The Vice, by Colin Graf
The bitter winds of winter may be wonderful for turning the blades on the giant wind turbines that dot more-and-more of the southwestern Ontario landscape, yet their presence is sparking not only electricity, but also controversy, conflict, and a lawsuit that could ruin a family who’s daring to stand up to an American energy giant.
Esther Wrightman, 32, of Adelaide Township, west of London, Ontario, was shocked when the lawyer’s letter arrived in December to tell her that NextEra Energy Canada plans to go ahead with a lawsuit for defaming the company name in a video and blog she posted earlier in 2013. She explained to me that the suit, which NextEra launched against her last May, had remained dormant until recently.
The letter, “felt like a personal attack. After all, they got what they wanted. Their turbines have all been approved (in Wrightman’s area), and construction has started. Their attitude is ‘Just get her, just take one more kick’,” she said, wearily. Farmers’ fields that would normally be buried under a winter snow blanket are instead grey with the “massive amounts” of gravel being laid down for the turbines’ foundations, she describes.
Next Era is a Florida-based electricity giant that owns major American interests such as Florida Power and Light and describes itself as the largest generator of wind and solar power in North America, with over 100 projects in the U.S. and Canada. Read article