Ont. green project may kill endangered species

A Toronto-based company is seeking permission to build a green energy project where it could end up killing endangered birds and turtles.
The Blanding's turtle is one of the endangered species that would be at risk if the province approves a Gilead Resources proposal to build a green energy project on the shores of Lake Ontario. (Raphael Carter/Wikimedia Commons)
A Toronto-based wind power company is proposing to build a green energy project on the shores of Lake Ontario, but it could threaten two endangered species.

Gilead Resources would have the legal right to kill the two species — if the province approves the proposal.

The company is applying for a permit that would allow it to "kill, harm and harass" the Blanding's turtle and the whippoorwill.

Gilead wants to build a wind farm on the shoreline in Prince Edward County, but the location is designated an "important bird area." The endangered turtle nests there as well. 

Anne Bell of Nature Ontario says her group supports green energy, but only so far.

"We have to keep good projects out of bad locations," said Bell, "and this is exactly what we've got here."

The final decision rests with Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey, who says that "for the most part, we can find ways to mitigate around endangered species reasonably, so that the species continues, and continues to thrive." 

The whippoorwill, another endangered species, would also be at risk if the green project by Gilead Resources, a wind power company, is approved. (Mark J. M. Wilson/Flickr)
But Myrna Wood, a resident in nearby Picton says she "just cannot believe the government will do this. None of us here can. We're all astounded."

But Jeffrey counters that the "ministry has to find a balance between protection and allowing economic development — no matter what the species." 

In an email statement, the company says it will do its best to mitigate the harm to the birds and turtles. 

It says it will create new nesting habitat and build the project in winter, when wildlife aren't around.