As part of the approval process for the Amherst Island wind project the proponent must undertake a study of the heritage properties on the island. The proponent farmed this task out to a consultant, Stantec, who then produced the Heritage Assessment (52 MB). Stantec did a 2-day survey back in July of 2011 and came up with 23 island properties (a 24th property was on the mainland) that they judged to be “heritage resources” along with 4 “Cultural Heritage Landscapes”.
One of the properties was 2750 Front Road, now owned and occupied by realtors David and Diane Hieatt. Their property was listed as BHR (Built Heritage Resource) #6, described in their section 5.3.6, on their pages 53-56 (PDF pages 52-55). They also have a map showing its location in their Figure 4, on PDF page 24.
The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, APAI and the Loyalist Council are all on record as considering the proponent’s studies incomplete and error-prone. 2750 Front Road stands as a glaring example of just how error-prone these studies are. You see, Stantec GOT THE WRONG HOUSE.
The picture in 5.3.6 is in fact 2750 Front Road, and the description sort of matches as well. But the map in Figure 4 indicates that BHR #6 is the home of Paul and Gwen Lauret, at 1900 Front Road. The description in 5.3.6 has a number of errors, as if they co-mingled the homes. But one thing is certain – the distances they quote to the nearby turbines were figured using the Lauret’s home.
You can imagine the surprise and outrage of the Hieatt’s. This project not only puts their amenity and health at risk, it also puts their very home at risk. Perhaps most galling of all is how Stantec explains away all of these risks and in the end concludes that things will be just fine. After all, Stantec is being paid by the proponent and the proponent isn’t going to pay for unfavorable studies.
The Hieatt’s wrote a submission to the EBR explaining all this and I am pleased to include it here. There is no way to spin your way out of this – the study is in error. It will be interesting to see how the MOE handles this. Will they care? I’m betting not – they haven’t seemed to care about anything except getting the approvals done before the next election.