Monthly Archives: January 2013

Wind turbines: that rural Ontario “thing”

IMG_0510Dear Ms. Wynne,

Now that we have gotten this “Toronto thing” out of the way; let’s get this rural Ontario “thing” – wind turbines – out of the way. We want a moratorium and answers to our questions as to why so many people are being adversely affected. We will not accept replies that are condescending and dismissive.

Dr. Michael Nissenbaum, one of the authors of “Effects Of Industrial Wind Turbine Noise On Sleep And Health ,2012” – theMars Hill epidemiological study, says it best:

“If someone came into a doctor’s office and said they have chest pain and the physician said ‘It’s all in your head,’ without investigating, that would be the height of malpractice. It’s the same thing if patients are complaining of sleep disturbances and other ill effects, and off the top of your head you claim they’re making it up and it’s about the way the turbines look, especially when there’s a known, plausible mechanism for why people could be affected. There’s nothing magical about the effect that people are sleeping poorly due to the noise. There’s nothing difficult to understand or fantastical. Nothing stretches your belief.”

This whole issue has always been about ethics and what the application of the practical limits are of harm – i.e., what you can reasonably accept in the way of harm of the rural population.

I would hope that instead you will want to know why it is, despite the all the excuses of the wind industry and the MOE, that people still are being affected? Why are there increasing reports of vertigo and nausea with the latest projects?

The first step to getting those answers is a moratorium on construction of projects. That would be a real show of understanding and respect for rural Ontario.

And, instead of becoming the Minister of Agriculture, you should create and head a new Ministry, “The Ministry of Ethics” to oversee the other ministries.

We need a Minister to protect us from the Ministers.

Sincerely,

Harvey Wrightman
Adelaide/Metcalfe Twp

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Rural Ontario tormented by wind developers

NoMore WT RefugeesLondon Free Press
You just missed it; you’re five minutes late”.

I had just got out of the car and hurried over to the nearest person standing along the gravel roadside, anxiously asking what had happened.

Looking a mile across the snow drifted field we could see the dismembered cottonwood tree, and vaguely, a branch hanging in the air with what appeared to be the bald eagle nest embedded in it. Dammit, we had driven two hours to get to the site, hoping we had a chance of arriving before they went too far with the chainsaw, but pessimistically prepared our thoughts for being too late.

“It could be ugly by the time we get there…”, I had surmised over my shoulder to Muriel, who was riding in the back as my dad made tracks down to Haldimand County that early January morning.

The police had blocked the road leading to the tree and the nest, informing locals they would be charged with trespassing if they drove in, so onlookers had watched the limb come loose from the road.

It was at this time, I had to stop and think – the eagle nest was gone, there was nothing we could do to put it back in place, yes, much like death. The home that they had chosen to raise their young had been destroyed, “for their own safety”, the wind company NextEra and Ministry of Natural Resources said.

I think of people who have suffered the same fate in rural Ontario: Barb, Stephana, Glen, Sandy, Tracy, Aaron, Kay, Lisa, Ernie, Ted, Roger, Larry, Bert, Helen, Ross, Darlene, Paul, Nikki – more than I can list, and their families. They have been forced out of their homes, their habitat, by wind turbines being pushed up too close. Many are still trying to escape, but unable to do so, due to finances and unsellability of their homes. Read the rest of this entry

Monica Elmes: Living with Turbines – Part 2

Chatham Kent Ontario Enbridge wind from Taylor RoadYear 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

Monica Elmes: Before the turbines – Part 1

CHATHAM KENT ONTARIO ENBRIDGE WIND FROM HWY3 TALBOT TRAIL15Year of the Turbines, Part One
by Eric Nixon, Hayter-Walden Publications
This is a story about one woman and her family. Average people, like most of us. It’s about how their happy, rural lives changed dramatically beginning a few short years ago. About how they were transformed from contented farmers into faceless people who feel trapped in their own lives. It’s a story of what happened when wind turbines changed everything. And it’s a story about how people’s lives in our communities are about to change, too, with the proposed installation of up to 400 turbines right in our own backyard.

Monica Elmes lives in Chatham-Kent, about an hour or so south of here. She and her husband Neil have owned a small cash crop farm just south of Ridgetown for the past 17 years. She’s an intelligent person who studied Science and Agriculture and worked as a research technician for the University of Guelph and Ridgetown College. Slightly more than a decade ago, she and Neil decided to have a child and she’s been a stay-at-home mom ever since.

Until a few years ago, she described her life on the farm as ‘fabulous.’ “We bought our property and farm here planning to never leave, have done extensive renovations and everything we can with the view that this was where we were going to live and die forever – and absolutely loved this place,” she says.

As a farmer, she and Neil have always been concerned about the environment. “I’m really an environmentally conscious person. Everything we do on our farm – we have our environmental farm plan. Everything we do in our home – we’ve always thought about those consequences to the environment,” she says.

That’s what got her excited about the idea of wind turbines in the first place. About six years ago, there was a lot of talk in her community through the grapevine about people wanting to lease to wind companies – and the couple were definitely interested. At the time, crop prices were really bad and they were intrigued when a group of local residents approached them: “They thought if, as neighbours, we could get together and form sort of a group to approach the company, it would be beneficial for everyone to have that sort of power position, kind of a cooperative, community thing,” she says. “A lot of people – ourselves, as well – we thought this would be a good thing for the environment – and an opportunity to make money at the same time.” Read the rest of this entry

Norma Schmidt – life with wind turbines is an “absolute living hell”

Norma Schmidt, a registered nurse, speaks to a large crowd in Clinton, Ontario in September, 2010 about what her health is like, living in the midst of Enbridge’s Kingsbridge Wind Power Project, consisting of 110 wind turbines. Norma’s story is featured in the upcoming CBC documentary “Wind Rush”.

“Pay attention. We vote”

lfp1London Free Press
“Pay attention. We vote.”
That’s the overriding message The Free Press heard during a 600-km road trip through Southwestern Ontario’s heartland as Ontario Liberals get set to choose a new leader and premier this weekend.

The 10-riding region is largely an ocean of Tory blue, with a two-seat Liberal island. Little wonder some residents feel they’re afterthoughts to Queen’s Park policies on wind turbines, education, job creation and other issues.

We hit the road with the question: If you had one message for Ontario’s new leader, what would it be? Here are some of their answers.
[excerpts]
RIDING: Chatham-Kent-Essex
PARTY LEANINGS
: Strong Liberal loyalties, even against a Tory tide, but voted Conservative last time.
ISSUES: Turbine towers, farming are rural hot buttons, with boom-and-bust manufacturing sector underpinning the urban economy.
Wayne Glassford, Muirkirk- A power struggle — its source, availability and cost — is frustrating Glassford in his plans to add a dryer and storage facility to his corn-growing operation. A line of turbines starts just south of the Agris co-op where he’s parked himself to check out grain trends, but somehow it’s still too expensive to get sufficient, reliable power to his farm a few kilometres north. “Energy is what this all revolves around. How to generate it, how to distribute it and how to make sure we make best use of it. We need equitable distribution of energy within the province so that all people have access to it, and access to it within a reasonable price level.”

RIDING: Sarnia-Lambton
PARTY LEANINGS
: Has a Conservative MPP now but the riding has been known to vote against the provincial tide.
ISSUES: Announced closings of Sarnia jail, Hiawatha Horse Park, coal-fired generation plant. Natural gas power plant to be built; ethanol, solar, wind economies growing.
Jean-Guy LePage, Wyoming – Wind turbines are the big issue, with hundreds either planned or built within half-hour drive of his home. “I don’t think it’s working, the windmills. I think it’s bad for the health. It devalues your property.”

RIDING: Lambton-Kent-Middlesex
PARTY LEANINGS
: Conservative now, but historical voting preferences all over the map.
ISSUES: With no community populations larger than 14,000, this is one of the largest ridings in region. Wind turbines, farm policy and education dominate political landscape.
Christopher Thorne, Kerwood – He’s baking tea biscuits for his two children as they return early from school. His daughter, having had to forgo her favourite school sports, is worried about the fate of her Grade 8 graduation party and school trip. Meanwhile, Thorne’s anxiety grows about a wind turbine that will soon sprout in the cornfield behind their country kitchen. To the soft-spoken Thorne, both issues have a common theme: his children. “This is my backyard and we bought this house to bring our kids up in a safe area.” McGuinty forced turbines on rural residents and will leave before he sees their impact; he imposed a teacher contract and then left parents, kids and teachers to sort it all out. “I think he came in and made a mess and then walked away with his tail between his legs.”
Phil Patterson, Strathroy – Gardenia Restaurant is the unofficial gathering spot for town pundits and local and visiting politicians. Patterson, the cook here, rarely gets to speak his mind but he wonders why none of the politicians seem to bring spending under control. “The onus is on the people to bail out (politicians’) bad decisions.” He’s annoyed that wind turbines have been forced upon surrounding communities despite neighbours’ objections.

Riding: Perth–Wellington
PARTY LEANINGS
: There have only been two elections since the riding was founded in 2003. It’s Conservative now, but the first election went Liberal.
ISSUES: St. Marys, Stratford, Minto and Mapleton all fall within Perth–Wellington’s boundaries. The towns are full of independent businesses, and soaring hydro expenses have put an extra strain on small business owners.
Ron Cottrell, St. Marys – Cottrell has chocolate on his apron, which is just one of the perils of owning The Chocolate Factory. But making the sweets requires more than getting your hands dirty — it also means using a fair bit of electricity. “We’ve noticed a sizable increase in our hydro bills,” Cottrell says. He says small-town businesses already fight to keep customers from heading into nearby cities and rising expenses are an added strain. He hopes a new premier could bring relief from the rising costs. “Take another look at how much the whole green energy thing is going to be costing consumers and business people.”

RIDING: Huron–Bruce
PARTY LEANINGS
: A Conservative win in 2011 turned the tide after two Liberal victories, but Huron-Bruce was blue in the late 90s, too.
ISSUES: Wind farms have been sprouting up across Southwestern Ontario, and Huron–Bruce is no different. The turbines are championed for their clean energy but have caused debate as many worry about their effects on property values, health and scenery.
Steve Olley, Zurich – Huron–Bruce envelops kilometres of Lake Huron’s scenic shores, but the beautiful horizon might soon be dotted with energy-producing turbines. “Many of the local people think that it’s going to completely destroy the beauty of our area,” says Olley. “I would say the population is pretty split as to if this is a good thing or not.” While he worries the wind farms could wreck the area’s natural beauty, he recognizes the importance of green energy. He says he hopes a new premier will still put up new turbines — just somewhere else. “Find areas that maybe not so many people live in, you know? Not so many people would be affected by what you’re going to do.” Read article

Sooner or later gotta cut you down

Somewhere west of Brampton . . .

rural ontarioPeter Epp, Chatham Daily News
[excerpt] The fact that Wynne would use the “rural card” shows how desperate she must be. The agriculture ministry was fiscally gutted by former Premier Mike Harris in 1999, and that status was upheld by successor Ernie Eves and then by Premier Dalton McGuinty. It remains a mystery why Wynne would measure her possible success in Southwestern Ontario by promising to head up a ministry whose influence at Cabinet has been greatly diminished. It further suggests that she knows very little about the province as it exists west of Brampton.

It’s this kind of political paternalism that remains so offensive to Ontarians who don’t live in Toronto. Agriculture is a large part of the economy in this region, but so is the automotive, manufacturing and petro-chemical industries. And we also have more wind turbines than any other part of Ontario, a direct product of the Liberal government’s Green Energy Policy.

Wynne said she wants to address the issue of wind turbines, but in typical Toronto-Speak said her role as premier would be to better convince the people of Southwestern Ontario that wind turbines are good for us. She obviously doesn’t question her government’s judgment in introducing legislation that has changed our landscape forever, created divisions in some communities, and raised questions about health and safety.

And Wynne wonders why the Liberals failed in the last election to retain some seats in Southwestern Ontario? Read article

$60,000 damage to turbine parts in Haldimand

NO NexteraJonathan Sher, London Free Press
Six days after Ontario officials allowed an energy company to remove a bald eagle’s nest to make way for industrial wind turbines, one of those turbines has been vandalized.

OPP in Haldimand County believe the vandals struck the Summerhaven Wind farm project overnight Friday, painting a disassembled tower, setting a fire and causing about $60,000 damage.

Wind farm opponents were angered when Ontario’s Natural Resources Ministry OK’d the removal of the nest over the objection of its own consultant.

Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group meets with Wynne

Wynne_Visit_Jan_2013_2Strathroy MyFM
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)

Documentary airing Feb. 7 on CBC: Wind Rush

By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer

Making the television documentary, Wind Rush, changed filmmaker Andrew Gregg’s point of view about Ontario’s leap into wind energy.

The film, narrated by Doc Zone host Ann-Marie MacDonald, airs Feb. 7 on CBC.

Gregg, a veteran documentary writer, director and producer, spent two years working on Wind Rush after the CBC brought the subject to the production company he works with.

“There was so much in the media a few years ago about opposition to what looked like such a benign and green form of energy,” Gregg said.

Gregg said he started out skeptical of health claims being made by wind turbine opponents.

Plus, he said he grew up on a farm and could see how lease income from turbines could help farmers out.

“There seemed to be a lot of pluses and not a lot of negatives.”

And then, the filmmakers began looking more closely at the issue and found the complaints they were hearing “were surprisingly consistent,” Gregg said.

They also talked to specialists and scientists, including Hazel Lynn, the Grey Bruce medical officer of health.

“She didn’t have a dog in this fight, one way or another,” he said.

But, Lynn saw how consistent symptoms some residents living near turbines were reporting “and then started to think, ‘OK, we’ve got a problem here,’” Gregg said.

“It was a very rational way of looking at things.” Read the rest of this entry

Field Notes from a Landowner/NextEra Wind Meeting

wind-liar-447x292I 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

Video: Nextera Energy in damage control mode on Eagle Nest removal

Nextera Energy is questioned at a public information meeting in Exeter on their recent removal of a bald eagle nest, the tree it was in and the surrounding vegetation, in Haldimand County to make way for the company’s Summerhaven Wind Project. In this video Nextera spokespersons try to explain away the removal. They are speaking to residents who will live in their proposed Bornish, Goshen, Jericho and Adelaide projects who are not very encouraged by their responses.

Bureaucrats ignored advice from biologist to leave eagle’s nest and move wind turbine in Haldimand County

dsc03328By Jonathan Sher, The London Free Press
He’s the leading expert on bald eagles in southern Ontario, someone Ontario bureaucrats call on for guidance — most recently, when a relatively rare eagle nest was found near the site of a planned wind turbine.

But when biologist Jody Allair told bureaucrats to protect the nest and move the turbine, they did the opposite, defending their stance on what Allmair says are shaky grounds.

“I was surprised and disappointed,” said Allair, who heads the Southern Ontario Bald Eagle Monitoring Program for Bird Studies Canada.

The nest in Fisherville, in Haldimand County, was suspected as far back as the summer but it was early November, after leaves fell, that residents began phoning and the Natural Resources Ministry asked Allair to confirm it was an active nest — and it was.

The nest, just 20 metres from the planned turbine, was likely hundreds of pounds — a bald eagle’s nest can be as big as 3 tonnes.

“Any time there’s a new nest, that’s a cause for celebration,” Allair said. “I recommended strongly that the nest needed be left alone, the turbine needed to be moved and a buffer had to be created.”

But while Allair thought the nest would be saved and the planned turbine moved from plans that placed it 20 m away, the ministry decided otherwise, issuing behind closed doors a permit Dec. 31 to allow NextEra Canada to remove it to build a 56-turbine wind farm that will produce enough electricity to power 32,000 homes.

Four days later — and just one day before the nest was removed — the ministry reported the permits and the reasons for issuing it on Ontario’s environmental registry.

The ministry wrote it was important to expand clean and renewable sources of energy — subsidized by taxpayers — and that the eagles could relocate in time to nest and law eggs — something Allair says is far from certain.

“It’s possible the nesting season is lost,” he said. Read article

Wind turbine company Nextera & MNR destroy Bald Eagle Nest & habitat

Fisherville, Haldimand Cty, Ontario:
Saturday January 5th, at approximately 10:30am, Florida based wind company Nextera Energy chainsawed down the tree limb (large cottonwood) holding  a beautiful, active, bald eagle nest (species of Special Concern in Ontario).
How is this possible? Yesterday at 5:00pm the MNR gave a permit to this corporation to destroy this eagle pairs nest, and cut down the tree— as long as they were able to do it by January 6th -the next day.

In typical cold government language, it is justified that the tree and nest should be removed as it was “scheduled to be removed for the construction of a road, and within 20 metres of the blade sweep of a proposed turbine“. The MNR was not at the tree/nest removal site to see that it was done properly. Nextera’s construction company “Whites” did the removal. I asked the police officer, who seemed to trust that these guys were ‘moving’ the nest, not just making a kindling pile, “If there are only 57 bald eagle nest in Ontario, what are the chances that ANY of these workers has ever removed an eagle nest before?”. Slim. And that is why they had to go through pans A, B, C, D etc to figure out how to lower it onto some straw bales….. they clearly didn’t have a clue what they were doing. and the MNR remained out of sight, as if they had nothing to do with it.

More famous quotes from the MNR:
“By removing the nest before January 6th it is anticipated they will find another suitable nest location and will avoid disturbing them during their critical nesting period…….Removing the nest will reduce the risk of eagle mortality at the site.

How Ontario government celebrates National Bird Day

national-bird-day

Video: Nextera workers remove Bald Eagle nest to put up wind turbines

Video from inside wind developer Nextera’s destruction zone of the bald eagle nest. Don’t mind the odd bleeped out bit of anger flying around – it wasn’t the most pleasant place to be.

Wind Action Group surpise Pupatello Strathroy visit

pupatello_turbine_protestStrathroy Age Dispatch
Liberal leadership hopeful Sandra Pupatello made a whistle-stop visit to Strathroy on Friday, Jan. 4. Pupatello made a brief appearance at Duke on the Sydenham restaurant to discuss her platform and meet with local Liberal supporters. As a former cabinet minister with portfolios including social and community services, education, and economic development and trade, Pupatello feels well qualified to be the leader of the Liberals and Ontario’s next premier.

Pupatello says her number one priority is job creation. “We need to get our province firing on all cylinders,” says Pupatello. “Bringing a greater number of jobs and investment to our province would see every sector flourish.”

Before she had an opportunity to speak with local Liberal supports, several members of the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group approached Pupatello. They wanted to know her views on the current wind turbine projects in this region. Pupatello indicated that, moving forward, there needs to be a more balanced appeal process. However, she didn’t comment on the current projects. “I really believe we need a third-party process when it comes to the appeals process,” said Pupatello. “I can understand your frustration when it’s the government running the appeals.” Read article

MyFM Radio
The Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group decided to pay Liberal Leader candidate Sandra Pupatello a visit last Friday when she was in the area. WAG Member Muriel Allingham says they were there to let Pupatello know that they don’t want wind turbines in our community and would like the Green Energy Act repealed until the health issues are definitively taken care of. Allingham was happy with how it went. Read article

Noise woes ignored, Tories say

IMG_6047By John Miner, The London Free Press
Ontario’s opposition Tories have intensified demands for a halt to wind farms after the release of government documents showing bureaucrats repeatedly raised concerns about noise from turbines.

“I think the taxpayers of Ontario deserve to know the truth,” Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce and PC deputy critic for green energy, said Wednesday.

“It goes to show there is uncertainty everywhere with regards to the impacts of industrial wind turbines. Let’s hit the pause button and let’s do proper studies based in Ontario and get it right.”

The documents were obtained through a Freedom of Information request by an Orangeville resident who asked for all letters, memos, records and e-mails between the Guelph district Environment Ministry office and other ministry staff regarding a proposed order against the Amaranth and Melancthon wind turbines. The request covered a period from March 2009 to September 2010.

Of 300 pages of records, the government released only 26 pages with sections removed.

But the 26 pages that were released showed the Guelph Environment Ministry office was being hit with a large number of noise complaints dating back to 2006 for the 133 wind turbines, the largest turbine installation in the province at the time.

In a draft plan to deal with the complaints, the district supervisor wrote that Environment Ministry officers had gone to several homes of complainants and confirmed the noise emissions “are in fact causing material discomfort to the residents in and around their homes.”

“Valid complaints continue to be received by (the Environment Ministry) . . . officers have verified that the complaints of adverse effect by area residents are for the most part justified,” he wrote in an August 2009 memo. Read article

Removal of eagles nest smacks of big money corruption: MPP Barrett

nexterrorFor Immediate Release January 7, 2013
Last minute approval of habitat destruction for wind towers, “Unconscionable”

Selkirk – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett says approval to remove an eagles’ nest east of Selkirk smacks of big money corrupting Ontario government procedure. The tree hosting the nest was cut down Saturday, January 5, 2013, to make way for an access road for a Next Era wind turbine. The Ministry of Natural Resources published permission for the removal at 5pm Friday, January 4.

“Frankly, I feel betrayed – I was in communication with the Minister’s office through December, and we were never alerted to this unconscionable decision until it was too late,” asserted Barrett. “I got to the site on Saturday just after the nest had been removed.”

Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal green-lighted the Next Era project last fall following a month-long hearing in Hagersville.  “Clearly the Ontario government and its Green Energy Act have corrupted the system – with so much money to be made by government’s wind proponent friends, concerns for wildlife and rural values are steamrolled while opponents are kept in the dark,” Barrett intoned. “We’ve been told that the nest was removed to reduce eagle mortality – a clear admission that wind turbines kill eagles.” Read the rest of this entry

Energy company removes bald eagle nest to make way for wind turbine in Haldimand County

img_1303By Jonathan Sher, The London Free Press
A subsidiary of an American energy company has chainsawed a bald eagle nest to make way for a wind turbine with the blessing of Ontario bureaucrats, The Free Press has learned. NextEra Energy Canada took down the nest Saturday in Haldimand County as horrified onlookers snapped photographs — the incident already has drawn outrage from environmentalists in Ontario and even in the United States.

Onlookers claim that no one with Ontario’s natural resources ministry, which approved the nest removal, even bothered to show up to insure it was done properly. “This issue has people infuriated, and rightly so,” said Esther Wrightman, a wind farm opponent.

Also weighing in was Tom Wasilewski, co-ordinator of an eagle conservation association in the Northwestern Pennsylvania: “The Ontario government continues to blindly accept inaccurate information from wind companies as the truth without providing an investment in truly independent, scientific studies of bird, bat, butterfly migration before and after these projects are built.” His comments and photographs of the nest removal appear on the website http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/. Read the rest of this entry

Outrage in Haldimand over bald eagle nest removal

picture-003By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer
FISHERVILLE – Wind turbine opponents in Haldimand are expressing outrage after a tree with a bald eagle’s nest was removed near Fisherville Saturday morning. The tree was cut down to make way for an access road for the Summerhaven wind turbine project. The Ministry of Natural Resources gave permission for the removal Dec. 31.

Until recently, the bald eagle was deemed a species-at-risk. It has since been upgraded to “a species of special concern” due to the growing number of nesting pairs along the north shore of Lake Erie. The nest destroyed on the weekend was one of 57 identified in southern Ontario in 2011.

“I was there and I witnessed it,” Ernie King of Cayuga, vice president of Haldimand Wind Concerns, said Monday. “The MNR is supposed to be protecting nature and enforcing the regulations that are in place. Are we trying to put the eagle back on the endangered list? We can’t be playing God with nature.”

Wind opponents and others are upset with the process leading to the tree’s removal. The permit was issued Dec. 31 with the proviso that the tree would be removed by Sunday. The MNR decision wasn’t posted on the Internet until after 5 p.m. Friday. This left no time for anyone to object.

The Summerhaven project is an undertaking of NextEra Energy Canada. Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal green-lighted the project last fall following a month-long hearing in Hagersville. At issue was the project’s potential impact on the environment in west Haldimand. Officials told King and others at the scene that removing the cottonwood tree at this time of year was the least disruptive option. There were concerns that the three wind turbines slated for the area posed a threat to the breeding pair and their young.

Spectators watching from the road were told the displaced eagles were not in the neighbourhood. However, the homeless pair were spotted in the area on the weekend, as were 16 bald eagles in total during the annual January bird count held in the Fisherville-area.

An on-line petition about the incident has been posted at the Ontario Wind Resistance website. As of Monday morning, it has received 240 responses. The petition, which is directed at the MNR and natural resource critics in the New Democratic Party and the Progressive Conservative Party, says “I, as a resident of Ontario, am outraged at the destruction and ultimate displacement of the eagles and their habitat. Read article

Video: Bentley prorogues Conversation with Rural Ontario on wind turbines

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.

The Unjust Green Energy Act

The Unjust Green Energy Act and why we we all must defy it in order to stop the wind turbines.

Councils must break the law!

A husband, father of two and “receptor 111″, speaks to North Middlesex  township council, and it’s lawyer, at a public meeting organized to discuss the impending 45 wind turbine Nextera Bornish project that is up for provincial approval.  His message to council: Break the Law (GEA).

Nextera: skillful manipulators of tax credits

Nextera FPLJohn Fund, National Review
President Obama likes to talk about making sure “the biggest corporations pay their fair share.” Treasury secretary Tim Geithner calls for tax reform to close loopholes and subsidies. Budget hawks say federal spending must be curbed. Congress and federal environmental regulators claim they are doing everything they can to save endangered species. By doing nothing and waiting for December 31 to pass, all of those folks could strike a blow in support of each of these policies. All they have to do is let the federal production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy expire on schedule this coming Monday.

Begun 20 years ago to spur the construction of wind-energy facilities that could compete with conventional fossil-fuel power plants, the tax credit gives wind an advantage over all other energy producers. But it has mostly benefited conventional nuclear and fossil-fuel-fired electricity producers. The biggest user of the tax credit is Florida-based NextEra Energy, the nation’s eighth-largest power producer. Through skillful manipulation of the credits, NextEra from 2005 to 2009 “paid just $88 million in taxes on earnings of nearly $7 billion,” Businessweek reports. That’s a tax rate of just 1.25 percent over that period, when the statutory rate is 35 percent. Read article

Wind Turbine Info Meeting @ Coldstream Community Centre

Coldstream meeting

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.

Yes, those dots are wind turbines to come in Middlesex & Lambton counties….

2013 update of wind turbines in northern parts of Middlesex and Lambton counties.2013 MLWAG map