Category Archives: Media

Dairy farmer hopes there’s still time to pull the plug

Darryl DegrootPaul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Darryl De Groot says it’s gotten to the point that farmers have stopped waving to each other on Northville Road. And that’s just one impact the dairy farmer sees that Ontario’s Green Energy Act, and Nextera’s proposed Jericho wind energy project, is having on rural Lambton Shores. “Country life out here, it’s not like it once was,” De Groot said.

Florida-based Nextera is planning to build a 92-turbine wind farm in Lambton Shores and neighbouring Warwick Township, and the community has divided between farmers who signed leases, allowing the wind companies to build turbines on their land, and those who didn’t, De Groot said. When the land agents came around in 2008, he and his father took a look at what they were offering, and turned them down. “Dad said, ‘You know what, anything to do with the government that is 50 pages long, don’t sign it.'”

But other farmers did, including some of De Groot’s neighbours. Nextera received a contract to sell power to Ontario, and is in the final stages of securing provincial environmental approval to move ahead with its project. “Farmers aren’t waving at each other on the roads any more,” De Groot said. “It’s sad . . . it should have been done a different way. It shouldn’t have been pushed on us.”

De Groot grew up on the farm near the small community of Arkona, went to agricultural college, married and has a one-year-old child he still hopes will be the fourth generation of the family to farm on Northville Road. Read article

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Mom asking wind companies to move wind turbine sites away from autistic son

sarah hornblowerPaul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Sarah Hornblower says intensive behavioural intervention therapy has made a world of difference for Josh, her five-year-old autistic son. But, she worries wind farms coming to Lambton Shores will blow the progress away.

Hornblower and her husband, Chris, felt lucky when Josh qualified for the OHIP-covered in-home therapy after only a year or so on the waiting list. They saw families in other areas waiting much longer. “He wasn’t talking,” she said. “He wasn’t toilet trained. He wasn’t interacting at all. He wouldn’t look at you.” That changed after the therapy. “Through the work of these people, he’s fully toilet trained. He can speak, He’s learning to read. He can ride a bike . . . things we never thought were possible.”

The couple has seven children and three have been diagnosed with autism. Josh is the most severely impacted. Hornblower said they began hearing rumours about wind projects about a year after moving in 2007 to Ridge Road. There are already 10 turbines near Ravenswood and she initially thought a few more wouldn’t be a problem. Read article

The Winds Are Changing

protest london - not clean not greenby Eric Nixon, Hayter-Walden Publications
Forget everything you’ve ever heard about industrial wind turbines. Forget about the fact that some people can’t sleep because of them. Or that they cause property devaluations by up to 50%. Or that they’re a blight on the rural landscape.

Forget about the fact that they make life unlivable for many autistic children. Or that many countries in the world are in the process of abandoning them. Or that they only operate less than 30% of the time and often when they’re not needed. Forget about the fact that they create virtually no jobs. Or that they seriously affect tourism. Or that they kill birds, bats and other wildlife.

Forget about the fact that they’re causing the destruction of valuable, productive farmland. Or that much of their profits go to U.S.-based corporations. Or that they cause tinnitus and other hearing disorders for many people. Forget about the fact that it will likely cost us hundreds of millions of dollars to tear them down in two decades or whenever they need to be decommissioned. Or that they’re driving a wedge between rural neighbours. Or that many people suffer headaches, dizziness, vertigo, nausea and other health disorders because of them. Read the rest of this entry

Lambton Shores ‘not a willing host’ to turbines

LAMBTONSarnia 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

St. Clair not a willing host for turbines

st. clairSarnia 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

Bluewater files for intervener status for Goshen Wind leave to Construct

Goshen transmission mapLakeshore Advance
The municipality will seek intervener status for Next Era’s leave to construct for the Goshen Wind Energy Centre. Since the municipality only had 10 days left to file for intervener status, Bluewater’s Chief Administrative Officer Steve McAuley, asked council how they wished to proceed with the leave to construct.

“We need to deal with this notice because they come fast and fierce. It’s the nature of the beast,” said McAuley at the meeting. McAuley suggested to council that they seek intervener status, so they can be informed of the comings and goings happening with the Ontario Energy Board and also ask for an oral hearing and to have their costs to be covered. The exact same thing council requested for Next Era’s previous leave to construct for the Bluewater Wind Energy Centre.

McAuley said that since the municipality had requested intervener status and an oral hearing with Next Era’s Bluewater Wind Energy Centre, council can expect similar results, including not being appointed costs and not receiving the oral hearing. Read article

Wind Protesters defend Bornish Eagles

DSCN8536Gord 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.

Demonstrators heckle premier as she begins her address in Sarnia

1297423491607_ORIGINALSarnia Observer
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

Demonstrators Greet Premier

Blackburn News
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

wynne sarnia

CTV News: Wynne greeted by protests in Sarnia

CTV Newsctv

Head-on with giant

EstherDebora Van Brenk, London Free Press
Canada’s wind energy giant has slapped a Strathroy-area rock gardener with a lawsuit alleging she’s harming its reputation. In a Goliath-vs-David dispute, NextEra Energy Canada says Esther Wrightman is discrediting it, depreciating its goodwill in the community and mutilating its copyrighted logo. NextEra Energy’s operating revenue in 2012 was $14 billion.

On the other side is Wrightman, who says she can’t even afford the $144 fee to file her statement of defence. “It’s totally parody,” Wrightman said, defending her manipulation of the NextEra logo. “It’s parody and it’s fair comment on what they’ve done.”

A mother of two, whose income comes from disability supports and selling plants for rock gardens, Wrightman has been a thorn in NextEra’s side for opposing wind turbines planned for the Strathroy area. She’s also drawn the company’s ire for posting a video of the dismantling of a bald eagle’s nest in the path of a Haldimand turbine project. The lawsuit, filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, contends Wrightman mutilated the firm’s logo by making it read “NextTerror” and “NextError.” It also says she infringed on copyright, made misleading statements meant to discredit the business, made false representations and showed bad faith. Read article

NextEra sues activist for use of “offending logo” and video

Nexterror EnergySarnia Lambton Independent
NextEra Energy has made good on its threat to sue a local anti-wind activist. The company, which has several wind energy projects slated for Lambton and Middlesex Counties, is suing to stop the use of “offending logos.”

The company has filed a lawsuit in Toronto saying Esther Wrightman’s use of NextError and Next Terror on her websites Ontario Wind Resistance and the Middlesex Lambton Wind Concerns. Court documents say the use of the logos “is false” and is “likely to mislead the public as to the character” of NextEra.

The company takes issue with being linked to terror. “NextEra is operating in full compliance with the law…the defendant is aware or is recklessly indifferent to the fact that the term ‘terror’ and ‘terrorist’ is reserved or organizations with extreme and violent criminal aims,” the lawsuit says adding the terms are usually linked to organizations such as Al-Qaida and Hezbollah. “NextEra is a law-abiding organization that has consulted extensively in the defendant’s community. It has committed no acts of terror or violence.”

NextEra wants Wrightman to remove all references to NextError and Next Terror and a video showing the company cutting down an eagle’s next in Haldimand County. It’s also seeking damages saying Wrightman may have gained financially through donations to the website for various wind groups. Read article

NextEra seeks damages from Kerwood area resident

DSCN2402Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
NextEra Energy Canada is suing Middlesex County wind activist Esther Wrightman over altered company logos that appeared online and in videos posted to YouTube. The Canadian subsidiary of Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources filed a statement of claim in the Ontario Superior Court in Toronto against Wrightman who has been actively opposing wind turbine projects in Middlesex and Lambton counties.

They include NextEra’s Adelaide wind farm near Wrightman’s home, as well as the company’s nearby Bornish and Jericho projects. “Our policy is not to comment on pending legal action,” NextEra spokesperson Josie Hernandez said when contacted Monday. “We look forward to sharing our view on the matter with the court.” The statement of claim says any damages NextEra recovers from the court action will be donated to United Way Canada.

According to NextEra’s statement of claim, a company logo was altered to say “Nexterror,” and appeared on a province anti-wind website, as well as videos posted online. The allegations have not been proven in court. Read article

Timely advice for turbine hosts

dwarfing the electricity polesPeter 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

Insurance industry wary of covering farms with turbines after Collingwood court ruling

Heather Wright/This Week Greg Cameron of Cameron Insurance in Oil SpringsHeather Wright, Sarnia Lambton Independent
A local insurance broker says a recent decision to allow neighbours of wind farms to sue for lost property value may make it harder for farms with wind turbines to get liability insurance. Greg Cameron of Cameron Insurance was one of the speakers at yesterday’s meeting held by CORE – Conserve Our Rural Enniskillen. CORE organized after three wind companies began moving throughout the area asking farmers to host wind turbines on their property. Up to 51 turbines are planned in the three projects

But Cameron is warning farmers they need to be careful about signing lease agreements because it may affect their insurance coverage. Cameron says a recent Ontario Court decision in which a judge ruled property owners around a proposed development in Collingwood could go to court to look for damages to cover the devaluation of their property once the project was built.

Cameron says the insurance industry, which does not have uniform policies on liability insurance for farms with industrial turbines, is closely watching the situation. “As more and more turbines go up and more and more liability suits are presented, you will be able to tell the appetite of the insurance companies, whether they will cover farms (with turbines),” says Cameron. Read article

Lawyer urging caution with wind leases

no to wind leasesPaul 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

Activists say MOE approval of wind project near Arkona not the end of the fight

Say NO and ProtestBy 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

Enniskillen Township citizens’ group spreading its message

enniskillenPaul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Chad Burke says he believes it’s possible to keep wind farms out of Enniskillen Township. Burke chairs the citizens’ group Conservation of Rural Enniskillen (CORE) that formed earlier this year after several wind companies became active seeking land to lease for turbine sites in the township. Some residents of other communities where turbines have already been built have said “they wish they would have gotten a head start, like we have,” Burke said.

“We’re feeling pretty good there’s a chance industrial wind turbines will not be in Enniskillen.” Core members will be handing out pamphlets and information at Saturday’s town-wide yard sale in Petrolia, and will have an information table May 1 at the Heidi’s Independent grocery store there. That will be followed by a community awareness meeting CORE has organized for May 2, 7 p.m., at Lambton Centennial School.

Lawyer Wallace Lang is scheduled to speak that evening about land leases and Greg Cameron will speak about insurance issues. Tammy Van Troost, president of the Lambton local of the National Farmers Union, is also expected to speak. Read article

Wind foes welcome ruling

CHATHAM KENT ONTARIO ENBRIDGE WIND FROM HWY3 TALBOT TRAIL11Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Wind turbine opponents in Lambton County are celebrating a silver lining they see in a court ruling that dismissed a claim against a wind project near Collingwood. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice this week dismissed a claim made by neighbouring property owners against the eight-turbine Fairview wind project WPD Canada is seeking provincial approval to build near the Clearview Township community of Stayner. The decision was based on the fact approval hasn’t been given yet.

But Eric Gillespie, a lawyer representing neighbours who brought the court action, says the ruling recognizes that claims against wind projects are possible as soon as projects receive approval. “There are many people who have been waiting to see how the courts would respond to these types of claims,” Gillespie said. “It now seems clear that as soon as a project is approved residents can start a claim.” Gillespie said that appears to be a major step forward for people concerned about industrial wind projects. “We can definitely expect more claims now that this door has been opened.”

Gillespie is currently also defending Plympton-Wyoming’s wind turbine bylaws against a legal challenge by the Suncor Energy, the company seeking provincial approval to build up to 62-turbines as part of its Cedar Point wind project in Lambton County. Wind opponents are also celebrating that the court accepted evidence indicating turbines could devalue neighbouring properties by 22% to 50% or more, and also impact the health of neighbours. Read article

Plympton-Wyoming looks for guidance from Wainfleet decision

Wainfleet Rally 2 (1)By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
A court ruling that went against another municipality’s wind turbine setback bylaw could end up helping Plympton-Wyoming, says its lawyer. Suncor Energy has taken Plympton-Wyoming to court over wind turbine provisions in its bylaws, including a two-kilometre setback like the one in the Niagara-area municipality of Wainfleet Township an Ontario court recently said was invalid.

“The decision gives some guidance that wasn’t available previously,” said lawyer Eric Gillespie. He was hired by Plympton-Wyoming to help it defend its bylaws against Suncor’s challenge. Gillespie said the judge in the Wainfleet case said municipalities have the ability to pass bylaws concerning industrial wind projects, so long as they don’t conflict with the province’s legislation.

“The decision also provides direction regarding the way that some of the provisions of a bylaw should be put together,” Gillespie said. “Both of those elements will likely assist Plympton-Wyoming as we move forward for with its bylaw.” Read article

Township council motion calls Enniskillen an unwilling host

CHTHAM KENT ONTARIO  BORALEX FRONT LINE WIND FROM HWY3 TABLOT TRAILBy Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Enniskillen Township has joined a growing number of Ontario municipalities declaring that industrial wind farms aren’t welcome within their boundaries. Mayor Kevin Marriott said his council passed a motion this week calling itself an unwilling host, and he was at Queen’s Park in Toronto Thursday when Liberal and New Democrat MPPs defeated a Tory bill — 40 votes to 33 — that would have, among other measures, returned some local municipal control over wind projects.

Several wind companies have been active in Enniskillen Township, looking for land to lease for turbine projects, and a citizens’ group has formed there to oppose them. At a press conference in Toronto before Thursday’s vote Marriott spoke about the division that wind turbines create in rural municipalities like his. “The Green Energy Act has been nothing short of a nightmare for our community,” he said of the provincial legislation that took away local municipal planning control over renewable energy projects.

“We feel like our democracy has been stripped away.” Read article

Mayor still confident in wind turbine stance

plympton wyomingPaul  Morden, Sarnia Observer
Plympton-Wyoming officials plan to consult with their lawyer over a recent court ruling that went against another Ontario municipality’s two-kilometre setback for wind turbines. Plympton-Wyoming is being sued by Suncor Energy over wind turbine provisions in its bylaws, including one that also calls for a two-kilometre setback.

The province only requires wind turbines be built at least 550-metres away from neighbouring properties and its Green Energy Act took planning approval powers for renewable energy projects away from municipalities. A Superior Court of Ontario judge ruled Friday the setback bylaw in the Niagara-area municipality of Wainfleet Township is invalid.

“We’ll be meeting, sooner than later, with our legal team and get some advice as to where we should go from here,” said Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper. “I don’t think it would change our stance any.

“I think we felt very confident with the way we presented our bylaws.” Suncor plans to build as many as 62 wind turbines in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township as part of its Cedar Point Wind Power project. Read article

Activist says she won’t cease and desist

we will not be silentBy Paul Morden, London Free Press
Middlesex County anti-wind turbine activist Esther Wrightman says she’s not giving in to a cease and desist warning from lawyers working for NextEra Energy Canada. A letter, dated March 20, was sent to Wrightman calling on her to remove YouTube videos and wind resistance website postings because of company logos altered to read “NEXTerror” and “Nextterror Bullies Canada Inc.”

“Our request is simply to not use the corporation’s registered, trademarked logo in a manner that is defamatory,” NextEra spokesperson Josie Hernandez said in an email. Hernandez said company officials attempted to contact Wrightman personally to resolve the issue before the letter from the lawyers was sent. Wrightman said phone calls where made to her home but she never spoke directly to those company representatives. “We aren’t trying to limit debate, which is clear from our letter, but we have rights in our logo that are entitled to protection under the law,” Hernandez said.

The letter from the lawyers to Wrightman mention in particular use of “NEXTerror” in a video shot in January as crews destroyed a bald eagle nest on the site of NextEra’s Summerhaven wind project in Haldimand. The tree holding the nest came down with the permission of Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources. The letter from the lawyers asks Wrightman to remove that video – as well as a second one interviewing company officials about the nest – from YouTube by March 22. Read article

Anti-wind activist “won’t back down” as NextEra threatens legal action

IM000872.JPGHeather Wright, Sarnia Lambton Independent
Esther Wrightman says she’s not about to be silenced in her fight against wind turbines in her community. Wrightman, a member of Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group, recently received a Cease and Desist order from NextEra Energy after altering the company’s logo to make it read Next-terror and NextError on signs and videos.

“This use of the NextEra logo is unsanctioned, in violation of NextEra’s intellectual property rights and defamatory, especially in conjunction with the video makers’ disparaging comments about NextEra,” Awanish Sinha of McCarthy Tetrault law firm in Toronto writes to Wrightman. “While NextEra recognizes your right to object to its projects and to express your opinions regarding wind power and provincial policies regarding green energy, you do not have a right to utilize its name and logo in any manner or to defame the company.” Sinha writes company officials tried a half dozen times to talk to the activist by phone about their concerns, but weren’t able to reach her. When Wrightman added NextTerror Bullies Canada Inc. to a blog, Sinha says the company felt it had to take legal action. “The latest manipulation of NextEra’s logo has compelled NextEra to take this action and stop this escalating abuse.”

dsc03328The company told Wrightman to remove all uses of the alter logos on the Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group and Ontario Wind Resistance blogs. It also calls for two videos – one of company workers removing a bald eagle’s nest which was in the way of a new project in Haldimand County. Wrightman says that video and another of a company official telling protestors the Ministry of the Environment gave permission for the nest to be cut, have been viewed thousands of times and have shocked people. “I really believe it has more to do with them wanting the eagle nest video down,” she says. Wrightman believes the letter is simply a threat that the company uses with people who don’t agree with their projects. Read article

Enniskillen will wait to impose a two km zone for wind turbines

enniskillen-windHeather Wright, Sarnia Lambton Independent
Enniskillen Township politicians say they’re considering a bylaw to keep wind turbines two kilometers from homes. But Mayor Kevin Marriott says council is waiting to see what happens with two prominent cases in the Ontario courts before acting. There are three wind energy companies going door-to-door in the municipality trying to sign farmers to wind leases. The projects could mean up to 51 turbines in the community.

A new group, CORE – Conservation of Rural Enniskillen – has been formed to encourage residents not to sign on, making it difficult for the wind companies to get the land base they need. So far, the companies have not secured contracts with the provincial government to sell power.

That’s why Marriott and his council told members of CORE at a recent council meeting they’re taking their time on imposing a two kilometer limit – which would be directly opposed to provincial law. Marriott says communities such as Wainfleet and Plympton-Wyoming which imposed the limit are facing legal challenges and are currently in court. A decision on the Wainfleet two kilometer set back is expected in weeks.

“When we hear that decision we thought we’d be in a better position to proceed with setback (requirements) like Plympton-Wyoming’s,” says Marriott adding a larger exclusion zone would be one of the best ways to stop wind projects in the community. “Two kilometers would pretty well eliminate any place in rural Lambton,” says Marriott. Read article

Nextera, Suncor – Answers needed to questions about OUR schools & YOUR wind turbines

Dear Nextera, Suncor, Media and School Board trustees,

I am quite upset to see incorrect and confusing numbers reported in the media as to how many and how close wind turbines are to be from the schools in Lambton County. It is not the media’s fault.

Nextera, Suncor: I have reviewed wind project noise documents for 4 years – I should be competent in it by now. But I find I am tearing my hair out reviewing the documents, trying to find the exact noise, and distances turbines are to the schools in your projects.

Currently, my frustration stems from:

  1. The Bosanquet elementary school does not even have a Receptor ID on the project draft map.
  2. The hundreds of receptor ID’s are not numerically ordered in the noise chart – and I honestly can’t even find the school ID (or in this case, it’s neighbour’s, because it doesn’t have an ID).
  3. At the wind developer meetings, the schools are not even identified on the large maps. Security was called over when I wrote “school” on the map location for others to be able to see. How’s THAT for informing the public?? No wonder the media doesn’t know the true numbers… Read the rest of this entry

Suncor moving ahead with wind power project

PW NancyBy 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

Former mayor joins anti-wind turbine group

O'NeilBy Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
It was the Ontario government’s decision to close the Lambton Generating Station that convinced Larry O’Neill to tear up his Liberal Party membership card. The veteran municipal politician in Enniskillen Township, past county warden, former provincial Liberal candidate and long-time party worker calls himself an independent these days.

The Liberal government’s decision to shut down the coal-fired plant didn’t make sense to O’Neill, just like its Green Energy Act and its rush to build wind farms in rural communities doesn’t make sense to the retired farmer and Chemical Valley worker who spent 16 years in municipal politics.

“I’m just boggled by it,” O’Neill said. “This has got very little to do with a clean environment for Ontario, and it’s got all to do with big money.” He’s worried about the impact wind turbines have on the health of people living next to them. “The question I have for the people who say there’s no health issue with them, is, ‘Would they want a house within 500 metres of one of them?’” O’Neill said he’s also concerned about the impact on residential property values, and the quality of life in rural communities. “I totally oppose the things.” Read article

Wind turbine fire near Goderich

CTV News
There will be one less wind turbine in Ontario. An overnight fire has destroyed the top portion of a wind turbine at the Kingsbridge Wind Farm near Goderich, Ont. The fire in the seven-year-old turbine began around 1 a.m. on Tuesday and had burned itself out about two hours later.

Dan Hayden of Kingsbridge Wind Farm Operations says “It has burnt itself out through the night and we have a team of specialists coming to do a root-cause analysis.” Neighbours speculate it was a mechanical or electrical problem because the blaze started where all the gears and electronics in the turbine are located. Hayden says while nothing can be ruled out, it’s unlikely a lightning strike or any kind of sabotage started the fire.

Dan Morgan lives near the turbine and witnessed the fire. He says he “saw an orange fireball a couple of miles from the front yard, so I thought I better investigate this,” before driving over to get a closer look. Read article

Farmers may offer Wynne their own boot

wynne2By Greg Van Moorsel, The London Free Press
Buying a hockey jersey with No. 99 on the back doesn’t make you Wayne Gretzky. Any couch potato will tell you. Wearing a Spider-Man mask and red-and-blue tights doesn’t confer Spidey’s powers on you. Even kids know better.

How, then, does slipping on a pair of bright red Wellington boots and walking around in barnyard muck make one an agriculture minister? The truth is, it doesn’t. It’s about time someone told Ontario’s rookie premier just that.

Two months ago, when she was sworn in as premier, Kathleen Wynne decided she’d do double duty — but only for a year — as the minister in charge of the province’s largest industry. Other premiers before have moonlighted, usually as intergovernmental affairs minister.

Wynne, however, would be different in the farm beat. While clinging to office by her fingernails, learning to be a premier and trying to hold a fragile minority government together, Dalton McGuinty’s successor would — what, on her lunch breaks? — also tend to a complicated industry that employs more than 700,000. Read article