Might v. right

criminal-justice-system-1372884734-8899The Times, Rick Conroy
It’s an obscenely unfair fight. I expect most people would intervene if they happened upon such a lopsided clash on the street. Or call the police. They would do something. It runs directly against our core sense of fair play. Of justice.

Consider the spectacle on display in a Toronto court room next week. On one side will be a handful of folks more knowledgeable about the nesting patterns of the whippoorwill than the finer points of administrative law in this province.

On the other side of the aisle will be the Province of Ontario, through its Ministry of Environment (MOE), the developer, Gilead Power Corporation, along with the entire Canadian wind energy industry through Can- WEA.

There are billions of dollars at stake in this hearing for one side. On the other, it is the sanctity of the natural habitat of a unique bit of Ontario.

For the developer, this is likely its last shot at salvaging a positive return from this project. This fight has already cost it millions of dollars. Every day Gilead executives linger in a courtroom, a hearing room or its lawyer’s office and not bulldozing roads into Ostrander Point, costs it many thousands of dollars more. This courtroom is likely the end of the road for this project. Read article

MOE district supervisor testifies at Armow Wind hearing

heather pollardSaugeen Times
Heather Pollard, district supervisor of the Owen Sound office of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE), gave testimony at the Environmental Review Tribunal Thursday afternoon in Kincardine. Appearing by way of a summons, Pollard said she has been the supervisor of the Owen Sound office since 2004, and was a junior environmental officer and senior environmental officer prior to that.

She said there are currently seven wind projects in the Owen Sound district, and all were constructed prior to the Green Energy Act and the Renewable Energy Approvals (REA) process. Pollard said her office has received complaints about six of the seven wind projects, mostly related to wind turbine noise and health effects.

“People have indicated they are having sleep disturbance, headaches, nausea, vertigo, tinnitus – symptoms they attribute to the wind farm,” she said. “We can follow up on the noise complaints but we have no expertise with health effects.” Asha James, counsel for the appellants, Ken and Sharon Kroeplin, asked Pollard if any complaints came from post-turbine residents suffering from health effects at the Enbridge Ontario Wind Farm.

“Yes,” said Pollard.

“Do you know the number?” asked James.

“350 complaints,” said Pollard. Read article

Grey Highlands and Clarington wind projects up for public comment

commentEnvironmental Registry:  SUBMIT COMMENT
This posting is for a proposed Renewable Energy Approval by Grey Highlands Clean Energy Limited Partnership for the Grey Highlands Clean Energy Project, proposed to be located in the Municipality of Grey Highlands, County of Grey, Ontario. This is a Class 4 wind facility with a total expected generation capacity of 18.45 megawatts (MW).

Environmental Registry:  SUBMIT COMMENT
This posting is for a proposed Renewable Energy Approval (REA) by Ganaraska Nominee Ltd. for ZEP Wind Farm Ganaraska, proposed to be located in the Municipality of Clarington, Regional Municipality of Durham, Ontario. This is a Class 4 Wind Facility with a total expected generation capacity of 20 megawatts (MW).

How the MNR and wind developers destroy eagle nests

MNRIt was this time last year when NextEra and the MNR were scheming to remove/destroy the bald eagle nest in Haldimand County. So I figured some might be interested in what the “Renewable Energy Coordinator” for the Southern Region of the MNR said about eagles, their nests and habitat, at the Adelaide (NextEra) ERT hearing  (2013/11/08). What is being discussed is the infamous Haldimand eagle nest, as well as an active nest in the Adelaide/Bornish and Jericho wind projects, that is too close to the massive substation, as well as the Bornish project’s turbines. Both were in proposed NextEra Energy wind projects.

Below is a snippet of NEXTERROR/ERT/MOE rationalizing their position on the obvious danger wind projects pose to bald eagles. The MOE’s witness was Joseph Halloran, who was presented as the government’s pseudo-expert about eagles/raptors/endangered species – but the odd thing was, the MOE chose NOT to qualify him as an “expert.”

Does this mean:

  1. There are no eagle experts in the MNR (or the pathetic MOE)?
  2. No credible “expert” would testify ?
  3. Like Pontius Pilate, the MOE is “washing its hands” of the eagle issue, Nexterror is on its own to explain its actions.

With all this in mind, let Mr. Halloran’s testimony provide you with insight into the mind of a government puppet.

dead golden eagleWind Energy Bird and Bat Monitoring Database
Ms. Wrightman – OK – I’m going to skip down to paragraph 15, and this is talking about the “Wind Energy Bird and Bat Monitoring Database.” Is this database information available to the public?

Mr. Halloran – So this database is managed – sort of run by Bird Studies Canada. It’s my understanding that they prepare annual reports providing mortality numbers for the province. It’s also my understanding, I believe, that it’s designed more for research approach, so I don’t believe that the general public could receive specific reports. Continue reading

Bye, bye turtle, bye, bye

blandings_turtleWellington Times
Leave it to Conroy and the Times to keep a watchful eye on the Ostrander Point debacle, as noted in the last issue. I think everyone in the County would like to see an end to the ongoing debate about wind turbines, but like the wind itself, you never know when it’s going to come up and bite you one more time. Since the shocking ruling by the Ministry of the Environment’s (MOE) own Tribunal to save the Blanding’s Turtle—as mandated by their own Endangered Species Act—the MOE apparently values money and politics more than integrity, and has joined the fight to overturn its own findings.

Sometimes politics is an enjoyable game. I thought it hilarious that the MOE appointed its own tribunal judges to come to a fair decision, and then brought its own lawyers to sway their decision. If I got in trouble, I would be happy to fork out the money for my own judge and my own lawyer. And at taxpayers’ expense. You can’t beat that. But, sadly, the Tribunal judges backed the plaintiffs, and a turtle. The poor judges are probably now demoted to stapling endless sheets of trial transcripts, in English and French, and have lost their parking spaces at Queen’s Park.

But the story that ends: “And the turtles lived happily ever after” did not end there. No. Someone came up with turtlegates. I suspect that these are tiny little gates that turtles can use to safely cross their natural habitats. Probably they can push their wet turtle noses against a button, which will activate a ‘Turtle Crossing’ signal for about 72 hours. Problem solved. Read article

75MW Wind project on Amherst Island up for public comment

Amherst Is3Environmental Registry – Comment Here

“This posting is for a proposed Renewable Energy Approval by Windlectric Inc. for the Amherst Island Wind Energy Project, proposed to be located in Loyalist Township, County of Lennox and Addington, Ontario. This is a Class 4 wind facility with a total expected generation capacity of up to 75 megawatts (MW).

The proposed facility is considered to be a Class 4 wind facility under Ontario Regulation 359/09 (O. Reg.359/09) Renewable Energy Approvals under Part V.0.1 of the Environmental Protection Act. Applications for Renewable Energy Approvals are required to be submitted in accordance with O.Reg.359/09 for consideration for approval.”

Northland Power wind project spills on formerly pristine Manitoulin Is.

Methanol Spill and Containers(15)Read the letter below these pictures for a full idea of what has been happening At Northland Power’s McLean Mt. wind development.

Picture Gallery Below:
Collector lines underground directional boring activity. Unopened road allowance east of Guida’s Sideroad. OFSC Trail C107D has blocked access on the unopened road allowance.The mound of ice is what appears to be pumped discharge area from the pit into the swamp. Picture 8 and 10 of empty liquid totes, pails and bromite are from another site. That location is just east of Perch Lake road where directional boring was done along the unopened road allowance between turbine 23 towards turbines 29 and 16. I expect the same spill activity may have occurred here also. Pics Dec 21,2013

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Picture Gallery Below:
Unopened road allowance east of Guida’s Sideroad. OFSC Trail C107D. Ground beneath the boring rig. No containment. Pics Saturday Dec 21,2013

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Picture Gallery Below:
A witness stated that the previous containers used here had green antifreeze fluid and those now present have blue fluid. Collector lines underground directional boring activity. Unopened road allowance east of Guida’s Sideroad. OFSC Trail C107D. Pics from Dec 21,2013

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Letter to MOE and MNR:

Northland Power Antifreeze, Methanol Spills Followup Summary and Comments

I would like to keep the MOE informed of the events and concerns in relation to this spills report filed. The initial call to the MOE was made Friday Dec 20,2013 by an eye witness who reported the activities from Monday  Dec 16,2013. The concern was of antifreeze spills into sensitive environment within the Northland Power Windfarm Project collector lines directional boring beneath a known wetland key habitat area. Continue reading

MOE received 139 complaints in 12 days in Port Elgin

CAW protestBayshore Broadcasting
Since December 10th, the Ministry of the Environment has received 139 complaints related to the industrial turbine at the Unifor Family Education Centre, formerly the CAW Centre.

The information was brought forward at this week’s Saugeen Shores Committee of the Whole meeting as an update to a meeting held August 26th, when there were a series of deputations made by residents who live near the turbine.

Mayor Mike Smith tells Bayshore Broadcasting News they’ve met twice with Unifor officials to talk about the turbine and the health effects it’s creating and some progress has been made in addressing the concerns.

Smith urges everyone who feels they’re affected by the turbine to file a complaint so the issue is documented. Read article

Gilead, MOE & CanWEA desperate to kill/harm/harass PECFN’s Ostrander Pt win

sign blanding turtleCCSAGE
Rick Conroy, editor of The Times, had lots to say this past week about the bizarre situation of Prince Edward Field Naturalists’ having to fight the combined forces of Gilead Power Corporation, the Ministry of the Environment and now the Canadian Wind Energy Association, in order to protect its win on the Ostrander Point project.  To describe PECFN as the underdog would be one of the great understatements of the year.

Gilead and its buddies MOE and CanWEA are making a desperate attempt to salvage the Ostrander Point project via an appeal to the Divisional Court which:

  1. Argues that the ERT exceeded its jurisdiction in second-guessing MNR’s approval to kill/harm/harass Blanding’s turtle;
  2. Attempts to introduce new evidence (normally not allowed in an appeal) — namely, to install a series of lockable gates to reduce road mortality;
  3. Introduces Big Brother CanWEA as an intervenor to help run up PECFN’s legal bills even further. Read article

Ministry approves Sumac Ridge wind project; Manvers group planning appeal

(MANVERS TWP) Manvers Wind Concerns announced they will appeal the Province’s decision to approve the controversial Sumac Ridge wind energy project in the City of Kawartha Lakes. On Wednesday (Dec. 11) the Ministry of the Environment announced approval for wpd Canada’s Sumac Ridge wind project, although with conditions, including a requirement that construction not begin until all permits for endangered species have been issued.

Ward 16 Councillor Heather Stauble said she checked the notice on Thursday morning (Dec. 12) and that the approvals were for two Sumac Ridge wind turbines. She said there are four proposed wind farms for the City of Kawartha Lakes being developed by different green energy companies; Sumac Ridge, Snowy Ridge, Settlers Landing and Stoneboat. Each project has five turbines. Sumac Ridge is being developed by wpd Canada and is the first of these to get provincial approval. Read article

Two more wind projects approved for construction: City of Kawartha Lakes & Adelaide-Metcalfe Township

ist2_137405-rubber-stamp-approvedWPD: Sumac Ridge
City of Kawartha Lakes within the former Township of Manvers, Ontario. This is a Class 4 Wind Facility with a total expected generation capacity of 10.25 megawatts (MW).

Suncor:  Adelaide
 Adelaide-Metcalfe Township: Class 4 wind facility consisting of the construction, installation, operation, use and retiring of 18 turbines with a total nameplate capacity of 40 megawatts (MW). The wind facility will be connected to Hydro One’s distribution system.

Turtle gates

tor_652011Wellington Times
Ostrander wind developer to argue that gates can protect Blanding’s turtles
The developer seeking to construct nine 50-storey industrial wind turbines at Ostrander Point is now proposing to erect a series of gates on provincially owned crown land—in a last ditch maneuver to persuade a provincial court to overturn an Environmental Review Tribunal decision that took away the developer’s permit to build the project in a landmark ruling issued earlier this year.

In July, after more than 40 days of hearings, the Tribunal revoked a Ministry of Environment approval of the project in which Gilead Power Corporation proposed to develop a nine-turbine wind project on Crown land on the shores of South Marysburgh. The twomember panel ruled that the project would cause serious and irreversible harm to the Blanding’s turtles that reside in this rare alvar habitat at Ostrander Point. The Tribunal concluded, too, that measures proposed by the developer to lessen the impact of the development on the turtles were untested and unlikely to be effective. Given that the Blanding’s turtle is an endangered species, they decided the potential harm was too great, and once inflicted could not be undone.

It was a precedent-setting decision— not since the provincial government had enacted legislation to reduce the administrative and regulatory hurdles for wind and solar energy developers had an environmental review tribunal revoked an approval permit. Conservation groups and environmentalists rejoiced— as did everyone else opposed to Ontario’s natural heritage being spoiled by 500-foot towers of carbon and steel structures.

The developer appealed the Tribunal decision, along with the Ministry of Environment, seeking to uphold the approval of the project. Read article

Suncor wind farm proposal posted on environmental registry

suncorSarnia Observer
Local anti-wind power group members are hoping to kill a planned turbine project by flooding an upcoming comment period with concerns. Suncor Energy’s request for provincial environmental approval to build 46 wind turbines for its Cedar Point Wind Power Project in Lambton County is now posted on Ontario’s Environmental Registry for a public comment period that ends Jan. 19.

The residents’ group, We’re Against Industrial Wind Turbines in Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PW), has been fighting the project and it’s urging supporters to inundate the registry with comments and concerns. Spokesperson Ingrid Willemsen said it’s expected Suncor will be required to respond to each comment, and the group’s aim is to prevent the project from meeting the province’s deadlines for it be built.

“The name of the game is to delay the project,” she said. Willemsen added the group has concerns about the timing of the comment period. “We’re just a little disappointed that it’s right over the holidays, because it doesn’t lend itself for us to have time for proper feedback,” she said. Read article

Any opportunity is coveted

Nextera Eagle NesterrorSarnia Observer
Those opposed to two wind turbine projects in Lambton County believe their ability to adequately respond to the projects’ posting on the Ontario Environmental Registry is hampered because of the holiday season. Suncor Energy wants to build 46 wind turbines in Plympton-Wyoming. The public has until Jan. 19 to respond with comments to the Registry. Meanwhile, NextEra Canada’s is proposing a 92-turbine wind projects for Lambton Shores and Warwick Township. It’s also been posted on the Ontario Environmental Registry, and public comments are being accepted until Jan. 3.

But at least the time period they’re being allowed is more than what was permitted by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources almost a year ago when an eagle’s nest was removed to allow for the Summerhaven Wind Energy Centre in Haldimand County. In what had to be a deeply ironic moment for the MNR, the ministry approved the nest’s removal on New Year’s Eve – without allowing a syllable of public comment – and posted notice of the nest’s removal only a day before the deed was done on Jan. 5. Talk about a rush job.

The incident illustrated a few of the inconsistencies found with Ontario’s Green Energy Plan. For example, who would have thought that a nest for eagles – home to what is arguably one of the strongest natural symbols for a clean and green environment – would be so quickly and quietly tossed for the sake of a wind farm, itself ostensibly being developed to save the environment? Read article

ERT ’s Bornish Wind Decision Requires Sufficient Evidence Of Serious & Irreversible Harm

eagle nestBornish ERT Decision

by Charles Birchall, Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP
To prove that a wind energy project will cause serious and irreversible environmental harm, you will need an expert and a scientifically solid case.

In a decision released November 12, the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) said it will not overturn the approval of a large wind energy facility in southwestern Ontario that, potentially, could pose a threat to a pair of bald eagles nesting in the immediate vicinity. This case underscores the requirement that the evidence must show, on a balance to probabilities, that there will be – versus potential – “serious and irreversible harm.”

In adjudicating Lewis v. Director, Ministry of the Environment (ERT Case No. 13-044), the Tribunal found the appellants had not met the statutory test set out in section 145.2.1(2)(b) of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and failed to prove that the project “will cause serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment.”

Opponents of the Bornish Wind Energy Centre did not present any expert evidence, but relied on lay testimony and written submissions about the project’s potential harm to the eagles, as well as mass bird kills, habitat loss and damage to other species. The Tribunal was looking for evidence demonstrating that there would be serious and irreversible harm caused to the bald eagles. To that end, it pointed to an earlier case where the ERT rejected the approval of the Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park south of Picton, Ontario, over concerns that road traffic through the site would likely cause “serious and irreversible harm” to a population of the endangered Blanding’s turtles found on the project site. Read article

wpd Napier Wind Project approved

ist2_137405-rubber-stamp-approvedEnvironmental Registry
A Renewable Energy Approval has been issued to wpd Napier Wind Incorporated for the Napier Wind Project. The project will be located at 27904 Brown Road, Township of Adelaide Metcalfe, County of Middlesex, Ontario. This is a Class 4 wind facility with a total expected generation capacity of 4.1 megawatts (MW). The wind facility will be connected to Hydro One’s distribution system.

The Renewable Energy Approval requires the proponent to construct, install, operate, use and retire the facility in accordance with specific terms and conditions. The terms and conditions, as summarized below, require the proponent to:

  • construct and install the facility in accordance with the documentation considered for the issuance of this approval,
  • properly decommission the facility upon retirement of the facility,
  • notify the ministry at least 10 days prior to commencement of construction or installation activities or operation of the facility,
  • construct and install the facility within 3 years of the date the Renewable Energy Approval is issued,
  • comply with the ministry’s noise emission limits at all times,
  • BS BS BS…. read more if you wish

And so it goes. And so it goes at the ERT.

wind-developer assholeby Bob Lewis
ERT- off topic. I can’t take much more of this. I’m not strong enough. Wednesday… Stephana, Kathryn, Kelly.

Our first presentation today at the NextEra Adelaide ERT hearing is Stephana Johnston. Stephana is 83. Just five years ago she spent 35 straight days campaigning as a Green Party candidate. Now, after a few years exposure to IWTs (Industrial Wind Turbines), she uses a walker and has virtually abandoned her home. She is present most days at this hearing and has testified at other hearings. She is to be a Presenter at this appeal.

Before we can start, NextEra’s John Terry voices a concern that a reporter has told him that Stephana has said that when the tribunal cuts her off… (and listening to this nonsense, I want to yell out – “Objecton! Hearsay!) and Esther cuts in, she’s angry, “I am sick and tired of people being shut down. Her story needs to be heard!” Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Adelaide ERT

Nexterror Bullies Canada Inc             ERT

Place: Middlesex County Office, 399 Ridout Street North, London MAP

Date: November 8
Time: 9am

  • MOE bird guy: Joseph Halloran
  • NextEra stray voltage guy: Arkerson

MOE demands wind victim neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist notes

Turbine distressI’ll take it from here and continue on from the last post “Ontario government lawyers join the SLAPP suit game

You may wonder why this motion by the Ministry of Environment  (demanding costs) was thrown at us in Adelaide in the first place. The  MOE was demanding that I disclose the following information about the one witness on my list who has had the horrid experience of living with wind turbines.

medical records sept 24_Fotor

human-rights-abuseAsk yourself, would you freely give this information, make it PUBLIC, for the sole benefit of your own government, and a foreign corporation like NextEra, to try and tell you , “it’s all in your head”? Notice that they really want specialist documents and notes from your… shrink. Like really, go to hell.

But that’s not it. You better hand all of this over too:

lawsuits homes sept 24_Fotor

Feeling a little exposed? Well, if you don’t do it, a) we’ll hit the appellant with costs, and b) prohibit you from testifying! Continue reading

Wind turbine blade manufacturer to release toxins

EthylbenzeneDear Concerned Citizens,
The Environmental Registry for Ontario (ERB) has posted the following proposal for public comments until Oct. 5, 2013. According to the  ERB Registry # 011-9860 this proposal is for a new Environmental Compliance Approval (Air and Noise) for a wind turbine rotor blades facility located in Welland, Ontario.

The facility will have eighteen (18) exhaust fans and two (2) dust extraction systems serving the processing area, as well heating and stand-by power systems. Emissions to the atmosphere will include ammonia, petroleum distillates, ethylbenzene and suspended particulate matter.

Powerblades Industries Inc is applying to have a release of  toxins allowed in the approval so there will be no legal way to shut them down for this unless it can be proven that they are over the limit stated in the approval and they are unsuccessful at mitigating this over the limit amount within about 2 years.

Comments can be made here until Oct. 5, 2013.

For those of you that would like additional information the following fact sheets have been made available:

Continue reading

MOE Wind Project Evaluator used to work for Stantec…on wind projects

conflict of interest

Just sent in:
I’m sure everyone has dealt with Kristina who is the Senior Project Evaluator for the Ministry of the Environment, Operations Division, Environmental Approvals Branch.  You might be interested to read her resume:

Here’s an excerpt:
kristina-rudzkiEnvironmental Scientist Stantec
Public Company; 10,001+ employees; STN; Design industry
April 2006 – July 2007 (1 year 4 months)
• Drafted the Ontario Waterpower Association’s Parent Class EA document, meeting with a variety of stakeholders to resolve competing interests;
• Spoke at the Sixth Annual Ontario Waterpower Association Conference regarding the progress of the Class EA and technical considerations for proponents and government;
was available to answer questions from a highly knowledgeable audience;
• Obtained a strong knowledge of Ontario Regulation 116/01, as demonstrated through my participation with various Wind Projects and other electricity projects.
We must continue to vocalize our outrage at this blatant conflict of interest!!

Ontario government lawyers join the SLAPP suit game

[Editors note: below is an article that was sent in to me to post. With all the insanity involved in fighting an ERT (for me it is Nexterror’s Adelaide, the 38 turbine project around my home), I lagged in posting on OWR recently. But I’ll change that now, posting your submissions and my own confrontations – all that stuff we are told to keep quiet. All these “public documents” that get buried in the war, in our hurry to protect ourselves. These guys need to be called out on everything they do from now on.  Enough is enough. – Esther]

Stay calm

Remember the story about the big-ass American wind company that decided to haul 5-foot 100 lb. Esther Wrightman into court because they didn’t like her parody of the corporate “brand”?

The lawsuit was widely ridiculed in the media as a thinly disguised SLAPP suit (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation).

Now, it looks like the Ontario MOE and its Liberal goons are not happy that Wrightman has filed an appeal of Nextera’s Kerwood wind project. What especially pisses them off is that Wrightman is an ordinary citizen with the ovaries to take on the province and its pet, $34 billion bully.

What’s Esther doing wrong now? Um, simply following the rules and trying as best she can to get her submissions and evidence to everyone involved.

Make no mistake, this is serious; apparently it ties up a lot of scarce and costly legal staff at MOE “Command and Control.”

Below is a sampling (from a recent MOE motion) of how Esther is getting under MOE’s skin. Got it?

costs motion sept 24_Fotor

Continue reading

Accessiblility is a ‘novel’ issue to the ERT

accessibility2Adelaide Wind Project
MLWAG & Wrightman vs. Nextera & MOE  Preliminary Hearing, Sept 16, Strathroy
After many twists and turns, what began 4 years ago as a fight against  a faceless, uncaring foreign corporation, aided by a two-faced political and administrative elite, comes full-up against the citizens.

Briefly the issues coalesced right from the start:
A lone camcorder stood unobtrusively to the side waiting to be activated. In a panic, NextEra counsel, Mahony immediately drew ERT Chair Muldoon’s attention to it, who then asked the appelants if it was turned on. It was not— further discussion delayed until later. No microphone were present again – the audience cold not hear what was being said.

Two residents then applied for presenter status which was quickly granted. Then 5 minutes later a surprise arrived – Stephana Johnston, from Clear Creek announced that she too wished to make a presentation speaking to the faults of the appeal process. Not being able to hear from the back, she moved her walker to the front and positioned it facing Nextera rep, Ben Greenhouse and counsel Dennis Mahony. This was very noticeable. Continue reading

REA process faces Charter test in Shelburne

Will the province’s Renewable Energy Approval (REA) process pass a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms litmus test? Despite objection from the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) has agreed to hear a constitutional challenge to the REA process in Shelburne next week.

“That’s the big news. They’re willing to sit and listen,” said Dennis Sanford, president of Wind Resistance Melancthon. “Certain rights have been squashed or ignored through the whole (REA) process and we’re trying to call attention to that fact.” The province recently gave Dufferin Wind Power Inc. the green light to construct a 99 MW wind farm in Melancthon and run a 230 kV transmission line from that site to Amaranth. Both Sanford and the citizen’s advocacy group, Conserving Our Rural Environment (CORE), promptly appealed that approval to the ERT.

After pre-hearings held earlier this month, the ERT is willing to hear the argument from Sanford’s lawyer, Eric Gillespie, that the province’s REA process is unconstitutional. The MOE unsuccessfully argued before the ERT to have that constitutional challenge tossed. “It’s a challenge to the whole REA. It takes it beyond the REA for this Dufferin Wind project,” Sanford said. “It actually applies to the province and all of the wind projects that are going up that fall under the REA.” Efforts to reach the MOE for comment have so far been unsuccessful. The ERT has scheduled a 19-day hearing in Shelburne starting on Tuesday (Aug. 20) at Grace Tipling Hall at 10 a.m. Read article

Ernestown Wind Project approved

Approved-Rubber-Stamp-724817Environmental Registry
A Renewable Energy Approval (REA) has been issued to Ernestown Windpark Inc. to engage in a renewable energy project in respect of a Class 4 wind facility consisting of the construction, installation, operation, use and retiring of 5 turbines, rated at 2.0 megawatts (MW) generating output capacity, with a total nameplate capacity of 10 MW. The wind facility will be connected to Hydro One’s distribution system.

This Class 4 wind facility, known as the Ernestown Wind Park, will be located in Loyalist Township, County of Lennox and Addington.
The REA requires the proponent to construct, install, operate, use and retire the facility in accordance with specific terms and conditions.

The terms and conditions, as summarized below, require the proponent to:

  • construct and install the facility within 3 years of the date of the approval,
  • construct and install the facility in accordance with the documentation considered for the issuance of this approval,
  • properly decommission the facility upon retirement of the facility,
  • carry out an acoustic immission audit of the sound levels produced by the operation of the equipment, Read more

MOE and developer challenge Ostrander Point Tribunal decision in court

Ostrander Point AppelThe Times
Both the Ministry of Environment (MOE) and wind energy developer Gilead Power Corporation have concluded they can’t live with an environmental review tribunal decision last month to revoke the approval of a nine-turbine project on Crown land at Ostrander Point. Both the MOE and the developer have decided to appeal the Tribunal decision that stopped the development in its tracks to the Ontario Superior Court.

The Tribunal had been persuaded the risks to the Blanding’s turtle that nest on this project site were too great and that mitigation measures were likely insufficient and in any event untested and unproven. And given the Blanding’s turtle is an endangered species, the network of roads needed to service the turbines posed too great a threat to the species in the Tribunal’s view.

It is the first renewable energy approval overturned by a review tribunal. The stakes were high for the developer, the Ministry of Environment, the appellants, the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) and the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) and, of course the Blanding’s turtle. Read article

Message from Saugeen Shores to a premier who has failed the people

Get this straight and get this straight right now. I don’t want one nickel of my tax dollars being paid to fat-cat lawyers hired by YOU to try and reverse a tribunal decision. The tribunal was appointed by You and your corrupt cronies at another tax payer subsidy. That result should be FINAL!

Finally some real justice against you scoundrels against the biggest government subsidized scandal of all time. You need to change your glasses and look past the pro-wind lobby you allow to corrupt Queens’s Park. You are so full of BS when you try to convince voters that you deserve a new start.

Your new start wish is already full of lies. This tribunal challenge proves your despicable moral standards. You want communities to have more say in turbine decisions yet new turbine sites are still being approved. You are a liar of unheard standards. You and your energy minister want to rework the energy portfolio yet turbine contracts have locked this province into an electrical spiral of increasing costs for 20 years. What an example for aspiring youth you aren’t! Continue reading

Fight over wind project on rare turtle habitat rages on

blandings_turtleToronto Star
There may be yet another round in the battle over an endangered turtle habitat in Prince Edward County. Gilead Power and the Environment ministry are challenging the findings of an environmental review tribunal, which last month sided with defenders of Blanding’s turtle, and stopped a wind farm from being built on Ostrander Point.

The decision, which overturned the province’s earlier approval of the project, is now being appealed to divisional court, which will determine whether to hear the case. The tribunal determined that the required access roads would cause “serious and irreversible harm” to the rare reptile.

But Michael Lord, vice-president of Gilead Power, said the tribunal “does not have any jurisdiction” to comment on a permit issued in 2012 by the Natural Resources ministry under the Endangered Species Act. Lord said the ministry granted the “overall benefit” permit because it felt “we had put sufficient mitigation measures in, as well as 20 years of impact monitoring on the site.” Read article

Gilead, MoE file appeals

sign blanding turtleBelleville Intelligencer
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY – Appeals filed by a Port Perry-based company and an Ontario ministry aren’t surprising for a small group of Prince Edward County residents but they are disappointing. Cheryl Anderson, spokesperson for the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, said her group anticipated Gilead Power to appeal a recent Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) decision that ruled the proposed wind turbine project at Ostrander Point posed serious risk to wildlife — namely Blanding’s turtles — on the Crown land. However, she said, the fact the Ontario Ministry of the Environment also filed a counter-appeal was somewhat a shock.

“We’re not surprised. We’d been advised to expect it,” she said. “It is discouraging the Ministry of the Environment also counter-appealed because, I think, as citizens of Ontario we expect our Ministry of the Environment and our Ministry of Natural Resources to be protecting special places and special habitats. They’re not doing that.” Neither representatives of Gilead Power or the MoE could be reached for comment Monday.

The Ministry of Environment issued an approval to Ostrander Point Wind Energy LP for the nine-turbine Ostrander Point project on Dec. 20, 2012. Last month, the ERT stated in its ruling that “the Tribunal finds that mortality due to roads, brought by increased vehicle traffic, poachers and predators, directly in the habitat of Blanding’s turtle, a species that is globally endangered and threatened in Ontario, is serious and irreversible harm to Blanding’s turtles at Ostrander Point Crown Land Block that will not be effectively mitigated by the conditions in the (Renewable Energy Approval).” Read article