Green energy laws ‘skewed’ in favour of turbines, lawyer contends

FalconerBy Kate Dubinski, The London Free Press
Lawyers representing four families battling wind turbine projects in Southwestern Ontario continued their legal arguments Tuesday in a London courtroom, arguing that the government is asking rural residents to bear the psychological and physical brunt of green energy projects.

“The legislative scheme is so skewed to fast-track green energy projects that it gives no meaningful way to appeal the projects,” said laywer Asha James, who represents the four families at the divisional court hearing. “(We) submit that given the state of current scientific knowledge, if an appellant is able to prove that there’s a reasonable expectation of harm, that is enough to stop a project.” The lawyers are asking the three Superior Court trial judges hearing an appeal of a decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal to rewrite the law because it’s unfair.

Tuesday was the second day of what was supposed to be a three-day hearing, but the lawyers for the defendants — starting with lawyers for the government — didn’t start their arguments until late in the day, so the hearing will likely go into Thursday. The government lawyers, who will be followed by lawyers representing three wind turbine projects, will argue that the original tribunal found that there wasn’t any serious harm to people living near wind turbines and that the Renewable Energy Act doesn’t deprive anyone of their fundamental rights, said Matthew Horner, one of the government lawyers. Read article

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