The proposed project would make all this too dangerous to continue …

Oct 092017

It has been clear for too long that Ontario’s environmental assessment process is a farce. For example:

  • The MOECC accepted the proponent’s Environmental Impact Study, which claimed a net benefit, even though it didn’t even try to assess the negative impacts.
  • For their environmental assessment, the proponent made many commitments that their proposed generating station would not rise above road level, it would not have a larger footprint, and it would not impact heritage landscapes. They will not honour any of these.
  • For their proposal, the proponent made commitments such as they would not impact in-water recreation. They would not honour these either.

But now we know what kind of farce it is – a political farce. Look at the status of the following seven controversial proposed electricity generation projects:

  • The first three, in ridings held by Liberals were cancelled.
  • The next four, all in ridings held by the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, have been approved by the Ontario Liberal government.
Proposed project Local MPP at the time Status
Oakville gas-fired generating station Liberal, Kevin Flynn, Oakville Cancelled by Ontario Liberal government.
Mississauga gas-fired generating station Liberal, Charles Sousa, Mississauga South Cancelled by Ontario Liberal government as part of an election promise.
Thunder Bay wind turbines (Big Thunder wind project) Liberal, Bill Mauro, Thunder Bay-Atikokan Cancelled by MOECC.
South River hydro-electric generating station PC, Norm Miller, Parry Sound-Muskoka Approved by MOECC, currently in operation.
Almonte hydro-electric generating station PC, Jack MacLaren, Carleton-Mississippi Mills Approved by MOECC, currently under construction.
Collingwood wind turbines (Fairview wind project) PC, Jim Wilson, Simcoe-Grey Approved by MOECC, but cancelled after six teams of lawyers and more than $1,800,000 of legal fees for appeal to the Environmental Review Tribunal, that agreed the eight 45-storey-tall wind turbines too close to two airports would be a danger to human life – which the MOECC had refused to accept.
Bala hydro-electric generating station PC, Norm Miller, Parry Sound-Muskoka Environmental Assessment approved by MOECC, who have stated they expect to issue the required Environmental Compliance Approval “in the near future”.

Clearly, there are political forces here which are subverting the MOECC from fulfilling its mandate.

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