Category Archives: Meetings
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
Date: July 31
Place: Imperial Theatre, 168 Christina N, Sarnia MAP
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
Yesterday was a beautiful day at the Bald Eagle Celebration, for so many reasons. But at the very end of the day, as about a dozen of of us were packing up, someone yelled, “Hey, look up!”. One of the Bornish Eagles was flying overhead – he circled around us for about a minute, and then took off in the direction of the proposed NextEra Bornish wind project. Some things you just can’t put words to…. this was one of them.
Gord Whitehead, Age Dispatch Focus
Was it a gesture of gratitude? A bald eagle circled overhead just as wind turbine protesters were wrapping up a Saturday afternoon community awareness ‘celebration’ aimed at sparing the rare bird’s nest from nearby electrical power developments.
“The day was very enjoyable, with good collective spirits shared,” said Esther Wrightman, spokesperson for the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group. “But to top it off, when we were packing up at 5 p.m., someone said, ‘look up!’. One of the Bornish eagles was circling right above us, for about a minute before he headed south, into the Bornish Wind Project area. Some things I just don’t have words for, and that was one of those moments.”
Wrightman estimated 200 persons dropped in during the all-afternoon May 25 event at West Williams Community Centre, southwest of Parkhill. Group members were joined by supporters from Toronto, Haldimand County, Goderich, Clinton, Delaware-Munsee and Kettle & Stony Point.
Peter Epp, Sarnia Observer
As discussion about wind turbine development in Sarnia-Lambton grows, so does information about the industry and some of the possible pitfalls associated with its activity. At the most recent meeting of CORE (Conserve Our Rural Enniskillen), an insurance agent suggested that farmers and other landowners who agree to become a host for turbine development should think twice about making that decision, because their insurance coverage might be affected.
Greg Cameron said Ontario’s insurance industry does not have uniform policies on liability insurance for farmers with industrial wind turbines, partly because the industry is so new. In fact, he said a recent Ontario Court decision – which ruled that property owners living near a proposed development in Collingwood could go to court to seek damages to cover the devaluation of their property once the turbines are built – has changed everything. Read article
Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Petrolia lawyer Wallace Lang questioned the amount of money wind energy companies are offering farmers who lease them land to build turbines on. Lang told more than 200 people gathered Thursday evening at Lambton Centennial School near Petrolia that the wind leases he has read typically offer landowners $15,000 a year, per turbine.
He was invited to speak by Conservation of Rural Enniskillen (CORE), a citizens group that formed earlier this year to oppose plans by several companies to build wind farms in Enniskillen Township. “You really have to wonder if it’s a good bargain or not,” Lang said about the amount of money wind companies are offering landowners.“It seems to be kind of chump change, really.”
The agreements can run for decades and may include inflation clauses but the lease payments are taxable, he said. Lang told the crowd he believes more realistic compensation for landowners would be in the range of $50,000 to $100,000 a year for each turbine. He urged landowners to be cautious, saying wind companies are sophisticated organizations that know how to market the documents they use to sign up landowners. While they’re called option agreements, “it’s a final document,” Lang said. “Make sure you want to do it, before you sign it.” Read article
NexTerror cut down one eagle nest in Ontario already this year, and are eying up another at the Bornish project that was just approved last week.
Please mark your calendar to join the Save the Bornish Eagles Gathering:
Date: Saturday, May 25
Place: West Williams Community Centre, 32217 Kerwood Road, Parkhill MAP (right beside the eagle nest)
Beef on a Bun Lunch :1:00pm – 2:00pm
Speakers: 2:00 – 4:30 pm
Eric Gillespie – Environmental Lawyer
Ron Hartlen – Audible and infrasound and power demand
Barbara Ashbee-Lormand – Personal Experience with IWT’s
By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
A Plympton-Wyoming residents’ group fighting Suncor’s Cedar Point Wind Power project says it has more than 700 signed objection letters, and it isn’t finished collecting them yet. We’re Against Industrial Turbines Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PW) collected the letters at three open houses Suncor held last week into its plans to build a 100-megawatt wind farm in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.
WAIT-PW’s Ingrid Willemsen and Keith Watson delivered the letters to Suncor officials at the final open house in Watford, and asked the company to cancel the project. While the Suncor official they spoke with didn’t give any indication that would happen, “she definitely looks like she feels the pressure from the community,” Willemsen said. “I don’t know how they could turn a blind eye to so much protest.”
Members of WAIT-PW, as well as the Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group and Conservation of Rural Enniskillen, a newly formed anti-wind turbine group in Enniskillen Township, were at the open houses also held in Camlachie and Thedford to rally against the company’s plans. Read article
Doug Pedlar is a Broker of Record for RE/MAX Bluewater Realty in the Grand Bend Area. Doug has many years as a respected Realtor within the community, and will speak on the effects that Industrial Wind Turbines currently have on property values, and how the Industrialization of the local community will impact its residents’ property values. Doug recently won the prestigious 2012 Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) Volunteer Leader Award for his work in educating real estate associations and the public on the potential negative impacts of wind turbines on human and animal health and on property values.
David Colling, a dairy farmer for 30 years in Ripley, ON, who has also been a dealer for Bio-Ag Consultants and Distributors since 1991. David studied Electrical Engineering at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, and currently uses his vast knowledge, throughout Ontario, to assess electrical pollution in homes, farms and businesses that are presently in the vicinity of Industrial Wind Turbines.
Tiffany Smale, London Free Press
Enniskillen Township is my home. My family is from Enniskillen Township. It’s where my husband and I grew up and where we had planned on building our home and raising our family. When my father in law was approached about the wind leases, we became concerned about what this would mean for our future home. We approached neighbours and were soon told that there was interest in our area and that some neighbours were considering signing leases for the potential revenue. We began researching and the more we read, the more we worried about possible impacts on our health, our pets and our property value.
Our family decided that we needed to make sure that our friends and neighbours had all the information before they signed. We began planning an Awareness Meeting with the hopes that our neighbours could hear first hand from those who already have wind projects in their communities. Our awareness meeting was held in Oil Springs on March 7th and it was a full house. There were four speakers who addressed various concerns and issues. It was a woman named Monica Elmes who resonated with me. Her community has been dealing with wind turbines for several years and it has effected their homes and health. Hearing her stories of how neighbours’ homes are no longer a safe place and of people being forced to spend time away from home in order to have peace shook me. As I looked around the room at so many familiar faces, I began to imagine what this would do to our community. Read article
Heather Wright, Sarnia Lambton Independent
Enniskillen politicians and residents are watching with worry as three companies make the rounds asking landowners south of Petrolia to sign leases for wind turbines. Enniskillen Mayor Kevin Marriott says in the last few months three companies have been speaking with the municipality about projects which could bring as many as 51 turbines to the rural township.
The mayor says there has been major interest since the Ontario Energy Board gave approval for Hydro One’s $40 million upgrade of a major transmission line which goes from the Lambton Generating Station into London. The upgrade allows for up to 500 megawatts of additional renewable power in the area according to documents filed at the time with the OEB. “These transmission lines that are coming from the Courtright coal-fired facility are being upgraded and all of the sudden there is an interest to feed that line,” he says. Read article
By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
The “divisive” wind energy debate is heating up in Enniskillen Township, says Mayor Kevin Marriott. Representatives of several wind companies have been approaching Enniskillen landowners, Marriott said. “I would say there are three (companies) involved” with projects proposed for sites across the rural central Lambton County township that surrounds Petrolia, he said.
Wind farms were proposed for Enniskillen several years ago but the issue had gone quiet until recently, he said. “A year ago we thought we were lucky, and now we’re kind of right into the frying pan here.” Marriott said township council hasn’t taken a position yet on wind turbines, or been formally approached by any wind companies. “I’ve been told they are in the neighbourhood talking to landowners, trying to get a feel for what the consensus would be before they do actually approach council.”
Marriott is attending the Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference in Toronto this week where he said township officials are attempting to learn more about the issue. The recent Ontario throne speech, following the swearing-in of new Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne, promised communities would have a say in the location of new energy projects. “We don’t want to rush into a decision until we find out what the premier has up her sleeve,” Marriott said. Read article
By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Opponents of a 92-turbine wind farm Nextera Energy is proposing for north Lambton say they want the company to know they’re not going away.
Members of the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group and its supporters protested Wednesday evening at a public meeting Nextera held at Watford’s Centennial Hall.
It was the first of three the company is holding this week.
“We continue to protest, mostly just to show Nextera they aren’t welcome here,” said Esther Wrightman, with the wind action group, joined by about 25 other protesters.
She said there’s “extreme opposition” in the community to the company’s plans.
“If we don’t protest, it’s as if we say, ‘We give up, come on in,’” Wrightman said.
“And that’s not how anybody feels.” Read the rest of this entry
Date: April 3
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Place: Legacy Recreation Centre, 16 Allen Street, Thedford MAP
Date: April 4
Time: 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Place: Centennial Hall, 101 Centennial Ave., Watford, MAP
Year of the Turbines, Part Two
(read Part One)
by Eric Nixon, Hayter-Walden Publications
“Dec 17: Early AM. Neil not sleeping well, me neither.” Monica Elmes wrote those words in her diary back in 2010. It wasn’t until some time later that she realized what had happened the previous day outside her home in Chatham-Kent. After years of preparation and close to nine months of construction, Enbridge Inc. had flicked the switch and started 44 powerful wind turbines turning near the Elmes household. Lack of sleep was just the first symptom for Elmes and her family.
“To me, the visual intrusion is huge but, also, when they started to function, the noise intrusion was way more than I ever thought. When I first saw the map and saw where we were located, I thought, ‘Oh, good, we’re 1.5 km away from the closest one,’” says Elmes. She almost let out a sigh of relief at the time, not expecting the noise would be bothersome. Nothing could be further from the truth. Noise levels today with the turbines operating are often ten times what they were before.
And noise was just the beginning. For the first time in her life, Elmes began experiencing painful earaches. “It was kind of a definitive moment for me when I realized,” she says. At first, she didn’t equate the turbine noise and the ear discomfort. But, one day when the turbines stopped, her ears started popping and crackling – and she realized the increasingly worsening ear pains were being caused by the turning blades.
One of the problems so many people have with turbines is that they’re intermittent and unpredictable. Elmes says, “It’s incredibly variable. There’s times when it’s fine, other than visually. There are other times where it feels like something’s beating you over the head.”
Elmes is fortunate that she’s mostly susceptible only to health issues associated with the audible noise from the turbines. Her spouse, Neil, is a completely different story. “My husband is the one I worry about more, because he seems to be sensitive to what I would assume is non-audible low-frequency noise, so he doesn’t sleep well anymore.” Read the rest of this entry
As the Liberal Leader Candidates tour Middlesex and Lambton, the Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group aren’t far behind. The local group were able to talk with Liberal Candidate Kathleen Wynne in Strathroy Saturday about the issue with wind turbines, but WAG Member Muriel Allingham wasn’t very convinced with what she had to say.
She added no matter who’s elected this weekend, they will be hearing from the Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group. Allingham says they have to be involved because they have to continue moving forward with this issue and we need to get a moratorium on further wind development until it is proven to be completely safe. (Listen here)
I attended a meeting of ~ 20 landowners along the proposed 115KV transmission from the Adelaide Wind project north to the “tap” into the 500 kv line at Nairn. The NextEra/FPL project manager was there with 2 “landmen” (that’s what they’re called). The whole meeting was about 1.5 hours total. It was a “mixed” meeting in that roughly half the attendees were signed to wind leases. NextEra agreed to the meeting in the hopes that they could answer questions about the trans line and hopefully get the adjoining landowners to sign easements that would facilitate placement and alignment of the poles.
To better understand the situation, it is helpful to know the layout:
1) County Rd. #6 is an old, narrow roadway with houses very close to the road. An historic building, the old Keyser General Store literally sits on the roadway, in fact, only about 10′ of the store are on the owners’ property.
2) For a distance of over 5 miles, adjoining landowners are refusing to sign transmission easements. One property owner turned down an amount in excess of $200,000. Another refused over $150,000. These are people who do not want to sell-out and move; nor, do they want their farm operations damaged. Read the rest of this entry
Ontario Energy Minister Chris Bentley agreed to meeting AND a conversation with only a limited number of residents from rural Ontario (fourexactly, but we took five, 2 of home are already victims of wind turbines). It became apparent very early on in the “meeting” that there would be no “conversation”, as Mr. Bentley stonewalled question after question. The time to pretend to “gather information” was over 4 years ago, Bentely — you have the information, but you choose to ignore it, and ignore us. Good luck ever winning rural Ontario vote back again, if the Liberals view this as the way a democracy works.
Public Information Session for Middlesex Centre –Sponsored by Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group— Everyone Welcome!
Date: Tuesday January 29th, 2013
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: Coldstream Community Centre, 10227 Ilderton Rd MAP
1. Health: Noise/ Shadow Flicker/ Power Surges Monica Elmes & Colette McLean– Monica and Colette both reside in the Chatham Kent area and both their families’ lives have been affected by the wind turbines that surround their farms. Monica and Colette will describe how their health has been impacted since the wind development was commissioned 3 years ago; in addition to their fight to further protect their health and property.
2. Economics: Viability Richard Wakefield – After much experience with the current hydro prices, Richard developed the blog “Ontario Wind Performance,” which provides data on the actual physical performance of Wind Turbines in Ontario. Richard, through his research, challenges many of the claims made in favour of wind power and will speak on the viability of wind power in Ontario.
3. Property Value: Real Estate Doug Pedlar – Doug is a Broker of Record for RE/MAX Bluewater Realty in the Grand Bend Area. Doug has spent many years as a respected Realtor within the community, and will speak on the effects that Industrial Wind Turbines currently have on property values.
DATE: Wednesday, December 19
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: North Middlesex Community Centre, 224 McLeod St., Parkhill MAP
There was polite applause from the 150 people attending the meeting, but an equal number of protesters gathered outside to complain about wind farms, a local landfill project and the legislation that freezes teachers’ wages.
INGERSOLL, Ont. – Few policy differences emerged at the first all-candidates meeting for the seven men and women running to replace Dalton McGuinty as Ontario Liberal leader and premier, but Kathleen Wynne surprised the audience by promising to appoint herself as agriculture minister.
“This is such an important issue for us as a province, not just as a party, not just as a government, that I think the premier needs to take this on,” Wynne told party faithful gathered in the gym of a youth centre in Ingersoll, about 30 kilometres east of London, Ont. Read article
Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Plans for up to a dozen wind turbines in Warwick Township have Mayor Todd Case feeling frustrated. Nextera Energy is holding the first of three public meetings about its 150-MW Jericho Wind project at Centennial Hall in Watford Feb. 6, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The community hall sits a few kilometres south from where the mostly Lambton Shores-based Jericho project spills over the border into Warwick.
Case said there has been a serious lack of communication from both Nextera Energy, and from the Ontario government. Warwick’s council voted earlier in November to call on the province to deal with a list of the township’s concerns and objections about its Green Energy initiative.
“The common sense in this whole equation seems to have gone out the window, quite some time ago,” Case said. “It seems here in Ontario we’re just going to keep marching forward and we’re not going to consider all the facts.”
Nextera released a map earlier this month showing 97 proposed sites for up to 92 Jericho Wind project turbines it wants to begin operating in 2014. Warwick has joined other Ontario municipalities calling for a moratorium on wind farms until a federal health study can be completed. Read the rest of this entry
Deb Van Brenk, London Free Press
North America’s largest wind energy company generated local static Tuesday as it asked Middlesex County to smooth the process in allowing transmission lines along county roads.
The transmission poles would connect NextEra’s three proposed wind farms near Thedford, Parkhill and Strathroy along county-owned roads.
County councillors expressed concerns about the poles’ height — each would be about 35 metres tall — possible conflicts with other services, such as drainage and hydro, and clearance at intersections.
Southwest Middlesex Mayor Vance Blackmore wondered if they would exacerbate worries that Middlesex roads already have too many signs and poles.
County engineer Chris Traini said, “In a perfect world, we would limit the amount of above-ground utilities if possible.”
But he conceded the county is required to share its rights-of-way and needs to make sure policies are in place to protect county interests.
That means NextEra should not consider this a negotiation but a matter of following county policies, said Adelaide Metcalfe Mayor David Bolton. Read the rest of this entry
Heather Wright, Sarnia This Week
Lambton Shores plans to use a development agreement to spare municipal taxpayers any unforeseen costs from industrial wind farms now in the planning stages. Suncor Energy and NextEra have two large green energy projects planned for the community with over 100 industrial turbines being erected.
Residents have voiced opposition to the plans but have also raised concerns about the impact the construction will have on municipal roads, bridge and drains. But municipalities have little control over the projects since the province passed the Green Energy Act. It takes away the municipality’s ability to approve the projects or suggest placement of the turbines.
So Lambton Shores is going through the agreement it usually uses with subdivision developers, thinking of all the possible items to which could come up as the turbines are built. Lambton Shores Clerk Carol Mackenzie says there should be an application fee for the projects to cover staff costs for dealing with the projects. She’s suggested $5,000. Councilor Doug Bonesteel isn’t sure if that would be enough for a review and questioned whether staff could analyse the documents – which are hundreds of pages long. He says the wind companies should pay for that. “If we’re going to be given information from the wind turbine companies, they need to run by Ontario Professional Engineers Association to certify the information is true …spend their money to do it,” he says. Read the rest of this entry