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Class action lawsuit against the wind companies?

Dear Mayor Mertens and Council:

I am writing this letter as a result of information that has come forward concerning the possible location of one of the wind turbines near the village of Milford. One fine sunny day in December my husband and I were driving from South Bay into the village of Milford on County Road 10, and noticed that every home, and building was bathed in beautiful sunshine on the east side of the structures, all the way through the village, as far as Hicks Store on the corner. And, we had just learned that a site for a windmill was located on a property off Murphy Road, near the top of the ridge running down to the Black River. If this windmill goes up there, the whole village of Milford will be affected by the notorious “flicker factor” every morning.
This is a dreadful situation, for everyone living in the village. I do hope that the organization of municipalities, along with our MPP, can stop this from happening.
It seems very un-democratic to me that the local municipal government can stop a person from building a residence in certain locations, i.e., near a barn, or too close to the water, but the big money can buy their way into our community without any public input.
What is there in the planning act about windmills? Was this foreseen? And what recourse does the average citizen of the County have to help stop this debacle?
Does it have to come to a class action lawsuit against the wind companies, or can we now say we live in a Country that allows no rights to it’s citizens?
I await your comments on this issue.

Yours truly,

Joyce Minaker

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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  1. Renee says:

    People in Ontario who have been adversley affected by turbines are suing – not only the wind companies but the land owners who’ve leased their land.

  2. Doris Lane says:

    Beth go to Wolfe island and talk to the people who live near them but do not have them on their land so are not making money out of them. Talk to real estate agents who are trying to sell properties near these turbines. You spoke of gas once,well they have to have gas generatrs . to back up the turbines and think of all the disel fuel that is going to be spread around the county from the trucks doing the construction.
    No one is against green energy it just has to be the right kind in the right place and South Marysburgh is not that place

  3. Chris Keen says:

    I’m sure all posters here who are concerned for their children’s health and future in the County will support efforts to insure that their children are not unfairly burdened financially in future as well.

    Here’s one county’s solution. One we should be instituting as well. Mayor Mertens?

    From the CBC:

    Municipality wants $200K deposits for wind turbines
    Mayor of Plympton-Wyoming says bylaw protects residents
    CBC News
    Posted: Mar 5, 2012 8:50 AM ET

    A Lambton County municipality is making sure it won’t get stuck with the bill if developers walk away from industrial wind farms.

    Plympton-Wyoming, east of Sarnia, passed a tough new bylaw that requires developers to deposit $200,000 for each wind turbine they want to build.

    “We need to make sure that residents are not on the hook to rebuild roads or to take down turbines when the subsidies are gone and everybody takes off,” said Marcelle Brooks is with Middlesex Lambton Wind Concerns.

    Mayor Lonny Napper said council is just trying to protect its people in case developers walk away from the used turbines in 30 years.

    “Some of these companies, they come in and some of their credentials may be a little weak and we don’t want to be left holding the bag with a whole bunch of wind turbines out here,” he said. “We feel we owe it to our taxpayers and we owe it to Ontario if they’re dumped in our lap.”

    The biggest development proposed in the municipality is a 29-turbine installation by Suncor. That translates into $5.8 million dollars in deposits.

    Plympton-Wyoming also passed a bylaw saying a turbine has to be 2 km away from a home. The provincial guideline is 550 metres.

    Napper is not sure if the municipality can enforce the setback distance.

  4. Chris Keen says:

    It’s little wonder that the issue of IWTs has divided communities when the government leading the charge to pave Ontario with them has such contempt for anyone who would dare ask a question or make a suggestion.

    “I just want to make sure that we’re all clear: We stand for clean air; they stand for coal. We stand for clean energy; they oppose it. We stand for clean energy jobs; they don’t.”

    Bentley is certainly a master at hyperbole.

  5. Marnie says:

    Action trumps inaction only when it’s the right action, Beth. There are many of us who feel that those wind turbines will spell disaster for this county.

  6. Beth says:

    I am not convinced that the issues are as horrible as portrayed. The turbines are supported by people who are directly “affected”. I have seen comments. I would support them should a turbine be proposed where I live, which at some point there will be.
    I support them because it is action and because I want a better future for the children.

  7. Marie says:

    I am directing this question at Beth, but really applies to anyone optioning their land for wind turbines.

    What exactly gives you or your family the right to potentially cause your neighbours the ill effects of wind?

  8. Beth says:

    I will take action to in-action any day. In-action scares me more.

  9. Beth says:

    Virginia, do not oh dear. I have lived and worked and made a life with my husband since 1999 in this wonderful place. before that both of us grew up in Belleville. I personally am getting very tired of having my opinion shot down and berated for being pro-wind. I understand that there are issues with all forms of green energy production, however; I would personally rather see large IWT’s or solar farm increasing the electrical bill than another coal, oil, gas or nuclear facility. My children support the current green energy, I support current green energy efforts.

    It’s time to take action. My generation and the generation before me (I am in my 40’s) have cause these issues, we need to take every step possible to create a viable solution for our children.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zORv8wwiadQ

  10. Marie says:

    WIND TURBINES
    Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: My question today is for the Minister of Energy. I am joined today by dozens and dozens of Ontarians who have made the trek to Queen’s Park, and later this afternoon, I look forward to welcoming busloads of additional people who are here today. They have travelled from all corners of Ontario to watch you, Minister, and all of us, as we vote for a moratorium on industrial wind turbines until real health and environmental studies are done.
    Folks from across Ontario were heartened by all Liberals, just two days ago—all Liberals, just two days ago—who said they supported studies, consultations and local decision-making. Minister, will you prove the Liberal talking points weren’t just crass politics by supporting my call for a moratorium until third party health—
    The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you. Minister of Energy?
    Hon. Christopher Bentley: I just want to make sure that we’re all clear: We stand for clean air; they stand for coal. We stand for clean energy; they oppose it. We stand for clean energy jobs; they don’t. We stand for the health studies and the health advice from the medical officers of health of both Ontario and Canada, and countless other studies out there that make it clear that it is safe and that we’ve taken the appropriate steps. I just want to make sure that we’re all very clear in here.
    When I travel through rural Ontario, I see a heck of a lot of farmers and communities participating in the clean energy, green energy, clean air agenda that my friend opposite opposes.
    The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?
    Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: Mr. Speaker, I am embarrassed for all the good folks who have travelled to Toronto today. That was disgusting.
    Just this week, Minister, Premier McGuinty said that it is “our shared responsibility at all times to respect the expressed will of our” municipalities. Ontario MPPs have received a record-breaking 1,700 emails in support of my moratorium. Municipalities throughout Ontario have also passed resolutions supporting a moratorium and studies.
    Minister, I ask again: Will you do the honourable thing and recognize the will of thousands and thousands of people who have travelled to Queen’s Park today, signed petitions and sent emails to all of us here in this House supporting my moratorium? Will you do the honourable thing?
    Hon. Christopher Bentley: We’ve made it very clear that we’re going to build on the strengths of the green energy review through our Green Energy Act, through our review. We’ve been listening very carefully to communities, to municipalities, to organizations both rural and urban, and we’re going to come out with a strengthened program very soon to make sure we continue to clean up the air, continue to grow jobs in our economy and continue to make sure that Ontarians, rural and urban, can participate in the green energy economy.
    But it’s tough sometimes when the members in here, on the other side of the House, oppose green energy, but back in their ridings they support green energy; when the members opposite, on so many issues, have a morning press conference that says no to green jobs, and this afternoon they’re having a press conference that wants to unlock green jobs; when they oppose subsidies, and they support subsidies for racetracks; when they like the HST and then they say no. Where do you stand?

  11. Gary Mooney says:

    I have heard Peter speak recently on the wind turbine issue. He has done a lot of personal research and knows what he’s talking about it. He is strongly against wind turbines and I’m confident that he will represent the interests of rural Ontario municipalities very well.

  12. virginia says:

    Well,looks like a touched a nerve again. Oh dear.

  13. Doris Lane says:

    Myrna that is a great wesite you found about the fit program. I wonder when Peter became an expert on the fit program. IS HE FOR or against it???????

  14. Chris Keen says:

    Myrna – it would be nice to think “know thine enemy” is Mayor Merten’s reason for attending?! I note the mayor of Chatham-Kent is also attending. His region has been “blessed” with hundreds of IWT monstrosities. It’s hard to imagine he supports them.

    The forum certainly is a who’s who of companies plucking tax dollar subsidies out of our pockets!! And having Smitherman anywhere near something like this is scary beyond words. I thought he’d done enough damage to this Province to last a lifetime.

  15. Marnie says:

    Myrna, it is rumoured that the mayor’s favourite saying is “point taken”. Wonder where to? Once took a valid complaint to him. He said “point taken” three times and nothing happened.

  16. David Norman says:

    Virginia! “paranoid fear mongers”… I would have thought that someone with a “degree in English” as you once took great pains to point out to me, would avoid such “hyperbole”. Just sayin’.

  17. Myrna Wood says:

    Mayor Mertens said he preferred dialog to walking out at the Roads conference. Well, I have just discovered that he plans to start the dialog by attending the Ontario Feed In Tariff Forum April 3 & 4th at the Metro Convention Center in Toronto.
    The Industry and its supporters, including the Provincial Government will be there. (Even Mr. Smitherman in coming out of retirement for it.) To see the list go to http://www.amiando.com/ontariofitforum.html
    It lists our Mayor under the heading of “Key government and FIT policy experts”. So, go for it Peter! We count on you to stand up for the County and tell those investors we won’t take their turbines.

  18. Chris Keen says:

    Virginia – I don’t believe that anyone is speaking for you. But, by the same token, labeling people who are concerned about the environmental, health, and the very real negative financial impact on property values of IWTs as “uninformed, self-interested, and paranoid fear mongers” is simply silly.

  19. Marnie says:

    If you’ve lived here for 26 years, Virginia, you must remember a time when the county was run with a lot less interference from the provincial government and operated a lot more smoothly than it does today. The last thing we need is even more interference from politicians, living at a distant, who think they know what is best for our county. What’s the old saying about an expert being someone 50 miles from home? There are fourth and fifth generation county residents who will tell you that if we were smart enough to build this great community, we are smart enough to run it without a lot of outside interference.

  20. virginia says:

    Please do not speak for me. I am a resident of PEC and have lived and worked for almost 26 years. My children were raised here.
    I support wind power and the movement away from fossil fuels.
    I also support taking some power away from municipalities by provincial government. Municipal politicians are not necessarily equipped to make appropriate decisions on everything, for various reasons, not least being pressure from the uninformed, self-interested, and paranoid fear mongers.

  21. Mark says:

    Our mayor stated thast he didn’t walk out and that he wouldn’t have any part of it because he preferred dialogue. Well respect is earned on both sides. The County communicated concerns to the government at least a year ago. What kind of dialogue has that got them? There has been no response that I am aware of. This was a time to speak up and take some action. Unless there is some dialogue taking place behind the scenes the ball was dropped and a vast number of County citizens were not well represented. Governments watch such things closely and they now have the signal that the County will just roll over and take whatever is dished out.

  22. Marnie says:

    They may be “dignified”, Beth, but the ones who walked out clearly said “we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.” In light of all that’s happening in our county these days, we need more of that. We’ve rolled over too often.

  23. Jack says:

    You are absolutely right Marie. Again , our representatives are not going to do anything but sit and take it, then throw up their hands and say we tryed. People have got to take action, get noticed, be loud. It is the only way we will get them to listen.

  24. Marie says:

    I think we are beyond the “sit there and listen stage” Ken. If we want to actually have a hope of getting the attention of the Premier, his representatives and the people of non-rural Ontario, I do believe it is time that yes, we start walking out on him. This is the kind of thing that gets media attention which our cause needs.
    The fact that our municipal elects didn’t take their “balls” outside and stand united with other municipalities causes me strife. Did they not know this what happening? We’re they scared to stand up for us? I mean we are asking for the premier to give the power back to us. Are they going to know what to do with it even if they got this power back?

  25. Beth says:

    I have more respect for our politicians who chose to stay. This showed dignity in their behaviour.

  26. Marnie says:

    Ken, I think you intended your remarks for Marie, but sometimes I think six-year-olds have more common sense than our politicians. Personally, I think it’s time we stood up and walked out on a lot of their machinations. My hat’s off to those who did just that.

  27. Renee says:

    Tomorrow MPP Lisa Thompson will be tabling a motion to put a moratorium on further wind turbine development until there is a health effects study completed, and the results addressed.

    There is a petition here that you can sign supporting this moratorium: http://www.ontariopc.com/petitions/support-wind-turbine-moratorium/

  28. Ken Globe says:

    So Marnie, would you like our elected officials to behave like six year olds?? “I don’t like what you’re doing Dalton, so I’m taking my ball and going home” I doubt our Premier had much to say, but it showed a bit of class for the delegations from Quinte West, Belleville, and Prince Edward County to sit there and listen.

  29. Marie says:

    There was a recent walkout on Dalton McGuinty by 100+ municipal representatives at the “Good Roads Summit.” It is my understanding that if any reps of the county were there that they weren’t part of the walkout.
    I am ashamed of them if this was the case. By a long shot, the folks of PEC are AGAINST TURBINE DEVELOPMENT. I’m with you Joyce, what a way to wreck Milford.
    The other day I was browsing through the glossy 2011 tourist guide to the county. Really nice brochure. I really can’t imagine how one would “gloss up” the image of turbines in the county.
    My partner and I are both young and actively involved in PEC. Between the continual rising taxes in the county and the onset of turbines, I have to say, I’m starting to look elsewhere. Too bad the hit we’ll take on our property when we sell though. Maybe a class action petition to MPAC to reassess post windmills…wouldn’t that result in a huge drop in county tax revenue?

  30. Jack says:

    It,s time to stop being nice. It is time our council stop sitting on their hands and hiding behind a powder puff motion. We need to get in the wind developers faces and force them to negotiate. Nice guys finish last.

  31. David Norman says:

    Joyce, it is time to speak out in any and every way you can. The momentum of the anti-wind forces has steadily increased and I sense that there are some shocking revelations for wind developers on the horizon. I have been closely following stock and other investment in IWT developments and they are experiencing market devaluations as the real impact of IWTs becomes known. The gig is up and we now have to find a way to overrule those companies like Gilead and WPD who already have contracts that the Liberal government is obliged to honor. I invite you to take a look at my new blog I have created in this respect: http://www.tiltingatwind.blogspot.com

  32. Doris Lane says:

    Joyce the Green Energy Act imposed by Dalton McGinty on municapalities took away their right to have any say in the placement and construction of IWT’s.
    Many groups amd individuals have been fighting this several years. Go to CCSAGE website to get more information

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