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2014-04-04 at NOON

Horizon seeks review

Horizon CEO Anthony Zwig (left), appears at city council in 2010.
FILE
Horizon CEO Anthony Zwig (left), appears at city council in 2010.
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By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

Horizon Wind Inc. could be hauling the province into court.

The Toronto-based company, which struck a deal in 2007 with the City of Thunder Bay to construct a 32-megawatt wind-turbine farm on the Nor’Wester mountain range, on Friday said they plan to file an  and application for a judicial review at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice seeking a final decision on Big Thunder Wind Park.

The move comes about a year after the Ministry of the Environment told company officials their renewable energy approval was complete.  They’ve since engage in a technical review of the province, which resulted in 400 online comments, for and against the controversial project.

“We’d rather be generating clean energy than exchanging papers in a courtroom,” Horizon spokeswoman Kathleen MacKenzie said. “But sometimes you have to do one before the other.

Recent judicial review applications filed by Fort William First Nation against various ministries have created some confusion. We’ve asked for the court’s help in straightening it all out.”

Fort William First Nation last month filed applications for judicial reviews against both the Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Natural Resources.

Prior to that they also filed for a review against the Ministry of Municipal Housing and Affairs, demanding the province quash Horizon’s lease of treaty lands. The First Nation’s leaders cited a failure to consult and protect treaty and Aboriginal rights.

The province agreed to delay any activity and hold off on approval of the project until the legal proceedings worked their way through the courts. But the divisional court panel that would deal with the matter only sits twice a year, in June and December.

MacKenzie said the construction delays are getting frustrating for the company.

“From the calls and emails we receive, we know people are impatient to get the Big Thunder Wind Park built and start contributing green energy to the Thunder Bay grid,” MacKenzie said. “We’re impatient too, but we respect that there is an extensive approval process beforehand.”

This is not the first time the project has landed before the courts.

In 2010, after city council refused to approve turbine locations, essentially stalling the turbine farm in its tracks, Horizon Wind Inc. launched a $126-million suit against the City of Thunder Bay. The legal action was later dropped when council backed down.


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Comments

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realist says:
More bullying tactics by Horizon Wind Inc.

I'm all for green energy, but I'm against turbines in residential ares.
4/4/2014 12:21:09 PM
dank says:
Horizon lauching a lawsuit- what a surprise. Get the hint and go away already. Wind power is expensive and will be obsolete soon.
4/4/2014 12:55:33 PM
nvjgu says:
There running out of places to put the ugly things. Down there where there's thousands of them all over the place, especially in the Barrie area. right beside houses too. There every where.
4/4/2014 12:59:42 PM
fairlane says:
Remember way back when opposers to the company (yes, the company not the technology) were labeled "nimbys" and other derogatory names? They told us about how ruthless this company was but no one listened.

Notice you don't hear a peep from council now because they know what a horrible deal they got themselves into.

They hood-winked us under the green energy umbrella. They intimidated us at their Open Houses. Then they sued anyone who showed opposition.

Not the people we want to do business with. I don't care whether you're for or against wind power; this company is toxic to our community. The sooner the province stands up to them and sends them packing the better.

I'm not against the technology, just these clowns. In fact, I'd welcome another company to come in here, do the proper consultation and do it right.
4/4/2014 1:31:23 PM
reese says:
Canada Day at the NorwestArs
4/4/2014 1:42:52 PM
tsb says:
The fly ash from the coal power plant is radioactive. (Coal contains uranium and thorium, and the process of burning it releases most elements but leaves those behind). Coal power plants are actually a greater source of neighbourhood radiation than nuclear plants because they do nothing to contain that radiation. It's all within safe limits except when they pile it up in undisclosed locations and it leeches into the ground, but no one really seems to mind it. It's ok. Oh, also, the area of the lake around the power plant is a dead zone because of the thermal pollution. Turns out when you put hot water without oxygen into the lake, life can't live there anymore.
4/5/2014 11:31:33 PM
S Duncan says:
the fly ash goes to the city landfill site and is used to separate layers of waste.

its not going into your basement window, despite what you think.

4/7/2014 10:57:45 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
It's all about the Hg, the Mercury, that get vaporized off...
4/8/2014 8:15:12 AM
jonthunder says:
If anyone is in absolute fault in this case it is the current government of Ontario, and its ill conceived Green Energy Act. The company could have been more diplomatic, but at the end of the day it played the cards it was dealt.
4/4/2014 1:44:31 PM
S Duncan says:
City council deserves what they get for their backroom deals.

If this would have been conducted above board we wouldn't be in this mess.

Now, in this case its the province, but Horizon isn't done making fools of us yet.

Somebody in city administration should be fired over this. There needs to be an investigation because the citizens of this city got hung out to dry on this one.

and it was all done under the table.
4/4/2014 2:13:52 PM
anarnosti says:
Come on Horizon!!! I'm excited to see this project completed!!
4/4/2014 2:49:23 PM
Shillelagh says:
Good for Horizon; the city entered into an agreement and then the city asks the residents and a negative reaction is found..

Too bad, contracts have been signed it's time to break ground on these and get them built. Enough is enough; lesson to learn - don't sign anything unless your are prepared!
4/4/2014 2:51:04 PM
JYDog says:
If Canadians don't like so many wind turbines all over thou country maybe they should use less energy. We are the biggest energy consumers man for man versus any country on earth. Shame on us, and bring on these towers, and tens of thousands more, and yes, in residential neighborhoods, and the bigger the energy consumption neighborhood, the bigger the towers. It's only fair.
4/4/2014 4:00:08 PM
Today1 says:
Well..in Ontario we have surplus energy. In Thunder Bay the power plant idles most of the time. Presently, Ontario taxpayers are 'paying' Windmill Farms and Nuclear Power plants to idle. So why are we still putting up Windmill Farms? Is it Green Energy or Greed Energy (same colour, I could see where the confusion came in).
4/4/2014 5:10:19 PM
Decide says:
As you type that on your energy sucking computer.
Bring on the towers that cost around $0.65 kwh to produce that power.
Seeing as I live out where they want to build them, and my area uses way less power then the city neighborhoods, put them up downtown where, as you, put it, all the energy consuming occurs.
4/4/2014 6:49:30 PM
JYDog says:
No, I think it's been proven Neebing has the most hot air blowing near the mountains. It's relentless, we need them there, but yes, put them downtown too, right at the waterfront even, and on top of the new courthouse. EVERYWHERE!
4/4/2014 8:19:02 PM
dank says:
The people in favor of these green energy projects probably live in their parents basement and have never seen a hydro bill. My last few bills have been the highest Ive ever paid and I pay attention to whats on. Thank the liberals for making everthing we do and buy so increasingly expensive and you cannot dispute that!
4/4/2014 4:06:27 PM
realist says:
If you are going to blame the Liberals for something, shouldn't they be the ones who made the change?

It was the PC's under Mike Harris in 1995 who commissioned the Macdonald Committee. The committee's recommendations were then released in 1997 by the PC's as the "Direction for Change: Charting a Course for Competitive Electricity and Jobs in Ontario."

This report led to the deregulation of the electricity market in 2002, a decision which some would suggest was the final nail in the Conservatives coffin.

The Liberals then swept to power in 2003.
4/4/2014 5:22:14 PM
lori says:
yes dank, I can. My bill for the same period in December went up $2 from 2010 to 2013. Why, smart meters because I was always using energy wisely and subsidizing those who wasted it.

i don't have an issue putting on the dryer, washer, dishwasher after 7 pm. It is not a big deal but everyone wants everything the same no matter what. Unless you have electric heat, and I agree, something needs to be done to help them, if your bills exceed 125 a month, it is you, not the gov't.

As for the wind farm, sorry to have to correct the ill informed again, but nothing in the green energy act forced the city to sign a bad deal with horizon. This is city owned land. They leased it out. they signed the deal and they are the ones stuck with it. They are hoping the gov't or first nations bails them out of this disaster. here's hoping they get saved from their own stupidity.
4/4/2014 6:13:32 PM
Pandora says:
Horizon is a Bully.
Their spokesperson, Mrs McDonald is not sounding quite as arrogant as usual. They say they wouldn't sue the 1st Nations, I guess not.
Hat's off to the 1st Nations for standing up to the Big City, BIG Bully.
This should never have come to this, they should have been sent packing years ago.
4/4/2014 6:14:36 PM
Watchmaker says:
The Thunder Bay Generating Station did not "idle most of the time". They burned all their coal stockpile early this year due largely to the extended cold weather. They also burned all their coal stockpile last year.

The conversion to natural gas should never have been stopped. Better yet, they should have converted the plant to clean coal technology back in 2005. They would have been better off from both a financial and carbon footprint perspective.

Ideology should not drive policy in the face of overwhelming technical evidence to do the opposite, but the provincial government did just that and our federal government continues to do that.
4/4/2014 6:48:05 PM
det john kimble says:
Jy dog, we live in a climate that is freezing lifekilling cold at least 6 months of the year, so think about that and think of why we consume as much energy as we do. Its a fact , but as to myself, i wont apologize about staying warm.
4/5/2014 4:27:48 AM
Bullwinkle says:
Horizon isn't the bad guy here.they are just trying to go thru with a plan and location that our city councillors signed them up to do without any regard for the taxpaying people living there or the consequences.remember them on Election Day.
4/5/2014 12:16:00 PM
fairlane says:
I see your point bull winkle. Yes the city messed up. But in fairness this outfit did a great job at pulling the wool over their eyes. If you've ever been to one of their open houses or seen Zwig talk to the media you'll know what I mean.

They came across as our "neighbours" and friends until we learned the truth. By then it was too late. Shame on council. Shame on Horizon for being such bullies.
4/5/2014 5:48:02 PM
Watchful says:
This city signed the contract, so suck it up and let Horizon continue. This is what happens when council members make plans and deals behind closed doors.
An all to familiar process that occurs with our city councillors.
4/6/2014 5:38:11 PM
fairlane says:
One more thing....Yes, the city signed the contract.

But, WE voted them in again after the deal. For all of you who supported this project in the beginning and STILL voted these clowns back in don't complain when the crap hits the "fan" so to speak.
4/7/2014 12:20:28 PM
S Duncan says:
except the city has never come forward and identified who got us into this mess.

Whose names are on the agreement? Who signed what?

the city has kept this under tight wrap, they have scurried away like cock roaches when the light gets turned on.

WHO got us in to this and why have they not been fired and/or investigated for collusion?

those are the questions that need to be asked, and answered.

Why is the city hiding from this situation like they are with a few others?

Where is the transparency Hobbs told us would happen?
4/7/2014 3:18:40 PM
trevor99 says:
In referring to watchmakers comments, I do agree that plant should have been converted to gas back then. If it had, we wouldn't be having these problems but it was City Council who derailed this. It was a done deal by the province but City Council opposed the plant conversion. They stopped the project, basically the same group of people who gave us this project with Horizon Wind.

And I have to agree with S. Duncan. What has been completely lacking is any sort of accountability on who recommended this deal with Horizon. We know Council was the one who signed it, but Admin Staff and lawyers should have looked at it. Who dealt with this horrible deal on behalf of the city, likely the same people telling us that spending 106 million on an event centre will be an economic driver, just like the 50 million wasted at the Marina was supposedly a good thing for the city. We have reached the point that too many folk think build it, no matter what it costs.

What a scary way to do business.
4/8/2014 6:35:10 AM
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