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Is the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources undermining our environmental legislation?

Recent issuing of “Overall Benefit Permits” by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources allowing renewable energy companies to damage and destroy habitat of endangered species raises concerns that the MNR is not fulfilling its obligations under the Endangered Species Act (2007).

[Report prepared for the Multi-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group, comprised of elected officials and appointed citizens from municipalities in Bruce, Dufferin, Grey, Huron and Perth Counties, Ontario. Sent to Michael Gravelle, Minister of Natural Resources, 7 Jan. 2012.]

Contents

  1. MNR issuing permits to damage and destroy habitat of endangered species
  2. Significant wildlife habitat loss is the main cause of species decline
  3. Ministry contends habitat destruction will be of positive overall benefit for each species
  4. MNR decision inconsistent with its definition of overall benefit
  5. Habitat fragmentation is not “enhancement”Species numbers decline when habitat is reduced
  6. Reproductive success is lower in small habitat fragments
  7. Industrial wind turbines are a new, cumulative limiting factor
  8. Consider the disturbance to a functioning ecosystem during construction
  9. Bird and bat abundance declines at wind turbine sites
  10. Noise from wind turbines is detrimental to survival of wildlife
  11. Issuing “Overall Benefit Permits” is adding to the cumulative effect
  12. Can industry self-monitoring be considered unbiased?
  13. Lack of social or economic benefit to Ontario from wind turbines
  14. Legalities
  15. Permit Revocation
  16. References

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