10 yrs ago, farmer fined $10000 for removing trees AROUND a Bald Eagle nest…

IMG_1303By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer
SIMCOE – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is looking for answers in the aftermath of this week’s outcry over the destruction of an eagle’s nest in west Haldimand on the weekend. The legislature in Toronto remains in recess while provincial Liberals pick a successor to outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty. However, that hasn’t stopped Queen’s Park from buzzing about what some are calling an environmental travesty.

Barrett reported that the incident near Fisherville came up for discussion during a packed meeting Wednesday of the Progressive Conservative caucus. Barrett said no one was sympathetic to the Ministry of Natural Resource’s argument that the nest was destroyed to reduce the risk of bird mortality from a pending wind turbine project. “Why would they make a decision like that?” Barrett said. “I want to know who made this call. I want to find out if someone directed MNR to grant this permit and go against its legislation. My gut feeling is there is something seriously wrong here. I want to find out whether this decision was made outside the MNR.”

The Summerhaven wind project belongs to Nextera Energy Canada. The MNR quietly issued the company a permit to remove the eagles’ nest Dec. 31 because it was in an area slated for three turbines. The MNR didn’t post word of the permit on its website until after 5 p.m. Friday. The crew that took down the tree in question began work Saturday morning before sunrise. Read article

Removal of eagles nest smacks of big money corruption: MPP Barrett

Toby%20BarrettFor Immediate Release January 7, 2013
Last minute approval of habitat destruction for wind towers, “Unconscionable”

Selkirk – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett says approval to remove an eagles’ nest east of Selkirk smacks of big money corrupting Ontario government procedure. The tree hosting the nest was cut down Saturday, January 5, 2013, to make way for an access road for a Next Era wind turbine. The Ministry of Natural Resources published permission for the removal at 5pm Friday, January 4.

“Frankly, I feel betrayed – I was in communication with the Minister’s office through December, and we were never alerted to this unconscionable decision until it was too late,” asserted Barrett. “I got to the site on Saturday just after the nest had been removed.”

Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal green-lighted the Next Era project last fall following a month-long hearing in Hagersville.  “Clearly the Ontario government and its Green Energy Act have corrupted the system – with so much money to be made by government’s wind proponent friends, concerns for wildlife and rural values are steamrolled while opponents are kept in the dark,” Barrett intoned. “We’ve been told that the nest was removed to reduce eagle mortality – a clear admission that wind turbines kill eagles.” Continue reading

Industrial wind turbines require local decisions

By Toby Barrett, Tillsonburg News
People from all corners of Ontario descended on Queens Park last week demanding local municipal decision-making power be reinstated with respect to industrial wind turbines.  While municipalities and residents have their say on, for example, where a new Tim Hortons or Walmart is located, Mr. McGuinty continues to allow faceless unelected bureaucrats and the companies themselves decide on wind towers. Continue reading

Will energy plans change our area forever?

Toby Barrett, MPP

By Toby Barrett, Tillsonburg News

This year’s Jarvis Symposium on Energy and Our Environment pulled together companies, unions, engineers, activists and others to discuss everything from wind, solar and coal generation to natural gas and nuclear – just about everything except hydro dam turbines, something that was discussed the week before at Port Dover’s Save Silver Lake meeting.

Exhibits ranged from solar, to carbon sequestration, to energy conservation, and climate change.  The audience included all sides of the energy debate, area media, plus Councillors Jim Oliver, John Wells, Leroy Bartlett, Fred Morrison, and Rob Shirton. Continue reading

Wind towers can pit neighbour against neighbour

Toby Barrett, MPP Haldimand Norfolk

By Toby Barrett, Simcoe Reformer

 This spring I attended the installation of a windmill in Jarvis -at the Walpole Antique Farm Equipment Association.

The tower is 100 years old, 40 feet high and part of our farming heritage. What is not part of our farming heritage is the plan for hundreds of industrial wind towers across our area. Far from 40 feet, these towers are 400 feet high at the tip of the blade -that’s two-thirds the height of the twin stacks at OPG Nanticoke.

My experience, talking to people who live in areas with wind turbines, is that you will either grow to hate them, or ignore them. People contacting my offices fall into two distinct categories; those in the business or holding a lease, and secondly, those with concerns about health, bird migration, or the visual impact. The former are in favour, the latter oppose — and often they are neighbours. Continue reading