Province should halt turbine project: Environmental group

By Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard

McKeil Marine Photo A partially submerged barge in Picton Bay was successfully refloated Saturday afternoon.


The partial sinking of a barge that was to be used in the construction of the Amherst Island wind energy project is reason enough to stop the project, a Prince Edward County environmental group says.

In a letter to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Anne Dumbrille, president of the County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy, wrote that the partial sinking of the barge on March 24 threatened the drinking water supply.

“The recent sinking of a barge leased in order to ship aggregate to Amherst Island for the wind turbine project, with the associated drinking water emergency in Prince Edward County, was the first that we citizens, as well as the councillors of Prince Edward County, have been made aware that the Picton Terminals were involved in this activity,” Dumbrille wrote.

The barge’s partial sinking prompted a state of water emergency in PEC, including a cautionary boil water advisory for residents using the Picton-Bloomfield drinking water system, the establishment of a bulk water dispensing station in Wellington for residents and a temporary shutdown of the Picton-Bloomfield drinking water plant.

The Canadian Coast Guard stated that less than 30 litres of residual oil were spilled from the barge, which was empty at the time of the incident.

The Coast Guard also said a sheen, believed to be diesel fuel and hydraulic fluid, could been seen on the water and ice near the barge.

The barge was refloated on the weekend, and municipal officials said no contaminants entered the drinking water system.

Dumbrille wrote that the use of the Picton Terminals and adjacent roads were not outlined in the Amherst project renewable energy agreement (REA), nor is there any description of material being moved by barge from Picton to the island.

“None of the barge traffic of aggregate from the county to Amherst Island is mentioned or contemplated in the permit for the wind factory on Amherst Island,” she wrote.

Dumbrille noted that the route from Picton to Amherst Island passes the Glenora ferry crossing.

“There is no mention of driving materials/components related to the turbine project to or through Prince Edward County, or shipping from Picton Terminals,” Dumbrille wrote. “There was no description of use of an ‘Aggregate Transfer Vessel.’ No environmental studies have been undertaken. There was no Marine Logistics Plan as required by the REA until rushed efforts after the spill.”

On Friday evening, the company building the wind energy project, Windlectric Inc., tweeted a statement about the sinking.

“The recent sinking of the Pitts Carillon barge at Picton Terminals is very unfortunate. The barge was being prepared for use at the Amherst Island Wind Project, but was outside the project’s boundary at the time of the event,” the statement read. It then directed readers to the Canadian Coast Guard website.



Apr 6 and Apr 7. Driver / Rowse Judicial Review on the Province’s heritage impact assessment process for White Pines. Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen St. West, Toronto,10:00 am. Please attend!

Notice to CCSAGE Members —— Please try to attend, your support would be appreciated!

The judicial review of the White Pines cultural heritage process, brought by Liz Driver and Edwin Rowse against wpd Canada and Ontario, will take place on Thursday and Friday, April 6–7, at Osgoode Hall, in Toronto. The hearing begins at 10 am each day.

It will be important to show the court that the community cares about the project’s visual impacts and construction vibrations on the County’s cultural heritage.

Osgoode Hall is at the northeast corner of Queen and University. There is Green P parking underground next door at City Hall or parking across the street under the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Osgoode Subway Station is at the intersection.


Karlo Estates Winery, Sunday March 26, 2017

Some highlights of Sunday’s well-attended AGM at Karlo Estates Winery:

MPP Todd Smith spoke about his role as energy critic, and previewed how the PC Party plans to fix the electricity system, including scrapping of the GEA and stopping the sale of Hydro One.
Mayor Robert Quaiff reported on the County’s response to a barge sinking at Picton Terminals. It was carrying a load of gravel for use in building Windlectric’s dock at Amherst Island.
Lawyer Alan Whiteley updated the group on the CCSAGE J.R., indicating that the next objective is to obtain a protective costs order in favour of CCSAGE, its Directors and its lawyer.
John Hirsch spoke on Ontario’s $100M Home Energy Conservation Incentives Program , which offers rebates for energy-saving renos on houses heated by natural gas, propane, oil or wood.
Adam Cronk, owner of Green Giant Design + Build at Picton Airport, described the PassivHaus energy standard, which can reduce heating and cooling energy costs by up to 90%.  Last but not least, Chef Chris Byrne prepared delicious spanakopita paired with Karlo Estates fine wine!




N0. 11 January 2017

The Progress of the Court Case:

Our lawyer, Alan Whitely, spent October 21 in an Ottawa courtroom presenting arguments addressing the first motions of our judicial review.

WPD wanted to be a full participant in the case so they could be awarded costs should our case fail. Ron Higgins, the mayor of North Frontenac Township, asked to be an intervenor (a limited participant) in the case. The Ontario Energy Board asked that our case against them be quashed.

After two months of deliberation, a Decision was rendered. Alan’s arguments convinced the judge to deny WPD full participation in the case. Instead, they are only permitted intervenor status with restrictions that limit their witnesses, evidence, and examination of witnesses to the impact of the proceedings on their particular interests. Ron Higgins was not granted intervenor status but he will add an affidavit to the Judicial Review.

The next motions will be scheduled imminently. They include, from CCSAGE Naturally Green: one to protect CCSAGE from costs, and one to compel the government agencies to produce the records of their decision to approve the White Pines wind farm and transmission lines. A motion from OEB is to remove themselves from the case.
The 2015/16 Report of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario:

The ECO Report was released recently and several pertinent points have been pulled out of the executive summary.
“The large-scale loss of biodiversity is a crisis in Ontario and around the world. As well as invasive species, the biggest threats are human-caused habitat loss and degradation, and disease, with climate change playing a growing role. The declines of moose, bats and amphibians in Ontario demonstrate that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry needs to act urgently on habitat protection and biodiversity monitoring.” [p.4/8] ……..While white-nose syndrome is by far the major threat to Ontario’s bats; bats can suffer additional losses from human persecution and from wind turbines. The collapse of Ontario’s bat population could lead to an increase in insect pests, just as public health authorities are calling on Ontarians to protect themselves from mosquito bites because of the spread of insect-borne diseases. [p.6/8]…….In recommendations, p8/8, it says – “The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing should prohibit infrastructure in provincially significant wetlands.”
Interesting Links

These have been suggested by a variety of people. If you have any to add please let us know:

White Pines ERT Friday January 27-10am Wellington Community Centre….. LET’S PACK THE HALL! AND SAVE THE COUNTY!

The final oral submissions of the APPEC/Hirsch Environmental Review Tribunal ERT will be heard in the County. We encourage all to attend. Filling the hearing room to capacity for these final submissions will show the Tribunal that PEC cares.

The next major event of the White Pines ERT is Friday, January 27, 2017 when the ERT will convene in Prince Edward County to hear closing arguments. This will be our LAST opportunity to present our case to the Tribunal before it adjourns to make a final decision on the White Pines wind project.

This is also the last and ONLY day in over a year that the Tribunal has deemed to hold a public hearing, with the past ten months of this ERT taking place entirely behind closed doors. This is your opportunity to let the Tribunal know that County residents did not appreciate being left out of the appeal process. In order to make that point – and to make clear where you stand on the White Pines wind project – you will need to be there!

The hearing will be held as follows:

Date: January 27, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Wellington and District Community Centre, Highline Hall, 111 Belleville Street, Wellington.

CCSAGE Naturally Green hopes Santa reaches your home! Happy Holidays from all of us to all of you!




This appeared in County Weekly News as a letter to the editor in response to an article in the previous week’s edition by CanWea, the trade organization of the wind industry, which was not identified as such.

In these Brexit/Trump/Wynne/Leitch days of constant dismal theatre, a lighter touch and even a good laugh can be had from the recurring musings of the County Sustainability Group and of its allies. Particularly those of CanWea, which is the trade organization of the wind industry although not so identified.
Humour should always be shared and CanWea certainly does that, no easy accomplishment for the advocate of a particular perspective more noted for spin. By the time a reader reaches the end of its latest crowd pleaser, she would be in stitches of laughter on the floor, more so if she lived in a County officially not-a-willing-host to wind factories where so many other readers are always on the lookout for the comedian of the day with whom to share a laugh.
Realizing that the members of CanWea had no influence on the drafting of the Green Energy Act nor profit from its one-sided implementation, that reader and her friends and neighbours in South Marysburgh , for example, (the vibrant centre of current County humour) will experience a warm feeling to learn that continuing development of the wind energy sector in Ontario will lead, among other things, to local community benefits and affordable electricity. And all contributed without thought of profit but motivated only by the sheer pleasure of invoking bemused laughter for being a bright spot in Ontario’s economy.
No doubt some comedic spark will organize a Laugh-In locally, to which will be invited a long list of other well-known and distinguished comedians, starting with the present and former Ontario Auditors-General, a bunch of prominent economists, the jokers at Hydro One and IESO and those in rural (but never, ever, urban or suburban) Ontario who have endured, or will endure, expropriation without compensation in lost value in homes and businesses, loss of heritage and landscape, demolition of local tourism, in some cases personal illness and everywhere the slaughter of birds, bats, butterflies and anything else that flies, including endangered species. Even a member of the notoriously happy Blandings’ Turtle family can be among the invitees.
This large gathering will compete for the most risible story presented on all those topics, on the billions of dollars charged back to all Ontarians in their hydro bills and taxes from so-called green energy, to the unneeded power exported daily at a huge loss, to the recent Queen’s Park statement that energy needs in Ontario are already more than adequate and good for a minimum of 10 more years, to the gas plants scandal and aftermath(s) and indeed to a whole litany of equivalent thigh-slappers.
It is doubtful whether Trump or Leitch will make it, but Wynne certainly should, will be the funniest person there and will be presented with the Humour of the Century Award. Should be a blast and CanWea will not only enjoy it but can spin it as it may.

Garth Manning.


We Decked the Halls…

We continue to work to save our County from industrial wind turbines. We had a very successful silent auction at our public information meeting yesterday at the Waring House. And it was fun too!! Thanks to everyone for your support!  All proceeds go to our judicial review led by our pro bono lawyer Alan Whiteley.