Fishermen’s houses burned to make way for wind farm
3-year-old dispute continues in coastal community of Oaxaca
Twenty houses were set on fire Wednesday as a dispute flared up over a proposed wind farm in the Oaxaca coastal municipality of San Francisco del Mar.
Municipal authorities and a community of fishermen are at odds over the Boca Barra wind farm, which was first proposed three years ago. The indigenous fishermen of Pueblo Viejo have strongly opposed it, refusing to give up 15,000 hectares of coastal land.
Yesterday, the municipal representative in Pueblo Viejo, Francisco Álvarez, led a group of supporters to the beach where they set fire to some 20 palapa-roofed houses belonging to the fishermen.
The latter filed a formal complaint and then proceeded to block access to Pueblo Viejo and cut off the town’s electrical power.
The fishermen claim that Álvarez wants to force them to leave the land so the municipality can grant it to the wind farm project. They also charged that Mayor Froylan Gaspar Pedro was behind the arson attack.
The municipality has claimed that the wind farm will be “for the benefit of all.”
The state deputy secretary for political development, Carlos Ramos, said his staff have traveled to the coastal municipality to arrange negotiations between both parties. Two previous attempts to negotiate a solution have failed.
No arrests were reported after the arson attack or the suspension of the town’s power supply.
Nation Rise project will create noise, health problems: WCO president to Tribunal
(C) ONTARIO FARMER
July 31, 2018
Report by Tom van Dusen
Finch, Ontario — Sitting demurely and speaking quietly, on July 24 the volunteer president of Wind Concerns Ontario blasted the provincial government approach to monitoring industrial wind turbines, accusing it of ignoring complaints about noise, health and other issues, or deferring them with no subsequent action.
Jane Wilson made her comments while presenting as a witness during an Environmental Review Tribunal hearing into the Nation Rise wind power project planned for Stormont County. The hearing is scheduled to continue through August 2.
Currently engaged in the approval process, the project is sponsored by EDP Renewables Canada and calls for installation of some 33 turbines in North Stormont farm country delivering a total of 100 megawatts of power that, opponents observe, the province doesn’t need.
Headed by local resident Margaret Benke, opponents were hopeful the new Doug Ford government would cancel Nation Rise just as it did the White Pines wind project in Prince Edward County. But that didn’t happen and opponents’ legal fees and other expenses are up to $20,000. Benke noted that, with Ford in place, Nation Rise isn’t likely to proceed and yet opposing residents are still on the hook for costs.
Government not enforcing the law
A registered nurse, Wilson said Wind Concerns represents a coalition of more than 30 community groups across Ontario.
She emphasized that the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change–renamed Environment, Conservation and Parks — has pledged to protect the environment and human health from any turbine side effects.
She cited former Environment Minister Glen Murray congratulating his officials for responding quickly to complaints and enforcing the law. However, Wilson’s review of incident reports obtained through Access to Information indicated the ministry doesn’t respond to all complaints and “does not, therefore, enforce the law.”
No answer to that
Total number of incident reports filed with the ministry between 2006 and 2016 was 4,574, Wilson told Maureen Cartier-Whitney, chair of the one-person panel. Records showed that in more than 50 per cent of formal complaints, there was no ministry response. Another 30 per cent were deferred. “In fact, only one percent received priority response.”
While he asked for some clarification, Paul McCulloch of the ministry’s Legal Services Branch, didn’t dispute Wilson’s basic facts. Representing EDP, lawyer . Grant Worden also offered no challenges to Wilson.
The repetitive nature of various complaints suggests, Wilson continue, that wind power developers are failing to live up to the terms of their approvals by allowing conditions triggering adverse effects including on health, to continue.
“Documented health effects include headache, sleep deprivation, annoyance, and ringing or pressure sensation in the head and ears. Most disturbing was the fact that these health effects were reported many times, and also among children.”
Wilson indicated that 39 per cent of 2006-2016 incident reports referred explicitly to sleep disturbance which is generally blamed for a myriad of diseases and disorders.
“Given the thousands of unresolved noise complaints in Ontario, and given Health Canada results of adverse health effects at distances of 550 metres to 1 km, it is reasonable to question whether the Nation Rise power project will not also engender community reports of excessive noise and adverse effects.”
To help support the appeal, which is bringing forward issues never presented to the ERT before, please send a cheque to Concerned Citizens of North Stormont, c/o Wind Concerns Ontario, PO Box 509, 250 Wellington main Street, Wellington ON K0K 3L0
Since 2007, County groups and individuals have been fighting wind turbine projects in PEC on environmental, human health, cultural heritage and economic grounds. We are grateful that the PC government has taken decisive action to cancel wpd Canada’s White Pines wind project.
In a recent open letter to Premier Ford, Dr. Hartmut Brosamle, CEO of wpd AG, asks for reconsideration of the government’s decision to cancel White Pines, because the cancellation is causing the company “serious damage through no fault of its own”. Some comments are appropriate regarding fault.
wpd Canada and, by extension, its German parent wpd AG, have exhibited major failings or faults with regard to their pursuit of the White Pines wind project:
wpd originally chose a location that is the last stretch of undeveloped land on Lake Ontario, on a major bird migration route, much of it within an Important Bird Area. This area is home to multiple endangered species, including Blanding’s turtle and little brown bat. As well, the South Shore is an area of significant cultural heritage value, dating back to UEL days.
wpd instructed its sales agents to sign up landowners to host wind turbines secretly, with no notice to the community, and required those landowners to agree to nondisclosure of contract terms.
wpd hired consultants who provided it with incomplete and flawed reports to legitimize the project, especially with regard to environmental issues and cultural heritage concerns. Citizens’ groups and individuals had to hire their own lawyers and consultants and launch appeals costing about $700,000 to present the other side.
wpd ignored the results of a 2012 plebiscite in South Marysburgh Ward, where the project is located. Ninety per cent of those who voted (turnout similar to that for municipal elections) rejected wind turbines in their ward.
wpd never engaged in a real two-way dialogue with the community; instead it proceeded most of the time as if the County was unpopulated.
wpd ignored the position of PEC Council, which declared itself in 2013 to be an unwilling host to wind turbines.
BREACH OF CONTRACT
wpd failed to deliver 75 per cent of the contracted capacity required by its FIT contract, and failed to meet contract deadlines.
wpd underestimated the resolve of local groups to protect County residents, the natural environment and cultural heritage, and the many County residents who funded their efforts.
wpd ignored the fact of a coming provincial election and an anticipated change of government to one opposing the Green Energy Act and wind turbine projects.
wpd made a reckless decision to proceed with construction of the downsized project without final approval by IESO. Wpd is the author of its own misfortune.
Via the Green Energy Act, the Liberal government suspended democracy as regards renewable energy development and, for nine years, completely ignored the wishes of citizens and municipalities. The PC government was elected in part because of its willingness to listen to the people.
Despite all of the failings listed above, Dr. Brosalme asks for “fairness and equity” for wpd. How many such failings are necessary to disqualify wpd from reconsideration of the government’s decision: only one? maybe three? even all ten?
We in the County have been seeking fairness and equity regarding wind turbine projects for more than a decade, involving many thousands of hours of volunteer time. It’s the government’s choice, and we are grateful that it has made a choice “for the people”.
Finally, it is important to acknowledge the strong support that Todd Smith has provided to our community and our cause since he became MPP in 2011. It’s been good to know that he’s had our back at Queen’s Park.
The following lists are the projects identified for wind-down. The projects on these lists are Large Renewable Projects that have not achieved their Key Development Milestones, and Feed-In Tariff projects that have not received Notice To Proceed.
For further information, please contact the Independent Electricity System Operator at www.ieso.ca.
Keeping election promise will save $790 million to help lower electricity bills
TORONTO — Ontario ratepayers will benefit from $790 million in savings thanks to the Government of Ontario’s decision to cancel and wind down 758 renewable energy contracts, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford announced today.
“We clearly promised we would cancel these unnecessary and wasteful energy projects as part of our plan to cut hydro rates by 12 per cent for families, farmers and small businesses,” said Rickford in making the announcement. “In the past few weeks, we have taken significant steps toward keeping that promise.”
All of the cancelled projects have not reached project development milestones. Terminating the projects at this early stage will maximize benefits for ratepayers.
Rickford also confirmed that the government intends to introduce a legislative amendment that, if passed, will protect hydro consumers from any costs incurred from the cancellation. Even after all costs are accounted for, ratepayers can expect to benefit from $790 million in savings from this one decision.
“For 15 years, Ontario families and businesses have been forced to pay inflated hydro prices, so the government could spend on unnecessary and expensive energy schemes,” said Rickford. “Those days are over.”
Mother’s Against Wind Turbines Inc. (MAWTI), is calling for an immediate moratorium on the operations of current wind energy facilities in the province and the cessation of approvals of future projects. We have prepared the following brief which has been delivered to the Premier Doug Ford, as well as mailed to all MPP’s with a portfolio and a mailed copy was also sent to each MPP that is an assistant to a minister with a portfolio.
Please consider our document and distribute as you determine.
Ontario has elected a new Provincial Government and what lies ahead for the energy sector is sure to be an interesting play of policy decisions based on election promises and market realities. Many opinions are being expressed as to what if will mean for contracts for renewable energy projects , including those powered by wind.
The link below outlines an analysis of what may lay ahead.
Andrew Coyne: Liberals, keep your moralizing mitts off our Canada Pension Plan
McKenna’s tweet was just the usual non-stop, 24-hour moralizing we’ve come to expect from the primly ideological fanatics in this increasingly ridiculous government
It’s probably nothing. It was just a tweet, after all.
But when the federal environment minister, Catherine McKenna, posted her approval of a recent Canada Pension Plan Investment Board decision, it caused a little flutter of alarm among those who follow these things.
“Now, this is something that Canadians can be proud of,” she cheered, linking to a story about the CPPIB’s plans to invest more than $3 billion in green energy projects, “as it prepares for the global transition to a lower-carbon economy.”
Ministers of the Crown do not normally comment on CPP investment decisions, approvingly or otherwise, and with good reason. Though the federal and provincial governments set the broad terms of the plan’s operations — how much it collects in “contributions” from employers and employees, etc — the CPPIB, which is responsible for investing the $356 billion accumulated in the CPP Fund, is supposed to operate at arm’s length from all of them.
Now, this is something that Canadians can be proud of. The CPP
is planning to invest more than $3 billion in renewable energy as it prepares for the global transition to a lower-carbon economy. https://t.co/hsssiwYE47
Dear John [Fraser, interim Ontario Liberal leader],
Over the past four years we have written, faxed, emailed you and your previous fellow MPP’s many times and clearly told you one of the ways the Liberal party of Ontario was going wrong.
The Liberals’ callous, cruel disregard for the rights of the people of Ontario was very clearly demonstrated right up to the last week of parliament when over 3,000 people signed petitions simply asking your party to recognize your own lower, safer noise levels for industrial wind turbines. Late Friday, May 3 MOECC approved the Nation Rise Wind project using the higher noise levels (EDP Renewables of Portugal had surveyors on local roads Monday, May 6) and your party leader dissolved parliament May 7. The approval inflicted an additional debt on all people of Ontario of $1.8 million/month guaranteed for 20 years to a foreign county.
Over the years we asked you and your party, why? Why the damage to Amherst Island, the 20 wells in Chatham-Kent, the ignored noise complaints, the removal of rights of the municipalities and people of Ontario under the Green Energy Act?
John, your party has a lot to answer for including the anguish your party has inflicted. We sincerely hope you do not achieve official party status; a party such as yours that treated the people of Ontario as you did does not deserve to be anywhere near the democratic government of Ontario. Ruby and Joe Mekker
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