Category Archives: Advocacy / politics / legal
Originally published in the Toronto Sun on June 29, 2016 by Jim McPherson.
The federal government’s inaction on wind turbine noise is making Canadians sick.
It’s been a year-and-a-half since Health Canada’s $2-million study determined low-frequency acoustic waves from industrial wind turbines cause community annoyance.
According to the World Health Organization, unwanted noise, even at a moderate level, can lead to a myriad of adverse health outcomes, including stress-related symptoms such as sleep disturbance, elevated blood pressure, cardiac events and depression.
It’s a “green” form of radiation sickness.
Canada’s Radiation Emitting Devices Act (REDA) is supposed to regulate the design and operation of devices that emit radiation, such as microwave ovens and tanning beds.
In sworn testimony at an environmental review tribunal, a Health Canada official confirmed industrial wind turbines — large, noise-emitting devices — are regulated by REDA.
Below you will find a link to the open letter written to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Minister of Health and Associate Director at Health Canada requesting a meeting with the Minister to discuss compliance by the wind turbine industry with the Radiation Emitting Devices Act and wind turbine industry compliance obligations, and the need to conduct an investigation of related complaints.
The letter includes issues with the design of Health Canada’s wind turbine noise and health study with interpretation of the results, and implications regarding the fact that wind turbines fall under the Radiation Emitting Devices Act as industrial Act.
We have been informed that there are numerous signatures supporting this letter. Those who wish to add their support can do so by contacting Barb Ashbee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Prince Edward County Field Naturalists and to their lawyer, Eric Gillespie, and his team.
Fittingly, on the anniversary of D-Day the Environmental Review Panel found that the remedial measures proposed by Gilead and by our Government were not acceptable and revoked Gilead’s Renewable Energy Approval for seven turbines, all to have been located on Government land and within a designated Important Bird Area.
All that now remains is for Premier Wynne to grasp the nettle and kill the project once and for all.
The proposed project made no sense from the get-go. But even so it took hundreds of thousands of dollars of money from County residents without benefit of tax receipts and six years of PECFN courage and persistence to achieve the result that should have been obvious even to the closed minds at Queen’s Park.
Much of the reasoning and precedents cited in the Gilead ERT decision will be of considerable help to APPEC at its July remedy hearing before its own White Pines ERT and to Amherst Island, whose ERT concludes today. Blanding’s Turtles abound in both places. And also to us at CCSAGE NATURALLY GREEN in our application for Judicial Review of the whole, sorry, Green Energy Act fiasco.
A much-needed shot in the arm, indeed.
The Annual General Meeting of CCSAGE Naturally Green was held on Sunday, March 13th, 2016, at the Waring House, Picton. That same morning, Wind Concerns Ontario held its own AGM in Wellington and its members later joined us. Our meeting was deliberately open to the public, and altogether some 110 people were present, including our own members, the County Mayor and several Councillors and the editors of the two most important local papers. Each featured lengthy and accurate reports in their next editions which may be accessed at http://wellingtontimes.ca/gathering-forces/ and https://issuu.com/pictongazette/docs/pictongazettemar17 respectively.
Following introductions by our two directors, our accountant, Mustafa Alidina, who donates his services, presented our financial statements for 2015, disclosing an excess of revenue over expenses of $8,572.00.
Two resolutions were then approved unanimously by members present. The first that the financial statement presented and explained by our accountant be received, and the second that all actions of the directors during 2015 be approved. (While those decisions were mostly day-to-day and of a routine nature, two specifically mentioned were the placing of insurance to cover directors and others for any errors in the carrying out of their obligations and the decision to apply to the Courts for a Judicial Review of all circumstances leading to the issue of a Renewable Energy Approval for 27 turbines in South Marysburgh and Athol, including the retainer of Alan Whiteley as counsel). Read the rest of this entry
[Press Release — Township of North Frontenac — March 24, 2016 ]
The Council of the Township of North Frontenac passed a resolution on March 18 2016 that will request that the Independent Electricity Systems Operators (IESO) rate an unwilling municipality for renewable energy to be a mandatory requirement versus a rated criteria in future requests for proposals (RFP) for the Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) program.
Currently RFP has the Proponents bid submission as a points system rated criteria for municipality support. North Frontenac is proposing that this RFP requirement needs to be a mandatory requirement. Four of the six contracts announced on March 10, 2016 did not have municipal support for the renewable energy project. Although the Minister of Energy indicated on March 7 that it would be ‘almost impossible’ for a contract to be granted under the current process without municipal agreement it has happened.
Mayor Ron Higgins stated that he wants all Ontario Municipalities, who object to Industrial Wind Turbines and/or Solar Farms, to support this resolution and to provide additional input to the IESO on their thoughts for improving the LRP RFP procurement process for future projects.
Mayor Higgins knows this is but one step but this one needs to be done before the end of April as per IESO deadlines. He states that his focus on now on the government policies and directives related to renewable energy in rural municipalities.
To view the resolution please go to the following link: http://www.northfrontenac.com/news/IESOletter.pdf
For more information please do not hesitate to contact:
Cheryl Robson, AMCT, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)
6648 Road 506, Plevna, ON K0H 2M0
(613) 479-2231 or 1 (800) 234-3953 Ext 221 [email protected]
An ERT appeal panel has concluded that wpd’s 27-turbine White Pines wind project, if built as approved by MOECC, will cause serious and irreversible harm to animal life, specifically to Little Brown Bat and Blanding’s Turtle.
This is a HUGE victory for appellants APPEC and John Hirsch, and for the whole Prince Edward County community. We are now well positioned to push wpd out of the County for good.
BUT it’s going to take more time, and more money for legal costs. Please read on, and then consider making a contribution to the South Shore Appeal Fund to help ensure victory.
CCSAGE NATURALLY GREEN (“CCSAGE”) is a not-for-profit corporation, under Federal legislation, continuing an informal group founded in 2009.
It supports and believes in green energy which is both safe and appropriate, and encourages small scale solutions and conservation measures.
In so doing, its actions are planned to be constructive in achieving those goals, and it has the following beliefs which support this mandate:
- CCSAGE welcomes the findings of two Ontario Auditors-General as expressed in their separate Reports up to including that of 2015. Translated into everyday language they find the Green Energy Act to be an economic disaster, enacted without benefit of technical advice and with no consideration of a business rationale or of its overall impact.
- CCSAGE agrees with the published opinions of several well-known economists and energy expert to the same effect, including Michael Trebilcock, Keith Stelling, Dr. Glenn Fox, Ross McKintrick and Tom Adams.
- CCSAGE agrees with the published opinion of the Energy Task Force of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (April 2015), which shows that increased use of wind and solar energy on the Ontario grid is causing a dramatic increase in both carbon emissions and electricity prices.
CCSAGE suggests to the Premier and Government of Ontario as follows:
- Put on hold immediately all proposed major wind and solar projects not currently operating, until considerations of appropriate placement and of Municipal jurisdiction be determined, and economic and scientific justification be established, including science-based justification of set-backs from property lines of houses, schools and other inhabited structures;
- Re-write the Green Energy Act based on results of economic, scientific and health analyses that are produced by acknowledged and independent experts (excluding those of the wind and solar industries and of their allies and supporters);
- The Act, as amended or replaced, would require the location of major safe and appropriate green energy installations to be considered in areas of this vast Province which are determined by the relevant and expert authority to be:
- Consistent with the Environment Canada recommendations noted in Environment Canada document, Wind Turbines and Birds, A Guidance Document, including consideration of cumulative effects, requirement for baseline surveys, and consistent with the 11 listed criteria where they not be sited, such as Important Bird Areas and migration corridors.
- Never where adverse health effects to humans are possible.
- Never where local economies could be adversely affected.
- Never where the natural environment could be unreasonably disturbed.
- Should any Municipality indicate that it is an unwilling host to such an installation, the wishes of that Municipality would prevail over the current provisions of the Green Energy Act.
- Energy projects would not be excluded from the Environmental Protection Act. Any appeal of permission granted for an installation would be to the Courts utilizing evidence presently permitted by the Courts. The Environmental Review Tribunal would be abolished, as its terms are inconsistent with protection of the environment as well as the Statement of Values of MOECC and MNRF.
- Any such permission must restrict payment to the proponent to a maximum of the then weighted average price of electricity produced in Ontario by nuclear, hydro-electric and natural gas sources.
CCSAGE has filed an Application to the Supreme Court of Ontario for Judicial Review of the circumstances and background leading to the issue of a Renewal Energy Approval for 27 turbines in the south part of the County of Prince Edward. This does not detract from, but underlines, CCSAGE’s wish to be constructive rather than negative, as it concentrates on the deficiencies of the Green Energy Act, on its bias against rural communities and on the infringement of citizens’ rights and of statutes and international treaties.
Based on a quick read of the decision on the appeal of the approval of wpd’s White Pines wind project, the ERT panel has determined that there will be serious and irreversible harm to little brown bat and Blanding’s turtle. They have ordered a hearing to consider the appropriate remedy (if any).
The panel has not accepted that there will be serious harm to human health, or serious and irreversible harm to other elements of the natural environment.
Here is an excerpt from the ERT’s decision:
Conclusions on the Environment Test
 Based on the evidence and submissions before the Tribunal on the Project’s impacts, the Tribunal finds that engaging in the Project in accordance with the REA will cause serious and irreversible harm to animal life, plant life or the natural environment under s. 145.1(2) of the EPA.
 The Tribunal allows the appeals in part.
 … the Tribunal will discuss procedural steps for the hearing of submissions with respect to the appropriate remedy, pursuant to s. 145.2.1(4) of the EPA.