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November 18, 2013

Training the wind industry

Filed under: Uncategorized — ottawawindconcerns @ 10:14 am

We thought it was a good time to revisit this post from THREE YEARS ago. Interesting how the spin hasn’t changed much except now the wind biz has added suggestions that Ontario’s nuclear power sector (the most successful in the world) is also a bad environmental risk. We may check in on Stan and his colleagues soon, but for now, re-read this.


Ever notice that when representatives of the wind development companies are asked questions, they all come up with the same answers? It’s like The Daily Show used to do when George W. Bush was president: they would run clips of government people all saying the exact same thing. Like they were coached. Which they were.

So how did that go? Maybe like this: We revisit Stan and Dan of the wind development lobby (last seen planning a “health study” in our post, How Did That Conversation Go?).

Stan: OK, OK, people, let’s return to our seats for the recap of the day… the sooner we get this done, the sooner we can all get to the Beer Garden and the evening’s entertainment, and a draw for a trip by air to Germany!

Crowd: Hooray!

Stan: OK. Now, here on the screen in Powerpoint are the main points to remember. You must…

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January 21, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — ottawawindconcerns @ 10:27 am

Ottawa Wind Concerns

Here, from Parker Gallant, a comment on what Dalton McGuinty and the Liberal government has done to Ontario. We have spent billions on new “renewable” power sources, without actually adding any generation capacity. How does that make any sense?

But here’s the kick: by the end of 2016, Ontario consumers will be paying $2,055 a year MORE for power because of the McGuinty government’s policies.

Read the article, originally published in the January 18 Financial Post, here:

Ottawa’s own Robert Lyman has already had a comment:

I was glad to see the article that Parker Gallant published in the National Post. For the first time that I have seen, it draws together the costs of the decisions taken by the McGuinty government in the electricity field since it came into office. The results are striking.
The “bottom line” is that the costs to the average Ontario homeowner, which…

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December 14, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — ottawawindconcerns @ 6:13 pm

Ottawa Wind Concerns

Perhaps you are aware of the 60-megawatt wind power project proposed for Manitoulin Island. Northland Power recently got its approval and the latest development is that the citizens’ group there, Manitoulin Coalition for Safe Energy Alternatives or MCSEA, has withdrawn its application for an appeal. “The deck is stacked against us,” said leader Raymond Beaudry. He pointed to the dismissal of an appeal of the huge Samsung project in Chatham-Kent, saying that the “test” to prove irreversible harm to the environment was impossible.

Construction on the Manitoulin project is underway right now, with mature trees being felled like matchsticks to make way for the huge access roads needed to build and maintain the project.

This first phase is 60 MW or about 24 turbines but plans mean the island–known to native peoples as Great Spirit Island–could eventually have 600 turbines.

Here is a photo of the destruction going on this…

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August 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — ottawawindconcerns @ 10:27 am

Ottawa Wind Concerns

August 17, 2012

Yesterday, writer Kate Heartfield, who claims to live in the south Ottawa area near to the proposed wind power generation project, published an opinion piece in the Ottawa Citizen that she thought was a colossal joke. Doing absolutely no research herself on the whole issue of wind power generation, she took aim at Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre for what she felt was inadequate references for the petition he circulated to constitutents last week.

(The petition states that there is evidence for health effects from wind turbine noise and vibration and that Health Canada is now doing a study; Premier McGuinty of Ontario ought to halt approvals on the North Gower-Richmond project until results of the study are in. For a copy of the petition, please see our documents tab.)

She also claimed that the group of international scientists working on this issue were “amusingly” named the Society…

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August 14, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — ottawawindconcerns @ 1:23 pm

Ottawa Wind Concerns

Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilivre has prepared a petition for everyone concerned about the health impacts from the proposed North Gower wind project. The signed petitions, which asks that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty not approve the project until the results of a Health Canada study are released and evaluated, will be taken to the House of Commons.

Here is an excerpt from the news release from Mr Poilievre’s office.

Poilievre launches petition to stop local wind turbine project

Nepean, ON

—Pierre Poilievre, Member of Parliament for Nepean-Carleton, announced that he has started a petition calling on Premier Dalton McGuinty to put the safety of North Gower residents first. The petition asks for a halt to the construction of industrial wind turbines in the community until the Federal Health Canada study can determine whether or not they are safe. This follows his open letter to Premier McGuinty and his public call for…

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May 26, 2012

The madness of this venture

Just had a conversation with a small business owner in Manotick: the rising electricity bills are a severe punch to his business. And he deeply resents paying those bills when he knows part of the increases are going for huge subsidies for wind and solar power.

“It just makes no sense at all,” he said. “What kind of province will this be when the Liberal government is done? What will be left?”


Here are some local facts:

-wind power developers are subsidized about $500,000 per turbine per year. In North Gower, assuming 8 (though we don’t for a moment believe that) that is $4 million per year.

-there are no jobs. Wolfe Island has 3 jobs for 86 turbines, where do you think that leaves North Gower after the construction period is over? No jobs.

-research out of the U.S. is showing that the average property value loss for properties within 2 miles/3.2 km of wind turbines is 40%. For North Gower, that represents a $47 million property value loss for young families, seniors and other homeowners

-at $10-15,000 a year per turbine, the farm owner isn’t going to get rich on the lease payments, but the cost to the community is much much more

-wind power is not “green”, it requires fossil fuel back-up due to its unreliability and tendency to produce power out of phase with demand, i.e., when it’s not needed

-Ontario never did a cost-benefit analysis for this, or a business case study. The government simply doesn’t know what it’s getting into.

The Manotick store owner is right: this is just crazy.

February 9, 2012

Best article on wind turbines you might ever read

OK, here you are: highly opinionated (this is the blog for that) but also very amusing…and TRUE! From The Telegraph. We  personally rather admire “bat-chomping eco crucifixes.”

The best article on wind farms you will ever read


Before I got sidetracked this morning by my sublime irritation at the Coalition’s latest ludicrous foray into Nanny Statism, what I’d meant to blog about was this.

Some of you will have seen it already. It’s by the great Kevin Myers, it ran in yesterday’s Irish Independent (not the English one, for reasons which are bleeding obvious) and it’s the best piece anyone has written, EVER, about wind farms.

Here’s a taste:

Russia’s main gas-company, Gazprom, was unable to meet demand last weekend as blizzards swept across Europe, and over three hundred people died. Did anyone even think of deploying our wind turbines to make good the energy shortfall from Russia?

Of course not. We all know that windmills are a self-indulgent and sanctimonious luxury whose purpose is to make us feel good. Had Europe genuinely depended on green energy on Friday, by Sunday thousands would be dead from frostbite and exposure, and the EU would have suffered an economic body blow to match that of Japan’s tsunami a year ago. No electricity means no water, no trams, no trains, no airports, no traffic lights, no phone systems, no sewerage, no factories, no service stations, no office lifts, no central heating and even no hospitals, once their generators run out of fuel.

Modern cities are incredibly fragile organisms, which tremble on the edge of disaster the entire time. During a severe blizzard, it is electricity alone that prevents a midwinter urban holocaust. We saw what adverse weather can do, when 15,000 people died in the heatwave that hit France in August 2003. But those deaths were spread over a month. Last weekend’s weather, without energy, could have caused many tens of thousands of deaths over a couple of days.

Why does the entire green spectrum, which now incorporates most conventional parties across Europe, deny the most obvious of truths? To play lethal games with our energy systems in order to honour the whimsical god of climate change is as intelligent and scientific as the Aztec sacrifice of their young. Actually, it is far more frivolous, because at least the Aztecs knew how many people they were sacrificing: no one has the least idea of the loss of life that might result from the EU embracing “green” energy policies.

This is not to do down all the other fine articles which have been written on this subject, many of them by Christopher Booker. But sometimes it takes an outsider, someone who hasn’t been covering the story day-in day-out for years, to conjure the full and hideous magnitude of a scandal.

What I love about Myers’s piece is the concentrated rage – and the Swiftian disgust with all those who have been pushing the renewables scam or benefiting from it. It chimes perfectly with how I feel. Of all the miserable specimens on this planet, no category repels me quite so much as those parasites involved with the great renewables boondoggle. I’ve said before that I’d rather break bread with someone who manufactured land mines for his living than someone involved in rent-seeking from solar power or wind farms. At least with land mines a reasonable case could be made – despite their vile, random destructiveness – they offer some practical value for force protection. As Myers recognises, there is no argument for wind farms whatsoever: they’re just an emblem of the green religious faith, perhaps too a symbol of the environmental ideology’s geographical and political dominance, nothing more useful than that.

Incidentally, I notice that the greenies are now changing their tune on wind farms. Where before the bat-chomping eco crucifixes were spun as a vital part of “energy security”, they are now being repositioned as a kind of carbon-friendly bolt-on which is nice to have around and generally acts as an occasional substitute for fossil fuel when conditions are right.

Have a look at this debate between pro-renewables campaigner Jonathan Pyke and Mark Duchamp of the European Platform Against Wind Farms in The Earth Times and you’ll see what I mean:

Q: How accurate is the argument that wind turbines have to be ‘backed-up’ by alternative sources of power, eg nuclear or coal, due to the irregularity of wind?

Jonathan: It’s not accurate and I think it stems from a misunderstanding about what wind energy is for. It’s better to think of wind as the back-up for gas, allowing us to make much better use of our existing fossil fuel power plants than relying on gas alone. There’s no need to burn gas when the wind is blowing, which National Grid can predict extremely accurately. So comparing it to nuclear or coal is misleading because wind serves a different purpose; every time it blows there’s a substantial decrease in carbon emissions, volatile fossil fuel costs, water for cooling, manufacturing and pollution. The ‘back-up’ argument just isn’t valid.

R-i-g-h-t. So what you’re saying, Jonathan, is that the ONLY reason we’re carpeting some of the world’s most attractive wild countryside in horribly costly, economically inefficient, bird-liquidising, noise-polluting, view-blighting, rare-earth-metal-exploiting, property-debasing, horse-frightening, rent-seekers’ uber-horrors, is to save the odd tonne of CO2 emissions, as and when, despite the fact that the science increasingly suggests that the difference this will make to global climate will be so negligible as to be beyond measurement?

I genuinely don’t understand how the people involved in this scam can sleep at night, really I don’t. But I do know what their punishment should be. They should be forced to spend the rest of their lives living in one of the many newly vacant properties at the foot of the nearest wind farm.


November 9, 2011

People vs profit: the people always lose

Items from the news recently:

-it’s been announced that several industrial wind projects in Ontario have DOUBLED the number of turbines to be built, such as the project at Arnow (Samsung and Pattern) which was to be 40 and is now 90. No further environmental assessment, no public meetings, nothing.

-the Canadian Auto Workers are erecting a single turbine at Saugeen Shores at their “Family Education Centre” despite objections from homeowners and in fact the municipality of Saugeen Shores. CAW took it to the Ontario Municipal Board and appealed, and won: they will now get their taxpayer dollars from the FIT program. (Worse news here, since the project was officially approved in 2009–and then went silent–the setbacks do NOT have to conform to those laid out in the Green Energy Act. So much for “stringent regulations” and safety)

-the City of Ottawa made Orgaworld sign a deal that the company would not take diapers and dog feces and other materials that can cause an offensive odour for properties nearby; the company has now appealed to the province and won approval. The City says its contract stands, but we’ll wait to see what “green” arguments are made, so that Orgaworld will be able to take refuse from other municipalities, and make a profit.

-Industry Canada is allowing a 25-storey cellphone tower to be built in one of the most scenic areas in the Pontiac Region of Quebec, where there is a spectacular view of the Ottawa River and the Eardley Escarpment. Views are nice, but profits for Videotron are nicer.

If you haven’t written to your MPP or to the Premier before about these issues (the Ontario ones) this is the time to do it: the McGuinty government got the message on October 6th that issues in the countryside do matter. They need to hear from you about your wishes for this province.

To find your MPP:




October 3, 2011

Graham Saul and Ecology Ottawa

Graham Saul, volunteer Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa, appeared on CBC radio this morning to–essentially–shill for the Ontario Liberal party, in the crucial countdown to election day Thursday. Mr. Saul also works as a staff member with Climate Action Network, which counts among its members Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the David Suzuki Foundation, and the Sierra Club.

Sounds like an elegant group of environmentalists, doesn’t it? Or… Dr Suzuki recently had to step down from the Foundation that bears his name because his partisan activities could have affected the Foundation’s charitable organization status with Revenue Canada. The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment is the Ontario group that continues to spout nonsense figures on thousands of deaths in Ontario from air pollution due to coal-fired power generation (what pollution Ontario does have –and Canada just rated number three in the WORLD for good air quality–is from cars, and pollution that comes from south of the border). The Sierra Club? Executive Director John Bennett has been waging a nasty campaign throughout Ontario and the organization says it supports saving wildlife but, curiously, would not come out in support of said wildlife at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County, where a Toronto-based wind power developer proposes to put industrial wind turbines on Crown land in an important migratory bird area.

Today, Mr Saul praised to Liberal government saying sometimes a government will come out and do wonderful things, in this case, get us off our dependency on “dirty oil, coal and gas.”


  1. Oil has NOTHING to do with electricity generation in Ontario.
  2. Coal-fired generation doesn’t make up much of Ontario’s capacity; what it does could have been made a lot cleaner but the Liberal government halted the implementation of cleaner technology, after millions of tax dollars had been spent on the program.
  3. Dirty natural gas? Well, maybe: but news for you, Mr Saul: Ontario is building MORE natural gas power generation facilities. Including the one Mr McGuinty said he halted but which is still under construction. In fact, industrial scale wind power is so intermittent and unreliable (i.e., NOT there when we need it) that more fossil-fuel power generation is needed to back it up.

Look at the names of some of the companies involved in industrial-scale wind power generation: Enbridge, TransAlta, NextEra (really Florida Power and Light), Suncor and the famous Mr T Boone Pickens of the U.S. Mr Pickens is honest: “it’s about natural gas,” he has said, also in a CBC interview many months ago.

The North Gower Wind Action Group asked Mr Saul if it was alright with his group if an entire community was affected by industrial scale wind power generation, which would turn the community into a factory and could cause negative health effects from environmental noise, for the (unattainable) goal of having wind power replace other forms of power generation. His answer was that everyone needs to look at the larger issue of climate change. So, in other words, yes.

The folks in North Gower don’t agree: we respect and honour the environment too and do everything we can to protect it. We just don’t think turning the land into sprawling wind power factories is the way to go.

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