Grey Highlands Citizens Challenge Government in Court on Wind Power

Preserve Grey Highlands Citizens Alliance Inc. has filed a judicial review application in the Ontario Divisional Court challenging the issuance of a Certificate of Approval by the Ministry of the Environment for the Plateau Wind Project near Beaver Valley in the Municipality of Grey Highlands. The project spans centuries-old wetlands that are source waters for the Saugeen, Grand and Mad Rivers and includes some of Ontario’s most pristine resources.

The application alleges numerous deficiencies in the government’s environmental review process and its failure to address the cumulative effects of multiple industrial wind developments in the community.

In its application the Alliance emphasizes the inconsistencies between the Ministry’s own Statement of Environmental Values and its environmental assessment processes for industrial wind turbine projects.

In addition, supporting documents identify the negative impacts industrial wind turbines appear to have on the recreation and tourism industry in the area, on neighbouring property values, on the subsequent tax revenues for local communities and on the health of residents exposed to noise and other impacts.

The Alliance is also requesting that the Divisional Court review the government’s almost exclusive reliance on information provided by wind developers in a self-assessment process – with minimal independent verification or oversight by the Ministry to replace the local government scrutiny that was removed by the McGuinty government in the Green Energy Act.

A member of the Alliance, Michael Trebilcock, Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Toronto, further notes the concerns over “the staggering costs of the Province’s renewable energy policies, the superficial and hasty assessment of environmental impacts, and the grossly overstated and unsupported predictions of green jobs.” He also notes that even the government’s own Environmental Commissioner has described the environmental assessment process as “broken”. The Alliance’s allegations have not yet been proven in court.

According to Larry Close, President of Preserve Grey Highlands Citizens Alliance Inc., “(T)he denial of every request for a full environmental assessment, brought before a Minister who publicly supports industrial wind turbines, dictates that the Ministry’s failure to meet the conditions in its Statement of Environmental Values be tested in a court of law.” He adds, “(I)n a democratic society the implementation of government policies must be subject to the rules of administrative law, and our rights as taxpaying citizens must be respected.”

11 thoughts on “Grey Highlands Citizens Challenge Government in Court on Wind Power

  1. Finally………..people that understand …
    What is wrong with people?
    If said to you that I was going to allow doctors to open business here and pay them 10 times more that our healthcare pays doctors under our present healthcare system there would be hell to pay.
    But we are allowing this to happen with electricity.
    We are wrong to support food banks because people can’t buy food anymore and pay their bills we are wrong to give money to the Untired Way so they can help those who can no longer pay their utility bills..
    Without us all subsidizing the Liberal direction by helping with our after tax dollars …more people would be geting angry.

  2. I think Mr. Close’s statement should have started with………
    “In a “free” and democratic society………”
    I believe, a democracy – is what you make it.

    Mr. McGuinty’s understanding of ‘democratic process’ has been taken care of;
    by inviting citizens to the proponents’ Public Information Centre (PIC).
    It’s just morally wrong.

  3. The entire direction of electricity production for profit is morally wrong…
    Harris sells hydro..now works for Magna that is into alternate electricity , McGuinty first thinks we should unload Hydro , then flip flops , promises to stop the sale..now he is using alternate electricity as the way to give it to business.
    I want to leave this earth so that the next generation has the same opportunities as I have had and do not live in a 1984 world which we are very close to being in.
    If we leave it to people like Mcguinty , you will have toilette tissue rationed , and you will have an eco fee to pay inspectors to police it.

    • Hey,……….the Harris conservatives tried to privatize Ontario Hydro (sell it).
      It was CUPE that took the government to court – stopped the sale – and a judge ruled – the Ontario government did not have the legal right to sell off a “Crown Corporation” – the citizens of Ontario still own Hydro One – but sadly, McGuinty Liberals have redesigned it. Pathetic!

  4. This is a statement made by Dwight Duncan,

    “It would be irresponsible for the province and tax-payers to continue to subsidize electricity consumption, because it jeopardizes our ability to invest in health care and education. This is simply not sustainable, nor is it acceptable. The people of this province deserve better.”

    Dwight Duncan (Ontario Hansard Volume B, November 26, 2003)

    This is why we are going towards this direction.

  5. High FITs were developed by an ENGO and “sold” as a way to “green”energy to the present Ontario government and land owners to solve a problem/CO2 emissions reductions which it turns out these renewables can’t do.But his dosen’t matter. Just keep on repeating mistakes no matter how much these mistakes cost Ontarians.

  6. Well we will be donating to them……

    We had offered council our support and offered to stand in the line of fire .rather than council take the heat… but they weren’t sure how to go about doing that

    Talking isn’t going to work … we need other methods to get his attention.

  7. One final thing..off topic , you know Hudak will honour leases even though they are not approved and basically grandfather them all in right? ou do all know that?

  8. Ernest, I think he’s been unclear on that. I don’t think he is going to grandfather those not yet approved. I could be wrong but what I understand is he will grandfather those he is legally liable to honor only.

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