WIND PROJECT APPROVAL A DISGRACE: RUNCIMAN
OTTAWA, Dec. 21, 2012 – Senator Bob Runciman has blasted the Ontario Ministry of Environment for its approval of a wind energy project at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County.
“This decision goes against local wishes, it threatens migratory birds and bats and it makes no sense from an energy standpoint,” Runciman said. “And to grant approval just before Christmas is clearly an attempt to avoid scrutiny. It’s not only wrong-headed, it’s under-handed.”
On late Thursday afternoon, the Ministry of Environment announced it had approved Gilead Power’s proposal to erect nine giant wind turbines in an internationally recognized Important Bird Area at Ostrander Point. The approval gives Gilead permission to kill endangered species and destroy their habitat.
Runciman was the author of a 2011 motion unanimously endorsed by the Senate of Canada calling on the province of Ontario to institute a moratorium on wind-farm development along eastern Lake Ontario until the impact on birds and bats can be studied.
The Ontario senator’s concern stems from the experience with the wind farm on Wolfe Island, also in a designated Important Bird Area. That development has a kill rate for birds and bats that is seven times the industry average in Canada, primarily because it is located in the wrong spot. It is one of the deadliest wind farms in North America.
The same concerns apply to Ostrander Point, which has been described by Environment Canada as one of the best areas for birds in southern Ontario, Runciman said.
“The governing Liberals are in the late stages of a leadership campaign. The incoming premier may very well reconsider this failed policy – a policy that has alienated rural Ontario, bypasses environmental and land use policies, will cost electricity customers billions and is causing grave damage to the Ontario economy,” Runciman said.
“In light of this, it is an absolute disgrace that the Ministry has approved this project right now. I call on the government to step in and put a stop to this,” Runciman said.
For more information, please contact:
Barry Raison, Office of Senator Bob Runciman
(613) 943-4020 (office) or (613) 297-2069 (cell)