Have a good look at these recent and disturbing pictures posted on Canadian Raptor Conservancy’s Facebook.
- Eagle Nest location: Port Ryerse
- Wind Developer: Boralex
Who does one go to when you see wind turbines installed this close to an active nest? You know it’s just a matter of time before the residents of that nest get added to this list of carcasses found in Ontario under wind turbines:
X 2009, Norfolk Wind Project – Bald Eagle
X 2012, Talbot Wind Project –Bald Eagle
X 2013, Talbot Wind Project – Bald Eagl
X 2014, Port Dover Wind Project – Bald Eagle
You want to help. The government makes all the rules and regulations for what any person/developer can do around important habitat like this, so they are the first you think of. Except… that they have a really bad track record on this.
Okay, lets say you go to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), as some good citizens did in November 2012. I’ll take you back there.
Warning, this is a long one, there is no other way to write it, so grab a drink.
***Last year I filed an Freedom of Information request with the MNRF for all correspondence relating to the Haldimand eagle nest destruction by NextEra Energy. I wanted to see what the hell was happening in their heads, and head offices. You can see all the files received from the FOI on this Google Drive: Bald Eagle Nest Destruction NextEra MNRF.
Somewhere around November 19th, 2012 the MNRF had it’s first glimpse at an issue they hadn’t dealt with before. Letters from residents in rural Haldimand County had landed on their desk – they were asking that the MNRF intervene with Florida based wind turbine developer NextEra’s construction around an active Bald Eagle nest.
The MNR wasn’t quite sure what to do. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act said:
7. (1) A person shall not destroy, take or possess the nest or eggs of a bird that belongs to a species that is wild by nature. 1997, c. 41, s. 7 (1).
But there were also exemptions made for “special” people/corporations in need of favours:
(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who destroys, takes or possesses the nest or eggs of a bird described in that subsection,
(a)in accordance with the authorization of the Minister
Ah yes, and that was the dilemma the MNRF faced. This appeared to concern at least Erin in her query to her co-worker. But that’s the last “concern” you will see from this Ministry.
The public kept the pressure on, sending pictures and maps. Surely to God the MNRF would intervene and save the nest…?
That day, December 4th, the MNRF Manager asked Jim Beal and Joad Durst, “…how quickly we can we pull this (a response to the public) together”. They knew an eagle nest was protected under the Renewable Energy Act (REA) – if the nest was noticed during the Natural Heritage Assessment (NHA). But the company missed this nest in their NHA – was that as good as saying the nest “wasn’t there”? Should NextEra have to move their road and turbine plans now, they would have to go through the Ministry of Environment’s (MOE) amendment process all over again – and that would cost wind company time and money. NextEra wanted to build now, and they were going to get their way. Continue reading