the campaign to Britain, Canada and possibly the United States.”

war battleThe UK GuardianThe world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturer is joining forces with environmental groups in a global campaign to rouse the “silent majority” of people who support renewable energy to fight back against what it claims is “misinformation” spread by some anti-wind activists that is threatening the industry.

Morten Albaek, senior vice-president of the Danish wind turbine company Vestas, will launch the campaign in Melbourne on Tuesday as anti-wind activists rally in front of Parliament House in Canberra to demand a future Coalition government stop new windfarms and end or scale back the renewable energy target that underpins their operation.

Ken McAlpine, public affairs director for Vestas in Australia, said the highly-unconventional corporate campaign was being launched here because anti-wind groups in Australia had been more successful than in any other country. He accused some of spreading misinformation and using “astroturfing” (fake grassroots) campaigns to persuade politicians to pass legislation making windfarm operations more difficult. Read article

OSEA likes gag clauses and controlled input for Advisory Panel

gagged_free-speechUnlike the microFIT Program Advisory Panel, Terms of Reference, September 2010, the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) wants to include a vast number of members that still excludes the Ministry of Health, and any public anti-wind organization, in both the FIT Advisory Panel and the “Community Energy Advisory Panel” – the latter panel the ones to review a so called “Community Energy Plan” as announced by the Liberals. Note also that the developers, through this organization, would be at every panel level of the program.

Read the June 7th, 2013 letter here:
OSEA recommendations to Minister of Energy on Small FIT process
Interesting to note are the last paragraphs in the power authority memo and the OSEA recommendations for gagging everyone: “All members of the Advisory Panel and their designated alternates must keep the proceedings of the panel in strict confidence and will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Any violation of the non-disclosure agreement would be treated as a serious matter and would, at a minimum, result in immediate dismissal from the Advisory Panel.”

Legal bullies: Wind turbine corporation picks ridiculous excuse to go after environmentalist

esther3Ezra Levant, Edmonton Sun
A $32 billion energy corporation has filed a massive lawsuit against an Ontario environmentalist named Esther Wrightman. It’s a SLAPP suit: Strategic litigation against public participation. It’s not really about legal arguments. It’s about crushing Wrightman with legal bills and burning up her time, so she can’t spend time campaigning against them.

The lawsuit doesn’t allege Wrightman vandalized their property, or trespassed, or anything like that. Their complaint is that, on her homemade website, Wrightman mocked the company’s name. She even had the temerity to publish a satirical version of their logo. That’s it. That’s why they hired three lawyers at one of Canada’s largest law firms, McCarthy Tetrault, to sue her into the ground.

And the only reason you have not heard of this lawsuit — the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is not defending her free speech, the CBC has not put this on their nightly news — is because the corporate bully here is not an oil company like Exxon. It’s a wind turbine company called NextEra. See, that kind of bullying is OK. Read article

Suzuki full of false arguments

suzukiKeith Stelling, Owen Sound Sun Times
David Suzuki’s recent column asks the question: are “turbine effects merely the power of suggestion?” His own dogma that “wind power installations are a necessary part of the shift from polluting fossil fuels to clean energy” certainly sounds like the suggestion of corporate lobbying and government spin. In the real world, wind turbines can never replace fossil fuels because they need additional fossil-fuelled generation kept running inefficiently 24/7 as backup for fluctuating wind. This increases emissions and operating costs.

The more wind turbines are added to the Ontario grid, the more gas-fired plants will have to be built and supplied. Has Dr. Suzuki forgotten the warning about gas plants that appeared on the Suzuki Foundation web site? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, they produce dangerously small particulates that have the greatest impact on human health because they bypass our bodies’ natural respiratory filters and end up deep in the lungs? “In fact, many studies have found no safe limit for exposure to these substances”. So much for asthma sufferers! Continue reading

Taking a look at ‘green’ energy

windmill_jpg_size_xxlarge_promoNorthumberland Today
NORTHUMBERLAND – Ontario’s Green Energy Act, encouraging development of alternative renewable energy to feed into the existing power grid of hydro towers, lines and transformers which crisscross this province, has affected rural residents most significantly. Some see the infrastructure of industrial wind towers and solar panel farms as intrusive on the landscape, their health and their lifestyle, and are convinced the towers will lead to reduced property values. Here in Northumberland County, meetings about the impact of green energy have taken place and are continuing to be scheduled. Hamilton Township, for instance, is organizing a public meeting with speakers to ascertain whether it should declare itself an “unwilling host” for future mega-wind and -solar projects. A grassroots organization, The Alliance for the Protection of the Northumberland Hills, has held its own meetings related to wind power, going so far as to file a lawsuit against a proposed Grafton wind farm development that has now been called off. And at the same time, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is hearing from experts on both sides of the wind power question before deciding whether to petition the Province of Ontario for a moratorium. Read article

Ontario Stargazing: open-letter to Government and Advocates

Wind-Turbine-Red-Flashing-LightOntario Stargazing
Hello public information volunteer of the David Suzuki Foundation,
Thank you for your reply regarding the massive wind turbine development along the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario. I must say I am a little disappointed with the David Suzuki Foundation. Ontario is becoming a wind turbine “oil sands”. These are not neutral environmental footprint structures as so widely claimed by the Government and energy companies.

There is growing documented medical evidence as to the human health effects by wind turbines but it goes beyond that. There is obvious light pollution issues due to the high-intensity strobe lighting which can create a lightning effect into the night sky. This same lighting can be disruptive to human sleep patterns when wind turbines are near populated areas. And bird kills by wind turbines are growing in numbers as more research is showing and more turbines go up.

1) When you have a 275 wind turbines being built in an area such as the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, which a large part was designated a World Biosphere Reserve – that is no better than the oil sands. Read article

Money, money, money

Pembina Tim Weis & Heidi Eijgel: Sacrifice Rural Ontario for Wind Turbines

In London, Ontario the Pembina Institute thought that Tim Weis & Heidi Eijgel could help sway the local opinion of Industrial Wind Turbines in our community. They were wrong. At the front door we were checked for paper — yes, any anti-turbine flyers were not permitted, and you would be charged with trespassing by any of the numerous police present that night if you took a piece of paper in. So the objective of the night was to provide the pro-wind side to whoever walked in, and any information that did not fit that bill would be removed, even testimonies from those who live with turbines in ONTARIO, were told to just write their questions on a comment card – they will not be allowed to speak at all. So we sat and listened to a woman from ALBERTA tell us how we should all get involved in the process (I know, like how much more involved should we get?) so that we can help with the decision making. It seems to me that she hasn’t met the Green Energy Act in her province yet, where all input from local communities is removed.

Alberta rancher told she was not welcome in Ontario

By Lynda Hillman-Rapley, Lakeshore Advance
(excerpt) —  Schmidt again went to the microphone and tearfully said to Eijgel. “When you speak to groups about how wonderful wind turbines are, you are victimizing people like me. I beg you not to do this (speak to groups) again. Please stop what you are doing,” she pleaded.

People came to the microphone, to talk about neighbours who can’t live in their own homes because of health effects. “You probably came here with good intensions, but you shouldn’t be here. Listen to us when we say, there is nothing you can do for us because no one is listening. This government doesn’t give a rat’s ass about us,” said a man who left in frustration.

Probably the most emotional statement came from Sarah Hornblower, a mother of seven who has three children with autism. She said there are plans to build 154 turbines around her home on Jericho Road in Lambton Shores. She says even the wind companies are saying turbines can affect people who are autistic but they will not return her calls. “What can I do as a mother,” she asked with tears running down her face, “What am I supposed to do?” She said there is no support within the school system for her children yet there is money in the province for turbines. Weis gave Sarah his business card and said he would make some calls for her. Read article

Pembina Institute boycotted in Chatham

Ed. Note: There was a general boycott of the Chatham Pembina Institute meeting, as the London venue on the previous night was not allowing those who were present to speak. If they did, security and police were called in to remove them. How’s that for freedom of speech??

Albertan co-exists with industrial wind farm
By Blair Andrews, Chatham Daily News
Emotions remained calm as 20 people turned out for a wind turbine meeting in Chatham Wednesday night. Despite the low attendance, the event still produced some thoughtful exchanges on the controversial renewable energy source.

The meeting, held at the Sunset Lounge (the former CAW Hall), was organized by the Pembina Institute of Alberta. It was the third of three meetings held this week, following sessions in Grand Bend and London.

During the meeting Heidi Eijgel, a rancher from Pincher Creek, Alta., shared her experience of living next to Canada’s first commercial wind farm for more than a decade. Read article

Enviro-charity promises openness, avoids media

by Daniel Proussalidis, Sun Media
OTTAWA – Tides Canada, which funds environmental and social causes, has gone on a charm offensive as Canada Revenue Agency audits it and the feds crack down on charities that are overly political. “We have absolutely nothing to hide and we’re profoundly proud of the work that we’re doing,” Tides Canada president Ross McMillan said in a Toronto speech Wednesday, though his openness didn’t include meeting the media afterward.

In his speech, McMillan tried to counter accusations Tides Canada is too political by using money from foreign foundations to fund anti-oilsands activists. McMillan said he’s seen “absolutely no evidence” his group is political, even while backing federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s claims that Alberta’s energy industry is a drain on Canada’s economy and praising Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s Canadian Energy Strategy.

He also highlighted Tides Canada’s social justice funding and released new detail on millions of dollars from American foundations for salmon and forest conservation in B.C., not anti-oilsands activism.

Still, critics were unimpressed. “They seem to think they can fool Canada by giving cherry-picked information,” researcher and blogger Vivian Krause said. Read article

Terence Corcoran: The truth rolls in on green charities

by Terence Corcoran, Financial Post
You can sleep your way to a green economy
It’s not easy being the bearer of truth, apparently. Non-partisan truth, the kind of sacred truth — about the environment, the economy, the climate — that exists exclusively in the hearts and minds of green activists and professional agitators who run the World Wildlife Fund, Environmental Defence, the Sierra Club, Tides Canada and other groups. Those truths, moreover, can only be heard in Canada because these groups have tax status as environmental charities. Without tax-backed philanthropy, the truth would never come to light.

So runs the implausible argument articulated Wednesday in a Toronto speech at the Economic Club of Toronto by Ross McMillan, CEO of Tides Canada. Tides is the U.S.-backed, anti-oil-sands charity caught in a political storm over the role of green charities in Canada. In his speech, Mr. McMillan rose to answer critics and launch a counter-attack against the Harper government’s alleged war on environmental activism.

The speech also corresponded with the unveiling of Tides Canada’s new slick website and its slogan, “Strange Bedfellows.”

For the dim of metaphor, Tides Canada felt it needed to flesh out the “strange bedfellows” slogan with a literal message, a weird/creepy 90-second video in which a slightly disheveled woman wakes up in bed beside a sleeping man at what is obviously his place, pulls herself together, and then slinks away, dressed in a lawyerly power suit, leaving the man — a bearded green — in bed. A few seconds later from outside, she texts him: “@riptide365 Sorry I had to run, that was great fun. We should do it again sometime.” He texts back: “@legaleagle604 Yes, we do great work. Thanks to Tides Canada for bringing us together.” Get the message? I think it boils down to this: You can sleep your way to a green economy. Read article

Suzuki key note speaker for Manitoulin wind project grand opening…

Manitoulin Expositor
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a letter to David Suzuki, who will be attending the connection of the Mother Earth Renewable Energy wind turbines in M’Chigeeng on June 15.

Dear Mr. Suzuki:
I understand that you will be visiting Manitoulin Island on June 15 to speak to the connection of the Mother Earth Renewable Energy (MERE) wind turbines in M’Chigeeng to the provincial grid. Firstly, I would like to extend a warm welcome and to thank you for taking an interest in our community. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for helping shape my interest in environmental issues and my passion for the natural world. I grew up watching ‘The Nature of Things’ and have read many pieces of your writing.

While I respect the great work you have done to bring environmental issues to the forefront, I am disappointed that you have decided to fully endorse industrial scale wind projects in Canada and abroad. I do not feel there is sufficient evidence to support the notion that industrial wind turbines will help slow climate change. However, I am not writing you to engage in a debate over the merits of the technology. I am more interested in your endorsement of Ontario’s Green Energy Act, particularly those aspects that apply to wind power. Read article

David Suzuki bats out

Welland Tribune
I am absolutely amazed Canada’s self-proclaimed environmentalist-in-chief continues to publish articles that completely ignore the continuous and gratuitous environmental destruction legislated by those he publicly and vocally supports.

Whilst few could disagree with most of the sentiments expressed regarding the threats facing Canada’s bat populations, to write half a page with absolutely no reference to the widely acknowledged and well documented bat mortality rates directly caused by industrial wind turbines is far more than mere misinformation but a deliberate attempt to protect Ontario’s Green Energy Act.

He rattles on about Ministers of the Environment, environmental legislation, specifically regarding endangered species, yet chooses to ignore what Ontario’s McGuinty government recently did to the provincial environmental legislation, until recently recognized as amongst the most forward looking in the world.

Suzuki has obviously chosen not to object to what Bill 55 contains just like many other Ontario Green Energy Act supporters and self proclaimed ‘environmentalists’.

Where industrial wind and solar energy projects are concerned there is no longer any environmental protection for endangered species, species at risk, wetlands, environmentally sensitive lands, in fact any environmental concern.

What outright and totally unacceptable hypocrisy.

Andrew Watts

Suzuki: Going to bat for our furry flying friends (??)

SCIENCE: Fascinating creatures feast on insects
By DAVID SUZUKI For The Daily Press

“We also need to have proper environmental assessments before wind turbines are installed, to reduce harm to bats and minimize other environmental impacts. Scientists suspect that dead bats found near wind-power installations (most of which are migratory species) were killed by air pressure drops rather than contact with blades.

With proper environmental reviews and more research about the causes of death and ways to reduce or prevent it, we can enjoy the benefits of clean wind power without putting bats at risk. Like so many other living things, bats illustrate how everything in nature is interconnected and that harming one plant or animal or ecosystem has cascading effects that touch us all. If we don’t do everything we can to help bats, we’ll all suffer — and not just from mosquito bites!”. Read article

How shit happens

The Plancontributed by Paula Peel

In the beginning was the Plan.
And then came the Assumptions.
And the Assumptions were without form.
And the Plan was without substance.
And darkness was upon the face of George Smitherman.
And he spoke among his friends, saying,
“The Ontario Electricity Act is a crock of sh*t, and it stinks.”
And so they went unto Premier McGuinty and said,
“It is a pail of dung, and we can’t live with the smell.
And Premier McGuinty went to Environmentalists, saying,
“It is the container of the excrements, and it is very strong,
such that none may abide by it.”
And the Environmentalists went unto their Boards, saying,
“It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength.”
And the Directors agreed, saying to one another,
“The Feed In Tariff promotes growth, and it is very powerful.”
And David Suzuki went to the Premier, saying unto him,
“This new plan will actively promote the growth and vigor of the Province
with very powerful effects.”
And the Premier looked upon the Plan and saw that it was good.

And the Plan became Policy.

And that is how sh*t happens.

Mike Crawley and International Power leave community in tatters

Mike Crawley, President, International Power Canada (IPR-GDF Suezis also recently elected President of the Federal Liberal Party.   To date, this company has refused to help any of the residents who are seriously suffering in the Erie Shores complex.
Letter from Resident of the Lake Erie Shores Wind Facility: Continue reading

Taking charities out of politics

By Christina Blizzard, QMI Agency
TORONTO – When is a charity not a charity?  When it dabbles in politics, according to Senator Nicole Eaton.  Eaton welcomes federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s recent budget announcement that he plans to make changes to the Income Tax Act to crack down on charities that use donations for political purposes.

Flaherty’s budget last month said, “Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes measures to ensure that charities devote their resources primarily to charitable, rather than political, activities, and to enhance public transparency and accountability in this area.”   Read article

Where did the money go?

by Bob Runciman, Toronto Sun
TORONTO – There’s no question that the ORNGE scandal merits the concentrated focus of Ontario’s opposition parties and the creation of a select committee to thoroughly investigate what happened and why, and, if possible, recover millions of taxpayers’ dollars.  However, one hopes these same parties don’t continue to ignore an even larger scandal, one laid bare in December by the provincial auditor general.  This one affects every resident and business in this once-prosperous province – the past, present and future impacts of the Green Energy Act.

We need to take a closer look at the people who profited from it and the people who, behind closed doors – without cabinet, caucus or public consultation developed policies that will give Ontario the highest electricity rates in North America and cripple our future economic prospects.   Read article

McGuinty still taking all cues from ENGOs such as Rick Smith

Terence Corcoran: McGuinty’s half-hearted apology more sand than substance
Excerpt:   For starters, Mr. McGuinty’s green activist friends at Environmental Defence of Canada and elsewhere have rallied behind his comments, amplifying his original statement and rejoicing in their new talking points against oil sands development. Mr. McGuinty has, above all, given new life to an economic idea that makes the rounds every now and then: Dutch Disease, a concept greens instantly embraced.  Read entire article

Senators tackle funding for Canadian environmental groups

By Daniel Proussalidis, Edmonton Sun
OTTAWA – The Senate has begun examining the issue of billionaire American foundations’ funding of environmental activists in Canada.  “Key Canadian organizations, supported by international foundations with the intent of influencing public opinion and policy direction, have acquired Canada Review Agency charitable status and issue tax receipts, even though much of their activity could be deemed as highly political,” said Sen. Nicole Eaton in her prepared remarks Tuesday, launching a series of Senate speeches known as an “inquiry.” Six Conservative senators will speak over the next two weeks to spur the government to require “full disclosure” of foreign grants to Canadian charities and to sharpen the legal definition of charitable work.  Read article

CAW turbine protest planned for Saturday

By Denis Langlois, Owen Sound Sun Times
SAUGEEN SHORES – Tractors, farm equipment, pickup trucks and other vehicles are expected to roll through Port Elgin on Saturday afternoon to protest a controversial wind turbine at the Canadian Auto Workers’ Family Education Centre. The goal of the parade is to boost public pressure on the CAW to abandon the operation of the union-owned turbine and to create a “united call” for a provincial moratorium on all wind turbine developments, said Karen Hunter, a spokeswoman for the group STOP. Read article

Kristopher Stevens of OSEA belittling rural residents

Orangeville Banner
I have followed the discourse between mayors Bill Hill and Don MacIver and Kristopher Stevens of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association with some interest.  The high handed-approach taken by Mr. Stevens toward some of our elected municipal officials and their staffs is regrettable to say the least, but all too familiar an approach.  One wonders what Mr. Stevens expected to achieve by lecturing Mayor Hill and Mayor MacIver in the public media and suggesting they and members of their staff are not “up to speed,” I cannot guess! Continue reading

It’s not your place, Mr. Stevens

Kris showing off his karate moves

by Barbara Ashbee, Orangeville Banner

I am following the letters from Kristopher Stevens, executive director of Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, a wind lobby group, to the mayors of Amaranth and Melancthon.  I recall there were a number of requests to have senior ministry officials from the province meet with council about some very serious issues in a local wind project and instead they sent district office staff that acknowledged the problems but could not offer any answers when it came to policy questions or mitigation of problems. Continue reading

OSEA letter insulted Melacthon/Amaranth residents

Arrogance that knows no bounds

Orangeville Banner The following is part of a series of correspondence between the president of the OSEA and the mayors of Melancthon and Amaranth.
Dear Mr. Stevens:  I corrected you once when you tried to mislead the public by suggesting that municipalities had the decision-making power over wind farms and I am glad to see that you now agree by stating, “You are right to note there is no veto.”  However, you now recommend we read your Municipal Guide “so hopefully this will help you and your staff get up to speed.”  Continue reading

Shoving Wind Power in People’s Faces

We're putting an industrial turbine in your neighbourhood....and your're gonna LIKE it!!

by Karen Hunter, Huffington Post
Out of the blue last November, Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) began the (non-union labour) construction of an industrial wind turbine on the grounds of its Family Education Centre, a facility designed to “encourage…people …to discuss their problems and debate the major issues of the times.”  Despite all the places CAW could have located the mammoth structure, it picked Port Elgin, “considered — one of the leading recreational playgrounds in Ontario” for an industrial wind turbine. CAW’s vacant 128-acre property nearby was deemed too environmentally sensitive. Besides, the land had just been subdivided and its lots stood to rake in $2 million. The FEC’s densely-populated neighbourhood didn’t have such sensitivities. Continue reading

Silence of the greens: Media, opposition, too embarrassed to admit they blew it

by Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun
If Canada’s “green” media covered the Costa Concordia disaster in Europe the same way they are Europe’s green energy disaster, we’d never have heard of it. That’s because they, along with the federal opposition parties, spent so long shilling for green energy without knowing what they were talking about, the reality of what’s happening is just too embarrassing for them to admit. So they stubbornly ignore the story. But the stories keep coming.  Read article

Be wary of the green monster

Shoreline Beacon
As it rises from the ground it reminds me of something designed by a committee, where everyone’s input has to be considered. I am sure that someone thought it would be great symbolism to paint it green. Yes, it will be a 30 story striped green tower with a red flashing light. That should blend nicely into a surrounding neighbourhood of trees and 1 to 2 storey residences. Why, you’ll barely notice it! Too bad they did not truly consider the neighbourhood. One might surmise that a good neighbour would have had an information meeting more recently than August 2005. Can you imagine the moral indignation from the CAW if a corporation were to use 6 year old data when discussing Health and Safety during a contract negotiation or if the government was to make changes to the labour laws and not consult the CAW! Continue reading