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Posts Tagged ‘Ian Hanna’

It was official on Tuesday of this week, June 21–the application to appeal the earlier decision in the Ian Hanna case (the challenge against provisions of the Green Energy Act) was denied.

Mr. Hanna yesterday released a letter of thanks to all his supporters and to all who donated to the cause, almost $300,000.

It is troubling that someone could present so much good evidence about the nature of the setbacks in Ontario between industrial wind turbines and the centre of people’s homes (dubbed “noise receptors”) and that a tribunal would still support the existing 550 metres. In the same week, the Senate in Australia released a report that recommends much greater setbacks. For the project proposed in North Gower, for example, following the Australian recommendations by our calculations, would mean setbacks of 3.8 kilometres. In other words, goodbye.

But Ontario’s rural communities will not give up the fight against the industrialization of our communities, against our will and with no input from us. We will not give up the fight against people who are just in this to make a profit–they care nothing for the environment, for Ontario’s power needs, or for air quality. Jobs? They don’t care about that either: this is a short-term gig. Once the solar panels and turbines are built, those people will be out of here, in search of the next government subsidy.

Next: Kent Breeze. The decision is due in July.

E-mail us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

 

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Yesterday we countered a wind developer’s claims that property values do not decline near industrial wind power projects and we referred to a number of real estate appraisers’ opinions that they do. Here is a letter to The Ottawa Citizen from Michael McCann of the U.S., which lays out the case pretty well.

From:  McCann Appraisal, LLC

To:  The OttawaCitizen.com

January 25, 2011
I am writing regarding the Ian Hanna case being heard presently in Ontario, and to offer a little more information and insight than was described in Lee Greenberg’s article today (1-24-11).

My expertise is not in health issues, but there is a direct relationship between those impacts and my professional studies of real estate impacts.

For example, numerous families have been forced to abandon their homes due to the factual impacts to health, sleep disturbances and the like, which the Canadian Wind Energy Association and the American Wind Energy Association prefer to dismiss as “concerns.”  Many others have been unable to sell their homes due to the presence of nearby turbines, and which a growing list of realtors and estate agents report as being the deciding factor in would-be buyer’s decisions to look elsewhere.

There is a measurable and significant loss of values within 2 to 3 miles, and noise impacts have been broadcast as far as 5 miles or more, in some instances, with 1 to 2 miles being commonplace. Value losses have been measured at 20% to 40%, with a total loss of equity in some instances.

Wind developers have been known to buy out the most vocal neighbors who refuse to roll over and play dead when they are initially ignored, and then turn around and sell those same homes for 60% to 80% below the appraised value—thus confirming value losses by their own actions.

Other developers have avoided future liability by bulldozing the purchased homes.

In fact, wind developers and the existing Canadian setback are even inadequate to protect neighbors from ice throw or from sections of turbine blades, which are documented as occurring up to half a mile from the turbines, and I have personally heard of a blade throw (piece) that went about 1 mile.

Regardless of these facts, the wind industry often tries to convince the siting decision makers that safety issues are satisfied by setbacks of 1.1 X the height of turbines (550 meters in Canada), as if preventing a toppling turbine from landing on a neighbors house is the correct standard.

It is obvious what is happening here: The wind industry is playing a numbers game, under the assumption or actuarial calculations that it is less costly for them to fight a number of lawsuits from citizens who do not have deep pockets, than it is to buy out the property they need to create huge projects.

The solution is simple, also: Mandate that all property they seek to encompass with industrial overlays be purchased outright, so people have an option as to whether they choose to live in a large, noisy industrial setting.

I am quite certain any of your staff can confirm my factual comments by simply driving to any number of projects and counting the abandned and for sale homes, talking with a few remaining neighbors, etc. Maybe start with the Clear Creek project, where a dozen homes are reported abandoned, due to proximity of about 3 dozen turbines. The list will grow as large as time devoted to research of this issue will allow.

Like most other people, I initially assumed that wind energy would be a good trend. Unlike most people, I have expended something on the order of 2,000 hours looking into it, and my findings are quite contrary to the “positions” of the wind industry and their lobbyists. However, even the wind industry’s counterpart to my profession, Mr. Ben Hoen, has now gone on record saying that Property Value Guarantees should be used for nearby homeowners, and that “if wind developers won’t guarantee that, then they really don’t have a leg to stand on.”

Your publication can do much to bring the truth to public view, and I am available to answer any questions you may have. Also, you have my permission to publish this letter as you see fit.

Incidentally, if you Google my name + Adams County, Illinois, you will find a lengthier report which provides more details of property value impacts, along with public documents on buyouts made by Canadian Hydro of turbine neighbors homes.

Respectfully,

Michael S. McCann
McCann Appraisal, LLC
500 North Michigan Avenue, Suite # 300
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Real Estate Appraisal & Consulting

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John Laforet addressed the Empire Club in Toronto yesterday and served notice to the corporate industrial wind business that the people of Ontario are onto their game and we are NOT standing down. In a masterful, at times whimsical, amusing and then downright forceful speech, Laforet debunked all notions that industrial-scale wind power generation is “green” and painted a horrifying picture of the costs to the people of Ontario in terms of health effects, lost property values, scarred landscapes, and horrendous taxpayer subsidy to a here-today, gone-tomorrow business sector.

He told the audience about what is planned for Thunder Bay: the blasting of the entire top of the escarpment there, including a 150-year-old significant sugar maple bush, to accommodate industrial wind turbines. “Does that sound green to you?” And Wolfe Island, where bird kills are now SIX TIMES what the developer estimated, and the problem is so bad that TransAlta has hired two people to collect dead birds: “Is that an example of Dalton McGuinty’s plan for green jobs in Ontario?”

His assertion that the industrial wind business is really all about natural gas (“Suncor, Enbridge, TransAlta—any of these names familiar to you??”) took many in the audience by surprise, as did his estimate of the billions the corporate wind industry would cost Ontario.

He told the wind business “you better be prepared to tell it to a judge” because the next step for communities and property owners in Ontario is the courts.

The result was a standing ovation.

What followed was a Q & A period with some questions being posed by the wind business, which Laforet parried back with whip-smart answers. Example: What is the basis for your claim that power rates are going to increase by 46% in Ontario? Laforet: Dwight Duncan said that: he’s the Finance Minister, I’ve got to think he’s got the reference behind him. Wind power has been in Europe without problem for 20 years, what do you say to that? Laforet: I say there are more than 400 community organizations against wind in 21 countries in Europe, what does that tell you?

Email us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind

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As you may have seen in the news media Ian Hanna and his legal team have decided to ask leave to appeal the divisional court decision on Ontario’s Green Energy Act; the judges’ decision was that citizens concerned about setbacks (Ontario claims 550 meter setbacks are adequate) should take their case to the Environmental Review Tribunal. While in fact this decision then granted the tribunals more power than it is thought they had before, the decision also ignored key points of the challenge, the Hanna team says, particularly the fact that Ontario did not have proper medical or scientific evidence in determining the setback.

A decision on whether the appeal will be allowed, will come later this year. (Probably after the election.)

In other news, a Liberal Cabinet minister appears to have “blinked.” As you may have read here and elsewere, now more than 70 Ontario municipalities have passed a motion, a resolution or a bylaw related to the Green Energy Act, ranging from requesting independent health and economic studies to requesting a moratorium on industrial wind turbine development until more information is available, to an outright statement that building permits will NOT be issued for turbine projects that do not meet the municipality’s own requirements.

In a report in the Seaforth Expositor Huron East Against Turbines member Gerry Ryan says that in a meeting with MPP Carol Mitchell (long known for toeing the party line on “coal is killing people” and “jobs jobs jobs”) told him in a meeting that municipalities have the power to ask for setbacks, as Ashfield Colborne Wawanosh did in asking for a 2,000 meter setback.

This is a surprise.

Up to now, many councillors across the province have refused to act, saying there was no point when the Green Energy Act would overrule them anyway. And the municipalites’ own counsel was advising them of that.

So, who’s right? Allowing municipalities some say in controlling development for their own citizens would be…democracy!!!!

The full news story is worth a read especially because of the account of some games being played by the wind developers—in one instance they claimed that a meeting with Kristi Ross, environmental lawyer with Fogler Rubinoff and acting for the community wind opposition group, actually constituted a “public” meeting.

http://www.seaforthhuronexpositor.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3036899

northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Response from WCO on Court Ruling.

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Now that the corporate wind lobbyists, the corporate wind developers and the urban media are focusing on the Ontario government’s moratorium on offshore wind development, these groups are also calling into question who is really funding the dozens of seemingly grass roots community groups across Ontario—and around the world. In Ontario, they claim it’s the nuclear power folks, or maybe Big Oil.

The truth will surprise them. And here it is:

Yup. All the work we do is with donations, small and large, from people in our communities.

That plus a LOT of volunteer hours donated by hard-working people who truly want to protect their communities, the health of their families, friends and neighbours, and who have spent time doing their own reading and learning to discover the truth.

Wind doesn’t work.

It will never replace coal as a power source.

It will not result in reduced CO2 emissions.

It will not create thousands upon thousands of jobs.

It will not “save” the family farm in Ontario.

It will, however, result in higher electricity bills for people; it will create profits–from taxpayer and ratepayer money–for huge corporate wind developers; and, it will mean more natural gas for Ontario to serve as the necessary fossil-fuel back up for industrial-scale wind turbines. And, it’s causing health problems for the people who have to live near them, who have had no choice in the matter.

Ontario’s rural communities are speaking out.

For news stories through the day, go to http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

To contact us, northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind

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Not so long ago, all you heard in the agricultural newspapers in Ontario was how wonderful the opportunities to host industrial wind turbines on your farm property were. The income was going to “save the family farm” we were told, and there would be no difference whatsoever to farming the property; some farm owners were quoted as saying they farm right up to the bottom of a turbine, with no problems.

Today, not so much: in fact the contracts property ownersare signing are confidential (it’s a condition of signing that the property owner cannot discuss terms), difficult to get out of, and contain many clauses that restrict activity. Farm owners have learned that the wind companies retain the right to come on their properties at any time, to remove trees if they need to, build roads, and restrict construction of any buildings on the farm property. (A sample contract is available at the Wind Concerns Ontario website at http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com ).

A round-up of articles and letters from the last week shows a diversity of opinions.

Shane Mulligan, Project Manager for the Local Initiative for Future Energy or LIFE, writes  in Ontario Farmer that every village could have an industrial wind turbine. “Yes, there seems to be evidence that wind farms have impacted the health of some folks, especially in the Ripley area. Wind Concerns Ontario and others have made much of these claims and are calling for more studies, larger setbacks, and suspension of building until turbines are ‘proven safe’. Safe compared to what? Every energy technology carries some impacts and uncertainties, and somebody is always ‘downwind’.”  Mr. Mulligan’s co-operative is at least in favour of community involvement in wind projects, a situation now made impossible by the Green Energy Act.

Economics professor Ross McKitrick writes in Ontario Farmer that Ontario’s rush to build wind turbines as salvation for jobs and the economy is reminiscent of the Brian Peckford Newfoundland government’s 1987 plan to boost the economy by subsidizing the building of massive hydroponic greenhouses. “Cucumbers did start appearing,” McKitrick writes. “The problem was each one cost $1.10 to grow and the wholesale market price was just over 50 cents. The greenhouse went bankrupt and ceased operations by 1990. The jobs vanished and the province was left with $14 million in debts to pay.”

Wind developer salespeople “have found in Dalton McGuinty their own Brian Peckford. They convinced him we can become a world leader, not in green produce but ‘green energy.’ Common sense has been jettisoned and the checks are flowing.

“We already have green energy,” McKitrick writes. “Most of our electricity comes from non-emitting hydro or nuclear generation, at a fraction of the cost of wind- and solar-generated power. By the government’s own data, Ontario air pollution has fallen dramatically since the 1970s through the use of scrubbers and automobile technology.”

“Green energy salesmen bamboozle gullible governments into signing checks in return for empty promises of jobs and growth. As the bills mount, prices rise and the economy sags, the inevitable unravelling begins. It will happen here too. The only question is how many jobs will disappear, and how much economic hardship we will put up with, before having the common sense to shut the scam down for once and for all.”

Last, Tom Van Dusen, who attended the North Gower meeting January 23rd, writes in Ontario Agri-News:

February 2011, Vol. 35, No. 2

AgriNews Interactive http://www.agrinewsinteractive.com

Turbines put wind up opponents
By Tom Van Dusen

The Prince Edward County resident who challenged in Ontario Superior Court the placement of industrial wind turbines hopes to hear a decision within several weeks.Ian Hanna outlined his case Jan. 23 to a coalition of some 125 turbine opponents gathered in North Gower. The next day, Hanna was in a Toronto courtroom making his case.

As a taxpayer, he said he resents incentives being handed out by the provincial “green fairy” to encourage construction of windmills without any scientific basis for their locations.

The meeting was convened by the North Gower Wind Action Group, Beckwith Responsible Wind Action Group and Spencerville’s South Branch Wind Opposition Group, all of which are resisting proposed wind farms in their areas.

To get them in the mood for the discussion, participants upon entering the hall were greeted with a loud background drone said to have been recorded from wind turbines in Maine by a landowner living about 1 km from the nearest one.

If he wins the case, Hanna and his backers anticipate that planned wind power projects will be put on hold across the province until “proper” medical studies are conducted which they expect will lead to minimum setbacks of 1.5-2 km between turbines and residences as opposed to the current 550 metres.

“This will kill many projects plus perhaps force rectification/compensation for built projects,” supporters say in a pamphlet seeking donations to the Hanna legal cause.

It’s the proximity of the industrial windmills and the constant drone they create which can make life miserable for rural residents, said Janet White of Wolfe Island in Lake Ontario south of Kingston which is now home to 86 turbines.

White said “slick” companies have created a rift on the island between residents who accepted windmills on their property and those – such as herself – who didn’t. Few jobs and little in the way of general economic benefit have resulted from the wind power project, the sometimes emotional mother of three children added, stating she feels she’s now living “under the thumb of big industry.”

Hanna’s big bone of contention is with the Green Energy Act which he says doesn’t contain authoritative guidelines for the appropriate siting of turbines because “there’s no good evidence as to when they’ll be safe or not.” His case dates back to early 2009 when environmental attorney Eric Gillespie was retained.

In addition to a multitude of ailments said to be caused by proximity to turbines such as sleeplessness, stress, hypertension, and tintinitus, Hanna and his followers cite livestock health, safety, environmental degradation, and decline in property values among drawbacks of windmills in the neighbourhood.

“People are suffering from living too close to turbines,” Hanna said who allowed that he himself isn’t close to a wind farm. “They’re sick, they can’t sleep and they can’t sell.”

……………….

More people are thinking and learning; that’s all we ask.

northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

You can follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind at Twitter.com

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