Wainfleet Wind Energy still open to negotiation, Rankin says

ertBy Greg Furminger, The Tribune
WAINFLEET – An environmental review tribunal hearing into Wainfleet Wind Energy Corp’.s plan to erect two turbines near Skydive Burnaby will resume one week from Monday. Reached out of town Sunday, Tom Rankin said as the hearings continued last week, two days were also spent discussing a possible settlement, but nothing came of it. Those negotiations took place in private.

But despite no resolution in the matter, Rankin said a settlement option is still up for negotiation. Skydive Burnaby owners Mike and Tara Pitt are appealing plans for the turbines to be erected on Station Rd. land near Concession 1 owned by the Loeffen family, which has partnered on the project with Rankin Construction, a partner in Wainfleet Wind Energy.

The turbines are proposed to be built 1.5 km west of the skydiving club, bringing about safety of parachutists. The Pitts were not immediately available for comment. The tribunal hearing resumes Monday, Jan. 27. Read article

17 thoughts on “Wainfleet Wind Energy still open to negotiation, Rankin says

  1. The local Niagara media sadly still report the unelected, private citizen Rankin’s comments as though somehow he is the only voice in Niagara Region. And of course a majority of our supposed ‘elected’ Regional Councilors accept it without question.

    At last weeks ERT Hearing in Wainfleet, the ‘wind lawyers’ withdrew the Notice of Objection to the hearing because Rankin had threatened yet another lawsuit against Wainfleet Council for supporting the Appeal.
    Instead they asked for time to discuss a ‘settlement’ with the appellants, Skydive Burnaby.
    A day and a half later, at $800 an hour for lawyers opposing the Appeal, no settlement was reached.

    The only common sense rationale for these ‘games’ by Rankin’s wind lawyers was that after two days of evidence from the appellants witnesses, scientists, engineers, pilots and skydivers, all extremely well qualified in their various fields, it was quite obvious that to site these turbines so close to a skydive operation was an inevitable and extreme safety hazard. No question of if a skydiver would be killed but when and how soon.

    The only reasonable ‘settlement’ would be to move those two turbines. Rankin had already wasted no time in pouring the bases for them so does anyone really believe he is even interested in any ethical or honourable settlement?

    Sadly, the final decision on this ERT, the hearing to continue on January 27th, is up to the ERT Chair, a member of that same group who continue to show, time and time again, that these ERT’s are called only to be manipulated to support the wind energy industry scam at all costs and nothing else.

    Based on the strictly safety issues this ERT is restricted to it should be a Hearing Skydive Burnaby should win without any doubt whatsoever. However, and sadly, it is an ERT hearing.

    Anyone out there who has the time to offer any encouragement let either Skydive Burnaby or Wainfleet Township Council know you support their stance in this fight we all support.

    This really should be a first outright win for our side, and wouldn’t that be nice.
    Andrew Watts

  2. What I’m smelling is pure “rank”. Tom Rankin – your way isn’t always the way. Get off your high horse. BULLY. “Private negotiations” to have turbines moved…haven’t we heard that before! BRIBE; Turbines moved and shoe horned into the back yards of others, who eventually became very sick and had to leave their homes of many years.
    Wainfleet-if you value your family and homes, send that SOB packing.



    • Super chic! Rankin has already attempted to bribe the Skydive owners, offered to ‘relocate’ them. They said ‘No’.
      Tried again during this recent ERT Hearing again and again they said ‘No’.
      They were offered financial support before they began this ERT, which disappeared once they’d actually lodged their appeal. They have put money they can’t afford into this appeal to try and save a successful small business that has been in the township for over 40 years and because they know the safety concerns are legitimate and they believe they can win.
      Wainfleet Township Council has supported them completely, and voted to support their appeal financially. They are now suffering a backlash from a few residents who have shown little interest in the wind energy scam up until now.
      Wainfleet’s Mayor and Council have done more than any other elected body in Ontario to prevent these projects being approved in their township and continue to fight as hard as anyone on this site.
      Wainfleet cannot do any more than they continue to do.
      What Wainfleet Council and Skydive Burnaby deserve is some loud, public and practical support from anyone and everyone on this site to show their efforts are important.
      So far there is no one on this site who appears to think that a potentially successful ERT Appeal is worth spending time on. I guess potential skydiving fatalities don’t have the same impact as Bald Eagle nests or Blandings Turtles habitat?
      And I thought we were only about stopping these machines, any way we can, even if it is only one machine at a time.
      Andrew Watts

  3. “,even if it’s only one machine at a time”……. And that’s the thing Andrew. We must all be on the same side, if we are to eventually win this war that’s been declared and fought against us in rural Ontario. Like when the Buddhists came out of their closet in the Bethany area, to help in our fight, I was disappointed to read some of the comments on this site, condemning them as thinking they deserve special treatment, over other groups/religions I guess, which of course was way off the mark. Whatever works for our individual areas is fine, so long as it works to keep IWTs out of any & all of Ontario. That’s the bottom line. All at once or “one machine at a time”, isn’t important.

  4. Who owns the airport invoved in this situation?
    Do these turbines also affect safe operations at this airport? If so then this is a federal matter.

    This Rankin guy thinks he has the right to put another company out of business so he can make money at the expense of all Ontarians.

    • Hi Barbara! Skydive Burnaby own the ‘airport/aerodrome’. I don’t know but think there may be a technical bit of bureaucratic gobbledegook that allows Transport Canada to turn a blind eye where aircraft safety is concerned. At 1.7 kms these proposed machines are less than half the safety distance required for ‘safe’ airport operations.
      TC are certainly aware of the safety issue having said 8 turbines should be decommissioned and taken down in Chatham Kent(?) I think. Have they been? I doubt it. And so far there is no sign of TC taking any real pro-active stance. What’s a few downed aircraft or dead aircrew and passengers among Liberal bureaucracies? They can always blame their elected ‘masters’……………….

      Rankin has built up a very successful construction company in Niagara over a number of years. He knows all the senior Niagara Regional planners and administrators and a majority of the elected Regional Councilors, most of whom will not oppose ‘King’ Tom!
      He gets to pick and choose the Regional contracts he wants.
      After so long he now suffers an overwhelming sense of arrogance and entitlement where our tax dollars are concerned and any real connection with being a private company is now merely accidental……………….. 🙂

      Case in point, the Niagara Region Public Works Committee have just awarded the most expensive construction project in the region’s history to a Montreal company, the lowest tender. Rankin’s came second, although both were way above the regional planners own estimates!
      Apparently a certain person arrived at Regional offices when the award was announced and jumped up and down a bit! That contract has now been ‘unawarded’!
      They are going back to the tender process again and I’m not holding my breath over which construction company will ultimately get it…………. 🙂

      The wind ‘thingy’?
      Wainfleet Wind Energy(Rankin)have already received a $400,000 tax dollar handout from the Min of Energy for just submitting the applications for their West Lincoln and Wainfleet projects.
      When he sued Wainfleet Council over their 2km Set Back Bylaw the judge found the Council completely within their rights and ruled they did have the authority to propose such a Bylaw. However, he added that because of the Green Energy Act the Bylaw would likely be found ‘invalid’ but not illegal as Rankin’s lawsuit had claimed. I’m still trying to work out how the justice system made this a win for Rankin. For that ‘win’ he received $75,000 in costs from the Wainfleet taxpayers.

      About 7 or 8 years ago Rankin submitted an application to build a 5 wind machine project in Wainfleet. At that time he(Wind Energy Niagara)did a deal with Niagara Region and a contract was signed. That project failed and no further projects have been proposed by WEN. It is only in the past month or so that contract has been cancelled, so for the past few years Niagara Region has had $4.5m of our tax dollars ‘on hold’, should Rankin ever ask for them! 🙂

      So ‘Yes’, here in Niagara Rankin believes he has the right to do pretty much whatever he wants. However, I do not believe personally that those are his motives in pushing his wind projects on Wainfleet and trying to put Skydive Burnaby out of business.
      Both have sad a loud and clear ‘No’ to him and after so many years calling the shots he just can’t take that. I believe it is that simple, he is a vindictive little man who is only interested in getting his own way. Any harm he does to anyone opposing him is merely incidental. He really couldn’t care less and as he keeps repeating, he doesn’t need the money.
      Sorry that was so long Barbara but there may be some background you are unaware of?
      Andrew Watts

      • Here’s something that’s not so long …

        Tom Rankin appears to suffer from Short Man Syndrome, also known by other names, allegedly. This has not been proven in a court of law.

  5. After loking over the situation in Ontario, don’t think there has ever been this level of cronyism and perhaps corruption in they way things are done maybe since the days of Tammany Hall and the level of corruption seen in places like Chicago years ago. Of course this is just my opinion.

    The federal government won’t do anything unless complains are made to the federal crown attorney and even then maybe nothing will be done.

    However, the federal conservatives need rural Ontario votes to stay in power.

    • But, – however – ‘all politics ARE local politics’;
      and, only one mayor reached out
      to other mayors – to form a strong collective voice –
      and, unfortunately………….Mayor April Jeffs
      was ignored.


    • I think my Mayor April and her Council are fabulous…!!!!
      Not any smarter than anyone else I don’t think just prepared to let basic common sense and protecting their own community be their only priorities.
      Even when the ‘wind insanity’ began in Wainfleet I believed myself and others, including members of council, were already informed enough to know these things should be opposed in any way possible.
      It was most frustrating when Mayor April refused to take any action until she had allowed all sides to attend meetings to express their views. That included Rankin, IPC and even NRWC.

      (Funnily enough the only folk who I have never heard at any meeting are the Loeffens, the brothers who are the host landowners. They have never stood up and told their famiiies, friends and neighbours why they are doing what they are doing.)

      Mayor April and her Council are doing what they are doing because like many of us on this site they have done their own research and know what harm these wind machines will do to their communities.

      It still amazes me that more of our groups around Ontario aren’t finding at least a little time to contact Mayor April with words of encouragement and support.

      The present ERT being heard in Wainfleet, which concludes during next week, has been attended by maybe 4 to 6 folk. Regardless of the end result, as we have all seen how one sided practically all ERT decisions have been, this is a case where the safety issue is beyond doubt. In a real impartial court the Appeal would be a huge win for ‘us’, that is all of Ontario.
      Yet in spite of the fact it is happening in Mayor April’s township and in spite of the fact she and her Council have been recognized by many as ‘beacon of hope’ in a province where the majority of elected Councils just fold, there doesn’t seem to be anyone out there really interested… 🙁
      Andrew Watts
      PS. I guess it’s pretty obvious I support both Mayor April and all her Councilors!!! 🙂

      • Andrew,

        There’s lots of interested people, but there are so many appeals going on around the province right now that we are all spread pretty thin.

        We just came off two days this week at the Ostrander appeal at Osgoode Hall, and we were replaced by another group from PEC for the final third day.

        Also, winter driving conditions have been rather brutal lately, what with all the Global Warming!!! going on, so it hasn’t been too easy for many folk to get around.

      • Woah! – ScepticlGord,

        Your personal story:

        ‘[excerpt] We just came off two days this week at the Ostrander appeal at Osgoode Hall, and we were replaced by another group from PEC for the final third day.’

        ……in pencil!

  6. from the transcript..
    Of course we knew what we were doing
    was illegal! But we also knew there were
    only two cops in the area and they were
    usually pretty busy.

    We also knew that our cars and boats’d
    go faster than their’s. So we weren’t much

    Actually, really what we were concerned
    about was what’d happen if the booze
    didn’t get delivered.

    It was just a totally different time. Our
    ideas of what was right or wrong, in some
    cases, is completely opposite to how we
    see things now.

    And, you know, there’s no border guard
    standing in the middle of the lake. So it was
    pretty easy to tell ourselves that what we
    were doing was no big deal.’

  7. Airport safety issues and migratory birds are federal issues.
    Has your MP been asked to look into these issues?
    They need rural Ontarians’ votes in the next election.

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