MIDDLESEX-LAMBTON WIND ACTION

Citizens opposed to Aggressive Wind Turbine Development

Our goal is to educate residents of Middlesex and Lambton Counties on the aggressive tactics of wind developers & on the detriments that are known to be caused by wind turbines.  Please visit Ontario Wind Resistance for updates & research– it is packed with very useful information provided by very helpful individuals.

Contact the Middlesex Wind Action Group: windactiongroup@gmail.com

“Our goals should not be blind opposition to progress but rather opposition to blind progress.” –John Muir–

Over 100 wind turbines in Middlesex County now under construction

DSCF4734Right now in Middlesex County:

  • Suncor’s Adelaide wind project was approved today: read more
  • WPD’s Napier project approved last week: read more
  • NextEra’s Adelaide wind project is almost done the appeal process. read more
  • NextEra’s Bornish wind project’s appeal denied. read more

All the proposed wind projects in Middlesex County (above) have now been approved and will be under construction, if they aren’t’ already. That’s over 100 wind turbines. If you want to see what it look like, check these pictures out, or come out and see for yourself.

In Lambton county:

  • NextEra’s Jericho wind up for final public comment: read more
  • Suncor’s Cedar Point wind up for final public comment: read more

That’s another 130+ wind turbines.

Grand Bend? That’s another 111 turbines.

This is what Christmas looks like to many in rural Middlesex and Lambton Counties.

If you have 100 good ideas of how to stop the wind turbines, just implement 1 of them on your own. That makes a difference. Action is what is need!

Ontario embraces green ruin

Protest Hwy 402 – Not a Willing Host of Wind Turbines!

tractor rallyDate: Saturday Oct 19
Time: Assemble 9:30, Start 10:00 am
Place: Forest to Strathroy on HWY 402 MAP

Dear Rural Ontario;
We want your tractors, your pick up trucks, your front end loaders, your signs, your voice —- And your opposition to the liberal government’s destruction of our communities! Read the rest of this entry

Accessiblility is a ‘novel’ issue to the ERT (Adelaide Preliminary Hearing)

accessibility2Adelaide Wind Project

MLWAG & Wrightman vs. Nextera & MOE Preliminary Hearing, Sept 16, Strathroy

After many twists and turns, what began 4 years ago as a fight against a faceless, uncaring foreign corporation, aided by a two-faced political and administrative elite, comes full-up against the citizens.

Briefly the issues coalesced right from the start:

A lone camcorder stood unobtrusively to the side waiting to be activated. In a panic, NextEra counsel, Mahony immediately drew ERT Chair Muldoon’s attention to it, who then asked the appellants if it was turned on. It was not— further discussion delayed until later. No microphone were present again – the audience cold not hear what was being said.

Two residents then applied for presenter status which was quickly granted. Then 5 minutes later a surprise arrived – Stephana Johnston, from Clear Creek announced that she too wished to make a presentation speaking to the faults of the appeal process. Not being able to hear from the back, she moved her walker to the front and positioned it facing Nextera rep, Ben Greenhouse and counsel Dennis Mahony. This was very noticeable.

Objections were heard from the MOE and Nextera with the MOE lawyer saying, “… I don’t see the relevance…” – ditto for the company. Again, status granted.

The issue of the venue came up. Petitions and e-mails of numerous people requesting the venue be moved to the well equipped County Council chambers in London. Why? This hearing room was in a community centre right next to a hockey rink. The room was almost at capacity with 50+ people there, no microphones, let alone equipment to video-conference – oh, when THAT happens, we move it to TORONTO, right! The patronizing never ends. Read the rest of this entry

Municipality of North Middlesex taking ERT to court: Sept 13 Osgoode Hall

supremecourt_gavelThe Municipality of North Middlesex took the bold and celebrated step several months ago and decided to fight the NextEra Bornish Wind approval of 45 turbines, at the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT).

But in a ruling the ERT decided it would not allow the municipality constitutional protection and the ability to file a claim for constitutional relief. Instead of backing down, North Mid is taking the ERT to court this Friday!

Hearing details below – please attend to show your support!:
Date: Friday, Sept.13
Time: 10:00am
Place: Osgoode Hall , Courtroom #3 MAP

Carpooling can be arranged in the Lamton-Middlesex contact Muriel: murielblair@xcelco.on.ca

How you can participate in Adelaide ERT appeal

Adelaide school distance to turbines smAlthough the location is still being ‘fought over’, the date for the Adelaide ERT Preliminary Hearing and the first day of the full Hearing have been set.

The dates so far are:

Preliminary Hearing: September 16 10:00am

First Day of Hearing: October 15 10:00am

(but please note – these dates can change – I will keep you informed if they do)

Please consider being a Party, Participant or Presenter at this appeal.

If you have a particular concern that relates to the appeal, a home that could be affected by flicker, a farm by stray voltage, a child who is sensitive to noise, a natural area that is threatened by the development, you have an expertise in an issue that relates to the appeal…please consider being one of the above. If you aren’t sure, talk to contact us or call the ERT and ask their opinion. The more faces the ERT panel sees, with real issues at hand, the more alive and REAL the appeal is — add your voice. It can be a very short presentation, or lengthy.

If you are at all considering this, read the notice below. If you know of anyone who may be interested- please send them the info.

Interest must be expressed by September 11 @ 4pm to the case coordinator.

Presenters and Participants are not subject to the possibility of costs being assessed, so don’t worry about that.

This appeal will tackle everything from health, to stray voltage, road safety, habitat loss etc.…the whole kit and caboodle.

There are 2 appellants: MLWAG Inc. (with Harvey named, and Eric Gillespie listed as legal counsel), and me (with well….me).

We plan to call witnesses from different parts of the world – some may come in person and others we hope to have broadcast in by videoconferencing. Attendance of the public in numbers would be very appreciated at these hearings.

Donations. We do need to raise some cash to pay for the basics though. If you can help financially, it would be greatly appreciated, and put to very good use.

Cheques can be made out to “Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group Inc.”

Mailed to:

Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group Inc.
c/oHarvey Wrightman
1503 Napperton Dr.,
Kerwood, ON N0M 2B0

Many thanks for all your support,

Esther

Appeal to ERT of Adelaide Wind Project approval

Appealwe will not be silent of NextEra project by Esther Wrightman.
Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group Inc. is also and appellant.

Dairy farmer hopes there’s still time to pull the plug

Darryl DegrootPaul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Darryl De Groot says it’s gotten to the point that farmers have stopped waving to each other on Northville Road. And that’s just one impact the dairy farmer sees that Ontario’s Green Energy Act, and Nextera’s proposed Jericho wind energy project, is having on rural Lambton Shores. “Country life out here, it’s not like it once was,” De Groot said.

Florida-based Nextera is planning to build a 92-turbine wind farm in Lambton Shores and neighbouring Warwick Township, and the community has divided between farmers who signed leases, allowing the wind companies to build turbines on their land, and those who didn’t, De Groot said. When the land agents came around in 2008, he and his father took a look at what they were offering, and turned them down. “Dad said, ‘You know what, anything to do with the government that is 50 pages long, don’t sign it.’”

But other farmers did, including some of De Groot’s neighbours. Nextera received a contract to sell power to Ontario, and is in the final stages of securing provincial environmental approval to move ahead with its project. “Farmers aren’t waving at each other on the roads any more,” De Groot said. “It’s sad . . . it should have been done a different way. It shouldn’t have been pushed on us.”

De Groot grew up on the farm near the small community of Arkona, went to agricultural college, married and has a one-year-old child he still hopes will be the fourth generation of the family to farm on Northville Road. Read article

Liberals wanted to sue opposition; instead they ran away

1322856886207_ORIGINALA most interesting letter of legal opinion written on Nov. 20, 2012, by former Supreme Court Justice, Ian Binnie, popped up with the latest regurgitation of Gas Plant e-mails. Justice Binnie replies to David Livingston, McGuinty’s former chief of staff asked about the possibility of suing opposition members citing outrageous allegations made by PC leader Tim Hudak and MPP Todd Smith in Question Period in October of 2012.

Hmmm this sounds familiar – like The Nexterror SLAPP lawsuit against Esther Wrightman where she is accused of unfairly competing with NextEra by referring to the company as Nexterror. McGuinty got good advice and, unlike Nexterror, he followed that advice. The letter of opinion is a reality lecture wherein Justice Binnie, with rather dry humour, paints out the possible scenarios and why for Dalton, this notion of suing his enemies is not a good notion at all.

Justice Binnie begins, “Many of the allegations…are in our view clearly defamatory…the law provides a low threshold. It is protective of reputations.” That sounds promising. He further states, “Mr. Hudak’s statement is also defamatory”

Hudak had said: “Not only did Dalton McGuinty misuse a billion dollars of taxpayer’s money, he tried to paper over it, cover it up (and) keep the details from the public.” Remember, this was written on Nov.29, 2012. As it turns out, what Hudak said isn’t too far off the mark. Read the rest of this entry

Council’s improper closed meeting with wind developer outed

IMG_6307Over the past five years there have been many questionable ‘meetings’ in the Adelaide-Metcalfe council chambers, especially when wind turbines are involved. For starters, the mayor and the deputy-mayor have close relatives who have signed wind option agreements, and they never declare a conflict of interest. Then there was the time the police were called to stop a resident from video recording the open meetings. Oh yes and when the CAO’s husband physically struck out at a resident taking a picture of them entering a closed meeting with Suncor. Items have been left off agendas, mis-reported in minutes…the list goes on, and frustration builds.

So to say the residents are skeptical, leery, untrusting of this council, is an understatement. And for good reason. Even the ombudsman’s office has had their fill of this council. With 6 “Best Practices”, and 3 “Violations” found in the last year and a half, this little township of 3000 is practically topping the province for infractions— beating out the big cities (oh yes, even London).

If a resident happens upon an improper closed meeting, it’s usually by fluke. And so it was with the most recent revelation with the Ad-Met council, when a closed meeting on January 25, 2012 was discovered in the “Municipal Correspondence” section of the wind developer WPD’s submission (See pg. 130). Yep, check those out for your local project!

The Township CAO/treasurer Fran Urbshott, was contacted by the office of the Ombudsman and an investigation has been initiated, as all but one of the township councillors and the mayor were there— a quorum present and the public was not invited, let alone notified….nor were minutes taken….the township has no record of the meeting, thankfully the wind company does. Read the rest of this entry

NextEra Energy invited your township council out for drinks

Oh yes, after they are done their AMO conference, of course. This invite below was recently sent to Ontario township councillors in advance of the conference.

I mean, what better way to conduct a business meeting between township officials (representing the people) and Wind Companies? No public around to watch and listen, and alcohol to help influence decisions! Win-win, eh?
Nextera

NexTerror Adelaide Project Approved by MOE

NextEra Adelaide SchoolNextEra Adelaide Project approved yesterday. 37 more turbines for Middlesex County, if we let them. Fight like hell anyone???

Environmental Registry
A Renewable Energy Approval (REA) has been issued to Kerwood Wind Inc. (NextEra Energy) to engage in a renewable energy project in respect of a Class 4 wind facility consisting of the construction, installation, operation, use and retiring of up to 37 turbines, rated at 1.6 MW generating output capacity, with a total name plate capacity of 59.9 MW. The wind facility will be connected to Hydro One’s distribution system.

next.JPGThis Class 4 wind facility, known as the Adelaide Wind Energy Centre, consists of areas required for the wind facility components, as well as for the interconnection route. The wind facility will be is located in the Municipality of North Middlesex and Township of Adelaide-Metcalfe in Middlesex County. The REA requires the proponent to construct, install, operate, use and retire the facility in accordance with specific terms and conditions. Read more

Make the wind company pay your legal bills.

NextEra legal fee paymentHey, got the blues about that legal advice bill that some smooth-talking windy promised they’d pay – as long as you signed a wind lease or transmission easement?

Well, fret no more, NextEra has just put a cheque on the doorstep of a property owner in North Middlesex even though he did not sign an easement for the proposed 100′ pole line in front of his house. Lots of other people refused to sign, but this savvy landowner took the lease to a lawyer requesting that “independent legal advice” (ILA) be written.  The landman even promised that NextEra would pay up to $1500 for legal advice.

NextEra (commonly referred to as Nexterror) refused to sign the amended contract.  When the landowner asked for payment for his legal fees, he was told,  “I received your request for compensation related to the payment of legal review of NextEra’s easement offer. In this case, we do not yet have an executed agreement and, as I mentioned, NextEra does not normally pay legal fees for review of unsigned easements.”   End of story?  Not quite, read on. Read the rest of this entry

92 turbine NextEra Jericho Wind Project up for 45-day public comment period

commentEnvironmental Registry
Comment Period: 45 days: submissions may be made between July 17, 2013 and August 31, 2013.

Description of Instrument:
This posting is for a proposed Renewable Energy Approval (REA) by Jericho Wind Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy Canada, ULC) for the Jericho Wind Energy Centre, proposed to be located in the Township of Warwich in Lambton County and the Municipality of Middlesex in Middlesex County, Ontario. This is a Class 4 Wind Facility with a total expected generation capacity of 150 megawatts (MW). The proposed facility is considered to be a Class 4 Wind Facility under Ontario Regulation 359/09 (O. Reg. 359/09) Renewable Energy Approvals under Part V.0.1 of the Environmental Protection Act. Applications for Renewable Energy Approvals are required to be submitted in accordance with O. Reg. 359/09 for consideration for approval.

Public Consultation:
This proposal has been posted for a 45 day public review and comment period starting July 17, 2013. If you have any questions, or would like to submit your comments, please do so by August 31, 2013 to the individual listed under “Contact”. Additionally, you may submit your comments on-line. All comments received prior to August 31, 2013 will be considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry of the Environment if they are submitted in writing or electronically using the form provided in this notice and reference EBR Registry number 011-9647. Comment here

Groups hosting information session in Sarnia

knowledge action powerDate: July 31
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Imperial Theatre, 168 Christina N, Sarnia MAP

Sarnia Observer
Activists fighting industrial wind turbine projects in rural Lambton County are taking their message to Sarnia residents at a public meeting July 31. Ingrid Willemsen, a member of We’re Against Industrial Turbines – Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PW), said it’s organizing the town hall meeting at Sarnia’s Imperial Theatre, 7 p.m., along with Conservation of Rural Enniskillen (CORE) and the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group (MLWAG).

The groups are fighting plans to build wind turbines in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores, Enniskillen Township, Warwick Township and neighbouring Middlesex County. “Our focus is just to educate Sarnia, because we think that’s where the voters are, where the taxpayers are, where the people who kind of don’t think they’re affected are,” Willemsen said.

The meeting will include presentations by Parker Gallant, a retired banker and a contributor to the Financial Post, as well as others speaking about the impact of industrial wind turbines on electricity bills, taxes, future development, wildlife and the life of rural residents. Read article

Warwick Township Not a Willing Host

notawillinghost

Mom asking wind companies to move wind turbine sites away from autistic son

sarah hornblowerPaul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Sarah Hornblower says intensive behavioural intervention therapy has made a world of difference for Josh, her five-year-old autistic son. But, she worries wind farms coming to Lambton Shores will blow the progress away.

Hornblower and her husband, Chris, felt lucky when Josh qualified for the OHIP-covered in-home therapy after only a year or so on the waiting list. They saw families in other areas waiting much longer. “He wasn’t talking,” she said. “He wasn’t toilet trained. He wasn’t interacting at all. He wouldn’t look at you.” That changed after the therapy. “Through the work of these people, he’s fully toilet trained. He can speak, He’s learning to read. He can ride a bike . . . things we never thought were possible.”

The couple has seven children and three have been diagnosed with autism. Josh is the most severely impacted. Hornblower said they began hearing rumours about wind projects about a year after moving in 2007 to Ridge Road. There are already 10 turbines near Ravenswood and she initially thought a few more wouldn’t be a problem. Read article

Deb Matthews’ Garden Party (with a rural Ontario flavour)

IMG_0416Yesterday afternoon we protested in London with a whole FIVE people at Health Minister/Deputy Premier Deb Matthews’ swanky garden party. I suppose if it were a meek five it would have been rather boring…..it was far from that though.

We chanted, educated, made the Liberals cringe for about an hour and a half on that hot afternoon. Deb stayed in the centre of the yard, surrounded by ‘her people’.

IMG_0418Her aide came out early on (before we got going vocally) and said he was glad to see were “respectful” and not like some of those people you see (ahem…) chanting and yelling on TV against turbines (I know, don’t laugh too hard – we were in dresses- he didn’t recognize us!).

I looked him in the eye and said, “You see those people on the front of the paper protesting wind turbines?”

“Yeah…?” he says, glancing up. Read the rest of this entry

Green Energy Hypocrisy

Taking Down Turbines

Eric Gillespie & Ezra Levant: Nexterror bullies

Big wind bullies

Esther Wrightman speaks with Ezra Levant about her fight against big wind bullies.

Middlesex Centre NOT a willing host

not-a-willing-hostMiddlesex Centre
WHEREAS the Premier of Ontario has recently conveyed the Government’s desire to limit Industrial Wind Turbine (IWT) Projects to communities that are willing hosts;

AND WHEREAS Council for the Municipality of Middlesex Centre has received a clear message from its residents that they are not willing to host to IWTs in Middlesex Centre;

AND WHEREAS Council for the Municipality of Middlesex Centre applauds the position taken by the Premier and the Government; A community of diverse citizens, rooted in rural and urban traditions, united through involvement, cooperation, and mutual respect

AND WHEREAS Council represents all citizens within the Municipality, both those in favour of wind projects and those opposed. As a result, Council needs to maintain a fair and balanced viewpoint; Read the rest of this entry

Legislation aimed at curbing legal action used to limit expression

SLAPP_jpg_800x1000_q100Sarnia Observer
Esther Wrightman says she could be the poster child for Ontario’s proposed new law to curb strategic lawsuits launched to silence critics. The provincial government introduced the Protection of Public Participation Act just weeks after wind farm developer NextEra Energy Canada launched a lawsuit against Wrightman, a Middlesex County anti-wind activist.

Wrightman said that when she heard about the proposed new law, “I went, ‘What? Really? I could use that, right about now.” Ontario says the law, if passed, would allow courts to quickly identify and deal with strategic lawsuits launched to intimate opponents and reduce their ability to participate in public debates. The legislation, based on recommendations from an expert advisory panel, would also reduce time wasted in court on meritless claims, the government says.

“We live in a fair and democratic society, and we believe that this law will provide a balanced approach that recognizes both the right to public expression and the importance of protection of reputation,” said Attorney General John Gerretsen.

Wrightman said that while the new law may come too late to help her, it acknowledges that strategic lawsuits are a problem. Laws to protect citizens against strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) are common in the U.S., but Quebec is currently the only Canadian province with one. Read article

Their nest error was not their last

eagle nestLocal2.ca
A big energy Corporation masquerading as poor little wind energy guys trying to help make our Province greener by hacking down big old Cottonwoods in Haldimand County and destroying an active eagle nest to “save” the birds has made their next bad move….They are suing the proverbial “little guy”.

In this case that is a diminutive mother of two who is fighting to protect her family, their heritage and our natural heritage. Esther Wrightman has been at the forefront of the resistance against industrial wind turbines in Ontario, working by day as a rock garden expert to provide for her family while her off hours activism has included managing two websites http://mlwindaction.org/ and http://ontario-wind-resistance.org and demanding accountability from politicians and industry.

Her statement of defence is an inventory of the series of bungles Nextera Energy Canada, a wholly-owned subsidiary of $57.2 billion dollar U.S. company NextEra Energy Ltd., formerly FPL Group Ltd., and owners of Florida Power & Light Inc., has made in the Renewable Energy Approvals process to earn itself the moniker “Next Error”. It is hard to believe such incompetence from a giant corporation has not been intentional. Read article

Legal bullies: Wind turbine corporation picks ridiculous excuse to go after environmentalist

esther3Ezra Levant, Edmonton Sun
A $32 billion energy corporation has filed a massive lawsuit against an Ontario environmentalist named Esther Wrightman. It’s a SLAPP suit: Strategic litigation against public participation. It’s not really about legal arguments. It’s about crushing Wrightman with legal bills and burning up her time, so she can’t spend time campaigning against them.

The lawsuit doesn’t allege Wrightman vandalized their property, or trespassed, or anything like that. Their complaint is that, on her homemade website, Wrightman mocked the company’s name. She even had the temerity to publish a satirical version of their logo. That’s it. That’s why they hired three lawyers at one of Canada’s largest law firms, McCarthy Tetrault, to sue her into the ground.

And the only reason you have not heard of this lawsuit — the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is not defending her free speech, the CBC has not put this on their nightly news — is because the corporate bully here is not an oil company like Exxon. It’s a wind turbine company called NextEra. See, that kind of bullying is OK. Read article

Killing Them Softly: How Wind Turbines Affect Waterfowl Nesting

swansWildfowl Magazine
Green energy may be good for the environment, but a growing number of scientists are concerned it may not be for waterfowl. A recent study in the Dakotas is adding fuel to those concerns. It found breeding duck densities were considerably lower around large-scale wind farms compared to wetlands with no turbines in sight.

“We don’t know if the decline is a result of the towers themselves, the motion, noise of the blades, or the increased traffic from maintenance workers,” says USFWS biologist Dr. Chuck Loesch. “It could be a combination of all those or something else, but that really wasn’t the focus of the study. We wanted to determine if the presence of wind energy development had an impact on duck breeding densities.”

One nesting site had a 56-percent lower breeding pair density than a similar site with no wind turbines. Overall, the number of breeding ducks using wetlands near the wind farms was 20 percent lower than in wetlands with no wind development nearby.

Ducks are avoiding wind projects, but they may not have many options in the future. Loesch says the push for renewable energy will likely lead to a huge number of large-scale projects in the wind-rich Prairie Pothole Region. The projected footprint of future wind farms will cover more than 15,000-square miles by 2030 if the federal government meets its goal. The Department of Energy wants 20 percent of the country’s energy to come from renewable sources. It’s impossible to say where those new turbines will pop up, but Loesch says it’s inevitable many will be near critical areas. Read article

More on “Tilting at Windmills”: Ontario Tables Anti-SLAPP Legislation – & How It Could Cover Existing Cases

ftÊÔExcess Copyright
At just about the same time that news was breaking of NextEra’s controversial lawsuit against Esther Wrightman, the Ontario Government AG, the Hon. J. Gerrertsen, tabled Bill 83 – which would, if passed, introduce some remarkably positive changes to Ontario law regarding #SLAPP lawsuits. The bill, if passed, would provide much needed encouragement of public interest expression, commentary and participation. It would, indeed, serve as a serous chill against litigation of little or no merit that is intended to stifle or prevent public expressions of comment on matters of public interest. @EzraLevant, a well-known Sun News commentator, had some written and verbal comments on June 9, 2013 on the Sun website about NextEra’s lawsuit against Esther Wrightman and whether he sees it as a “SLAPP” suit.

Bill 83 would provide that if a party is sued as the result of “expression” made by a person concerning a matter of public interest, the defendant can move to have the proceedings thrown out unless the plaintiff can show that:

· The proceeding has “substantial merit”;
· The moving party has no valid defence; and
· The harm resulting from the defendant’s expression is sufficiently serious that that public interest in allowing the proceeding to continue would outweigh the public interest in protecting that expression.
Read article

Tilting At Windmills – Has Nextera Just SLAPPed a Canadian Erin Brockovich?

estherHoward Knopf, Excess Copyright

A young mother and environmental activist in southern Ontario is being sued by Nextera, a wind turbine company, which is part of an an American based enterprise that has sales of about $15 billion a year. It apparently cut down a tree with a bald eagle nest, an act which she did not like and which she filmed. Here’s her video.

Here’s Nextera’s Statement of Claim, which required the efforts of three McCarthy’s lawyers to come up with a very long and fulsome list of allegations involving “Offending Material” under the the Trade-marks, Copyright, and Competition Acts and various common law torts including “common-law trade libel”, and one I’ve never heard of, namely “appropriating an insignia in which the Plaintiff has a proprietary interest.” .

Here’s a great interview by Ezra Levant, in which the woman explains that she can’t afford a lawyer or even the filing fee for her Statement of Defence.

As Ezra suggests, this could be another Erin Brockovich story. Moreover, Nextera is likely going to learn the lessons of the Streisand effect, which is that trying to suppress a discussion on the internet usually just draws more attention to it.
Read article

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