NexTerror threatens to take ERT to court if video recording is allowed

06-13-2013-ADAEarly on in the Adelaide ERT process I had asked that the ERT allow for video recording of the public hearing. My reasons were laid out in a letter to the Accessibility Coordinator. The recommendation from the ERT chair was that I write a request to the ERT for the person with the disability, and then NextEra and the MOE could file their ‘response/attack’ in return, and I could respond again.

What struck as wrong about this is that if a person was asking for accommodation for a wheelchair to get into the hearing….would they have to argue it out publicly with Nexterror? No. So I refused to send a request to Nexterror and the MOE. And I wrote the Accessibility Coordinator again, including a doctors note for the individual with the disability, and asked again that the person be accommodated. I also repeatedly asked that the person be treated with dignity and respect and that this information should not be hashed out in public hearings/teleconferences. This was all for naught.

In a telconfrence this past Wednesday the issue was brought up by the Chair, as it hadn’t been clearly dealt with.

Here’s how it went:

Dirk Vanderbent (ERT Chair) – Ms. Wrightman I understand that you have made a request to video-tape the hearing.

Esther Wrightman (appellant) – Yes

DVB – That was reviewed by vice-chair Muldoon and he’ll be providing a decision on that. I believe it will be today. I don’t really know anything about it. I can’t comment on it.

Dennis Mahoney (NextEra lawyer from Tory’s) – So Mr. Vanderbent I’m sorry, I missed a piece of that – my phone… Did you say something about – does this have to do with video-taping the proceedings

DVB – Yes.

DM – Ok, if you check in with Mr. Muldoon, that the application for that was to be provided to the Tribunal and all the parties on Oct 3 by …

EW – We’re skipping that.

DM – Ms.Wrightman, let me finish please. That there would then be an opportunity for everyone to make submissions. It seems to be that process has been skipped and I’d like to understand why.

DVB – OK , all I can do at this point is speak with the people and what I hear from you and see where we go with that from there.

EW – Asking for accessibility for accommodation for disability, is not something that needs to be picked apart by third parties. I’m quite certain of that. If it was wheelchair accessibility or anything like that it would be the same . I wouldn’t have to argue with Nextera and the MOE to require that.

DVB – What you’re saying then is your request is an accessibility request only.

EW – Absolutely.

DVB – The only other thing – I knew there was an issue with the accessibility request. The information I have says you were given a response on the accessibility request.

EW – And what was that response – that we’re allowed to?

DVB – Quite frankly I don’t have that information. So, we’re going to need to clarify that. I thought this would be a little shorter, but that’s not going to happen.

Nexterror Bullies Canada IncDM – Mr. Vanderbent, let me try to place this in a proper place on a priority list from your perspective. We’re going to have to seek instructions if we hear that some sort of order or direction has been made that this proceeding is going to be video-taped. And it’s been done over our express objection and a confirmation from Mr. Muldoon that we would have the opportunity first to make submissions. So if we hear that in fact some other process has been followed and that starting Tuesday morning there’s going to be a video camera taping these proceedings, we’re going to have to seek instructions, sir. I think this is going to take the hearing right off the rails and we may have to make a court application. We consider this to be an extremely important matter, fundamental to the process. We made that submission sir on Sept. 24 at the preliminary hearing Mr.Muldoon agreed with it. He said there would be an opportunity to make submissions. And on the conference call Mr. Muldoon participated in, (he) set a schedule for those submissions. And what seems to be happening is that we have a process which has been completely skipped. That in our submission would be a denial of natural justice and procedural fairness – a very explicit denial…

DVB – The first thing may be – I would like to confirm what’s going on. It may be that what I said is a misunderstanding of what’s happening. I hear what you’re saying and what I’m going undertake to do is get some clarification – something I can e-mail to all the parties.

DM – That’s fair enough Mr. Vanderbent, I didn’t want you to get out of this phone call thinking this was a minor matter. From our perspective it’s a very fundamental matter and we have said that repeatedly.

DVB – I understand your point. Ms.Wrightman, you were going to say something.

EW – Right, and from my standpoint it is as well, and I will fight this to the end. I see this as an issue that needs to be taken and considered seriously. Fundamental to Nextera’s lawyers – sure. We’re the people who need to hear and I’m not going to discuss a disability any further, because this is a private and confidential matter that needs to be treated that way. I don’t want to do it in teleconferences. I don’t want to do it in public hearings. I would like it to be the people, the ERT panel and the ERT in general, the ELTO.

A day after, the ERT issued this public order (so much for private and confidential…so now that it’s ‘out there’, we may as well discuss it:

pic- access denied

So I’m left to wonder – What comes first : the ability for the public to participate in these hearings, or the wants of the Big lawyers, who threaten the ERT with lawsuits? And why does Nexterror and the MOE protest so much to the filming of a public hearing when they have their own court reporter typing every word said anyways?  I’ll post the letter received last Friday that somewhat answers these questions from their view….not well though.

21 thoughts on “NexTerror threatens to take ERT to court if video recording is allowed

  1. Take the ERT to the Human Rights Tribunal for denying an accessibility request. Also include NextTerror in the suit as being the ones who forced the issue by threatening a lawsuit.

      • then why has it been difficult to get transcripts of testimonies if our government has been (part) funding the court reporter?

  2. ‘[excerpt] I’ll post the letter received last Friday that somewhat answers these questions from their view….not well though.’

    Okay – can’t wait.

  3. I believe that I can supply the answer to the minutes vs the recording. The question was answered many years ago… before the hearing…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNKjShmHw7s

    Sir Humphrey educates Bernard in how to take minutes from a meeting and get what you want. Hillarious free clip from the BBC political comedy Yes, Prime Minister.

    A question period will be held after the video tutorial…

    • Hey Ontario!

      Amazing!
      Strength and courage………..

      “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford (1863-1947)

      Feel the freedom……….
      Test drive – a new Ford truck – today.

  4. Please Please, why can’t we take all this to a real court?!!! Everyone thinks the ERT hearings are messed up, including Nexterror!

    • Please Please, why can’t we take all this to a real court?!!!

      Been there done that…. You have to “follow the process”….

      You need a judgement at the ERT — then, presumably — if it works the same as other tribunals you can ask for a judicial review.

      The maybe an appeal to a superior court if you still don’t like the result.

      If you have the most money you can of course grind the other party into the ground. This procedure is in place to ensure “fair play” — of course.

      You are blocked by the laws intended to protect you — of course.

      Just watch some additional clips of “Yes Minister” and “Yes Prime Minister” — all shall become clear.

      • The law applies equally to all:
        http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Anatole_France

        La majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain.

        In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.

        Be grateful!

  5. This is definitely a Human Rights challenge and “accessibility Rights” can’t be trampled on by ANYONE!
    If a person is “illiterate” then they have a RIGHT to hear testimony and an audio presentation must be available. Anyone who challenges the rights of accessibility is deemed guilty of discrimination.,
    Maybe Nexterror can get away with these tactics in the U.S.where people still call folks with disabilities as “retarded” but here in Canada we will not accept this type of behaviour!!!!!…..PERIOD!

  6. You have to deal with situations the way they are and not the way they are supposed to be.
    The rights of witnesses come into play along with the rights of the disabled. Some witnesses don’t want to be photogrpahed and for valid reasons. Like in a witness protection program for example.

    • Criminals perpetrating HARMS
      against Canadians!

      How much does it cost to protect ourselves
      from wind turbine industrialists in this country?

      ‘[excerpt]…And what seems to be happening is that we have a process which has been completely skipped. That in our submission would be a denial of natural justice and procedural fairness – a very explicit denial…’
      – Dennis Mahony, Tory’s Law Firm, Toronto, ON
      representing Nextera at the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal

  7. Agree with Rural 101. These court recordings from which transcripts are produced were paid for maybe by half by public money.
    This could be a place where collusion can take place by not releasing the court recordings/transcripts.
    A court order may be needed to get these released.

    • In 3 ERT hearings I know of, MOE and the turbine company paid for the recorder and would not share the proceedings with the groups appealing the project.

      • I have heard from a usually reliable source that Tribunals throughout Canada do typically make a video recording and/or an audio record of all proceedings.

        But that’s just from a judge — what would he know?

      • Maybe Eric Gillespie would like to comment on this.

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