Peter Tabuns MPP (Toronto Danforth), the NDP’s Official Opposition critic for Energy and the Climate Crisis, has written to Ontario’s auditor general to request an urgent investigation into the cost of cancelling the Nation Rise Wind Farm in North Stormont.
“First he ripped down the White Pines wind farm project at a cost of at least $141 million, and now he’s scrapping the Nation Rise Wind Farm — it’s bigger, it was further along in its construction, and it’s likely to be even more expensive to rip it down. Doug Ford needs to come clean about how much this will cost taxpayers,” said Tabuns.
“The public has a right to know how much money Ford is wasting in his expensive obsession with tearing down wind farms in Ontario, and we need the auditor general to find out the real costs of this decision.”
Nation Rise Wind Farm is a 29-wind turbine, 100-megawatt wind energy project that had been under construction since May 2019. At the time the approval was revoked, 16 of the 29 wind turbines had already been fully or partially erected, and the construction was expected to be completed in February 2020.
Last year, Ontario’s auditor general revealed that Doug Ford’s government has spent $231 million to cancel renewable energy contracts, including a reported $141 million in compensation to scrap the White Pines project.
Tabuns has also asked the auditor general, in her newly-expanded role as Commissioner of the Environment, to examine the decision-making process that led to this action by the Environment Minister Jeff Yurek.
The Minister claimed that he was revoking approval for the Nation Rise Wind Farm project due to “serious and irreversible” impacts on local bat populations without providing any evidence to support this judgement.
“The Environmental Review Tribunal, the body responsible for hearing the appeal against the project’s approval, and the Ministry both determined that the project posed no risk to the bat population. In fact, those appealing the wind farm’s approval offered no expert testimony at the Tribunal that the bat population is at risk nor was the matter raised in the appeal submission to the Minister,” said Tabuns in his letter to Ontario’s auditor general.
Letter to Auditor General of Ontario
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