Countylive.ca: Treat Hull, the Green Party’s candidate for MPP in Prince Edward – Hastings released the following statement documenting the connection between wind farm development and this week’s disruptive site clearance activity.
Supporters of the Liberal government’s plan to put an industrial wind farm in the Provincial Wildlife Area and Important Bird Area at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County have claimed that there is no connection between the proposed wind farm and this week’s disruptive clearing of large parts of the site by the Department of National Defence (DND) to search for unexploded ordinance (“UXO”).
In reality, the documentation released by the DND demonstrates that the intrusive operations in the environmentally sensitive site were undertaken in direct support of the Gilead wind farm project.
Emails released by the DND which were sent to the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE) to explain the project and clarify permit requirements state that ‘UXO (unexploded ordinance) survey and clearance activities will be conducted in response to development/ construction projects in Prince Edward County’. Gilead Power’s wind farm is the only development/construction proposed for the site.
The chronology of events based on publicly-available information is:
- 2006. Wind farm developer Gilead starts wind monitoring at Ostrander Point.
- January 2008. Gilead holds first public open house
- August 2008. Gilead holds second public open house
- September 2008. Nick Sanders (DND) emails Christine Brown (MOE) to ask if any permits are required for DND’s proposed unexploded ordinance work at Ostrander Point. The only justification for the ordinance sweep was “UXO survey and clearance activities will be conducted in response to development/ construction projects in Prince Edward County”.
- March 2011. DND publishes Draft Screening Report which includes above email correspondence, along with the disclosure that the only consultation outside government was with Gilead: ‘The wind farm proponent, Gilead, was consulted to determine footprint of the windfarm and to and to coordinate respective project activities’.
It should be noted that the technical references cited by the Draft Screening Report include the ‘Royal Road Wind Project: Environmental Review Report’ for a neighboring but defunct wind farm.
No disrespect is intended to the DND or the individuals on the ground who are ‘just doing their jobs.’ It is regrettable that the DND has been inadvertently drawn into a controversial agenda of the McGuinty government.
The incident does raise important issues about the way incumbent MPP Liberal Leona Dombrowsky has ignored or downplayed widespread citizen concerns about putting a wind farm in the Important Bird Area, a location which wind supporters and foes alike have called ‘the worst possible location for a wind farm’ because of its impact on migratory birds and endangered wildlife species. As recently as this week, Ms. Dombrowsky responded to constituents’ concerns by downplaying the significance of the clearance operation and to deny any connection with the Ostrander Point wind farm.
Ms. Dombrowsky’s off-hand dismissal of well-founded citizen concerns is part of a pattern of inflexible defense of Dalton McGuinty’s agenda. Prince Edward-Hastings deserves an representative who understands that their role is to represent the votes, not to represent the Liberal government.”
The documentation referred to may be downloaded from Treat Hull’s campaign web site at