If you’ve been following this story, you’ll know that the East Oxford Community Alliance has been protesting the fact that the wind power developer, Prowind (headquarters in Germany), achieved the status of having the project’s documentation “complete” when the fact was important studies and documents were incomplete or missing altogether.
The East Oxford group compiled 26 pages of errors and omissions, which were then sent to the MoE and the Ombudsman’s office.
The comment period for the documents (incomplete or not there at all) was extended by the Ministry of the Environment, but the documentation was still not complete —which means the public is commenting on documents that aren’t 100% accurate.
This is a letter from the group leader, Joan Morris, to protest the situation:
Dear Ms. Garcia-Wright,
I am in receipt of your letter dated August 6 indicating that the EBR comment period for the Gunn’s Hill wind project will end tomorrow, August 7, 2014, and that no extension will be granted to allow for proper public input on revised information relating to this project. While you state that this was a “30-day comment period”, you must know that is not truly the case, as most residents were not even aware of the posting until half way through this timeframe due to the proponent’s delay in notifying the public. In fact some residents (who were on the mailing list for previous notifications) have never been notified by the proponent regarding this most recent development, even as the comment period closes.
I am concerned that you have justified implementing a “30-day comment period” in this case by indicating the original comment period was 45 days, given that the information available during the previous 45 day comment period was incorrect and does not accurately reflect the project the proponent now proposes to construct. Surely it would be in the best interest of citizens to have the opportunity to adequately review and comment on ACCURATE information. In this case, the rights of citizens are not being respected and for this reason I have copied the offices of the Ombudsman, the Attorney General and Legal Counsel for East Oxford Community Alliance for further investigation of this file.
Your ministry is surely aware that the documents provided to the public and submitted to your office by Prowind Canada do not clearly describe the project it now proposes to build and the public has been denied the right to conduct an adequate review. The “iterative process” you have acknowledged occurs between the proponent and the Ministry, without public involvement is further evidence of the manner in which public input is stifled. This is contradictory to the “open and transparent” environment in which the Ministry and the current government purport to operate.
It is unfortunate that your office has chosen not to allow a proper comment period, as this has the appearance of expediting this project for the benefit of the proponent while trampling the rights of citizens.