By Denis Langlois, Sun Times
A group of southwestern Ontario residents is hoping to take to the next level a constitutional challenge of the province’s approval process for large-scale wind farms. The residents, represented by Toronto-based law firm Falconers LLP, are seeking leave to appeal a Dec. 29 decision by the Ontario Divisional Court, which ruled against four families who live close to proposed wind farms and have raised serious concerns about the health impacts of industrial turbines. A decision on whether or not the Ontario Court of Appeal will hear the matter is expected within 30 to 90 days.
“Basically what we’re fighting is setbacks. It’s not necessarily an anti-wind movement. It’s that the setbacks aren’t appropriate to protect the health and safety of people,” said Kevin McKee, president of Huron-Kinloss Against Lakeside Turbines (HALT), which is helping to fund the legal fight. The so-called “Charter Challenge” claims the province’s process for granting wind farm approvals violates the residents’ right to security of the person as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
McKee said an Ontario court has not yet heard or ruled on that claim. “What we’re hoping for is the appeals court of Ontario, which is the next step, will listen to our case, will respect the law and will invoke the Charter,” he said. Read article