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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Proposed budget allows foreign companies to kill Ontario’s endangered species

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The proposed Ontario budget (Bill 55) includes an amendment to the Endangered Species Act.  The purpose of the amendment is to exempt renewable energy systems from prohibitions in sections 9(1) and 10(1) of the Endangered Species Act.  Sections 9(1) and 10(1) are key sections of the Endangered Species Act as this is where the Act explicitly prohibits the killing, harming and harassing of Ontario species at risk and prohibits damaging and destroying their habitat.    

 Industrial wind turbine companies currently need to apply to the Ministry of Natural Resources for a permit under the Ontario Species Act if endangered species, threatened species and species of special concern are likely to be killed, harmed and harassed during the construction and operation of the wind energy project and if their habitat will be damaged or destroyed.

 If the budget (Bill 55) is passed these companies will no longer need to apply for a permit. To all intents and purposes they will be allowed to operate outside of laws that are in place to protect Ontario’s endangered species.  Industrial wind energy developers, even  multinationals that are under foreign ownership such as wpd Canada (Germany) and Samsung (Korea), will be able to build wind farms that kill, harm and harass Ontario’s endangered species with no fear of potential repercussions.    

In an article on Bill 55’s amendment to the Ontario Species Act, Keith Stelling points out that many of the casualties on major migratory flyways such as Wolfe Island and Ostrander Point will be these endangered and protected species (but) “they will no longer be protected.”   In one stroke the amendment removes endangered species from protection and affords protection to industrial wind turbine companies by putting them out of reach of the law.  Wind turbine developers will be permitted to kill, harm and harass endangered species and to damage and destroy their habitat and they can be expected to do so with impunity if they are out of reach of the law. Stelling goes on to point out that “every genuine environmentalist, conservationist, nature lover or advocate for Ontario’s biodiversity will be outraged at this underhanded development.”   

 This amendment to exempt industrial wind developers from the prohibitions in the Endangered Species Act is reprehensible and everything that can be done should be done to oppose it.  

Here are some things you can do: 

(1) The link below gives instructions on how to send a message to all MPPs (the message is ostensibly intended for NDP members but will be received by all MPPs). 

(2) Send a personal message to your MPP (who may not even be aware of the amendment).  Let your MPP know that there is no justifiable reason for this special exemption and that industrial wind turbine companies should be expected to follow the same rules as every other industry that conducts business operations in Ontario. 

(3) Send letters and emails to newspapers, organizations and to any public figures who you think would be willing to speak out about this. 

(4) Forward this email to others so that they may take action too. 

Thank you for your efforts to oppose this amendment.   

Send a message to all MPPs HERE


Fraser report critical of Ontario wind policy

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 Ontario consumers will pay $285 million more annually for residential electricity and Canada could lose 41,000 full-time-equivalent jobs over a 20-year period due to Ontario’s subsidization of renewable energy, concludes a new study from the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank.

The calculations for the residential sector are based on a Statistics Canada analysis using its Interprovincial Input-Output Model, commissioned by the Fraser Institute.

Gerry Angevine is a Fraser Institute senior economist and co-author of A Sensible Strategy for Renewable Electrical Energy, which analyzes the economics of technologies used to generate electricity, associated technical issues, and, using Ontario’s feed-in-tariff program as a case study, some of the broader effects that renewable energy policies might have on the North American economy.

Read more of this eye-opening  study at Folly of Ontario’s renewable energy program

If the Ontario government won’t protect our wildife, perhaps this report will encourage it to protect jobs and consumers.

Radar at wind farms will increase bird deaths

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Save the Eagles International (STEI) and the World Council for Nature (WCFN) denounce the use of ineffective mitigation to prevent bird and bat collisions at wind farms. Developers claim that their radar systems will detect birds and bats, and shut off wind turbines to avoid collisions. STEI and WCFN warn that this new mitigation scheme will actually increase bird and bat mortality worldwide

 For instance, an “avian radar” will be installed in the middle of the proposed Ocotillo wind farm in Southern California, which will stand in a migration flyway for golden eagles and other protected birds, while overlapping local golden eagle breeding territories and the habitat of some endangered species. The 112 wind turbines of 2.3 MW each will reach 456 feet into the sky with a combined rotor sweep equal to that of all the eagle-killing turbines of AltamontPass.The blades will have a faster tip speed at 174 mph when rotating at 16 rpm, and STEI notes that it has been proven larger turbines kill more eagles than smaller ones. Read more about the plight of the American bald eagles and what will happen to birds at our IBA here.