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Arran-Elderslie this week passed the following bylaw, and invite other municipalities in Ontario to follow suit. Here it is:

THE CORPORATION OF THE
MUNICIPALITY OF ARRAN-ELDERSLIE

BY-LAW NO.  14 – 10

A By-law to Amend the Municipal Code
(Health Provisions Respecting Locating and
Erecting Wind Generation Facilities)

WHEREAS it is deemed advisable to amend the Municipal Code to
incorporate certain health and safety provisions with respect to the
locating and erecting of wind generation facilities within the
Municipality;

NOW THEREFORE THE COUNCIL OF THE CORPORATION OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF
ARRAN-ELDERSLIE HEREBY ENACTS AS FOLLOWS:

1. That “Schedule B Protection to Persons & Property, Building
Inspection: Health & Safety Provisions Respecting Locating & Erecting
Wind Generation Facilities” is hereby added by the addition of
Schedule A to this by-law.

2. That Schedule A attached to this by-law shall form part of this by-
law.

3. This by-law shall take effect with final passing.

READ A FIRST AND SECOND TIME THIS 26TH DAY OF APRIL, 2010.

“Ron L. Oswald”

MAYOR

“A.P. Crawford”

CLERK

READ A THIRD TIME AND PASSED THIS 10TH DAY OF MAY, 2010.

“Ron L. Oswald”

MAYOR

“A.P. Crawford”

CLERK

SCHEDULE A TO
BY-LAW NO. 14-10

SCHEDULE B PROTECTION TO PERSONS & PROPERTY
BUILDING INSPECTION:  HEALTH & SAFETY PROVISIONS RESPECTING LOCATING &
ERECTING WIND GENERATION FACILITIES

BEING A BY-LAW TO ESTABLISH CERTAIN HEALTH & SAFETY PROVISIONS FOR THE
LOCATING & ERECTION OF WIND GENERATION FACILITIES

WHEREAS the fundamental role and duty of all three levels of
government in Canada—Federal, Provincial & Municipal—to take all steps
necessary to protect the health, safety and well being of their
residents is hereby acknowledged;

AND WHEREAS Section 7 of the CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS,
Being Part I of the CONSTITUTION ACT, 1982 provides that:

“LEGAL RIGHTS

LIFE, LIBERTY AND SECURITY OF PERSON.

7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person
and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the
principles of fundamental justice.”;

AND WHEREAS the said Section 7 of the CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND
FREEDOMS is a constitutional provision that protects an individual’s
autonomy and personal legal rights from actions of the government in
Canada with three types of protection within the section, namely the
right to life, liberty, and security of the person.

AND WHEREAS the said Section 7 of the CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND
FREEDOMS provision provides both substantive and procedural rights
afforded to anyone facing an adjudicative process or procedure that
affects fundamental rights and freedoms, and certain substantive
standards related to the rule of law that regulate the actions of the
state (e.g., the rule against unclear or vague laws) such as the
locating and erection of wind generation facilities as vaguely
provided for in the Planning Act of the Province of Ontario with no
locating criteria legislated;

AND WHEREAS no legal principle has been demonstrated by the Province
of Ontario about which there is sufficient societal consensus that it
is fundamental to the way in which the legal system should fairly
operate that there be no locating criteria based on the health, safety
and well being of the residents of Ontario, with respect to wind
generation facilities, that would identify with sufficient precision
to yield a manageable standard against which to measure deprivations
of life, liberty or security of the person (R. v. Malmo-Levine, 2003);

AND WHEREAS The “Principles of Fundamental Justice” require that means
used to achieve a societal purpose or objective must be reasonably
necessary and this principle is violated when the government, in
pursuing a “legitimate objective”, uses “means” that unnecessarily and
disproportionately interfere with an individual’s rights (R. v.
Heywood) as is the case with removing the locating of wind turbines
from local planning processes thereby  interfering with normal
individual rights respecting local land use planning;

AND WHEREAS the said Section 7 of the CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND
FREEDOMS can also be violated by the conduct of a party other than a
Canadian government body (e.g. wind generation companies) with the
government needing only to be a participant or complicit in the
conduct threatening the right, when the violation of the security of
the person with respect to the person’s health, safety and well being
would be a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the government, or
other body’s, actions;

AND WHEREAS the Section 7 of the CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND
FREEDOMS right to security of the person, consists of rights to
privacy of the body and its health and of the right protecting the
“psychological integrity” of an individual, that is, the right
protects against significant government-inflicted harm (stress) to the
mental state of the individual. (Blencoe v. B.C. (Human Rights
Commission), 2000);

AND WHEREAS Section 92 of the Constitution Act, 1982 provides further
that the “Exclusive Powers of Provincial Legislatures” include:

“7. The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Hospitals,
Asylums, Charities, and Eleemosynary Institutions in and for the
Province, other than Marine Hospitals. “

(responsibility for the health of its residents)

“8. Municipal Institutions in the Province” (including local planning
limitations)

“13. Property and Civil Rights in the Province. “  (with a
responsibility to protect same)

“14. The Administration of Justice in the Province, including the
Constitution, Maintenance, and Organization of Provincial Courts, both
of Civil and of Criminal Jurisdiction, and including Procedure in
Civil Matters in those Courts”

(including upholding Part 1 being the CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND
FREEDOMS);

AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada has established HEALTH CANADA, an
Agency whose mandate is to “protect the Canadian public by
researching, assessing and collaborating in the management of the
health risks and safety hazards associated with the many consumer
products that Canadians use everyday” and works with “all levels of
Governmental agencies and programmes: Industry, National, regional,
and international groups and the Canadian Public”, in pursuit of
reducing or eliminating said risks and hazards;

AND WHEREAS the Province of Ontario has established THE MINISTRY OF
ENERGY AND INFRASTRUCTURE which is responsible for promoting the
development of an affordable, safe, reliable, secure and
environmentally sustainable energy supply;

AND WHEREAS the Province of Ontario has established THE MINISTRY OF
THE ENVIRONMENT which is responsible for protecting, restoring and
enhancing the environment to ensure public health and environmental
quality;

AND WHEREAS the Province of Ontario has established THE MINISTRY OF
NATURAL RESOURCES to sustainably manage the province’s natural
resources to contribute to the environmental, social and economic well-
being of the people of Ontario;

AND WHEREAS on February 20, 2004, Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty
stated that: “The health of Ontarians is our province’s most precious
resource. We share a responsibility to protect it from harm, and care
for it in times of need”;

AND WHEREAS the Province of Ontario, through Section 11, of the
Municipal Act, 2001, as amended, has mandated broad authority that
lower-tier municipalities may provide “any service or thing that the
municipality considers necessary or desirable for the public, as
follows:

By-laws
      (2)  A lower-tier municipality and an upper-tier municipality
may pass by-laws, subject to the rules set out in subsection (4),
respecting the following matters:…
           1.    Governance structure of the municipality and its
local boards.
           2.    Accountability and transparency of the municipality
and its operations and of its local boards and their operations.
           3.    Financial management of the municipality and its
local boards.
           4.    Public assets of the municipality acquired for the
purpose of exercising its authority under this or any other Act.
           5.    Economic, social and environmental well-being of the
municipality.
           6.    Health, safety and well-being of persons.
           7.    Services and things that the municipality is
authorized to provide under subsection (1).
           8.    Protection of persons and property, including
consumer protection.

thereby recognizing the lower-tier municipality’s need and
responsibility to provide for the health, safety and well-being of is
residents;

AND WHEREAS The Corporation of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie’s
confidence in the safety of the locating criteria of WIND GENERATION
FACILITIES, as legislated by the Province of Ontario, is based on the
premise that, having done their due diligence with respect to ensuring
the health, safety and well-being of their citizens under The
Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, both the federal
and provincial governments are prepared to certify the said facilities
for location within the Municipality;

AND WHEREAS there is no intention by The Corporation of the
Municipality of Arran-Elderslie to prevent or restrict the “use” of
wind generation facilities as a source of renewable energy but rather
to promote their “use” in a responsible manner to benefit, or at
least, do no harm to any individual by such “use”;

AND WHEREAS it is deemed advisable to ensure the continued good
health, safety and well-being of all persons living and/or owning
lands within the Corporation of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie in
a responsible manner;

NOW THEREFORE THE COUNCIL OF THE CORPORATION OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF
ARRAN-ELDERSLIE HEREBY ENACTS AS FOLLOWS:

1. That, the Chief Building Official, at his/her discretion, may issue
a building permit, in accordance with the provisions of the Ontario
Building Code, for the construction of any wind generation facility,
when the said application is accompanied by all of the following:

a) a certificate issued by HEALTH CANADA confirming that the proposed
type of wind generation facility will benefit, or will not harm, the
health, safety and well-being of any resident of The Corporation of
the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie;
b) a certificate issued by the ONTARIO MINISTRY OF ENERGY &
INFRASTRUCTURE confirming that the proposed type of wind generation
facility will benefit, or will not harm, the health, safety and well-
being of any resident of The Corporation of the Municipality of Arran-
Elderslie;
c) a certificate issued by the ONTARIO MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT
confirming that the proposed type of wind generation facility will
benefit, or will not harm, the health, safety and well-being of any
resident of The Corporation of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie;
d) a certificate issued by the ONTARIO MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES
confirming that the proposed type of wind generation facility will
benefit, or will not harm, the health, safety and well-being of any
resident of The Corporation of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie;
e) a certificate issued by the ONTARIO MINISTRY OF ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS
confirming that the proponents of the proposed type of wind generation
facility and the Crown have carried out satisfactory, meaningful
consultation with all the affected aboriginal groups that is
respectful and accommodates their rights as recognized and affirmed by
Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982;”
f) certificates issued by either or both the Saugeen First Nations and
Chippewas of Nawash, as applicable, confirming that the proponents of
the proposed type of wind generation facility have carried out
satisfactory, meaningful consultation with them with respect to the
proposed facility.
2. That before the certificates identified in Section 1 above are
issued, the stated Ministries must provide original documentation to
the satisfaction of the Council of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie
that the necessary full and complete non-partisan third party,
independent health studies on humans are presented to determine safe
setbacks and noise limits.

3. That this by-law shall take effect with final passing.

Read Full Post »

As you may know, the motion for a moratorium on wind turbine developments and to return planning powers to Ontario municipalities was defeated in the Legislature April 28th by 40-17 …but it didn’t go down with out a fight, or drama including a standing ovation (from both sides of the House) for an outburst from a Wind Concerns Ontario member.

 Many MPPs made fine speeches including Elizabeth Witmer (“The Green Energy Act has eroded the democratic rights of the people in this province”); Julia Munro (“People expect a government that provides safe communities…the people have a sense of abandonment”); and Jim Wilson (“The Green Energy Act should have been called the Power Grab Act”).

Here is the transcript from Hansard of the speech made by Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod:

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: I’m pleased to be able to speak to the PC caucus motion, on behalf of Tim Hudak and the PC caucus, which is calling for a moratorium on wind farms until health and environmental impacts are studied and until local planning authority is restored to municipalities.

I’d like to recognize [the residents] who have travelled across the province, making a five-hour trip from my constituency in Nepean-Carleton just to be here today. They did this to bring their views to this Ontario Legislature because this Liberal government has taken away their voice with a made-in-Toronto plan for our small community. The proposed development of 10 very large wind turbines—and, as I learned today, it could be as many as 28 wind turbines—is contentious with residents, raising many legitimate and valid concerns.

This debate is not about wind power as an important component of Ontario’s energy planning. There’s no argument that Ontario must continue to diversify and investigate ways of shifting to clean and renewable power, because we know we need to act to protect the environment and, yes, we need to act to reduce our energy consumption and find greener ways to produce power. This debate is about forcing rural communities across Ontario to accept made-in-Toronto solutions to problems in our bigger cities.

The Globe and Mail of April 7 agrees, because they suggested that wind power is “not simply benign, and the potential impact of wind turbines on the environment, the landscape and people’s health need more attention.”

That is what this motion is calling for: to ensure that we’re paying attention to the people who are here today, and the people who couldn’t come here today, who have concerns with the Green Energy Act.

The Green Energy Act forces communities like mine, like the member from Dufferin-Caledon’s, the member from Wellington-Halton Hills’s, the member from Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound’s—I could go on. It forces our communities and our municipalities to accept made-in-Toronto planning solutions by removing local planning authority from them. Wind turbines and other green energy initiatives are able to bypass the consent of local citizens and their councils.

Let me put that into perspective. Municipalities have a say on what gets built in their communities, and that is whether it is a housing development, whether it’s a shopping centre, whether it’s a road or whether it’s a transitway. But in this case, when it comes to wind turbines, local voices are shut out of the debate.

The residents in Nepean-Carleton have been left with little opportunity to have their say on a wind farm that this Liberal government is forcing on our small community of North Gower. It’s yet another example of how this government consults with few while implementing legislation which could have such a far-reaching impact on the health and well-being of our citizens. It’s yet another example of how, after six years in power, the McGuinty Liberals are so focused on subsidizing their green energy schemes and giving away sweetheart deals that they’ve forgotten about protecting the views of democratically elected local governments.

It’s time to hit the rethink button, just like you did last week on another issue, and it’s time that he supports my colleague from Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke’s motion calling for a moratorium on wind farms until the studies are in and the municipal authority is restored.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the opportunity to debate today.

——————————
More on the other speakers later. This is not over.

Email us at northgowerwindturbines@yahoo.ca

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Dalton McGuinty has rejected the claims of rural residents who are living next to industrial wind turbines, saying Ontario’s regulations are among the toughest in the world and that wind power technology is  time-tested and safe.

From the Toronto Star, here is the story:

http://www.thestar.com/news/ontario/article/801604–mcguinty-rejects-delaying-wind-projects-for-health-study

Disappointing, but hardly surprising. The Premier has a lot of promises riding on this venture.

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In the Globe and Mail today, there is an article about how Canadians feel apathetic about their government. In North Gower, the apathy seems connected to the faith that government WILL do something. Response to the issue of the wind turbines is either “They’ll never let that go through,” or, “If the government approves, it must be OK.”

Here are the facts about government involvement in industrial wind turbines:

-the City of Ottawa COULD join the dozens of other municipalities that have woken up to the fact that the Green Energy Act has removed their ability to plan their communities and protect their citizens, and are now asking for turbine developments to stop until health studies are done. But it won’t. City Council has already voted down a motion on that, saying it’s up to the province. It is, but that doesn’t mean you give up. What you can do: ask your councillor to re-submit the motion, and let the other councillors know how you feel.

-the City’s Medical Officer of Health was asked to look into the health effects of industrial wind turbines and report back to Council in January 2010. His report: he said he is going to follow the Province’s lead.

-the Province said it would appoint a Research Chair to look into health effects from “renewable energy technology”. The person the Council of Ontario Universities recommended is a professor of electrical engineering at Waterloo; he has zero experience in health research. What you can do: demand the Ontario government do independent, real health research (i.e., they actually have to examine and talk to people). Write the premier and let your MPP LisaMacLeod know your thoughts. PC leader Tim Hudak should be aware, too.

-the Province has allowed $1.5 million for five years for the research project. That might sound like a lot of money, but in research terms, it isn’t. It is very likely that nothing substantive will result. (One Ontario doctors has said, however, that a simple sleep study would cost only about $100,000.)

-the Province wants these wind developments to go through very badly; they see them as the great hope for Ontario jobs, and they say it is also our hope for clean, green, renewable energy. It isn’t: wind energy is expensive and unreliable, and the jobs it creates are in the initial stage of manufacturing and installation. Very few jobs result. According to the study of Denmark done by CEPOS there was NO net job creation from almost 20 years of wind development.

-Ontario and Quebec, at a minimum, have a dream of selling power to the U.S. That’s funny, because the U.S. wind developments have the same dream–selling power to Canada. What you can do: keep reading about the business and investment aspects of wind development. And check out your own investments to see whether you are investing in wind development yourself. You might be surprised.

-the federal government has no national standards for development of wind turbines, no health standards, no national strategy. When asked about it, they say it’s a provincial jurisdiction. And the province has taken care of that through the Green Energy Act: no one has any say in anything. What you can do: ask your MP to ask the government to develop national standards and an energy strategy.

If you are concerned about the effect of industrial wind turbines in North Gower-south Richmond because of constant noise and vibration, plus the potential effects on the environment, it’s up to you to let all levels of government know how you feel. Because right now, they’re not doing anything to help the people of Ontario who are living with industrial wind turbines.

Be sure to visit http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com for daily news.

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February 23rd, The Ottawa Citizen ran an editorial called “Seeing the wind” in which every popular notion about wind development is listed. Trouble is, none of them are correct.

Wind power is clean energy. No, it isn’t: the manufacturing and construction process for industrial wind turbines is significant, and huge amounts of fuel are required to transport the gigantic turbine parts. And, the turbines require power to run. In the “Wind Energy: the case of Denmark” study prepared by CEPOS in 2009, it was noted that in that country, which has had wind turbines for 20 years, ” wind power … saves neither fossil fuel consumption nor CO2 emissions.”

That’s a fact.

Ontario’s wind turbines are already in places where most people never see them. What? That would be nice if it were true, but it isn’t. In Melancthon there are over 100 turbines (soon to be almost 200) and the same for Amaranth. Turbines as far as the eye can see. Chatham-Kent? Hundreds and hundreds of turbines within kilometers of 6,000 people. North Gower? As many as 10 626-foot turbines within kilometers of hundeds of people and just over 3 km from a school. The turbines should be north of Superior where there is plenty of wind and no people but they’re not. Why? the transmission lines aren’t there but they are in the south of Ontario, which is also where all the people are.

That’s a fact.

New wind farms in Ontario will create long-term opportunities for manufacturers to supply them–and replace some of the jobs that the auto industry can no longer provide. Nonsense. The jobs created will be very few in number, and the subsidization means Ontario taxpayers are handing out more than $200,000 for each new job. Again from CEPOS in Denmark: “creating additional employment in one sector through subsidies will detract labor from other sectors, resulting in no increase in net employment.”

That’s a fact.

We’re unsure as to why the Citizen ran this editorial when their own columnist Randall Denley has gone on record with the truth about the wind development business in Ontario, which he says is more of the same “branch plant mentality” which does not foster innovation and long-term job or economic growth in Ontario.

For more information go to

http://energy.probeinternational.org/alternative-energy/renewables

and take special note of Michael Trebilcock’s column on wind development in Ontario.

Sorry to those who are only on dial-up: there is a binder of information at the North Gower Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, and the Library also has high-speed Internet (wireless, too!).

To get in touch with the North Gower Wind Action Group, email northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Read Full Post »

The wind industry is always pointing to Denmark as the shining example of how wind energy can benefit a country. The facts tell a different story.

In its September 2009 report, Wind Energy–the case of Denmark, the Center for Politiske Studier or CEPOS headquartered in Copenhagen, concludes:

-19% of the country’s need for wind power is from wind turbines, while the turbines produce far less than that, in fact as little as 5%

-wind power is very unreliable

-Danish householders pay the most for electricity of any European country

-wind power in Denmark has not reduced fossil fuel consumption or CO2 emissions

-re: employment, Danish wind turbine manufacturers have a “strong global position,” which has been made possible through heavy taxpayer subsidies. At present the wind indusry in Denmark has more than 28,000 employees. The subsidy per job is estimated to be $90,000 to $140,000 USD, or 175-250% of the average Danish worker’s pay.

Finally the Danish GDP is estimated to be $270 million (USD) LOWER than it would have been if the wind sector workforce was employed elsewhere.

That’s the facts about wind development today.

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