Kafkaesque: Lawless loophole lets wind company endanger human lives
Another Kafkaesque industrial wind turbine nightmare in Ontario. A regional airport (Collingwood), with an aerodrome close by (Stayner), and eight 500’ (152 metres) air-space-invading industrial wind turbines (wpd Canada’s Fairview Wind Project) to be wedged between both airfields, posing grave danger to pilots and their passengers—and the whole thing approved by the Ontario Liberal government.
What could possibly go wrong when pilots, flying visually without instrumentation (as is the case in over 90% of the flights at these two airports), have to negotiate a safe take-off or landing through a blur of Georgian Bay fog, or lake-effects snow, and an indiscernible phalanx of gigantic 50-storey-tall white windmills?
All eight of the planned wind turbines will “penetrate” the safe arrival and departure airspace mandated by Transport Canada standards.
The Collingwood-Stayner airspace is a no-man’s-land of regulation, a lawless vacuum with respect to wind turbine installations. Ontario’s Green Energy Act deliberately has no safety provision for wind turbine setbacks near airports. All eight of the planned wind turbines will “penetrate” the safe arrival and departure airspace mandated by Transport Canada standards, as prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
If the turbines are built, and they thereby are found to create an unsafe situation, Transport Canada could shut the airports down.
However, here is the kicker. Transport Canada has no jurisdiction over where wind turbines are located with respect to the air space of registered, uncertified airports such as the Collingwood Regional Airport and the Clearview Aerodrome in Stayner. But, when the turbines are built, and they thereby are found to create an unsafe situation, Transport Canada could shut the airports down. The airports, not the wind turbines!
In this case, there is a dangerous jurisdictional vacuum. Neither Transport Canada, nor the Ontario government, nor the local governments, which the Liberals’ Green Energy Act stripped of their planning powers, have any legal say over the aeronautically-safe siting of wind turbines at registered, uncertified airports.
Wind companies—often foreign-owned—pretty well get to do whatever they want.
Such is the looney landscape of Ontario’s sickly “green” wind energy program that wind companies—often foreign-owned—pretty well get to do whatever they want, aided, abetted, enabled, financially rewarded, and legally defended by the Ontario Liberals’ Green Energy Act and their kangaroo court of (hopeless) appeal, the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT). Only two of the scores of wind turbine project appeals to the ERT have had partial success, with final outcomes still pending.
wpd Canada’s Fairview Wind Project between the Collingwood-Stayner airports is being appealed, with an ERT hearing scheduled for May 16, 2016 in Collingwood. What are the chances that the safety-minded appellants will prevail? The onus is on them to prove “serious harm” to human health. You’d think that this would be a no-brainer, logical, obvious. But the narrow terms of reference by which the ERT operates and the unfair burden of proof heaped on the appellants usually spell defeat.
For a mind-blowing overview of this particular Kafkaesque situation involving wind turbine approvals and appeals, watch the 30-minute media event held at Queen’s Park on April 21, 2016 (starting at 3:09). At the press conference, Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson, Kevin Elwood (the pilot owner of the Clearview Aerodrome), and Charles Magwood, area property owner, outlined chilling facts about the lawless loophole that could endanger the lives of pilots and their passengers, and potentially close down an economically vital airport and aerodrome for good.
The trio also discuss possible graft and corruption in this case: wpd Canada’s payments made to the Liberal party, followed immediately by government approvals for wpd Canada’s project, and wpd Canada’s creation of a shell company with no assets in order to evade liability for accidents and de-commissioning of wind turbines.
In Ontario: lawless loopholes, callous, criminal disregard for human health and safety, apparent bribes for wind project approvals, calculated liability evasion, democracy-robbing legislation—all for economically useless, environmentally-destructive, subsidy-sucking industrial wind turbines, ugly symbols of a bankrupt, immoral, dishonest, fake planetary climate emergency.