Tweaking of Energy: Going through the motions

“… everyone in Government and especially the OPA has heard that perhaps this wasn’t the best way to go about it and so we are here in this forum today to hear feedback on it, we should have been here 3 or 4 years ago but things were different at that time… I wouldn’t say it was a mistake {to not consult beforehand}” Adam Butterfield, Manager Renewable Generation Procurement, Electricity Resources, Ontario Power Authority

In order to garner public input on their “engagement” plans re large scale energy project siting, the OPA/IESO held 18 meetings, all in urban centres, so basically a repeat of the same old treachery as with the “public consultations” on the Green Energy Act when the about-to-be-disenfranchised rural population was cunningly excluded.

In fact the invitation (below) to this recent listening exercise only came to those most affected by large industrial wind developments after it was forwarded to the rural grapevine by MPP Randy Pettapiece. This inefficient arrangement resulted in very sparse attendance at some sessions.

The roadshow pulled into its last stop in Thunder Bay…

There, despite having heard from the ignored and irate citizenry who showed up uninvited at some of the previous sessions, the OPA & IESO reps, when asked why this consultation was only occurring now and not before the GEA & REA was imposed on people responded that the Minister realized that there may have been some minor flaws in the previous process that needed tweaking.  

Many, many voices have decried the major flaws and demanded that the GEA and REA should be scrapped.  The REA process in particular reveals a systematic elimination of truth from our legitimate right to accurate and timely information on environmental matters.

As an example, concerns about the consultation process in the Renewable Energy Approval for the St Columban wind farm project were dismissed with this telling statement: 

“While mandatory consultation requirements are specified in REA regulation (O.Reg. 359/09), it is not prescriptive in regards to the techniques or methods used.”

With no requirement that consultation is based on verifiable fact, spurious claims and sales pitch meet the government requirements.  again pointed out to OPA/IESO that this mess is only to be expected when, as the Ontario Auditor General 2011 Report revealed, there had been no cost/benefit and due diligence done before a purely political and ideological pipe dream was imposed by politicians that didn’t know or understand the electricity system.

At previous stops there were strong words of objection about financial rewards that might be offered to incentivize communities to host projects and a member of the Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee (NMEPC) spoke up indignantly. “This is Canada, stop trying to bribe us”.  That was as big a sore point at the morning municipal session as it was at the evening community sessions in Thunder Bay.

And about the reiteration of lies to which we have been subjected?  They have to stop!  The response from OPA’s Adam Butterfield was, “I don’t disagree with you, but it would have a lot more effect on the Minister if it came directly from you”  

Not likely Mr Butterfield, we have been communicating directly with a series of energy Ministers now and they seem only to have perfected the skill of deleting emails, shredding documents and assigning to oblivion those who file complaints. Its time for the OPA to tweak the nose of the Minister and do a proper job of planning cheap and reliable electricity without political interference, otherwise the OPA is just another layer of useless toadying bureaucracy.

The deadline for the Ontario Regional Energy Planning and Siting Dialogue is July 15th, if you or your group wishes to add or provide comments specific to the impact of power projects in your area. 

Outstanding issues are:

Lack of credibility of the Ministry of Energy;  all statements must be factual and verifiable

We have a surplus, stop approving more projects, it is not in the public interest to be spilling water and steaming off nuclear while we make a new plan (not “tweak” one which never underwent proper cost/benefit analysis) 

Power must be generated in the region needing it, transmission costs and maintenance are not sustainable and are environmentally destructive and tend to enslave remote areas transferring energy sprawl to places which should be protected from unneeded industrialization.

Large projects must not change the character of rural areas where landscape amenity is important.

Noise and health issues must be acknowledged and proper scientific research must be completed prior to any further approval of unreliable wind generation. It is not in the public interest to incur further liability.

All projects contributing to the grid must contribute data to the IESO on at least a 5 min. interval to permit accountability and transparency.

All projects must also be fully evaluated and scrutinized for honesty, need and acceptability in the context of local communities’ planning and they must have the right to say no to unwanted forms of generation.

First Nations must be properly consulted by the Crown not industry, and the Crown has a fiduciary duty to see that the information provided is based on independent research not government sources in conflict-of-interest on energy issues.

“This Province and the Ministry of Energy, the IESO, the OPA, have been very interested in green, I think to the point where they have almost become blinded by green. But we don’t want green to become the Kryptonite that cripples this Province. It is not acceptable to turn the lights off.” Larry Ebert- North West Energy Task Force


On May 6, 2013, the Ontario Minister of Energy asked the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to recommend a new integrated regional energy planning process that would give municipalities and communities more of a voice, and focus on improving the way large energy projects, such as natural gas power plants, are sited in Ontario.  Recommendations are due August 1, 2013.  

The first step to developing these recommendations is to engage municipalities, communities and the public. Strong public engagement in regional energy plans will lead to better decision making so that future infrastructure is in place where and when it is needed. 

Late last week, the OPA and IESO invited over 1400 Ontarians to share their views, including Ontario chiefs, Métis leaders, mayors, planners, developers, chambers of commerce and boards of trade, business improvement associations, residential and ratepayer associations and community groups. The OPA and IESO are asking for their opinions about how Ontario can improve its engagement process, integrate municipal and energy planning, and site electricity infrastructure.  The feedback, research and current experience gathered in the stakeholder engagement process will be essential to developing effective recommendations.

Face-to-face sessions will be held across the province – in Sudbury, Niagara, Ottawa, Guelph, GTA East, GTA West, GTA Northwest, Windsor and Thunder Bay.  Dates, times and locations are listed below, and in the attached invitations. We will also be offering webinars, the first two of which will take place this week:  Wednesday, Jun 19 at 1:30 to 3:30pm for the municipal groups and Thursday, Jun 20, 7 to 9pm for the community groups.  Call-in details are in the attached invitations.  We will also be meeting with stakeholder groups such as AMO, infrastructure developers, and planners starting the week of July 2, 2013.  

Finally, a dedicated web-site providing more information and featuring a survey can be found here

Submissions from those interested in providing written feedback are due July 15, 2013. 
We welcome your participation at any of the face-to-face sessions or webinars.  Please RSVP to , indicating which session you would like to join, by 5pm, June 21, 2013. 

Thank you for your interest in Ontario’s regional energy planning activities.

Colin Andersen, CEO                                     Bruce Campbell, President and CEO
Ontario Power Authority                                                       Independent Electricity System Operator
Regional Sessions

This LONG-TERM ENERGY PLAN was mentioned at the recent stakeholder meetings. When asked when rural residents would be getting their local consultation meetings they were told probably during the LTEP consultations. NOT HOLDING OUR BREATH DESPITE THE RHETORIC BUT USE YOUR RIGHTS, THEY GET STRONGER ONLY WITH EXERCISE!

News Release:

Ontario Kicks Off Long-Term Energy Plan Review

“It’s critical that we plan Ontario’s energy future with input and advice from every corner of the province. Together, we’ll continue to build a clean, modern and reliable electricity grid.”
 — Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy

About lsarc

LSarc is grassroots protection of Lake Superior through citizen science and volunteerism.  If you are interested in preserving intact ecosystems and restoring biological integrity of the Lake Superior watershed using the scientific method to test hypotheses and research, then you are LSarc LSarc is proud to be a member of the John Muir Trust and the 60th member organization of Wind Concerns Ontario
This entry was posted in Ontario Auditor General, Ontario Electricity Sector, Ontario Green Energy Act, Ontario Politics, Renewable Energy, Subsidies, Wind Power and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Tweaking of Energy: Going through the motions

  1. This Green Energy plan rammed down the throats of Rural Ontario is the biggest Fraud ever pulled on Ontario Citizens in it’s history.
    It is a criminal act and should be investigated by the POLICE!
    These so-called officials of all agencies are as guilty as the politicians who initiated it!
    No amount of “public meetings” will legitimize this CRIME!

  2. lsarc says:

    I agree with you in most respects. The Police should investigate as should the auditor general and a team of forensic accountants. There are undoubtedly some who have behaved criminally. Unfortunately, criminal stupidity or pursuing a political ideology at the expense of the rest of society are not criminal offenses. Also employees following legal orders, no matter how ill-considered or ill-advised, are not prosecutable. One should however look very closely at what their response to these orders was and terminate their employment if they did not discharge their duty to the taxpayer by, at the least, recommending against these policies in writing. The OPA and IESO are I think less worthy of blame than the MNR & MOE, which have been actively colluding with the developers to the detriment of the Public and environment they were to protect.

  3. Lorrie says:

    “With no requirement that consultation is based on verifiable fact, spurious claims and sales pitch meet the government requirements.”, so PERFECTLY sums it up. The same statement holds true to the pre-GEA ‘consultation’, GEA road shows, GEA workshops and GEA comment period.
    Continue to hold them all to the truth.

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