London Free Press, Jim Merriam
It’s to be hoped the Fraser Institute didn’t spend much money on its recent study of the fiscal performance of Canada’s premiers. Every resident of Ontario able to sit up and take nourishment — probably including Wiarton Willie last week — has known the study’s conclusion for a long time: Premier Kathleen Wynne is doing a lousy job of managing Ontario’s economy.
Wynne, with the help of her predecessor Dalton McGuinty, has reduced Ontario from a powerhouse to an empty house. On almost every file Wynne’s government is found wanting if not severely under water, to borrow a phrase from the mortgage industry.
The worst is energy. The cost of power in the province has forced industries to close and some families to choose between heat and groceries. A columnist in a Toronto newspaper recently suggested the heat-vs.-food statement is an exaggeration. He should spend a few minutes listening to clients at food banks in rural areas. But I digress. Much of the high cost of power is associated with renewable energy production.
A new study from the University of Ottawa confirms what we’ve been saying all along: Ontario brought in wind energy with a “top-down” style that brushed off the worries of communities where the massive turbines now stand. Stewart Fast, who headed the study, said, “It was a gold rush, basically.” Since those involved kept details secret to avoid giving their competitors an edge, residents didn’t know what their neighbours were planning. “That is really the worst way to go about something that you know is going to have a big impact on landscape and people,” he said. Read article
Veresen, St. Columban Wind. Money troubles. Maybe this explains why they went after my dad for ‘costs’ in the Environmental Review Tribunal, being short on cash. They were denied costs in a decision by the ERT, and thankfully future Appellants haven’t had to face this threat when trying to voice their concerns in the only way that is provided to them.
But $32 million in liens? Did they EVER have the money to build this wind project?
Parcel Register for Property Identifier
LOCAL FARMERS NAMED IN LIENS WORTH over $32 MILLION
Huron Perth Landowners Association (HPLA) Press Release — October 8, 2015
Over $32 million in construction liens have been placed against St. Columban area farms. In many cases, it seems, they were applied without the farmers’ knowledge.
Six liens, valued at over $32 million, have been applied to local properties by wind turbine construction contractors, according to the Service Canada registry. From documents obtained four of the six liens have been applied since June 2015.
In addition, three Superior Court Certificates indicate that legal action has been initiated and, according to court records obtained Oct. 5, 2015, this continues to be an ongoing issue.
Information from one local farmer (leaseholder), who has construction liens placed against his property, shows that the liens are more than double the income he hopes to receive over the twenty-year life of his leases. He was told by contacts associated with the wind turbine company that the liens would be removed, and yet no such action has been taken. He was unaware of the more recent construction liens, which also impact his farm. Continue reading
Eat, drink and sign your property away! NextEra serves a buffet to people with land in Hardy Creek Wind Project area (Middlesex/Lambton).
Notice that a public meeting hasn’t happened yet for this project. NextEra needs to get all the land signed up first, then they’ll tell the rest of you about it (maybe). This invite was sent to some landowners, but not all. Those with a few acres are still left out of the loop on what is happening in this project.
Can you see how this way of ‘doing business’ DESTROYS communities?
A recent visit by members of the Ontario Landowners Association to the Land Registry Office in Goderich (Service Ontario) has revealed the registration of a one billion dollar mortgage by K2 Wind Ontario Inc. on 100 wind leaseholder properties in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh (ACW), home of the 140 turbine K2 Wind Project. They were looking for the original deed for a property and stumbled on K2 Wind’s charge. Certified public records indicate that some properties may be encumbered at twenty times their farm land value, or more.
“We don’t know the full ramifications of what we have discovered this week”, stated Dave Hemingway, President of the Huron Perth Landowners Association. “We know that K2 Wind is not the only wind company following this practice but we don’t know at this point just how many others are involved.” Mr. Hemingway went on to say, “This raises some serious questions. Have the wind developers been smooth talkers and have rural leaseholders been too naïve and trusting? This might very well impact leaseholders’ ability to borrow money for their farming operations.”
Mr. Hemingway states that this discovery could have a profound effect on a leaseholders’ ability to borrow money, sell the farm or otherwise do what he/she sees fit with their own land.
The Ontario Landowners Association has been promoting the concept of property rights for landowners and has been encouraging them to make application for their Crown Land Patent. As part of this program the association encourages property owners to get a copy of the original deed for when the property was transferred from the Crown to private ownership. In the Huron Perth area, this happened from around 1830. The Crown sold the land to the Canada Company which then sold parcels to the local landowners of the time. The Huron Perth Landowners Association has published a Crown Letters Patent booklet to explain what a Crown Letters Patent is and how to get one for your own property. The association also recommends getting the original deed for one’s property which sets out the terms under which the first individual landowner received the property rights which have subsequently becomes the current owner’s property rights.
For further information, contact Dave Hemingway at 519-482-7005 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is always a silence that falls over a community when the turbines are being built. Always. Some of it’s shock. Some residents start to question whether they can live with these machines or not – and wonder what they will do next. Then there are those who are hit the worst with sleeplessness, tinnitus, vertigo, massive migraines. People start to quietly pack up and leave. But what about those leaseholders? Where are they in all this mess? Below is a report sent in from a meeting held the other week in Adelaide-Metcalfe. (I have to warn you, there is no apology to the neighbours they affected, yet).
I went to a meeting tonight at the Kerwood Hall. It was packed, not even enough chairs. It’s a new group that had a panel of 6 people who talked to the crowd about getting a feel if the community wants turbines or not and doing ballots and forming an email group (same old same old). They even had a few NextEra leaseholders from the Adelaide and Bornish projects show up and give a few opinions about the company.
An Adelaide NextEra leasholder spoke (for almost an hour) of all the issues he has been having with NextEra and the turbines on his land. He touched on the fact he has not signed off with NextEra yet, and he wont until they fix his tile which they apparently really messed up, and really changed the lay of his land. He said he never got to deal with the same person in the company – he had a stack of business cards. He didn’t like the way they took over the land and where they put the lane, leaving unworkable spots that his equipment wouldn’t reach, and the fact that they built up the area around the concrete to the point where its a big slope around it which makes pools of water in his field.
He said the property had a few natural ponds… which were just filled in one day. The stripped topsoil is missing, and he was concerned about the soil being completely compacted now. He described the access lanes being so poorly made, layers of crap, and they never cared if they drove around his field anywhere they pleased. He said they had all the rights, and he had none. One day two cranes came in, side by side, not one behind the other. Continue reading
Farmers Forum, Tom Collins
PETERBOROUGH — As 10 new wind turbines were to start spinning at Brinston — about an hour south of urban Ottawa — the tide of public opinion about wind farms is changing, pitting farmers against one another. The Brinston wind farm has been controversial, so much so that South Dundas council has since passed a resolution that it will not support further turbines until it sees a need for it. Some wind power supporters have seen communities turn on them.
When M.K. Ince and Associates Ltd. decided to build five wind turbines in Cavan Monaghan Township near Peterborough, Don Winslow immediately jumped on board. In spring of 2013, he signed with the wind company to allow them to build a wind turbine on his 500-acre cash crop farm. Three months later, after immense public pressure and hostility, he told the company he couldn’t do it anymore.
“It relieved our stress tremendously (to cancel the contract),” said 70-year-old Winslow, who estimated that less than five per cent of the community is in favour of wind turbines. “We don’t have to sneak around the neighbours hoping to not run into them. Read article
In what may be an unprecedented move, 23 Texans who host wind turbines on their property have filed suit against two different wind farm developers, claiming that companies “carelessly and negligently failed to adequately disclose the true nature and effects that the wind turbines would have on the community, including the plaintiffs’ homes.”
The plaintiffs host hundreds of turbines on projects developed by Duke Energy and E.ON, and as a Duke spokesman noted, they did consent to the placement of the turbines. However, the lawsuit stresses that the companies told residents the turbines “would not be noisy, would not adversely impact neighboring houses and there would not be any potential health risk.” Read article
Ben Lansink will be a witness at the Adelaide ERT Appeal (Nexterror & MOE v Wrightman & MLWAG Inc), along with fellow Chicago real estate appraiser Mike McCann f (tentatively on Oct 16 in London at the Middlesex County council office).
See McCann-Lansink Human Species Habitat Sep 30-13
the Peterborough Examiner
So much fear and stress racked the neighbours of a proposed wind farm near Bethany that a family that was going to build a wind turbine on its property has scrapped the plan. Norm Lamothe is a son-in-law to the Winslow family. Developers have been planning to build a five-turbine wind farm on land near Devil’s Elbow Ski Area.
One of the five turbines would have been on the Winslows’ land. Two other property owners are also involved: two more turbines are proposed for land next to the Winslows’ and another two across the road. The deal might have been lucrative for the Winslows: Lamothe said rental of their one acre of land, for the one turbine, would have brought in $20,000 a year. But there were so many “impassioned pleas” among neighbours who have been fearful about the health implications of a wind farm, he said — not to mention the possibility of their property values plummeting – that the family decided it couldn’t go on with its plan.
“We are truly sorry that our actions have caused such fear and stress within the neighbourhood,” Lamothe told a crowd of about 45 wind farm opponents Monday. Opponents were gathered outside the Cavan Monaghan Township municipal building, in Millbrook, to hear the public announcement. “In light of these concerns, we as a family have decided that we will not be erecting a wind turbine on our property, at this time.” “Oh thank you!” one woman screamed, as people hugged and punched the air. Read article
Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Darryl De Groot says it’s gotten to the point that farmers have stopped waving to each other on Northville Road. And that’s just one impact the dairy farmer sees that Ontario’s Green Energy Act, and Nextera’s proposed Jericho wind energy project, is having on rural Lambton Shores. “Country life out here, it’s not like it once was,” De Groot said.
Florida-based Nextera is planning to build a 92-turbine wind farm in Lambton Shores and neighbouring Warwick Township, and the community has divided between farmers who signed leases, allowing the wind companies to build turbines on their land, and those who didn’t, De Groot said. When the land agents came around in 2008, he and his father took a look at what they were offering, and turned them down. “Dad said, ‘You know what, anything to do with the government that is 50 pages long, don’t sign it.'”
But other farmers did, including some of De Groot’s neighbours. Nextera received a contract to sell power to Ontario, and is in the final stages of securing provincial environmental approval to move ahead with its project. “Farmers aren’t waving at each other on the roads any more,” De Groot said. “It’s sad . . . it should have been done a different way. It shouldn’t have been pushed on us.”
De Groot grew up on the farm near the small community of Arkona, went to agricultural college, married and has a one-year-old child he still hopes will be the fourth generation of the family to farm on Northville Road. Read article
An environmental lawyer says there’s hope for landowners who want out of wind turbine leases. Eric Gillespie, who currently is working for Plympton-Wyoming in its court battle with Suncor Energy over wind turbine bylaws, gets “dozens” of calls from landowners who signed leases long before anyone realized the potential problems associated with the industrial turbines.
Gillespie, slated to speak at a meeting organized by Conservation Of Rural Enniskillen, says some of those landowners are successfully getting out of what many people had believed are ironclad leases. “We’re aware of at least three situations where it appears we have been successful,” says Gillespie.
“One of the elements that factually they all have in common is the apparent lack of information provided by the wind company at the time the agreement was signed,” he says. “Quite consistently there appears to be a lack of disclosure around potential health issues. Read article
Sarnia Lambton Independent
An environmental lawyer says there is hope for landowners who want out of wind turbine leases. Eric Gillespie, who currently is working for Plympton Wyoming in its court battle with Suncor Energy over wind turbine bylaws, gets “dozens” of calls from landowners who signed leases long before anyone realized the potential problems associated with the industrial turbines. Gillespie, who was slated to speak at a meeting organized by Conservation Of Rural Enniskillen Saturday, says some of those landowners are successfully getting out of what many people had believed are ironclad leases.
“We’re aware of at least three situations where it appears we have been successful,” says Gillespie. “One of the elements that factually they all have in common is the apparent lack of information provided by the wind company at the time the agreement was signed,” he says. “Quite consistently there appears to be a lack of disclosure around potential health issues.
“Experts around the world have been saying for many years that industrial wind turbines cause certain effects on certain people; that is part of the reason why there is a mandatory setback in just about every country that has a high or a significant number of wind turbines. If you could place people safely in very close proximity, there would be no need for a setback. The problem is that while governments around the world acknowledge the health risks, participants, people who signed up in Ontario, don’t get any setback protection,” says Gillespie. Read article
Read Planning Services Report from Storey Samways Planning Ltd.
Ridgetown Independent News:
Heather Wright, Sarnia Lambton Independent
A local insurance broker says a recent decision to allow neighbours of wind farms to sue for lost property value may make it harder for farms with wind turbines to get liability insurance. Greg Cameron of Cameron Insurance was one of the speakers at yesterday’s meeting held by CORE – Conserve Our Rural Enniskillen. CORE organized after three wind companies began moving throughout the area asking farmers to host wind turbines on their property. Up to 51 turbines are planned in the three projects
But Cameron is warning farmers they need to be careful about signing lease agreements because it may affect their insurance coverage. Cameron says a recent Ontario Court decision in which a judge ruled property owners around a proposed development in Collingwood could go to court to look for damages to cover the devaluation of their property once the project was built.
Cameron says the insurance industry, which does not have uniform policies on liability insurance for farms with industrial turbines, is closely watching the situation. “As more and more turbines go up and more and more liability suits are presented, you will be able to tell the appetite of the insurance companies, whether they will cover farms (with turbines),” says Cameron. Read article
Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Petrolia lawyer Wallace Lang questioned the amount of money wind energy companies are offering farmers who lease them land to build turbines on. Lang told more than 200 people gathered Thursday evening at Lambton Centennial School near Petrolia that the wind leases he has read typically offer landowners $15,000 a year, per turbine.
He was invited to speak by Conservation of Rural Enniskillen (CORE), a citizens group that formed earlier this year to oppose plans by several companies to build wind farms in Enniskillen Township. “You really have to wonder if it’s a good bargain or not,” Lang said about the amount of money wind companies are offering landowners.“It seems to be kind of chump change, really.”
The agreements can run for decades and may include inflation clauses but the lease payments are taxable, he said. Lang told the crowd he believes more realistic compensation for landowners would be in the range of $50,000 to $100,000 a year for each turbine. He urged landowners to be cautious, saying wind companies are sophisticated organizations that know how to market the documents they use to sign up landowners. While they’re called option agreements, “it’s a final document,” Lang said. “Make sure you want to do it, before you sign it.” Read article
Sarnia Lambton Independent
Enniskillen Township politicians say they’re considering a bylaw to keep wind turbines two kilometers from homes. But Mayor Kevin Marriott says council is waiting to see what happens with two prominent cases in the Ontario courts before acting. There are three wind energy companies going door-to-door in the municipality trying to sign farmers to wind leases. The projects could mean up to 51 turbines in the community.
A new group, CORE – Conservation of Rural Enniskillen – has been formed to encourage residents not to sign on, making it difficult for the wind companies to get the land base they need. So far, the companies have not secured contracts with the provincial government to sell power.
That’s why Marriott and his council told members of CORE at a recent council meeting they’re taking their time on imposing a two kilometer limit – which would be directly opposed to provincial law. Marriott says communities such as Wainfleet and Plympton-Wyoming which imposed the limit are facing legal challenges and are currently in court. A decision on the Wainfleet two kilometer set back is expected in weeks.
“When we hear that decision we thought we’d be in a better position to proceed with setback (requirements) like Plympton-Wyoming’s,” says Marriott adding a larger exclusion zone would be one of the best ways to stop wind projects in the community. “Two kilometers would pretty well eliminate any place in rural Lambton,” says Marriott. Read article
Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Keith Douglas and Elizabeth Bellavance call themselves “very private people” who didn’t expect to become anti-industrial wind turbine activists. They both grew up in rural Lambton, became veterinarians and eventually moved in 1997 to a farm on Plympton-Wyoming’s Aberarder Line. They were attracted by a view that rolls down to a creek and up a tree-covered hill. The farm’s workable acres are share-cropped but Douglas has also planted thousands of trees. Not far behind the house, the fence of a horse pasture stretches out from the barn and down the hill.
Mixed in with papers on a coffee table inside is an architect’s rendition of a new home the couple planned to build to take advantage of the view. “We let go of that plan last summer,” Bellavance said. About seven years before, a fellow came up their lane way looking for farmland to lease for a wind farm project.
Suncor Energy Projects has a Feed-In Tariff contract to sell energy from its up to 46-turbine Cedar Point Wind Power project. The company is now in the late stages of working through provincial approval to build the wind farm that will stretch across Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and into Warwick Township. “We didn’t just brush him off,” Bellavance said about the man who came offering a wind lease. “We had a look.” Read article
By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
John Barros says it’s time for a new, and less divisive, approach to building wind farms. The senior project development manager for Mainstream Renewable Power said he wants everyone within the boundaries of its proposed Sydenham wind projects in southeastern Lambton County to be able to benefit from them.
That why, for the last six months, he and Mainstream have been talking about sharing some revenue from its wind projects with all landowners who sign up, and not just those who end up with turbines. He’s also talking about setting up a community energy co-op that residents of the project area can invest in. “It takes a community to develop a wind farm,” Barros said. “The minute you get off that concept, is the first step toward a project failing.”
Barros and Mainstream have been working for five years on its Sydenham proposals to erect turbines in two or three phases that would generate a total of about 167 megawatts of electricity. In that time, opposition to wind farms has taken hold in rural communities. Ontario’s push into renewable energy is at risk of falling, along with the Liberal minority government and a provincial deal with Samsung that ate up transmission capacity west of London. Read article
Heather Wright, Sarnia-Lambton Independent
Muriel Allingham is questioning why the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority would allow wind energy companies to survey sensitive areas such as Rock Glen Conservation Area. Documents released by the authority released to Allingham, a member of Middlesex Lambton Wind Action, show a company called CanAcre, working for NextEra Energy on the Goshen and Jericho projects in Lambton and Middlesex, signed an agreement with the ABCA to have access to conservation land for field studies. Rock Glen Conservation Area in Arkona was among the nine tracts of land surveyed.
Conservation Authority General Manager Tom Proutt says the agreements were signed two-years ago, before there was wide-spread concern for the project. He says the company offered to survey the land and do an inventory of the plants and wildlife. “The agreements that wind energy companies had asked us for were part of their environmental studies they were doing,” says Proutt. “They were looking at our properties in terms of what was there and that was information that we would find useful because we don’t have the time or money to inventory our lands.”
But Allingham says the conservation authority should have known the companies were looking to use the lands – a use she says would not be appropriate. “Conservation lands are just that and it (wind energy projects) displaces wildlife and their mandate is to protect land and wildlife. Read article
It’s a green energy proposal that has torn apart Perth County communities. Invenergy Canada has a contract to build up to 27 wind turbines in North Perth and Perth East. Now a Perth-Wellington’s MPP is asking the premier to use her power to intervene.
These wind turbines are meant to be a green energy solution as part of the Conestogo Wind Energy project, but concerned residents say they’ll cause more problems. Doug Hoshel signed a lease with Invenergy, one that he now wishes he never signed. “I could use my neighbours a lot more than the money.” Hoshel won’t say how much money he’s gotten for leasing land to Invenergy to put wind turbines on his property. At the time he thought green energy could only be a good thing, but the original plan for one turbine on his farm – turned into three – within a 25-acre field. Read article
Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Landowners need to get advice before signing on with wind energy companies, says lawyer Wallace Lang. He was speaking to about 250 people gathered Thursday evening at a wind turbine public awareness meeting held at the community centre in Oil Springs.
It was organized by Enniskillen Township resident Chad Burke and his family after representatives of wind companies began approaching landowners in the rural Lambton County community. Mayor Kevin Marriott has said three companies are behind several proposals for wind farms in the township.
Lang was one of several speakers at the meeting Burke organized with help from local anti-wind groups. “Take care,” Lang told the crowd about documents used by wind companies. “Because it’s a binding agreement once you sign it. Lang said the companies have developed documents they have found to be saleable to landowners. “You’re not dealing with a bunch of amateurs here.”
Burke said he discovered the wind companies have become active in Enniskillen when they approached his in-laws. As well as organizing Thursday’s meeting, Burke said he expects to see an Enniskillen citizens’ group form and join forces with other anti-turbine efforts in Lambton. “The whole idea is to spread awareness and not let these into our community,” he said. Read article
Heather Wright, Sarnia Lambton Independent
Enniskillen politicians and residents are watching with worry as three companies make the rounds asking landowners south of Petrolia to sign leases for wind turbines. Enniskillen Mayor Kevin Marriott says in the last few months three companies have been speaking with the municipality about projects which could bring as many as 51 turbines to the rural township.
The mayor says there has been major interest since the Ontario Energy Board gave approval for Hydro One’s $40 million upgrade of a major transmission line which goes from the Lambton Generating Station into London. The upgrade allows for up to 500 megawatts of additional renewable power in the area according to documents filed at the time with the OEB. “These transmission lines that are coming from the Courtright coal-fired facility are being upgraded and all of the sudden there is an interest to feed that line,” he says. Read article
Heather Wright, Sarnia-Lambton Independent
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority is talking to lawyers about a lease it holds with NextEra Energy on a piece of land in the Municipality of Bluewater. Tom Proutt, general manager of the authority, confirms it was deeded the land from an estate over four years ago, long before wind projects became hugely controversial.
The authority is already under fire from wind groups because its foundation accepted a donation from NextEra Energy for a golf tournament in Exeter. The conservation authority has to approve NextEra’s massive wind projects in Lambton Shores and in Bluewater and South Huron. Officials say they can only turn down the project for limited reasons including if it could cause flood damage, erosion or was in a dynamic beach area.
Proutt confirmed “the (land lease) contract we inherited had funds attached to it.” He wouldn’t say how much money is generated from the lease. But the general manager adds “there will not be a tower on the property. “We were asked by some individuals for copies of the agreement and that we not accept funding from wind energy companies; our board is sorting through all that,” he added. Proutt says lawyers are currently looking into the contract and its implications.
Esther Wrightman of Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group is not surprised the conservation authority would have been given land with a wind lease on it “considering the number of leases out there” – especially four years ago when there was little concern about the projects. But several sources say the authority not only inherited the lease, but renewed it recently. Proutt would not speak to the allegation, saying lawyers are looking into the lease.
Wrightman says renewing the lease was the wrong thing to do. “If the conservation authority’s mandate is to take care of these natural environments and they are to be model stewards of the land and are signing away or resigning leases on these lands, that does not set a very good example,” says Wrightman. “The better example would be ‘no, we don’t want to resign this.’ Read article
By Dan Dakin, St. Catharines Standard
Like a giant fan blade slicing through the air, the debate over wind turbines in rural Ontario settings has pitted neighbours against neighbours and torn friendships apart. There’s little room for grey in the argument. In this special report, Standard reporter Dan Dakin looks at the issue through the eyes of each side.
He’s a farmer from West Lincoln who has signed on the dotted line to have an industrial wind turbine built on his property. His name? At his request, we can’t tell you because the man is afraid of the repercussions of going public.
The Niagara Region Wind Corp. wants to build 77 turbines on private land across West Niagara. To do so, it has signed 77 lease deals worth $50,000 annually for each turbine for the next 20 years. The farmer above said he has absolutely no concerns over health issues or decreased land value that the No side maintains is the problem with wind power generation. Read article
by Harvey Wrightman
The Liberal party, engaged in a collective effort of navel-gazing, is puzzled as to why rural residents have such irrational fear of the great green future planned for them – all the prospective leadership candidates affirm that the wind energy program will proceed as planned.
One of the newest wrinkles to the wind program is now coming to light. The 300 or so wind turbines planned for north east Lambton, north west Middlesex and southern Huron Counties require transmission lines to get to Hydro’s 500kv main line some 40 km away. The wind companies, in their typical corporate arrogance, planned their projects first, leaving transmission details for later, never anticipating that things here would be any different than they are in Kansas or Missouri where you send out your “landmen” (that’s what this particular breed of slime is called) to offer a few dollars for the easements required – and the poles are up before anyone even knows about it. Almost everything on private land so there are no hassles with municipal or State bureaucrats. So, we can do the same thing here, right? – Well, not exactly.
Over the past 50 years farm land in southern Ontario was improved by installing subsurface tile drainage which eliminates wet spots in fields and generally improves the growing ability of soils. Tiles are laid out in a systematic fashion with current practice seeing the patterns set as close as 25’ apart. They don’t do that in Kansas or Missouri. They don’t have to because the weather factors are different. Continue reading
by Hans Janzen, Toronto Sun
How does one man’s dream of becoming known as the “Green Premier” become a nightmare for much of rural Ontario? It’s called the Green Energy Act. It takes away the rights of individual landowners and municipalities to protect themselves from the placement of industrial wind turbines in their jurisdictions.
The mandate of the act is to harness the “free energy” of the wind. The concept sounds great, but the reality is much different. It’s anything but free, given the rising evidence of health issues, bird and bat kills, lost property values and unsustainable electricity rates. These wind farms do not get built without massive government subsidies from our already near-bankrupt government.
In 2004, my family and I purchased a 32.6-acre parcel of farmland in the Township of West Lincoln. It fulfilled our lifelong dream of owning a farm. Our land produces soybeans, wheat and corn. In 2007, we built a barn and we are continuing to improve the farm for future endeavours. We have not yet built a house on our site.
In 2011, we received a letter from a local wind developer looking for landowners willing to lease their farm land for the installation of industrial wind turbines. We naively believed people in our area would not lease their land to these corporations, but money talks. The leases for the land pay $50,000 per year per turbine for 20 years. Read article
by Troy Patterson, Owen Sound Sun Times
The Bruce County Federation of Agriculture has released a new policy statement on wind energy that speaks out against the “adverse affects” wind power is perceived to have on agriculture, from increased energy costs to potential health impacts on people.
The BCFA released the statement Thursday after making the decision at its Sept. 24 meeting.
“The Bruce County Federation of Agriculture (BCFA) recognizes wind energy as a contributor to green energy, and we are in favour of exploiting all kinds of green energy sources,” the policy says. “However, the Feed-in-Tariff program seems to help promote the sale of wind energy technology, rather than develop wind energy technology, which was the intended spirit of the Green Energy Act.”
The organization’s policy said the cost to produce wind energy is not decreasing and due to inefficiencies in wind generation, the cost of energy continues to increase.
BCFA president John Gillespie, a Huron Township farmer, noted the policy is not “universally supported” by the 1,450 farm families they represent in Bruce County. Some have wind turbines on their property.
He also wanted to be clear the BCFA isn’t against wind energy, but the board made the decision based on the frequency of issues that have surfaced around wind power projects.
“But we’ve talked to a lot of people and it was enough of an issue that people wanted to see questions they had solved before going forward,” Gillespie said. “We don’t think it’s a bad thing, but we also don’t need to be in such a rush as what’s been proposed.”
The BCFA has been made aware of the purchase of homes by Suncor-Acciona in the Ripley Wind Power Project due to perceived health effects. Some members who have signed wind power leases have raised issues about the “fine print” contained in them, which has had an impact on their ability to build on their land, or use it during the winter when there is a potential risk of ice thrown from blades.
“There are some implications they didn’t fully understand before the turbines went up,” he said. “Some want to know if they can still build a barn and if it’s safe. Some neighbours who aren’t in the project are worried about restrictions on their properties and a lot of these issues haven’t been settled yet.” Read article
by Mariane McLeod | www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca
A lawsuit in the battle over wind turbines in Clearview Township may not have quite the effect that was intended.
Two separate lawsuits filed by neighbours of the properties where eight turbines are slated to be built total 17 million dollars in claims.
But WPD Canada — the company that will build the windmills — says the landowners will not have to pay, even if the lawsuit goes ahead and even if they lose.
A spokesperson for the company, Kevin Surette, says the farmers’ legal expenses are covered, no matter what happens. He says that coverage is part of the contract made between the farmers and the company. Continue reading