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WPD this weekend started destroying additional Prince Edward County South Shore habitat. An additional location was started north of Army Reserve Road about 800m east of Lighthall Road. This is a known area for both spring foraging and nesting for Blanding’s turtles
News Update on destruction of habitat:
WPD was actually destroying habitat and clearing vegetation at two separate sites today. In addition to the site north of Royal Road and east of Lighthall, there was activity south of Hilltop Road just west of Brewer’s Road.
Photograph shows trek of heavy equipment north of Royal Road and east of Lighthall.
Photograph shows entry area and tracks from Hilltop Road leading towards Lake Ontario. Clearing equipment could be clearly heard but was out of sight and closer to the shore.
On April 13th at 3:57 p.m., the day before Good Friday and the long Easter weekend, legal counsel for WPD and the White Pines Wind Project sent a brief email to the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) stating their intent to proceed with vegetation clearing of areas other than those identified as Blanding’s turtle spring foraging habitat, commencing Wednesday, April 19th.
Within the same email WPD also requested a motion date to hear their motion to lift the existing Stay that APPEC obtained last year, which prevents WPD from vegetation clearing in Blanding’s turtle spring foraging habitat.
WPD has apparently decided to get started on its Project rather than wait for the ERT’s final decision on the fate of this Project, following the ERT’s finding a year ago February that this Project will cause serious and irreversible harm to Little brown bats and the Blanding’s turtle. The ERT’s final written decision was expected before the end of March and is due anytime.
It appears that WPD is flaunting the entire appeal process with its refusal to wait for the ERT’s final decision. We believe that these proposed and premature construction activities illustrate the willingness of wind energy developers to risk environmental damage in order to advance their increasingly unwanted and unnecessary projects.
By the end of Thursday there had not yet been a response from the ERT to WPD’s email. Government offices are closed Good Friday and Easter Monday, leaving the ERT only one day (Tuesday, the 18th) to respond.
On Good Friday APPEC had to sent a message to it’s members about a noticed it received from the WPD wind developers stating their intentions to start clearing vegetation and a request to the Environmental Review Tribunal to hear an urgent motion to lift the existing Stay on construction which prevents WPD from vegetation clearing in Blanding’s turtle spring foraging habitat. As a result, a number of news websites have published articles. Here are two:
From Wind Concerns Ottawa – Wind power developer uses threat to influence environmental agency
Power developer announcement it is about to clear land which is habitat for an endangered species is an attempt to force the Environmental Review Tribunal to issue a decision on the Prince Edward County wind power project, and proposed “remedies” for species at risk. Click here to read the article.
From Quinte News – ALLIANCE CLAIMS LAND CLEARING TO BEGIN
A volunteer Prince Edward County organization fighting to stop a big wind turbine project believes the hopeful wind farm developers are jumping the gun on the project. Click here to read the article.
The judicial review of the White Pines cultural heritage process brought by Liz Driver and Edwin Rowse against WPD Canada and Ontario will take place on Thursday and Friday this week (April 6–7) at Osgoode Hall, in Toronto. The hearing begins at 10 am each day.
If time allows please try to attend on one or even both days. A good turn-out will be important to showing the court that the community cares about the Project’s visual impacts and the serious adverse impact of construction vibrations on the County’s cultural heritage.
Osgoode Hall is at the northeast corner of Queen and University. There is Green Parking underground next door at City Hall or parking across the street under the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Osgoode Subway Station is at the intersection.
For those wishing to pay their respect, a celebration of Bill Wightman’s life will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 11:00 am at the Wellington United Church, 243 Main Street, Wellington.
Ainsworth Funeral Home Notice and Obituary for Bill Wightman
The Times – Bill
It is with great sadness that APPEC informs the membership of the passing of Bill Wightman on Tuesday, February 28 at the Picton Hospital. Many will remember the special dinner honouring Bill four years ago at The Grange. At that event Bill was honoured for all his efforts to stop industrial wind turbines from being built in Prince Edward County.
Bill’s efforts go back to 2001 when he led CREW (Citizens for Responsible Energy Production Through Wind) in its efforts to stop Vision Quest from building a wind factory in Hillier. When that project was defeated at Council he personally fought Vision Quests’ efforts to build the Royal Road Wind Project, Bill along with a number of other individuals took the Council approval to the OMB (Ontario Municipal Board) where he was eventually successful in over-turning the Project. Bill and his group were at the organizing meeting of APPEC in 2007 and he was a member of the original CCSAGE. Bill has actively supported CCSAGE, APPEC and all legal efforts to stop the ridiculous (to him) idea of industrial wind turbines in rural Ontario and above all in the County. He worked tirelessly in the fight and was a chief political advisor on the subject.
At the evening at The Grange in his honour Bill was awarded a lifetime membership in APPEC for his many years of active involvement. His strong presence will be missed greatly in the continuing fight ahead.
Our deepest condolences to Bill’s family.
We will advise about any memorial service when details are known.
The Times also has posted a tribute to Bill Wightman – click here to view.