Tbnewswatch Local News
Wednesday July 1 2015
12:51 AM EDT
2014-03-06 at 17:03

First Nation files judicial review against Ontario ministries in response to wind project

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

Fort William First Nation wants work on a proposed wind farm to stop until the community has been consulted.

The community filed for a judicial review Monday against the Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing saying that the province has the sole responsibility to consult with Fort William First Nation over the Big Thunder Wind Park and failed to do so when Horizon Wind's Renewable Energy Approval was accepted last year.

It also alleges that the province failed to make sure that Horizon obtained legal land tenure before deeming the application complete.

It's asking that Horizon stop all work on the project.

"Until the Respondent (province) has satisfied its Constitutional obligations of Consultation and Protection of Treaty and Aboriginal Rights to the Applicant (Fort William First Nation," the documents state.

But according to a letter sent to Fort William First Nation's lawyer Chantelle Bryson in February, the MOE says consultation has already already happened through meetings with the community by both the ministry and Horizon.

"As such we cannot agree that consultation with Fort William First Nation has never happened or that it is only now commencing," environmental approvals branch manager Ian Parrott states.

Parrot also says that the ministry has heard many times that the community has concerns over the land lease agreement Horizon has with the city of Thunder Bay, but has never been given any specific information on how the deal impacts past, present and future uses of the land and how it impacts treaty rights.

"Based on what we have heard over the last several years, we don't understand what rights impacts FWFN fears, and how they might be addressed within the scope of this REA application," it says.

Horizon community and public affairs director Kathleen MacKenzie said the 16-turbine project is in its technical review phase and that the company feels it has carried out its obligation to consult. There's currently no work being done on the site.

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lori says:
bullwinkle, let me help you.

Everyone but Hobbs, Pugh, Hebert who declared a conflict and Boshcoff
3/8/2014 5:16:45 PM
bullwinkle says:
this is a done deal.
instead of blaming Horizon who are just a company trying to make some money like every other company in the world we should be blaming the idiots on city council that made this deal before doing any research on the ills of wind turbines or the effect it would have on the tax paying residents that live near them.
again council has no regard for taxpayers.
i suggest some disclosure on which current councillors were part of this approval before the next election so we don't make the mistake of voting for them again.
3/8/2014 2:11:26 AM
JoeBush says:
The FWFN have every right and obligation to protect their historically sacred lands and to prevent irreparable damage caused by the greed of a few investors from the south.

Our city council at the time was fleeced by the slick businessmen from the "big city". Not that it would take much to do it, considering the ineptitude of that particular council.

On another note, wind power does nothing to improve the environment. Do some homework to find out how much pollution is created just to make the cement to build the concrete foundations. Add to that, the energy required to manufacture the windmill components, smelting copper for wire lines, smelting for steel to build towers, shipping energy, construction energy, destruction of forests for roads and site preparation.

It doesn't take much imagination to see that these unsightly monstrosities will never reduce enough emissions to make them environmentally beneficial. There's nothing green about them other than big profits for a few.
3/7/2014 6:17:22 PM
det john kimble says:
how much pollution to make an open pit coal mine? to run trucks down into it over and over, transport that to a thermal plant, construct the thermal plant? how bout or a conventional mine, or a concrete dam flood the areas behind the dam. Fracking deep down to get shale gas and polluting ground water? Or a nuclear plant HUH??
To that list add what you did, "smelting copper for wire lines, smelting for steel to build towers, shipping energy, construction energy, destruction of forests for roads and site preparation?" Add toxic smoke spewing from a coal fed furnace, proven to increase asthma and lung cancer rates how bout Fukashima? Heard of it?
HUH?? I am not a fan of the wind site but use think of the alternatives to wind before you type.
Also FWFN also has a huge area used for a solar park, on their land... their SACRED LAND! now supposedly it was already cleared land BUT they could have renewed back to its natural SACRED state.... but they didn't
3/7/2014 8:06:36 PM
JoeBush says:
Ahhh, yeah....

I don't believe that the proponents of the examples you've presented are trying to fool the world that they're "green" as is the wind energy industry. Wind energy's environmental footprint is as bad as all of the one's you've mentioned.

Canada has more than enough sustainable hydro electric and nuclear electric generation to power our needs. In addition, there are a series of huge hydro electric generating stations under construction on the Lower Mattagimi River right now and due to come on line soon. Where will that electricity go? To the U.S. dirt cheap while we pay through the nose for bogus "green" wind energy? It's a known fact that Ontario citizens are being shafted as a result of the shady dealings of the Liberal government and the wind energy industry.

If you don't believe or understand that, it would appear that you've drunk a bit too much of their "Koolaid".
3/9/2014 12:00:27 PM
anvil of crom says:
"ahh yeah"
You missing my point and adding other issues which I do not disagree on. We can agree that there is no free lunch with producing energy.
And I will argue that the wind energy has a carbon footprint. BUT its ALOT less the infrastructure for coal or nuclear power.
Also you contradict yourself. You are a proponent of hydro dams, BUT they have a big amount of concrete in them. Concrete, which you state is only begotten by a lot of pollution.
SO concretes OK for dams but not turbine bases.
So whats OK here mate?
3/9/2014 3:08:58 PM
JoeBush says:
Those hydroelectric facilities will be providing power likely for a hundred and fifty years, not a mere twenty or so as with a wind generator.

They will produce thousands of times more reliable electricity 24/7 - 365 vs. wind energy which only produce when there is sufficient wind.

Hydroelectric, nuclear electric, coal and gas generators are "base" power sources and do all of the heavy lifting for our electricity needs. Accordingly, it's concrete well spent.

It will be proved in a generation or so that in Ontario, the wind industry is nothing more than an exercise in "green" window dressing that lined the pockets of a handful of influential businessmen and politicians.

On another note, the above mentioned base power sources aren't as a rule, built in people's back yards, nor are they generally considered potential health risks as are wind farms/parks.

Wind energy is expensive, inefficient and not green. It's a monumental mistake in progress.
3/12/2014 5:57:25 PM
Eastender says:
Just to clarify the issue,
The problem is not the wind farms. The problem is the location.
Is there a shortage of land in Northern Ontario?
3/9/2014 3:37:41 PM
aces & eights says:
Exactly Joe!

The Thunder Bay Factor in full effect! The snake oil salesmen show up to the doors of city hall. An incompetent and gullible city administration, mayor and councillors desperate for development, easily get hoodwinked and literally give away the keys to the city for nothing and the taxpayers get burned. Horizon threatens the city with a massive lawsuit and the city 'cowards up'. Sad times indeed inside city hall.
3/8/2014 7:40:44 AM
TIC says:
If its not one thing it another... sigh.
3/7/2014 5:45:30 PM
mystified says:
There are only 16 thief's going to be erected on this piece of land.
One is to many. If you think we have problems trying to stop 16 I suggest the readers go and read some of the issues they are having with these wind farms in the London Ontario region.

3/7/2014 5:24:41 PM
Papercut says:

You fail to see the trees through the forrest.

It is not only those mentioned who are affected.

What you fail to relize is: ALL hydro ratepayers...(that even includes the people whom you call landlord) WILL PAY FOR THIS AND ALL THE OTHER so called "green-energy" projects...for the NEXT 20 YEARS!!!!

Also....we Thunder Bay Hydro ratepayers get the added bonus of PAYING THE MILLIONS TO HOOK THIS UP TO OUR GRID.

The Final gift that this project will give us is the COST to take down all these abandoned monolith's once they corprate owner's have milked the hundreds of millions out of them......The City pays for this cost.

3/7/2014 10:42:47 AM
hadenough says:
Horizon is obligated to bring the power to the grid. Where ever the connection takes place, Horizon has to extend the line to where Thunder Bay Hydro has and acceptable power line existing, likely Loch Lomond Road. TBH supplies the connection to the first insulated connection point. Maybe a few thousand dollars, hardly a millions.

I'm not exactly in favour of this project but false information will not further your argument.
3/7/2014 5:04:43 PM
tiredofit says:
Actually they (Horizon) only have to bring it to the beginning of Loch Lomond Rd, at this point, TBHydro is responsible for upgrading all of the lines, poles etc.. to the highway in order to support the additional power. Thus, millions of dollars at the expense of TBHydro and the rate payers.
3/7/2014 7:58:36 PM
Fact or Opinion says:
This week at Lakehead University Professor Russ McKitrick stated after extensive research, wind turbines are producing power at times when the demand isn't there, costing Ontario residents billions of dollars.

This results in higher costs to residents and puts companies at a disadvantage according to the professor. He said wind turbines are not environmentally and financially sustainable.
At an electrical engineering conference held Wednesday night they concluded the same results.

If it's not a viable project:
Why not support FWFN from stopping a unique mountain and watershed housing hundreds of unique or endangered species to be clear cut and blasted in several areas for a project that will cost taxpayers higher rates, reduce jobs in the area (loch lomond might close), cost us millions in environmental restoration and decommission costs (city didn't include these costs) for one TO man/company to make millions?
MOE has Aboriginal Consultation guidelines they/the company broke.
3/7/2014 10:35:18 AM
Dockboy says:
What benefits are the citizens of Thunder Bay receiving with this project? Lower hydro costs,no,jobs, maybe a couple. The real answer is nothing. Someone got their pockets lined with this deal.
3/7/2014 8:38:30 AM
conker2012 says:
Horizon will cut down a few trees, who cares. They will disrupt animals.... who cares. It will ruin the view of a couple millionaires...... who cares.

It will drive up hydro rates for everyone in the province. TIME OUT!!! The largest problem facing the economy of this province is our electricity rates. Our government continues to sign on more FIT programs but fails fully offset these costs with tax dollars instead they increase rates to compensate.

The only advantage I see is perhaps this will slow or stop subdivision growth to the southwest of town. Now if we can get a wind farm east and northeast of town we could curb our urban sprawl a bit more.
3/7/2014 8:34:32 AM
Eastender says:
Conker: Add, urban sprawl, who cares,
3/7/2014 7:09:32 PM
Watchmaker says:
Once again ill-informed persons post about Aboriginal and Treaty rights. Take some time and read the constitutional case law around the Duty to notify and consult which lies with the Crown. There are a number of really good summaries on the internet which are available.
3/7/2014 7:46:35 AM
captain says:
It is not crown land, it belongs to the City of Thunder Bay.

The city was not going to make millions. The lease was for about a quarter of a million a year but it did not include the decommissioning costs that the city was on the hook for.

This has nothing to do with the Ring of Fire

And how we get the comment Billions of climate change dollars I will never know.

I will suggest that there are 13 people who are thrilled with this move. The members of City Council who gave us this although the current Mayor had nothing to do with it.

I personally love this. Anything that has a chance to stop this ill conceived contract that the City of Thunder Bay gave us is a good thing. I hope they are successful at stopping this.

3/6/2014 11:49:28 PM
tiredofit says:
Actually if you go back to when the agreement was signed over the watershed agreement, you'll clearly see that that land in questions was and is FWFN land. They were forced to give it up for the watershed agreement, which was to their favor. The agreement also clearly states that at the end of the agreement, they have first right of refusal on said lands. The city is merely administering the land.
3/7/2014 11:54:12 AM
det john kimble says:
History folks many do not remember but I do. In a story published on this site a few years back, the question was asked of the FWFN as to why they did not lease or buy the land as horizon now had it.
To that point one person of some import stated "why would we buy it when we were using it for free"
I am not making that up.
And why would they? really think about it ...
I can only SPECULATE the city probably asked FWFN about the land when the wind farm came a courting, FWFN said no.
Then the whole issue came to light the save the norwester people started their campaign and FWFN was drawn into something that otherwise they would not have cared about. And then the existing FWFN council to save face because they dropped the ball stated "individuals were not consulted" or something like that, even though band council was.
Great governance FWFN, now litigate your behinds off. The MOE is right, the band was consulted, then no one showed up, the ball was dropped.
3/7/2014 8:54:00 PM
det john kimble says:
Not surprised, if I was chief to play it safe I would do the same, it doesn't hurt the FWFN, as they stand to lose something, ( what that "something" is they seem to not be able to express) and gain nothing from the project.
Also litigation is a FN tactic, it delays and suspends ...their MO of choice in most matters.
3/6/2014 10:29:49 PM
reese says:
Lt is no secret that billions of climate change dollars face corruption risk this may help
3/6/2014 8:42:46 PM
jimmyboy says:
this is a done deal...time for all parties to accept it and move on...sad too say...
3/6/2014 8:40:40 PM
Ranma says:
According to the Robinson Treaty, no they do not have to be consulted. Sorry, but that's the facts.
3/6/2014 7:09:23 PM
speakupstandup says:
Actually, according to the Supreme Court of Canada, in the case Haida Nations v British Columbia, First Nations peoples are owed a right to be consulted and, where necessary, accomodated by the Crown prior any work that may affect lands that fall under Aboriginal treaty rights. This right is grounded in the "honour of the Crown" and the patriarchal relationship that the Crown created with Aboriginal peoples when it entered into the Superior Robinson Treaty as well as the other numbered treaties in Northern Ontario. it does not guarantee accommodation it just simply means that both sides, the Crown and the First Nations must negotiate in good faith and the proper procedure must be followed. It appears to me that all FWFN is asking, is that the provincial government carry out the obligations that the Supreme Court of Canada has enunciated all First Nations are owed.
3/7/2014 7:47:45 AM
NowayJose says:
Crown land....deal with it!
3/6/2014 5:22:15 PM
udecide says:
LOL, was just a matter of time. What a joke. Blockade in the future lol, and we wonder why
" Ring of Fire " will go nowhere....and the province and the police will stand by and watch but do nothing.
3/6/2014 5:21:46 PM
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