Two County residents have been ordered to pay wpd Canada $75,000 in costs in the loss of their appeal of a judicial review decision they had hoped would deny industrial wind turbines due to cultural heritage impacts.
South Marysburgh residents Liz Driver and Edwin Rowse challenged the approval of the turbines based on the adequacy of consideration given to heritage resources in the hamlet. They also have property that will be affected by turbines.
The judicial review was heard in April at Osgoode Hall. They were informed, in June, that they lost their case.
“The decision, in our view, did not show that the court had considered all the evidence and the arguments were not well founded; therefore, we brought a motion for leave to appeal the decision,” said Driver.
One of three judges responsible for the appeal decision Oct. 24, 2017 did not agree with the awarding of costs and stated concern for citizens who want to challenge the government in court.
“My difficulty is with a concern for public participation,” said J. Lederer in dissention of the costs. “As a matter of social policy we want people to engage with government when they are unhappy with, or seek clarification of, decisions that have been made. We detract from that ambition if we too easily tell people they will have to pay costs if they engage, but do not succeed, particularly in amounts as high as $75,000.”
Lederer stated wpd Canada was in some sense a bystander to the main debate in the case.
“The primary submissions in response to the applicants were made on behalf of the Director (Ministry of Environment and Climate Change). It was with this party that the principal defence of the process rested.”
The Director (MOECC) did not seek costs.
“The concern of the corporation is a commercial concern,” Lederer stated. “To my mind, those who seek approvals to construct and operate projects that, by their nature, will be controversial, have to expect that those who are impacted will seek to express their concern… As I see it, companies wanting to undertake these projects have to be prepared, when the circumstances call for it, to accept this as a cost of obtaining the required approvals, in the vernacular, as a cost of doing business.” Read article