Legal bullies: Wind turbine corporation picks ridiculous excuse to go after environmentalist

esther3Ezra Levant, Edmonton Sun
A $32 billion energy corporation has filed a massive lawsuit against an Ontario environmentalist named Esther Wrightman. It’s a SLAPP suit: Strategic litigation against public participation. It’s not really about legal arguments. It’s about crushing Wrightman with legal bills and burning up her time, so she can’t spend time campaigning against them.

The lawsuit doesn’t allege Wrightman vandalized their property, or trespassed, or anything like that. Their complaint is that, on her homemade website, Wrightman mocked the company’s name. She even had the temerity to publish a satirical version of their logo. That’s it. That’s why they hired three lawyers at one of Canada’s largest law firms, McCarthy Tetrault, to sue her into the ground.

And the only reason you have not heard of this lawsuit — the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is not defending her free speech, the CBC has not put this on their nightly news — is because the corporate bully here is not an oil company like Exxon. It’s a wind turbine company called NextEra. See, that kind of bullying is OK. Read article

20 thoughts on “Legal bullies: Wind turbine corporation picks ridiculous excuse to go after environmentalist

  1. You are representing thousands and thousands of people across Canada, and indeed the world, Esther. We will stand behind you in this battle between good and evil. Yes…the MSM is strangely silent in all of this. We should demand that they print this, or lose readership.

    • This is more of protecting the fat-cats investments. Try to contain this information to a local area in Ontario and pretend this is only a very few people objecting to IWTs

    • If anyone takes the time to learn who is on the University of Chicago Board of Trustees this will provide an eye opener for them in this Ontario situation.

  2. a BIG wind company trying to silence her and intimidate anyone else from leaking the truth and protesting against their injustices? Hmm…. Sounds an awful lot like Obama’s AG trying to silence the press by getting open ended search warrants.

    Her legal defence appropriately defines the word “terror”, and since the shoe fits, they must acquit ~

    • Canadian Intellectual Property Office
      Canadian Trade Marks Data Base
      Search: NEXTERA, which is the trade mark name in capitals >
      Trademarks Energy Power Marketing & Design
      Shows the official trademark and design mark.
      NOTE the whole thing: This is what it looks like and is registered under.
      Along with this is the logo/symbol picture/design
      Power Marketing
      PAY ATTENTION to the registered details along with the spelling and which letters are in upper case vs. those in lower case.
      Don’t know if the trade mark was ever used by anyone else and abandoned?
      Who has used this whole trademark and design lately?

      • Are the words NEXT & ERA trademarks without the logo as these are common English words. Maybe NEXTERA or Nextera as these are the combination of two very common English words? These words are in common usage.

      • You can’t copyright or trade mark words that are in common usage otherwise no one would be able to talk/speak.

  3. Stay strong Esther………….this amount of blatant bullying against you by an investment entity that has no soul or responsibility to anyone but shareholders should be charged under the new Bully Legislation that their buddies in Queen’s Park keep yapping about!………but then there are huge amounts of cash trading hands here and you shouldn’t get in the way of THAT eh?

  4. A rich multinational company is bringing to bear its unlimited legal resources to SLAPP a poor Ontario women. Where is the outrage from the leaders of the Provincial Government or for that matter the Federal Government? Silent! Why is that? Don’t want to lose that lucrative donation to the political coffers? Bought off? Intimidated? Indifferent? Head in the sand?
    IMHO any or all of the above! Why are these political chickens sterile? It’s because they’ve been effectively neutered by these companies’ lobbyists and monies

    Ontarians, regardless of your political loyalty you simply must fight back against this tyranny.

  5. A west Coast blogger with a small but influential audience has commented on the state of Wind Power in Canada and has commented on the lawsuit by NextEra.

    … I can still remember the halcyon days when Ontario was considered to be A Place to Stand and a Place to Grow:

    But those were the good old days. Back then, even politicians had principles (well, at least that’s my recollection, and I’m sticking to it!)

    These days while I now reside thousands of miles away, the view from here is that the only things that seem to grow in Ontario are deficits … and wind farms. And there seems to be no room for, well, taking a stand – at least not against Big Wind. As the London Free Press recently reported:

    [From the London Free Press]
    Canada’s wind energy giant has slapped a Strathroy-area rock gardener with a lawsuit alleging she’s harming its reputation. In a Goliath-vs-David dispute, NextEra Energy Canada says Esther Wrightman is discrediting it, depreciating its goodwill in the community and mutilating its copyrighted logo. NextEra Energy’s operating revenue in 2012 was $14 billion.

    On the other side is Wrightman, who says she can’t even afford the $144 fee to file her statement of defence. “It’s totally parody,” Wrightman said, defending her manipulation of the NextEra logo. “It’s parody and it’s fair comment on what they’ve done.”

    It may be fair comment — but we know who has the bottomless barrel of money!

  6. Instead — it’s time to go after McGuinty!

    On Friday, McGuinty admitted he “did not devote adequate resources” to informing Liberal political staff about the need to save important documents.

    His statement came two days after Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian concluded emails related to the Liberals’ controversial cancellation of power plants in Oakville and Mississauga were illegally destroyed.

    The plants were scrapped at a cost of at least $585 million to save five Liberals seats in Oakville, Mississauga and Etobicoke in the 2011 election.

    … a far more productive use of time!

  7. Many wonder whether Esther will be treated fairly by the law. Be concerned no more — as Anatole France expressed it…

    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.
    Le Lys Rouge [The Red Lily] (1894), ch. 7

    Majestic indeed. All bow before the legal system in all its majesty!

  8. Very important:

    Those affected by existing litigation that would qualify for dismissal under Bill 83, if enacted, will no doubt be delighted to know that this legislation would explicitly apply to lawsuits commenced even before it comes into force, which could be in the fall session later this year. Although there is a minority government in Ontario, this seems to be an issue that apparently attracts the support of at least one of the opposition parties.

    It will be interesting to see what may transpire if NextEra pursues its current litigation against Ms. Wrightman and if this legislation is passed soon in its present form.

    What’s it about????

    Bill 83 would provide that if a party is sued as the result of “expression” made by a person concerning a matter of public interest, the defendant can move to have the proceedings thrown out unless the plaintiff can show that:
    · The proceeding has “substantial merit”;
    · The moving party has no valid defence; and
    · The harm resulting from the defendant’s expression is sufficiently serious that that public interest in allowing the proceeding to continue would outweigh the public interest in protecting that expression.

    Motions brought under the legislation must be heard within 60 days and, once the motion is made, no further steps can be taken by either party until the motion is finally disposed of. Indeed, the bill creates a process by which a person who brings a motion for dismissal can have an administrative tribunal proceeding automatically stayed if he or she believes that the tribunal proceeding is related to the same matter of public interest that he or she alleges is the basis of the proceeding that is the subject of his or her dismissal motion. The stay remains in effect until the motion is finally disposed of; however, a judge may, on motion, order that it be lifted earlier under certain circumstances.

    And the moving party, if successful, can recover full costs if the proceeding is dismissed. If the proceeding is not dismissed, the responding party will not be awarded costs unless the judge determines that such an award is “appropriate” in the circumstances. The moving party may be awarded “appropriate” damages if the judge finds that the proceeding was brought in bad faith or for an improper purpose.

    This is really important – and would dramatically change the legal landscape in Ontario, as any litigation lawyer will know.

    It would make life interesting in the Wind community. It makes it easier to pass wind and not collect a lawsuit!


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