Wind farm hearing in Hagersville underway

Delhi News Record
HAGERSVILLE – Haldimand Wind Concerns and other opponents of the Summerhaven wind farm near Jarvis have their work cut out for them.

In opening arguments before the province’s Environmental Review Tribunal on Monday, project advocates reminded the panel that the threshold for scrapping the project is very high.

“The onus is on the appellants,” Nadine Harris, counsel for the Ministry of the Environment, said in her opening remarks about the 58-turbine project. “The onus is on the appellants to prove that the project will — not may — cause serious harm if operated in accordance with the terms of its approval.”

Harris and Toronto lawyer Dennis Mahony, counsel for Summerhaven LLP, addressed their opening comments to the fact that Haldimand Wind Concerns, the main group opposing the project, intends to call 20 witnesses to testify about their experiences with 10 wind turbine projects elsewhere.

Mahony reminded chair Heather Gibbs that the terms-of-reference for the hearing limit the tribunal to weighing evidence directly related to the construction and operation of the Summerhaven network. Mahony said anecdotal evidence from non-experts about turbine projects elsewhere should carry no weight. Mahony told the panel it had to leave open the possibility that people who say wind turbines make them ill may be suffering from psychosomatic symptoms.

“Showing that some project half way around the world has caused harm does not meet the test,” Mahony said. “They have to prove harm with regard to this project. The benefit of the doubt must be with this project. It is a very, very high threshold for the appellants to meet. It is not sufficient for the appellants to demonstrate that the project may cause harm to human health. It is not the idea of the project but the operation of the project that must cause harm.” Read article

21 thoughts on “Wind farm hearing in Hagersville underway

  1. So they are saying appellants’ symptoms are “psychosomatic”?? Are they saying people are imagining illness? Or just plane crazy?

    Anecdotal evidence has been downplayed in a constant refusal to perform real investigations.

    First you have anecdotal evidence and then, following an investigation you have real evidence.

    As long as McGuinty can refuse to do an investigation of anecdotal evidence he can get away with murder.

  2. Lawyers logic- an oxymoron

    Their position as I understand it is like saying that the placement of a hog operation in an urban area won’t emit any offensive odours. The onus is to prove that it will in an urban setting. Well, what can you use to prove that other than to stand downwind from a hog operation in a rural area and sniff. I can get a sunburn at Wasaga beach if I’m in the sun too long. Wouldn’t it be safe to say I’ll get a sunburn at Erieau beach given the same exposure.? The laws of physics aren’t site specific.

  3. The level of detail:
    ‘[excerpt] Mahony reminded chair Heather Gibbs that the terms-of-reference for the hearing limit the tribunal to weighing evidence directly related to the construction and operation of the Summerhaven network. Mahony said anecdotal evidence from non-experts about turbine projects elsewhere should carry no weight. Mahony told the panel it had to leave open the possibility that people who say wind turbines make them ill may be suffering from psychosomatic symptoms.

    “Showing that some project half way around the world has caused harm does not meet the test,” Mahony said. “They have to prove harm with regard to this project. The benefit of the doubt must be with this project. It is a very, very high threshold for the appellants to meet. It is not sufficient for the appellants to demonstrate that the project may cause harm to human health. It is not the idea of the project but the operation of the project that must cause harm.”

    ‘red book’ – ready!
    Hey – do we get any – ‘free stuff’?

    • Mr. Dennis E. Mahony – two green thumbs!
      Serving our Nation!

      Relishing in the accomplishments………
      ……………………….how high does your I.Q. have to be?
      – this is the money – this is the deal
      What’s the difference between business and politics?

      No time for issues that make sense!

      The Law of Climate Change in Canada
      Part III – emerging disciplines
      http://www.millerthomson.com/assets/files/article_attachments/The_Law_of_Climate_Change_in_Canada.pdf

      http://www.cba.org/cba/cle/PDF/ENV12_Mahony_bio.pdf

      Personally – I’m not in therapy – yet!
      …….grappling with freedom!
      The world watches – the agony!

      • Note:
        I’m a lawyer –
        – no moral obligation – consistent with justice!
        Am I legally responsible? – not really.
        It’s a tough issue.

        Yeah – don’t leave a tip!

      • Ontario – Time for action!
        watching ‘justice in action’ – for California farmers……..
        finally – a step forward
        ……………should sound the alarm in Ontario

        Angry federal judge rips ‘false testimony’ of federal scientists

        A tough federal judge in Sacramento has become a folk hero of Central California citizens for protecting people and endangered species instead of putting the interests of either over the other.

        In the process, U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger made two huge splashes last week in what began as a water-supply war a decade ago, then grew into a convoluted endangered-fish war.

        Today, it’s a gigantic good science versus bad science war pitting California residents against a tiny fish and government officials diverting two years’ worth of water for a large city or agricultural region and flushing it into the San Francisco Bay.

        The flushing might help save the allegedly endangered 2-inch-long fish, the delta smelt.

        So many lawsuits sparked by the conflict have landed on Wanger’s desk, with so many plaintiffs and so many defendants, that he merged them into one and titled his rulings “The Consolidated [salmonid, delta smelt, or whatever] Cases.”
        http://washingtonexaminer.com/2011/09/angry-federal-judge-rips-false-testimony-federal-scientists/41022#ixzz1YnQjPhSM

  4. Where is the logic? Should the wind companies not be the ones proving the onus of NOT causing harm? So many questions no one wants to answer.

    If you drink and drive in Spain, France, Germany, anywhere on the other side of the world, do you not take the risk of an accident? If a serial killer comes moves in from somewhere else, will he not be apt to continue his crime? If you smoke a cigarette made in a foreign country, do you not risk getting lung cancer? If a pedophile moves in from another country, should you not be concerned about your children? If you fire a bullet make in another country, does it not have the capabilities of killing someone? If you jump off a bridge in another country or community, are your chances of hurting yourself or killing yourself less in Ontario?

    Where is the logic in all of this. We all know better know better. Do we live in 2012 or in the Dark Ages? Someone is greasing the palms of the people who should be protecting us. Government and politicians are corrupt, even at the lowest level. We are all seeing it now. People who are not willing to stand up for what is right in exchange for a few bucks or in hopes this nightmare will all go away and we can go back to the peaceful rural life we once knew. I fear for the future of my children and my grandchildren. This is why my ancestors came to Canada, before it was even
    Canada. How we have disappointed them.

    Where should the onus be? even if there is money involved? Sounds simple to me, but I am only a taxpaying Canadian who was living the dream.

    • I really love the logic.
      Totally agree, wish the dream would come back to replace the nightmare

  5. Anyone got some mug shots of these lawyers and MOE staff?

    Lets make them famous all over the web and facebook for being stupid !

    • Use BING search: “Ontario Ministry of the Environment From The Fall 2007 issue of Nexus”. Gives U of T access to this article which has a photo. No direct access from the net to this article.

    • The NextEra lawyers are from a very prominent firm in Toronto called TorysLLP. Remember, the lawyers sound stupid on behalf of NextEra. They are only presenting NextEra’s idiotic arguments. You should really be plastering NextEra mugshots over the web, they are the fools who continue to stand behind the lies.

      • Law firms don’t have to accept clients they don’t want for any reasons. The big law firms are making money out of reneweable energy.
        In criminal cases lawyers are called upon to defend the accused and is part of their court duties.
        Civil matters are different as in the renewable energy business.

  6. I don’t think there are reports let alone the technology existing that maps every turbine placement and the resulting effects. To say that this new development is different assumes they have knowledge of all the differences of all the other sites and there are no similarities. Make them prove their assertion that all other sites that have been approved are different enough that they can make this claim for this one.
    Oh and Mr. Mahoney, bring the data please.

  7. From this quote, “The onus is on the appellants,” Nadine Harris, counsel for the Ministry of the Environment, said in her opening remarks about the 58-turbine project. “The onus is on the appellants to prove that the project will — not may — cause serious harm if operated in accordance with the terms of its approval.” This is a total reversal of the Ministry of the Environment’s strategy, over their policy in the past.

    As someone who worked in an industry which was monitored closely by the MOE, their position on water pollution was that you as a company and/or an individual, would be deemed guilty if you allowed any release which MAY–that’s MAY, not DID, result in impairment to the environment. In other words, if you took an action but nothing happened, you could still be charged because you took an action which MAY have impaired the environment. The emphasis was on the word “may”. You would be guilty of not showing “Due Diligence”. What a total reversal the MOE is hard-lining now. And the Chief Medical Officer of Health is complicit.

    The McGuinty Liberals and the GEA have changed the rules of the game to meet their needs. I would have to look and see if the responsibility for water pollution has changed as well. Or could it be that we have a double standard in place, depending on what kind of pollution we are talking about? Noise pollution, visual pollution, industrial projects which will change the environment and affect at least some people’s living conditions and health, is different than water pollution that could cause harm to others?

    We watched as the Federal Liberals were reduced to nothing but a shadow of a political party–by their own doing. Some analysts predict the Federal Liberals will never again regain party status. How many more shovels full of dirt does Mr. McGuinty have to bestow upon Ontario, before he has a hole so deep, the Provincial Liberals will never be able to recover? Again, by their own doing. I’d say, “Keep digging, Dalton”. I never want to see this kind of government in Ontario again, but that means we’d have to eat more dirt. Catch-22! I think I see a certain similarity between Ontario and Syria. It’s just a matter of degree. Bashar al-Assad doesn’t get it, either.

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