Fury in Finch: ‘You gave us hope; we gave you a majority government,’ writes wind project opponent

The Editor:

This is an open letter to Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and to Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Mines, Northern Development and Indigenous Affairs .

Rod, we the citizens of North Stormont and all those already impacted by industrial wind turbines, know that you and Greg were informed of the facts, as were all other Ontario MPP’s.  We know this because every MPP was given a DVD done by Dave Hemingway, of Goderich, a follow up to the TVO documentary Big Wind.

Your DVD, if you chose to watch it showed honest, hard-working, tax-paying people explain — as they drove through their area on a school bus — how their health, water, sight, mental health, income were all negatively impacted by industrial wind turbines.

Under the McGuinty and Wynne governments thousands of documented reports were filed, with file numbers, describing negative experience and all were ignored.

In 2014 EDP Renewables of Portugal, Spain came into North Stormont, southeast of Ottawa.  Landowners were offered thousands of dollars a year to sign land leases.  Like so many others the landowners that chose to sign contracts only saw dollar signs.  They did not consider the impact on their family members, their children, their neighbours, the animals, the water; simply dollar signs.

Since the beginning the municipal council and residents have repeatedly said the project was not wanted.  The people learned about infrasound, low frequency vibration, shadow flicker and flashing lights.  They petitioned, voted twice to be non-willing hosts, talked/wrote/faxed multiple MPP’s of all political stripes.  All to no avail under the previous government’s Green Energy Act.

During this time the number of industrial wind turbine health-related reports throughout Ontario continued to increase.  Fresh well-water sources were contaminated and destroyed; you both know of this as I personally handed you the proof.  Wind Concerns Ontario filed legal charges against the minister responsible for so much suffering.  You both know, nothing was done.

The people of North Stormont saw the rushed, irresponsible approval of the Nation Rise Wind project (I will not call it a “farm”) pushed through during the caretaker period of parliament.  It was done, like the others, without a cost analysis or proof that the power was required.

The approval came with 60 pages of conditions. The proponent had not included any potential environmental impact information as required; no mention of highly vulnerable aquifers, West Quebec Seismic Fault, leda clay, bird migratory path but it did include gas wells that North Stormont does not have.  Why wasn’t the project cancelled on this alone?

An appeal was immediately filed with all residents involved knowing there was no chance of winning. Under the Green Energy Act, as you know, the residents must provide irrefutable proof that damage will occur and, we all know too, that is an impossible task.

The people of North Stormont did this to postpone the project start until after the June, 2018 election.  We were thrilled to hear Doug Ford repeat over and over, “Help is on the way.”  He said to me personally, “Turbines are done.”

We knew the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (PCPO) had opposed industrial wind turbines since 2012 when Lisa Thompson introduced her private member’s bill asking for a moratorium on all industrial wind projects until the root cause of the health and water concerns was determined.

The PCPO’s strong opposition continued throughout the Wynne years and finalized in the loss of Liberal party status in the June 2018 election.

The people of North Stormont believed Doug and his party as well as so many others in rural Ontario.  You gave us hope; we gave you a majority government.  Then the change came; the promises were forgotten.

People cried at Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker’s constituency meeting.  Even after Doug’s written promise of a Health Hazard Study into the Chatham-Kent contaminated water issue during the election, nothing was done. It gets worse; local word is that the municipal, provincial and federal governments are going to pay — with taxpayer dollars — to install piped water from Lake Erie under the guise of increased infra structure, totally ignoring the destruction done to fresh well water source.

Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry with Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, introduced ERO 013-4265 — as you know — which grandfathered “existing and in process renewable energy projects” under the old Green Energy Act just two days before a small group of Jim’s constituents met with you and your assistants.

Then came the first PCPO budget where you embedded Section 17 in Bill 100 which, depending on whose interpretation, reads that no one can challenge the actions of the government retroactively.

What has happened?  Where are all those MPP’s who promised to stand up for the people: Monte McNaughton, Sam Oosterhoff, Sylvia Jones, Toby Barrett,  Rick Nicholls, Lisa Thompson, Jim McDonell,  Bill Walker etc.?

Christine Elliott sat in Shawn and Trish Drennan’s house for hours and learned firsthand of their horrific experience with the K2 project and the formation of Lake K2 (also given to you).  The Drennans are now sleeping in their basement trying to avoid infrasound.

Christine Elliott, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health has now put forth “mental health” legislation.  How would this legislation help the Drennans and the thousands of others; walking away from one’s home is not easily done?

Amherst Island wind project was pushed through ignoring most, if not all, of the contract guidelines.  Complaints by residents are being filed but …

Rod, before any final decision is made on the Nation Rise Wind project, I would like to remind you, again, in Ontario peoples’ lives young and old, physically and mentally have been destroyed, agricultural animals impacted, fresh groundwater sources contaminated/destroyed and for what? intermittent, unreliable, costly wind power that only increased Ontario’s debt exponentially.

Remember too the people of Ontario already impacted by industrial wind turbines support the people of North Stormont in their hope of the cancellation of Nation Rise.  People from around the province signed our last petition.  Calls and monetary donations have been given.

We are supported by so many except, it appears, the decision makers.  I will quote what Monte McNaughton said during Lisa Thompson’s Private Member’s Bill of  2012:

Monte McNaughton,  (at 1510)

I oppose the heavy-handed approach that the Dalton McGuinty government is taking by forcing these wind turbines on rural Ontario.  This approach is not democratic and it’s not productive. I’ve said it before, but truly, the greatest injustice facing rural Ontario today is that Dalton McGuinty and his Liberal government sit here, in Toronto, at Queen’s Park, and dictate to rural communities where and when they must install industrial wind turbines.

Has anything changed?

It appears as if the only “group” that does recognize the inherent damage of a wind project but is choosing to not act politically is the present government, the same government that campaigned on “Help is on the way.” “Reviewing all existing contracts line-by-line and cancelling all those in non-compliance.” Addressing the thousands of documented reports, ensuring Ontario’s ground water will be protected.

Rod, your Ministry wrote and published Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-In-Ontario Plan.  I quoted from it when we met Dec. 5, 2018.

Is your Ministry along with the PCPO MPP’s willing to agree to the highly probable destruction of another Ontario well water source supplying fresh water to the majority of Eastern Ontario, knowing that three wells turned cloudy after simple bore hole sampling was done by EDP?  What will it cost the government to bring “piped” water to the majority of Eastern Ontario?   Is the present government “playing the odds” on the lives and water of Eastern Ontario?

The residents and Municipal Council of North Stormont, those already forced to live with industrial wind turbines and so many others as well as myself and my family ask you to please put the people you promised to help and the fresh well water sources FIRST.  “Promise made. Promise kept.”

You have been informed by myself, family, friends and other citizens of Ontario. As such this letter is “on notice” that the continued development of the Nation Rise Wind project is considered negligent, harmful and in bad faith.

Please put an immediate moratorium on the Nation Rise Wind project until the health and water issues across Ontario can be addressed.

Ruby Mekker
Finch

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