Our apologies for secrecy on some of BEARAT's more recent tactics. We've kept some strategies quiet in order to keep the proponents off guard, to protect individuals against lawsuits and to ensure that our tactics aren't immediately duplicated by opposition groups in other Townships.
To keep the turbines out of our two townships, we need to be aggressive and novel in our approach in dealing with the proponents, and ultimately, more effective in our opposition than other jurisdictions. (So that the IESO approves projects in areas other than our own. They're going to approve 300 MW worth of projects this round; let's just make sure they're not here).
On September 1, the proponents dropped off their bids to the IESO. At the same time, we dropped off our counter-package. This 1,800 page document contains:
- documented evidence as to why proponents' mandatory requirements are offside
- petitions of non-support in both Townships
- petitions of non-support for Addington Highlands Council,
- further evidence of a lack of Community Support
- evidence, as well as legal opinions in regards to conflict of interest at AH Council
In addition to the counter package we submitted to the IESO, we also submitted a formal complaint to the US Department of Justice against the two proponents. The complaint claims that both companies are offside the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for effectively bribing our Municipal Councils to pass support resolutions for their projects. We have multiple pieces of evidence to support these claims and we anticipate that this will create serious challenges for the proponents during this round. It could also potentially end the "support us or no Vibrancy", gun-to-the-head negotiating tactics in future rounds (everywhere).
The corruption allegations will likely force the IESO to pass the project files to the Ontario Attorney General's Office. Combined with evidence of the proponents being in violation of several IESO Mandatory Requirements, and the strength of our petitions, we hope this should be enough to put the North Frontenac and Addington Highlands bids to the bottom of the IESO selection pile.
MPP Randy Hillier will soon be presenting our Non-Confidence in Council petition to the Ontario Legislature. Additionally, we will work with him to raise the question of bribery to the Legislature. (Randy has already raised as an issue, and this new body of evidence supports this narrative).
Below is a press release. Several media outlets have picked up on the story and we should see it start to work its way through the news streams shortly. Additional press releases are forthcoming on related topics.
We'll keep you posted as things unfold. Continued support by the Community is always appreciated.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Complaints Filed Against NextEra Energy Inc. and RES Americas
Toronto, Canada - Last week, complaints were filed with the United States Department of Justice regarding the conduct of NextEra Energy Inc. and RES Americas subsidiaries under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act related to each company’s attempts to win renewable energy contracts in Addington Highlands, Ontario and North Frontenac, Ontario, from the Government of Ontario through the Independent Electricity System Operator.
The complaints were prepared and filed by John Laforet, Principal of Broadview Strategy Group Inc. after observing the activities of senior members of NextEra Energy Inc.'s Canadian subsidiary and RES Americas Canadian subsidiary, respectively.
"Based on the conduct of senior members of each company's Canadian subsidiary, I believe the US Department of Justice will find each company may have committed corrupt practices relating to each company's efforts to win new business from Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator." Said John Laforet.
The complaints outline specific instances where Laforet believes representatives from NextEra or RES sought to improperly entice individuals who are considered 'foreign officials' under the FCPA in an attempt to win new business from a foreign government.
"The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is clear that US companies and their subsidiaries are expected to conduct themselves above board. It is hard to see how offering millions of dollars in financial consideration that is conditional on foreign officials supporting new business activities is not a corrupt practice." Laforet added. "RES Canada, went so far as to offer a town council $20,000 upon the filing of RES’ RFP application, conditional on town council providing RES support in winning the award process. That seems like a pretty obvious commission or payment for support." Laforet added.
In the case of NextEra, members of the public suggested on at least three occasions that the conduct of NextEra officials constituted a bribe, and these references were quoted in local media in June and July. There is no evidence that NextEra responded to these claims publicly or sought relief under Ontario's Libel and Slander Act.
"NextEra has sued private individuals in Ontario for arguably less damaging statements than this; but when they are accused of bribery on three separate occasions, they take no action. One has to ask why, while acknowledging that the truth is the strongest defense against a charge of libel." Laforet added.
"We hope the Province of Ontario will demonstrate a degree of morality and not consider awarding contracts to any proponent who has engaged in corrupt practices", said Dan Carruthers, Co-Chair of the Bon Echo Area Residents Against Wind Turbines, who are actively opposing NextEra and RES Canada proposals in Addington Highlands and North Frontenac Ontario, that were subject to the complaints. "We are eagerly awaiting the Department of Justice's review of these matters and the Province of Ontario's response to this unprecedented situation."
The complaints filed have asked the Department of Justice to investigate a series of specific allegations related to believed breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. A copy of each complaint is available as background for journalists.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Broadview Strategy Group Inc.
647 748 3300 ext 214