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Is Bill 55 holding back Gilead project announcement?

There are only a few days left until the May 31st deadline by which the Ontario Government could announce a decision to reject Gilead Corporation’s bid to construct a 9-turbine wind energy factory on Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County.
This Crown land, managed by Ministry of Natural Resources, is in a Globally Significant Important Bird Area as well as important habitat for the threatened Blandings Turtle. Is the government delaying its decision until passage of Bill 55 that is now before the legislature?

Bill 55 contains, in its Section 19, an amendment to the Endangered Species Act whereby it is currently illegal for developers to “kill, harm and harass” the endangered species that inhabit Ostrander Point.

If no decision is announced by May 31st, and Bill 55 passes, Gilead may be free to begin construction of the roads and Industrial Wind Turbines in this, Ontario’s highest bird migration corridor…reputedly travelled by more migrating birds than Point Pelee!

This project is fraught with blatant conflicts of interest on the part of MNR whose behaviour in this project’s approval process already clashes with its mandate and custodial responsibilities. It now appears that our Endangered Species Legislation must also be amended to enable “Green Energy” developers to legally wreak their carnage on the very creatures that MNR was created to protect.

Jim McPherson, Milford

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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  1. Paula Peel says:

    Dear “Truth”,
    Schedule 19 exemptions to renewable energy systems would, if passed, apply to all renewable energy projects going forward. If you would like to learn more about Schedule 19 for the purposes of truthful interpretation and public information here are some links to help you get started. I would recommend that you start with the EcoJustice Report:
    “Minister’s Instruments under section 18 have been greatly expanded, making it much easier for the government to grant exemptions to the parts of the ESA that protect species and their habitat. The expanded power for the Minister to grant exemptions under section 18 will in our view likely harm Ontario’s species at risk.” (pp 8)

    Marketwire (link below) release from The Quetico Foundation
    “Crushing Blow Dealt to Endangered Species and Parks”

    * Questico Foundation website has more on the budget bill:

    Ontario Nature Action Alert
    Urgent: Tell the Premier to Protect Endanger Wildlife

    Canadian Environment Law Association 2012
    Ecojustice April 2012 (see page 8 on Schedule 19)

    Keith Stelling “Just three more days to speak up for Ontario’s Endangered Species”

  2. Doris Lane says:

    There was a story in one of the papers that said that Dalton was afraid the NDP were not going to support the budget on the final reading–lets hope that is true

  3. truth says:

    You may want to read Section 19 of Bill 55 again – exemptions under the Endangered Species Act do not apply to new builds for renewables. It would only apply if a turbine needs to be replaced for the same model.

    I’m not in favor of the proposed amendments – but I am in favor of truthful interpretation and public information

  4. Lori Smith says:

    It is truly heartbreaking to see all the efforts that were put into creating environmental laws to protect our wildlife and environment being done away to protect big business interests.

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