September 19th, 2017
Hon. Chris Ballard
Ferguson Block 11th Flr,
77 Wellesley St W,
Toronto, ON M7A 2T5
I’m writing you to follow up on a conversation that we had last week in the Legislature as it pertains to the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) issued by your Ministry for the White Pines project currently planned for Prince Edward County.
As you may be aware, Section L1(1) of the REA issued by your Ministry in 2015 reads as follows:
The Company shall avoid all Blanding’s Turtle overwintering habitat, during the overwintering period of October 15 to April 15.
Further to that point, Section L1(3) provides greater detail:
Where possible, construction and maintenance activities including vegetation clearing, road construction and site preparation for project components located within Blanding’s Turtle habitat shall only occur between October 15 and April 30.
However, this week WPD began activities similar to those envisioned in Section L1(3) well prior to the October 15th date specifically outlined in the REA. This activity would seem to be yet another major violation of the terms and conditions imposed on this project, by the developer.
Owing to previous actions by the developer, I felt it prudent to send correspondence to your predecessor at the Ministry on May 10th of this year outlining the possibility that the developer may violate the REA. I have attached that correspondence for your review as well as a copy of the correspondence that your predecessor emailed back to my office on June 16th.
In his response, the former Minister states, and I quote:
“I can assure you and your constituents that the ministry is committed to ensure proponents comply with the requirements of the REA Regulation (O. Reg. 359/09).”
We issue Renewable Energy Approvals for a reason. Ontarians and, residents of Prince Edward County specifically in this case, should be able to trust that when their government issues permits and approvals, they will be obeyed to the letter.
As I mentioned earlier, the developer in this case has been particularly belligerent to the County and its residents. This latest potential violation of the REA is no exception, sadly it has become a yet another piece of evidence in this pattern of evidence.
I implore you to enforce the REA as your predecessor ensured me, and the residents of Prince Edward County that he would on June 16th of this year. It is well within your authority as a Minister to enforce the terms and conditions of an REA issued by your Ministry.
Todd Smith, MPP