The latest issue of the magazine, Corporate Knights is, as always, about clean capitalism and the latest issue does not deviate from that theme. No matter which article you read it’s all about “climate change” and reducing emissions. The magazine is published quarterly and distributed by the Globe and Mail and Washington Post. Advertising dollars seem to come from those companies endorsed via their “rankings”. This issue contains a “Global 100 Progress Report” and many on that list have placed ads.
An article in this issue was written by Gideon Forman an analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation. For over 11 years Forman was Executive Director of CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment). CAPE was and still is a relatively small charity with annual revenue of $386K (June 30, 2019 CRA filing) and received $107K of that from the Federal government. Nevertheless they claim many victories including phasing out coal plants, cosmetics pesticides, etc., etc. The David Suzuki Foundation on the other hand in their CRA filing for 2018 show revenue of $11.7 million and spent $1.8 million of those revenues on fundraising activities.
Forman’s article in Corporate Knights is titled “The man of wind, water and sun” and is a fawning article about Brian Iler, a lawyer who appears to reside on the Toronto Islands. Iler is an environmentalist and the article notes he “has been the creative legal mind behind a host of cutting-edge renewable energy projects, social ventures and co-ops that have challenged received wisdom.” The article goes on to note Iler was “the go-to counsel for Ontario’s cooperative sector,” and he “received a call from an engineer who wanted to erect wind turbines in Toronto. That was the start of the development of the iconic TREC wind turbine* at Exhibition Place now owned by Toronto Hydro. Finding a location for the wind turbine was difficult “until a naturalists’ group proposed Exhibition Place, but the zoning didn’t work.” A city official suggested; “Call it an amusement device” and “That’s what appeared on the building permit.”
Iler in April 2013 wrote an article about industrial wind turbines and in it he claimed “Scientists agree that the noise emitted by wind turbines ‑- the chief source of alleged health effects -‑ is basically indistinguishable from normal background sounds we experience in everyday life, whether we live in an urban or rural area.”
While Iler made the foregoing claim about wind turbines he was very upset about other noises and for several years fought against the Island Airport due to the “intolerable” noise. An article in The Bulletin Iler penned June 6, 2018 stated: “That airport is a legacy heavy industrial use, completely out of step with the dominant recreational and residential character of our waterfront today.” Iler was castigated in a letter from the CEO of Ports Toronto who, in his letter to Mr. Iler stated: “You are in fact the founding Chair of an organization dedicated to the airport’s closure, a position I might note that is clearly out of step with the sentiment of the vast majority of Toronto residents.”
The airport closes at 11 PM so one assumes the noise ceases at that time. Perhaps if Mr. Iler spent a few windy nights 500 metres from a 500 foot high wind turbine, he might not think of them as “an amusement device”!
Another part of the article commends Iler stating; “Iler is an expert on innovative funding models. Thanks in part to his efforts, Ontario has become a hotspot for renewable-energy-based community bonds, including SolarShare (a co-op that floats bonds to finance sun-powered arrays throughout Ontario) and ZooShare (a biogas co-operative). Both of the foregoing have negatively impacted ratepayers and taxpayers in Ontario.
Ilier himself claims he played a major role in convincing the McGuinty led Ontario Liberal government to enact the GEA (Green Energy and Green Economy Act) in his biography (posted on his firms website). He and other self-appointed luminaries such as Bruce Lourie, Marion Fraser, etc. were members of both OSEA and/or the GEAA (Green Energy Act Alliance) who convinced former Energy Minister and Deputy Premier, George Smitherman, to push the GEA through the provincial legislature. Ratepayers of the Province have been paying the price of that “Act” since its enactment!
While Corporate Knights and environmentalists of the Gideon Forman ilk want to crown themselves and others such as Brian Iler; it is the ratepayers/taxpayers of Ontario who continue to suffer the consequences!
Perhaps it’s time for those who self-label themselves as knights to recognize they are charlatans.
NB: A contact of the writer disclosed the following suggesting another fact was untrue!
“The OPA called out Exhibition Place for claiming the wind turbine was the source of energy for charging their electric golf cart type vehicles. In fact, both turbine and charging stations were connected to the grid with separate accounts. As I recall, this was likely because the kWh payment for power delivered to the grid was higher than their kWh cost for the charging. Our point was that their claim about the wind turbine charging the golf carts was misleading to the public who might consider something similar.”
NBB: The Exhibition Place turbine was also created for the purpose on indoctrinating our children as this excerpt from a August 28, 2012 indicates: “The Exhibition Place wind turbine doubles as the linchpin of a large-scale education program. In the 2008/2009 school year TREC reached more than 4,000 grade 5, 7 and 9 students.”
*The Trec Co-op Exhibition Place wind turbine is an abysmal economic failure as noted in an article penned in July 2014.