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Community rally Saturday: ‘It’s now or never’ to stop wind turbine development

The battle against government-enabled Industrial Wind Turbine projects has been stepped up in Prince Edward County.
Members and friends of the County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy (CCSAGE) believe “It’s now or never as the projects threaten to destroy the County’s naturally green environment.”
“A real white pine does not kill birds.  A real white pine does not cause illness, raise Ontario’s electricity rates, destroy tourism or reduce property values”, is the campaign mantra, said Duncan Fischer of CCSAGE.
“Citizens have launched the “Naturally Green” and “Turbine-Free” campaign, through CCSAGE, aimed at convincing provincially-elected representatives that a majority of Prince Edward County residents strongly believe that their personal health and economic viability depend upon maintaining turbine-free neighbourhoods in this tourist-based area. Their goal is to stop final approval of proposed industrial wind farms in the southernmost part of the County,” Fischer said.
The campaign involves distributing hundreds of lawn signs proclaiming the County’s “Naturally Green” and “Turbine-Free” heritage. The signs are augmented with billboards, posters, field signs, automobile decals, advertising and a neighbourhood rally with live music and a barbecue set for May 26 in Milford at the Mount Tabor shed.
“This citizen campaign was precipitated by the Ontario government’s removal – without public consultation – of measures designed to protect wildlife under the Endangered Species Act,” said Fischer. “With the acquiescence of the NDP, the Ontario government removed these protective measures in its omnibus budget bill of April 24th.  The result is that wind turbine developers now can ‘kill, harm, and harass’ endangered species without submitting to the safeguards designed to protect them.
“Endangered species in Prince Edward County are under an immediate threat from Gilead Power, which is awaiting government approval for nine IWTs on crown land at an Important Bird Area where migrating flocks congregate every spring and fall.  In addition, a Germany-based corporation, wpd, is proposing 29 IWTs in the adjacent bird-rich vicinity of Milford, where hundreds of County residents enjoy a healthy and affordable rural lifestyle.

“Enabled by the “Feed-in Tariffs” program of the provincial government, wind energy developers have signed lease options with a small number of resident and non-resident landowners. The majority of County residents oppose the placement of the turbines – and the removal of municipal authority to control the location of wind energy developments by the Green Energy Act.”

Fischer says citizens are not amused that wpd has named its 29-turbine project the “White Pines” project.
“White pines are part of the heritage of Prince Edward County, where old growth pines were decimated and shipped abroad in the early 1800s. Citizens believe that the White Pines project by wpd threatens to again ravage the area, with profits going overseas. And the proposed 29 industrial wind turbines are each more than 500 per cent higher than the old pine trees, substantially taller than the Royal York Hotel in Toronto and the Peace Tower in Ottawa,” he added.

For more information, lawn signs, or make a donation visit ccsage.wordpress.com or call Duncan Fischer at 613-476-6573

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  1. Suzanne Lucas says:

    Kevin, if wind power is the only thing saving us from global warming, as you seem to suggest, then we are doomed to fail. This article sites some recent research on the issue.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2012/05/30/wind-power-may-not-reduce-carbon-emissions-argonne/

  2. David Norman says:

    @Kevin. What pro wind group do you represent?… albeit with puerile ideological propaganda… perhaps you have friends in our local County Sustainability Group? I’m being generous here since you actually said nothing that approached intelligent rational.

  3. Kevin says:

    If you oppose wind turbines then you are pro-climate change, it’s just that simple.

    The negative effects of climate change will be far more consequential than any of your perceived wind turbine superstitions.

  4. Lori Smith says:

    @Beth, It seems to me that you have gotten it wrong. I find it interesting that most people on this subject that are not in favour of Industrial Wind Turbines provide facts and figures to back up their position, while those in favour of the IWTs tend to do the name calling (NiMBY, liars, vocal minority etc). They like to claim that a few well-funded organizations are misrepresenting the population of the County and that “the silent majority” is in favour of hosting IWTs.

    In all the rallies, council meetings, open houses etc that I have attended, there are most certainly a few who are in favour of IWTs. They are generally the farmers or landowners who have already signed contracts to do so, and stand to gain financially. There are also a number of younger people (under40) who have bought into the idea that these behemoths are actually “green” and will somehow save the planet for their generation and their kids.

    The only well-funded organizations are the builders and investors that stand to make $millions by building IWTs under the current Green Energy Act and FIT programs. Most of these companies are backed by oil & gas interests – do the research yourself and you will see. They have an interest for trading green credits (offshore) and can afford to pay for lobbyists to get the government on their side. The result of their lobbying is the double pronged attack on our environmental protection laws at both the provincial and federal levels.

    Their denial of health problems, reminds me of the well funded efforts by tobacco companies that used “scientific” research (that they of course paid for) to support their claims that smoking was harmless. Now we know that they knew, and even increased the nicotine in cigarettes artificially to make their products more addictive, all for the sake of making money.

    By buying homes of people who are ill and try to sue, the Wind Companies pay them off but force them to sign gag orders. Then the Wind Co.s can claim there is no evidence of health problems.

    The fact is, that a large number of citizens that oppose these IWTs are intelligent well educated individuals, who have researched and become alarmed at the cost to us in our health, environment, future debt, loss of manufacturing jobs etc, and have banded together and are trying to stop the installation of these destructive and costly power generators. It is not just happening in the County but all over Ontario and around the World.

  5. Beth says:

    I find it interesting that should someone have an opinion other than “Wind Turbines are BAD!!!!!”; that person is, in not so many words, accused of being un-educated, and un-informed about the “true aspects” of Wind Turbines.

    To claim the “Pro-Winds” have created a negative rift in the community is not taking into account that there are 2 sides to the issue. Any Negative Rift stems from the reality that there are 2 very opposing opinions. The “Pro-Winds” are attacked when they post their opinion because they do not agree.

    The 400 odd people there was definitely a lot. I support Green Energy Production, at all costs, no, but all options have Positives and Negatives, environment, economic, and social. Are the companies who are proposing the developments in it for profit, absolutely, it’s called capitalism. I personally think it would be just lovely if the “Anti’s” would accept than not everyone agrees with them and stop vilifying those who don’t.

    Besides with 29 proposed developments, I doubt there is anyone in the county who will not have one near them.

  6. Chris Keen says:

    @Marnie – you are absolutely correct. Unfortunately some posters are apparently incapable of acknowledging there might be merit in some of the arguments against IWTS – Nature Canada, for example.

    As they have nothing useful to contribute, they name call – “NIMBY”, “peace disturber” and rift-maker being the current favourites.

  7. Doris Lane says:

    Donna–400 people at an event is a large crowd–we do notexpect the whole county to go to anything
    400 at the regent is a good crowd–400 at church is also
    As Lori says she is not against any of the green forms of energy–they just have to be put in the right place and monitored properly–not just stuck in anyones back yard.
    There is an organic farm near Cherry Valley that has a couple of small turbines and a few solar panels for their own use. I do not think the neighbours object.
    Donna if you read these articles carefully I think you will find that your opinion is in the minority
    All we are asking is to leave the County alone–This is not the place for them

  8. Marnie says:

    It’s naive to think that NIMBY is the only reason for being anti-wind, Donna. There are many of us who still question the effects of these windmills on our health. Some of us also care about the natural habitats of wild life and do not want to see them endangered. Consider what you may be destroying in your haste to save the planet.

  9. Mark says:

    I am against governments that rule for the almighty buck and remove any local decision making. I am against the removal or side stepping of the environmental protections we have fought for years to establish. I am against a poorly thought out plan that threatens the health of citizens, reduces their property values to the point they cannot sell, and increases energy costs initially by 45% in 4 years. I am against a policy that is bound to tear closely knit communities apart. I am against special interest groups that believe that we are easy targets because we are naive and ill informed. I am against groups that promote the IWT’s on the motherhood sentiment that it is all for the children and grandchildren.

  10. Ray Hobson says:

    I am not a NIMBY.

    I am a NOMBI (not on my buck, industrialist).

    I am anti-IWT and anti-greed.

  11. Donna says:

    So it does come down to ‘not in my backyard’ after all. That’s the only legitimate reason to be anti-wind, IMHO.

  12. Chris Keen says:

    @David Norman – save your breath. Ms 1.58% can’t accept the fact than anyone who has an opinion that is not in line with her’s is nothing more than “anti-wind” and a “disturber of the peace”.

    No need to worry about the killing of endangered species; locating turbines next to a major migratory bird flyway; potential health concerns; precipitously reduced property values; the economic insanity of this so called “policy” etc… etc….

    The fact that the over 400 people who attended this rally probably represented most of the adult population of South Marysburgh, doesn’t matter to her because she doesn’t live there, and will not have to suffer any consequences if these monstrosities are built.

  13. Chris Keen says:

    @Lori Smith – Your comment reflects what I am sure is the opinion of many of the posters on this site. What is the cost? And who benefits?

    Now, because you feel this way, you and everyone who agrees with you for these reasons, and others, are “disturbing the peace” in the County. Don’t you love it?!! You think for yourself, come to a conclusion, and you’re “disturbing the peace”. Wow! Sounds like Premier Dad incarnate.

  14. David Norman says:

    “those numbers indicate that fewer than 1.58% of Prince Edward County are anti-wind. Illuminating” As you well realize that number simply represented the number of anti Industrial Wind Turbine folk who attended that particular rally… not nearly as “illuminating” as your contorted puerile attempt to discredit those who demonstrated genuine concern. There is nothing to win here! We have all already lost a great deal of community trust… your comment illustrates this.

  15. Donna says:

    “Seems a lot of the 400 people there were antiwind–that should give lie to the rumour that there are only a few anti wind people.”

    Well, those numbers indicate that fewer than 1.58% of Prince Edward County are anti-wind. Illuminating.

  16. Lori Smith says:

    I too, am sorry I missed the rally, as I had a family matter to attend out of town.

    I am one of the many labelled as “anti-wind” which is a misnomer. I am for green energy, whether it be solar, wind, hydro, nuclear or hydrogen. The criteria I use to assess any project on a large scale is, at what cost? and who benefits? If the Cost is to our health and environment, and future generations must carry the burden, how can it possibly be labelled green?

    The Green Energy Act and the current bills brought forward by our provincial and federal governments are designed to help large corporations make millions and bypass environmental safeguards, while removing our rights as citizens to have any meaningful input into the decision making process. Canada is becoming a coporacracy and most Canadian, are too complacent, they believe the advertising by government and corporations over their neighbours’ concerns. It will soon be too late to affect changes that are occurring which will enslave the generations that follow to the will of multi-billlion dollar companies that benefit the few.

  17. Doris Lane says:

    Seems a lot of the 400 people there were antiwind–that should give lie to the rumour that there are only a few anti wind people.
    I know that there are quite a few of my friends that could not make it, including myself as we had other committments
    Kudos ro CCSAGE and the other people who helpd them

  18. Gary Mooney says:

    The rally was a HUGE success, with 400 people turning out to learn more about the threats posed by the Gilead and WPD wind projects and to enjoy the BBQ and live music. Many people took home lawn signs to demonstrate their support for a naturally green and turbine-free County.

    Be sure to read the several reports that you’ll find elsewhere on CountyLive and in the local newspapers next week.

  19. Doris Lane says:

    With all the by-laws that Council dreams up there should be a by-law that states that you cannot do anything on your property that will damage Your neighbours property.
    We are suppose to be living in a community where neighbours help each other and do not do anything to damage each other.

  20. Mark says:

    And that is a whole lot of whoosh. I am afraid the damage in relations to neighbours in South Marysburgh may be beyond repair. One neighbour with an Industrial Turbine on his land making $$$$. The other neighbour nearby sitting on a piece of land you can’t give away. And of course it is all for the chidren and grandchildren.
    “Don’t eat that Harold”

  21. cHRiS says:

    anti-polarization, pro-discussion of known facts, pro-education, anti-profits over people, pro-community, pro-natural soundscapes, anti-whooshwhooshwhoosh etc. for years, pro-look of turbines from a distance, anti-dirty energy, pro-endangered critters, anti-propaganda, pro-poll/ petition , pro-positive, duh.

  22. Chris Keen says:

    @David Norman
    And perhaps the pro-winds will come clean and admit that they live nowhere near where these monstrosities might be erected, no need to worry about the environmental impact to their neighbourhood, the potential health risks to their families, or the certain severe devaluation of their properties. Pro-wind rants from people with no skin in the game are truly tiresome.

  23. David Norman says:

    Another anti-Industrial Wind Turbine and pro-residential solar resident here. It’s only the pro-winds who need to be vocal and disturb the peace here in the County; they are the ones who so vociferously promote wind development. The anti-wind folk can enjoy their own peace of mind knowing that they are doing the right thing and will proceed to try and explain this to the environmentally challenged.

    To me, the permanent rift that the pro-winds have created in our community is as bad as the negative health and ecological effects caused by wind energy.

    ‘Probonehead’ does fit the pro-wind movement in PEC now. Their signs insist on a ‘Industrial Wind Turbine development’ so it is not only certain concerns, those benefiting financially, and the supposed stakeholders and their children and grandchildren in the County Sustainability Group that are fueling this fight. Hopefully they will now cease their fabrication of any and all excuses to erect Industrial Wind Turbines, and just admit that they simply were selfish and wrong..

  24. Donna says:

    Another pro-wind and pro-solar resident here. It’s only the anti-winds who need to be vocal and disturb the peace here in the County; they are the ones who so vociferously object to wind development. The pros can enjoy their own peace of mind knowing that things will proceed as they are meant to.

    To me, the permanent rift that the anti-winds have created in our community is infinitely worse that any possible negative effects caused by wind energy.

    ‘Protectionist’ does fit the anti-wind movement in PEC now. Their recent signs insist on a ‘Turbine Free County’ so it is not only certain concerns along the south shore that is fuelling their fight. Hopefully they will now cease their fabrication of any and all excuses to stop the turbines, and just admit that they simply don’t want to look at them.

  25. David Norman says:

    I must admit I am curious about what a poll would reveal, although if it was not in favor of Industrial Wind Turbine development it would be a mute point regardless. If the majority of County residents were in fact not in favor how would that effect folks points of view on both sides? What I do know, is that the divisiveness this issue has created will remain for many years to come.

  26. Lawrence Cornett says:

    Provincial legislation allowing 50 pro-wind people to control the environment in a community seems to be missing the anti-wind legislation needed to balance the democratic process.
    Google the Stantec case on Big Island to see what a few pro-wind people were allowed to do.
    Is legislation now so toxic to citizens that “the answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind”?

  27. Beth says:

    I believe wind turbines are an option that must be invested in. I would love to be able to afford to produce enough energy through wind and solar energy to supply my families demands. I want a pole performed through the county to determine the support or opposition of wind turbines. Let’s see an official result! Right now I see a very vocal, small group of opponents and the supporters are likely not vocal.

    OK this is extra money on the budget, but let’s find out; officially; what does the majority of the county want!

  28. David Norman says:

    I’m “fed up” with people who show no integrity of conviction. Hiding behind a pseudonym is a cowardly approach.

  29. Mark says:

    Perhaps those very few of us who oppose the placement of Industrial Wind Turbines in an environmentally sensitive area should just shut up and be the easy targets for special interest groups who promote them at any cost.

  30. fed up says:

    I agree with Phil. You can fog the airwaves all you like, that doesn’t make your views paramount—just noisier.

  31. David Norman says:

    Phil, your comment is logically ridiculous! And your bias, despite your lame attempt to exempt yourself from having one, is clearly present in several pejorative connotations like calling anti-wind folk liars and “protectionist”, among others. You make claim to misrepresentation based on a lack of formal data like an official “poll” and then proceed to make your own misrepresentations with statements like “One very small, very vocal and very well funded group of individuals does not represent me or a majority of county people” and “I am just sick and tired of all of the anti wind groups misrepresenting the county and the quiet majority of county residents”. And, County based pro-wind astroturf propaganda from “one very small, very vocal group, specifically the County Sustainability Group has made claim repeatedly that they represent a majority of County residents, without credential or proof and yet you curiously do not include them in your indictment.

  32. Doris Lane says:

    Phil
    If you attended the White Pines meeting at the high school awhile back you would have noted that the majority of people there were against the IWTs
    Very few people I have talked to are in favour of IWT’s,
    Even countries in Europe that have turbines are starting to turn away from them.
    They are very expensive to erect–their shelf life is not that great and we have no way of storing the power they produce so at present we pay the US around a million dollars to take our excess power
    In communities where they are people cannot sell their homes.
    Is that a good thing???

  33. Phil says:

    Every time I read or hear the statement “the majority of county residents oppose IWT’s” it really irks me. This is nothing more than propaganda 101.

    Telling a lie, no matter how convincing, a hundred or even a thousand times does not make it the truth.

    I don’t recall ever hearing about a valid poll or a question on an election ballot asking county residents their position on IWT’s.
    Until that occurs, all of the “protectionist” cliques need to stop lying to the media, and the outside world.
    The real majority of county residents have never been officially polled on the subject of IWT’s, until that happens please stop misrepresenting me and the rest of the county.

    One very small, very vocal and very well funded group of individuals does not represent me or a majority of county people.

    Oh just so you know I do not have any personal interest or stake in IWT’S.
    I am just sick and tired of all of the anti wind groups misrepresenting the county and the quiet majority of county residents to the outside world.

  34. cHRiS says:

    from wikipedia: Tono-Bungay (1909) novel by H. G. Wells narrated by a science student who is enlisted to help promote Tono-Bungay, a harmful stimulant disguised as a miraculous cure-all

  35. fed up says:

    “there is nothing more terrible than energetic ignorance.”!

  36. Chris Keen says:

    @tono-bungay

    You may not feel that the recent passing of Bill 55 will have any impact on the environment, but dozens of environmental groups disagree with you.

    If the McGuinty government actually believed in the democratic process, changes to environmental regulations as significant as those passed would have been introduced separately to allow public input and debate. Instead, they have been rammed through as part of the budget.

    From the National Post a sampling of reaction to this tactic:

    “Ontario accused of mimicking Ottawa in hiding environmental changes in omnibus budget bill

    Kelly McParland May 10, 2012 – 1:11 PM ET

    Jim Flaherty, shove over. The federal finance minister is not alone in raising a stink among environmentalists for trying to cram a half-dozen major initiatives into one big omnibus bill and hoping parliament doesn’t choke on it.

    More than 50 environmental groups, including Greenpeace, the Canadian Wildlife Federation and the David Suzuki Foundation, have signed a petition to Ontario’s Liberal premier, Dalton McGuinty, accusing him of “burying changes that weaken protection for our wildlife and ecosystems in a budget bill” and trying to force it through the legislature.

    In a release from Ontario Nature and Greenpeace, the group complains:

    Normally, proposed amendments to environmental legislation must follow a statutory process and be posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights registry so that members of the public may comment on them. The provincial government has bypassed this legislative requirement by inserting its amendments in an omnibus bill that is hundreds of pages in length and is not subject to the same degree of public scrutiny.

    Says Catharine Grant, Boreal Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada, “This government should be defending its environmental legislation, not undermining it by sneaking in changes through a budget bill. Adding multiple loopholes and exceptions to the rule, means our environment will be protected in name only.”

    That’s pretty much exactly what the federal Conservatives have been accused of by the Opposition, which claims the federal budget bill is stacked with potentially harmful side issues. But while the Tories have been subject to sustained attack, Ontario’s Liberals have evidently been watching and learning.

    Lawyer Clayton Ruby says Ontario’s tactics mirror Ottawa’s:

    Likewise, the Ontario Liberals have buried several proposed changes in their new budget bill that strike at the heart of Ontario’s Endangered Species Act (ESA), a piece of legislation this government proudly touted a mere five years ago.

    He says “sweeping new powers” allow the government to “exempt private landowners from the requirement to protect endangered wildlife or habitat,” gives industry “free reign” to operate without protecting habitats for threatened species, and removes a deadline to complete plans for protecting endangered plants and animals. Anne Bell, Director of Conservation and Education for Ontario Nature, says the bill means “the public has no chance of exercising their democratic right to participate in far reaching changes that will impact us and future generations.”

    In an open letter (see copy below) they say Bill 55, Bill 55 “significantly undermines the level of environmental protection and public oversight of natural resource use and conservation by: exempting industrial and development activities from legal requirements to protect wildlife and natural resources; broadening exemption powers; allowing the delegation of government authority to other unspecified bodies; and extending or eliminating deadlines for planning and reporting (e.g., species recovery strategies, park management plans, reports to the Legislature).”

    They want the environmental measures removed from the budget bill, just as federal Liberals and NDP demand the same from the federal Tories.

    Here’s a text of their letter to Mr. McGuinty:

    Dear Premier McGuinty,

    We, the undersigned, would like to voice our deep concern about Bill 55, the Strong Action for Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2012 and to request that you withdraw all schedules amending environmental legislation from the bill. Bill 55 obstructs the public’s right to participate in environmental decision-making by circumventing the statutory process for public consultation that is normally guaranteed under the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993. In so doing it erodes government accountability, transparency and environmental responsibility.

    Bill 55 makes substantial changes to several environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act, 2007, the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006, the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994, the Public Lands Act and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997. A legal analysis conducted by Ecojustice and the Canadian Environmental Law Association reveals that Bill 55 significantly undermines the level of environmental protection and public oversight of natural resource use and conservation by: exempting industrial and development activities from legal requirements to protect wildlife and natural resources; broadening exemption powers; allowing the delegation of government authority to other unspecified bodies; and extending or eliminating deadlines for planning and reporting (e.g., species recovery strategies, park management plans, reports to the Legislature).

    The weakening of environmental laws that were designed to protect the health of our lakes, forests and wildlife is deeply disturbing. To do so by circumventing the requirements of the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 through omnibus legislation that denies the possibility for open public debate is very troubling. We thus fully support the recommendation of Ecojustice and the Canadian Environmental Law Association, “that the environmental statutes, particularly those related to species protection, sustainable forest operations, protected areas, lakes and rivers protection, and public lands be withdrawn from the Schedules of Bill 55.” Specifically, we request the removal of Schedules15, 19, 23, 34, 58 and 59.

    In closing, we would like to assert our collective opposition to environmental deregulation and our profound disappointment in the government’s approach to addressing its budgetary objectives.”

    National Post

  37. Doris Lane says:

    The Liberal budget also has endangered our environment along with the federal budget–As a friend said the other day it seems as if neither government cares about us and our environment

  38. cHRiS says:

    positive message n nice design
    lots sprouting up on cty rd 13 today – seeing no mention at ccsage yet … howbout a physical address (store-library?) to pickup from? ..might be able to wait for bbq may 26 to get.

  39. tono-bungay says:

    If the citizen campaign is in fact about the Ontario government’s “removal of measures designed to protect wildlife under the Endangered Species Act,” I encourage you to read the law yourself. You will be glad to know that there is not a word about wind turbines, and that endangered species are given minimal exceptions. It does talk about people who work for utilities being allowed to carry things like rifles when they are traveling in close proximity to the pipeline, road, or power line they are maintaining, even if their trip takes them in or close to protected areas. Apart from that, there is no actual change to the protection of animals or to environmental assessments for wind turbines. Some of the protection responsibilities are being given to municipalities rather than provincial bodies, and that is a concern, but they enforce the same laws.

    The big change, the huge change, comes from the federal omnibus law, where some environmental assessments for pipelines and many power lines will no longer be done at all if they were a federal assessment, and will not allow citizens to provide any input. This affects rivers and lakes in particular. Nothing to do with the provincial government but it’s a much bigger threat to the environment and to endangered species.

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