CORNWALL, Ontario - On Friday, Dec. 2, promised to ask Premier Kathleen Wynne to withdraw her support for the Nation Rise wind farm project. The project would see wind farms constructed in North Stormont and South Nation. Representatives from both areas say they do not want the wind farms and have thousands of signed petitions to back them up.
Representatives of Save the Nation and Concerned Citizens of North Stormont said that they were opposed to these wind farm projects that were being forced upon them without consultation. The gathered groups also said that their neighbours and their community had been subject to bullying tactics from the wind farm companies EDP Renewables and Leader Resources.
"We were told by one of the wind companies "support us and you'd get a cut, oppose us and you'll get nothing,"" said Margaret Benke, a representative of Concerned Citizens of North Stormont.
Leslie Howard of the Save the Nation group said that in his area, residents were being badgered to give up their land.
"One lady said she would get calls 50-60 times a day with them asking her to hand over some of her land," he said. "Surveyors would come by in the middle of the night and some people were told to give up their land because their neighbours had already, but they hadn't, they were being lied to."
In North Stormont, the proposed wind farm being constructed by EDP Renewables is scheduled to break ground in 2019 and would affect 1, 196 resident and cover the western half of the township.
MPP Jim McDonell explained that the project would not be benefiting the residents of the area.
"We really don't need the power," he said.
McDonell went on to explain that the most daily electrical usage recorded in Ontario did not reach the total capacity that the province could provide.
While the project is not scheduled to break ground before the next election, by then it will be too expensive to cancel.
McDonell hand-delivered thousands of letters opposing the projects to the Premier and to Minister of Energy Glenn Thibault on Monday. He also stood up in the legislature and asked the Premier to cancel the project.
In a written statement, McDonell slammed the project further.
"The Nation Rise wind project was approved by the Independent Electricity System Operator despite meeting none of the rated criteria," McDonell said. "The community, including abutting landowners, opposed the project from the get-go, and the township declared itself and unwilling host. Despite these clear messages, the IESO allowed the project whose power is completely unnecessary to meet declining power demand in Ontario. Recently, the Government suspended its second stage of wind and solar procurement because it realized the over-paid power would not be needed in our grid and would have to be off-loaded to our neighbours, again, at a cost. Nation Rise should face the same fate - the community doesn't want it and the Province doesn't need it."