Reviewing proposal

David Cheverie and Don Humphrey discuss submissions made by members of Eastern Kings Community Association (EKCA) on the environmental impact assessment. Submitted photo

With over 100 members, The Eastern Kings Community Association has sent dozens of letters and research to Premier King and government minsters pinpointing the detrimental impact of wind turbines in Eastern Kings on the local economy, the natural landscape, community wellness and landowner rights. The most immediate and irreversible threat is the ecological impact.

“PEI Energy Corporation wishes to install 60 storey turbines as close as possible to the Red Triangle which is a small refuge site installed for migratory birds. This site will get smaller through the years by coastal erosion pushing the migratory birds directly into the windmills. It is, without question, irresponsible to do this when it is well established our bird population has dropped 40-60 per cent over the past 40 years. It is obvious this division of the PEI Government has no respect for wildlife,” states Fred Cheverie of the Souris & Area Branch of PEI Wildlife Federation.

The lack of environmental and community consultation is staggering: “We are exceptionally disappointed that our credible organization was never asked to be involved in the consultation process of this proposed project,” Mr Cheverie said. “This is not a case of not in our backyard, it’s seven 600-foot towers in the front yard. Any time a massive construction project destroys a sensitive ecological area it is no longer a green project. In this day and age it is unfathomable that government plans destroy a fragile ecosystem, they are out of sync with the times.”

According to the Souris & Area Branch of PEI Wildlife Federation, “The wind turbine project will require vast areas of natural marshland to be filled in. Many benefits of natural marshland, from flood control, water conservation, water purification and of course, incredible wildlife habitat will be destroyed. Destruction of this type of natural feature is definitely not in keeping with modern conservation practice. In fact, it is the very opposite of conservation, and more importantly, is irreversible.”

Premier King’s mandate letter upon election made it clear he was ‘putting people at the heart of every decision and seeks the involvement of the people, ensuring our progress is measurable through transparent decision making and broad public engagement.’

In spite of this “promise Steven Myers, Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy stated last October about the wind turbine project in Eastern Kings: “I don’t want to leave it in the air there’s a possibility we’re not going there. Our homework is done and the plan is set.”

This statement came at a time when little public consultation had been done, the environmental impact assessment had not been completed and the municipality had not approved the project.

It’s clear the government and PEI Energy are not keeping the promise of ‘transparent decision making and broad public engagement’ and seem determined to plow over any concerns, regardless of the consequences on the people and the environment. Like oil, wind energy is big money and discards environment and people.

To read the full submission by the Souris & Area Branch of PEI Wildlife Federation, watch videos and access detailed research reports go to Facebook or ekcapei.com or https://m.facebook.com/EasternKingsCommunityAssoc/

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