‘Grave concerns’: Nation Rise participants decry $45 million lost to local economy of North Stormont

The Editor:

We submit this correspondence to Ontario’s Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Dear Mr. Yurek,

I am writing in regarding to your decision to cancel the Nation Rise Wind Farm in North Stormont. I have grave concerns regarding your decision this late into the project. I realize that regardless of what we do to drive our economy forward there are always pro’s and con’s to be considered.

I have been a proud supporter of the project and have followed the process from its inception. The tribunal found, based on the evidence, surveys and expert testimony that the proposed monitoring and mitigation measures in the Operational Mitigation Plan, the Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan and the Renewable Energy Approval Conditions P&Q will reduce the already low risk to bats, including species at risk bats, in the project area.

Had your department cancelled the project in the planning stages I would have respected your decision. Revoking the permit once the project is more than 80% complete is unacceptable, and I have grave concerns that this decision will have both locally and provincially.

This project, which is funded by private investors, would have provided electricity onto the grid at a rate that is considerably less than we are paying now. The project would have injected more than $45 million into our local economy in the next 30 years. We as farmers have been criticized by some with our involvement in the project, but I am proud of the fact that every dollar our farm would make would contribute back into the local economy where everyone benefits. The project has already committed to providing an additional $300,000 annually simply because it’s the right thing to do.

In our community we are always short funding for schools, hospitals and facilities for the elderly. Just thinking of what we could have done with the additional injection of $45 million. Going forward, if your decision is not reversed, there will most likely a significant lawsuit which will cost the tax payer even more. The decommissioning costs will no doubt cost the province millions that the tax payers will be expected to pay.

Furthermore, what company will in their right minds would ever want to invest in this province, which I am so proud to be a part of?

I have always been a proud Conservative supporter. This support was even more engrained after the Liberal gas plant fiasco. For the sake of this province and the Conservative supporters, please do not carry forward with this decision to revoke the permit.

If this decision stands, I would like you to tell me why you deserve my vote when you are both cutting our social services and putting the province at risk to further lawsuits with financial repercussions. These continuous actions will take this province from being prosperous to have-not in a very short period.

Sincerely,

Arnie and Marion Hakvoort

North Stormont

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