For 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.”
Barrett arrived at the Lakeshore Road location early Saturday afternoon. Neighbours had informed him that the nest was “active” – despite official remarks indicating the opposite – and that there have been a number of eagles inhabiting the area over the last 4 to 5 years.
The Haldimand Norfolk MPP noted that it was just a few years ago that a dead eagle was found near the base of a wind turbine in Norfolk County – government officials at the time described it in the media as a “careless eagle”.
“As with the Caledonia-Six Nations debacle, area people feel abandoned,” Barrett said. “People ask me, ‘if government isn’t going to follow the rules, why should we?’”