What is going on in the Thunder Bay Region? This is the question on many minds from coast to coast right now. Based on the Hydro One WTLP Human Impact Map prepared by Bob Menard, homes in the direct and high-risk zone of 250 meters of the preliminary Hydro One Waasigan Transmission Line Project have now reached 170 with a 40-unit mobile home park from the municipality of Shuniah to Dryden, ON. This is not counting those homes that are within the 400–500-meter range bringing the total closing in or surpassing 300. In the Shuniah to the Shabaqua area alone, there is currently 88 homes within the high impact zone of 250 meters of the preliminary corridor route, and 40 homes within 400 meters of said route. These numbers are rising as new builds are reported, along with community members visiting the Kaministiquia Community Centre to identify homes not currently included on the Hydro One online WTLP route. What type of corporate, municipal, and political culture is required to create such a disastrous disregard for Northern Ontario communities?
Recently a community member of Kaministiquia was alarmed to find an unsolicited cheque from Hydro One for $5000 in an envelope with no return address, and no description of what it pertained to, while having no direct or personal contact with any representative from Hydro One to date. Although he has received an Easement Package from Hydro, he has not spoken to a representative, nor has he signed any agreement. Taking a count of how many community members this upcoming Wednesday meeting received such cheques with similar circumstances will point to any pattern on behalf of Hydro One regarding distribution of these funds to the community unannounced.
David Eryou, former lawyer of a firm that investigated causes of multi-million dollar claims against large corporate insurance, points out it appears that Hydro One is in an outdated corporate planning strategy, and is required to get with the program of 2023. It is apparent that the archaic ‘railroading’ through the land at whatever cost, is no longer an acceptable form of managing human communities, land, or the well fair of the public interest. Given that Hydro One is attempting to expropriate land for a Transmission Line with no clear destination in anticipation of a hopeful outcome, is not the basis for a public interest argument. It would appear to be the antithesis of such.
This current WTLP route is riddled with recognizable technical oversites that will only lead to present and future liability troubles for Hydro One and the WTLP Partners. Among the myriad of serious construction concerns, to suggest there is no health risk management issues by placing two high voltage power tower lines together for those within and outside the 500 meter area of the WTLP corridor, is NOT possible with the current EMF research in the public domain. This leaves massive cracks in the WTLP route preliminary plan, leaving room for the dam to break forth with class action liability crashing in the direction of Hydro One and their WTLP First Nation partners.
Hydro One must come to the Kaministiquia Community table prior to feeding more cheques into mailboxes to diffuse the quickly escalating situation that one must wonder has Hydro One misled their First Nation partners to play party to? There is absolutely no way to spin the narrative as to not see the Waasigan First Nation partners as those behind the bulldozers displacing families, destroying protected habitats and places of interest, and contaminating the water sheds that feed wells and wildlife.
It begs the question, why was NextBridge, the proponent awarded the Transmission Line through the Dorion area, capable and immediately available to work with the Dorion community? This Transmission Line was rerouted as per community concern and involvement. While those of the Kaminsitiquia Community are delivered on the week of January 16th, 2023 expropriation packages with most recently the sporadic unsolicited drop off of $5000 cheques for a Transmission Line Project that Merylena Stea of Hydro One admitted via email, is not at the stage of completing and/or compiling the necessary environmental assessments to ensure the line?
Members of Neighbours on the Line is presently in communication with a Hydro One Community Relations Representative to determine when Hydro One will be available as a guest at a future public meeting of affected residents in the Phase 1 WTLP plan.
NOTL public meetings are held at the Kaministiquia Community Centre on Wednesdays at 7 pm until further notice.
Michelle Rosetta Hamer
In order to access the Hydro One WTLP Human Impact Map please go to http://Tinyurl.com/NOTLINFO
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