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Expropriation without compensation

Expropriation is common practice when government locates power plants on private property.  Landowners are compensated for their property’s fair market value plus relocation expenses.  Fair deal?  Not so when it is a nearby wind energy factory!
Under its Feed-In Tariff program, the Ontario Government contracts with developers to locate electricity-generating wind factories too close to neighbouring landowners, blatantly expropriating implicit property rights. It does not pay compensation.  The Green Energy Act makes it possible.
For Ontario’s thousands of rural landowners near an Industrial Wind Turbine, these expropriated rights include:
Their common law right to quiet use and healthy enjoyment of their property.
Their right to their life savings, devastated by their property’s reduced market value.
Their right to participate in local municipal planning.
Their right to build a residence anywhere on their property, with municipal approval.
Their right to a “Naturally Green” environment for wildlife and for their grandchildren.
Their right to a tourist-friendly, employment-enabling local economy.
Their right to a neighbourly neighbourhood.
These implicit democratic rights come with the deeds to the properties that Ontarians purchase.  They are expropriated when a wind energy factory comes anywhere near.  There is no compensation.
Who says Ontario is a democracy?
Jim McPherson, Milford

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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  1. David Norman says:

    Jim, I suggest the following legal approach; “Any person in Ontario who experiences direct economic or personal loss because of a public nuisance causing environmental harm and any subsequent trespass may sue for damages or other personal remedies under section 103 of the EBR. Section 103 of the EBR clarifies three areas of an environmental law action in public nuisance: it eliminates the need for plaintiffs to have the Attorney General take the case or to obtain the Attorney General’s consent to undertake an action; it clarifies that direct damages are recoverable; and it specifies that the person does not have to suffer unique economic damages or personal injuries to make a successful claim.”

  2. David Norman says:

    virginia?… when, as in this particular commentary exchange, you purposely set out to heckle others without demonstration of the courage of your stated convictions, pseudonymously, it is disingenuous. It calls into question the integrity and purpose of your contribution. This brings to mind a piece of dialogue by Martha, in the famous play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”…”And I’m gonna howl it out, and I’m not gonna give a damn what I do and I’m gonna make the biggest god-damn explosion you’ve ever heard.”

  3. virginia says:

    Has it ever occurred to you that it’s all the complaining and doomsaying that’s scaring buyers off?
    Yes, I do live in PEC–and I would have no problem buying property in South Marysburgh, if it was in my price range–which it hasn’t been for quite some time.
    And, as far as not using my full name goes,it is none of your business why I do that. Why would you need to know it anyway? I really don’t care what anyone else’s name is or isn’t. Why should you?

  4. Doris Lane says:

    Geat Post Chris Keen
    You ARE absolutely correct in everything you say
    There is nothing more that needs saying

  5. Chris Keen says:

    Virginia – okay, you’re dancing around with semantics – Mr. McPherson’s use of the term “expropriation” is probably technically incorrect but you know exactly what he’s trying to say.

    How about some other terms which may more closely reflect what might happen should any of these IWTs be constructed. How about “curtailed”, “appropriated”, “interfered with”, “prevented from” …? I’m sure there are many more phrases.

    Since you appear to be unconvinced of environmental reasons why the Gilead/White Pines projects should not be approved, let’s talk about the financial harm to South Marysburgh residents. Here Mr. McPherson is absolutely right.

    Let’s say that I want to sell my house. Any realtor who shows my house must advise any potential purchaser that IWTs are slated for construction in South Marysburgh. Buyer flees. House cannot be sold. What am I supposed to do?

    Turbines are constructed and my health is affected? What am I supposed to do? And so forth ….

    The answer, obviously, is I may have to sue. I may now spend my retirement savings, and endless time, suing turbine companies and landowners to protect the investment in my property or to compensate me for my health issues. How is this fair or reasonable?

    So say to you, anonymous “Virginia”, all of Mr. McPherson’s points are absolutely on point as they relate to the residents of South Marysburgh.

    Do you live in PEC? Do you own property in South Marysbugh where these IWTS might be erected? Can you explain why some County residents must roll over and bear the economic brunt of these monstrosities?

    I cannot believe for one minute that you would accept this scenario as it relates to your own situation.

    Why are you and “Beth” and other gum flappers, whose anonymous postings I generally ignore, so unwilling to tell the faithful readers of countylive.ca your true stories? It’s impossible to have a meaningful dialogue without the facts.

  6. David Norman says:

    In my haste to address this “expropriation” definition I failed to relate that in a discussion I had with a leasing facilitator with a IWT development company, I learned that the impetus, in Bill 55, for providing the Minister of Energy for Ontario with powers that supersede current provincial and municipal laws regarding the placement of IWTs and Solar Panel arrays, was put in place because the developers were complaining about the cumbersome nature of this arrangement regarding liability to adjacent and affected neighboring properties. Developers prefer something more akin to the “War Measures Act” which would allow them to act, requiring only the Energy Ministers edict, with impunity. This will eventually be challenged and end up in the Supreme Court, and their decision will be largely premised on the recently announced Health Canada, Wind Turbine noise and health study.

  7. David Norman says:

    Yes virginia you are quite correct about the definition of expropriation as it applies to property adjacent to or impacted by the development property. This is why the Government of Ontario does not engage eminent domain/expropriation in the case of Industrial Wind Turbine development. This is also why the developer does not directly purchase property on which Industrial Wind Turbines are located. When necessary property is purchased by an informal agent of the developer, including properties which although not a part of the development are subject to associated law suits. For example, should law suits arise over adverse location effects of Industrial Wind Turbines in Prince Edward County, an already informally contracted agent, in this case quite likely a prearranged Real Estate Agent/Company will act as the informal third party in regards to the properties ownership and disposition. (note: I hope my language was not so intentionally (legally) ambiguous that it did not ring some bells)

  8. Janet Davies says:

    It’s no accident that wind farms go to economically depressed areas (i.e. rural) The popular story goes that land lessors are hardworking farmers even if they’re speculators, local councillors and absentee owners. Objectors are called NIMBY fools. The performance of IWTs is not worth tearing communities apart.
    Last week on a hot day ALL the IWTs in Ontario (1,500MW installed) could only generate 65MW of energy. Developers etc. don’t care because they still get their money.
    Let’s see what the Health Canada study discovers.
    It took decades for tobacco companies to admit the truth.

  9. virginia says:

    Fair enough Chris—-by the blogger’s definition, it would seem that even building a garage on one’s property could be considered expropriation of a neighbour’s property. Building and construction noise, vehicle noise, etc,etc.
    It’s just not a correct definition. Tell me where in the dictionary that expropriation would be defined that way.

  10. cHRiS says:

    empowering,jim.

    @virginia, it would be positively helpful to define expropriation of property and how your interpretation differs from blog rather than attack without fact.

    perhaps difficult to realize what we do on our own property can affect the neighbors and their rights , , , unless its a 400″+ noisemaker.

  11. virginia says:

    my comments are directed at the writer of the blog–and I stand by them.

  12. Doris Lane says:

    Karen that is precisely the problem–people should not be allowed to infringe on their neighbours rights. If you put something on your property which dictates to your neighbour then this action should be stopped in some manner–maybe a lawsuit of some kind
    Not surprised your neighbour has sold out–a lot of the turbines are on absentee landlord property.
    Virgina it is not clear to me who you are striking out at
    Even if you don’t want to use your name you can say who your vile comments are directed at,

  13. Karen Empringham says:

    It is Expropriation without compensation! All future development of land which are near turbines cannot have any development on the property if it is within the ridculously low 550 meters. Regardless of the setback, it should be to the property line, not to the house.

    In my case, if I wanted to build a garage somewhere on my 4 acre parcel, I will be extremely limited in where I can site it because of an action taken by my neighbour, who, rumour has it, has sold the piece of land with the turbine proposed for it.

  14. virginia says:

    What a load of misdirection and outright deception. You cannot equate true expropriation of property with what neighbours, companies, friends, enemies, or anyone else does on THEIR OWN property. Is this your follow up to the other misleading and wildly speculative article you submitted about blue herons?
    Shame on you.

  15. David Norman says:

    Doris, while perhaps intentionally obscure, it was meant to be a respectful endorsement of your own… as you take the time and effort to do with others.

  16. Doris Lane says:

    David I have always admired your comments but I am afraid I do not understand your mud wrestling comment.

  17. David Norman says:

    oooops, almost forgot… Doris, should you ever challenge me to a mud wrestling match, in respect I’m afraid I must decline… I know I’d only wind up with a craw full!

  18. David Norman says:

    I’m fascinated and often admittedly perplexed by the assertion of “rights” in the absurdity of the human cultural context. While I too seek to defend my own perception of comfort and security in this context, my intellect (knowledge) tells me that there are in nature, of which we intelligent human apes are simply a part, no such entitlements. The cultural delusion of property/personal rights and all of the supposed entitlements represented will, as the recorded history of human conflict has aptly demonstrated, always be subject to the seemingly inevitable distortions of reality to which our human cognitive functions are prone in the absence, and unfortunately often in the presence, of scientific knowledge. We here in Canada, express such surprise when the fascist manipulation of what we have come to perceive as rights, particularly those centered around entitlement, surface in our own “democratically” elected representative governments. I suggest that you study (google) the experiments of Psychologist, Stanley Milgram, which clearly elucidated that there is a “little Eichmann” in all of us. It comes down to the archetypal architectural representation of Industrial Wind Turbines, similar in effect to the Russian May Day parade of Inter Ballistic missiles, to remind us of our own penchant for delusional control.

  19. Mark says:

    The windies seem so flippant in their remarks. It is not a time for sarcasm. People are already being harmed prior to the arrival of the Industrial Wind Turbines. For the hundreds that face the reality of not being able to sell their property it is a very serious matter.

  20. Doris Lane says:

    I resent the comment made to Chris Keen who is one of the people who makes good contributions to this site–full name and all.
    It is difficult to know who you are and you seem to take delight in being able to spout off your various theories
    I am sincere in my belief that PEC shouls not have IWT,s
    other places in the world might be able to handle them with causing problems although literature is expanding all the time about the countries who do not want them anymore
    This whole thing in Ontarion is about greed–the people who rent their land without a thought to their neighbour and government who is only interested in big busines because big business keeps getting them elected.
    Itis sometimes not a nice world we live in,

  21. Beth says:

    Sarcasm is lost on you.

  22. Chris Keen says:

    Beth – you flap your gums anonymously and endlessly on this site. Do you actually own property? Is it in PEC? Is it anywhere near where these IWTs may be located? There are houses for sale in the South Marysburgh that have been on the market for more than a year with no sales. Because there have been no sales, it is not possible to have a property’s value assessed here.

    Leaving aside the overwhelming environmental issues, economic issues, and all the other issues discussed here on this site, do you have so little regard for the people caught in this conundrum, not of their making, that the best you can come up with is we should chain ourselves to trees?

    Shame on you!!

  23. Beth says:

    Don’t forget a couple of you need to chain yourselves to trees and one or 2 others need to lie in front of the bulldozers and heavy equipment.

  24. Doris Lane says:

    Dalton is going yo have the doctors after him too and the teachers are not too happy.
    How about the workers who have lost their jobs because the high cost of electricity shut down their plant
    If we resort to civil disobedience I hope it is generally og a peaceful nature–like blocking the road the first turbine that enters PEC travels on

  25. L. Griffin says:

    It is really time for some good old Canadian civil disobedience in Ontario. I’d say pitchforks and torches converging on the office of McGuinty down at Queen’s Park would be a good start. Followed by one hell of a good thrashing. We’ll sell tickets and make a fortune. Every wind victim gets a free turn. It’d be a day that Dalton would never forget.

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