Saturday, November 5, 2011

FIT program survey

This is your chance to point out to the government how stupid some (most) of the aspects of the FIT program are. As part of a mandatory 2 year review, the Ontario Ministry of Energy are offering the public an opportunity to submit comments on-line.
The link is: Then click on "Click here to take the survey" The process began October 31, 2011 and will end December 14, 2011. You will notice in the Ministry of Energy's literature that the loss of food producing agricultural land is never mentioned, the cost of the projects seem to be their focus. The government also claims that the FIT programs are focusing on improving Ontarian's health, the issues of noise and water contamination with their FIT programs also need to be expressed.
Please forward this link to any others who may be interested.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Queen's Park Rally, September 30

We are excited to inform you of a "Rally" at Queen's Park regarding
on September 30th from 3:30pm - 5:30pm.

This is an opportunity to have your concerns voiced before the election!

There will be informative speakers on the topic of land and water preservation.
Buses will be leaving Canadian Tire in Barrie at 1:00pm (west parking lot).

The cost is $25.00 per person for the bus and a sign.

To participate and reserve your seat contact:
Bernard Pope 705-623-1043, Nancy Robinson 705-686-7743,
Helen Wellnhofer 705-728-0517 or Margie Burke 705-322-9639.

Please reply no later than September 27th.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Quarry proposal will require full Environmental Assessment

Statement from Minister of the Environment John Wilkinson Regarding Highland Companies Proposed Quarry in Dufferin County

September 1, 2011
"After careful consideration, the Minister of Natural Resources and I have agreed to bring forward a regulation making Highland Companies subject to the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act. As a result the company will be required to undertake a comprehensive Environmental Assessment for the proposed quarry in Melancthon Township.
Ministry of the Environment officials have thoroughly examined the technical reports which were submitted by the quarry proponents. Based on a review of those reports, and because of the unique nature of the Melancthon quarry proposal, I believe a full Environmental Assessment is necessary.
The McGuinty government is committed to protecting our water and our environment. Today's decision ensures that a transparent and independent assessment of the environmental impacts of Melancthon quarry proposal will be conducted."

Comment from Eric

Hi Craig; thank you for the update on the quarry, and I agree with the battle to stop this mega-quarry. It is in the wrong place, too big, and nothing in it for the people of Ontario.

We need to better crystallize our thoughts in few other areas; and therefore, we need to discuss your comment below and the Green Party position wrt Darlington nuclear, the phase out of nuclear, that GPO proposes, and the whole sustainability issue of low density energy from wind turbines that I am against. Solar does get my vote because electrical energy from the sun matches the air-conditioning demand. But since the air conditioning demand is in the cities, therefore the solar panels need to be installed on rooftops in the cities, not farmers fields.

I am in favour of nuclear. In spite of all risks, the direction is better more robust build. Nuclear is the only source of energy due to its energy density coming from the atom that could sustain a greater population on planet earth than especially wind energy, that does not have density and economy of scale, ie the many small wind turbine machines that need maintenance, and will wear out eventually. Countries that use up every square km for wind turbines today may in 20 years time start removing turbines to make room for people to live and work, and move to a more concentrated form of energy.

Maybe in 50 to 100 years nuclear could be phase, but I don't see Ontario being a viable economy by an 'overnight' shift to solar. Electricity is far too important a commodity. We rely on electricity for our life support system. Changes, if any need to be carefully thought out and gradual using the principle of precaution. Eg. the energy storage requirement is not there or even a stepping stone away in order to make an orderly transition as you propose.

Electricity from wind and solar are not the same quality as electricity from a steam turbine generator, because solar and wind lack storage capacity. Electricity from steam turbines has the storage capacity of the flywheel effect of hundreds of tons of inertia in the machine. Electricity source has to be matched to demand exactly second by second 24/7/365, and it is this flywheel effect that makes up for the very small mismatches when you plug in your kettle for example. Wind and solar need a battery in the loop in order to keep the system from collapsing like it did in the 2003 blackout. Storage and capacitance needs to be addressed before even thinking about mucking around with the power system the way that the liberals are doing that today, and what the NDP are also proposing in their platform.

The FIT program has proven itself very disruptive and is fast becoming unsustainable. Solar panels can now be manufactured for around one dollar per peak Watt, yet we have salesmen selling installations based on 7 to 8 dollars per peak Watt. The profit margin for solar salesmen has doubled since the beginning of FIT. If anybody is looking for gravy like Mayor Rob Ford was, the FIT program is a good place to start.

The FIT program needs to be turned into a community power program and can still be managed by the OPA. We need to have all projects tendered to get the best technical and most economic proposals, that would make Ontario much more sustainable.

Community power by my definition is: Power at cost. Right now there is too much profit in the Power at cost plus profit model. The GPO should reconsider its position on nuclear that I feel is out of synch with what the Green Party is overall trying to accomplish in Ontario.

Eric Jelinski M. Eng. P. Eng.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Workshop: Agriculture in a Changing Climate

Agriculture in a Changing Climate
August 24, 2011
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Centre
20 Fairview Road, Barrie, ON

National Post article

A link to a National Post article regarding the increasing trouble that Ontario's Green Energy Act is facing.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Canadian Land Inventory Inaccuracies

The following is an excerpt of the answer we received when inquiring about why the Canadian Land Inventory seemed to be inaccurate...

Neither GIS nor high-resolution DEM's existed in the era of either soil or CLI initial map product development for Simcoe County. Today's digital products, available through the Land Information Ontario warehouse, are the products of attempts to "modernize" the original paper map products.
Unfortunately, the map digitizing pre-dated the DEM development and the rationalization of the soil and CLI polygons into their proper landscape positions was overlooked - until now.

The precision of landscape rendering - as performed by an Ontario Land Surveyor - far exceeds the current spatial resolution and accuracy of the soil maps and derivative products - like the CLI layer. The new Greater Toronto Area (GTA) DEM has sub-metre vertical accuracy. It is superior to the current provincial DEM. Neither of these DEM's approaches the accuracy of products that an Ontario Land Surveyor should produce for landscape location of boundaries and features. The problem is that the perception of scale and accuracy of the soil map products does not meet the reality of their application - except by people such as yourself who saw through this issue immediately. We have started down a road of renewal of the soil map resources of the Lake Simcoe watershed (and will then move to the extent of high-resolution DEM availability in the rest of the GTA DEM coverage). We are also acquiring LiDAR data clouds, creating LiDAR-derived high-resolution DEM's and moving to much more detailed predictive soil mapping in selected areas of the province. At present, however, we have not completed this work for the C.F.B. Borden area of Simcoe County.

An estimate of the margin of error associated with these current soil map (and derivative) products may be derived, somewhat at least, from the input data density requirement to create the original 1:63,360 map product.
However, we can find no metadata records of how rigorously this mapping protocol would have been applied on any individual acreage of the map area.
I am very sorry, but this remains a major weakness in the current Ontario soil map products across the province.

On behalf of OMAFRA and the current Soil Resource Information Team, thanks very much for your inquiry and interest in the Simcoe County soil and CLI map products. If you have a project in mind for adding value and precision to the soil mapping in the area, please contact me directly. We would be pleased to discuss options and opportunities for soil information data improvements with you.



Stewart J. Sweeney, Ph.D.
Environmental Management Branch,
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Monday, July 18, 2011

Three of the ten proposed Industrial Solar Facility sites by Recurrent Energy have been registered on the Ontario Environmental Registry. We as citizens have 30 days to make comments from the published date. This is the most important step for you to directly communicate your concerns and issues to the Ministry of Environment, if comments are not submitted, it is assumed there are no issues. Your comments are registered and have to be addressed.

'Orillia 2' was published on June 6, 2011. The on-line comments are no longer available, it has been suggested you may still mail them in. The address and the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) registry number (011-3764) 'Orillia 2' are in the link provided below:
or the address and contact information are:

Kristina Rudzki
Senior Project Evaluator
Ministry of the Environment
Operations Division
Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch
2 St. Clair Avenue West
Floor 12A
Toronto Ontario
M4V 1L5
Phone: (416) 314-6802
Toll Free Phone: (800) 461-6290

Be sure to include the EBR Registry number, the Ministry Reference Number and Site Name,
011-3764, 9368-8EZGTB, RE Orillia 2 ULC
011-3959, 8442-8FDLFV, RE Waubaushene 4 ULC
011-3956, 5535-8FDLKL, RE Waubaushene 5 ULC

'Waubaushene 4' and 'Waubaushene 5' were published on June 24, 2011, therefore you have until July 24, 2011 to send in your comments.

'Waubaushene 4' link is:¬iceId=MTEzNzIz&statusId=MTcwMzcx¬iceHeaderIdString=MTEzNzIz
'Waubaushene 5' link is:¬iceId=MTEzNzIw&statusId=MTcwMzY4¬iceHeaderIdString=MTEzNzIw
The link to access Ontario's Environmental Registry is"

Then type in 'solar'.

An example of some of the suggested comments are:

1. Site Specific Soil Studies are required for 'Waubaushene 4 and 5' because they are on 'Prime Agricultural Land' class 1 -3 as well as class 5 and 7. I understand that these studies have not been completed. When may we expect to see the pedologists reports on these sites?
2. Water (well) contamination, drilling of footings for the panels may cause elevated levels of bacteria and coliform counts as well as severe turbidity. 'Waubaushene 4 and 5' are on bedrock and there are multiple dug wells surrounding the proposed sites. Are there studies available proving this will not happen? and who would pay to prove that the proponent caused the problem?
3. 'Waubaushene 5' is on the North River where several species of fish spawn at this location, what will the excess water run-off from the panels do to the river? The Ontario Federation of Agricultural states "In temperate farming areas OFA believes solar will cause erosion, bake the soil, disrupt carbon and nitrogen fixing, create habitat for noxious weeds, destroy habitat for many native creatures on farms including worms and frogs and needlessly remove good land from production."
4. Are the proponents able to remove water from the sites? (ie. from wells drilled during construction and from existing rivers and streams)
5. Solar Panels generate extra heat , when it rains and the run-off enters the river, how will that affect the water temperatures (Thermal Plume?) of the rivers and what would it do to the fish and other species?
6. The proponent had no knowledge of 'Waubaushene 4' being tile-drained. Thousands of holes drilled for footings will drastically affect the flow of water causing inevitable flooding of neighbouring fields. Have proper studies been completed for tile-drained fields? and should they be promoted for such a project with so many flood risks?
7. Noise - Generating stations and inverter clusters are within close proximity to dwellings. The Point of Reception (POR) for the acceptable 40 dBA during the night and 45 dBA during the day are the homes surrounding the proposed sites. We do not remain in our homes where the POR is within the MOE's standards. These proposed sites are in heavily populated rural areas where we utilize our yards and fields for children playing, gardening and pasturing livestock. What are the long term affects of more than 45 dBA of noise to human health, horses, dairy cattle and other livestock?

I am sure you have many comments and concerns of your own regarding these proposed facilities that you may include in your submission.

Links will also be posted on the Simcoe Solar Farm Awareness Project website.

Contact SSFAP with any questions or concerns at

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

AWARE Simcoe Public Meeting

“Water is Life”

Learn more about the Proposed Mega-Quarry in
Melancthon Township

An enormous 2300 acre aggregate pit mine has been proposed just north of Shelburne. This would be the largest quarry in Ontario and the second largest in North America. The company says 600 million litres of water per day will be pumped out of the huge pit. The water supply for an estimated 1,000,000 people would be affected. Five major river systems begin in Melancthon and flow outward in all directions. Malancthon sits firmly atop an aquifer that is a significant water resource of the Greater Golden Horseshoe region and is directly adjacent to the Alliston aquifer.

Saturday June 25, 2011
9:30 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.
St. John’s United Church Hall - 56 Victoria St. E. in Alliston

Panel: David Vander Zaag, New Tecumseth farmer
Darren White, Deputy Mayor of Melancthon
Jeff Monague, Councillor, Beausoleil FN
Dale Goldhawk of Zoomer Radio


More information at

Monday, June 20, 2011

Saturday, June 25th, 3:00pm, one showing only at the historic Meaford Hall
Meaford Hall Arts & Cultural Centre, located in historic downtown Meaford, is a beautifully restored and renovated century old landmark. The newly-restored Meaford Hall has state-of-the-art staging and an intimate Edwardian Opera House with theatre balcony.
Tickets (only $10.00 each) can be obtained from the Meaford Hall box office in person, by phone 1-877-538-0463 or at
Skype interview of Laura Israel after the screening.

In a world coming to grips with its growing energy needs and dependence on foreign oil, wind power seems a viable alternative. But, as you will see in this stirring documentary, the answers are not always so simple. "Windfall" is the story of a community torn asunder by the not-so-gently blowing wind. "Windfall" exposes the dark side of wind energy development and the potential for highly profitable financial scams. "Windfall" is an eye opener for anyone concerned about renewable energy. Winner of the grand jury prize at recent New York Film Festival.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Melancthon Township Mega-Quarry

An excellent article about the mega-quarry proposed in Melancthon Township, Dufferin County.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Thanks to Parker for spotting the following...
The announcement below from the Province indicates that United Solar is creating 80 new clean energy jobs by investing $12 million in a manufacturing facility in LaSalle.

This announcement from United Solar tells a different story. It appears that the investment is $4 million not $12 million and they have applied for grants under a couple of the provinces programs: Check this announcement out here:

This quote caught my attention: "$4 million investment will lead to 80 new jobs."



"United Solar has applied for training grants from the Ontario government to assist with the ramp up of the facility. In addition, the company is expecting to receive support under the Ontario Works Program and from the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit, which are designed to encourage job growth in the province."






P* G*

Clean Energy Investment Creating 80 New Jobs
May 24, 2011
McGuinty Government Builds Clean Energy Economy As Province Continues To Turn The Corner
Ontario's shift toward clean, renewable energy is strengthening the province's economy by attracting good jobs, investment and opportunities for Windsor-area families.
United Solar is creating 80 new clean energy jobs by investing $12 million in a manufacturing facility in LaSalle. This facility will make solar panels for the growing clean energy economy in Ontario and supply renewable energy projects under Ontario's Feed-in Tariff program, which is building a strong clean energy industry in the province.
Windsor electricians will also be benefiting from a 10-kilowatt solar project to provide valuable, specialized training in the growing clean energy sector. Operated by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 773, the project is one of almost 5,500 small-scale solar installations feeding clean power into Ontario's electricity grid through the province's microFIT program.
Ontario's Long-Term Energy Plan is getting Ontario off dirty coal-fired power and replacing it with clean, renewable sources of power -- like wind, solar and bio-energy. This transition to a clean, modern and reliable electricity system is creating thousands of new, good jobs and keeping the lights on in our homes and businesses...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January 29 meeting

Simcoe Solar Farm Awareness Project is hosting a smposium on the Importance of Preserving Agricultural Land from Large Scale Solar Facilities. The presentation will be held on January 29, 2011 from 11 am to 1 pm at the Coldwater & District Community Centre, 1 Michael Anne Drive, Coldwater. A poster is available at our website