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ORA Response to Xeneca – Ivanhoe River, The Chute Proposed Hydroelectric Generating Station

September 12, 2011:

“Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) thanks Xeneca Power Development Inc. for its letter, dated September 9, 2011, in which you answer some of our questions set out in our letter to you, dated August 11, 2011, in response to your Notice of Completion, and Waterpower Class Environmental Assessment, for the Proposed Ivanhoe River, The Chute Generating Station.

On Friday, September 9, 2011, at 2:34 pm, with the deadline for a Part II Order request nearing, and having had no response from Xeneca to our questions of August 11, 2011, ORA submitted a Part II Order Request to the Minister of Environment.   At 4:39 pm, within 2 hours of ORA’s letter being received by you, your response to our August 11, 2011 letter was received.   As a matter of fact, several ORA members received your response to their questions late that same afternoon, and even into the evening, leaving inadequate time to respond before our requests for a Part II Order.  This was unacceptable to ORA and should be unacceptable to the government and citizens of Ontario.

You mentioned you have visited the ORA website, but have obviously misread or missed ORA’s Mission and Vision.   You will note on every page of our website, our Vision, “a world of healthy river ecosystems” and Mission “to protect, conserve and restore healthy river ecosystems” appears; and the words “protect natural river environments for recreational canoeing and kayaking uses” does not.     The words “canoe” and “kayak” do not even appear in the main information pages of our website.  Just as throughout Xeneca’s response, you change and generalize ORA’s questions, and grossly generalize your answers to our detailed questions, you have interpreted ORA’s purpose to suit your own needs.  This is not surprising as it only reflects the generalized style and detail of the information contained in your Environmental Report for The Chute.  You might also note that ORA’s values are “truth, sensibility and wisdom in all matters pertaining to our rivers and their ecosystems.”

The reason Xeneca’s name appears more often on ORA’s website is because Xeneca has 33 waterpower proposals across Ontario, which is by far the most of any other developer, and therefore the frequent mention of Xeneca in our correspondence can in no way be construed as being biased against it.  If you look on our “Links” page under “Proponents”, you will see there are four waterpower developers listed on that page.   If Xeneca staff had taken the time to look at ORA’s website carefully they would see ORA has also commented on OPG, Domtar Inc., Energy Ottawa Inc., and Swift Energy agreements and proposals.   Xeneca’s unfounded accusations of bias, as well as misrepresenting the wording of our correspondence, makes it difficult for ORA to trust in Xeneca’s desire to find a way to develop a cordial dialogue and develop a working relationship with the ORA.

Consequently, ORA’s request to the Minister of Environment to issue a Part II Order to elevate the Class Environmental Assessment to an Individual Environmental Assessment stands, as written in our letter dated, September 9, 2011.

Please be assured that ORA fully understands the EA process.”

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