The NMEPC would like to thank everyone for the great turn out at BBQ & Rally held on May 29th 2013! There are several great articles on the internet about the evenings festivities!
NewsNetLedger has actually posted not only a good article about the event, but James has also posted a personal piece as well, they can both been see here:
CBC News has posted the following:
TBNewsWatch posted the following:
The NMEPC, along with the Fort William First Nations and the Township of Neebing have all made it very clear to Horizon that we do not want this proposed Industrial Wind Park to desecrate and forever scar the beautiful Nor’Westers Mountain Range. This is not a fight about the technology, we all agree, we need alternate forms of energy, however it needs to be done in a respectful, cost effective and safe manner, none of which Horizon nor the Province of Ontario have done.
Together, FWFN, NMEPC and the Residents of Thunder Bay, FWFN & Neebing Township will band together and stop this project! We can make a difference and so can you!
Thunder Bay Atikokan PC Canadidate Fred Gilbert has issued the following press release we’d like to share with the masses.
For immediate release:
September 26, 2011
Liberals Cancel Mississauga Power Plant. Maybe it’s Time For Liberals to Stop the Proposed Industrial Wind Farm In Thunder Bay Before Construction Begins
(THUNDER BAY) — After the Dalton McGuinty Liberals panicked and cancelled the unpopular Mississauga Power Plant to try and save the seats of their Liberal MPPs, today Ontario PC candidate Fred Gilbert is calling on the Liberals to listen to families in the Thunder Bay area and stop the proposed industrial wind farm on the Nor’Westers before it reaches the construction phase.
If Dalton McGuinty is willing to cancel the Mississauga Power Plant, don’t families in Thunder Bay-Atikokan deserve the same consideration? Many families, especially in Neebing Township, have fought long and hard to try and stop this industrial wind farm from being built. Isn’t it time for Dalton McGuinty to listen to them as well?
While Dalton McGuinty has a long history of ignoring people for the better part of four years, only to “listen” just before an election, Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Party will listen to families each and every day. On October 6th Ontario families face a clear choice between Dalton McGuinty who has turned his back on families in the north or Tim Hudak and Fred Gilbert who will restore local decision making.
“It’s time for Dalton McGuinty to listen to families in Thunder Bay who are opposed to his plan to force industrial wind farms on their community with no local say. Dalton McGuinty needs to explain why he thinks families in Toronto are more important to him than families in Thunder Bay.”
– Fred Gilbert, Ontario PC candidate for Thunder Bay-Atikokan
“I’m calling on my Liberal opponent Bill Mauro to join me in calling on Dalton McGuinty to listen to families in Thunder Bay-Atikokan who want to stop the proposed Nor’Wester industrial wind farm before it reaches the construction phase. If Dalton McGuinty is willing to cancel the Mississauga Power Plant, there is no reason he can’t stop this project as well.”
– Fred Gilbert, Ontario PC candidate for Thunder Bay-Atikokan
After months of opposition from local residents and Ontario PC candidates, today the Dalton McGuinty Liberals finally backtracked and announced they would cancel the Mississauga Power Plant. The Liberal announcement comes after construction on the plant had actually already begun.
- Over 70 municipalities in Ontario have put forward motions and resolutions opposing Dalton McGuinty sticking his industrial wind farms in their communities without any local decision making.
- In the Green Energy Act, Dalton McGuinty stripped away the local decision making of municipalities to have any on the placement of industrial wind farms in their communities. Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Party will restore this local decision making if elected on October 6th.
- The Dalton McGuinty Liberals also cancelled the proposed Oakville Power Plant to try and save their seat there.
Contact: Christina Filazzola | 807-251-6386 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Nor’wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee today held a Media Conference outlining several concerns and issues relating to a very hot topic of debate: industrial wind turbines on the Nor’Westers. They have asked very specific questions directed at the local candidates in this years provincial election.
They asked each party:
1. What is your political party’s position on locating industrial wind turbines:
2. What is your position on the proposed Industrial Wind Turbine project on the Nor’Wester Mountains and Loch Lomond Watershed?
3. If elected, what do you and your political party pledge to do regarding this proposed project?
Answers from the candidates have been reviewed and will be posted on the NMEPC website, and featured in our upcoming Newsletter to be circulated/delivered to households.
NMEPC Co-Chair Mike Payne reports that the committee recognizes the importance of “green energy” from solar and wind sources, however, feels that new developments such as the one proposed for the Nor’Westers must not be situated in ecologically sensitive locations and where endangered wildlife will be detrimentally affected, and area homeowners will experience incessant aggravation from noise, health, visual and lifestyle impacts.
Political candidates were requested to provide written, concise responses to the NMEPC in order to assist the community in making a well-informed choice in the upcoming election.
Payne adds, “We wanted the candidates to be clear and state their position, and their party’s position, as to how they would help us protect the escarpment from industrial exploitation.”
More cracks beginning to show
Simcoe – Locally, provincially and internationally, it seems the McGuinty government’s unaffordable, unaccountable green energy program is falling apart on all fronts.
This week, the local branch of Wind Concerns Ontario has announced plans to hold a rally August 27th in Port Dover to protest McGuinty plans for at least 200 wind towers in the Halidmand-Norfolk.
The rally will be held two days before the deadline for concerned citizens to comment on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) registry regarding the Capital Power Port Dover-Nanticoke wind project.
The public commentary period was extended after Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett wrote a letter to Environment Minister John Wilkinson July 14th highlighting, “numerous calls to my office indicating concern for that impact.”
According to the now amended EBR notice, the proposal was posted, “on June 30th 2011 for a 30 day comment period. The comment period is being extended another 30 days to allow for additional consultation.”
‘Get out’By Jeff Labine,
Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch.com
Wyatt Bannon speaks against the Horizon Wind Inc wind park project at the Fort William First Nation Community Centre on May 30, 2011.
Fort William First Nation members say they want Horizon Wind Inc. to take their plans for a wind farm on the Nor’Wester mountains somewhere else.
The First Nation community held a discussion panel with spokespersons from Horizon Wind at the Fort William First Nation Community Centre on Monday.
More than 100 people attended the meeting along with Anishinabek Police Service officers. Officials with Horizon had planned to
present a slide show, but the agenda soon changed.
Instead, community members lined up to voice their opposition to the project. Some told stories about what the mountain meant to them and others gave promises to stand against Horizon no matter what.
“You’re fighting a losing battle, just get out,” one resident shouted.
Jordan Morriseau, 30, usually hunts in the fall and said the turbines would impact his traditional hunting grounds and cause
damage to endangered species that live on and around the mountain. He’s fighting against the project for environmental and cultural reasons, he said.
“That’s prime moose habitat up there,” Morriseau said. “We live off moose, it’s one of our main foods. The wind farm would be detrimental to our way of life.”
The company has received approval from the city to build eight turbines on the mountain range, after threatening a $126-million lawsuit when city officials in October rejected the location of several turbines. The project must still meet the standards set out by the province, through a renewable energy approval application. The province has already rejected Horizon’s REA
Alex Legarde shared Morriseau’s concerns about the project. Legarde said he had questions he wanted answered, wondering if building the turbines would destroy hunting grounds. He’s concerned because hunting and trapping are his livelihood, he said.
Legarde hoped the project wouldn’t go through, he said.
Shane Wells, 31, went to the mic to speak a few times. He said he doesn’t know much about wind turbines, but he does know his
community doesn’t want them and felt the two spokespersons for the company didn’t care what the community had to say.
“They could have put an audio recorder down and said see you all tomorrow and I`ll take that back to my boss,”
Wells said. “I`ll give them the recorder of what was said. Oh they don’t like it, well just throw it away.”
Wyatt Bannon, one of organizers of the meeting, said he’s just one voice of many representing people who oppose the
project. Horizon Wind is trying to build in an area that is sacred to the community and that development has to stop, he said.
No matter Horizon decides, the community is prepared to do to stop them, he said. “We`ll do whatever it takes,” Bannon said. “We will not let it happen. Anybody to even consider putting those things up in such a pristine area are ignorant to
everything people have worked. You don’t go into a watershed. That’s a no-brainer. It’s to protect the water. For these guys its money but for us it’s a lot more. It’s life.”
Following the meeting, officials with Horizon Wind weren’t available for comment.
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
A proposed wind farm will encroach on traditional hunting grounds members of Fort William First Nation say.
Chief Peter Collins, councillors and members of Fort William First Nation were among over 170 people attending Horizon Wind’s second Renewable Energy Application meeting at Fort William Country Club Wednesday. FWFN members stood over a map discussing turbine locations with project manager Nhung Nguyen. Collins said some turbine locations, like one proposed east of Sawdust Lake, are on FWFN property.
“They’re encroaching on those lands and that’s where they (FWFN members) hunt the moose every year. Every fall,” Collins said.
Although Horizon has said consultation with FWFN has happened, Collins said a meeting with council does not mean consultation.
“One of the things we keep telling Tony (Zwig) and his group is every time he meets with us our council is not a consultation process. We have members. If it’s going to have an impact on our traditional lands then they have to have a consultation process done with our members. Directly with our members,” Collins said.
Collins said another issue is a 50 year agreement, signed 11 years ago, with Thunder Bay for first right of refusal to purchase the land being leased to Horizon by the city.
“We’re in kind of a catch-22 situation here now. We’ve pretty much lost what we think we had,” Collins said. “With turbines on it we’re not going to purchase it now.”
Horizon’s Anthony Zwig said discussions with FWFN are a continuing process.
“That’s surprising we just met with them last week and we’ve met with the council a number of times and have had meetings and discussions with many of them over several years,” Zwig said.
But band councillor Leo Bannon Sr. said Horizon needs to meet with all 1,800 FWFN members not just the council.
“We run the reserve for the band not for ourselves,” Bannon said.
Bannon said most of the members of FWFN hunt, trap or at least eat the meat from those traditional lands.
“Once a bunch of those turbines go up the moose are going to leave and they ain’t going to let us go in there and hunt,” Bannon said.
And if consultation doesn’t occur, Bannon said a protest against the proposed wind farm might be necessary.
“We’re going to go to the ministry and the governments to fight this” Bannon said.
Zwig said a meeting will take place between Horizon and FWFN once a date can be agreed on. The company is also setting up a meeting with members of the Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee.
While I read all of the comments on the TBNewsWatch website, there seems to be people who consistently state we are always contradicting ourselves. Our policy is, the core group, myself included, generally refrain from making comments on these websites. Comments made on these types of sites are not from the NMEPC, rather by individuals who wish to share their opinions. Some have hinted they are members and some comments indicate they are. Any information we feel is important to share, we, as a group, will do so on the NMEPC website, www.savethenorwesters.com. Additionally you can visit the Wind Concerns Ontario site at www.windconcernsontario.org for an enormous wealth of information.
Personally I enjoy reading some of the misconceptions the general public has about Wind Power, the Green Energy Act as well as a host of other related topics. As for those comments in favor of our fight, we appreciate everything they do and say, while some comments may not reflect our overall philosophy, they are doing their best and we salute them.
The thing I find funny is, they never, with the exception of a few, come to our site and leave comments or request information. We are a very open and transparent group of individuals, if we hold back any information, it usually based on the advice of our lawyers or WCO (Wind Concerns Ontario).
Dan Fiorito - Site Moderator
Ready to fight
Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch.com click for original
Opponents of Horizon Wind Inc.’s wind farm plans have a message for Ontario’s premier and the area’s two MPPs –no Liberals, no turbines.
More than 200 people attended a Wind Concerns Ontario rally at the Nor’Wester Hotel Monday night. Rally organizers used the demonstration as a chance to give area residents more information on Horizon’s planned development.
The rally was held a day before Horizon is scheduled to hold a pair of open houses on May 17 and 18, as required under the REA application process.
John Laforet, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, encouraged those in attendance to fight against the company’s plans . He then led the crowd in a chant against Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
“Why don’t we send Dalton McGuinty a message – no Liberals, no turbines,” Laforet said. “We want to send a message to the MPPs that they will be accountable in the fall if this project is still on the table when the ballots are passed around on election day.
“I think what they will have to decide is, do they like being members of provincial parliament or are they going to toe the party line.”
If renewable energy becomes a major ballot box issue during the upcoming provincial campaign, protesters speculate that Thunder Bay’s two Liberal MPPs will fail in their re-election bids. Because of that, Laforet said he believes Liberal MPPs need to distance themselves from their party’s position.
“Those lands have a legacy of being protected,” he said. “There’s a hundred years of water shed protection and there’s very strict rules about tree cutting. These guys have been given a free pass to clear cut and blast 150 acres of land up there.”
Mike Payne, co-chairman of the Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee, said he wanted to ensure the public was informed if they attended the public consultations held by Horizon Wind.
“Chances are you aren’t going to get any answers (at the open house),” Payne said. “None of the open houses (Horizon Wind) has had so far have answered any questions that we have had. They have dodged around the answers. Hopefully, this will give people some ideas on what’s going on.”
City council voted 8-4 in favour of an amended agreement with Horizon Wind in April. It was a deal that saw two turbines moved farther away from residential areas. Payne said the approval is only one of many steps before the project is approved.
The group’s next big fight is with the province, he added.
Until then, the group will continue to lobby to have more of the proposed turbines moved to different areas.
“They moved some of them back but those were just the ones closest to the ski hills,” he said. “They moved them back and put them in environmentally sensitive areas.”
Mike Parisien has lived in the Neebing area for five years and he said what concerned him the most was the potential health issues.
“I’m concerned about the location being so close to the school,” Parisien said. “There’s been worldwide studies done over the last 20 years, in terms of high power lines and the exposure to children and it doubles the rates of cancers, brain tumours, lymphomas and leukemia.”
Gary Armstrong moved into the Neebing area 30 years ago for the scenic view. The retired AbitibiBowater employee said if the province approved the wind farm, it would mean that he and his wife would probably leave the city.
“The city has handled this poorly. We never really had any input into this until after the fact,” Armstrong said. “I’m retired so if I can’t sleep at night because of the noise or the vibrations or I don’t want to look at them then I’ll move out of Thunder Bay.”
The first Horizon Wind open house will start at 6 p.m. at the Blake Community Hall. The second will be at Fort William Country Club.
Bioenergy better for economy than windBy Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch.com
The Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy and the Canadian Bio-Energy Association held a two-day conference at the Valhalla Inn on Tuesday. The workshop featured presentations on possible ideas on how to better utilize bioenergy in Canada.
Douglas Bradley, president and executive director of Canadian Bio-Energy Association, said bioenergy supports the local economy by providing multiple jobs.
“You buy a wind turbine, install it and maybe there’s one job for maintenance,” Bradley said. “With bioenergy you have a whole slew of jobs in the community from biomass supplies, working in the plants and indirect jobs. There’s a lot going for bioenergy. I think the bioenergy opportunities are here and will be here to help individual communities all across the north.”
He said the Ontario Power Authority had the right idea with the Feed In Tariff program but focused too much on power, which favours solar plants and wind farms when the emphasis should be on bioenergy and biomass.
“Bioenergy produces power and heat,” he said. “If Ontario really wants to be fair about this they should give incentives to both heat and power. The Europeans learned long ago that they wanted to stop sending money to the Middle East.
“They wanted to keep it in the community and that’s exactly what bioenergy does. Wind doesn’t do that.”
Lorne Morrow, CEO of Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy, said he hoped the conference would give participants a chance to talk about new products that would help the forestry sector.
The forest biomass shouldn’t be used just on news print and lumber but expanded to other products including energy, chemicals and car parts, he said.
“I think (bioenergy) is the necessary step I don’t consider it the next best,” Morrow said.
“I was one that ran a paper mill. I watched my paper mill close. If you have fixed costs, you have to spread those fixed costs. You spread those fixed costs by adding new products. So I think it is a necessary step. More value for the money.”
Morrow hinted that CRIBE would have some big announcements in the next coming weeks.