Significant activity reported at Ostrander Point, the proposed site of Gilead Power’s wind project, during the week of Aug. 29 and continuing on the Labour Day weekend involves a company called X-Tech Explosive Decontamination Inc.
Orville Walsh, Chair of the County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy said the company has been contracted by Defence Construction Canada, a Crown corporation, to survey for and remove any unexploded ordnance remaining from the site’s use for training during the Second World War.
“According to the contract, this activity is clearly in preparation for and support of construction activity for the wind energy facility,” said Walsh. “We had been assured previously by both the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) that no work would be permitted on the site unless and until both the access road application and the Renewable Energy Application (REA) had been approved. To date, there have been no such approvals.”
Walsh said the MNR has issued a permit resulting in significant disturbance of the site by X-Tech, including the clearing of vegetation and the creation of parking areas, an administrative area, new roads and storage areas which are in addition to the locations where the proposed access road, turbines, transformer station and other parking lots are planned.
“Neither Gilead’s draft construction plan nor MNR’s environmental assessment and categorization took into account these additional disturbances. The cumulative impacts to the Ostrander Point property continue to mount. The MNR and MOE are not following their own processes. Both ministries are eroding further any remaining credibility they had regarding protection of the natural environment.”
Treat Hull, Green Party candidate for MPP in Prince Edward-Hastings, today called for a halt to construction at Ostrander Point.
“Over the Labour Day long weekend, sub-contractors connected to Gilead Power began clearing the site for the proposed Ostrander Point wind farm despite the fact that the project has not received its final approvals required to proceed,” said Hull.
“The Gilead project is not approved yet. The Ministry could refuse to issue the final permits as it did last week in the case of the Big Thunder wind project in Thunder Bay. If final permits are ultimately granted, local residents will most certainly launch an appeal to an Environmental Tribunal which could also stop the project,” said Hull.
“The decision to proceed with site clearance without final approvals and just weeks before a provincial election which could decide the fate of the project shows an utter contempt for both the environment and the democratic process.”
“All construction at Ostrander Point should be halted until all final approvals are received. As a candidate and as an MPP I will continue to speak out on this important issue. For people who support other candidates in the election, I encourage them to contact their favoured candidate and make sure that they also speak out now before more damage is done to the site.”
Walsh also urges the community to call or write:
Leona Dombrowsky, MPP at 613-962-1144, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda Jeffery, Minister of Natural Resources at 905-495-8030, email@example.com.
John Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment at 800-461-9701, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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