Bay Street or Main Street? How NextEra got where it wanted.
As of March 18, NextEra Energy Resources hired the Bay Street law firm Cassels, Brock and Blackwell to lobby the McGuinty government on their behalf. The Ministry of the Environment, led by Liberal MPP John Wilkinson, was one of the ministries listed on the lobbyist registry.
Curiously, former Liberal Premier David Peterson serves as senior partner and chairman of Cassels, Brock and Blackwell and heads up its government relations group. It is well known that David Peterson is a good friend and mentor to Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty.
Peterson continues to be a big supporter of the Ontario Liberal Party. Peterson also sits on the Board of Directors of various businesses, two of which are wind energy companies (Ventus Energy Inc. and Ventus Energy West Cape Windpower LP).
There is an interesting story behind Ventus Energy Inc. It was founded in 2003 with $21,000 in capital and in 2007 100% shares were sold for $124-million to GDF Suez Energy North America. In its short history as a privately owned company, Ventus quickly developed one of the largest portfolios of potential wind farms in Canada and had obtained exclusive rights for this development on over 17 million acres of land.
Interestingly, Mr. Noble C. Chummar, a member of “The Government Relations” group, was listed as a registered lobbyist on behalf of NextEra Energy Resources at the office of the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario.
Noble C. Chummar is a skilled lobbyist. For example it was reported in the Toronto Star (Jan.28/11) that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) engaged Peterson and Cassels Brock in 2009 to help lobby the Ontario Government to sanction mixed martial arts in the province. The McGuinty Government had been cool to the idea but in August 2010 announced the MMA would be coming to Ontario.
Thousands of Ontarians have requested that John Wilkinson, as Minister of the Environment, and the McGuinty Liberal’s place a moratorium on further industrial wind energy installations until a proper health study is done to determine what, if any health effects are caused by wind turbines.
Our Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arlene King, works for Health Minister Deb Matthews, who happens to be Peterson’s sister-in-law. Her studies involving wind energy should include real people living close to real wind turbines not literature reviews and computer modelling as supplied by the powerful wind energy industry lobbyists.
Current opinions on health impacts are simply not good enough. We need hard science to back up those claims so that we can be 100% certain that industrializing our township in this manner does not harm the people who live and work here.
If the McGuinty and Wilkinson Liberals are not listening to the people of Wellington County about the NextEra industrial wind project proposed in Mapleton, who are they listening to: Bay Street or Main Street?
Jonathan Wagner, ALMA