NextEra – it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission

[From Jericho Wind Project in Lambton Shores]

road-closedRESIDENT’S QUESTION:
What happens when NextEra fails to comply with a provision in the agreement?

For example, earlier this week Borea shut down access to Ridge Road (at Army Camp) from late afternoon until the next morning. Several hours went by before they even posted someone at the other end to warm motorists that the road was closed. We called the OPP non-emergency line to advise them of the road closure in case of an emergency through the night. And we contacted the municipality about the closure, both by telephone and e-mail.

The actions of Borea were clearly in contravention of the agreement, specifically Sections 8.2 and 8.3.

Are there any provisions in the agreement for the municipality to impose a penalty?

MUNICIPALITY’S RESPONSE:
I wanted to say thank you for reporting this in. We also called into central dispatch in Wallaceburg to make sure they are notified. We meet with NextEra on a weekly basis and brought this to their attention on Tuesday. They assured us that this would not happen again.

This is a contravention of the terms of the agreement, and there is a financial penalty to NextEra. NextEra is liable for any municipal costs to administer the agreement. In this case, they have to pay for my time and my staff’s time to deal with this issue and complete our investigation.

CONCLUSION:
This financial ‘penalty’ amounts to nothing for a large corporation like NextEra. But they did say sorry ……. a common strategy corporations use to get around negotiated agreements such as these – it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.

It is essential that our municipalities incorporate appropriate penalties into these agreements to ensure compliance so the municipality and its residents will be adequately protected from such shenanigans.

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