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So-called 'green' project unacceptable

I am a secondary school teacher, raised in Belleville, now living near Stirling, Ontario. I am contacting you about the Ostrander Point Wind Project proposed to be built by Gilead Power.

My parents and I enjoy frequent trips to Prince Edward County with my two children, sometimes to the south shore (see attached photo taken at Traverse Point in 2010). I have fond memories of my parents taking my siblings and friends there, often just to experience nature.

I am generally in favour of renewable energy projects. As I understand it, Gilead Power is seeking permission to legally kill, harm and harass endangered species on crown land, including the Blanding’s turtle and the Whip-poor-will; and that the Gilead turbines will be situated in close proximity to a globally significant birding area for migratory and breeding waterfowl, raptors, and land birds.

Why on earth, in “a big empty country” (as a European relative describes Canada), would a renewable energy company choose a location that is habitat for endangered species and hundreds of species of migratory birds? Why even have policies and laws to protect such species if, as it seems here, it will be easy to circumvent such laws? We should honour those who went before us, who advocated for wildlife, who set aside wilderness areas to protect animals from human encroachment, to save these animals for future generations, for study and enjoyment, to show respect for the environment. I agree with Nature Canada, a non-profit organization that advocates for nature, and who, despite being supportive of most renewable energy projects, strongly opposes this location.

This so-called “green” project is unacceptable to me. It is unconscionable to permit the carnage that this project is sure to inflict on the wildlife near the south shore of Prince Edward County.

I have serious questions about the Stantec Inc studies that I found on the Gilead website. The Stantec field notes (see sample document attachment) imply that dozens of species of breeding birds will continue on as before, beneath the sweep of the giant blades of Gilead’s new turbines. The study period for breeding birds was only four days (in June 2008). Only four days! Vehicle traffic studies take longer. Furthermore, if this project is given a green light, am I to believe that Stantech will NOT stand to benefit from additional site preparation and engineering contracts? I am incredulous. Finally, 57 separate Stantec field note documents have been combined into a single, large, zipped, PDF file on the Gilead website. To download this 23.4 MB file to my computer took persistence and more than 10 minutes, then more time to unzip. I have to wonder whether this was done purposefully, to discourage busy individuals from examining the notes, to possibly form their own (unfavourable) conclusions, as I have done.

As a Quinte area resident and mother of two children, I ask you please, do not grant the permit for this project to proceed.

Joni Hoover

Stirling, Ontario