MEDIA RELEASE: For Immediate Release: 13 July 2016
10 Ontario Rivers Protected from 19 Hydroelectric Projects
SUDBURY: The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is celebrating a major victory in the protection of 10 Ontario rivers that have been under threat from 19 proposed hydroelectric projects. Actions taken by the ORA and its members have led to what was considered to be impossible – the termination of 19 Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) Contracts.
In 2011, ORA came into being to address a rash of 87 proposed hydroelectric proposals initiated under the Green Energy Act. The offer of generous incentives to produce power during peak demand hours had proponents rushing to claim access to falls and rapids on rivers all across the province. The number of proposals to actually receive FIT Contracts was soon reduced to 41, and of those, Xeneca Power Development Inc. had secured 19 contracts for projects involving 23 Crown sites on 10 Ontario rivers. Continue reading →
Aleta Karstad – 1 October finds me painting at the upstream rapids of Sturgeon Chute on the Wanapite River, 6.7 kilometres northwest of Hartley Bay. To get just the right angle on the rapids, screened by flaming leaves of an overhanging Red Maple, I’m standing on a narrow grassy ledge, the small of my back leaning against a cold wall of smooth granite, with the feet of my easel only a few centimetres from the edge. About two metres below, courses the fast deep water…. To read Aleta’s notes and purchase her paintings, click here to visit Aleta’s website.
RR 2, Site 10, Comp 4
Alban, Ontario P0M 1A0
February 5, 2013
Honourable Michael Gravelle
Minister of Natural Resources
Suite 6630, 6th Floor, Whitney Block
99 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1W3
Fax to: 416 325-5316
Dear Minister Gravelle:
Re: Black Sturgeon River Dam decommissioning
I have recently read Technical Report No. 06-03 produced for the Upper Great Lakes Management Unit – Lake Superior. This is a very thorough report that states that the collapse of the Black Bay walleye fishery coincides with the dam construction1. It states that many costly mitigation attempts were made to improve the fishery in the area, with little or no improvement.
The final recommendation of this report is to remove the dam.
I find it interesting that the major concerns were regarding the collapse of the commercial fishery and the loss of the recreational fishery. The report claims that if the dam was removed “Black Bay walleye population that is sufficiently recovered to permit recreational angling on Black Bay would be worth several hundred thousand dollars per year to open-water anglers from Thunder Bay alone.”2 To me, this means that the main concern of the Ministry of Natural Resources is all about profits!
Excerpt from letter – French River Delta Association to Ontario Power Authority:
We are writing to ask that you terminate Xeneca Power Development Inc. (“Xeneca”)’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT) contract for the proposed Allen & Struthers hydro electric generating project (the “Proposed Project”). In our view, you have the power to do so, and should do so because:
1. The Proposed Project will not provide the promised amount of power;
2. The Proposed Project would cause significant harm to the natural environment and a provincial park;
3. Xeneca is in violation of the terms of its FIT contract, including multiple failures to obtain necessary permits on time;
4. Xeneca is not likely to obtain the necessary permits, given:
a. the staunch opposition of the local community, the municipality, and the First Nations;
b. its failure to consult the key local Band;
c. the presence of an aboriginal burial ground; and
d. the impact on endangered species; and
5. Xeneca may be using improperly obtained funding for the project.
ORA FUNDRAISER – 50% of the profit from the purchase of these calendars will go to help Ontario Rivers Alliance in our mandate to protect, conserve and restore riverine ecosytems. This calendar would make a great Christmas present!
A BIG THANKS to Aleta and Fred for making this possible!
A calendar for 2013 of Aleta Karstad’s oil paintings en plein air of rivers, rapids, and waterfalls in Ontario. Aleta travels with her biologist husband Fred Schueler to precious wild rivers that still run free with rapids and waterfalls, to paint and explore for little-known native mussels and crayfish, documenting these vulnerable wild communities in art and science. The image of each painting is accompanied by Aleta and Fred’s writings about their adventures in discovering the special nature of the place, as well as the nature of the threats to its integrity, leading us to enquire whether new hydroelectric projects on our wild rivers are desirable or necessary.
Is this How You Want to See Your OPSEU Pension Fund Invested?
It has come to our attention that at least 18 modified run-of-river hydroelectric proposals are funded through the government employees’ pension trust fund – OPSEU – OPTrust. These types of hydroelectric dams carry numerous negative impacts1 resulting in reduced water quality and water quantity, destruction of habitat and spawning areas, place extreme pressure on fish and endangered species survival, and the frequent and extreme swings in water flow velocity and water levels pose a serious threat to public health and safety. MNR and MOE staff are assigned to facilitate these proposals through the Environmental Assessment, permits, and approvals process, and ultimately through to completion. It is also MNR and MOE that make the final decisions on whether these proposals are approved. With their own pension monies at risk, this would appear to be a clear conflict of interest.