SKYDIVE BURNABY will Appeal

I’ve been away, enjoying the wind without turbines, so this GOOD news arrived before my return.

The Welland Tribune reports [Greg Furminger] that the Appellants, Tara&Mike Pitt, will appeal the ERT decision against them concerning the building of two turbine that will intersect their flight path [OWR also reports] in Wainfleet.  Construction has been halted by Court order until the Appeal is heard and a decision handed down.  The construction site is approx. 1.5 km from Skydive Burnaby.

The Appeal to the ERT was filed last October over concerns that the IWT’s will pose a serious hazard for skydivers.  The Appeal failed (decision handed down in May).  A new Appeal will be heard in August, 18th & 19th, but this time by the Ontario Divisional Court (which is to say, not by the rubber-stamp government agency).

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Skydive Burnaby Appeal Dismissed

Despite the evidence, and in spite of recent deaths caused by pilots hitting turbines, the ERT has rejected the appeal and construction on two turbines will proceed.  Read the details here Erie Media.

The MOE will push through as many approvals as it can before the provincial election.
Here’s the reaction of a Wainfleet Councillor in an email sent to K. Wynne, with the Subject, Thank You:

Dear Ms. Wynne,

I thought I would take a few minutes from my busy schedule as an alderman in a small rural community in the Niagara Region, to thank you for helping to turn our rural community into an industrial waste land and to take a viable business that has been in the community since World War 1 into one that will be severely impacted and probably will have to close its doors. How does the GEA give one monster business the ability to come unwanted into our community and crush the life out of another small well established local business ??

Your stubborn insistence that alternative energy projects be rubber stamped and forced on rural communities is pretty arrogant considering that you and your cronies have been told time and again that there is no need for alternative energy, the province has an over abundance of it to the point where we literally have to pay other jurisdictions to take it. This is creating hydro prices that are ridiculous in the extreme, especially it the Niagara Region because we have the cleanest greenest energy available in Niagara Falls.

In case you are unable to connect the dots, allow me to do so. We have hydro that is too expensive, therefore we have manufacturing that is leaving the province in droves heading to New York State, because they are offering hydro for next to nothing and giving building incentives and huge tax breaks to relocate there. This in turn is causing many job losses in the province and making people who had good paying jobs to turn to welfare. We have senior citizens on fixed incomes who already have had to make choices of heat or food, as well as those forced out of good paying jobs that went south to NY state who are now working a couple of part time jobs to make ends meet, as well as single parents In low income brackets all faced with the same idea, heat and hydro or food……BTW this is called energy poverty and will be coming to a neighborhood near you, if it isn’t already.

Now we have a local business that is no doubt going to be forced out of business thanks to you and your silly GEA that was voted on by 59 members of parliament and rammed through the process without the normal timeframe for all the rest of the members to read it and pose questions or objections. So again thanks for the forethought that went into this, I am sure you have many good friends in the wind industry, however that doesn’t do us out here in rural Ontario much good does it? Thanks so much for giving us all the opportunity to experience seeing our friends lose their livelihood and their passion not to mention a decrease in tourist dollars and Job loss, which again will have a negative impact on our community.

So far I am not seeing any positives with these turbine outcomes, so thanks for that too.

Get a clue,
Betty Konc

Hydro Bills Up For Election

Believe it or not, your Hydro Bill is up for election June 12.

The Party of the Government is offering an end to the Debt Retirement Charge in 2016 (a savings but not a significant one), but it will also end the Clean Energy Benefit, the 10% discount you currently get on your bill.  Then, it will add 90 cents to your monthly charge to subsidize low income consumers (the current government loves subsidies!). So, add the 10% you will be paying plus the 90 cents, and you will be paying more for power BEFORE the price goes up again (OWR) (story from Luisa D’Amato:To understand the election, look at your hydro bill).

The PC Opposition will eliminate wind and solar energy development that is today overloading the power grid and the massive tax subsidies that go with it: OWR Killing Green Energy. For those of your who want to cry Green tears, recall that the laws of physics dictate that it takes power to make power; ergo no green and no clean. And certainly not, FREE.  I could start a long essay on the power used to manufacture turbines and solar panels, the non-recyclable, toxic and non-green components that go into the making of these, but you can find this info online, if you want it.

USE YOUR VOTE WISELY…

MORE TIME

A serious hiccup has developed in the Sky Dive Burnaby Wainfleet Wind Energy appeal.  The developer wants to add additional information.  Sky dive’s objection to more clarifications after the gate had been shut, so to speak, was rejected..

“Our clients are having considerable difficulty in understanding how a process they thought was over, is back to where it was at two months ago,” Gillepsie [sic] said. “We haven’t been able to find any cases where this has happened before.” [Erie Media],

Sounds too much like a search for a way out of Sky Dive’s evidence on safety; in other words, what are limits of safety’.  How far can we bend the rules and still allow for construction?

Will They Cause Harm?

That’s the issue for the Tribunal hearing the appeal on the two turbines in limbo in Wainfleet.  Whether or not they can be built depends on the Tribunal’s assessment of likely harm.

Not building them, says counsel representing the developer, would be tantamount to expropriation of property, as reported by Greg Furminger in the Welland Tribune. The same lawyer also said, any risk to skydivers would be “abnormal,” basing his statement on appellant testimony that at times referred to turbines being a navigation risk subsequent to a parachute failure.

The Test is, on the balance of probabilities, what is the likelihood of an accident? There is also a test used by the ERT: the mandate to push through applications for turbine development.

The Appellant’s lawyer, Eric Gillespie, outlined the risks to skydivers and stated that to rule against the Appeal would be to take “a gamble” on doing harm. “Rarely killing somebody … doesn’t come close to being acceptable for a project like this,” Gillespie said.

The time of the ruling on the Appeal is still up in the air.

Tell Andrea Horwath Where to Get Off!

Here’s the chance to tell the NDP what you think of its job of keeping Wynne-lose in power!  With a straight face and a butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-her-mouth smile, Andrea Horwath is appealing to Ontarians to get angry about high Hydro rates, as if we haven’t been screaming about them for more than a year.

Quixote’s Last Stand says, Go ahead. Tell them what you think by providing a link to an NDPee petition page on the issue of Hydro Rates and power sell-offs. Don’t be fooled by the smiling face that says, “It’s because of people like you that we are making a difference in Ontario.” Oh, really? Hadn’t noticed anything except your continuing support for the perpetrating Government!

Here’s the link: Save On Hydro. Yes, that’s the title, and here’s the sub-title:
Say yes to making electricity more affordable for families and businesses. Tell Andrea Horwath what you really think!  Go ahead, make her day.

The BS Keeps Piling Up…

AND UP!  One of the Plaintiffs in the 2nd lawsuit (same as in the first) against Wainfleet Township is protesting the Town’s grant of dollars to assist a private business in its fight against Wainfleet Wind Energy Inc. , which came as no surprise to the Mayor, after the appeal succeeded in obtaining a temporary stop-work order on construction of one turbine.

Besides being one of the developers who are working to build the wind turbine project, wind turbine developer Tom Rankin said he’s also a Wainfleet property-owner who’s concerned about how his tax contributions are being used. “We just think it’s wrong to start subsidizing a small sector of the economy. We just think it’s wrong,” he said. “I’d like to think I’m representing taxpayers that are pretty upset about that whole shenanigan of giving someone $40,000 to fight an appeal. That’s my take on it. I’m a taxpayer out there myself. I own property there, and some of our employees own property there and I’ve talked to a number of other people and they’re pretty upset.”, reported by OWR and first by Welland Tribune and St. Catharine’s Standard.

Rankin and company just recently ended his cozy joint venture setup with the Niagara Regional Government:
It was announced Friday the region is taking steps to dissolve a partnership formed with Rankin Construction Inc. back in 2001 that led to the creation of the Wind Energy Niagara Corporation in 2006.
The conflict of interest should have been obvious from the beginning. The motive for dissolution can be glimpsed in these words:
“It’s the right decision and the right time to dissolve this partnership with the Region,” Tom Rankin, chief executive officer of Rankin Construction Inc.

The right time, indeed!

The disingenuous hyporcrisy of Rankin and company makes the gorge rise.  Now Mr. Rankin is “playing” the injured Wainfleet resident because the Town Council stepped in to help its own fight against wind turbine development with a grant of aid.  The Town was an appellant in the matter but withdrew in order to assist the two main private appellants.  In so doing, the Town was indirectly pursuing its own appeal against the development and acting to protect part of the Township’s economic base (the appellants’ business will be destroyed by IWT development).

And there is a potential for lawsuits growing because IWT construction will affect many residents who are opposed to it in light of a possible devaluation of the their properties (it’s already happened on Wolfe Island which is covered with IWT’s).  This fact of potential suits and devaluation was pointed out by Alderman Betty Konc:
Konc said she conservatively estimates that there are about 800 properties on the lakeshore who will be affected by the turbines.
If the value of those properties is reassessed and reduced by MPAC, “the township is going to suffer a $500,000 a year deficit in our tax base from the lakeshore for 20 years,” she said. “That’s $500,000 a year for 20 years.”
(St.CatharinesStandard above).

There is something rank in the Niagara Region, and it smells of more than BS and hypocrisy.

Mayor Jeffs Not Surprised

But she wasn’t expecting yet another lawsuit from Wainfleet Wind Energy Inc.(OWR).

“The lawsuit, which has yet to come to court, claims the funds are a form of bonusing to Skydive Burnaby. A court document said council does not have the power to grant the funds to a private business under a Section 106 of the Municipal Act.
That section says no municipality shall assist directly or indirectly any business through the granting of bonuses, which includes giving or lending any property of the municipality, including money. “The provision of $40,000 from the Township to Skydive Burnaby Ltd. is an obvious financial benefit,” the court said, adding it is in clear contravention of the municipal act.”
Erie Media

So, the cause of action is the Town had no legal jurisdiction in the matter because its action amounted to a bonus to a private entity, but this is confusing: “The provision of $40,000 from the Township to Skydive Burnaby Ltd. is an obvious financial benefit,” the court said, adding it is in clear contravention of the municipal act.” If the suit is not yet in court, how can the court have pronounced upon it? Maybe documents filed in court by the plaintiff said that?

In any case, did the Town Council offer a “bonus” to a private group, or did it act in defence of part of its economic base about to be ruined by turbine construction? Or was it acting in the interests of the Town as an Unwilling Host to Turbine development, consistent with its attempt to enforce a Setback By-law for turbines? Or both?

On the surface, court challenge appears to be part of a fight against the Town and the wishes of the majority of citizens; underneath, it could just be, vendetta.