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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…

View original post 280 more words

June 3, 2011

A McGuinty speech that could energize rural Ontario

Filed under: Uncategorized — ottawawindconcerns @ 4:20 pm

A McGuinty speech that could energize rural Ontario.

April 19, 2011

Wind power: taking advantage of youthful good intentions

One of the most attractive television commercials being screened currently is for Chevrolet’s Cruze, which is billed as an “eco-friendly” car. They also have an electric car option (the Volt), but the commercial being seen most often is the regular gas-powered Cruze.

The visuals are of young people out and about, enjoying their life in their cars; at one point there is a scene of industrial wind turbines and then later, a shot of a gas pump. The message, we think, is: buy the eco-friendly gas-miserly Cruze, and you can enjoy life without guilt. Want a car? Get one! You won’t need to buy much gas and if you do, don’t worry because clean, green wind power is there for your other needs. Or, for power if you buy the electric Cruze and have to plug it in.

Young people, we believe, want to do the “right thing” but they are being led down a garden path by advertisers such as Chevrolet and worse, by organizations such as Bullfrog Power. Bullfrog provides signage for organizations like the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata, which boast that the power in the lobby is clean and green and provided by Bullfrog Power.

No, it isn’t.

It’s the same power we all use, coming off the same grid. Bullfrog however, is investing in some of the industrial wind turbine projects that are scarring the landscape in Ontario and ruining the health of dozens of people forced to live next to the power generation developments, but the company also buys hydro power from Quebec. Their newest initiative is to provide “green natural gas” which they “inject” into the natural gas transmission system to “displace” dirty fossil fuel gas.

It doesn’t matter what kind of gas you’re burning, whether gas from gas wells or “green natural gas” from biomass and garbage dumps, you’re still burning something. Note too that despite the Ontario government’s spurious claims that thousands of people are dying in this province every year due to pollution from coal-fired power generation plants, the truth is that most of Ontario’s air pollution is from CARS, and also from pollutants coming from industry south of the border.

OK, so you don’t drive a gas-powered car. But, then, if you’re plugging in your virtuous electric car, where is the electric power coming from?

Questions need to be asked. But in the meantime, young people and consumer everywhere, ought to look critically at the messaging.

Chevy Cruze Exterior Go ahead: drive, drive, drive…you’re not hurting anything.

March 25, 2011

Ottawa’s villages to become ghost towns? Does anybody care?

In today’s Ottawa Citizen, columnist and Osgoode resident Joe Banks writes that amalgamation has virtually killed Ottawa’s rural villages; he says the lack of local councils that used to work to encourage development, means there is none now, and the villages will be “ghost towns.” He thinks Ottawa should care about that.

We wish Ottawa cared about that. Or cared about anything in its villages, or the quality of life for village residents. If they did, they would almost certainly have some thoughts about having North Gower transformed into an industrial power plant, with huge industrial wind turbines proposed for just outside the village proper boundary, but still very close to homes and families in North Gower subdivisions. The same goes for south Richmond. (And, it must be stated, that the 10 turbines proposed could only be the beginning: Shelburne started with 20, they now have 150, and dozens more are planned.Haldimand/Norfolk already has dozens, and the province just annnounced another 176.) The same thing is happening right across Ontario, as rural communities are being used as “resource plantations” for industrial wind turbine developments, gravel quarries, and dumps.

Here is Joe Banks’ column from the Citizen:

Ottawa’s villages could become ghost towns

By Joe Banks, Ottawa CitizenMarch 25, 2011


The eight-foot-high for-sale sign adorning the former Main Street Café has been standing for so long, it is now less an ad than a part of the landscape. Across the street, the old bakery has been closed for a decade, converted to a home, and the once-bustling Sweet Peas Pantry and gift store is a more recent casualty, as is Julee’s craft and quilt shop, which closed last year.

The former brown Boyd-block food store beside the long-gone rail yards that will soon become a bike path, has been an empty shell for as long as anyone can remember, alternating as a storage for the amateur theatre group and some residential rentals. Mary’s Dollar Store, and even the Sundays-open flea market, both once operating out of the little mall, is largely forgotten by the villagers.

If we didn’t have an arena, the popular Red Dot Café, Raymond’s convenience, Pat’s gas and video and Ozzie’s Pizza, it’d look to a visitor as if Osgoode Village was up for sale -or on its way to becoming a ghost town.

It’s sad, yes, but Metcalfe, North Gower, Vernon, Kars, and Fitzroy Harbour, all have their own versions of village gentrification.

None of this happened overnight. It has happened over a decade, coincidentally since amalgamation.

That this is news to you is because it transpired like a slow dissolve at the end of a movie. Nobody noticed.

It’s not a reach to say that Ottawa’s smallest villages have become true bedroom communities in every sense of the word, attracting everyone who wants rural quiet within reach of urban amenities.

My fellow villagers blame amalgamation, and it’s tempting to agree with them.

Prior to that forced marriage, the former cities and townships that made up the Region of OttawaCarleton competed with each other. Each had a council and separate staffs that did what they could to attract residential, and consequently, business development, into their communities. The regional government kept on eye on the bigger picture, including the prospect of urban sprawl.

That competition, virtually overnight, disappeared, as the city was ordered by the province to become one big happy family. Since then, in our determination to halt development from the city’s inside, there has been a steady decline in the economic activity of the villages, even as their populations grew, and continued to become, like ours, highly attractive places to live. To urbanists, this is evidence of tough love, that development intensification inside the Greenbelt has worked, that the line has been held on sprawl, and contained to where existing services end.

But from the rural perspective, it’s a policy that is working a little too well, as a perception is reinforced that limiting growth here, in fact, means no growth at all.

That’s not the kind of signal to send to future small rural business owners. Who would want to chance a million-dollar mortgage on a village diner in Osgoode, for example, when they could get one for a ground floor condo in Hintonburg, or a new one in Carleton Place or Kemptville?

Investment dollars follow certainty. And right now, the city’s intensification policy doesn’t give rural entrepreneurs or their lenders that warm and fuzzy feeling that its villages will be anything more than bedrooms for the urban city’s living room.

Hence the rise of what I call PIMBYism -the Please In My Back Yard advocates. These are people who believe in some development, some growth, and some tinkering with the city’s plan. It was in play in Manotick when the silent supporters of the Minto subdivision proclaimed their support of that village’s growth, even as thousands of their neighbours rallied against it.

Our village’s PIMBYists have been rooting for a 90-unit development on the south side of Osgoode known as the Buckles subdivision, and the further progression of the 30-unit Fairfield Estates on the north side.

Buckles was approved 10 years ago, but hasn’t had a single house built on it yet for reasons only the developer knows. Fairfield is in its third phase but two-thirds of it remain empty.

But is true modest growth possible when we have been so fixated on containing it inside the Greenbelt? It’s a timely question as the city’s planners have embarked on the latest review of the official plan, and villages are on the agenda. Public consultations in the lead-up to the OP review, which will regulate the city’s growth over the next halfdecade, are already under way, to help planners learn whether villages should be allowed to grow, and if so, by how much.

Any at all would be a welcome relief from the sight of for sale signs that would, in any other neighbourhood in this city, be temporary.

Joe Banks is an Osgoode Village resident and a former Ottawa area community newspaper editor and publisher.

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February 24, 2011

Gone with the wind: message to Queen’s Park

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