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MOE shows flagrant disregard of citizens and nature

(Open letter to Jim Bradley, Minister of the Environment)

The Ministry of Environment’s decision not to conduct an Individual Environmental Assessment of access roads at Ostrander Point, announced in your December 19, 2012 letter, is based on numerous errors in fact and judgment.

Your letter states that between March and April 2011 you received 21 requests from members of the public.  In point of fact, the Honourable John Wilkinson, then Minister of Environment (MOE), received the requests.  In the last election Mr. Wilkinson was held accountable for his mishandling of the MOE portfolio.

Only 17 of the 21 requests came from members of the public.  The other four requests were from organizations which collectively represent thousands of citizens.  Why does your letter diminish the significance of comments by the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County; the South Shore Conservancy; Friends of Arron Lake, Wind Concerns Ontario Grey Bruce; and the Prince Edward Field Naturalists, Ontario Nature and Nature Canada?

All the requests point out the extensive impact of the access roads:

fragmentation of wildlife habitat by the loop design
destruction/loss of alvar and woodland habitat
disturbance of avian and terrestrial wildlife during wind turbine construction and during the next 25 years of operation due to increased on-site human activities
harm, harassment and killing of two threatened species, Whip-poor-will and Blanding’s Turtle, albeit authorized by a Ministry of Natural Resources permit
disturbance to raptors, especially protected Bald and Golden Eagles.

Since access roads are integral to the wind energy project, they cannot be separated in terms of effects.  Both roads and wind turbines are located on a major migration corridor used by millions of birds, bats and butterflies.  Both roads and wind turbines will destroy rare habitat that sustains migrating and resident wildlife, particularly 20 species of conservation concern, including Rusty Blackbird, Short-Eared Owl, Peregrine Falcon, Red-headed Woodpecker, and the Monarch Butterfly.

Thousands of eagles, owls and other raptors have already perished in North America as a result of colliding with massive turbine towers and blades at poorly-sited wind projects.  The raptors and migratory birds that avoid wind turbines are also at risk as they disperse to inhospitable outlying areas without adequate food, water and shelter.

Bats in the thousands are also dying, either from direct collision with turbine blades or as their lungs explode from rapid changes in air pressure when they get close to turbines.

In approving the Ostrander Point project the government of Ontario is contravening international treaties such as the Migratory Birds Act and the treaty to protect Monarch Butterflies.  National and international environmental societies, too numerous to mention, have all told the Ontario government that industrial wind turbines should not go into this Important Bird Area (IBA).  Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner has called for a halt to wind projects in all Ontario IBAs.  The Canadian Senate has called for a moratorium on industrial wind projects along the migratory route.

Mr. Bradley, anyone who had actually read the 21 requests for an Individual Environmental Assessment would be too embarrassed to say, as you did in your letter, that you are “satisfied” the Ostrander Point project has met “the purpose of the Environmental Assessment Act, the betterment of the people of the whole or part of Ontario, by providing for the protection, conservation and wise management of the environment.”

Perhaps you are satisfied, Mr. Bradley, but the people of Ontario are not.

Garth Manning,
Chair, County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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  1. Chris Keen says:

    The MOE has no credibility and is simply following the party line. Here’s an interesting article on the fall-out economics of McGuinty’s “Green” Energy “Plan” which will cost us billions in future.

    From the National Post:

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/01/17/ontarios-power-trip-mcguintys-legacy/

  2. Doris Lane says:

    check out the video mark posted on his comment–it tells it like it is.

  3. Bill says:

    Don’t worry in a few years it will be all over and the problem won’t exist. A few years back I was driving to Colorado and passed through Oklahoma, they have turbine fields there, they stretch for miles, no grass, no trees, no birds, nothing just barren land for miles and miles.
    Stop fretting people like I said in a few years we won’t have the birds, butterflies, fish, turtles, worms to worry about, they will adjust and change never to return to the county. We will have a scar that can never be healed and it will just fester and rot for many many years to remind our grandchildren of our mistake. Hopefully history won’t repeat itself when it is their turn.

  4. Paula Peel says:

    So who is on the hook $ for constructing and maintaining 5.4 km of new access roads that go nowhere and are needed by no one except a wind turbine company? Ontario taxpayers?

  5. Shellie Correia says:

    Unfortunately, the things the government of Ontario has done are not little. They are gargantuan in size, and in the negative effects they are having on the citizens of this province. When McGuinty screws up…..he does it royally, along with his merry band of miscreants. All of this garbage is coming out so fast it is going to bury them.

  6. Karen Empringham says:

    Way to go! Let’s keep on pointing out all the little things that the current government is doing wrong. Unfortunately, they are many and difficult to choose among as to which is the most egregious, but if we con’t keep pointing them out, they become a matter of public record without any challenge.

    We cannot let that happen!

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