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PEC mayor asks Premier for moratorium on wind projects

UPDATE: July 30: Mayor Robert Quaiff has been notified there is little chance of having a meeting with Premier Wynne regarding industrial turbines in Prince Edward County.

July 23, 2015
Sent by Fax and Email
Honourable Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Room 281, Main Legislative Building
Queen’s Park Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1A1
Honourable Glen Murray
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change 11th Floor, Ferguson Block 77 Wellesley Street West Toronto, Ontario
M7A 2T5

Premier Wynne and Minister Murray,
I am incredibly upset and discouraged that the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has issued a Renewable Energy Approval to wpd White Pines Wind Incorporated (wpd) for 27 industrial wind turbines in the south of Prince Edward County. This project is directly adjacent to the Gilead project, which the Environmental Review Tribunal and Court of Appeal recently confirmed would cause irreversible harm to endangered species. At least eight of the planned wpd turbines are located in the same designated Important Bird Area as the proposed Gilead project, and all are in the same bird, bat, raptor and butterfly immigration path aligning with Wolfe Island, Ernestown, and Amherst Island, all with or for planned wind turbines. This path has greater migration than the famous and protected Point Pelee National Park where, because of this same reason, your government does not intend to permit turbines. These areas are the habitat of dozens of endangered species.

Please understand my concerns that efforts to implement the Green Energy Act are becoming counter-productive through resulting negative impacts to endangered species, as well as the prosperity and well-being of rural Ontario Communities, and the province as a whole. I understand that the Green Energy Act has been much criticized by successive Auditors-General and the Ombudsman, and that the energy it produces is exported almost daily at significant financial loss borne by all of us in Ontario – a loss that up to 2013 amounted to $2.6 billion according to the Auditor-General, and continues without foreseeable end.

The County of Prince Edward has become a high-profile destination for Canadians from large cities, who come to The County to escape industrialized areas for our magnificent scenery, welcoming hospitality and picturesque artistic and agricultural rural community, including a wine sector that is rapidly growing in popularity and prestige.

On behalf of our County, please hear my concerns. The implementation of the wpd project will cause devastating and irreversible consequences, including:
• destruction of our growing tourism sector
• damage to our wine and cider industries
• reduction in property values
• adverse health effects to some
• slaughter of birds, bats, raptors, butterflies and reptiles, including endangered species
• major financial problems to our Municipality as property values decrease and MPAC is forced to lower assessments
• destruction to of one of the most scenic and unspoiled rural areas in Ontario
• exposure of our residents to a minimum of 4000 journeys by oversized vehicles used in construction
• damage to our roads and infrastructure by way of at least 50 truckloads of concrete travelling our roads to construct the base of each turbine
• erection of industrial machines – which are taller than the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto or the Ottawa Peace Tower – left in place to destroy our rural landscape, with no security provided for their removal
• risk of allowing wpd (and all wind and solar proponents) the right to assign their land leases to whomever they choose.
Our County will be left with the impossible task of attempting to mitigate and repair all this damage for which no binding legal obligation with security back-up is offered by, or required of, any wind or solar proponent.
On behalf of my constituents, I again insist that you consider our concerns that the Green Energy Act is discriminating against and destroying rural Ontario for the theoretical benefit of those who live in urban parts of the Province. This approach is so very contrary to the Acts and laws that were carefully and thoughtfully put in place to protect endangered species and the rights of individuals.
In an energy-rich Province such as Ontario, there is no justification for removing democracy at the level of the Municipality which can no longer decide for itself. And as such, it will be fought by as many rural municipalities as can be mustered; there are at present over 90 Unwilling Hosts, of which Prince Edward County is one, who believe the Green Energy Act to be a deliberate discrimination against rural Ontario. You have committed to listening to the local concerns of municipalities. I implore you to not only listen – but to truly hear our concerns – and discuss them with us. We are incredibly distraught over this decision and its devastating impact on our community.

I invite you to discuss my concerns as expressed in this letter as soon as possible. As an interim gesture to demonstrate your recognition of the severe impacts of these projects, I ask that, at a minimum, you immediately place a moratorium on all major wind developments, including wpd, until the Green Energy Act is revisited and democracy is restored, while again allowing municipalities the right to decide for themselves whether or not to host these devastating projects which so greatly impact our economic viability.
Mayor Robert L. Quaiff

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. Chris Keen says:

    @Judy – people have to live somewhere so, whether the house is built in Picton, or in the middle of South Marysburgh – wildlife will be disrupted. The majority of houses I see constructed in the County are relatively modest. And are you seriously suggesting that the environmental impact of building a house equals what is shown in this video produced by a turbine company? Have you even bothered to watch it? Do you really think endangered wildlife stand a chance? Organisations like Nature Canada do not agree with you.

    As for your glib remark that prices will be fine in ten years that’s small comfort to those who need to sell sooner. You would not be happy if your property’s value was threatened! And everything will NOT be “as it should be” as the video makes stunningly clear.

  2. Emily says:

    Judy; yes it is wise to consider the source. There is no disputing the impact.

  3. old local says:

    @ Baysider— Go fishing already, obviously you love to troll ?

  4. judy kennedy says:

    It is wise to consider the source of such items. Just because it’s on film or in print, doesnt make something true. A little critical thinking goes a long way.

  5. Emily says:

    Have you watched the video showing the turbine ghost town in Waterloo, Australia and the devastation? Eggs with no yolks. Debilitating health. Saying everything will be well in 10 years is a brash statement but few are buying that snake oil!

  6. Lakesider says:

    Hey Baysider so we just roll over?

  7. judy kennedy says:

    It is all just politics and posturing. Who cares about yet another pointless petition? And,by the way, the feds have nothing to do with it.
    Those who worry about property values will find that 10 years from now no one will care…and everything will be as it should.
    If you genuinely care about the ecology, stop building fancy new houses on country lots—-how much wildlife do you think that disrupts? hypocrisy, anyone?

  8. baysider says:

    As far as I am concerned that is wasting my tax collar because they already have contacted the lawyer before and the lawyer told them that the wind energy act states that the council has no say

  9. Susan says:

    County Council will receive legal advice this evening in regards to appealing the REA approval.

  10. baysider says:

    I see that 51 people out of over 25000 people who live in the county have signed the petition. Quite a low percentage.Why don’t you quit wasting your time

  11. Sue 3 says:

    Chuck – Federal minister of the environment.

  12. Chuck says:

    Sue3, who is this Leona Aglukkaq in the petition?

  13. Chris Keen says:

    @Ian as an “oldcomer” a number of neighbours and I had our properties appraised so that we had a benchmark value for use in potential lawsuits down the road. The appraiser asdvised me at the time that property values would likely decline 30%-40% if turbines were constructed, assuming, of course, that anyone wants to live next to a 500 foot monstrosity. No one who has purchased property in S. Marysburgh or the Milford area in the past 8 years would be unaware that turbines were a possibility. I can’t imagine you would be happy if the value of your home suddenly dropped like this.

  14. Steve says:

    It’s also worth mentioning that we have some significant industrial scale solar projects in the County. I think that we are already pulling our weight in this province, when it comes to renewable energy.

  15. Susan says:

    Thanks Ian. I know several property owners in South Marysburgh and Athol who want to sell but are scared as well, scared that it is now too late.

  16. Ian says:


    No. I’m referring to property-flippers as being greedy, powerful and scared.

  17. Susan says:

    Ian, are you referring to the Industrial Wind Turbines as being Green?

  18. Ian says:

    The fact is that many newcomers will have the value of their newly-purchased properties negatively affected by wind turbines, or even the threat of them.

    I applaud any who work to protect the environment. I’m just a bit sceptical about the motivation of many newcomers who are against green energy.

  19. Mark says:

    Thanks Chris. Nothing stands a chance of survival. Profiteers riding the coat tails of Green!

  20. Chris Keen says:

    Spend a few minutes and watch the absolute destruction of the environment when these things are built. No species, endangered or not, stands a chance; no mitigation possible.

  21. Susan says:

    Didn’t read any scientifically disputed references. Robert is representing the vast majority of constituents who do not want the environment and landscape pillaged. Other countries are bailing out of this scheme while Wynne forges ahead. The extreme costs to a government that is 320 Billion in debt is insanity.

  22. baysider says:

    I agree Judy. I Think Robert should change his brand of cigarette. He seems to be worrying about a lot of far fetched things. Seems like a lot of cement in one hole. Also if a vehicle is licensed it should be able to travel on any road. Too bad 80 our roads are a disgrace already.

  23. judy kennedy says:

    Sorry Bob, but we are constituents and do not agree with the sentiments expressed in your letter, which by the way also contains some widely scientifically disputed claims.

  24. Gary says:

    Not sure Robert has a bus licence! Lol

  25. baysider says:

    Gary maybe we could get a bus and put your family on it and Quaiff could drive it

  26. Mark says:

    All citizens should demand that the Premier visits the County. As beautiful and special as the South Shore is for our ecosystem it cannot speak for itself!

  27. Chuck says:

    Just google various articles on the “financial post”. It tells it like it is from over 300 million debt to the craziness of this Green Energy Act. Even speaks to how the wood stoves and fireplaces that the green’s love are causing more harm than what is being preached as wind and solar as a savioor

  28. Gary says:

    There are more than 20 in my family alone that are strongly opposed to Industrial Turbines. What would possess a Ministry of Environment supporting a project in this area? It defies logic so the only other thing that is usually involved is $$$.

  29. Sue3 says:

    @ Baysider
    What, exactly, is in this letter that could be refuted?

  30. baysider says:

    It seem, s that about 20 people don, t want turbines or anything else in the county. What about the rest of the county.Maybe you should move somewhere else and take Quaiff with you

  31. Susan says:

    If this government wasn’t absolutely determined to get turbines into the County perhaps. The fact that they were so brazen as to approve this while neighbouring Ostrander project is still in legal process speaks loudly of their resolve to conquer.

  32. Carol says:

    Thank you, you speak for all of us who think that wind turbines in this beautiful oasis is criminal.

  33. Christine Giavarini says:

    Well said. Lets keep fighting…can we get attention and coverage from the major networks and magazines?

  34. Dave says:

    Waiting to have the NO-Wynee letter published when or if she replies

  35. Ian Sorbie says:

    Is anyone organizing an online petition – I want to sign!!

  36. Susan says:

    I believe the Green Energy Act commonly known as filling the foreign coffers at locals expense denies that type of municipal action. It is basically put up and shut up, you have no say in this!

  37. kawartha dave says:

    An excellent letter from the mayor. We can only hope they listen at Queen’s Park but why do I doubt it. Maybe another option would be for the municipality (PEC) to institute special land use taxes on the turbines. Just think, at $50,000 annually per turbine, it could fix a lot of infrastructure in the County.

  38. Diane Woods says:

    My husband and I applaud your efforts and are heartened by your stellar letter composition!

    You are the mayor we need. Thank you so much.

  39. Marie says:

    Well put! Thank-you mayor Quaiff!

  40. Olmanonthemtn says:

    Hey Mayor maybe you should think about becoming Premier of the Independent County
    of Prince Edward!

  41. Dale Boy says:

    Excellent letter, Mr. Mayor. Perhaps this could be sent to Toronto news papers too.

  42. Lori Cairns says:

    Go Robert!!!!!! That was fantastic! Keep it up!

  43. Doris Lane says:

    We know you are doing everything you can to stop the IWT’s
    You have worked so hard on this
    We have shown the Provincial Liberals that we re not in favour of their policies–we defeated them in this riding in the last election–Does that not show how we feel.
    Keep up the good work Robert

  44. Joanne says:

    And, thermal energy for our farmers? Hydro ‘The County’ a new private locally owned energy system? Wouldn’t that be nice!

  45. Joanne says:

    So frustrating! And, still Hydro rates will increase. So how can we become independant of Hydro? Harness the sun one household at a time with grants from theprovince?

  46. Chuck says:

    An approval of this by the MOE directly flies in the face of the Ostrander Point appeal. It speaks volumes that there is no stopping the agenda!

  47. Susan says:

    It is good. But, expect a thank you, be in touch. Letter filed.

  48. Sue3 says:

    Excellent letter !!!

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