Category Archives: Government
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.”
Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group Inc.
1503 Napperton Dr.,
Kerwood, ON N0M 2B0
Many thanks for all your support,
A 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
Over 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
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?
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.
This 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
Yesterday 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’.
Her 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
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
Environmental Registry – SUBMIT COMMENT Due July 6th
Description of Instrument:
This posting is for a proposed Renewable Energy Approval by wpd Napier Wind Incorporated, for the Napier Wind project, proposed to be located at 27904 Brown Road, Township of Adelaide Metcalfe, County of Middlesex, Ontario. This is a Class 4 wind facility with a total expected generation capacity of 4.1 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.
This proposal has been posted for a 45 day public review and comment period starting May 22, 2013. If you have any questions, or would like to submit your comments, please do so by July 06, 2013 to the individual listed under “Contact”. Additionally, you may submit your comments on-line. Read the rest of this entry
Sarnia Lambton Independent
Lambton Shores Council has joined dozens of municipalities which say they are ‘not willing hosts’ to industrial wind turbines. Municipalities have had little say in the planning of the projects since the province brought in the Green Energy Act. It overruled any local planning authority. At the time, then- Premier Dalton McGuinty said it would stop people from objecting to the projects simply because they didn’t want them in their backyards.
But since then, rural communities have organized lobbying groups trying to impress upon local government and the province there are health concerns associated with the industrial turbines even as big energy companies began planning projects around the province. In Lambton Shores, 267 of turbines will soon dot the landscape including two major projects by Suncor Energy (46 turbines), NextEra Energy’s Jericho project with 92 turbines.
Lambton Shores has been carefully pouring over the projects, hoping to offer comment to the Ministry of the Environment on areas where residents are have voiced concerned, such as how far the turbines are from homes, stray voltage, and the health effects from sound vibrations. Lambton Shores has asked for a moratorium on wind development until a health study by the federal government is complete, but so far the province hasn’t responded. Read article
Sarnia this Week
ST. CLAIR TOWNSHIP – St. Clair Township is not a willing host for wind turbines. That’s the declaration councillors made – unanimously – after a recent discussion to establish a by-law about where they can be placed within the municipality. Deputy Clerk and Coordinator of Planning Jeff Baranek made a presentation to council suggesting it adopt a by-law to establish building permit fees for industrial wind turbines.
“You can’t make revenue off building permit fees,” he said, “but you can ensure all costs… are harboured by the developer.” Baranek’s suggestion was a $10,000 fee per turbine plus $100 per metre to the highest point of the structure. He mentioned that some municipalities – most notably Bluewater – are issuing other fees, like a $220,000 decommissioning fee by that municipality, but such a cost was not among his recommendations. He did, however, suggest that council adopt a two-kilometre setback from any property line, which he said would essentially “sterilize” the township. Read article
Bentley flew the coop, and Chiarelli doesn’t deal with something he views as important as chicken shit, so he wrote this:
By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Ontario’s pledge to increase local control over large wind and solar farms is “a lot of smoke and mirrors,” says one Lambton County anti-wind activist. Marcelle Brooks, a rural Lambton Shores resident with the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group, dismissed Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli’s announcement Thursday that municipalities will have a greater role in where future large renewable energy projects locate.
“There’s not a lot of credibility here,” Brooks said. “Truly, did they change direction, or did they just put a new spin on it?” Chiarelli said Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT) system for awarding renewable energy contracts will be replaced, for large projects over 500 kilowatts, with a new competitive process where the government says wind companies will be required to work with municipalities on locations and site requirements.
The change comes as a growing number of municipalities are declaring themselves unwilling hosts for wind farms, and some mayors are saying Ontario’s wind energy push is dividing their communities. The Liberals lost the Lambton-Kent-Middlesex riding, and other rural seats, in the last provincial election. Brooks said Thursday’s announcementsdoes nothing for residents opposed to projects that already have FIT contracts, including Nextera and Suncor’s proposals to build a total of nearly 140 turbines in Lambton Shores, Plympton-Wyoming and Warwick Township. Read article
London Free Press
Local politicians and leaders of community groups took turns Thursday piling on the Wynne government, saying new rules for wind farms fall far short of what’s needed. The rules, revealed by Sun Media this week and outlined Thursday by Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli, promise to increase consultation with affected municipalities.
“Unless we can get full veto, I just don’t know if it’s going to be very good for us,” Middlesex County Warden Brad Richards said. “Don’t do it halfway.”
The Liberals still have their work cut out for them in rural Ontario — where they were nearly wiped off the map in the 2011 election — because residents there are going to be “very, very suspicious” about the changes, said political scientist Peter Woolstencroft of the University of Waterloo. “People will question the commitment.” The best way to win over rural Ontario would be to give both sides — the province and municipalities — a veto over large projects, Woolstencroft said.
Many communities in Middlesex County already have wind farms, and more are planned.Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said municipalities will be consulted before major projects proceed. “It’s true that there’s not a veto power involved in this process, but we always have to balance the greater good with the local good,” Wynne said. “I hope it meets the needs of the municipality but we’re going to work on it.” Read article
About 50 protesters greeted Premier Kathleen Wynne when she arrived at the opening of the Goodwill One Tomato garden in Sarnia around 10 a.m. A combination of Save the Jail and STOP wind turbine demonstrators waving placards attempted to talk to the premier as she walked by. Wynne took the stage and began her opening remarks while protesters continued to yell “Hey, hey Liberals, you’re fired, you’re fired” and “Hey Wynne, you’re not listening.”
Mayor Mike Bradley stood at the podium and attempted to quiet the demonstrators during the opening ceremonies. “We appreciate dissent but we also appreciate respect,” he said. Wynne told the crowd that she had earlier told about 20 Queen Elizabeth II students who were serving fresh vegetables to the crowd of 200 that she appreciates freedom of expression. “I am working to address your concerns that have been raised,” she told the crowd. Read article
The weather was warm but not the reception as an Ontario Premier visited Sarnia for the first time since 2007. Kathleen Wynne was met by anti-wind turbine and Sarnia Jail protesters as she arrived for the opening of a Community Garden at Goodwill Industries at Wellington and Murphy. The new Liberal Premier’s first order of business was an interview with Sue Storr on CHOK’s The Talk Show at 9 this morning. She said the province’s new green energy rules are not necessarily retroactive with 22 projects already approved, many of which are in the Lambton-Middlesex area. Read article
Thomas Walkom, The Star
After years of dismissing rural opposition to wind turbines, Ontario’s Liberal government is belatedly trying to defuse the problem. Its efforts may be too little. They are definitely late. In cities, the giant, industrial, three-blade windmills are back of mind. When, as has happened in Toronto, urban voters do object to wind turbines the Liberal government is quick to back off.
But most wind farms are slated for rural Ontario. And here, the government, until now, has been unbending. It refused to accept persistent claims from local residents that wind farms put their health at risk. It overruled municipalities that tried to regulate or ban turbines. Instead, in virtually all cases, the Liberals sided with the big, private generating companies seeking to establish these profitable wind farms.
No wonder then that the Liberals were virtually wiped out in rural Ontario during the last election. Wind turbines helped to deprive them of their last footholds. Read article
Bluewater Preliminary ERT Hearing
Date: June 4
Place: The Bluewater Stanley Complex, Community Centre, 38594B Mill Road, Varna MAP
Clinton News Record
A neighbouring anti turbine group has launched an appeal on Next Era’s Bluewater wind energy approval. The Middlesex Lambton Wind Action group filed the appeal on May 7, with the Environment Review Tribunal, stating the approved project would cause severe harm to human health and the natural environment.
Member of the group, Esther Wrightman, said they have launched similar appeals in areas around Ontario, because then, it opens the door. “In a way, it was done because of a lack of anybody else appealing it. We hate to see any wind project not challenged by someone,” she said. With several of Next Era’s projects proposed or in construction in Lambton Middlesex, including the Adelaide, Bornish and Jericho projects, the group also takes note of the proponent’s other projects. “We look at this basically as one huge project, which includes the Goshen and Bluewater projects,” she added. Read article
London Free Press (video)
Q: You’ve talked about putting a moratorium on new wind-farm developments. Would that extend to projects already approved and not yet built? Where would the line be?
They’ve got about 10,000 contracts that are somewhere in the pipeline today and there are different stages of contracts. So you have to be practical. What is going to have the least impact on the taxpayer? So, the contracts that have not been signed, you don’t sign any more. Those that are up and producing power, you respect those. Those that are in-between, the energy minister needs to have a system to make the call: Is it better to follow the contract all the way through and add on the power and build the transmission and the risk of having to export (unneeded power) to the States and pay them to take our power, versus using the termination clause in the contract? You’ve got be thoughtful, practical.
Q: What about local control over where these things go?
Re-establish that. Lambton County, Chatham, Middlesex — you should have a say on these projects.
Q: Final say?
Yes. This is not something new. This is the traditional way of doing it. Just like it exists for a Tim Hortons or a hot-dog stand or a new Walmart coming into town.
Q: Would a Progressive Conservative government support wind farms in the Great Lakes?
You point out an important irony. You had the (Liberal) government that did a moratorium in the lakes (on wind turbines) to protect the fish and the birds. What about people? Why didn’t we take a similar approach to land-based wind turbines? I don’t see adding on wind farms in the lakes, in our provincial parks, on the Niagara Escarpment. Read article
Matt McEachran, Lambton Shield
I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people that like to pay a lot more for my hydro; it’s a small price to pay to save the environment. Hundreds of thousands of jobs lost due to Ontario’s high electricity prices? No problem. An economy tanking in part because the government is too busy blowing billions on pet environmental projects? Bring it on. Knowing that the environment is better and animals are safer…. awww crap, there goes my theory.
At least that’s how my imaginary conversation with a member of the Ontario Liberal government transpires, now that a photo of a bald eagle’s nest being cut down to make way for wind turbines has gone viral. Yes that’s right, look again. Cutting down a bald eagles nest to make room for wind turbines. That’s the kind of evil, uncaring, environmentally-callus attitude we’ve been trained to expect from a coal generation plant, isn’t it? Oops.
The truth spills out. That picture speaks volumes about the Liberals’ Green Energy Act, far better than all the newspaper columns and Auditor General reports added together, ever could. I mean, a bald eagle? The only thing that could have been a worse public relations disaster would have been a polar bear. Even people who don’t care about the environment care about bald eagles. Everyone knows that. But then again, the Liberals have shown they will let nothing stand in their way from implementing their environmental ideology. Apparently even the very environment they were trying to save in the first place. This picture encapsulates everything that is wrong with the Ontario government’s attitude. With everything really, but especially the Green Energy Act. Read article
Is the Ontario government trying to make peace with rural communities on the controversial issue of industrial wind turbines? It’s certainly a question being asked after the province recently announced plans to improve how large energy projects are sited in Ontario. In a recent letter, the Ministry of Energy asked the Ontario Power Authority and the Independent Electricity System Operator to help develop a new regional energy planning process.
Under this new protocol, municipalities, the energy sector and other stakeholders are expected to be formally consulted about proposed projects, according to the Ministry of Energy. However, officials aren’t sure yet how this process would work under the existing Ontario Green Energy Act. “We are working closely with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ministry of Rural Affairs and the Ministry of the Environment on developing a strategy to increase local control when it comes to the siting of future large green energy projects,” a Ministry of Energy spokesperson wrote in an email. “That process would be consistent with an improved regional energy planning process — communities must have a stronger voice and real engagement in decision making.”
While Ontario municipalities have been calling for greater oversight, Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper isn’t sold on the proposed process. Read article
Brian Keelan, First Monday
“You got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em, know when to walk away, know when to run.” That’s not just a cool line from an old Kenny Rogers song. It’s good advice and it has served me well over the years… in poker and in business. I see a lot of similarities between life and poker: you can win a lot and you can lose a lot but most of the time you just keep watching the ante go up while you wait for a good hand. If you’re smart, you learn how the game is played and you never, ever draw to an inside straight.
A few years ago, I was going for a walk along the old (original) Lakeshore road in Bright’s grove – a beautiful stretch from Brigden Road to Perch Creek. It was a sunny day and there was a north wind blowing so the sky was quite clear and visibility was good. That’s when I saw them; the colossal wind turbine machines up by Ipperwash. As the crow flies that’s eight and half miles or 13.6 kilometers from where I stood. They are highly visible in those conditions and now the Ontario Government want to add forty two more and they have plans for up to 500 more in this area.
Last year I drove up to Tobermory and drove past over a hundred of them. They are huge and they are everywhere, and I began to wonder how the people felt when they had one that close to their property. I wouldn’t want one in my back yard and I sure as heck wouldn’t want one in my neighbour’s backyard. I am quite sure that there is only one reason the neighbour would even tolerate one in his backyard and that (I am afraid) is money. Nobody that I have ever met wants one in their yard, not even if they think it is good for the environment… and I know that on paper you can prove it’s good for the environment… as long as the wind is blowing when you need the energy. You can’t store the stuff in giant batteries, you have to send it somewhere and use it as soon as you create it and therein lies a major problem; the ability to produce on demand. Read article
The Bluewater Wind Energy Centre, one of two projects Next Era has proposed for the municipality of Bluewater, received Ministry of Environment approval last Monday, April 22.
The project that was approved plans for 37 turbines for a generating capacity of 60 megawatts. Although the turbines will be located in Bluewater, bounded by Blackbush/Bronson Line to the west, Mill Road to the North, Concession 5 Road to the east and Danceland Road/Staffa Road to the south, a transmission line is to be constructed through Huron East to connect to the Seaforth Transformer Station by way of Centennial and Hensall Roads.
“This is a major milestone for the project,” said Project Director Nicole Geneau. “Everyone will see a lot more of us in the future, and me in particular, over the next several months,” said Geneau who added, “Sometimes when you are working through everything and working through the steps, the excitement doesn’t come through, but we are very happy to receive the approval. We have been working with some of our landowners since 2008 and this is a very long-term experience for them as well. We are all thrilled.” Read article
By Heather Wright, Sarnia this Week
LAMBTON COUNTY – Wind activists say a transmission line hearing may be best way to stop a wind energy center north of Arkona. NextEra received approval for the Bornish Wind Energy center, a 45-turbine project just northeast of Arkona from the Ministry of the Environment recently. Esther Wrightman of Middlesex Lambton Wind Concerns has been among the people fighting the project. She’s frustrated. Wrightman saying looking at the Environmental Registry confirms her suspicion that the Ministry of the Environment simply rubber stamps wind projects. Wrightman says the registry on the Bornish project uses the name of another wind project in Eastern Ontario telling her the responses are not original.
“These are projects that are going to affect people’s lives and it seems that it’s just a matter of copy and pasting approval lines in it from one to another,” says Wrightman. “The MOE has never denied a project” she adds. “The system is broken…you don’t have a government agency that can help…you feel quite deserted at the end of the day.” 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)