Workers locked out of a wind turbine blade plant in Tillsonburg Ontario were called to a community hall a few days later and given their dismissal notices. The plant is shutting down as not being economically viable. The plant’s opening protested by those who oppose the harms of wind power installations and its closing came a very short 6 years later. Hundred of workers in a small community now without work as wind industry jobs proved to be temporary. The turbine blade plant in Windsor now placed on a watch list for a similar and predicted demise. Ontario’s green energy economy an illusion that has been running on rate payer generated subsidies.
Kelly McParland: Another wheel flies off Ontario’s green energy bus, and lands on 340 workers
Despite overwhelming evidence that governments do badly when they try to remove the freedom from free enterprise, Wynne and McGuinty ploughed ahead with their green energy vision
When former premier Dalton McGuinty visited the new Siemens Canada plant in Tillsonburg in 2011, he brushed aside protesters and boasted that the plant was part of the Liberal alternative energy plan that would “put us at the forefront in North America.”
The plant made windmill blades. Windmills were the future. Clean energy was what McGuinty’s two-year-old Green Energy Act was all about. It would free the province of old, dirty manufacturing and introduce new, cutting-edge jobs that would make Ontario the envy of the world.
Just six years later the plant is closing. Management says big changes in the wind industry make it no longer viable. The cutting edge plant that was to help lead Ontario into the Valhalla of a clean energy future can’t survive in a market that wants bigger blades.
McGuinty has long since faded into retirement. He chose to step down rather than endure further questioning about an earlier energy fiasco. There was no sign of his successor, Kathleen Wynne, outside the factory, Tuesday, as newly-jobless workers sought an explanation for the closure. “There was quite a bit of anger in there because they shut the place down the other night and never really told anybody about it,” one complained to The London Free Press. “It was bang, everything was locked down.”
On Thursday, June 15, 2017 Niagara Wind held an open house to celebrate the inauguration of its 77 industrial (3MW Enercon) wind turbine project located in West Lincoln, Haldimand and Niagara region. The following is a write up from a member of the community who attended with her impressions and opinions.
For sake of anonymity, I will use false names for anyone I speak of in this write up.
It should be noted that the true inauguration celebration happened at approximately 1pm and as noted in Niagara This Week, all the bigwigs in suits were bused in attendance for this champagne shindig.
“Representatives from Boralex, Enercon and the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation all defended wind power and their new farm that straddles Haldimand County and the Niagara Region.”
Michael Weidemann, executive vice president of ENERCON Canada standing outside of the company’s recent project in Lowbanks. The Niagara Region Wind Farm is a joint partnership with ENERCON, Boralex and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation. – Alexandra Heck/ Metroland – Photo from Niagara This Week.
Here is a local write up from a local media company.
I arrived at the gates of hell, sorry, I mean gates to the property where the event was held on Bird Road, Lowbanks, Ontario shortly after 4pm.
I stopped and talked to Linda from MAWTi for a quick moment before entering the property. Her infant was napping in the stroller and I asked how the 1pm shindig went and we discussed a few things before I carried on. Linda was holding a nice big sign, specific to the design of the Enercon Turbines that infest our rural routes and in many cases, our backyards and as always, she is fierce in her stance against the projects despite the extreme heat, humidity and sun.
So attendees to this event had to drive quite the distance through the agricultural farmed land to the designated parking area by the temporary white tents and out near the turbines. I was greeted by ‘security’ before getting to the parking and tent area. Really? Security? Is this necessary? For some reason, the community attendees were required to purchase a ticket(s) online ($0). Anyways, Mr. Security didn’t ask for my ticket, just told me where to park because ‘its about to get real busy.’
I said ‘Oh ya? Whys that?’
He replied with ‘I just think it’s going to get super busy, people want to come and see these turbines.’ I replied with a bit of a sarcastic tone ‘most of us get to see them every single day, like it or not’ and I put my window up drove to park.
There was one big white tent with tables set up inside, a bar that clearly had the champagne cleared out, but residents were privy to chilled water and pop. Inside the tent situated at one end were the typical large displays with descriptive images of the internal mechanics of the project Enercon E-101 turbines, stats and facts and various pamphlets touting the good of the wind industry. I pretended like I haven’t seen all this before and snapped a picture. Internally I felt like a moron because anyone who is interested in Industrial Wind Turbines for any reason, knows about the guts so I passed on any further photo ops.
I took a pamphlet from CanWea titled, “The Secret Is Out, Wind Is In. Building a stronger, cleaner and affordable energy system.” I grumbled under my breath, ‘Gawd, this shit is thick’ and an elderly man I hadn’t noticed beside me snickered and nodded his head. I winked and quickly scooted away before I felt obligated to engage in conversation.
The pamphlet, if it is to spout the reality of Renewables, should read, The Secret Is Out, Wind Is RAMMED In. Building the most unreliable, intermittent power grid, wiping out ecological systems far and wide, dividing communities, harming humans and creating wide spread energy poverty in Ontario. That is what it should read. The TRUTH.
So then I began my stroll to the other end of the tent. This tent was huge! Obviously there was a need for this large tent to house all the leaseholders, stakeholders and investors and surely it must be challenging to squeeze that much corruption into one tent.
Fred from Boralex noticed me and walked over and we said our courteous hellos. We chatted for a brief few more minutes about this and that, but as usual I was eager to jumped into question mode. There are some mechanics I don’t understand and want to understand better.
I asked ‘are the converters are under the ground?’
Fred replied no they are in the turbines themselves.
Me, not fully understanding how can a converter be INSIDE the turbine did my squinty face and I asked ‘so under the turbine?’
Fred said do you want to go in the turbine I can explain better. Off we went to the turbine. Fred, Roger and myself.
Before I got to the turbine I could hear this high pitch screaming. I knew I was in for it with these triggered ears and head of mine, but in I went because curiosity always gets the better of me. It is so loud with this high pitched frequency that I cannot relate it to anything else I have ever experienced before. It could be like tinnitus in 4D. Anyways, in I went. WOW! Not going to lie, very impressive! (Impressive minus the high pitched screaming that is). We talked for a bit about what was inside and how it all works and fans etc. and guess what. They have an elevator to get to the top. Yup. An elevator.
Don’t quote me on this, but if I understood correctly the high pitched screaming is because they convert from AC to DC then back from DC to AC. It is the switching of something at a very rapid pace that makes the high pitched noise and does the converting inside the converters that really are inside the turbine. So this converting back and forth, as I was told, was the most perfect energy (Hz I believe) wave that is created. Picture a hand moving in a up and down in a perfect wave motion <– as per Fred with Boralex.
As we continued to converse with others joining in on the conversation, an eager graduate who proudly just graduated his 4 year program at Mohawk almost bounced over, blonde trendy hair flopping all over as he runs his hands through it, whips his clipboard out from under his arm, fully armed with his resume and credentials from school and boldly interrupted our conversation. He wanted a job in the wind industry. BADLY. I took the opportunity to move on and Fred continued his conversation with this very eager new graduate.
I made my way back to the tent. I wanted to see what was on the computer screens and to see if there was a presentation. I asked the young lady there, very nice young lady, if there was a presentation put on later. Nope. No presentation, just a slide show of photos of during and after construction of the project. Nothing worth sticking around for.
On my way back to my truck I noticed a GAS generator. Ok, best photo OP of the day. A gas generator used to run the computers for the slide show. The irony was not lost on me.
When I was leaving I saw the eager graduate at his vehicle. I stopped and asked him about his program at Mohawk. I wanted to know if he was serious about Wind and what he knew. He clearly is in over his head. It was shocking to me that after 4 years he hadn’t a clue about the simplest thing, such as The Grid app on a smartphone or a reasonable ‘educated’ response to any questions I asked him. I asked why the wind industry and he said it fascinated him the most. I slide into our conversation that you will not be a very liked person within the communities and could cause conflicts between friend and family.
He said ‘my dad and his friends have already yelled at me several times for it.’ I responded with ‘it isn’t the yelling that should concern you; it is WHY they are yelling. What are they trying telling you? What aren’t you listening too?’
Then I told him Wind Industry will die one day.
He seriously thought I was crazy, I could tell, meanwhile I KNOW he is. ALL the energy needs of the world? Ok, buddy, refund in your education should be first on your list.
I asked ‘do you have a smart phone?’
I asked ‘do you follow any of the grid apps?’ He actually responded with ‘what is that.’ If ever there was a time to smack my forehead in disbelief then would of been an appropriate time.
I asked ‘do you have Google?’
He said ‘yes, I use it.’
I responded with ‘Google wind turbines and do some homework before you settle into the wind industry.’
We talked for a few more minutes and it became more and more obvious to me, and apparent to him that he really didn’t know squat. I suggested he talk to rural route residents on both sides of the fence. Talk to people who are slammed with energy poverty. He inquired on what energy poverty was. Spending 4 years in a renewables program and no idea with energy poverty is. Again I encouraged Google, the local news and worldwide news. We discussed other renewable options ‘taught’ in his 4 year program such as hydro, geothermal and solar. He (reluctantly) admitted the majority of his program focused on solar and wind, because Geothermal and Hydro weren’t our future. Boy would I love to get my hands on that program. He is a young kid, 24 yrs old tops and has no idea that there is a grid app and spent 4 years in the renewable energy program and to boot he PAID for that education. I showed him my app and what was being contributed to the grid live.
Snapshot of my grid app on my phone. It was a pretty remarkable day with West Lincoln NRWF pumping it to the grid. Good thing I didn’t depend on this 230MW, $1 Billion wind farm to use my toaster this particular day. (was not a current day photo)
He looked confused and said ‘OK, thanks for sharing that.’
I strongly urged him ‘seriously do yourself a favor and do as most responsible adults would, research your desired field and look into wind and its many complex problems associated with it.’
He said with so much excitement and enthusiasm, ‘look at these,’ both hands held out, one with a water bottle in it and his blonde hair flopping around in the wind. ‘They are huge and incredibly technical and generate so much energy to your home every day.’
I dropped the f-bomb and said tell your dad he has more yelling to do, I have to go.
I left the scene. Yes, scene. I feel like it wasn’t real and entirely staged. There were maybe 2 dozen tops when I was there. People brought their small children and there was a great mix of people of various ages.
Now, it is time for reflection.
Open house. It is slightly interesting but predictable, that the entire community wasn’t invited to the inauguration. There wasn’t even a great attempt at getting the word out that there was an open house with left over, sun exposed heated gooey cheese, bread and non-alcoholic beverages for the left over community.
If the people I communicate with almost daily didn’t share the info, I wouldn’t of been informed of this event. Which also raises an eyebrow, as I am suppose to be on the list of event notifications with Niagara Region Wind Farm.
There wasn’t even a wee bit of an attempt to ooohhh and ahhhh us with a small guided presentation, touting the benefits of the wind farm, the project completion, what this means for the community, how many jobs they (didn’t) create and so forth. No attempt to dazzle us, the left over community, with a show of any sort. We don’t matter. Clearly.
The designation of this champagne shindig was for those who profit financially. Stakeholders. Upper Management. Leaseholders.
Left out of the 1pm champagne inauguration is all the community members who are forced to live with these monstrous jolly green giants. Our choices revoked, our voices silenced and in too many cases, family units shattered. Our health can be adversely impacted, with families forced from their homes, permanently or to seek temporary relief. All the rate payers for electricity who are forced to subsidize an embellished industry, were left out of this celebration that they felt was appropriate to have in our backyards. All of us were left out of the celebrations.
This was not an accident. This is a Wind Industry, excelling with the support of the Liberal government, decimating rural route Ontario on our dime.
My wounds are salted.
I have been working on this write up for a few days. I was rattled by the photo below. It literally stopped me in my tracks. I stared at it and over the last few days, looked at it several times. It took me some time to actually grasp and process this picture. It became apparent that I needed to acknowledge there are people actually celebrating with champagne around the corner from our once treasured home, while my family and my personal life has been inverted.
This picture right here. This picture brought it full circle for me and flooded my soul with a wave of raw emotions. These people are truly proud, celebrating the very same project that has devastated lives. Destroyed lives. Causing harm to family members and collapsing family units. Is causing physical harm to people. Is causing harm to the environment. Is forcing families from their homes. This project, this celebration, is also a contributor to the highest rates of electricity in North America. Energy poverty is forefront. A top news chart. These projects are costing ratepayers BILLIONS of extra money.
All of these champagne celebrating guests have hijacked my family of our rights to prosper, to enjoy our home and property, our right to health and protection and have subscribed to the removal of our rights, both under the Charter and in the Constitutional Act. This is no small feat. This is no small crime. This is a methodical conquering of the removal of many rights for everyone. You are not exempt from this wind industry corruption because you have your champagne glass in hand. You just haven’t felt the true wrath of your ill informed decisions. Yet here we have my neighbors celebrating with a corrupt industry, champagne filled glasses held high, in honor of all the mayhem forced into many people’s lives.
The ill placement of Industrial Wind Turbines has stolen our future.
Excuse me while I fill a glass with champagne to celebrate.
**Some photos compliments of Niagara News This Week
Andy Metelka, an acoustics and vibrations specialist who has been studying the sound effects of wind turbines, was very careful about the conclusions he made from his studies.
He has just returned from a conference on wind turbine noise in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and shared his insights with a group of residents in Smithville.
Metelka has perfected his own sound measuring technique and a formula to isolate the sound coming from turbines from other background noise.
“There are no guidelines in Canada on infrasound regarding wind turbines,” said Metelka, explaining that further research could lay the groundwork for those regulations.
“I’m not here to discuss medical science, I’m not a medical professional,” he said. “I do not act on behalf of any party as a professional engineer.”
Metelka has been studying the sound and infrasound from turbines in Grey Highlands, a municipality just southeast of Owen Sound. Infrasound is the low-level noise that is not detected by the human ear.
Metelka concluded that both weather and the shape of the ground can affect how the sound travels, and that older farmhouses let more infrasound in than newer homes.
Metelka also concluded that infrasound is indeed present in homes near operating wind turbines, but he could not say what effect, if any, they have on human life.
For anyone experiencing shadow flicker from turbines, and especially if you have been told erroneously NOT to report it, please read this message to us from the MOECC. We advise everyone to report to the MOECC, and the wind power developer but above all, to always include the MOECC in your reporting. Be sure to get an Incident Report number when you call.
MOECC: Thank you for your inquiry. The Ministry remains committed to reviewing and assessing all complaints related to the operation of a wind facility.
To register a complaint, please contact either the local MOECC district office (during business hours), or the Spills Action Centre (after hours).
Complaints received by the Spills Action Centre will be assessed and forwarded to the appropriate MOECC district office for action.
I thank you again for your inquiry.
Senior Manager, Spills Action Centre
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
5775 Yonge Street, Suite 500
Toronto, ON M2M 4J1
Spills Action Centre -Reports after business hours can be made by calling:
1-800-268-6060 (toll-free, province-wide, 24/7)
416-325-3000 (Toronto area)
Business Hours– Report to your local District Office
Just in case we thought the wind turbines would be ordered to be mitigated or shut down if health problems were noticed in the Huron County Health study – nope that’s not gonna happen. Read the correspondence below and you will realize that it is all just ‘process’, with no action to ‘correct’ on the horizon. Basically more people are just being used as test subjects. That’s it. And that’s flat out unacceptable.
Thanks to Richard Mann, Associate Professor Department of Computer Science; University of Waterloo for this.
From: Erica Clark
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2017 3:44 PM
Subject: Ability of MOH to write orders against wind turbines under section 13 of HPPA
One of the issues the University of Waterloo ethics committee asked us to address was the hope residents had that, at some time, the Medical Officer of Health would be able to write an order curtailing or shutting down the wind turbines. We had already stated in the recruitment materials that the study would not generate sufficient evidence to prove wind turbines cause health problems (establishing causality) but the ethics committee questioned whether we were providing enough information on the limits of the Medical Officer of Health’s authority. To address that concern, we have spoken with individuals experienced in interpreting the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) specifically, sections 11 (investigating health hazards) and 13 (writing orders). They provided us with the attached documents that outline the limits on the MOH’s authority to write orders.
The first document (Pelletier v Northwestern Health Unit) is the proceedings from an Ontario Health Services Appeal and Review Board and the second (Court File 2006-01-04) is a judicial review of the appeal hearing by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Essentially, these documents state that when the Legislature places the authority to regulate with one organization, such as municipal councils or the Ministry of the Environment, the courts do not accept that there was an intention to give the same authority to the MOH under section 13 of the HPPA. The rulings were made when the Northwestern Health Unit MOH wrote orders prohibiting exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (second hand smoke) in several bars and restaurants. At the time the orders were written, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke was (and still is) deemed a health hazard.
Since the Legislature assigned the duty to regulate wind turbines to the Ministry of the Environment and not the health units, the courts will not recognize the authority of the MOH under section 13 of the HPPA to write an order curtailing or shutting down the wind turbines.
I will be putting these documents on the health unit website soon, however, I wanted you to have a chance to read them first. The documents are publicly available at
Census of Agriculture recently released by Statistics Canada shines a light on some interesting statistics about renewable installations on Ontario farms. There are 2 465 wind turbines erected in the province as of 2016.
“About 10,255 farms have a renewable energy system, Stats Canada reports. Of those farms, about 85 per cent had solar panels and 15.7 per cent had wind turbines.
Approximately 5,180 farms in Ontario had renewable energy systems, the most of any province. 4,428 farms (85.5 per cent) of these respondents said they use solar panels compared to 906 with wind turbines.”
MPP Lisa Thompson called upon Minister of Environment to meet family adversely impacted by wind turbine noise. She calls out new Ontario Noise Guidelines for Industrial Wind Turbines as failing to “cut it” by not taking into account tonal qualities of exposure in a home. Facts matter. No ONE should have to suffer.