PEC resident pulls no punches in letter to MOE re Amherst Island 36-turbine wind project

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Click on image to enlarge

[Name withheld]
Senior Project Evaluator
Ontario Ministry of the Environment
Environmental Approvals Branch

Dear [Name withheld],

Re: EBR 012-0774
Amherst Island Windlectric IWT project.

I am writing to tell you that I oppose the IWT project planned for Amherst Island. What I would like you to tell me is why I am having to write again for the third time to express that view. Your government has clearly not been listening. Not only are they wasting my tax dollars … they are wasting my time.

There should be no need to go into detail (again) about Amherst Island’s Globally Significant Important Bird Area on a key migratory flyway; habitat for thirty four species at risk; Provincially Significant Coastal Wetland; endangered cultural and historical heritage; physical and psychological harm to the health of island residents, including school children, coupled with the loss of value in their properties.

It must be tedious for you to read about these concerns over and over again ad nauseum. You are not alone. I am sick of expressing my concerns. It seems your government has become inured to the pleas of people like me. So let’s talk about who else has concerns about this IWT project.

Let’s start with Dr. John Harrison of Queen’s University. He has conducted several complex and thorough viability studies and done voluminous research on the Amherst Island wind project indicating its folly. All ignored by the MOE.

There is also Margaret Atwood. Her research led her straight to the facts clearly indicating Windlectrics grossly deficient, inadequate and incomplete studies on the negative impacts this project will have on Amherst Island (but then she is an enlightened individual who can read).

How about Dr. Robert McMurtry, Order of Canada? He has written the equivalent of a thesis on human health effects of IWTs and how we must defer to the precautionary principal when human lives are at stake.

Or the Ostrander Point ERT’s Robert Wright and Heather Gibbs who spent half a year examining evidence about the effect of IWTs on the environment. Their painstaking conclusion to protect the Blanding’s turtle was overturned (in an appeal launched by the MOE with the developer, against the conclusions of their own ERT process) in two days by Divisional Court which ruled that the ERT should have given MNR the benefit of the doubt when they granted the original permit to the developer to “kill, harm and harass” endangered species. After all MNR must know what they are doing. They certainly knew enough to promptly change the shocking name of that permit to the “overall benefit” (of the species) permit. Yes, let’s defer to them…but wait…isn’t that the same MNR standing shoulder to shoulder with the MOE? Haven’t we just gone around in a circle? At what cost? Even the greediest, most callous corporations are financially responsible by law to their share holders. The Ontario government, the MOE and their taxpayer funded lawyers…not so much.

What about the opinion of the Auditor General expressing concern about the cost of IWT development? Or organizations like Nature Canada and Ontario Nature or the local Field Naturalists concerned about environmental destruction? Over 70 Municipalities in Ontario have declared themselves “Unwilling Hosts” for IWTs. Surely something sounds seriously significant about that. Even Senator Bob Runciman spoke out against wind power we don’t need.

Let’s not forget the Fraser Institute’s damning report: Environmental and Economic Consequences of Ontario’s Green Energy Act pointing out a loss of $2 billion for exports of electricity generated by wind energy. I’m quite sure you and the Ontario government are aware that the exporting of electricity means we have a surplus. Logic would dictate that it is not necessary to destroy Amherst Island for more. The value of Amherst Island’s Globally Significant Important Bird Area, migratory flyway, habitat for thirty four species at risk, Provincially Significant Coastal Wetland, cultural and historical heritage; physical and psychological health of island residents, including school children and value in resident’s properties far outweigh the need for more wind power (that will become SURPLUS and be exported at a loss…wait…we seem to be going around in circles again).

Numerous newspaper articles in all the majors by the likes of Lawrence Solomon, Lorrie Goldstein, Margaret Wente, Martin Regg Cohn, Christina Blizzard, Steve Gilchrist, Parker Gallant, The Canadian Press etc. etc. indicate the cat is out of the bag on the destructive, wasteful, inefficiencies of wind power. Dale Goldhawk is listening. Hundred’s of Blogs and websites have sprung up around the province in the last few years as an outlet for collective information on the negative impact of IWTs. Check out Wind Concerns Ontario, or Tom Adams Energy, or Wind Farm Realities to start.

Many other ordinary people (like me) have written hundreds of (unread and ignored) letters to your government expressing in all sincerity, their concerns for the impending disaster of continued IWT development. Perhaps you think in rural Ontario we have nothing better to do? Let me assure you the people I have associated with in this cause are of the highest quality who have spent hours too numerous to count educating themselves on the issues. Although all of us are sick of this fight and would very much like to drop it our consciences (and our pocket books) will not allow. Even ordinary people understand, too well, the staggering costs and the injurious effects of the GEA and IWTs and your government’s failure to act on, or even listen to our concerns.

What is astonishing is the Liberal government’s complete disregard for the adverse impact potential of Windlectric’s industrial wind turbine development on the natural habitats of many species including humans. But, then I suppose after the scandal of cancelling and relocating two gas plants your government could never admit the truth about the GEA and the proven inefficiencies of wind power. How would they ever save face, or worse, pay the billions in contract cancellation fees to already heavily subsidized developers? Developers who would be in another line of work if not for those generous government subsidies.

Actually, I don’t know why your government would worry so much about the cost of cancelling IWT contracts. After all it’s the taxpayers who will pick up the tab. A tab we will pick up either way because IWT are expensive, ineffective, destructive and if their development continues in Ontario we will end up bankrupt anyway. But then, surely you know all this already if you have read anything other than CANWEA’s Robert Hornung. How can CANWEA be right and everyone else be wrong?

As if all those red flags are not enough, your government plans to move ahead with the Windlectric project pending final approval from the Ministry of the Environment. Proper studies be damned! This arrogance is astounding. Instead, Amherst Island in its entirety should be designated as a Nationally Significant Wildlife Area in conjunction with the neighbouring South Shore of Prince Edward County.

Wind energy development in Ontario is not a benign green solution. You can call something green all you like but that doesn’t make it so. Ineffective industrial wind energy installations that will destroy endangered species and permanently alter environments (well beyond the eventual failure of wind power) will be our undoing in this province. You can register my strong opposition to this project on the Environmental Registry. Renewable? Not in your life. Amherst Island will never recover from industrial development of this scale. Of course you don’t live there but it is still part of your province. The ripple effects are going to catch up with you even in Toronto. Good luck paying your hydro bill in a few years. I could go on, but I have better things to do than tell you and your government more about what you really already know.

Sincerely Yours,

Christine Hall
Prince Edward County

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Posted on March 14, 2014, in Advocacy / politics / legal, Human health, Local economy, Municipal control, Natural environment, Property values, Provincial energy policy, Wind turbines. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. It the Liberals and their NDP “useful fools” do not care then maybe the people in rural Ontario should give them something to care about like seperating from the city state of Toronto.

  2. As a former leader said, the truth is the truth is the truth, but like the arrogant Bush, truth didn’t matter. I guess our leaders in Ontario are just as arrogant!!!

  3. I’m guessing that the Ministry response – if they even bothered – had “TEAR OFF HERE” at the bottom of the page. Until we start figuratively wrapping our message around bricks and delivering it through windows, we’re all just insignificant whiners to the mighty, developer-purchased, government.

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