I am disappointed to see that this project “was deemed to be complete” by the MOE. A major part of this renewable process is PUBLIC CONSULTATION.
Public Consultation is a process by which the public’s input on matters affecting them is sought. Its main goals are improving the efficiency, transparency and public involvement in projects.
As a major stakeholder and one of the closet receptors to this project, I feel that proper public consultation has not occurred.
On August 5th 2010, I sat down with Horizon Wind’s environmental consultant for about half an hour. I discussed how poorly the draft REA was put together with countless mistakes on it. I expressed dozens of concerns which were documented by the environmental consultant. At the end of our conversation, he said he would look into my concerns and get back to me. It is now almost three years later and I have not received any response from him.
Now, as I go through the final REA, I am finding that most of my concerns were not even addressed.
A couple of examples are: they state that the closest hotel is 10 km away where, in fact, it is less that 3 km away from the project. Another example is in the avian report. One page states “the bald eagle is relatively common and sighted flying in the project area.” A few pages later it says “no mitigation is necessary because of the small numbers of bald eagles observed.”
I could list a couple dozen of these mistakes that have been just copied and pasted from the draft REA to the final REA. (More of these will be pointed out as I report, section by section at a later date.)
The point I am trying to make is that they didn’t even have the decency to try and correct any of the concerns even though they were brought to their attention through emails and open houses. (I have copies of all emails I have sent to Horizon Wind, if you would like to see them).
To me, this whole process was ineffective consultation. Ineffective consultations are considered to be COSMETIC CONSULTATIONS that were done due to OBLIGATION OR SHOW and not true participatory decision making.
As you go through the consultation report, you will see this is exactly what has happened to the thousands of public comments, comments from affected organizations, businesses, the Metis Nation of Ontario and the Fort William First Nations. Many have expressed their concerns over lack of proper consultation of this project.
This REA must be rejected due to lack of proper consultation.