Tbnewswatch Local News
Wednesday July 1 2015
12:47 AM EDT
2014-05-21 at 17:16

Windy fate

Fort William First Nation  Chief Georjann Morriseau
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
Fort William First Nation Chief Georjann Morriseau
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Whether there will ever be turbines on the Nor'Wester Mountains depends on who's asked.

A request by Horizon Wind Inc. for the Ministry of the Environment to make a final decision on the Big Thunder Wind Park was denied in a Toronto courtroom late last week. Company public affairs director Kathleen MacKenzie said the ruling just means that the ministry's process should continue.

"I think the court gave a pretty clear indication that it wasn't going to interfere at least at this point with the ministry of the environment's authority to manage the case," she said.

But another part of the ruling, that nation-to-nation consultation between the ministry and Fort William First Nation, is being seen as a victory by Chief Georjann Morriseau.

The community, which has filed for several injunctions against provincial ministries over failure to consult on the project, wants consultation before any approval is made.

"We've clearly asserted and we've clearly outlined our concerns," Morriseau said.

Along with treaty rights over consultation, the community is concerned about impacts to ceremonial grounds, hunting grounds, wildlife and the watershed over a 17,000 acre stretch of land. Meaningful consultation over those concerns, defined by Fort William First Nations members, has never taken place Morriseau said.

Government and industry have dismissed those concerns without considering the people who will be the most impacted by the wind park.

"We've always opposed this project," she said.

"There's a trust issue at that point."

A deadline for June 9 is set for consultations. But Fort William First Nation is back in court June 6 with a single judge over injunctions.

MacKenzie said the company is still eager to build the project and thinks people in the province are in favour of it. She views the decision as another hurdle but the turbines will be built one day.

"I think we've come so far and theres not that much further to go," she said.

Morriseau doesn't think so.

"I'd like to say no. I'd like to say no I don't see them going up on that mountain," she said.


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tbsn says:
Build them. Let's move into the future.
5/22/2014 12:50:59 PM
Papercut says:
YA.....the Future of making companies RICH off the ratepayers backs!

These are a cash grab by a few lucky investors....we all get higher and higher hydro bills to make these folks even richer.

Sounds like a great deal to me.
5/23/2014 10:38:30 AM
NorWesterHiker says:
Kurt: I don't think comparing the land used for the solar park to the land proposed for the wind farm is a fair comparison. First, the solar park was built in scrub bush along the banks of the Kam River. There's an asphalt plant on one side of it and Valley Camp on the other side. A few saplings may have been cut down to make room for the solar panels. Up in the Nor'Westers we're talking about cutting down hard wood forest. As for animals being discomforted, there's little wildlife around the solar park except for the odd deer and beaver. That's not the case up there in the Nor'Westers. As for traditional land issues, the land along the banks of the Kam never was a hunting or trapping area or had much significance to the first nation folks.
5/22/2014 12:05:38 PM
Dockboy says:
I said it along time ago, the only way this project could be stopped was by FWFN getting involved. I don't see any windmills in the horizon.
5/22/2014 8:40:56 AM
anvil of crom says:
yup FWFN could possibly tie this up ad-infinitum, and pull the city out of this mess but more so save the residents in Neebing that are opposed to this a headache.
5/22/2014 11:40:41 AM
Ozone says:
This legal mess and the ugliness of these turbines was caused by our lovely council nd mayor! And yes they have way to many secret clandestine meetings to avoid accountability to the tax paying public!
Vote every last one of these sitting councillor out next election. Remember the flood fiasco, marina debacle, event centre misdirect and other the other messes this council has created and supported hiding from the public .

5/22/2014 7:20:25 AM
tiredofit says:
Ozone, this was not created by our current Mayor, he's dead set against the entire thing and always has been. He's also the first to tell you that all of the "secret" meetings should have been public given it's public land, sure, you can discuss the financial agreements behind close doors, but the rest shouldn't be.

This should have been public from day one. The bulk of this falls on corporate management and the lawyer that was involved.

I read the first agreement and you would have
thought that Horizon wrote it themselves. Even lawyers who have looked at all agree it was poorly written by someone with no experience in that type of work.
5/22/2014 11:36:18 AM
anvil of crom says:
FWFN issue is a bit complicated.
First off the FWFN had "right of first refusal" to lease the land up top of the norwesters that the city owns.
NOT talking about the property they own now, and they were not interested, the story on that was years back.
Of course now that horizon leased, they are saying the land in question is traditional lands.
Horizon initally consulted FWFN, on FWFN property and no one showed up. FWFN now states it was not "proper" consultation.They did it again a few months ago, horizons representatives were not given a chance to speak. Again now FWFN said they were not consulted.
The reason why FWFN needed to be consulted at that point was horizon had a later "stage"of the project that would have actual turbines on FWFN property and a power line to link up to the grid.
This stage was separate from the initial stage of the project which would have the first series of turbines put up.
Horizon is in trouble no doubt, the whole thing is a mess.
5/22/2014 6:55:46 AM
big joe mufferaw says:
Maybe we can get Horizon Wind to build a new James Street bridge across the Kam River in exchange for consideration in building their wind farm.
5/22/2014 6:24:46 AM
Oldnews says:
S Duncan, I enjoy your posts, but on this area I believe Georgann has a lot of say. I'm aware of natives that hunt moose up there for their family, and for some elders that are unable to. The activity up there has had an effect on the moose moving. In regards to the fishing; in the early 1980's I seen the lake snow covered in yellow which came from the Hydro plant. This damaged the Lake Trout population which many of the natives enjoyed for years.
5/22/2014 5:57:17 AM
S Duncan says:
Glad you typically enjoy my thoughts Oldnews. I should perhaps clarify my position a little more for the benefit of the readers here.

I dont doubt Georgann's concerns for those lands as I share them as well. I am a hunter/fisherman with a love for the outdoors and those "traditional" lands are mine too. My family has used that land for generations as well too and would like to pass it down to my offspring as well.

However I should have been clearer that FWFN has no legal right to that land anymore than I do. The Robinson / Superior Treaty does not encompass this scenario as she as been using to base her position on.

I also think FWFN has no LEGAL right to be interfering with the Swing Bridge situation either and she/they are overstepping their bounds in both these matters.

We have seen a concentrated effort by FN across Ontario to blur the lines over Crown land by trying to claim ownership and control by calling it traditional lands.

Legally they just have no say.
5/22/2014 10:16:25 AM
S Duncan says:
I dislike the whole Horizon disaster that our idiotic council got us involved in, but the reality here is Georgann has no say whatsoever in this matter.

and yes Ive read the treaties over and over.

FWFN seems to be overreaching these days in matters that they have no legal right to be included in.

Don't they have their own problems any way?
5/21/2014 10:07:33 PM
Alexa says:
I am confused is the wind park even on reserve property???? And I agree with Kurt why did the FWFN build the solar park on their property no problems, no concerns for trees, wildlife habitats, etc. etc.
5/21/2014 9:13:52 PM
enos012 says:
The problem is not power? The problem is that we use teh wonderful would of technology for said power, even what I am typing now. I so calle dgreen the worls is getting it actually has become less green. It wastes more and usese mre than ever to recycle the same life and same story in just another manner of living. The problem of this world had and always will be those in true POWER and those more consered about making a $$$ intread of benefit for ALL.
5/21/2014 8:54:11 PM
eventscentre says:
It's sad to see the opposition to projects like this in Thunder Bay. It's a good thing there are some progressive thinking people in this city or we'd still be trading beaver pelts on the Kam River for our livelihoods
5/21/2014 7:33:58 PM
signman says:
Negotiating behind closed doors by city council has created this


5/21/2014 7:09:05 PM
kurt says:
to me it makes no sense as to why , fwfn would stop this project . fwfn cut down 100 acres to build their solar park . what about the animals their ? or their traditional land issues while building the solar park ? is it because fwfn is not making any money off this project ?

5/21/2014 5:39:44 PM
tiredofit says:
The solar park is on industrial land, the area is designated as such. This has nothing to do with money, Horizon offered them lots. The land in question was taken from them in 190x to allow for the watershed, they have first right of refusal to purchase it back. It's also interfering with their traditional hunting grounds.

There also the total disrespect that Horizon has show them and others. Do some research beyond the dollar. It's not always about money. That's the problem with Horizon, they don't understand that, they only care about the hundreds of millions they'll pocket in the end.
5/22/2014 6:19:08 AM
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