Myrna Wood, vice-president of Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN), announced today that the club will appeal
the Ministry of the Environment ruling to allow nine mammoth wind turbines to be built on Crown Land at Ostrander Point.
“We opposed this project from day one; it will be disastrous to wildlife – including endangered species –
and the natural habitat. The industrial construction alone will destroy essential habitat for millions of birds and bats.
Operating turbines will threaten their lives for over 25 years. While we hoped the Minister of the Environment would deny
the project, we have been preparing an appeal for the last year and a half,” she said.
Ostrander Point Crown Land Block lies at the heart of the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird Area (IBA). The
IBA, established in 2001, acknowledges the importance of the South Shore to waterfowl, migrating birds and raptors. The Crown
Land Block is an area of rare alvar habitat, contains provincially significant wetlands, is a candidate Area of Natural and
Scientific Interest and is the home of at least two endangered species.
PECFN has already been working with Guelph lawyer, Peter Pickfield, on preliminary appeal preparations. His recommendation
to move the case into the hands of Eric Gillespie was enthusiastically approved by PECFN’s executive. “An environmental
lawyer, Gillespie has been working in the wind energy field since the flawed Green Energy Act was imposed. His extensive experience
will give us the best chance to fight this outrageous decision successfully. It will be the first test of the environmental
grounds for appeal under the Act,” Wood explained. PECFN will begin an immediate fund-raising campaign to finance the
Wood said the timing of the government’s decision was especially heartless. “The Environmental Review Tribunal
has given us no extra time despite the holiday season. We must have our initial arguments ready by January 4, 2013. Fortunately
Mr. Gillespie is willing to work with us through the holidays.”
PECFN members and its executive know the majority of Prince Edward County residents are appalled by the callous timing
of this decision and by the Minister of Environment’s disregard for the irreversible harm this project will cause to
the animals, birds, bats, turtles and plants at Ostrander Point Crown Land Block. With the help of county citizens, PECFN
will mount a vigorous case against this project.
Alban Goddard Hill says:
Saturday, December 29th, 2012 at 11:10 pm
Good work, PEC Field Naturalists all.
The MoE is very practised at making these kinds of reprehensible Christmas Eve gift announcements, presumably as a little
token of their esteem for industry as well as a sign of their disrespect for local citizens. The MoE should really be renamed
the Ministry of Industrial Development.
Six years ago, on December 21, 2006, the same kind of announcement of decision was made by the MoE regarding a proposal
by the Lafarge cement plant in Bath. (See my website, eloerg.tripod.com/waupoos) The timing on that case was the same, as
the appeal window was to expire in the first week in January, just as it is here.
The Bath proposal was ultimately defeated at the Environmental Review Tribunal. It was defeated by the diligent work of
a number of environmental law firms which prepared their appeal over the holiday period, building on the foundation of data
that concerned citizens had been assembling for some time, just as you have been in the present case.
The Richmond landfill was another recent local example of this sort of nonsense, and it was also defeated.
And of course the prototypical successful environmental case occurred at your own Sandbanks in the sixties so you already
have a tradition of success.
There is obviously a place for green energy, but its a question of weighing the benefit versus the cost. Putting a dozen
turbines up is going to do virtually nothing to satisfy our infinite appetite for energy in this province, but the Wolfe Island
farm has already set a dangerous precedent for building in ecologically sensitive areas, and Ostrander will have the same
significance if it proceeds.
Your case is very strong here and I am please to support you in whatever way I can.
Alban Goddard Hill
Steve Campbell | Dec 31, 2012 | Comments 5
Well, it’s just like the Government Grinch to try to steal the County’s Christmas spirit.
On Dec. 21, it was announced that the Gilead Wind project at Ostrander Point had been approved. This opens the door
to a whole new future of unstoppable Industrial Wind Turbine projects here.
But we have no-one to complain to. Poor Todd Smith, our provincial member of parliament, is foaming at the mouth, but
he has no-one to listen, and no parliament in which to voice his objections.
On the happy side, we finally have the Provincial Government we deserve!
It is prorogued, so no-one can discuss
important issues. It has effectively disconnected itself from the populace it pretends to serve. It has removed our only local
voice – our MPP.
It has ignored the hundreds of submissions and concerns from County people on local IWT development.
It has created a Ministry of the Environment that gives a big ‘thumbs up’ to the destruction of unviolated
– albeit crude – County land, the death of the birds, bats, turtles and wildlife it was sworn to protect, and
waived its own mandate to protect endangered species.
(To their credit, the MOE made sure Gilead would set land aside for Blanding’s Turtles, possibly with tiny signs
reading: “Move over here to avoid extinction.”)
It has created a Ministry of Natural Resources which frowns
heavily on most human activity in protected areas like Point Traverse, such as building campfires, littering and going four-wheeling.
But which also gives a hearty wave to a large corporation armed with bulldozers.
It gave us Smitherman, who allegedly signed a deal with Samsung on the plane home from Korea for old-school technology,
and providing billions of dollars and lots of jobs … for Koreans. This should be great for Ontario – I’m
sure our unemployed engineers are applauding mightily.
It’s a government that allowed a whopping 15 days – right in the middle of the Christmas season –
to allow comment. Nicely played! Transparent as a window, but nicely played. Just when we thought you could not get more devious!
read the final report on countylive.ca with great interest. On the first read, it looked like all the departments did their
‘due diligence’. Except for MPAC. Yes, the Property Assessment people that we shower with tax money. They can’t
seem to figure out if there is a positive or negative impact on property values for homes near IWTs.
Apparently they don’t own cars or telephones, or have access to the internet. Or maybe they’re too busy
counting their cash. But they do have a really spiffy black high-rise building – which you paid for – visible
from the 401 in Toronto. Who would want to leave?
Yes, this is the government we voted for. One that owns a telephone with a voice box, but no earpiece. The lights went
off, and the boss went home, but all of the equipment was still left running.
Governments which run on their own and ignore the people? We’ve seen this in other countries, and we pitied them.
We’ve sent troops in to help them. But thank God we’ve learned to love governments who won’t listen to us!
Because we’re a democracy!
So I started thinking: “How do we make the best of this?”
So I’m proposing we follow the lead
of the Ministry of the Environment.
Yahoo! The deals are off! We no longer give a crap about the land and animals! Break
out the bulldozers!
Let’s have some fun with this. For those of you who did not turn in your rifles and handguns
during the notorious federal Long-Gun registry – let’s break them out and head for the Point!
With the blessing
of the MOE, let’s bag those worthless little critters before the bulldozers move in! Birds, bats, turtles? Who cares?!
Nothing a little buckshot or some deer rifles won’t cure.
Endangered species? Just like the MOE, I don’t know
the meaning of the words. And I hear Blanding’s Turtle works into a really nice soup.
This is the up side! The MOE has given us – literally – a licence to kill! Those of us who genuinely cared
about the environmental impact of IWTs were completely ignored. So let’s tear a page from their book, and a’hunting
we will go! Let’s face it, wouldn’t you like a stuffed endangered species creature in your den? Of course you
would. Get them before they have bulldozer treadmarks all over them.
A word of caution: At some point people with bright
orange and yellow vests will move into this previously untouched territory. I advise you not to shoot them. They are humans.
And humans have a pecking order which determines which lives are expendable, in pursuit of electricity we don’t
In order of things you can’t kill just to get what you want:
Humans are first (you can’t change this,
or you will be in trouble), cute dogs, ugly dogs (except for pitbulls), domestic cats of any kind (except for Siamese), horses,
cows (except for beef cows), everything else.
The MOE used to be the protector of ‘Everything Else’. In the past, they’ve fined people for removing
habitat from tadpoles by draining farmland, and people who cut cattails away from their docks. They tracked the rituals, and
measured populations, of hundreds of species. But what’s the point, if you’re going to sell them out in the end
anyway, to meet a political agenda?
Now, if I were a creature living in the ‘Everything Else’ category, I would be somewhat nervous about my
former Sugar Daddy. You and the land you live in is now for sale, baby, so you’d better grow some legs and run.
pro-winders are waiting for the day they will be vindicated, and the IWTs turn out to be not the monsters we imagine. But
across Ontario, the losses to wind power are not worth the 20-year gains. In the County, it has already polarized friends
and neighbours, and I fear the pain is just beginning.
The decision by MOE was inevitable. They stated Gilead had met all
the criteria for IWT development.
They’re right. But it begs the question: “Who set the rules?”
That would be the Provincial Government, so of course they met the rules. Is it right? Not if the rules of the game
are set to favour the team you want to win.
Organized Crimelords know this. And, sadly, so does our government.
Administrator | Jan 04, 2013 | Comments 5
Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith wrote the Minister of Environment this week to denounce the ministry’s practices
throughout the appeals process – regarding the Dec. 20 ministry notice of granting Environmental Bill of Rights approval
to the Gilead power nine wind turbine project planned for the south shore.
“The conduct of your ministry in doing so [ignoring PEC council] has been both deplorable and unprofessional.”
Smith said in his letter. “You announced the approval prior to a 15-day consultation period which included two weekends
and three statutory holidays during which government offices would not be opened. When my office contacted your ministry to
inquire about having the closed office days factored into the appeals period, we received no response from ministry staff.”
Smith said the seven closed office days during the appeals period effectively cut the time that County officials and residents
actually had to launch an appeal in half.
Earlier this week PEC councilllors decided against launchin an appeal due to the expense and small chance of success.
Smith took issue with the appeals process as well as the timeline that had been given to the County.
“In addition, the council of the County of Prince Edward has made a complaint that they believe that the appeals
process will force them to incur an onerous cost to the municipality and that your ministry has to stack the appeals rules
in favour of the developers, the chance of success for the municipality…would be remote.” Smith said.
“All this forces me to ask whether your ministry has an interest in actually representing Ontarians or rather only
in green lighting projects for certain energy firms in pursuit of an energy scheme which has wreaked havoc on the grid and
on ratepayers?” Smith charged in the letter.