Ontario gov’t ignored chance to cut $1.5B in hydro bills: documents

CTV News
Newly unearthed documents suggest Ontario’s Liberal government could have saved hydro customers $1.5 billion by terminating an agreement with Samsung, but decided against it.

The papers, uncovered by Progressive Conservative Finance Critic Vic Fedeli, relate to the 2009 Samsung green energy agreement that would take $10.5 billion from Ontario hydro bills, and pay it to a Samsung consortium over 20 years. In return, Samsung would deliver green energy and build factories in the province, employing 900 people.

Four years into the deal, however, a confidential document from staff at the Ministry of Energy advised the government it could save hydro customers $5.2 billion by terminating the agreement. This was because the Korean consortium was missing contract targets and deadlines on electricity projects that Ontario didn’t even need anymore.

But instead of calling off the deal, the Liberals renegotiated the contract to save only $3.7 billion –leaving $1.5 billion in hydro savings on the table.

“Even though we don’t need the power, and even though we can get out of this for nothing, (the Liberals) already told the public how important this deal is,” Fedeli told CTV Toronto, suggesting that the government ignored the potential savings “just to save face.” Read article

Application to rezone Amherst Island park “a necessary step” to keep the wind turbine project going

Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
A popular lakeside park in Loyalist Township will need to be converted to industrial land for a wind energy project to go ahead, according to a rezoning application to the provincial government. Invista’s property along Bath Road is to be used by Algonquin Power subsidiary Windlectric Inc. as a marshalling yard for its Amherst Island wind energy project.

The Invista property on the south side of Bath Road, however, is zoned for parkland, but the company applied to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to have the Certificate of Property Use (CPU) changed to temporarily allow industrial use of the park. The public has until March 2 to provide comment.

The land is to be used for the laying of underground cable to transmit electricity to a switch station and the use of an existing access road to transport materials to and from a temporary mainland dock. According to a notice published Tuesday on the Ontario government’s Environmental Registry website, the rezoning is “a necessary step” to keep the wind energy project going.

“Put another way, the project cannot proceed without the proposed amendment to the CPU,” the notice stated.

“If they don’t have this, they can’t build the project? Now they are basing the whole project on the mainland dock?” asked Michele Le Lay, president of the Association to Protect Amherst Island (APAI), the group opposing the project. “It seems that they started too early, they don’t have a good plan, they don’t have good measures, they still are lacking permits,” Le Lay said. “Right now this land is used by people in Loyalist Township, to walk their dogs, it’s a park and there is a boat launch. We’ve been saying all along that they don’t have the permits.” Le Lay said she is concerned that excavation on the land may disturb contaminents in the soil left over from previous industrial use. Read article

 

Say NO to Double Standard on Species at Risk Penalties!

In the last few days these three stories came out. Please read them, and then respond to those who are failing to protect these Species at Risk below. 

1. Penalty for Canaport songbird deaths

…The deaths of thousands of songbirds at the Canaport LNG terminal more than three years ago resulted in a $750,000 penalty against the company… In September 2013, thousands of birds were drawn to a 10-to-15-metre gas flare during a period of fog and low cloud. Twenty-six species of migratory birds died, including four Canada warblers, a threatened species…

2. Former Liberal Pres. Crawley built worst ‘bat killing wind farm’ in Canada: 85 bats killed/turbine/yr

…This was an AIM PowerGen/International Power Corporation project – whose president is none other than the past Federal and Ontario Federal Liberal Party President Mike Crawley. It was approved  in 2009, and pretty much nothing more was said about it since. Which is so wrong. Let me explain. The “five” reports stuck out because usually (if the project is not killing over the ‘limits’ set by the government) there are only three reports. That means some ‘mitigation reporting’ was happening, for some reason. Well that reason became pretty obvious within seconds of looking at the 2011 report. How does 85.42 bats killed per wind turbine strike you? Or how about 53.1% of them being the Endangered Little Brown Bat?…

3. Minister says thanks but no thanks, to wind energy review pleas

…McKenna wrote that current research shows wind turbines kill relatively few birds when compared to cats, windows on buildings, vehicles and transmission lines.”Monitoring studies of existing wind farms in Ontario have shown that while some birds are incidentally killed, mortality rates as well as cumulative mortality of species that have been found incidentally killed to date are not likely to have a biologically significant impact on provincial population levels of those species,” McKenna wrote. “However, it is possible that turbine sites in areas with important populations of some species at risk could have impacts on those populations.”…


***Send a message to the key decision makers by filling out the form below with your own comments or copy and paste the following message into the comment section below:

The other day I read that LNG was fined $750,000 for killing 4 Species at Risk (SAR) in New Brunswick. Fair enough.

But I also read the 2011 Bird and Bat Mortality Report for the Mohawk Point Wind project in Haldimand County. It appears that this wind company killed around 270 SAR, in just one season. To be more specific – it was the Endangered Little Brown Bat that was all but wiped out by this project’s 6 wind turbines.

And I’m left wondering why this wind company wasn’t fined. In fact, I’m wondering why they were allowed to continue to operate year after year ever since. Even with mitigation measures, they were only able to bring the kill rate of the bats down to 24.27 bats/turbine/year by 2013 – over double the allowed limit in Ontario. Several years later now, it appears no government agency is even counting the deaths there anymore – they are just happening, and those who know, turn a blind eye.

This project continues to operate, and kill SAR, with impunity. Please explain to me the reason for the double standard. Or if it isn’t a double standard, and somehow the government just missed this violation, I might as will give you this link (below) to all the other wind turbine Bird/Bat mortality reports in Ontario, because there are hundreds of SAR that have been killed in these reports, and none of the operators have ever been penalized at all. So of course they continue their operations as usual.

Canadian Wind Turbine Bird and Bat Mortality Reports https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B24A4SH_cewXV0VhTENxTGp3LVk

I’m frankly sick and tired of watching wind developers get off scot free for this kind of slaughter that’s happening before our very eyes. If it’s wrong for LNG to kill endangered species, it’s wrong for all the wind companies in Canada to kill them as well. Apply the law consistently!

Awaiting your reply,

Subject: No Double Standard on Species at Risk Penalties! 


Form will be sent to:

  • Fed. Min. of Environment: Catherine McKenna
  • Fed. Min. of Natural Resources: Jim Carr
  • Fed. Conservative Environment critic: Ed Fast
  • Fed. Conservative Natural Resources critic: Candice Bergen
  • Ontario Min. Natural Resources: Kathryn McGarry
  • Ontario Min. of Environment: Glenn Murray
  • Ontario PC Natural Resources critic: Todd Smith
  • Ontario PC Environment critic: Lisa Thompson
  • Ontario PC Leader: Patrick Brown
  • Ontario PC Energy critic: John Yakabuski, Energy Critic,
  • Ontario NDP Natural Resources critic: Gilles Bisson

Here they are: Wind Turbine Bird/Bat Mortality Reports in Ontario to date

We did it! It’s hard to believe that most of these documents were kept from public view until now.  I think there are reports for 57 different wind project listed here in Canada.

170+ documents arrived two days ago. I’ve posted the bird and bat mortality reports up on the public google drive anyone can see and download them.

The Freedom of Information office was helpful and diligent and even reversed an earlier decision that had redacted Species at Risk Information.

In the coming days I’ll also post documents and correspondence that I have yet to assemble on how and why the active bald eagle nest in Haldimand County was destroyed by NextEra. I can only take so much government crap at once, and that was one big manure load…

Thank you all so much for helping make this happen.

Think about it – the last report like this that was voluntarily released by a wind company was 3 years ago! Then the wind developers and government must have decided that wasn’t good PR, or good for the tribunal hearings against them, so they kept the rest of them hidden.

YOU helped make these public so that journalists, researches and the residents that lives amongst these monster machines can see what it going on and, most importantly, hold them accountable! These are no longer “trade secrets” for the industry.

Read them over, get on then phone and read the whole damn thing to your MPP, or the Minister of Natural Resources, or good ‘ol Glenn Murray (if he hasn’t blocked you yet), or how about Dianne Saxe (LOL! I know, but she is the supposed Environment Commissioner). Use them in appeals, in letters to the editor, in educating your neighbours and the nature societies (hm, could Suzuki ever be interested?), and don’t forget to slap them on the table in front of your municipal representatives and ask them if THIS is what the township is accepting blood money in exchange for.

~Esther

Summary of Reports so far (click here to download and view in full screen)

(This list scrolls down – go all the way until you reach Wolfe Island)

 

Construction starts on wind energy project on Amherst Island despite incomplete approvals, residents say

National Post, Elliot Ferguson
The opening stages of construction of the Amherst Island wind energy project are underway, much to the dismay of the residents who opposed the development. Workers are building footings for a new dock and a marshalling area on the island west of Kingston, Ontario.

Michele Le Lay, president of the Association to Protect Amherst Island, said the start of construction has come before all of the required permits have been secured and before efforts to stop the project have finished. “It’s worrisome because they don’t have all their permits and they are starting,” Le Lay said. “You have to have all your permits before you start.”

The initial work on Algonquin Power-owned Windlectric’s 26-turbine, 75-megawatt project was to include construction of the mainland dock and access road, island dock and access road, island staging area access road, transmission line work and a portion of the island staging area for aggregate storage and positioning of the batch cement factory.

The start of work is made even worse, Le Lay said, because there is little information coming from the company about its plans. “If this company is going to be a neighbour for 20 years, the way they are acting in the first part of construction, if it’s an indication of the relationship with the community, it’s sort of scary,” she said. “We don’t know what is happening.” Read article

Kathleen Wynne: How do you sleep at night?

Wind Developer Veresen buys Municipality of Huron East for $2 million

Seaforth Expositor Usually when a motion is passed or rejected, the municipality of Huron East simply moves forward according to the number of hands put up, but not this time as the topic at hand involved one of the most controversial topics to date-wind turbines. Three years ago council was offered a Vibrancy Fund Agreement from the St. Columban Wind Farm, which operates 15 wind turbines.

In the contract, it specified that they were prepared to give Huron East $115,000 annually for 20 years, but this significant contribution of funds would come with a catch, council must agree that they are a “willing host.” Council turned down the offer.

However, these past qualms would never be thrown under the rug permanently. CAO of Huron East, Brad Knight admitted that numerous councillors have asked if the option could possibly be brought back to the table, since that initial decision.

During the traditional bi-weekly December 6 meeting, the Mayor of Huron East, Bernie MacLellan presented council with a motion concerning the previously declined proposal. Two weeks later he requested it to be reviewed in the council chambers during their last meeting before the holidays. Huron East Against Turbines (HEAT) was on hand in anticipation and hoped that the political assemblage would once again turn down the more than $2 million agreement.

Knight propelled the recorded vote. Tuckersmith Councillor Larry McGrath voted no, Seaforth Coun. Nathan Marshall said yes, the Mayor voted in favour, both Brussels Councillors John Lowe and David Blaney were in favour of being a willing host, Seaforth’s ward rep, Bob Fisher voted no, Dianne Diehl and Alvin McLellan from Grey Ward approved the motion, McKillop’s Brenda Dalton voted no and her fellow ward rep Kevin Wilbee voted yes and Deputy Mayor Joe Steffler also voted yes. Read article

Hiding evidence of the massacre

Save the Eagles International
News of bird and bat deaths at wind farms have reduced to a trickle. Does that mean that a solution has been found? Yes, it has, but it’s not what you think. Wind turbines are every year more numerous and the massacre they cause is ever increasing. What has changed is that the cover up is now effective at 100%, or just about.

The following news sheds light on the latest technique for making mortality data unavailable to the public (and the media): Wind farm sues to block bird death data

Yes, you read correctly: “releasing (the wind farm’s) bird and bat kill reports would provide “trade secrets” to its competitors”. Surrealist, isn’t it? But that’s only one of the many lies we must deal with when investigating that hugely subsidized industry. Below, we present the “trade secrets” they are trying to hide:trade secrets

Indeed, in present day United States, mortality data legally belong to wind farm owners, and the public has no right to see the numbers without their permission. This is the “solution” that has been found for covering up the butchery of eagles, cranes, pelicans, condors, swans, swallows, bats, owls, falcons, hawks, geese, gamebirds, songbirds etc.

Throughout the world, ever since shocking mortality statistics at wind farms made the news 15-20 years ago, efforts have been made by the wind industry and complicit governments to hide the numbers. In the UK for instance, wind farms have long stopped being monitored for mortality; in Spain, the monitoring has been done, but the reports were filed away without publishing; elsewhere, whenever a wind farm had to be checked for mortality, its owner would select ornithology consultants based on their reputation for “cooperation” – i.e. whose reports always showed “manageable” numbers. This is still the preferred method for covering up in some countries, e.g. Canada or Australia.

To make it even safer for European wind developers, and regardless of the proclaimed right of the public to be informed on environmental matters (Aarhus Convention), reports concerning wind farms’ impact on birds and bats were soon stamped “property of the developer”, meaning that he may edit them before publication. “The wind companies rewrite all ecological work themselves“, said to me a UK ornithologist who had worked for wind developers. But a non-disclosure clause in the contract kept him from revealing publicly what he knew and what he saw. This is now standard practice in wind farm monitoring contracts. Read article

Ontario Liberals deny tampering with witnesses at hearing into wind turbines near airport

government secrecyThe Canadian Press, Keith Leslie
TORONTO – Ontario’s Liberal government denies Opposition charges that it interfered with the witness list for a hearing into a plan to install at least six, 152-metre-high wind turbines near the Collingwood airport.

Progressive Conservative house leader Jim Wilson says the province decided at the last minute to call a witness from NAVCanada instead of an expert from Transport Canada at an Environmental Review Tribunal hearing.

NAVCanada is a private corporation that owns and operates the country’s civil air navigation service, while Transport Canada is the federal government department responsible for transportation policies and programs.

Wilson says the witnesses were changed because Transport Canada has concerns about putting industrial wind turbines between the Collingwood Regional Airport and the Stayner aerodrome.

He says the Ontario government refuses to acknowledge that putting giant turbines so close to the small airports pose a hazard to aircraft operations.

But Environment Minister Glen Murray says it would be against the law for him to play any role in determining witnesses or influencing the environmental tribunal. Read article

Dr. Colby’s Cottage and The Missing Conscience

wpd-second-open-houseYears ago my good friend and protest sidekick, Muriel, was leaving one of the final wind company dog & pony shows. As she walked back to her car one of the wind company hacks that stood beside the boards with a blank stare and canned answers night after night, approached her.  He had to tell her something that apparently couldn’t be said in the building with the others around.

From memory I’d say he always looked slightly uncomfortable in his attire, and even more uncomfortable when his morals were questioned. In any case, he told her it was his final night working for this wind company – he wasn’t going to do it anymore. Shocked that he would bother to reveal this, and doubting his sincerity, she took a second and then shot back, “So you finally got a conscience?”

Yes, he told her, he was done with it. Night after night he had stood by those posters and defended a project and a company he didn’t believe in anymore. In earlier conversations we found out that he had fought a gravel pit that was to be constructed near his home – no doubt gravel that would be used to build bases for hundreds of turbines. Slowly he started to see the similarities between our concerns for the local swallows, eagles and turtles, and his concerns for the threatened salamander in his neighbourhood.

And, just like that, we didn’t look so crazy to him, nor he to us.

DrColbyforwebNow I’m going to throw out a name that seems to have nothing to do with this story, but stick with me. Dr. David Colby, Chief Medical Officer of Health (MOH) for Chatham-Kent, specializes in microbiology and infectious diseases, outright Wind Turbine Syndrome denial, and he is president of the Rondeau Cottagers Association (RCA).

Colby is, and always has been, a chronically plugged ear to those who are suffering from the wind turbines in Chatham Kent. Here’s classic Colby cynicism in a statement made to the Huron County Council in 2011:

“You cannot design an experiment to prove that ghosts do not exist or that wind turbines do not cause harm,” he said.

Hence, he wasn’t going to do anything about the complaints in his community because – he doesn’t believe in ghosts, or something like that. There’s no way the people of C-K would even consider approaching him with their health issues after statements like this.

Colby now has his own little problem that’s occupying his time. His cottage is in Rondeau Provincial Park. He owns the building, but not the land. The province owns the land, or more correctly, we the people of the province do. The lease runs out on these cottages in 2017, and then it looks like the cottages will have to be removed. Say it ain’t so! Stand in front of the bulldozers for him! Protect his… um… home. Yeah. Fat chance. Tables turned, how do ya like it? Continue reading

Irish Gardai probe councillors asking for money… to help wind developer

imgname--rebuilding_the_corrupt_organization---50226711--corruption1The Irish Independent, Maeve Sheehan
The Garda fraud squad has launched a full investigation into allegations made in an RTE undercover sting operation that showed two county councillors allegedly asking for money to help a wind farm operator.

The investigation has been under way for a number of months and is understood to be at an advanced stage. The Garda fraud bureau decided to proceed with an investigation after assessing the RTE footage to see whether the allegations they contained merited a full-scale inquiry. Sources confirmed that the case has now proceeded to the next level.

Detectives have been viewing footage of the programme and a number of people have been interviewed. The programme by the RTE Investigates team, broadcast last year, generated huge public debate over standards in public office. The programme featured a journalist posing as a wind farm investor who spoke to three local councillors.

The three politicians appeared to offer to lobby on behalf of a wind farm company – two of them allegedly in exchange for money.  One councillor, John O’Donnell, was filmed requesting that the money be routed through a third party. “Politically there would be a backlash,” he said on the programme. Read article

Watch RTE Investigation here.

Hydro horror stories: tales from rural Ontario

turbine-and-truthGlobal News, Brian Hill
Residents of rural Ontario are outraged by ever-increasing hydro bills and the constant threat of disconnection. Facing an unresponsive utility provider, Hydro One customers from across the province are speaking out.

In the past three days alone, Global News has received more than 400 emails and messages from concerned Ontarians frustrated by the lack of government transparency and the apparent disregard with which industry regulators treat their concerns.

In their own words, read how the hopes and dreams of some rural Ontarians have become complete hydro nightmares.

Lindsay Ambeault, Sault Saint-Marie, Ont.

My husband and I have four children. One with autism. We have had to learn to eat only using $200 a month. Two of our children are in diapers – imagine the cost. We get the disconnection notice EVERY month and are behind approximately $1,000. I feel as though we work just to pay PUC. It is ridiculous!

Matt Grassie, Peterborough, Ont.

I live just outside the city of Peterborough Ont., and I am impacted greatly by the cost of hydro.

My bills are OVER $600 a month, but I have seen bills in recent years over $1,000 a month. I have suffered disconnections in the past, the worst one being on Remembrance Day while I was at the Remembrance Day Service paying my respects (I am a Canadian Forces Veteran). Even with the banks closed, I managed to get them their money. They took two days to reconnect me. We are on electric heat, and our water pipes nearly froze because of sub-zero temperatures. Read more

Watch “Follow the Money” on CBC: The inside of the dirty wind industry

If you’ve fought the wind industry long and hard enough you’ll be able to practically identify characters in this drama (that plays more like a documentary). For once the inside of the wind industry is shown, and it’s not an exaggeration. Terror, gag clauses, dirty money, carbon schemes, threats, legal weasels, lies upon lies – sound familiar? Sounds like the wind industry in Ontario. Those who haven’t lived it might find it entertaining, but those who have been through the wind wringer will see it as brutally and gut wrenchingly real.

Watch online: CBC – “Follow the Moneyfollow the money

 

Subsidy Sam – A Tale About Money, Greed… And Wind Turbines

SubsidySambook_sm-211x300Lyndsey Ward and Josh

“Subsidy Sam was written in response to the wind industry’s own book for children, Tommy the Turbine. Following requests from people fighting wind turbines around the world a children’s story, Timmy the Tiny Turbine, has now been written and will be published online in August 2016 with illustrations by Josh.”

The Liberal Party has Received over $1.3 million from 30 Renewable Energy Companies

Police investigating Ontario Liberals over alleged wind power document deletion

470_OPP_3_430241CTV News
TORONTO — Ontario’s Liberal government is facing another criminal investigation after a wind power company complained to police about the alleged destruction of documents in a lawsuit it filed against the province.

Trillium Power Wind Corp. has alleged in a lawsuit that government officials destroyed documents after the company sued in a case that stemmed from the government’s cancellation of a Lake Ontario wind project.

OPP Det.-Supt. Dave Truax said police began an investigation in the last couple of weeks after Trillium made a complaint. Truax would not say that the allegations are about destruction of documents, but that the probe is looking into elected officials and/or civil servants, and that there is a “co-mingling” of issues with Trillium’s civil suit.

Trillium lawyer Morris Cooper alleges the documents were destroyed around the same time as emails are alleged to have been deleted in relation to the Liberals’ cancellation of two gas plants. In that case, former premier Dalton McGuinty’s chief of staff and deputy chief of staff have been charged with breach of trust and mischief.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said the government was not aware of any Trillium-related investigation until Wednesday, but that it will co-operate fully. A spokesman for Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said the government takes its record-keeping obligations very seriously.        [can’t make this stuff up!] Read article

Government “Coffee Requests” that can’t be refused

by Dan Wrightman
In 1999 a friend of mine was planning to drive his truck to Costa Rica and asked if I could travel with him. Being young and knowing I might never get another opportunity to travel this way, I immediately said yes and we left for Central America in early December.

I had previously travelled by truck in northern Mexico, so I had an inkling of what to expect, but both of us were taken aback by the corruption we encountered on the Mexican roadways. It became obvious that as soon as we encountered any government authority through a traffic stop or a police checkpoint that we would be getting pulled aside and some of the first words out of the officer’s mouth would invariably be “Cafe/Soda?”

Slide1The game was this: the authorities would declare that they would have to search our vehicle for contraband, but that they would let us pass if we gave them ten pesos (enough at that time to buy a coffee or a pop).

The first time this happened, we refused, and the subsequent search of our truck stuffed full of tools and appliances took up an hour of valuable travelling time. Afterwards we just paid.  On average we were pulled over three to four times a day in Mexico.  We were frustrated and upset, not only by the cost, but by the abuse of power by government authorities. We felt sorry for what the people living there had to deal with on a daily basis.

Seventeen years have passed and I am astonished to recognize that we now have a government in Ontario that treats it’s own citizens in the same way. Multiple times a year the Ontario Energy Board announces a rate increase to our hydro bills, and each time it is minimized by declaring it as only a cup of coffee a month.

The billion dollar gas plant scandal is rationalized by our government as only costing a coffee a year for 20 years but that strains credulity, considering that the Green Energy Act was supposed to only cost us a cup of coffee and a muffin a month for 20 years.

The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan is being sold as only costing us a coffee a day. Continue reading

Wind developer ‘donates’ cash to Liberals each time project processing stalls

moneybagsWPD donates thousands of dollars to the Liberal party to keep their project moving through the system. And the thing is – it works! Each time they donate, the project moves ahead to the next stage. Put the dirty quarter in the candy machine, twist the crank, and out pops a gumball.

Which begs the question we’ve been asking ourselves for years: How many other wind developers have paid their way through the ‘system’?

(Doesn’t Glenn Murray act odd in this clip? Is he nervous about something?)

WPD Canada spokesperson Kevin Surette acknowledged company representatives have attended “some fundraising events in the past few years.”

Simcoe.com, Ian Adams
Simcoe-Grey’s Member of Provincial Parliament says a wind energy company’s donations to the provincial Liberal Party appeared to influence the approval of the company’s project in Clearview Township.

During Wednesday’s question period, Jim Wilson laid out the timeline between WPD Canada’s court application last July to force the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to make a decision on the company’s Fairview Wind project renewable energy application, and a $6,000 donation made to the Liberal Party during the Simcoe North by-election period in September.

“Every time it looked like the project was in jeopardy, a donation was made to the Liberal Party of Ontario,” Wilson claimed in the Ontario Legislature. “These facts … only reinforce the need for a public inquiry.

“Does the minister seriously expect the people in my riding to believe that these donations had nothing to do with his approval (of the project).” Read article

First Nations bands 1000km away have more say on Dutton-Dunwich wind project then local residents do

wind scam inquiryJohn Miner, London Free Press
First, they found out they’re getting giant wind turbines even though they didn’t want them. Now, residents of a Southwestern Ontario township are learning the support of six Ontario First Nations communities — more than 1,000 kilometres away, some not even in the same time zone — helped give a Chicago-based energy giant an edge in its winning bid to build the unwanted wind farm.

One of the native communities is along Hudson Bay, the others in the province’s northwest near the Manitoba border.

It’s another sign that for all the changes Ontario has made to ensure the controversial projects aren’t imposed on areas that don’t want them, as they have been in parts of Southwestern Ontario, problems — and surprises — persist. “It’s ludicrous for them to do something like that,” said Jamie Littlejohn, a spokesperson for Dutton/Dunwich Opponents of Wind Turbines. Littlejohn heads a citizens’ group opposed to the project in Dutton-Dunwich Township, southwest of London.

Progressive Conservative MPP Jeff Yurek said he was “shocked” that communities so far away could influence an energy project in his riding, and he wants the ruling Liberals to shelve the wind farm. “I don’t think it’s fair to residents of the municipality — it’s a huge loophole the government needs to close,” said the Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP. Residents in Dutton-Dunwich, in rural Elgin County, are vehemently opposed to Invenergy LLC’s project.

Under Ontario’s new bidding system for wind-energy contracts, participation by a First Nation gives companies an extra edge. Invenergy, which won one of the coveted contracts for its proposed Strong Breeze Wind Farm in Dutton-Dunwich, found its First Nation support — and investment — in Ontario’s northernmost community and remote reserves near the Manitoba boundary. One of the First Nations communities participating in the project, McDowell Lake, has only 59 members. Read article

There’s always a catch

When that deal was criticized as ‘blood money’ and after the Tribunal gave it the go-ahead to construct the project, the developer withdrew its offer. It has left the door open for some money to go to the County—but it will set the terms and the amount.

It is that kind of agreement.

The Wellington Times
“Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can’t stop them from doing,” wailed the old woman.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Yossarian shouted in bewilderment.

catch22Joseph Heller set Catch-22 on a dusty Mediterranean island during World War II, presenting both a tragic and funny window into the bureaucratic absurdity of war. It describes equally well, I think, the madness of the Green Energy Act (GEAin Ontario in 2016.

Consider this. A developer wants to build a large industrial installation in a pastoral rural area. It knows before it is built how much profit it will generate. It has a contract from the province of Ontario to sell every kilowatt of power it generates—whether it is needed or not. (It’s not.) Whether or not the province will have to dispose of these excess kilowatts at its cost. (It will.)

The developer is set. It has no competitors. No market risk. All it needs to do is get its turbines up, plug them in and generate money. Lots of it. With the single-minded determination of a lamprey, it seeks only to latch onto the province and gorge itself for the next 20 years.

But it has to get those turbines up. Read article

No ‘veto’ for areas opposed to wind energy projects

Kathleen Wynne: “I would say to them [municipalities] that they have a whole lot more say than they did five years ago. We never said there was going to be a veto for municipalities, but we put in place much more rigorous consideration of municipalities’ concerns.”
Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard


a) She admits we had zero say five years ago, and she doesn’t apologize for her support of such an undemocratic process. Actually she seems quite comfortable with the fact that they rammed it down our throats.

b) If a community still can’t say “no”, then they can only say “yes” or be silent. That is not a SAY in the process. When it comes to “consent”, when a person says “no” to an “advance”, that “no” is respected, or they have been violated, end of story.WynneKiss

Tribunal rules against Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens in lawsuit over Ontario wind projects

t-boone-pickensJohn Miner, London Free Press
A lawsuit by a Texas oil tycoon that alleged political interference at the highest levels in the awarding of Ontario wind farm contracts has been rejected by an international tribunal.

In what sources say was a split decision, the tribunal confirmed Canada complied with its obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The decision left a spokesperson for Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli boasting that Ontario is a global leader in clean energy development. He said Ontario will continue to work with the federal government as it considers the tribunal’s decision and next steps.

T. Boone Pickens had sued under Chapter 11 of NAFTA, claiming damages of $653 million plus interest after his company, Mesa Power Group LLC, lost out in its bid to build four massive wind farms north of London.

Mesa said it would have spent $1.2 billion in Ontario.

The tribunal, in the decision released Friday, decided Pickens’ company should pay for all of the arbitration costs. It also awarded the Canadian government $2.9 million for legal costs. Read article

NextEra: “and about that Community Vibrancy Fund … we’re taking it back”

fire-turbine-smAh yes, NextEra giveth and taketh away. They have always loved playing God in our townships. But maybe more like a diety that does a WAY too much taketh-ing.

It’s really quite simple: The bylaw and Warwick Fire Chief Brad Goodhill state that the NextEra Jericho turbines need to be equipped with fire suppression for the nacelles of the turbines. This was supposed to be in place by October 25th, 2015.

NextEra hasn’t complied. NextError is Out of Compliance. The Township is now looking at penalties.

See NextEra wants to install the system at the turbine base, if they absolutely have to. But if the Fire Chief says it has to be in the nacelle, well, they aren’t gonna pay or it! The community can, from the lovely “Community Vibrancy Fund” NextEra so kindly “gave” them (with lots and lots of stings attached).

fire

Oh don’t be surprised by this! Didn’t you know that part of having a vibrant community is making sure it doesn’t catch on fire? NextEra can reason (with force) anything away…


 

  • Update on Installation of Fire Suppression System on Wind Turbines
    Nextera has informed the Township that all costs associated with installation of wind suppression in the nacelle would be borne by the municipality under the Community Vibrancy Agreement under clause 9 – ‘additional development charges’. According to Nextera, relevant charges for the system are $416,275 and require Warwick to forgo all revenue expected to be collected by the annual amenity fee until March 31, 2021. The section of the agreement reads as follows:

    • 9. The Wind Project shall be exempt from payment of any other development changes under any by-law enacted by Council. In the event Jericho is not exempt from the payment of development charges in respect of the Wind Project, or is required to pay any increased amount of property or other taxes with respect of the Jericho Wind Project, any such payments or increased amounts shall be set off against and deducted from the other payments or contributions required under this Agreement.

Wind Company Deal is ‘Bribery with blood money’: Mayor

free-money-imageQuinte News
The mayor of Prince Edward County is pleading with members of council to vote against an upcoming motion that would initiate a road users’ agreement between WPD White Pines and the municipality.

Mayor Quaiff’s email to council
My Fellow Colleagues, I send you this message as my feelings and opinion on the agenda item we will deal with this Thursday about wpd, the following excerpt are my thoughts.

The motions we are asked to consider on Thursday represent by far the worst situation that we have had to confront for the good of our constituents for as far back as I can remember.

What we decide will be analyzed and picked over by the local and national media and indeed by all Ontarian’s suffering under industrial wind turbines like the ones proposed to be inflicted on us for greed, not to “save the planet,” that old cliche,’ and by other people literally across the Country.

I urge you to agree with me that we don’t have a choice but to turn this motion down. I have fought for years to keep turbines out of the County, recognizing early on how badly they would affect everything we hold dear, not to mention our economy, our tourist industry and our property and business values. The contrary spin of the wind industry is professionally and effectively done but – please don’t for a moment believe their avaricious approach and intentions. We are now the “go to” destination in Ontario by those in the know. To approve these motions will eventually drive these well motivated and well – paying visitors away; it would also reduce property assessments and thus tax revenue. It would turn our paradise into a grubby factory, the end of a heartless string of turbines stretching from Wolfe Island through Ernestown and Amherst Island to our south shore. An indiscriminately as it spins and devastating to some of the most beautiful vistas and country side in Canada.
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You are a Willing Host unless you slam the door in wind companies face

GO AWAY1You’d think it would come with the warning statement: “Anything you say could be used against you”.

Municipalities who didn’t slam the door in the wind company’s face should count themselves lucky if they didn’t find their township facing another wind project after the last round of contracts were awarded.

From what Liberal Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli is saying in legislature, any engagement at all ( I suppose even making eye contact), would give the wind company its municipality ‘points’ that furthered their chances of winning the bid.

What is particularly galling is that Dutton-Dunwhich did more than any other township in Ontario – they actually held a referendum – and the population gave an overwhelming NO to any wind developments.

But in the world of Alice in Ontario-land I suppose that even handing these results with a big N O to the wind company would have been the same as saying YES, because they would have had to have some sort of contact with the company. Ethically this is incredibly nasty – the government used words to trick municipalities into ‘engaging’ in the process, even when the engagement was negative!

Enniskillen Mayor Kevin Marriott sensed this was the case a couple years ago, and warned everyone to not speak with the wind companies. From a Sarnia Observer article in May 2014:

“It will be very, very difficult for a developer to be approved without municipal engagement, in some significant way,” Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said last June.

But Marriott said until the province clarifies what it means by municipal engagement, “We’re being vigilant.”

He advised the anti-wind turbine group, Conservation of Rural Enniskillen (CORE), against meeting with the company.

“I said, ‘Whatever you do, don’t consult with them because they may be able to use that as a checkmark,'” Marriott said.

“Who knows what could be construed as public consultation.”

Councillor votes against neighbour’s plea for relief – from her wind turbine’s noise

IMG_6344In little Adelaide-Metcalfe it is Diane McGuire’s letter to the Township that opened the door wind companies were trying to hold shut. Her family cannot get away from the noise caused by the Suncor and NextEra wind turbines, which started spinning over a year ago.

Suncor told her that she was the only one having problems.McGuire_2

But the next meeting yielded another letter, this time from resident James Dymond. Sure enough Suncor’s lie is outed – Diane was clearly not the only one who had filed grievances with them.
Dymond

Note that each letter distinctly requested that Councillor Mary Ann Hendrikx not be involved in discussions, as she has a wind turbine in the very project that is causing problems. Cut and dry – she would be violating the Conflict of Interest Act if she were to do so.DymondCof AMcGuire copy

Adelaide-Metcalfe has had a tumultuous time dealing with the wind issue in the past. Conflict of Interest came up multiple times with both the former Mayor Bolton and former Deputy Mayor DeBruyn having a parent and child respectively with wind leases. They continued to vote on wind turbine issues as the only way the public could impel them to refrain, was to take them court.

To carry on the tradition, Mary Ann also continues to discuss and vote on wind turbine related issues – even when they are directly about about her very own wind turbine, and she has been asked to declare a conflict of interest by those affected! You can watch the council videos here:

March 7, James Dymond letter (video 1 starts 17:50 min. in) & (cont. video 2)
February 16, Diane McGuire letter (video, starts 2:50 min in)

Her comments include bits like this:

Councillor Hendrikx – “I just wanted to give information that they’re working with the Ministry of the Environment – because they called me back when I had sent this (email). The concern I have is that we would be asking to set up noise receptors at every turbine – every turbine isn’t generating complaints, and they are an inconvenience to the farmers to have those turbines sitting out in the middle of the field. So I’m not sure exactly why we need to have receptors at every turbine. I think there’s more value in finding out why some appear to be noisier than others, whether there are a lot of steel rooves in the area reflecting the noise or something like that. I’d like to see something along that line addressed with the different companies.”

Unfortunately Mary Ann seems to think a ‘receptor’ is a microphone…

Councillor Hendrikx –  “Just for some information, he’s [James Dymond] actually located pretty equally distant between two [turbines]… one on the southeast and one on the southwest. So, he may be getting some sort of echo effect or wave convergence type issue – I  don’t know, but I’m actually just as close to the one as he is. The one – the one he’s referring to – he’s not actually referring to, there’s actually noise testing going on the one for, I think about 8 months. But they put the radar locator like the noise tester on the wrong side of the turbine. I don’t think they knew who was complaining about the noise. So, they put it on the wrong side.”

She ends up voting against supporting Diane’s letter. Then oddly at the next meeting she barely raises her hand to support James’ letter.

But should she be removing yourself from discussion on the above letters? If you were in her shoes would you even think of voting on whether a letter should be sent to the Premier about the noise YOUR turbine was causing?

It’s not that she doesn’t understand the Conflict of Interest Act. Mary Ann ‘excused’ herself from a discussion about the local park in the same meeting, right after the wind turbine vote – apparently she saw a Conflict of Interest was to be had there, but not about her wind turbine.

This sort of contempt has been brewing for years, and yes this is how community division starts. The video below is a ‘blast from the past’. Mary Ann is speaking at a Wind Turbine Meeting hosted by MPP Monte McNaughton back in March 2012.

Just before Mary Ann came up to the microphone, the Michaud family from Thamesville spoke of what it was like living with turbines and how their health was affected. Their testimony was eerily similar to the letters from Diane and James. Mary Ann takes the stage and quickly discounts their real health issues with statements like, “Why should farmers be responsible for everybody else’s anger and resentment?”,  and a disparging reference to “no-cheque-itis“.  So her neighbours have anger and resentment. And so do their kids, and so do their livestock…?

Being a farmer does not exempt a leaseholder from having responsibilities when they screw up big time. When a person signs a lease they take on responsibility for how they change the living environment around them. Their machine happens to make a lot of noise making it so people can’t sleep at night, they have migraines, excruciating tinnitus, debilitating vertigo. It’s a package deal: you get a turbine and a lot of nasty side effects. First step is to apologize to the neighbours that are suffering. Don’t pass blame to the ‘metal rooves’, and the ‘receptors’.

Nor does the Green Energy Act null and void the Conflict of Interest Act.  Incredulously Mary Ann took the giant risk of voting with a Conflict of Interest, to defend her wind turbine, not her neighbours.

How Big Corporations Buy Power: For $6,000, donors get face time with Kathleen Wynne & Bob Chiarelli

Mr. Benedetti [the organizer of the ‘event] did not respond to a request for comment. Toronto-based Sussex has 190 active entries in Ontario’s lobbyist registry, representing clients in industries ranging from tobacco to asset management. Mr. Benedetti himself lobbies primarily for the electricity industry, including TransAlta Corp., Capital Power Corp., the Canadian Wind Energy Association and the Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario.

6883422-corruption-in-the-government-in-a-corrupt-systemAdrian Morrow, The Globe and Mail
The Ontario Liberal Party is teaming up with a high-powered lobbying firm to sell “one-on-one” access to Premier Kathleen Wynne and Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli in a fundraising event this week.

For $6,000 apiece, donors can attend an intimate cocktail reception and three-course dinner with Ms. Wynne and Mr. Chiarelli on Thursday at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto’s posh Yorkville neighbourhood, The Globe and Mail has learned. Proceeds go to Liberal Party coffers.

The evening is being promoted by Sussex Strategy Group, one of the country’s top lobbying firms. In an e-mail encouraging energy industry insiders to attend, Sussex principal Chris Benedetti wrote that the soirée will be a “small event with a limited number of tickets,” giving all attendees face time with Ms. Wynne and Mr. Chiarelli.

“The evening will start with a cocktail reception allowing for one-on-one conversations between the Premier, Minister Chiarelli, senior staff and guests,” Mr. Benedetti wrote in the e-mail obtained by The Globe. “We will then move to dinner, where guests will be seated at three tables of a maximum of 10 people each. Over three courses our special guests will circulate amongst the tables to allow for good conversation with all in attendance.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity to speak with both Premier Wynne, Minister Chiarelli and staff, as well as business leaders from across the energy sector,” he added. Read article

Critics blast new process to select sites for renewable energy projects

custom_1223959610581_truth_and_lies_t1John Miner, Debora Van Brenk, London Free Press
A new process to select sites for renewable energy projects was “open, fair and transparent,” says an evaluator hired to ensure selectors followed all the rules. But critics are furious the same rules let wind firms with low bids trump municipal objections and the “transparent” process doesn’t yet let them know why. “We were involved in the process of the initial guidelines . . . and we said there had to be co-­operation and support from the community (for a successful bid),” said Cameron McWilliam, mayor of Dutton-Dunwich. “And we didn’t get it. We got ‘community engagement,’ which is what we’d have with any development . . . That’s not what we were led to believe were the terms.”

A week after Invenergy got the go-ahead to negotiate a contract with the province for 20 to 25 turbines in Dutton-Dunwich, the municipality is still awaiting word on why it’s getting a project opposed by 84 per cent of the residents who voted in a referendum. “We don’t have any information as to what the criteria were and what criteria they met,” McWilliam said.

The green energy contract selection process was designed and run by the Independent Electricity Systems Operator (IESO), a not-for-profit corporation overseeing Ontario’s power system. Previous rounds of wind energy contracts drew allegations of political interference, including a NAFTA lawsuit by U.S. energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens against Canada. Pickens’ suit, claiming $650 million in damages after his company was denied a contract for a wind farm near Goderich, awaits a NAFTA tribunal ruling. Read article

Niagara Region Wind won’t say how many trees they are cutting down

Niagara Region Wind Farm project co-ordinator Shiloh Berriman wouldn’t say how many trees would be cut on along the 45 km route laid out for the transmission lines.

“That’s not public information that we’re willing to give out. We haven’t finished out tree clearing yet, so I don’t actually have a number. And it’s not something public that we would like to give out,” she said.

1297813168809_ORIGINALBy Allan Benner, The Tribune
Andy Koopal frowned as he looked down at the freshly cut metre-wide tree trunk, recalling the majestic oak that it once supported. “That tree was over 150 years old,” he said. “It was a perfect healthy tree. There was no need for it.”

He said the tree – likely a sapling when Canada became a country – was one of eight old growth oaks that border his 10 hectares of farmland on Concession 6 in Wellandport, near Side Road 42. When the Fort Erie resident drove into Wainfleet recently, he said he was shocked to see that all of the trees were cut down and removed. “I came by here Saturday. Then I saw the damage they did,” he said.

Along with Koopal’s trees, likely hundreds more were cut throughout rural west Niagara to make room for transmission lines feeding into new industrial wind turbines being built near by Niagara Region Wind Farm, said Wainfleet’s engineering manager Richard Nan. The company is building a 230 Megawatt industrial wind farm, with wind turbines located in Wainfleet, West Lincoln and Lincoln. Read article

We try to make it as simple as possible for them…

Unwilling Hosts

unwilling host2016
…but they still do this.  All of these project were given IESO contracts yesterday:

Invenergy LLC
Strong Breeze Wind Power Partnership
Strong Breeze Wind Project
Wind (on-shore)
57.5MW
Municipality of Dutton Dunwich UNWILLING HOST

EDF EN Canada Development Inc.
Romney Energy Centre Limited Partnership
Romney Wind Energy Centre
Wind (on-shore)
60MW
Municipality of Chatham-Kent and Town of Lakeshore UNWILLING HOST

EDP Renewables Canada Ltd.
Nation Rise Wind Farm Limited Partnership
Nation Rise Wind Farm
Wind (on-shore)
100MW
Municipality of North Stormont UNWILLING HOST

Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc.
Parc eolien Gauthier LP
Parc éolien Gauthier
Wind (on-shore)
32MW
Municipality of The Nation and Township of Champlain UNWILLING HOST

Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc.
Otter Creek Wind Farm Limited Partnership
Otter Creek Wind Farm Project
Wind (on-shore)
50MW
Municipality of Chatham-Kent (and then there is Randy Hopeless, who never fails to sell out this municipality. Have a referendum Randy, then you can actually see how the people you are supposed to represent actually feel.)