— Notice of Charge/Mortgage of Land/Debenture —
Our experience as a leaseholder offers some insights I wish to share with any property owner considering signing an option for wind development. Wind developers are very experienced and follow a step-by-step system they have found works well, enabling them to capture wind development in any fresh area.
The first step is to persuade the government to put in place hefty subsidies and regulations which assure incredible support and backing for renewable energy. The Ontario Green Energy and Economy Act does this and at the same time removes the good governance we as citizens have a right to expect. In effect it denies our rights to a safe, healthy environment and personal protection from harm.
It appears the Wind Developer then chooses a target area for a wind project and signs up local councillors and large landowners who help to promote a wind project in their Municipality. They approach these people first and get them signed up with a Lease/Option on their own land or that of their family members.
And finally the congenial land agents are sent out to meet privately with local property owners to build support for wind development and obtain signatures on Options/Lease. Once signed, you are trapped in a legal document that gives away your rights to determine what happens on your land.
Land agents will tell you such things as:
“There are no health effects from wind projects.”
In fact, health effects are reported in nearly every such wind project ever built! The land agent will absolutely vouch that in all his years of working for various Wind Corporations, he has never heard any complaint related to health. Our guy heard about my severe tinnitus but for sure he won’t remember that. These guys will refer to ‘recent improvements’ in the blades that will resolve any issues we might have heard raised. Why would we expect otherwise when we know some people suffer dizziness, nausea, tinnitus, disrupted sleep and vacate their homes unable to tolerate these and other ill effects caused by turbines and the infra-sound they produce. We know farm animals are negatively affected as well when IWT projects are built and livelihoods are lost when herds no longer thrive.
“There is no land devaluation resulting from wind development as your land has become an ‘income earning’ property!”
Fact: not only your property but also your neighbours’ properties will be significantly impacted. Any lease payments made to you will not make up the difference. MPAC has shown a property devaluation of approximately 25% in their report “Impact of Industrial turbines on Residential Property Assessment in Ontario” It is the wind company who harvests the dollars with all those juicy subsidies and guaranteed high returns.
“Farm operations are not impacted at all and lease payments are simply additional income for you.”
Truth: Farm operations are significantly impacted. Not only will you be required to cooperate with all the nuisance of construction and maintenance, you will lose forever the land where the great concrete and rebar carbuncle sits under the turbine. You may have an access road that interferes with your farming activities. You will have electrical collection lines buried across your fields that may represent a hindrance to healthy growth of crops. Your ground water may be drained off or polluted with no guarantee that it can be restored.
“Confidentiality clauses are only to avoid conflicts and rate battles between project owners.”
Actually, confidentiality protects them from assaults from a knowing public. An aware public would never tolerate the shenanigans these contracts contain.
“Take it to a lawyer.”
Wind Companies have had years of experience to hone these agreements to the complex one-sided contracts they are. They have employed every legal bit of trickery possible. The average lawyer is likely (almost) as confused as we are by the gobbledygook contained. Lawyers know when they are outgunned. The only good advice they could give would be to ‘never sign such a contract‘. Why did the land rep who was gunning us want to know the name of ‘our’ lawyer? In answer to that question, I was told that he wished to be “helpful in clarifying” the document for her…!
“Construction crews repair any damage they incur.”
Consider your field drains chopped as the huge machines move across your land laying conduits. Ponds may form after the next rain where they had never been before. Yes, the wind company is responsible to make repairs. That may happen if you are diligent in pursuing issues. And quite possibly it will involve more damage and disruption to crops and land.
If you happen to think that the promise of cash is too good to pass up, I suggest you audio record every meeting you have with these people. And keep a journal noting dates of occurrences. If in the future your life and livelihood have been destroyed by “the Wind” and you find yourself in court, such audio recordings may be your best weapon.
We have recently received notice that the wind corporation has mortgaged properties in this project to a foreign bank. How will you feel when you learn that your property is included in a similar deal? Wind Concerns Ontario recently outlined ramifications of such deals. WCO has long advised Ontario residents of problems in the Ontario energy sector and WCO’s Parker Gallant keeps readers aware. All Ontario residents will benefit from understanding this information.
Wind companies lie. Their representatives lie. Our government has failed to protect us. Our rights have evaporated in a cloud of corporate money, control, and bullshit.
— God Save Ontario —
— An experienced Landowner