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Victory for Preservation of Ostrander Point

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Blanding's Turtle winsSouth Marysburgh ON/July 9, 2013  The South Shore Conservancy congratulates the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists on the outstanding results of their appeal of an approval of the Ostrander Point wind project to the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal. 

The Tribunal agreed with the Field Naturalists that this project would cause harm to the Blanding’s turtle, a turtle which is globally-endangered and threatened in Ontario. The Tribunal acknowledged that 5.4 kilometres of new roads constructed to accommodate the massive machinery needed to build and operate the nine 2.5 megawatt wind turbines would meet the test of serious and irreversible harm to Blanding’s turtles. The panel also considered that these roads would be permanently open to the public and thereby create on-going risks to the Blanding’s turtle in this fragile ecosystem.

The Conservancy is impressed by the Tribunals’ concern to prevent possible future harm to the Ostrander Point site.  As the Tribunal notes, the Ostrander Point Crown Land Block is identified by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) as a candidate Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) [15]. “If this area were a confirmed, rather than a candidate ANSI, it would be afforded further protections under the EPA. [610] The site “has simply not yet been designated as (a protected landform) by the MNR.” [612] “The evidence before the Tribunal raises the question of whether a wind project development will prevent a candidate ANSI from being considered as an ANSI in the future. The Tribunal has considered this possible future harm to the Site, due to removal of this opportunity for long-term protection.” [613]

The process to confirm the Prince Edward Point to Ostrander Point ANSI has been stalled since 2007, when the wind project at Ostrander Point was announced.   The process has been stalled long enough.  An opportunity now exists for long-term protection for Prince Edward County’s south shore – for the globally-significant Important Bird Area, the globally-rare alvar and the rare and at-risk species like Blanding’s turtle that are imperilled by wpd Canada Corporation’s 29-turbine wind project.

The Conservancy calls upon the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources to follow through on the recommendation to the MNR made over a decade ago to consider the Prince Edward Point to Ostrander Point a provincially significant ANSI.

The Conservancy urges the MNR to pursue the ANSI confirmation process and declare Prince Edward Point to Ostrander Point an ANSI.


How to comment on Gilead Power Ostrander Point new EBR posting

GileadPower Corporations’ Ostrander Point Wind Turbine Project is open to comments from the public.   Here is some helpful information on how to comment. 


Anyone can comment on this project and you are strongly encouraged to do so.  The Ministry of the Environment takes every comment they receive into consideration. 

We ask that you encourage family members, friends and co-workers to submit comments as well and that you support them every way possible.     


Unfortunately the Ministry of the Environment does not provide any direction in this regard.  We can only encourage you to submit a comment, no matter how brief, with regards to Ostrander Point being the wrong place / the worst possible place for industrial wind turbines and giving reasons for taking that position.  The “Notable quotes” section of this website contains some postings that may assist you.  Other organizations’ websites, such as Ontario Nature, Birds Canada and Point-to-Point PEC contain valuable information. 

 As we have seen in the past, large numbers of original responses, no matter how brief, have been most effective.  Numbers count particularly when they are original and not merely carbon copies and form letters. 


Due to efforts by our MPP Todd Smith,  the Ministry of the Environment has extended the comment period to February 2-2012.  There is talk of a further extension but given that it has not been posted to their website we have to remain skeptical.  Our advice to you is to send your comments as soon as you are able to do so.  As the saying goes, there is no better time than the present.


You can comment on Gilead Power Corporation’s wind turbine project by email or by letter using Canada Post.  Be sure to address your email or letter to Shannon McNeill at the Ministry of the Environment and include reference number 011-5239.  Contact information for Ms. McNeill and other contact information is provided in the posting  below.   

To submit a comment online click the URL for the Environmental Registry provided in the post that follows this one  and look for the “submit comment” box.” 

We appreciate hearing from you.  Share your comments with us or even consider joining SSC!

Earlier this week Gilead Power Corporation’s application for a Wind Energy Project at Ostrander Point was deemed complete by the Ministry of the Environment.  The Ostrander Point Project was posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights registry (EBR) on November 30 with an advisory of a 60-day comment period commencing immediately and ending January 29, 2012*. 

* Please note that this date has been changed to Feb 2, 2012 and further lobbying may succeed in having it changed to Feb. 19, but do not assume this until it is confirmed. You should continue to send your comments in sooner rather than later.

Canada Post letters and individual emails create more impact

We encourage you to submit original comments about the Project and to ask like-minded friends to do the same.  However we do have a few words of advice.  You will notice on the EBR posting that the Ministry of the Environment is allowing you to send comments electronically.  This is provided under the pretext of providing convenience to you.  

We have learned from previous experience with the EBR posting for Gilead Power’s application for a permit to kill, harm and harass species at risk at Ostrander Point that your response will have more impact if you write letters or send emails to Shannon McNeill Senior Project Evaluator MOE and to others as well, including Premier McGuinty, the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Natural Resources, the Minister of Energy, etc. To be even more effective, we encourage you to submit your comment electronically AND by letter or email. This will ensure your comments reach as many people as possible and keep MOE busy.  Contact information is provided at the end of this email.  

Prince Edward County’s internationally-recognized IBA is a “super-highway” for migratory birds and bats: hundreds of thousands of birds pass through this IBA during spring and fall migratory seasons.  The IBA provides a safe haven for birds that arrive in the spring exhausted after a strenuous trip across the lake and provides a feeding ground in the fall so they are able to build up their strength for their journey south.  The IBA is critical in terms of biodiversity: according to Environment Canada 300 species of birds have been recorded at Prince Edward Point, including some on the federal endangered species list.  We have some understanding now of the impact this project will have on certain species at risk such as the Whip-poor-will and Blanding’s Turtle but what of other turtle species, other wildlife. 

The construction of the wind turbines and 5.4 k of permanent access roads to the turbines will disrupt habitat and result in injury and mortality from vehicular collisions. We have learned from other such projects that wildlife will leave the area.   If this Project moves forward we believe that it is only a matter of time before this area of great biodiversity becomes a barren wasteland.  There are many reasons why this Project should not be approved.

Mike Lord at Gilead Power Corporation recently said  “the objective of this project is not to have any impacts to the birds at all.”  It could be said that the objective of Gilead Power Corporation’s studies is to show that this project will not have any impacts to the birds at all. Gilead’s studies are the products of selective reporting:  sweeping generalizations, conclusions based on insufficient data and objective-sounding analyses. When you submit your comments, insist that the Ministry of the Environment undertakes a proper study of bird and bat mortality.         

As you already know the SSC is considering legal action.  The protection of endangered species is embedded in the laws ofOntarioand the damage that has already been done without the requisite permit has not as yet been addressed.  We will update our members on any new developments in this regard.

The best Christmas gift for our endangered species     

We know that December is a busy time of year for everyone.  However, when you are writing gift lists, or sending Christmas cards or other holiday greetings, and already have pen, paper and stamps at hand, remember to send your written comments to the parties listed below.  It may be the best Christmas gift you will give or receive this year – hope for our endangered species.

The deadline for your comments is January 29, but please do it now. You may also forward this post to like-minded friends.

URL to Gilead Power Corporation Ostrander Point Wind Energy Project :

As instructed on the EBR submit your comment to Ms McNeill

Please include reference number 011-5239  

Shannon McNeill

Senior Project Evaluator
Ministry of the Environment
Operations Division
Environmental Approvals Branch
2 St. Clair Avenue West
Floor 12A
Toronto Ontario
M4L 1L5                                                                                                   

And CC: Dalton McGuinty, Premier
Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON
M7A 1A1

The Honourable Jim Bradley
Minister of the Environment
77 Wellesley Street West
11th Floor, Ferguson Block
Toronto ON
M7A 2T5                                                                                                               NEW !

The Honourable Michael Gravelle
Minister of Natural Resources
6th Floor, Ste. 6630
Whitney Block
99 Wellesley St. W
Toronto, ON M7A 1W3  NEW !  

The Honourable Chris Bentley
Minister of Energy
Hearst Building, 4th Floor
900 Bay St.
Toronto, ON
M7A 2E1

Mansoor Mahmood
Director, Environmental Protection Act
Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch
2 St. Clair Avenue West
Floor 12A
Toronto Ontario
M4V 1L5

Doris Dumais,
Director, Approvals Program
Environmental Assessment and Approval Branch
Ministry of the Environment
2 St. Clair Avenue West, Floor 12A
Toronto, ON M4V 1L5

Clinton Randolph
Project Evaluator
Ministry of the Environment
Environment Assessment & Approvals Branch
2 St. Clair Ave W., Floor 12A
Toronto, ON
M4V 1L5

Paula Norlock
Agreement Specialist
Ministry of Natural Resources
Policy Division: Species at Risk Branch
Robinson Place South Tower
300 Water Street, 2nd Floor
Peterborough Ontario
K9J 8M5        

Eric R. Prevost

Renewable Energy, Planning Ecologist

Ministry of Natural Resources

300 Water Street, Floor 1
Peterborough Ontario
K9J 8M5 

Karen Bellamy
District Manager
Minister of Natural Resources
Robinson Place South Tower
300 Water St
Peterborough, On
M9J 8M5     

Gord Miller
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario
1075 Bay St, Ste 605
Toronto, ON