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Archive for the ‘moratorium wind turbines’ Category

The Premier kept talking as 75 municipal representatives walked out of his keynote speech at the ROMA event yesterday, but maybe he shouldn’t have bothered: we’ve heard it all before.

He promises more consultation about wind power facilities in future and to do a “better job” of incorporating the “local perspective” on the industrial power projects. We’re listening, he said.

But, he didn’t say he is going to give local land use planning control back to municipalities where renewable energy projects are proposed, and that is really what the communities are asking for. He didn’t say he is going to get rid of the Green Energy Act, which supercedes 21 pieces of legislation passed in the Ontario Legislature over decades to protect Ontario’s people and beauty, like the Conservation Act, the Heritage Act, and the Environmental Protection Act.

He didn’t say he was listening to the people of the north shore of Lake Erie, or Prince Edward County where proposed wind power projects will certainly kill thousands of migratory birds and alter the eco-system of North America.

In North Gower-Richmond, the 20-megawatt project will be far too close to homes and our school.

Property value studies are showing decreases in value up to THREE MILES in the U.S., and certainly within 2 km.

There are so many reports of health effects now, that some commentators (like Carl V. Phillips) say it isn’t necessary to do more studies: we know there is a problem.

And on top of it all, the province says this is all to replace “dirty coal” when in fact closing Ontario’s coal plants will make such a small difference as to be impossible to measure, says the executive director of the Climate Science Coalition (Ottawa Citizen, February 27), and no fossil-fuel power plant has ever closed anywhere in the world because of wind power. Nowhere.

We revisit a paper written in 2008 by University of Toronto professor of law and economics Michael Trebilcock (who actually helped an earlier government with its energy policy). He had five objections to the then proposed Green Energy Act. They were: industrial wind turbines have minimal impact on carbon emissions;industrial wind turbines are uneconomic; industrial wind turbines cause insufficiently researched health effects;industrial wind turbines have adverse effects on adjacent property values; and, the decision-making process in Ontario is undemocratic and will undermine efficient regulation.

Nothing has changed.

Why not write to Mr  McGuinty and tell him how you feel. And Energy Minister Bentley while you’re at it. (Write to them separately and be sure to include your mailing address–otherwise, they don’t have to respond.)

dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
cbentley.mpp@liberal.ola.org
 

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and check news stories through the day at

http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

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News bulletin:

SEVENTY-FIVE rural communities walked out on Premier Dalton McGuinty as he gave the Keynote speech in Toronto this morning at the Rural Ontario Municipalities Association/Good Roads conference.

They don’t like the government’s energy policies, McGuinty is reported to have said.

No kidding. You strip away democracy, industrialize countless communities, demolish property values, make people sick, kill birds by the thousands, and turn Ontario tourism into a joke, and we “don’t like” the energy policies?

More later on this event.

Congratulations to Deputy Mayor of Arran-Elderslie Mark Davis and his volunteer group for organizing the event.

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Well, we never stopped, really.

Premier Dalton McGuinty will be facing angry rural municipal councillors at the Ontario Good Roads conference beginning this weekend.

Organized by the  Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group–which is headed by Mark Davis, Deputy Mayor of Arran-Elderslie–the event will be a Walk Out on Dalton as the Premier stands up for his speech to open the conference. (In Ottawa we don’t have much hope of any representatives standing up for us, as the vice-president of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association or ROMA is Doug Thompson…he won’t likely abandon his position to act for us in North Gower and Richmond. But we can hope.)

The organizers acknowledge that such an action will be a first at a conference that is known for its bonhomie but they also say it’s about time. At last year’s conference, Mayor of Amaranth Don McIver met with then Environment Minister John Wilkinson to talk about what’s happened to Amaranth since the turbines started spinning in his community in 2006 (people are sick, property worthless, homes abandoned) and followed up with a letter. It was never answered. He sent another. No answer. Wilkinson of course was roundly defeated in the October election, but for his department to ignore a sitting Mayor is appalling.

Now, says Davis, it’s time to act. “Why not?” says Davis. “McGuinty has walked out on us.”

Here is a story from QMI today. http://www.lfpress.com/comment/2012/02/24/19422056.html

Rural Ontario set to blow up at McGuinty

By Jim Merriam, Special to QMI Agency

Last Updated: February 25, 2012 12:00am 

It won’t be the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral but next week’s meeting between Premier Dalton McGuinty and rural municipal leaders is shaping up to be a major confrontation.

The issue involves shunning Premier Dad at the Good Roads convention in Toronto.

One organizing group is urging delegates by letter to greet the premier with respect.

However, the Multi-Municipal Working Group on Wind Turbines isn’t backing down on plans to walk out on McGuinty’s speech if a one-year moratorium on installation of wind turbines isn’t announced before the meeting.

The Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA), which sponsors “Good Roads” in partnership with the Ontario Good Roads Association, suggests such a walkout would be shortsighted.

“We invited the premier to our conference, we appreciate his decision to come, and we will respectfully listen to what he has to say,” says the ROMA letter, hoping for the final word on the subject.

The working group’s chair will have none of it. In his written response, Mark Davis, deputy mayor of Arran Elderslie said, “There are times you must stand up and be counted. You must do things that you believe are right for the people you represent. I firmly believe this is one of those times.” ROMA’s letter looks back at its successful history to discourage a walkout by the folks concerned about the way wind power has been forced down the throats of rural residents.

“As a group, Ontario municipalities have worked very hard over many years to build a relationship with the Government of Ontario that is based on open doors and frank discussion. The mature and respectful relationship that makes these exchanges possible provides us with our greatest opportunity to achieve meaningful progress.” But members of the six-county wind turbine working group are more interested in what ROMA has done for them lately?

“ROMA must be aware of the depth of these (wind turbine) concerns and we hope to hear at the conference the steps that ROMA, like the other organizations representing rural Ontario, has taken to represent concerns of its members on this issue.” ROMA goes on to list the issues it is discussing with the province including the global recession, economic development, funding for roads and bridges, the costs of emergency services and the Drummond report.

In response the anti-turbine group has a list of its own, pointing out those who have serious doubts about the “green energy program and wind turbines.” This includes the Ontario Auditor General who said the turbines are not replacing coal-fired plants nor cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

“They (turbines) require additional fossil-fuel gas generation back-up because their production is unpredictable, intermittent and cannot be stored.” This means consumers pay twice for wind energy, adding skyrocketing electricity costs that are a real threat to jobs.

Also joining the anti-turbine movement is the Ontario Federation of Agriculture that represents 38,000 farm families.

In addition 79 municipalities have called for a moratorium on wind turbine installations.

The working group also points out that the province responded within hours to a light rail transit motion by Toronto council, but there has been no meaningful response to rural concerns about wind turbines.

In summing up the fighting words ROMA attempts to speak for all Ontarians: “Ontario residents are counting on us to work co-operatively and productively.” The conclusion from the working group is quite different: “There are many reasons to walk and very few not to.”

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Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and please donate to our efforts. You may donate securely by Interac or PayPal.

The North Gower Wind Action Group is a member of Wind Concerns Ontario http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

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From today’s National Post:

Anne Murray, Tim Hortons’ magnate Ron Joyce tee off over wind farm

Sarah Boesveld Feb 21, 2012 – 11:55 PM ET | Last Updated: Feb 22, 2012 12:06 AM ET

 

Rickobrienphotographer.com / Files; Paul Darrow / National Post files

Canadian music legend Anne Murray, left, and Tim Hortons co-founder Ron Joyce disagree on the impact a proposed wind farm, similar to the Alberta wind farm pictured at the top of the page, will have on the economy of picturesque Pugwash, N.S.

Almost every year from July to October, Canadian music legend Anne Murray returns to picturesque Pugwash, N.S., where she spent her summers as a child. She practises her swing at the local first-class golf course and marvels at the way the little place she’d visit to attend church on Sundays has blossomed into a tourist destination — a jewel along the Northumberland Strait.

Nearby is Fox Harb’r, the luxury golf course and resort owned by Tim Hortons’ magnate Ron Joyce, another kid from Nova Scotia’s northwestern shore made good.

Now, the area’s two most celebrated icons are publicly disagreeing over wind turbine construction in the area after the Snowbird singer publicly spoke out against a 12-turbine wind farm proposed for two kilometres outside Pugwash.

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“Pugwash is my favourite place in the whole world…. It’s more important to me than any other place,” the celebrated singer said by phone from Jupiter, Fla. “I just think it’s the wrong place [to erect a wind farm]. The government would be shooting themselves in the foot to take a community that’s growing and thriving and put a stop to it.”

Ms. Murray worries the whirring and thumping of wind turbines, which can stand up to 40 storeys high, will repel people from the area, turn tourists away, claw back property values and damage animal habitats.

On Monday, she sent a letter to Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter warning that a wind farm would have a “catastrophic impact” on the economy and environment in the area.

Though the singer and golf enthusiast says she has not spoken with neighbour Mr. Joyce about the project and doubts it would affect his business, she said a wind farm at Pugwash would “just be the beginning, because it will go all the way down the coast. That’s what the fear is.”

Mr. Joyce, who was born in nearby Tatamagouche, N.S., and invested in the first Tim Hortons doughnut shop in 1964 and built it into an international chain, said he’s unfazed by wind farm concerns in a province that already has 26 wind farm projects, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association.

“I am aware of Anne’s ongoing negative comments on wind farms,” he said in an email to the National Post. “I personally am not a supporter of her argument. [T]he world is moving forward for a better source than fossil fuels…. I see no major negatives in countries that have them.”

Her letter comes just weeks after the province registered an assessment of the Pugwash Wind Farm, to be developed by North Cumberland Wind Farm LP. Ms. Murray and the Gulf Shore Preservation Association, a local citizens’ group, are worried the province accepted an incomplete environmental assessment that failed to carry out archeological, bat and migratory bird studies and first nations consultations. They say five of the turbines will be built in wetlands — a “clear contravention” of the province’s environmental laws, Ms. Murray said.

 

The Gulf Shore Preservation Association has called for Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau to suspend the 30-day public comment period, which opened the day the assessment was registered, Feb. 6, based on 17 “deficiencies” they identified. After 30 days of public input, Mr. Belliveau will decide whether to approve the environmental assessment, deny it or ask for further study, ministry spokesperson Lori Errington said.

“Nothing’s written in stone at this point,” she said. “Certainly we’ll be considering all the aspects the wind farm would involve.”

She confirmed Mr. Dexter received Ms. Murray’s letter and his office will respond. The singer’s letter will also be included in the public consultation dossier, Ms. Errington said.

Richard Gray, treasurer of the Gulf Shore Preservation Association, said he hopes Ms. Murray’s public objections will turn the tide in their favour. She’s been speaking out against the project since 2007 when the proposal was first made — Ms. Murray said that she was at first supportive of the wind farms because she favours alternative sources of power, but soon learned it is important they be placed far from communities.

The last time Ms. Murray spoke out, her comments were “distorted” to read like “‘It’s too bad wealthy Anne Murray won’t be able to play golf anymore,’” Mr. Gray said. “That’s not her position. I know Anne well … this goes back to her childhood. She’s very sensitive to fragile economies being destroyed.”

Ms. Murray grew up in the nearby coal mining town of Springhill, N.S. which suffered three mining disasters before that resource could no longer fuel the local economy.

Even now, the singer isn’t sure her activism will make any difference. But she swears she’ll do anything to protect her community (she rejects accusations of NIMBYism because her home is too far away from the proposed wind farm site to suffer any personal impact).

“If this doesn’t work, I certainly will have done everything I can to help the process along,” she said. “It could be falling on deaf ears everywhere, I don’t know. But I had to do something.”

National Post
• Email: sboesveld@nationalpost.com | Twitter:

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After the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) announced it had serious problems with Ontario’s renewable energy policy, especially wind power generation which is being forced onto communities throughout Ontario, there has been plenty of reaction. Citing the expense of this unreliable power source and the fact that wind projects are dividing communities, the OFA asked the province to STOP until a plan was in place to deal with the many, serious problems.

Hardly surprising, the wind developers’ lobby, the Canadian Wind Energy Association/CanWEA, said it was “disappointed.” Interesting, that: people are losing the value in their homes, communities are being ripped apart by controversy, friendships and even families affected by the greed of a few, and worse, people are being made ill from the environmental noise produced by these huge machines (But CanWEA doesn’t want us to call them “industrial”), and the corporate lobby group is “disappointed.”

From this week’s The Advance, the following editorial comment:

Wind turbines, once touted as the answer to all our energy ills, are spinning in limbo. There was a time when agricultural energy experts saw the wind turbine as not only a source of inexpensive and renewable energy but also as more revenue for the farmer’s bottom line. The turbines could redeem all the usable wetlands on farmers’ properties that cannot be used to produce much in the way of crops.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has waded in on the controversial topic of wind turbines on agricultural land, despite the temptation to believe that the giant windmills may be the answer to everyone’s energy problems. While urban residents south of Ottawa have been of two minds regarding wind turbines near their homes, farmers and the OFA have been quietly looking at the pro’s and cons of wind turbine use.

These slow economic times may be a blessing in disguise as rural Ontario takes a breath to think over the wind turbine issue.

In a recent note of caution from the OFA the province is asked to pay special attention to the developing tensions between rural residents and community neighbours rergarding this alternative energy source.

The OFA wants issues such as health, pricing, the efficiency of wind power, setback issues and the loss of municipal input about industrial win turbine projects to be placed on the table for discussion. The province is not about to run out of power in the foreseeable future but the OFA’s request for resolution or at least a very loud argument about wind power may be just what the area needs to set the stage for what comes next.

It is time to make a plan.

Well, thank you. But it must be noted that the Auditor General’s Annual Report for 2011 pointed severe criticism at the Ontario Government, not for not having a plan but rather, for having a plan that benefitted  few companies in terms of huge profits while pretending to create jobs (it won’t, said the AG), won’t save the environment (wind needs back-up, most likely natural gas) and won’t create a stable electricity system for Ontario (wind actually destabilizes the system and produces power exactly when it’s not needed). In fact, the AG said, Ontario launched this plan without doing ANY sort of cost-benefit analysis, and without looking at the effects on the economy (every “green” job created comes at a huge cost in subsidies and acually results in job losses) or the environment.

The OFA was being very low-key. The truth is, Ontario’s plan to push wind power onto rural Ontario’s communities is a monstrous “boondoggle” that will wreck our landscape, ruin our economy, tilt our electricity system toward expensive undependability, and make hundreds of people ill, while slashing property values for young families and others.

It needs to stop. Now.

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Member of Wind Concerns Ontario http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

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The Ontario Federation of Agriculture today announced it is asking the Ontario government to stop industrial wind power generation development. Too many  problems and unresolved issues, the Federation said in a news release, here:

http://www.ofa.on.ca/media/news/OFA-calls-government-suspend-wind-turbine-development-in-Ontario

 

We say, AT LAST!!!!

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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At the meeting in South Branch last evening, Prowind’s new president made his first appearance, at least in Eastern Ontario, and for Prowind. Jeffrey Segal was formerly vice-president of development and construction with Gengrowth. He is a resident of downtown Toronto, and lives within a kilometer of the iconic (and useless) wind turbine at Exhibition Place. (750kW compared to 2 MW or more; 299 feet, compared to 626 for the proposed South Branch and North Gower turbines)

Although the community in South Branch had requested an open Question and Answer format for this, the second-last public meeting for the 30-MW project, the day before, Prowind demanded that all questions be submitted in writing (e-mail accepted) by noon the day of the meeting. As it happened, questions were accepted from the floor, but no discussion or rebuttal of Prowind’s answers was permitted. A limited form of “community engagement” to be sure.

Some of Prowind’s answers to the questions.

-Health effects: there won’t be any because Ontario’s regulations are safe. (Environmental Review Tribunal found otherwise and recommended more research, and examination of Ontario’s regulations.)

-Property values: no effect. (Incorrect.)

-“annoyance” is personal. (Incorrect. The medical definition of “annoyance” is stress that can range to the severe, causing indirect health problems.)

-setbacks in other jurisdictions “political” (Incorrect. Australia moved to 2 km after a Senate inquiry into health effects)

The new president has had experience with wind power generation projects in the Chatham-Kent and Essex areas of Ontario, and claimed that people there “love them.” Interesting then that the Environmental Review Tribunal took place in Chatham-Kent, that another legal action is taking place by a family who say they have been made ill by Suncor’s Kent Breeze project there. And that there is a citizens’ group protesting wind power projects http://maynardrehab.com/ckwag.org/

The real problem in all this is that our provincial government is allowing this to continue apace. At the same time as it is crowing about the safety afforded by its new regulations under the Green Energy Act, a project in Grand Valley was allowed to proceed under the old rules, in 2011!

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and check out http://www.windconcernsontario.net for ongoing news stories and authoritative papers and presentations.

Donations to our efforts welcome.

 

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