Despite protest Clearview wind project gets the green light

The Enterprise Bulletin, Gisele Winton Sarvis
CLEARVIEW TWP. – The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has given the green light to allow the construction of eight 137 metres (450 ft) wind turbines east of Stayner one day before proponent wpd Canada was to take the government to court. MOECC awarded the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) application Thursday. The court case, which has now been cancelled, was to begin Friday.

The Township of Clearview had fought for intervenor status at court in order to oppose the project, on the north and south side of Country Rd. 91. “I am extremely disappointed that the Ministry of Environment has gone ahead in light of all the work we’ve done to show the side effects and how it will impact economic development in Clearview and the County of Simcoe,” said Clearview Mayor Chris Vanderkruys. “It’s a project that the township was clearly against. The provincial government doesn’t listen at all. They do what they want. The fact that we had to fight for intervenor status is crazy,” Vandkerkruys added. “However this happened between wpd and the government, they didn’t include us at all,” he added.

Two of the turbines to be located on the north side of the County Rd. 91 will be less than 2,000 metres from the runway at the Collingwood Regional Airport. Read article

25 thoughts on “Despite protest Clearview wind project gets the green light

  1. I thought these projects were not anymore going to be foisted upon communities who don’t want them. What happened here?

      • The COMMUNITY sure doesn’t want them, you have lost your mind!! Only TWO farmers want them!!!

  2. the article continues…

    ‘[excerpt] Two of the turbines to be located on the north side of the County Rd. 91 will be less than 2,000 metres from the runway at the Collingwood Regional Airport.

    The airport, which is owned by the Town on Collingwood on 158 ha (392 acres) in Clearview, has fought the project from the start saying turbine height will affect flight paths and pose a danger to pilots in inclement weather.

    Additionally private landowners to the east of the Concession 6 airport, have had plans for years to build the Clearview Aviation Business Park (CABP) to attract aerospace industries and high paying jobs to the region. Studies and plans are almost complete and the project is ready to begin construction.

    An economic development impact study undertaken by both The Town of Collingwood and Clearview Township concluded the turbines would have a negative impact in the township predominately due to being a deterrent for businesses to set up at the proposed CABP.

    wpd Canada in a press release stated “We are pleased the ministry has approved the Fairview project.

    “We’re hopeful we can begin construction in relatively short order, using competitively-price local labour and services as much as possible,” wrote spokesperson Kevin Surette.

    Once constructed, Fairview will feed an estimated 39,838,000 kWh annually into the local electricity grid; equivalent to the average annual power usage of 2,276 homes.

    The project has been approved, “subject to prescriptive conditions designed to ensure the safety of pilots who may fly into the Collingwood Regional Airport or Stayner Airfield,” it stated.

    Regulations imposed by NAV Canada, Transport Canada and the MOECC will be implemented as required, it stated.

    Surette added that Canada has an enviable record aviation safety record with a well-established process that will continue to ensure safety in aviation.

    Approval of the project also includes conditions concerning noise and the environment, he wrote.

    The Fairview project will be built on land owned by farmers John and Andrew Beattie who will be lease holders.

    In a statement sent to local officials and media Thursday afternoon, they wrote that airport industrial growth should go to the business park located near the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport in Oro-Medonte Township rather than take up agricultural land adjacent to the Collingwood airport.

    Land zoned agricultural and environmental will have to be rezoned and an Official Plan amendment would have to passed by the County of Simcoe and that the County in following the Growth Plan for the Greater Horseshoe within the Places to Grow Act will find that the business park plans don’t fit within those polices, they wrote.

    “In fact, we been told that such a zoning application would be dead in the water and could not stand up to an Ontario Municipal Board appeal if for some reason Simcoe approved it.

    “The Growth Plan aims to, among other things, protect farmland. The previous council was on records as supporting agriculture, but it’s unclear to us how the present council’s intention to remove (89 ha) 220 acres of agricultural land achieves this,” they wrote.

    Vanderkruys said the 107-hectare aviation park land has been in the Official Plan for industrial related land for about 10 years and that about 30 acres (12 ha) of the land is not agricultural but zoned environmental.

    wpd Canada is based in Mississauga and is owned by a German company that builds green energy projects in 18 countries around the world.’

  3. Yea right! This Government ever listen to anyone? What is needed is a civil war against these ruthless inconsiderate lying AHoles! How much more can we tolerate? Please Wynn, try to understand what we are telling you and do the right thing to stop this Madness! Think you are right? Put it to a vote, be democratic and give the voice back to the people. We deserve that much. Maybe you will be surprised and if, a big if, power can be made affordable to us here in Ontario, then we all win and Ontario will again prosper and people will be working and more people and businesses will pay more taxes that Government can collect. Don’t turn your back on us and turn Ontario into another Greece!
    Signed; Just an average guy trying to survive here in Ontario!

  4. Has this become give me a contract or I’ll sue you? Or sue you anyway if I don’t get a contract?

  5. Dear Claire,

    Wynne lied to us all. She always knew that projects would get approval no matter how much protest. Welcome to tyranny in Ontario. Also watch how fast more applications go in all along our ridge on Fairgrounds Rd. 7 families signed up with Acciona 6 years ago but Acciona pulled out . Now watch WPD pick up the contracts!

  6. Let each demonstration of sheer ignorance of your protest against this project propel you to greater efforts to get through to this government now. Direct your anger. The myopia and wilful destruction of our communities must stop.
    The history of rural Ontario is being written.
    I hope your community will bring about the much needed turning point in this horribly misguided agenda.

  7. Governors’ Accord For A New energy Future
    Signed, Feb.16, 2016

    Governors include:
    Brown, Calif, Mexican power link
    Malloy, Conn.
    Markell, Delaware
    Baker, Mass.
    Snyder, Mich, Ontario power link
    Dayton, Minn., Manitoba power link
    Hassan, New Hampshire
    Cuomo, Ontario power link
    Wolf, Penn., in progress Lake Erie- Ontario link
    Raimondo, Rhode Island
    Shumlin, Vt.
    Inslee, Wash., B.C. power link

    New England governors and their interest in Canadian electric power supply.

  8. Today at the Ontario legislature during Question Period
    Dishonourable Glen Murray exposed himself
    as a rude JERK, by slurring about dyslexia!

    Then he attempted a phony apology!

    Mr. Speaker and others were obviously disgusted!

    • **Oops, I meant yesterday.

      And here’s the Ontario legislature Hansard
      capturing it.

      Tuesday 23 February 2016 Mardi 23 février 2016

      ‘[excerpt] Climate change

      Mr. Peter Tabuns: My question is to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. When California launched its cap-and-trade program a few years ago, large emitters were included right away. Household fuel and gasoline were added two years later. But in Ontario, it appears we’re doing it the other way around: The government has proposed that Ontario families shall start paying right away, but the large emitters will get a free pass for four years.

      Why must Ontario families put their money on the table before the big emitters?

      Hon. Glen R. Murray: Mr. Speaker, I’m not sure where the member is getting his information from. I think he’s confusing the idea of free allowances, which help industry transition. You may know that there are jurisdictions that do not have a price on carbon yet, and we have to protect our industries from those and keep them competitive.

      Over 85% of industries, likely—as they were in California—will be paying, and paying at a reasonable rate, on pollution and will also benefit from dollars coming from cap-and-trade to reinvestment.

      Yes, we are proceeding with an across-the-board reduction, but that money is also going back into a plethora of programs, many of them already announced in kick-start programs, helping people reduce home heating costs, helping people buy electric vehicles and helping people reduce the cost of living, which California and Quebec did not do in the first instance. We think we’re ahead of the curve—

      The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you.


      Mr. Peter Tabuns: Speaker, in the minister’s consultation document, there are free passes for all large industrial emitters on cap-and-trade, whether they need one or not. But all Ontario families will start paying right away, whether they can afford to or not.


      Ontarians are ready to do their part to fight climate change, but they want a system that is effective, fair and transparent. Is the government proposing to give out free passes because its cap-and-trade policy is driven by lobbyists and special interests rather than the need to deal with climate change?

      Hon. Glen R. Murray: I’m going to try and say it again slowly.


      The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Carry on.

      Hon. Glen R. Murray: Thank you. I’m going to say it again slowly. The vast majority of businesses we have—we estimate that over 85% of large emitters will be paying on the same terms that they pay almost exactly in Quebec and Ontario, which, up until today, the member opposite supported. This is not surprising, Mr. Speaker. The NDP has trouble with the environment. Every time it comes to tough decisions, they get all wobbly in the knees and look for excuses not to proceed.

      A price on pollution is a price on pollution, and we will have an equitable and fair distribution of the costs. But they all seem to have taken subtraction costs and never addition, because they can only talk about half the ledger. I don’t know whether it’s some sort of dyslexia but, quite frankly, there’s a major—

      The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you.


      The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Stop the clock.


      The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): No, actually, start the clock. I would ask us all to elevate the debate. At any given time, members might excitedly say things that I know they don’t want to say, and if there’s an opportunity to withdraw, I’m going to ask that it be withdrawn.

      Hon. Glen R. Murray: I would withdraw. I got carried away in my rhetoric. I apologize.

      The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The normal procedure is simply a withdrawal. I want to do it right. Just withdraw.

      Hon. Glen R. Murray: I withdraw, Speaker.

      The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): New question.

      Beverage alcohol sales

      Mr. Mike Colle: I have a question for the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. As you know, Minister, many of the good people of Eglinton–Lawrence are very impressed with the changes to make local Ontario wines more available to them. […]’

  9. Wonder they used the F-word?

    “Clearview Township considers options on wind turbine decision”
    By Ian Adams | Wasaga Sun | February 22, 2016

    ‘[excerpt] Clearview Township officials are taking a wait-and-see approach on whether they’ll challenge the decision by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to approve a wind energy project west of Stayner.

    Clearview Township mayor Chris Vanderkruys said the municipality does not have a lot of options of appeal available, unlike Collingwood, which launched its appeal of the approval of WPD Canada’s Renewable Energy Application (REA) for the Fairview Wind project.

    The deadline to appeal the decision is Friday.’

    ‘[excerpt] However, the mayor expressed his disappointment in the decision.

    “I feel [the provincial government] really slammed us,” he said.

    The township, and Collingwood, had both been granted intervenor status to a court proceeding between WPD and the MOECC over the latter not making a decision on the Fairview project.

    A hearing was scheduled for the day after MOECC announced the company’s REA approval.

    Vanderkruys said he felt the ministry strung the municipality along by agreeing to the two municipalities to have intervenor status.

    “They said it would be good if we did,” the mayor said. “They just cost our taxpayers X amount of money.”

    The Liberal government, he added, “just showed us exactly who they are,” with the decision.

    Clearview Township representatives will be at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association annual conference this week, and have several meetings set up with provincial ministers – though not the environment minister. Vanderkruys, however, said the hint may be dropped to the ministers they do get to meet the disappointment felt by the municipality.’

    • Why keep meeting with provincial ministers? The government keeps people nibbling at the bait on the hook.

      Just wait for another provincial meeting or event and we will talk about issues then.

  10. “PC MPP says Liberals risk lives allowing wind turbines near Collingwood airport”
    The Canadian Press | February 22, 2016

    ‘[excerpt] TORONTO – A Progressive Conservative member of the Ontario legislature accuses the Liberal government of putting lives at risk by allowing industrial wind turbines near the Collingwood regional airport.

    Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson says the eight 152-metre-high turbines will be the tallest structures in all of rural Ontario, and are planned for the community of Stayner, “literally right next door” to the Collingwood airport.

    During Monday’s question period, Wilson asked why the province “ignored the safety” of the people, pilots and local municipalities by allowing the project to proceed.

    Environment Minister Glen Murray says the government extended the consultation period on the wind farm by six months to a total of 30 months, and considered over 350 submissions.

    Murray says NAV Canada, the private company that owns and operates Canada’s civil air navigation service, found no safety concerns from putting the wind turbines near the runway for the Collingwood airport.

    He says if the province had not approved the turbines after the project met federal guidelines, it would have been open to a lawsuit and had no proper defence.

    Wilson accused the government of hiding behind NAV Canada.

    “NAV CAN told me … a year and a half ago that they didn’t have any rules for this sort of situation because they didn’t think that any government would be stupid enough to build eight 500-foot wind turbines close to a regional airport, so they don’t have any rules,” Wilson told the legislature. “NAV Canada told you: ‘Don’t put the towers there. We don’t have any rules to protect you.’”

    A recent study by area municipalities found the wind farm project will have significant negative impacts on the airport and neighbouring lands, added Wilson.

    “Let me tell you if one life is lost, I’ll personally hold Premier Kathleen Wynne accountable,” he said.

    Murray said he has asked the federal government to make its guidelines on locating wind turbines near airports into firm regulations.

    “The issue is one of federal regulation, not a provincial issue,” he said. “Mr. Wilson, as a former environment minister, knows the minister cannot politicize that. This is a director-level decision that I have no ability to interfere with.”

    The Town of Collingwood has decided to appeal the province’s decision to approve the Wpd Canada wind project near the Collingwood airport to the Environmental Review Tribunal, which has the power to confirm, amend or reject the decision.’

    Thursday 25 February 2016 Jeudi 25 février 2016

    ‘[excerpt] Taxation

    Mr. Toby Barrett: To the Premier: Some of us are puzzled about media reports on today’s budget, a budget being tabled two months earlier than usual.

    In December 2013, a government panel proposed to hike gas taxes up to 10 cents a litre across the land. That dampened Christmas spirit faster than Scrooge stealing presents. People in rural, northern and right across Ontario don’t have alternatives to driving. They can’t afford higher gas taxes.

    In spite of the panel’s recommendation, Premier Wynne eventually said that there would not be a gas tax. Now, two years later, we have suggestions of a new gas tax, sold as a carbon tax, sold as carbon trading, a cap-and-trading system of tax.

    Premier, you said “no gas tax.” Are you now bringing in a gas tax?

    Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: This party’s asks that they’ve put forward in terms of the budget are completely inconsistent. But here is consistency: This is a party that has no interest in dealing with climate change, that has no plan to deal with climate change. Regardless of what the leader says—that they think that it’s a big challenge—there’s no plan. There’s no acceptance of the reality that you actually have to take action if you’re going to tackle climate change.

    The reality is that we are putting a cap-and-trade system in place. There will be mitigations. In fact, we expect that there may be a four-cent or a 4.3-cent increase, on average, in gas. But in fact, in terms of the cost of electricity, for example, we expect that there could be a reduction in the cost of electricity as a result of cap-and-trade.

    But we have to tackle climate change. The costs of not tackling climate change are far, far greater—

    The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you.


    Mr. Toby Barrett: Well, my point: 13 years ago, after the election, we all realized, “Hang onto your wallet.” In relatively short order, Premier McGuinty brought in the largest income tax increase in the history of Ontario, the so-called health tax. He promised no new taxes. In 2007, he did it again. He broke his promise, with the largest consumption tax in the history of Ontario, the HST.

    Now it’s the Wynne budget, to stampede a cap-and-trade tax, a reported 4.3-cent tax on a litre of gas, and that’s just at the wholesale level. What extra tax on gas will we pay retail, after markups, after the HST? What are we going to pay at the pumps?

    Two years ago, Premier Wynne said “no gas tax.” Is this an early budget just to sidestep public consultation, sneak in your gas tax, break your promise of no gas tax, and essentially to lie to the people of Ontario?


    The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. The member will withdraw.

    Mr. Toby Barrett: I withdraw.

    The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): And now I am going to warn everyone that if this continues a trend, I will name. It’s not going to happen.


    Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.

    Hon. Glen R. Murray: You know, I have to commend the opposition. We’ve finally seen them show their true colours. The Leader of the Opposition, for 10 years—


    The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member will withdraw.

    Mr. Toby Barrett: Withdraw.

    The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Next time, you’re named.

    Carry on.


    Hon. Glen R. Murray: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I said, I have to compliment the opposition for showing their true colours, finally, because this little “be anything you want to be to anybody who will ask you a question” has been just too cute by half.

    The Leader of the Opposition spent 10 years in Ottawa as a leading voice in a government that sabotaged every single international climate change initiative. It will go down in history as the lost decade of climate change. Now the official opposition has said that they can deal with climate change with no price on carbon, even though, in British Columbia and Quebec, when they put a price on carbon—

    The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you.


    The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member from Prince Edward–Hastings, second time. The member from Nepean–Carleton, come to order.

    New question.


    Ms. Sarah Campbell: My question is to the Deputy Premier. Recently, we learned that the province is currently not tracking deaths of Ontario homeless and has no real understanding of the scope of the tragedy. […]’

  12. “Whatever it takes, keep the facts covered up — send it to the ERT!”
    Patrick Bales | Feb. 25, 2016

    ‘[excerpt] County of Simcoe council voted Thursday to join the municipalities in their appeals of Fairview wind project, which proposes to build eight 137-metre wind turbines east of Stayner, near the Collingwood airport. The councils of the two lower-tier municipalities voted in favour of appealing the project to the Environment Review Tribune (ERT) at their most recent meetings. It was approved by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Feb. 11, the day before a scheduled hearing between wpd Canada and the ministry on the project was to begin.’

    ‘[excerpt] Whatever the cost to launch the appeal is, it will be worth it, the warden said.

    “It will be money well spent, whatever the price of it may be,” Marshall said. “There’s three of us there. We can share some legal resources and share some common efforts. I think the cost will be minimized by the three of us working together with a common voice and a common approach.”

    The warden was quick to point out the development was a bad idea from an economic development standpoint, as the airport, he said, is instrumental in that portion of the county. However, as Cooper told her colleagues in the council chambers, economic impact is not a grounds for appeal to ERT. Rather, appellants have to base their case for environmental or health and safety reasons.

    “I think that we can all agree that planes hitting or being blown off course as a result of a wind turbine would meet serious harm to human health argument,” Richard Butler, a lawyer with Willms and Shier Environment Law, told Collingwood council recently. “What Collingwood would have to show is that on the balance of probability it is more likely than not during the lifetime of the turbines there would be a collision. That really is the test that the (ERT) will look for.”

    A 2014 incident in South Dakota might be the best proof, Burton said.

    “Experienced pilot, experienced with the area, knew the airport well, knew the wind turbines were there. Got caught in bad weather and he collided with a (turbine),” Burton said. “It wasn’t inexperience that created that. It was the fact that those were there and in the way.”

    Fog was an issue in that crash, which killed four people. In the case of inclement weather, wpd Canada stated aircraft should be directed to another airport to avoid an emergency, according to Cooper, a notion she called “ludicrous.”’

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