Don’t look for justice in Ontario’s ‘debate’ on wind turbines

By Anne McNeilly

By Anne McNeilly

It’s wealthy corporate behemoths supported by the government against vulnerable people with limited financial resources.

Toronto Star – When there’s social injustice, you don’t expect large corporations, the provincial government and a union like the CAW to be climbing into bed together to ignore the problem. But slap a motherhood label on the issue, such as the so-called“Green Energy” Act, and all of a sudden it’s OK to ignore the very real hardships, both health and financial, happening to people in non-Liberal ridings.

What’s more surprising about the wind-turbine debacle, though, is the relatively low media profile that Ontario residents who are being negatively affected by the monster machines are receiving. News outlets and publications usually lap up stories of social injustice. The problems associated with lead paint, urea-formaldehyde foam insulation, asbestos and cigarettes are all famous for the media attention they received that led to change.    Read article here

A Year Later: Turbine Still A Threat

Shoreline Beacon
It has been one year since S.T.O.P was formed to oppose the construction and operation of the CAW Union’s industrial wind power generating business in our neighbourhood which allows the CAW to earn an annual profit of approximately $150,000 paid by Ontario’s taxpayers.

As Canada’s newly formed Super-Union, CAW/CEP, prepares to operate their for-profit industrial wind turbine, a factual review is in order:
The CAW leadership:

  • Said in 2005 that the turbine would supply power to its facility.
  • Fought the Town on the required re-zoning and won at OMB, a decision not appealed by the Town.
  • Has said they promise to run their already approved 800 kW machine at 500 kW to address noise study issues and will self-monitor their noise levels.
  • Ignored pleas from all 3 levels of local government officials and the Town’s Chamber of Commerce to not build the turbine.
  • Told the Town that citizens’ health is their number one concern.
  • Promised to set up a community committee to monitor health and safety concerns which was rejected by the Town as it demanded the CAW own citizens’ complaints which could only be made public by CAW’s choice and could not be used in court.
  • Said NO to the Town’s recently passed resolution asking the CAW to pause the turbine’s start up until Health Canada’s newly announced study on harm to human health from wind turbines is completed.
  • Has ignored new scientific, peer-reviewed health reports linking wind turbines to harm to human health. Continue reading

Wind Turbines, unhealthy even this close!

“We keep reminding the CAW UNION, and their soon to be merge partners CEP UNION, that placing a turbine in our neighbourhood where 117 homes lie inside the government’s 550 m safety setback zone is not acceptable and will harm the health and property values of their neighbours. This is the billboard on Hwy 21 across from Walmart. It points the finger of shame at the CAW turbine 800m away.”
Greg Schmalz –  S.T.O.P.

CAW Wind Turbine Protest Parade

The Town that the CAW Forgot

Huge turnout to Port Elgin CAW Turbine Protest

More pictures at the Stop CAW Turbine Facebook page

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Shoving Wind Power in People’s Faces

We're putting an industrial turbine in your neighbourhood....and your're gonna LIKE it!!

by Karen Hunter, Huffington Post
Out of the blue last November, Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) began the (non-union labour) construction of an industrial wind turbine on the grounds of its Family Education Centre, a facility designed to “encourage…people …to discuss their problems and debate the major issues of the times.”  Despite all the places CAW could have located the mammoth structure, it picked Port Elgin, “considered — one of the leading recreational playgrounds in Ontario” for an industrial wind turbine. CAW’s vacant 128-acre property nearby was deemed too environmentally sensitive. Besides, the land had just been subdivided and its lots stood to rake in $2 million. The FEC’s densely-populated neighbourhood didn’t have such sensitivities. Continue reading

MP Ben Lobb speaks out on CAW turbine decision

Ben Lobb, MP

Saugeen Times
In the past several weeks my office has been overwhelmed with phone calls and emails regarding the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) wind turbine at the Family Education Centre. Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with members of Saugeen Turbine Operation Policy (S.T.O.P.) and the Director of the CAW to ensure I was fully informed on this issue. Continue reading

CAW Project Being Challenged in Saugeen Shores

Efforts to stop the construction of a wind turbine near homes in Saugeen Shores appear to be falling on deaf ears. Close to 300 people protested today outside the Canadian Auto Workers Education Centre south of Port Elgin. They are upset the turbine is being built so close to homes in the area. Continue reading

Disgusted by the CAW in its patronizing treatment of this community

By TROY PATTERSON, Shoreline Beacon
For a labour union that prides itself on a history of negotiation, touts the power of democracy and the freedom of the public (and its members) to actively protest against what they feel is unjust, the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) are playing the hypocrites when it comes to the turbine it plans to erect in Port Elgin.  The CAW stands to gain nothing but infamy by forcing this turbine upon the Saugeen Shores community and a municipal council that wants nothing to do with it, especially the people who will have to live by it, or look at it every day. If they believe the financial write-off they hope to gain from the sale of the electricity from this turbine is worth more than the opinions of the community that hosts their Family Education Centre’, they’ve shown that loud and clear. Read article

Shame on the Canadian Auto Workers Union

by Lorrie Gillis, WCO Reporter
There were 50 protesters in front of the CAW building this morning with signs and banners!  For a day’s notice, it was a good turnout.  No cement trucks entered while we were there.  Police were all over the place.  Most people driving by gave the thumbs up with a honk.  Some even stopped to give encouragement to the protesters! Continue reading

Response from CAW – Full Steam Ahead

New Facebook Page: STOP CAW Wind Turbine

Read Full Press Release  While the technical and legal issues of this project have long been resolved, the CAW has committed to do the following going forward:

  • coordinate the formation of a committee comprised of CAW officials, municipal officials and community representatives to share information and concerns.
  • set up an email address that people can send questions to at:
  • develop safe operating policies and procedures that will be strictly adhered to and available for staff and public review.

CAW wind turbine sparks Port Elgin protest

Ken Lewenza, President of CAW

by Chantaie Allick and John Spears, Toronto Star
Plans by the Canadian Auto Workers to erect a 76-metre wind turbine in their community have residents of Port Elgin threatening to greet construction crews with a picket line.  “The neighbourhood is in an uproar,” said John Mann a resident who plans on participating in Friday’s peaceful protest.  “There’s a lot of opposition to it,” agrees Mayor Mike Smith. “There’s a lot of people upset.” Continue reading

CAW “trusts” the government on turbine setbacks yet will not abide by current GEA regs

This would be funny if it weren’t so sad:

Windsor StarDean Fowler said the OMB and the Ministry of the Environment approved the location of the turbine based on the most up-to-date information available about the possible effects on human health. Even though the turbine is closer to residences than the Green Energy Act allows, he said it still meets its stricter standards for noise volume.  Fowler said the turbine can’t be any farther away from residences because the property is too small.  Read article

Whether the residents like it or not, as far as the CAW is concerned, the project is moving forward

Ken Bondy, CAW

By Patrick Bales, Sarah Sloan, Shoreline Beacon
Standing 80 feet tall, Chantry Island Lighthouse is arguably the defining landmark of Saugeen Shores. From all points along the waterfront, and several throughout the municipality, the beacon can be seen, a reminder of home for those returning and a friendly hello for those visiting.  A new landmark, three times the size of the Chantry Island Lighthouse will soon welcome people to Port Elgin. However it is a “hello” seemingly few people want to hear.  A building permit has been issued to the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) to construct a nearly 250 foot (75 metre) wind turbine on the property of the CAW Family Education Centre. It is not certain when construction will begin, however Ken Bondy, national co-ordinator for the CAW said he expects the project to be completed sometime in 2012.  Read article

Shame on the Canadian Auto Workers – Bad Neighbours

Continue reading

CAW to build wind turbine close to residents

By Shawn Sutherland, Shoreline Beacon
The CAW Family Education Centre is about to become the site of the first wind turbine in Saugeen Shores. The turbine, expected to be nearly 250-feet tall, is exempt from the law requiring a minimum setback of 550 metres due to its approval prior to the 2009 Renewable Energy Approval Regulation. Read article