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Support MNRF Scientists & Blanding’s Turtles

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Dear SSC Members,

Very recently scientists in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) have expressed concern about the risk of irreversible harm to turtle species from poaching as well as road mortality.

Last year the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) argued and won the ERT stating that 5.4 kilometres of new access roads at Ostrander Point would cause serious and irreversible harm to the Blanding’s turtles.  Experts brought forward by PECFN noted their concerns about the roads in relation to road mortalities, increased predation and access to poachers to undeveloped areas.

On Tuesday of this week the South Shore Conservancy board sent a letter to Premier Wynne, the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and other Ministers advising them that wpd “White Pines” is proposing to construct 16 kilometres of new access roads in habitat known to be used by the Blanding’s turtle and other turtle species.

We encourage SSC members to call on Premier Wynne and all MPPs to respect Blanding’s turtles and other species at risk that use the County’s south shore.

You may wish to reference the Conservancy’s letter as a starting point for your letter, or an article on our website (southshoreconservancy.wordpress.ca).

The Conservancy continues to support the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists as they continue with their challenge of the Ostrander Point wind project at the Ontario Court of Appeal. Date to be announced.

Your letters are greatly appreciated especially when put in your own words.

Remember to ask for a reply to your letter or email.

Sincerely,

Sandy Goranson, Janice Gibbins, Paula Peel, Beth Harrington

SSC Board


SEND EMAILS TO:

Premier Wynne: kwynne.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org; premier@ontario.ca;

MPP Chiarelli, Minister of Energy: bchiarelli.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org; write2us@ontario.ca;

MPP Bill Mauro, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry: bmauro.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org; minister.mnr@ontario.ca;

MPP Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change: gmurray.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org; minister.moe@ontario.ca;

 SEND LETTERS TO:

Premier Kathleen Wynne

Legislative Building

Queen’s Park

Toronto, ON

M7A 1A1

 

Hon Bob Chiarelli

Ministry of Energy

4th Floor, Hearst Block

900 Bay St

Toronto, ON

M7A 2E1

 

Hon Bill Mauro

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Ste 6630, 6th Floor, Whitney Block

99 Wellesley St. W.

Toronto, ON

M7A 1W3

 

Hon Glen Murray

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change

11th Floor, Ferguson Block

77 Wellesley St W.

Toronto, ON

M7A 2T5

FIND YOUR LETTER HERE:

Add your name and address here; please feel free to personalize this letter as you choose. Read the rest of this entry

Ontario Environmental Watchdog Boosts Conservancy Campaign

 

This week a major boost was given to the South Shore Conservancy campaign to protect the south shore IBA in Prince Edward County.

Gord Miller, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, hit the headlines when he unequivocally stated that wind turbines do not belong in Important Bird Areas (IBAs). Mr. Miller went on to suggest that wind turbines do not belong in any ecologically sensitive locations. 

According to Mr. Miller “…the current guidelines do not go far enough to ensure that wind power development is compatible with Ontarians’ objective of protecting wildlife.  Given the importance of selecting sites that minimize the harm to birds and bats, it just makes sense to avoid building wind energy projects in these species’ most ecologically sensitive locations.”

Ontario Nature has added to these comments by saying that on Wolfe Island (also an IBA) with an 86 turbine project, a 2010 study found that on average 16 birds and 43 bats were killed per turbine, one of the highest recorded rates in North America.  The kill on that site is one of the worst in North America.   The Ontario governments’ reaction to the high bird and bat kill was to increase the number of acceptable kills per turbine and decrease the area around each turbine that must be searched for bird and bat kills.  Furthermore they have made no response to the mandatory reports required of raptor kills. 

In addition to eradicating the possibility of wind turbines in IBAs, Mr. Miller considers that the Ontario government needs to take into account the cumulative effect that wind turbines have on both birds and bats.  Ontario Nature agrees stating that “we. . .need to be aware of the cumulative impacts of all wind turbines on bird life, bats, other rare plants and animals, as well as sensitive ecosystems.”   With the millions of migrating birds and bats as well as other winged species like the Monarch Butterflies that pass through the south shore, the cumulative impact here will be many times worse than at Wolfe Island. 

The Canadian Senate, Nature Canada, the Audubon Society as well as the Royal Society for Birds and many other environmental groups both here and abroad have alerted the MOE to the fact that wind energy projects do not belong in our IBA. Now the provincial governments’ own Environmental Commissioner, is reinforcing this. 

As we have seen with Gilead Power and with wpd Canada, the Ontario government has given no consideration to the issue of the IBA factor. There is no better time for everyone to tell our Liberal government that they must protect major migratory pathways, sensitive ecosystems and all threatened species and habitats.  This is the only acceptable solution for the residents of this province.

We encourage you to protest the construction of wind turbine projects in Prince Edward County’s globally-significant South Shore IBA by responding yourselves and encouraging as many others, particularly other residents of Ontario, to respond as well.  Whether they focus on our IBA or on the one closest to them does not matter.  The important thing is that they inform their MPP and others on the list below that they agree with Gord Miller and expect them to do the same.   

Please tell the following politicians that you agree with Gord Miller and expect them to do the same:    

Premier Dalton McGuinty
dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Dwight Duncan, MPP
Deputy Premier
dduncan.mpp@liberal.ola.org

David Orazietti, MPP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier
dorazietti.mpp@liberal.ola.org

Michael Gravelle, MPP
Minister of Natural Resources
mgravelle.mpp@liberal.ola.org

Mike Colle, MPP
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources
mcolle.mpp@liberal.ola.org

 Jim Bradley, MPP

Minister of the Environment
jbradley.mpp@liberal.ola.org

Helena Jaczek, MPP
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment
hjaczek.mpp@liberal.ola.org

Chris Bentley, MPP
Minister of Energy
cbentley.mpp@liberal.ola.org

Reza Moridi, MPP
Parliamentary Assistant to the Ministry of Energy
rmoridi.mpp@liberal.ola.org

Tim Hudak
Leader, PC Party
tim.hudakco@pc.ola.org

Laurie Scott, MPP
PC Critic Natural Resources
laurie.scott@pc.ola.org

Victor Fedeli, MPP
PC Energy Critic
vic.fedeli.pc.ola.org

Michael Harris, MPP
PC Critic, Environment
michael.harris.ola.org

Lisa Thompson, MPP
PC Deputy Critic, Energy (Green Energy Act)
lisa.thompson@pc.ola.org

Todd Smith, MPP
Prince Edward-Hastings
todd.smith@pc.ola.org

Andrea Horwath
Leader, NDP
ahorwath-co@ndp.on.ca

Peter Tabuns, MPP
NDP Energy and Environment Critic
tabunsp-qp@ndp.on.ca

Jonah Schein, MPP
NDP Environment Critic
jschein-qp@ndp.on.ca

Sarah Campbell, MPP

NDP Critic, Natural Resources

scampbell-qp@ndp.on.ca

 

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

Senator Runciman proposes IWT moratorium for eastern Lake Ontario

WIND PROJECTS POSE UNACCEPTABLE THREAT TO BIRDS: RUNCIMAN

Ontario Senator calls for moratorium along eastern Lake Ontario

 OTTAWA, Nov. 28, 2011 – There is an urgent need for a moratorium on wind energy projects along the shores of eastern Lake Ontario until ways can be found to better protect birds and bats, Senator Bob Runciman told a news conference on Parliament Hill this morning.

Runciman was joined at the event by Ted Cheskey, manager of bird conservation programs for Nature Canada, Rosemary Kent, president, and Cheryl Anderson, vice-president of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. Runciman is introducing a motion in the federal Senate this week calling for a moratorium in the area from the east end of Wolfe Island to the western edge of Prince Edward County– a major migratory route for birds and bats.

“Under current Ontario government policy, green energy trumps everything, including threats to bird and bat populations, their habitat and their migration corridors, the Planning Act and the Environmental Protection Act,” Runciman said. “It is a reckless, damn-the-consequences approach that we don’t want to see happen at Ostrander Point and Amherst Island. It’s time for the government to step back and assess the implications of what they are doing.”

Wind energy projects are planned for both of those locations, although final approval has not yet been granted by the provincial government.

Nature Canada has long argued that industrial wind energy developments should not be located in internationally recognized Important Bird Areas such as Ostrander Point and Amherst Island. Cheskey cited the experience with the Wolfe Island project, which he said is “one of the most destructive for birds and bats in North America.”

 “We believe in good things in good places,” said Cheskey. “To achieve wind energy’s greatest promise – a clean, renewable energy source that helps, not harms wildlife – wind turbines should not be located in Important Bird Areas.”

Kent and Anderson talked about the long-term threat to vulnerable species posed by the project planned for Crown land at Ostrander Point, which has been cited by experts as one of the best places for birds in southern Ontario.

For more information, please contact:

Barry Raison, Office of Senator Bob Runciman

(613) 943-4020 (office) or (613) 297-2069 (cell)

raisob@sen.parl.gc.ca

News release courtesy of the Office of Senator Bob Runciman

MPP Todd Smith’s challenge to industrial wind turbine zoning

Next week Todd Smith will present a private member’s bill on the restoration of municipal control over the zoning of industrial wind development.  Since this bill reflects one of the planks in the Progressive Conservatives’ recent election campaign, it has been developed with the assistance of the PC caucus and has full backing.  The return of municipal control would ensure that councils can consider a whole range of local impacts and approve only developments with real benefits for everyone.

The New Democratic Party has also opposed large-scale, private wind projects, preferring direct development by either communities or Ontario Power Generation. It will be interesting to see how the NDP responds to Todd’s bill.

If you would like to thank Todd for this useful initiative, please email his office: todd.smithco@pc.ola.org.

(Excerpted from  APPEC newsletter by Chair Henri Garand)

Survey on McGuinty green energy & FIT program

The OAC (McGuinty Government) wants your input on the FIT program and other aspects of clean/green energy.  While some of the questions seem to require technical answers and a thorough reading of government propaganda, you can tell them what you honestly think about turbines and how you believe they will affect the South Shore. There are no right or wrong answers – what counts are your opinions.

 http://www.energy.gov.on.ca/en/fit-and-microfit-program/2-year-fit-review

 This type of survey usually attracts comments from non-rural people and those who have little understanding of the threats industrial wind turbines pose to fragile wildlife habitation and migrating species. It is important that we express our opinions as well.

If you have not already done so, you can also write to our three new Ministers about this survey and express your concerns about the Gilead Power and White Pines Development industrial wind projects in the South Shore. 

Hon.  Jim Bradley, Minister of the Environment  minister.moe@ontario.ca

 Hon. Christopher Bentley, Minister of Energy  cbentley.mpp@liberal.ola.org

 Hon. Michael Gravelle, Minister of Natural Resources  mgravelle.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Windfall documentary now on TV 

Last May APPEC and CCSAGE screened the Laura Israel documentary Windfall at the Regent Theatre.  The film is an excellent American version of the BBC series Blown Apart, except it has a happier ending.   If you missed it at the Regent or want to encourage friends to take a look, note that Windfall will have its Canadian television premiere on CBC’s specialty channel Documentary.   Check your Bell, Rogers or Shaw Direct listings for this subscription channel. 

 Windfall airs Sunday, November 6 at 8 p.m.  If you are in the GTA Windfall airs on Nov 7.  Click on the link below for other viewing times:

http://www.cbc.ca/programguide/program/windfall/

MPP Todd Smith’s letter to Natural Resources Minister

Press release from the office of Todd Smith, MPP:

The new Member of Provincial Parliament for Prince Edward-Hastings has started his legislative work by writing Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle with regard to the proposed Industrial Wind Farm at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County.

 During the campaign, the proposed Industrial Wind Farm was a major issue in Prince Edward County and was the focus of many campaign events including a press conference by a former Queen’s Counsel outlining the position of the South Shore Conservancy.

 “Since my office has opened, the number one topic of correspondence with constituents in the riding has been the proposed Wind Farm inPrinceEdwardCounty.” Smith stated. “The people of Prince Edward County feel like their right to have their voice heard is being taken away. They want Queen’s Park to know that they object to having these wind turbines forced on them without the approval of their local government.” 

 In the letter, Smith congratulated Minister Gravelle on his new portfolio and added that he hoped to have the chance to express the feelings of his constituents in Prince Edward County on this issue.

Contact Todd Smith by email or phone:

Todd Smith, MPP ~ Phone: 613-962-1144 ~ Email:  toddsmithco@pc.ola.org  Twitter @ToddSmithPC

 Read Mr. Smith’s letter to the Minister of Natural Resources Read the rest of this entry