The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court decision saying the Ford government was within its rights to cancel numerous renewable power projects that had not yet met a critical milestone in the approvals process.
The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court decision saying the Ford government was within its rights to cancel numerous renewable power projects that had not yet met a critical milestone in the approvals process.
Industrial Wind Turbines on Canada Day In Ontario
“As is often the custom in Ontario on hot humid summer days, most of the IWT (industrial wind turbines) took the day off so the 4,800 MW of capacity they have was virtually silent. Had they operated at 100% of capacity they would have delivered 115,000 MWh but instead they only managed to puff out 7,440 MWh and had 400 MWh curtailed (at 11 PM) meaning they operated at a level of capacity of 6.8% including the curtailed MWh. As the morning broke at hour 9 AM they generated 8 MWh or 0.017% of capacity. Fortunately, we didn’t need their power as nuclear, hydro and gas easily supplied our needs throughout the day even though total market demand reached 22,641 MWh and Ontario demand peaked at 19,342 MWh or 402,000 MWh for the full day. Our net exports were north of 45,000 MWh which earned us ratepayers only about $750,000 while costing us close to $7 million.”
Rants about Ontario’s electricity system; Parker Gallant Energy Perspectives July 6, 2020
Published on: July 3, 2020 | Last Updated: July 3, 2020
NORTH STORMONT — A group of North Stormont residents said they will continue opposing EDP Renewables’ Nation Wind Rise Farm, which they deem harmful to their community.
The project will see the completion of 29 wind turbines in the northern section of the township. Its timeline has been marred with controversy, opponents to the project slowed down its approval as much as they could, then appealed it to the Environmental Review Tribunal, then asked Ontario Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks Jeff Yurek to kill the approval when they lost their appeal.
Construction came to a grinding halt in December, Yurek’s decision to revoke its Renewable Energy Approval (REA), citing concerns for the safety of local bat populations. EDP Renewables appealed the minister’s decision in April to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, who reinstated the project’s approval in its decision in early May….
READ AT Standard-Freeholder
Nation Valley News|January 14, 2020
North Stormont Council receives an update on the status of the Nation Rise Wind Project. Councillor Roxane Villeneuve expresses concern that the township could be on the hook to refund building permit fees already collected.
The fight is far from over and ongoing. Wind Warriors have had some welcomed news with the cancellation of Nation Rise.
Seaway News|by Nick Seebruch| December 10, 2019
December 10, 2019
NORTH STORMONT, Ontario – Ontario’s Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Jeff Yurek has cancelled a controversial wind farm project in North Stormont.
The nearly complete Nation Rise Wind Farm would have seen 29 turbines producing wind energy once completed, but Yurek has chosen to cancel the project out of concern for the local bat population.
“It is the Minister’s belief that the project is likely to cause serious and irreversible harm to the local bat populations,” wrote Gary Wheeler, Communications Officer with the Ministry. “The Minister has directed ministry staff to review how harm to bats is assessed as part of the renewable energy approval process and related guidelines, and whether any changes might be necessary. Ontario is committed to ensuring that wind turbine facilities are constructed and operate in a way that is protective of human health and the environment.”
Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell had previously called for the cancellation of the project earlier in 2019.
“The Nation Rise Project, like many industrial wind farms across rural Ontario, was a project forced upon the people of North Stormont by the previous Wynne government. The Liberal Government made it their mission to expand renewable energy at an unsustainable rate, resulting in unaffordable contracts for surplus power,” wrote McDonell in a Letter to the Editor.
The Canadian Press|By Shawn Jeffords|November 21, 2019
TORONTO – Premier Doug Ford said Thursday he is “proud” of his decision to tear up hundreds of renewable energy deals, a move that his government acknowledges could cost taxpayers more than $230 million.
Ford dismissed criticism that his Progressive Conservatives are wasting public money, telling a news conference that the cancellation of 750 contracts signed by the previous Liberal government will save cash.
“I’m so proud of that,” Ford said of his decision. “I’m proud that we actually saved the taxpayers $790 million when we cancelled those terrible, terrible, terrible wind turbines that really for the last 15 years have destroyed our energy file.”
Later Thursday, Ford went further in defending the cancelled contracts, saying “if we had the chance to get rid of all the wind mills we would.”
“You gave us hope; we gave you a majority government. Then the change came; the promises were forgotten.”
May 8, 2019|National Valley News
Letter to The Editor:
This is an open letter to Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and to Greg Rickford, Minister of the Environment.
Rod, we the citizens of North Stormont and all those already impacted by industrial wind turbines, know that you and Greg were informed of the facts, as were all other Ontario MPP’s. We know this because every MPP was given a DVD done by Dave Hemingway, of Goderich, a follow up to the TVO documentary Big Wind.
Your DVD, if you chose to watch it showed honest, hard-working, tax-paying people explain — as they drove through their area on a school bus — how their health, water, sight, mental health, income were all negatively impacted by industrial wind turbines.
Under the McGuinty and Wynne governments thousands of documented reports were filed, with file numbers, describing negative experience and all were ignored.
In 2014 EDP Renewables of Portugal, Spain came into North Stormont, southeast of Ottawa. Landowners were offered thousands of dollars a year to sign land leases. Like so many others the landowners that chose to sign contracts only saw dollar signs. They did not consider the impact on their family members, their children, their neighbours, the animals, the water; simply dollar signs.
Since the beginning the municipal council and residents have repeatedly said the project was not wanted. The people learned about infrasound, low frequency vibration, shadow flicker and flashing lights. They petitioned, voted twice to be non-willing hosts, talked/wrote/faxed multiple MPP’s of all political stripes. All to no avail under the previous government’s Green Energy Act.
During this time the number of industrial wind turbine health-related reports throughout Ontario continued to increase. Fresh well-water sources were contaminated and destroyed; you both know of this as I personally handed you the proof. Wind Concerns Ontario filed legal charges against the minister responsible for so much suffering. You both know, nothing was done.
The people of North Stormont saw the rushed, irresponsible approval of the Nation Rise Wind project (I will not call it a “farm”) pushed through during the caretaker period of parliament. It was done, like the others, without a cost analysis or proof that the power was required.
The approval came with 60 pages of conditions. The proponent had not included any potential environmental impact information as required; no mention of highly vulnerable aquifers, West Quebec Seismic Fault, leda clay, bird migratory path but it did include gas wells that North Stormont does not have. Why wasn’t the project cancelled on this alone?
An appeal was immediately filed with all residents involved knowing there was no chance of winning. Under the Green Energy Act, as you know, the residents must provide irrefutable proof that damage will occur and, we all know too, that is an impossible task.
The people of North Stormont did this to postpone the project start until after the June, 2018 election. We were thrilled to hear Doug Ford repeat over and over, “Help is on the way.” He said to me personally, “Turbines are done.”
We knew the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (PCPO) had opposed industrial wind turbines since 2012 when Lisa Thompson introduced her private member’s bill asking for a moratorium on all industrial wind projects until the root cause of the health and water concerns was determined.
The PCPO’s strong opposition continued throughout the Wynne years and finalized in the loss of Liberal party status in the June 2018 election.
The people of North Stormont believed Doug and his party as well as so many others in rural Ontario. You gave us hope; we gave you a majority government. Then the change came; the promises were forgotten.
People cried at Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker’s constituency meeting. Even after Doug’s written promise of a Health Hazard Study into the Chatham-Kent contaminated water issue during the election, nothing was done. It gets worse; local word is that the municipal, provincial and federal governments are going to pay — with taxpayer dollars — to install piped water from Lake Erie under the guise of increased infra structure, totally ignoring the destruction done to fresh well water source.
Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry with Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, introduced ERO 013-4265 — as you know — which grandfathered “existing and in process renewable energy projects” under the old Green Energy Act just two days before a small group of Jim’s constituents met with you and your assistants.
Then came the first PCPO budget where you embedded Section 17 in Bill 100 which, depending on whose interpretation, reads that no one can challenge the actions of the government retroactively.
What has happened? Where are all those MPP’s who promised to stand up for the people: Monte McNaughton, Sam Oosterhoff, Sylvia Jones, Toby Barrett, Rick Nicholls, Lisa Thompson, Jim McDonell, Bill Walker etc.?
Christine Elliott sat in Shawn and Trish Drennan’s house for hours and learned firsthand of their horrific experience with the K2 project and the formation of Lake K2 (also given to you). The Drennans are now sleeping in their basement trying to avoid infrasound.
Christine Elliott, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health has now put forth “mental health” legislation. How would this legislation help the Drennans and the thousands of others; walking away from one’s home is not easily done?
Amherst Island wind project was pushed through ignoring most, if not all, of the contract guidelines. Complaints by residents are being filed but …
Rod, before any final decision is made on the Nation Rise Wind project, I would like to remind you, again, in Ontario peoples’ lives young and old, physically and mentally have been destroyed, agricultural animals impacted, fresh groundwater sources contaminated/destroyed and for what? intermittent, unreliable, costly wind power that only increased Ontario’s debt exponentially.
Remember too the people of Ontario already impacted by industrial wind turbines support the people of North Stormont in their hope of the cancellation of Nation Rise. People from around the province signed our last petition. Calls and monetary donations have been given.
We are supported by so many except, it appears, the decision makers. I will quote what Monte McNaughton said during Lisa Thompson’s Private Member’s Bill of 2012:
Monte McNaughton, (at 1510)
I oppose the heavy-handed approach that the Dalton McGuinty government is taking by forcing these wind turbines on rural Ontario. This approach is not democratic and it’s not productive. I’ve said it before, but truly, the greatest injustice facing rural Ontario today is that Dalton McGuinty and his Liberal government sit here, in Toronto, at Queen’s Park, and dictate to rural communities where and when they must install industrial wind turbines.
Has anything changed?
It appears as if the only “group” that does recognize the inherent damage of a wind project but is choosing to not act politically is the present government, the same government that campaigned on “Help is on the way.” “Reviewing all existing contracts line-by-line and cancelling all those in non-compliance.” Addressing the thousands of documented reports, ensuring Ontario’s ground water will be protected.
Rod, your Ministry wrote and published Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-In-Ontario Plan. I quoted from it when we met Dec. 5, 2018.
Is your Ministry along with the PCPO MPP’s willing to agree to the highly probable destruction of another Ontario well water source supplying fresh water to the majority of Eastern Ontario, knowing that three wells turned cloudy after simple bore hole sampling was done by EDP? What will it cost the government to bring “piped” water to the majority of Eastern Ontario? Is the present government “playing the odds” on the lives and water of Eastern Ontario?
The residents and Municipal Council of North Stormont, those already forced to live with industrial wind turbines and so many others as well as myself and my family ask you to please put the people you promised to help and the fresh well water sources FIRST. “Promise made. Promise kept.”
You have been informed by myself, family, friends and other citizens of Ontario. As such this letter is “on notice” that the continued development of the Nation Rise Wind project is considered negligent, harmful and in bad faith.
Please put an immediate moratorium on the Nation Rise Wind project until the health and water issues across Ontario can be addressed.
The Green Energy Act is far from being repealed in Ontario. The Charter Challenge led by CCSAGE continues on with the recent filing of a Notice of Application to proceed filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Read Notice of Application here:
Date: January 7, 2019 at 2:55:57 PM EST
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, “Thompson, Lisa” <email@example.com>, Todd Smith MPP <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, Bill Walker <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Toby Barrett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Constituent’s letter
My name is Ruby Mekker. I am not one of your constituents but today I read a letter written by one of your constituents, Barb Ashbee in 2009. It is attached and I encourage you to read it.
The very sad outcome is that nothing has changed since 2009.
Sylvia, the PC Party of Ontario repealed the Green Energy Act Dec 3, 2018 and the same day introduced ERO 013-4265 (as well as two others). This proposed regulation will grandfather ALL “in-process” and “existing” wind projects under the old Green Energy Act. This is NOT what the PC Party promised the people of Ontario. What is described in Barb’s letter is still occurring in YOUR riding; nothing has been done to help these people. Approving ERO 013-4265 will condemn these people to the “hell” they have been living as described in 2009. When did democracy die in Ontario? We believed the new majority PC Party would keep their promises still posted on their web site. To date any actions of the PC Party towards people living with industrial wind turbines have been nonexistent.
Yes, we acknowledge the PC party did cancel many “green” projects but chose not to cancel the pre construction Nation Rise Wind project in North Stormont (only 1 of 2 LRPI projects not cancelled even though this project had its key milestones approved by IESO hours before the writ was dropped). Presently, we the constituents are demonstrating to Ministers Rickford and Phillips how and why this project must be cancelled. If allowed to proceed the majority PC Government of Ontario will have allowed another part of Ontario to be put in jeopardy; Nation Rise Wind project is located on recognized highly vulnerable aquifers, the West Quebec Seismic Fault, vibration sensitive Leda clay; all of which the proponent did not report to the Ministry of Environment. Need I go on….
Sylvia it is time that like Tod Smith, you, Lisa Thompson, Monte, Bill Walker, Sam Oosterhoff, Rick Nicholls, Randy Hilliard, Toby Barrett do what you asked the Liberals to do in Lisa’s 2012 Private Member’s Bil, in Sam Oosterhoff’s 2017 Private Member’s Bill AND in the 2018 campaign; stand up for YOUR constituents; do your fiduciary duty; DO NOT allow ERO 013-4265, address the issues. As Monte so eloquently said in 2012,”I believe in democracy. I believe in giving a voice to rural Ontario.” Monte, too, has let his constituents down.
Ruby and Joe Mekker
Former residents of Smithville, Ontario
Open Letter – Barb Ashbee, November 2009
No one asked for this. Nobody looked to have their life and homes exposed in the news, trying to explain how the most promising form of renewable energy was causing such destruction of their family.
Sleep deprivation, headaches, migraines, heart palpitations, tinnitus, pressure in the ears, sores that won’t heal, dangerously high blood pressure and the list goes on. This was not the plan that any of these quiet and unassuming rural families had in mind, but this is what they got. And countless months later it continues.
Nobody wanted to get sick; nobody wanted to be forced to leave their home, the place they raised their children, the place they intended to live out their retirement. Not one of them asked for this. In almost all cases, these symptoms were non-existent before the start up of the wind farm.
And when it was discovered these wonderful, planet saving industrial machines were actually hurting them and their family, not one of them would anticipate there would be no help for them.
As they read in the papers how our government was running to help other citizens who found themselves in all manner of troubling circumstances through no fault of their own, there they sat, waiting, ignored and ridiculed for admitting they needed help against the giant industry that the government had hyper-promoted in their ambitious scheme to ’save the planet’.
Who are these people, the green supporters cry out? NIMBY’S! They’re trying to stop our efforts to help the world! NIMBY’S! They don’t like change! They don’t want them in their backyard! Sorry, but nothing could be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, the vast majority welcomed wind farms as much as anyone. Some even boasted how proud they would be to participate at such close hand, to be able to help make a difference, to assist in providing clean, renewable energy.
But when the troubles started, the government looked the other way. When the troubles started, the government ran the other way, fingers in ears, la la la. There was no time for anyone or anything to stop this magnificent much needed multi-million, make that billion, dollar program and so they chose to ignore and abandon those who asked for help. They simply did not respond. As a matter of fact, some of the residents were subjected to blatant derision from their MPP. The people asked their local town council for help. They asked the Ministry of the Environment for help. They asked the Public Health Unit for help. They asked the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure for help. They even asked the Premier of Ontario directly for help. Nothing happened. No one responded. No sir, what they got from the Premier of Ontario was a loud and strong message that he was not going to let any NIMBY’s slow down his cause.
Thrown into the already brewing mess was the Green Energy Act. Sounding like a wonderful piece of legislation that would help this province and in turn, the country achieve the desired energy saving goals, it turned out to be a complete removal of rights for Ontarians; the complete dismantling of democracy in one piece of legislation. What most people didn’t know or pay attention to, was what the Premier and his two Ministers were trying to push through at lightning speed would affect everyone, not just the rural residents. And oh, how it does!
And so the letters flowed and the meetings started; ministry workshop meetings, presentations at the legislature’s standing committee hearings, public input at the local government held meetings, written submissions to the Green Energy Act Registry. Thousands of letters, documents and studies by a bevy of very astute and credible professional engineers, doctors, health professionals, lawyers, electrical engineers, professors, all manner of Ontarians with and without degrees, from all walks of life and, of course, the residents who were already being affected, already sick and getting sicker by the terribly close proximity of the wind turbines and electrical groundwork. All of these people at a grassroots level, taking no money for their time or for their obvious expense of preparing and printing papers and running around the province to government meetings and rural town hall meetings. All of these people doing the research that the government should have done before they started down this road, showing what a miserable failure simple lack of planning creates. All of these people trying to inform the government of the very serious issues with the wind farms.
Yet in the space of maybe 45 days or so, since the last submission date to the Green Energy Act Registry, designed for public input and reaping some 1300 submissions alone, this government said they had seen enough. They’d had enough time to look through all of the information submitted; the very complex engineering reports, noise studies, the reams of information on health effects, turbine failure, viability of wind as an energy source and the safe requirements for setbacks that would keep all citizens out of harms way. They repeatedly refused all requests by health professionals requesting the government slow down and conduct a proper independent health study to determine the health effects. They had also heard the victim statements, pleading with the government for help, to please listen to them, warning them to not put anymore people in the position that they found themselves in, through no fault of their own. It all fell on deaf ears.
There was no way that these Ministers were going to slow down. No matter how many people tried to warn them, they were not going to let anyone stop them in their plan to spread their wind turbines far and wide across every rural inch of the province and ringing the Great Lakes shorelines. No sir, they were going full speed ahead.
They took away the rights of all citizens of Ontario. All citizens, not just some. They overruled the professional planners who understand and know the ramifications of setbacks and public space planning so that they have no say in the municipality anymore. They overruled the town councils and Mayors who have no say in their own backyards anymore, the place they know much more intimately than any Minister, or developer.
They overruled everyone and everything. No one has ever seen the likes or speed of a piece of legislation like this before.
They ignore all of the facts brought before them, ignore and abandon the over 100 known victims, some of whom spend their days in restaurants trying to escape the conditions, who sleep in their cars with winter coming, who are billeted in a single room in a motel with children and more on the way, paid for by the wind developer. People with children, the children not knowing or caring about politics or landscape sightlines, but who bang on their ears with their fists asking Mommy to stop the noise, and young children who now complain of headaches. People with a new need for prescription sleeping pills and people who have lost everything. They’ve lost their livestock, their horses, their income, their way of life and the right to live in their own house. Children have had to move away. They live with relatives; they live by the goodness and grace of understanding strangers who offer them a place to stay. But in even larger numbers than these, are the ones trying desperately to stay in their own home, where everything they have is in and around them. Over 100 and growing. And so, at the end of the day what does the government do? They announce the same inadequate setbacks that they had previously spouted way back at the beginning of the year. Nothing had changed. It appears their minds were made up a long time ago. What a waste of taxpayers money.
The whole industry is contaminated with non-disclosure contracts right from the start. When the landowners agree to host, after being assured of all the good things they are doing, they sign contracts. These are variously worded contracts that do not allow them to speak out about anything negative to do with the wind turbines and will entitle the developer to make any amount of noise, vibration or do what they need to on their land and the landowner may not complain. Some are embarrassed at being taken in by the salesmen. They had no idea it would be such an intrusion, but the money sounded sweet. I wonder how many other businesses there are that match the need for non-disclosure clauses being made with ordinary, everday citizens while receiving full government support. Why such secrecy if this is such a noble exercise?
Many landowners with multiple turbines don’t live on their property. These are some of the ones who will say there are no problems and argue strongly to push ahead. Some have rented out their farmhouses cheap. The renters sleep with oscillating fans going all night long by their heads to try to cut out the thumping sound of the wind turbines clearly heard in their bedrooms. Many wear earplugs but they don’t always work.
People ask, why aren’t more people speaking up, why don’t we hear more? Would you speak up knowing that if and when you needed to get out you wouldn’t be able to sell your house? Who would buy it? It’s not an easy position for any of them to be put in, nor do they want to jeopardize the hopes that the developer will help them, or the possible lashback by fervent green supporters in their community who are so careless with their words and judgment. Many are under contract and cannot speak. Some don’t have the courage or the life skills to know who to even contact. This is all new to them; it’s all new to everyone, even our leaders.
So what about Europe people ask? Aren’t they all happy with their wind farms over there? No, they’re not. In fact there are over 360 grass roots coalitions in 19 European countries in exactly the same position as our residents, pleading to be listened to. They are trying to work with their governments on greater setbacks to protect the residents. As industrial wind turbines get bigger and bigger (40 storeys), some countries leaders have listened and have changed their setbacks to 1.5 kms and further. They acknowledge the problems,and they obviously care about the consequences. These symptoms and problems are mirrored all over the world. Next door in the U.S, Australia, Japan…..
No one can believe our government would completely ignore residents like this, especially the residents themselves. Surely there must be something wrong with these people if the government isn’t listening or taking action. Nope, in fact there is nothing wrong with these residents. These are all good people; honest people, the backbone of this country. Something wrong you ask? Perhaps you should be looking to the provincial government and their brazen, no questions asked backing and protection of the wind industry.
$omething i$ very wrong indeed. ~B. Ashbee