UPDATE: County residents were protesting the wpd Canada industrial wind turbines at Bond and County Road 10 when they heard the news Tuesday of the project’s pending cancellation.
“Today’s citizen action photo opportunity at Bond Road and County Road 10 was a great success with 40 to 50 participants coming out to demonstrate their anger and dismay towards the IESO for issuing a Notice to Proceed (NTP) to wpd White Pines Wind Inc, after the election campaign was under way,” said Gord Gibbins, chair of the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC). “The group delayed the delivery convoy of large wind turbine parts for a short period for the photo op. The organizers clearly achieved their objective to send a strong message to Queen’s Park. A great job by the organization committee.”
Gibbins said APPEC and its supporters deserve a big call out “in representing the County’s best interests and concerns in such a short time and for following through on his election promises.”
APPEC will be conferring with legal counsel Eric Gillespie on next steps, including the upcoming stay motion, Gibbins said, “to ensure best results given the latest information from Todd Smith.
“We are extremely pleased and looking forward, as always with the continued support of our members, to a County that is turbine-free!”
JULY 10 – Todd Smith has announced the cancellation of wpd’s industrial wind turbine project in Prince Edward County.
“We will introduce legislation to cancel the White Pines industrial wind turbine project which received its Notice to Proceed during the election period – before the government had any chance to make any decisions on the project for the benefit of the people of Prince Edward County,” said Smith.
“You can also expect us to act to ensure that going forward, local communities are better protected from having these kinds of projects imposed on them against their will.”
Smith, Bay of Quinte MPP, and now also Minister of Government and Consumer Services, and Government House Leader, delivered remarks today at Queen’s Park in Toronto.
He stated the Conservative Party has decided to recall the House to deal with “several areas of public interest that require urgent attention” during the summer session.
“The people of Ontario can’t afford to wait, and they won’t have to” he said, and pointed to three priorities.
The government, he said, will use legislative tools to protect York University students from the ongoing labour dispute to see it resolved.
“We will strike Ontario’s cap-and-trade carbon tax law from the books, and repeal any legislation that would enable a future government to impose a cap-and-trade carbon tax in future,” said Smith.
Addressing media questions about Ontario Hydro and “firing the $6 million man, Smith noted “We are five plus business days into the work of the new cabinet, and taking that issue seriously.” (Watch the video to hear him speak, and media questions on Ontario Hydro, cap and trade, alcohol, school building funds and other issues.)
Cheryl Anderson, of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, said she and others were in mid demonstration today in front of a turbine piece when they heard the news.
“General whooping, hollering and crying (me),” she said. “What a great victory for all the hard working people who never gave up through all these many years of fighting the undemocratic Green Energy Act and the Toronto- centric McGuinty/Wynne government.”
Anderson said that not only is Amherst Island destroyed by their actions, but also “there is a huge, unnecessary gas power plant spoiling the Bath road due to their cancellation of the Oakville plant to gain a seat in the 2015 election.”
The Field Naturalists send “huge thanks to Todd Smith who fought for PEC and kept his promise to cancel the wpd project. Now we need to finally raise the funds to finish paying the legal costs of this long fight.”
In July 2015, two of the 29 proposed turbines were not approved due to heritage concerns. In April 2017, the Environmental Review Tribunal found the wpd project “would cause serious and irreversible harm” to the natural environment (Blandings turtles and Little Brown bats) and removed 18 turbines from the project – all on the south shore and south of Royal Road. The Field Naturalists were instrumental in the removal of Gilead Power’s nine turbine project on the south shore in 2016, following an ERT ruling. Since, they have supported efforts by the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County and the County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy (CCSAGE) to continue action through the courts.
South Marysburgh councillor Steve Ferguson, a candidate for mayor in November’s election, says he’s still processing the news of the announcement, but “I am thrilled for the residents of South Marysburgh whose lives have been disrupted by the project’s construction for so long. Clearly, there is a lot of work to do to return the affected areas to what they were before all this began.”
Ferguson said he’s grateful to Todd Smith and the government “for doing what should have been done months ago when the project was secretly approved to the smaller, nine-turbine, size.”
The community owes its gratitude to the citizen-driven volunteer organizations who fought so hard against the project, also to the residents, mayor and councillors of other areas of the County who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us in town hall meetings, marches and other activities.”
“We commend the Ontario government for taking swift action to end this project, which has been met with opposition across Prince Edward County,” said Mayor Robert Quaiff in a statment. “Council has taken the consistent position that the installation of nine industrial wind turbines in South Marysburgh would be detrimental to our pristine natural environment and our world-renowned reputation… The area is home to many families. Furthermore, the area offers habitat to birds, turtles, bats, and other animals, including many at-risk species.”
In 2013, council joined municipalities across the province declaring themselves “not a willing host” for industrial wind turbines.
“Moving forward, we strongly contend that municipalities must be consulted on the issues that are most pressing to them when it comes to industrial wind turbines, including: community vibrancy allocations, community and stakeholder engagement processes, wind turbine placement, compensation for lost property value and the availability of funding for municipalities to manage implementation.”
wpd Canada president Ian MacCrae, or any company representative, have not yet responded to requests to comment.
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