by Bob Lewis
Another exciting day of the ERT trying to deal with MLWAG and Esther trying to deal with idiots, obstructionist gov’t and Nextera lawyers and the latest in a string of people who take turns on our appeal but don’t seem to have really good communication between them. I don’t know what other ERTs are like these days, but ours seems to get assigned whichever adjudicator is free that day.
Mr. Vanderbent seems to be in the strange position of not knowing what to do with people like us, so he just adjourns the hearing or retires to the ‘chambers’. Sometimes he takes Esther, Harvey and the lawyers, sometimes it is only the woman who sits beside him. The talks with the lawyers don’t seem to take long – I think maybe because Esther just won’t back down on anything.
It started out about the video. After a couple of visits to the back room he said the opening statements could be videotaped. (or so we thought) Big smile on his face as he read to the CTV reporter and her camera. Then he said, “No more.” – only HIS opening statement. Didn’t want the public hearing Esther’s or Harvey’s.
Then he got in a snit because Muriel and Marcelle were video recording and wouldn’t stop. That’s when he adjouned until 2pm. We all wanted to hear Esther and Harvey, so Muriel and Marcelle stopped recording. Bent wanted them to say that they weren’t recording, but they both just held up both hands and said nothing. He asked again but they refused to speak. Finally HE said, for the record, that they were holding up empty hands. (I’m not making this up!)
Esther and Harvey finally got to give their opening addresses which were quite long to get everything in and I wish I had a recording because they were both truly excellent. Esther has repeatedly tried to make them understand the significance of her witnesses and how, together they support and reinforce each other’s testimony to create a ‘web’ of information which all ads up to an understanding of how these turbines will have, and in other districts are already having, a devastating affect on the human environment.
The dark side argues each witness, individually has no bearing on habitat or isn’t sufficiently ‘expert’ or other spurious arguments, and our ‘impartial’ adjudicator buys it all wholesale.
The lawyers argue that each witness is not ‘relevant’ to the case. They refuse to hear or to understand what Esther very clearly and in great detail explains.
I think the real problem is that they DO understand the case she is trying to make and they don’t want her making it in a public hearing, because, in fact, her case is very good and very strong. I can see that it might not meet the highly restrictive legal technical requirements of the ERT, but for anyone listening who wasn’t in the pay of the wind co’s or their gov’t minions, her witnesses would make a compelling case. And they don’t want to hear it.
In further motions to dismiss yet more of Esther’s few remaining witnesses, Mr. Terry, a Nextera lawyer, stated very clearly that the appellants have to prove harm WILL happen. Not that it might happen, not that it is likely to happen, but that it WILL happen.
This wording had been gone over at the Bornish ERT environmental hearing. I had asked for clarification and argued about it and finally got a definitive statement – a quote from the Ostrander Point hearing I believe, that the harm had to be ‘MORE LIKELY THAN NOT’ to occur.
That is very different from what Mr. Terry said. The adjudicator seemed to completely accept Terry’s wording and when I tried to point it out told me that as a presenter I could make my presentation and nothing else.
Since I still do want to make my presentation, I shut up.
We don’t know why he goes back there so frequently with his partner, but we suspect he is texting for instructions.
Esther was sitting there with this one foot cube cardboard box with ‘MOTIONS’ written on it in felt pen. At one point she said she wasn’t going to deal with all these motions any more and they could keep them. Not going to play that game any more.
We treat them with all the respect that they deserve – which is none. They like everyone to stand when the tribunal enters or leaves – and to remain standing while they are on their feet.
That didn’t happen today. It was amusing when the little clump of lawyers and lackeys stood at attention and the rest of us remained seated. After about the third time I thought the MOE and Nextera people were looking a little embarrassed – sort of like when you’re the only person standing when they sing the anthem. But obviously they can’t sit down.
At the end the lawyers wanted to finish up what they could today but some people had to deal with children home from school (MLWAG members tend to be real people with families and such, not paid shills for corruption central) and some of us had to be in Ailsa Craig by 6 for the Community Liaison Committee, which is either just another joke or yet another area where we can, if nothing else, create anxiety and frustration for the dark side.
It’s been a long day in a years long battle to get some kind of justice and it isn’t happening, but we are winning a bit of a hearing in the court of public opinion, and we’re getting quite good at harassing the minions of evil. The stress is definitely showing on the adjudicator and on the suits on the other side.
We too are frustrated, but when we get together in the breaks we share laughs at the other side’s expense.
OH yeah – nextera lawyer Mahoney (or was it Terry) suggested that since there weren’t any witnesses left for tomorrow that tomorrow’s session could be done by teleconference, but for some reason the chair decided he wants to do it in London, so they all have to come back tomorrow morning. Or stay the night in London – I don’t know what they do.