Senator Bob Runciman has been trying to institute a moratorium on wind energy in Ontario for years now, however Catherine McKenna, the federal minister of the environment and climate change is not having it.
Back in 2011 Senator Runciman was quoted as saying, “Much of my concern flows from the bird and bat kill rates experienced with the development of the wind farm on Wolfe Island, east of the two proposed projects and also in a designated Important Bird Area.”
Senator Runciman’s submitted a motion the same year as follows:
‘That, in the opinion of the Senate, the province of Ontario should institute a moratorium on the approval of wind energy projects on islands and onshore areas within three kilometres of the shoreline in the Upper St. Lawrence-Eastern Lake Ontario region, from the western tip of Prince Edward County to the eastern edge of Wolfe Island, until the significant threat to congregating, migrating or breeding birds and migrating bats is investigated thoroughly and restrictions imposed to protect internationally recognized important bird areas from such developments.’
Now he’s back at it again, and according to Kingston Whig-Standard he reached out to McKenna voicing these same concerns.
McKenna responded in writing as follows:
“I appreciate that there are concerns related to wind turbines, such as the ones you raise in your letter. As with every source of electricity, federal laws such as the Migratory Birds Convention Act and the Species at Risk Act must be respected,”
“As Canada moves towards meeting its international climate change commitments and improving air quality, consideration for other potential health, environmental, ecological and wildlife impacts will continue to be assessed and addressed by all levels of government.”
“Monitoring studies of existing wind farms in Ontario have shown that while some birds are incidentally killed, mortality rates as well as cumulative mortality of species that have been found incidentally killed to date are not likely to have a biologically significant impact on provincial population levels of those species,”
“However, it is possible that turbine sites in areas with important populations of some species at risk could have impacts on those populations.”
Thankfully McKenna understands the realities of wind energy and the true level of impact.