ERT transcripts are PUBLIC documents

confidential[Ed. Note: I sent this e-mail out last week (twice), with no answer yet from the ERT. I thought it would be a short matter of just looking at the rules and saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’. My opinion: we (the public) should have access to the Transcripts as soon as the ERT has possession of them. That’s what the rules say, if I’m reading them right. Ask for a digital copy of a transcript or two… could be valuable material for a court case or something down the road. Oh and let me know if the ERT responds (-;]
—————————-

Dear Ms. Pietrzyk,
Please forward this concern and request on to the members of the Environmental Review Tribunal.

On Friday November 8, 2013 at the Adelaide ERT hearing in London, Mr. Harvey Wrightman asked the ERT chair Mr. Dirk Vanderbent if the tribunal would be receiving and using a transcript for this hearing.

The discussion went as follows:

Vanderbent – We don’t request transcripts. The rules provide that if the parties order one they have to provide a copy. If nobody orders one we don’t get one.

MLWAG – All right, so if there is one you’ll get one in other words.

Vanderbent – That’s right.

MLWAG – All right – but we don’t. That’s the whole point, and that’s been a point of contention in the hearings that we’ve been in, because we have no access to the transcript unless we – we have no money to pay for it.

Vanderbent –  Well, the short answer is that the Tribunal doesn’t deal with that. That’s not within our jurisdiction, in the sense that we can’t order people to provide funding to another parties.

MLWAG –  Some other Tribunals do though. I guess it’s a rules thing, right?

Vanderbent –  There’s nothing further I can say on that, I mean, our rules govern what we do and how we do it.

MLWAG –  The rules are not terribly fair to the appellants then.

Vanderbent –  Well, that’s a policy evaluation which we can’t comment on as it doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the rules.

NextEra Energy (Torys LLP) hired a court reporter to transcribe all hearing days including teleconference calls, the preliminary hearing and motion days.

Having reviewed the Rules of Practice for the ERT it appears that if they are followed, all parties in this case should receive an electronic copy of the full transcript when it is in the possession of the ERT: 

  • Verbatim Reporters and Transcripts
    178.         Any Party may arrange for the attendance of a qualified verbatim reporter at his or her own expense, provided that the first Party to order a transcript shall also provide, at their expense, an electronic copy to the Tribunal as part of the record.
  • Access to Documents and the Tribunal Record
    210. All persons are entitled to have reasonable access to the Tribunal’s public record unless the Tribunal makes an order under Rule 211.211. At the request of a Party or on its own initiative, the Tribunal may order all or part of a document to be marked “confidential”, where appropriate, in which case it shall not form part of the public record.
  • public record” includes an application or Notice of Appeal, the decision appealed or referred to the Tribunal, any Notice, all documents filed with the Tribunal, any correspondence to and from the Tribunal, transcripts, orders of the Tribunal, and the Tribunal’s final decision, recommendation or report, but does not include those documents that are marked confidential by order of the Tribunal under Rule 211, or members’ notes or members’ recordings of Tribunal proceedings;

I request that as soon as the transcripts for the Wrightman v. MOE hearing are available to the ERT and form part of the  ‘public record’, that a digital copy be promptly distributed to the other parties.

Yours truly,
Esther Wrightman

29 thoughts on “ERT transcripts are PUBLIC documents

    • The key is the transcripts have to be ordered and paid for. Anyone can call up the court reporter and ask for a copy of the transcript – but they must pay for it. This is how the court reporter makes her living.

      • ‘[excerpt] Access to Documents and the Tribunal Record
        210. All persons are entitled to have reasonable access to the Tribunal’s public record unless the Tribunal makes an order under Rule 211.211. At the request of a Party or on its own initiative, the Tribunal may order all or part of a document to be marked “confidential”, where appropriate, in which case it shall not form part of the public record.’

        How much does it cost – to break the rules?

  1. If I’m a consultant providing testimony/information to the Tribunal then I can have my testimony/information declared confidential?

    • One presumes that there would be a rationale for doing so… i.e. deleting so called confidential materials from tribunal records.

      If they did declare a portion to be “confidential” — and you remembered the details of the testimony I also presumes that nothing prevents you from publishing what you recall and why it may have been deleted.

      It’s not the crime — it’s the cover up that generates the news.

      People here should be more angry. They should learn to play dirty.

      • when I made a comment about Rotter saying we all know why people get sick around turbines, it’s because of property values to my MPP he said he could look at the transcripts at Queens Park.

    • Records that are usually declared confidential are often personal medical or financial records that have become part of the proceedings. Remember many of the witnesses who have testified have provided ALL of their PERSONAL medical records (of 10 year duration) for discovery and examination at recent ERTs. The request for confidentiality is often made as a condition of surrounding these documents for examination.

      Another example of records that have been marked confidential is the actual site locations of species at risk, or endangered, to protect them and their habitat from interference (eg bat hibernation sites, snake wintering dens,turtle nesting sites, or oops “eagle nests”)

  2. The New York Times exposed how consultants are used to obtain contracts.
    Just another way of using consultants?

  3. Didn’t one of the guys from Intrinsik criticize Dr. Bigelow’s report and this same fellow tesified at the ERT? Paid NextEra consultant?

    • Bear in mind that the story Nature tells is that Global Warming is real, The Green Energy Revolution is a requirement to saving the planet, that Carbon Dioxide is the enemy — and that people like us are the ones peddling junk science.

      Their warnings are to protect the gullible against people like us that have a different story.

      It’s a great story (narrative) Irony anyone?

      Recommended reading here as well…
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narrative

      Cheers!

  4. These are twenty ponits to inform the public of what is taking place. People go to IRT hearings and they don’t understand what is taking place.
    The article also points out the scientific ignorance of politicans who vote on scientific issues.

    Nature, Nov.11,2013
    “Weak statistical standards implicated in scientific irreproducibility”
    “One quarter of studies that meet commonly used statistical cutoffs may be false.”
    http://www.nature.com/news/weak-statistical-standards-implicated-in-scientific-irreproducibility-1.14131

  5. We are at it again, friends! Pretending that any legal or governmental agent appearing for the provincial government at these ERT’s is remotely interested in following protocol, or even the law, if they can get away without doing so.
    To change things our side needs an appellant with deep enough pockets not only to afford to request an ERT Hearing but also with enough disposable excess to challenge a system with an apparent inexhaustible access to all of Ontario’s tax revenues.

    I’ve studied the accounts of past ERTs on this site, and elsewhere, and actually attended my first pre-Hearing only this week. It took a very short time to see that the last thing the Hearing was about was any concern for the environment and even less for any input from members of the communities directly impacted.

    A great way for the lawyers on both sides, and the civil servants involved, to while away a few days, with their decision probably already made, and submit claims for expenses at the same time!

    And meanwhile the contractor is permitted to carry on with putting these machines up as he pleases……………… The ‘system’ as it is is totally broken and not a little corrupt,,,,,,,,
    Andrew Watts

  6. Public Appointments Secretariat
    Agencies List;
    Ministry: Attorney General
    Agency: Conservation Review Board
    Robert Wright
    Alan Levy
    Jerry Demarco

    Ministry:Attorney General
    Agency: Assessment Review Board
    Susan Schiller
    lynda Taraka
    Jerry Demarco
    These are interlocking agency members. OMB, ERT, Conservation, Assessment Review
    http://www.pas.gov.on.ca/scripts/en/BoardList.asp
    Check out some of the other agencies.

  7. ‘[excerpt] MLWAG – The rules are not terribly fair to the appellants then.

    Vanderbent – Well, that’s a policy evaluation which we can’t comment on as it doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the rules.’

    Getting your goals in gear:
    ‘[excerpt] Access to Documents and the Tribunal Record
    210. All persons are entitled to have reasonable access to the Tribunal’s public record unless the Tribunal makes an order under Rule 211.211. At the request of a Party or on its own initiative, the Tribunal may order all or part of a document to be marked “confidential”, where appropriate, in which case it shall not form part of the public record.’

    Note: Rule 211.211. – cha cha……………….
    ‘[excerpt] NextEra Energy (Torys LLP) hired a court reporter to transcribe all hearing days including teleconference calls, the preliminary hearing and motion days.’

    Welcome to Ontario – CONFIDENTIAL – do you have anything to say?

  8. “Ideas for a ‘More Effective environmental Movement in Canada’ a paper for the J.W. McConnell Family foundation by Jerry DeMarco an ex-managing Lawyer of the Ontario office of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund.
    http://rcen.ca/resources/groups

    Ministry Of The Attorney General, Jan.28,2011
    “Tribunal clustering is part of government’s ‘Open Ontario plan’ to ensure social justice is more effective, accessible and affordable for Ontarians, and is aaccountable, transparent and efficient.”
    http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/news/2011/20110128-socialjustice-nr.asp
    Jerry Demarco mentioned in this news release. Accounts for the overlapping among boards.

    • “Ms. Johnston, for your information, there isn’t a sharing of information from one hearing to the next because there are different parties in different proceedings. And each proceeding is based on the evidence called in that proceeding. So, if the person wants to call evidence, they have to call whoever it is that is providing whatever it is at each specific hearing. Alright? So, on that basis, I’m going to ask you to proceed, but again, the direction is that you not deal with the subject area of your own personal health issues related to wind turbines.”
      – Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal, Panel Member Mr. VANDERBENT,
      October 30, 2013

      docuse.wordpress.com

  9. Environmental And Land Tribunals Ontario/ENTO
    Executive Chair, Lynda Tanaka
    Comprised of:
    Assessment Review Board
    Board of Negotiation
    Conservation Review Board
    ERT
    OMB
    http://www.elto.gov.on.ca/english/default.html
    These five boards that comprise this cluster can just about control the Ontario IWT issues.
    Legslative assembly of Ontario
    Committee Transcripts: Standing Committee on Government Agencies, May 10, 2011-Intended Appointments
    Lynda Tanaka’s appointment as Executive Chair. of ELTO
    Appears there was little to no opposition by any of the parties to her appointment.
    http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/committee-proceedings/committee_transcripts.do?ParlID=8859&locale=en#TparlCommID8859
    Select: Committee On Government Agencies (scroll down)
    2007-Dec-10-2011-Sept-07

  10. The top citation should be ELTO as well.
    It also appears that there was little or no opposition to clustering these boards at QP so that a few individuals can contol things across these various boards.

  11. It’s obvious now why a law was made to require various issues to be heard before these boards and why you can’t get to court without going to these boards first.
    People have posted at OWR about their concerns about the OMB and rightly so!

    • Premier Social Justice –
      and, if you look closer
      she has fans,
      and, an election year is looming.

      Need a scandal?

      Toronto Negotiations will set pattern across Canada
      ‘[excerpt] PV Ontario Bureau Close to 30,000 municipal workers, organized into three CUPE Locals, are facing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and a right-wing majority on City Council, with Canada-wide implications’
      http://www.ontariocpc.ca/

      All eyes on Toronto politics!
      Go Mayor Ford!

      All politics are local politics;
      and, what’s your mayor doing for you;
      and, why not?

      Again – Go Mayor Ford!

  12. ERT Board includes:
    Paul Muldoon
    http://www.waterkeeper.ca/2006/05/11/environment-lawyer-joins-review-tribunal
    Maureen Carter-Whitney, CIELAP’S Reasearch Director
    Canadian Institute For Environmental Law And Policy, one of Canada’s top environment think-tanks.
    http://www.cielap.org/press_2007_09_05.php
    Heather McLeod-kilmurray,
    University of Ottawa, environmental law
    http://www.commonlaw.uottawa.ca/en/heather-mcleod-kilmurray.html?Item_id=151
    Alan David Levy,one of the founding members of Canadian Environmental Law Association.
    http://www.cela/article/readers-digest-celas-history

    ERT Board
    http://www.pas.gov.on.ca/scripts/boardDetails.asp?boardID=755

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *