Subject: Horizon Wind REA application
Date: Thu, 30 May 2013 21:21:32 -0400
Below are comments I submitted on the MOE website in regards to the Horizon REA application to build an industrial wind turbine site on the Norwester mountains.
As the new premier of Ontario and leader of the provincial Liberal Party, you have the opportunity to see that this application is turned down due to the unsuitability of the location as well as the numerous failures by all concerned in the public consultation and information process. To do so would be to restore the faith of those who will be adversely affected by this project that the government is genuinely interested in approving only worthy projects that make social, environmental, and financial sense. Please do the right thing and show us that as our premier you can be trusted to honour your promise not to force a wind farm on an unwilling host, do the right thing and right the wrongs of the previous administration. Thank you.
This proposed project should never be allowed to proceed in this location. The location is on land which has always been protected as a watershed used for public drinking water, a sanctuary for rare and endangered wildlife such as the peregrine falcon, stands of sugar maple which are extremely rare in our region, etc.
When asked at the meeting at the Fort William Country Club, Horizon’s hired “experts” admitted to being unaware that the Norwester range is a major migratory flyway for many species and should never be considered for a wind turbine location. The entire public consultation process was flawed.
Attendance at the public “open houses” was discouraged by forcing people to sign in, videotaping attendees, a large police and security presence, and limited notice. Questions posed to Horizon were unanswered or ignored completely. When difficult questions were asked at one meeting Mr. Zweig and his staff left the meeting and refused to answer.
There are many better locations in the Thunder Bay area where a wind farm could be placed far awayfrom sensitive habitat, recreational trails and ski facilities which were built at great cost to the public, private homes, and protected watersheds.
The Fort William First Nation were never consulted on this project which will irretrievably damage their traditional hunting and fishing areas, endanger the watershed which they have and plan to continue to use as a future source of their drinking water and further alienate them from the provincial government if it forces this unwanted project upon them, and the residents of Thunder Bay and Neebing. I have spoken to several band members about this project and they have been adamant that they will do whatever it takes to stop the building of turbines on the Norwesters.
Not directly related to the details of Horizon’s application, but certainly worthy of consideration by the Ontario Government is that excuses such as “I have never seen a project be turned down after reaching this stage” by Mr Gravelle and “public objection has been too little, too late” by Mr Mauro, only serve to further anger those who will be directly affected if this project is allowed to proceed. These statements were so obviously an attempt to prepare the public for a decision which the MPPs feel or have been told has already been made. What is the REA process even in place for if no project, even one as as obviously flawed as this, is ever turned down. The threat of a lawsuit against the province by Horizon is the most ridiculous reason I’ve heard for letting this move ahead. Is this how our government works and how decisions are made –
by threats and intimidation? It worked against the City of Thunder Bay when they attempted to alter some turbine locations but is the province really as impotent? There are valid grounds for turning down this location for a wind farm. Do the right thing and maybe the government will be spared another long period where the Liberal party is shut out by the Thunder Bay electorate. I personally have been a Liberal supporter for as long as I can remember, but I can assure you that I will never cast another vote for a Liberal candidate if this project is approved.