“Providing benefit to a species”, the NEW kill, harass & maim

Harvey Wrightman
I have attended 3 separate wind project hearings in Haldimand Cty. It’s a bit like escaping to Montana. Driving Indian Line is liberating. On the rez side are all the “smokes” shops operating out of houses or small, utility buildings. Hours of operation are generally 7AM – 10PM. I don’t smoke, but I have no particular aversion to tobacco. I remember my grandfather’s “room” and the blue haze that he created with White Owl cigars – mostly to keep my grandmother and her sister at bay. We stopped at a diner that had a faded sign advertising “Yellow Perch Dinner – $12.95” and another for “Pickerel Dinner – $10.95” – my personal favourite and indeed , once the batter was peeled away, the fish was very and cooked perfectly. The fries were not so special, but who cares?

It’s a real cultural jolt to enter the ERT hearing. The panel and legal teams all dressed in stiff court apparel – men with ties snugly wound around their necks and women with hair so tightly gathered, you’d wonder how they could blink their eyes. I suppose “our” appearance seems just as strange to them – mainly denim, though I did once wear my overalls into a hearing – many of us do still work. What we lack is the evangelism of the MOE and company lawyers. The puritanical desire to expunge and cleanse the land of the nasty effects that the local people have. We are told that change is the constant. That it is acceptable to harm/harass/maim a certain percentage of the population; well actually that rather description was found to be too blunt, too rude for MNR and MOE sensibilities. Now such as actions are described as: “providing benefit to a species”, or “preparing a recovery strategy for a species.”

So far no one has effectively countered this survivalist view, whether it be for plants, animals or humans. With that in mind it will be interesting to see what Dr. Scott Petrie, Executive Director of Long Point Waterfowl and Adjunct Professor at University of Western Ontario, has to say about displacement and harm caused by wind projects. His presentations are filled with information yet so well explained, like few people are capable of doing. I’ll be interested to see what questions he fields on cross-examination.

Scott is summonsed for Tuesday, Oct. 9 in Kohler (Samsung Project) and Fisherville @ 2:00PM (Capital Power Project). Try to attend one of these sessions. It will be memorable.

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Posted on October 15, 2012, in Environment, Ethics. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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