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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Gilead Power Ostrander Point project update

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The following is a May, 2011 newsletter from Gilead Power via Stantec. 

Note how “pleased” Gilead is to apply for a permit to “kill, harm and harass” endangered species,”  though they neglect to use those exact words, opting for “relating to” instead.  Read between the lines to see whether Gilead’s “additional analysis,” and “review of cumulative effects” has actually changed anything about their plans.

Their “revised construction schedule” and “speed limit restrictions on the site” will most probably be helpful for endangered birds and turtles as they rush to move their nests to Gilead’s new and improved habit.


“Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park  Project Update

Renewable Energy Approval Application

Gilead is pleased to announce that on May 16, 2011, the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) application for the Ostrander Point Wind EnergyPark was submitted to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). Following the April 12, 2011 public meeting,Gilead has been focused on responding to stakeholder questions and making necessary changes to the REA reports to address public comments. The REA reports have been updated to reflect changes made to the Project in recognition of public comments. From the outset of the Project,Gilead has always sought feedback from the community and has incorporated this feedback into the Project design where applicable. This feedback has led to changes to the Project layout, additional analysis of alternative turbine siting options as well as a review of cumulative effects of the Project. Read the rest of this entry


County council endorses field naturalists’ deputation

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Myrna Wood and Cheryl Anderson made a deputation to Council for PECFN regarding comments to the Ministry of Natural Resources regarding Species at Risk habitat at Ostrander Point. They asked that their deputation be received and “That council endorse the comments of Prince Edward County Field Naturalists to the Ministry” … regarding the above.

The deputation was received unanimously and the endorsement was supported by all except MacDonald, Forrester and Marisett. Since the total council was present that made it 13 to 3. Truly an exceptional endorsement! We can all be proud of our council for supporting our South Shore IBA and for the number of councillors who spoke strongly in support beginning with Lunn and Quaiff and including our mayor.

Wind Concerns Ontario backs protection of Ostrander Point

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“Wind Concerns Ontario will stand with you to protect Ostrander Point,” said WCO president John Laforet. “We will do everything possible to prevent a single industrial wind turbine from being approved on that site.”

Laforet was speaking at Waring House as part of his province-wide “Truth about Turbines Tour.” During six weeks and 6000 km of travel he is making 40 stops to draw attention to the economic, environmental and health facts about wind development. One of his engagements is before the Empire Club of Canada on June 2.

In Picton, at a breakfast meeting, Laforet told 100 APPEC and CCSAGE supporters that the message to Bay Street is clear: Every project will be appealed to the Environmental Review Tribunal. Wind developers won’t have an easy ride even after the award of electricity contracts.

WCO has called for an end to Feed-in Tariffs with excessive subsidies, including those to Samsung. Laforet said that since Samsung’s deal was not just for incentives totalling $461 million but a contract that would pay out $1.1 billion each year for 20 years, it might be better to accept the short-term pain of a financial penalty for cancellation.

Turning to the environment, Laforet explained that wind projects will wreak incalculable damage across Ontario. Near Thunder Bay, he reported, 150 acres of long-protected woodland will be clearcut, with a loss of 400 large sugar maples growing at their farthest northern range. Amherst Island faces the same harm as on Wolfe Island.

“The MNR release on Gilead Power’s application for a permit to kill endangered species,” he said, “is yet one more example of the disregard the Ontario Liberals have for our natural environment even when it contributes to tourism and community vitality.”

Listeners applauded when Laforet said that MPP Leona Dombrowsky “needs to understand her job is to represent Prince Edward County and if devastation happens at Ostrander Point, she will not be re-elected in the fall.”

Laforet acknowledged “the strong leadership coming from Prince Edward County” and cited Beth Harrington for WCO communications, Dr. Robert McMurtry on health issues, and Ian Hanna for the judicial review case. He noted that 80 municipalities representing two million Ontario citizens have passed motions for a moratorium until a health study is done.

Asked where people could get good information on the issues, Laforet suggested for the facts on Ontario, for health, and for worldwide news.

After a few more questions the meeting ended, and the action moved to downtown Picton. Laforet joined over 100 people carrying placards and marching down Main Street to Leona Dombrowsky’s campaign office.

Wolfe Island wind turbines cause disappearance of short-eared owl

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Short-eared Owl

By Paul Schliesmann The Whig-Standard

The short-eared owl, listed as a species of special concern in Canada, has all but disappeared from the west end of Wolfe Island. A noted Kingston-area birder says the decline has everything to do with the construction and startup of wind turbines on that part of the island two years ago. “They’re definitely avoiding the area,” said Kurt Hennige, who has been watching and documenting the short-eared populations on Wolfe Island for more than 25 years. 

Read the entire story…

Gilead Power’s plans for South Shore’s endangered species

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Gilead Power, the Peterborough, Ontario wind power company that recently applied for a government permit to “kill, harm and harass” two endangered species, has plans to reduce the impact of construction on the Whip-poor-will and Blanding’s Turtles.

According to CBC reporter Mike Crawley, “In an email statement, the company (Gilead Power) says it will do its best to mitigate the harm to the birds and turtles.  It says it will create new nesting habitat and build the project in winter, when wildlife aren’t around.”

One immediately apparent problem for Gilead is that turtles don’t fly south for the winter. 

According to TurtleSHELLtortue,   “Canadian turtles hibernate for over five months every winter. Some, like the Painted and Snapping Turtles, hibernate on the bottom of quiet backwaters, nestled up to sunken logs or under stream or lakeside banks. Others, such as the Spotted Turtle, hibernate in the fens or flooded fields in which they live during the summertime. They must choose sites where the water does not freeze right to the bottom or become too low in dissolved oxygen.”

Gilead has is seeking permission from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to install 9 133-metre tall industrial turbines on Crown land at Ostrander Point on the South Shore of Lake Ontario.  The area is also home to an Important Bird Area, a National Wildlife Reserve and an International Monarch Butterfly reserve.

 If Gilead Power seems to be so mistaken about the endangered Blanding’s Turtle, how many other errors might it make?

Judge orders wind farm in Spain to be demolished

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According to a May 17, 2011 report filed on National Wind Watch,  “a judge has ordered that most of a 33 windmill wind farm be demolished in Lleida, considering that the municipal licence awarded for its construction to be null.

The wind farm is in the Sierra del Tallat, and the order to demolish comes following the complaint from the protest group ‘Salvem El Tallat’, They criticised the visual impact of the windmills and their effect on migratory birds, and notes an environmental study from Barcelona University which declares the sierra to be important.

The Town Hall in Vallbona de les Monges has now been ordered to return the land to its original state.

The farm started to generate 49.5 MW of power from its 80m high windmills at the end of 2007 after an investment of 50 million, and the company concerned says it will appeal to the Catalan High Court.”

The South Shore Conservancy is working to save our important IBA, National Wilderness Park and Monarch Butterfly Reserve from industrial wind turbine development.  It must be heartening to for other communities who are already struggling with bird and bat kills from turbines to hear that extreme measures can be undertaken.

Turbines that kill too many birds can be decommissioned

From Wind Turbines and Birds: A Guidance Document for Environmental Assessment March 2006 V. 6 Environment Canada/ Canadian Wildlife Service

“Adaptive Measures 11.0

Unanticipated adverse effects may require special mitigation strategies which could include a range of options to be developed under each specific circumstance. For example, if disturbance effects are found to be greater than anticipated, and various mitigation strategies prove unsuccessful, other options could include encouraging the proponent to purchase and then protect (with conservation easement or other method) a parcel of land of similar size and habitat type, and within the same general region. In extreme cases, if a wind farm results in high collision rates and/or is killing unacceptable numbers of species at risk, and all other mitigation options have been unsuccessful, it may be necessary to deactivate and remove the turbine(s) responsible.” (Italics added for emphasis)

Let’s not wait until the South Shore wildlife, including endangered species like Blanding’s Turtles and Whip-poor-will are killed.  Join the rally on Friday May 20 to send MPP Leona Dombrowsky a personal message to keep wind turbines away from these special places. Remember to email your comments to protest Gilead’s request to “kill, harm and harrass” our endangered species to Paula Norlock at and quote ER number 011-3181 in the subject line.

CBC news exclusive re: Gilead’s request to kill endangered species

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Ontario green project may kill endangered species
By Mike Crawley, CBC News –  See Video Here

The Blanding's turtle is one of the endangered species that would be at risk if the province approves a Gilead Resources proposal to build a green energy project on the shores of Lake Ontario. The Blanding’s turtle is one of the endangered species that would be at risk if the province approves a Gilead Resources proposal to build a green energy project on the shores of Lake Ontario. Raphael Carter/Wikipedia

A Toronto-based wind power company is proposing to build a green energy project on the shores of Lake Ontario, but it could threaten two endangered species.

Gilead Resources would have the legal right to kill the two species — if the province approves the proposal.
The company is applying for a permit that would allow it to “kill, harm and harass” the Blanding’s turtle and the whippoorwill.
Gilead wants to build a wind farm on the shoreline in Prince Edward County, but the location is designated an “important bird area.” The endangered turtle nests there as well.
Anne Bell of Nature Ontario says her group supports green energy, but only so far.
“We have to keep good projects out of bad locations,” said Bell, “and this is exactly what we’ve got here.”
The final decision rests with Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey, who says that “for the most part, we can find ways to mitigate around endangered species reasonably, so that the species continues, and continues to thrive.”
The whippoorwill, another endangered species, would also be at risk if the green project by Gilead Resources, a wind power company, is approved. The whippoorwill, another endangered species, would also be at risk if the green project by Gilead Resources, a wind power company, is approved. (Mark J. M. Wilson/Flickr) But Myrna Wood, a resident in nearby Picton says she “just cannot believe the government will do this. None of us here can. We’re all astounded.”
But Jeffrey counters that the “ministry has to find a balance between protection and allowing economic development — no matter what the species.”
In an email statement, the company says it will do its best to mitigate the harm to the birds and turtles.
It says it will create new nesting habitat and build the project in winter, when wildlife aren’t around.
 Remember to submit your written comments by June 9, 2011 to Paula Norlock, Agreement Specialist
Ministry of Natural Resources Policy Division at and quote ER number 011-3181 in the subject line.

Paula Norlock
Agreement Specialist
Ministry of Natural Resources
Policy Division
Species at Risk Branch
300 Water Street
Floor 2
Robinson Place South Tower
Peterborough Ontario
K9J 8M5
Phone: (705) 755-1788
Fax: (705) 755-5483