Windlectric Inc. a subsidiary of Algonquin Power and Liberty Utilities blanketed Amherst Island with 26 fifty storey turbines. The desecration  is unimaginable.    Call to Action: Please request Premier Ford (premier@ontario.ca) to cancel the project  because it’s absolutely the right thing to do.

Sincere and heartfelt thanks from APAI

Category: Uncategorized

This is the final message on this web site.  Should you wish to contact us please send an email to protectai@kos.net.  Please submit complaints concerning noise and all aspects of non-compliance to MOECP to Mr. Chris Raffael, Senior Environmental Officer, 613-548-6928 or chris.raffael@ontario.ca
 
 
Over the last 9 years APAI’s Board has met with its members to report on its activities and accomplishments, to highlight the upcoming challenges, to suggest a path for the Association going forward and to elect its new Board members. 
 
Over the last year, your Board carried out its mandate guided by APAI’s Mission Statement. All our actions were legal, ethical and respectful in spite of the frustrations generated by the fact that, without any penalties or consequences, the company breached the rules, 24/7 for many months in order to achieve its Commercial Operation Date before the June provincial election:  We continued to promote, maintain, enhance and protect our natural environment and cultural heritage.
 
Although all our legal recourse ended when APAI’s Appeal to the Minister was rejected on April 19, 2018: 
  • We exposed non-compliance issues to the company, as well as to both to the Ministries and the Township; 
  • We continued to raise public awareness of the senselessness of this project;
  • We continued to provide accurate and updated information about the organizations that should be accountable and we facilitated reporting of non-compliance of the REA, the Operations Plan and the Roads Use Agreement, and finally,
  • We raised money to pay our legal bills.
Let’s reflect on our accomplishments since 2009 when APAI was incorporated. It is important to remember that APAI’s mandate and Mission Statement derived from the work of 2 other groups of volunteers from the community: 
·      the Concerned Citizens of Amherst Island (CCAI) founded in 2006 and, 
·      the Coalition to Protect Amherst Island CPAI (2007) in reaction to the proposal by Canadian Hydro Developers (Vector Wind) and GAIA Power to build between 80 and 100 turbines representing 230 MW. 
It is also important to remember that APAI merged its resources, activities and membership with a third group that was incorporated in 2012: Save Amherst Island known as SAVE AI. 
 
Since 2006, there have been 4 proposals from wind developers to erect turbines on Amherst Island. Imagine 86 turbines on the Island!  We should all pat ourselves on the back and congratulate ourselves for these 12 solid years of opposition. We were successful in opposing the first 3 projects that could have been 3 times bigger if it had not been for the community’s vigilant, strong, researched and informed opposition at all the stages of the different projects.   
 
So many people have been involved in trying to protect the unique heritage of Amherst Island and its wild life from the adverse effects of an industrial wind project. All of you who donated time, energy, knowledge, experience and money to oppose the project, contributed to maintaining the quality of our life should take a bow and feel proud that nothing was spared to protect the health and well being of residents and to preserve the unique environment and way of life on Amherst Island. 
 
Since the election of the Conservative Government, we can now appreciate that our David and Goliath struggle was doomed from the start. The outgoing government used the Green Energy Act as a shield and the Wind Lobby as its weapons to push this project through. As we learn to live in our modified environment, it is a meagre consolation that both the shield and the weapons have been disposed of with the downfall of the Wynne Government. It reinforces that none of the legal, fact-based arguments, scientific evidence and protection of the environment were ever considered.
 
Today, as we witness the repeal of the Green Energy Act, we have the confirmation that a wind project located in an International Bird Area like ours was simply a political decision. Amherst Island was the perfect target: a remote non-liberal area where the greed of a company trumped the protection by the provincial government of the natural habitat and the quality of life of its residents. 
 
We can find comfort that our efforts were not in vain! Your 1500 submissions to the EBR were partly the reason why the project was delayed for several years. It allowed APAI to raise awareness of this senseless project, to gather support of numerous environmental organizations, to force the company to make modifications allowing some protection to our health, cultural and natural heritage. 
 
Today, 26 and not 36 turbines are turning, the dry stone walls are standing, the heritage buildings were preserved, MNRF put in place some mitigation measures to protect the habitat, the construction traffic was kept out of the Village and away from the school, the collectors was rerouted, the company is using higher powered turbines and lessening noise, the Ministries and the Township have been put on notice and know that the residents of Amherst Island are watching.  
 
We are heart-broken to look at a turbine on the Island but: 
  • we have done everything possible to stop, delay and minimize the adverse effects on the community; 
  • we are  inspired by the commitment, knowledge, energy and dedication of everyone who opposed this project and are indebted by the generosity of APAI’s supporters and; 
  • we are sincerely moved by APAI’s members who believed in our actions. 
Just because we have to accept that Windlectric managed to barely meet its Commercial Operation Date, does not mean that we have to accept that it is OK to install an industrial wind project on Amherst Island. This is still the very wrong place!
 
We should take be very proud that over the last 12 years, we stood up and never kneeled. We rightfully can keep our heads up and eyes forward!
 
There is an endless list of people who over the last many years have supported the Association and deserve our appreciation and public recognition. Without the challenging task of expanding on the specific contribution, I want express thanks to: 
 
·      To all of you here and your family who supported APAI all the way;
·      To all the Members and Donors, who could not be here today;
·      To all the Members from the Concerns Citizens of AI and the Coalition to Protect Amherst Island who got the ball rolling and raised the first flags in 2006; and
·       To Save AI members who worked closely with APAI.
 
For the time, knowledge and generous support (some pro-bono) we ARE SO GRATEFUL: 
·      To the legal firms, WeirFoulds, Stockwoods and Eric Gillespie;
·      To all the experts who contributed their scientific opinions to the ERT – I will break my own rule about not naming names and acknowledge the monumental work of John Harrison (standing ovation!);
·      To the national, provincial and local organizations who advocated on APAI’s behalf;
·      To some of our elected officials at the provincial and municipal levels; 
·      To our allies in the press; 
·      To our only representative on the Liaison and Community Working Group.
 
For their leadership and commitment to raise money for APAI, 
·      To the members of the Fundraising Committee.
 
For their very generous contribution, 
·      All the artists (painters,writers and musicians) who gave their art to raise money;
·      All who organized and donated to the several silent auctions;
·      All who organized our fundraising activities:
·      Chive vases and Paper Scissors and Stone Gallery for their donations
·      The Lodge for making our gathering here possible;  
·      All of you for responding to our call.
 
In closing, please allow me to pay a special tribute to all APAI board members who served the organization over the last 9 years with so much dedication, professionalism, commitment, and perseverance at every stage of the project.  Amherst Island was fortunate to have all of you. 
 
To all.. and you know who you are. Thank you …..We should be proud.    Job well done!