Julian Falconer : wind companies “blood-sucking, intimidating bullies. It’s not just a bar to justice, it’s actually a terror tactic”

SHAWN DRENNANColin Perkel, Globe and Mail 
A demand that four Ontario families pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs to billion-dollar companies is a thinly disguised warning to anyone pondering a challenge to industrial wind farms in Ontario, the families say. In asking the courts to set the legal bill aside, the citizens say the award would cripple them financially and undermine access to justice, even in important public-interest cases.

Court documents show the companies – K2 Wind, Armow, and St. Columban – are seeking $340,000 in costs from the Drennans, Ryans, Dixons and Kroeplins, who lost their bid to scuttle three wind-farm projects.

The families, who worry wind turbines near their homes could harm their health, had challenged the constitutionality of Ontario’s approvals process before Divisional Court. They are now hoping the province’s top court will hear the case, potentially adding more litigation costs. Shawn Drennan said his $240,000 bill was excessive given that he was only looking to protect his rights. Read article

35 thoughts on “Julian Falconer : wind companies “blood-sucking, intimidating bullies. It’s not just a bar to justice, it’s actually a terror tactic”

  1. Is there a citizen coalition against these disgusting ravages to our green spaces in Ontario? If so how do I sign up!

    • ‘[excerpt] Shawn Drennan said his $240,000 bill was excessive given that he was only looking to protect his rights.

      “We will have to go to the bank and beg and ask if we can borrow more money to pay their costs and it will be a significant burden on my wife and I,” Shawn Drennan told The Canadian Press. “My wife already works two jobs.”

      Lawyer Julian Falconer, who represents the families, called the wind companies “blood-sucking, intimidating bullies.”

      “It’s not just a bar to justice, it’s actually a terror tactic,” Falconer said in an interview.

      “This is not about money. The idea is to send a message: ‘We will wipe you out if you challenge us.’”

      The companies say the high-stakes court challenge forced them to deploy considerable legal resources to defend projects they say are safe.

      “While the appellants were entitled to bring their litigation, their decision to do so had significant consequences,” St. Columban argues in its court filing.

      “There must be an appreciation of the real disruption, and real cost, suffered by the adverse party.”

      Generally speaking and as a matter of fairness, the losing side in civil proceedings has to pay the legal bills incurred by the winning side.

      K2, which is putting up 140 turbines, some of which are about 750 metres from the Drennans’ home near Goderich, Ont., says the families knew the risks of losing.

      In addition, the failed bid to halt construction pending outcome of their court battle was unnecessary and should “never have been brought,” K2 says in its submissions.

      The families argue they raised an important and novel constitutional issue that is squarely in the public interest given the reasonable prospect of serious harm to the health of citizens. They also say they did not stand to benefit financially.

      The companies reject that argument. They maintain the families were indeed fighting a personal battle, do have the means to pay, and say the case was in fact contrary to the public interest because the challenge delayed government-approved green-energy projects.

      For the families, it’s become a case of “lose your home to save your home,” they say.

      “By simply exercising their right to access to the courts, the appellant families now face the disheartening prospect of financial ruin,” their submission states.

      “When, as in this particular case, the consequence of that access becomes crippling financial loss, ‘access to justice’ becomes a meaningless platitude.”’

      • Wind turbine operators
        can do no wrong!
        It’s right there –
        in the contract!

        ‘[excerpt] The companies reject that argument. They maintain the families were indeed fighting a personal battle, do have the means to pay, and say the case was in fact contrary to the public interest because the challenge delayed government-approved green-energy projects.’

  2. Walk away as they are all possessed in legal fraud. They are contracting with the dead legal name and not you. This is why you do not win as courts play ball there way,win and what to loose is up to them.
    You play ball in there courts they play by there rules,and you do not know the spells in there spelling as it is legalese you do not understand. So that is why you hire a lawyer [liar] as they are the only ones that can participate in that language BAR society exempt for using there legal name
    Yes, it is a mine field this game called court of just us. Rip off!

  3. I find this guide helpful:

    -in identifying the tactics being used by some commenters.

    As you read the comments in the Globe and Mail, you can see for yourself who has actually read the article carefully and has fully understood the obvious injustices.
    Julian Falconer has described the wind companies brilliantly.
    The Drennans deserve financial support.They chose to go to the courts to seek protection of the rights of all who face the threat of wind turbines and their infrastructure in close proximity to their homes and barns.

  4. Canada Revenue Agency/CRA

    Income Tax Act, Legal and Accounting Fees

    Form IT-99r5 (Consolidated) or form IT-99R5

    P.2, Par.4

    Legal costs to prosecute or to defend most tort, contract or other claims arising in the ordinary course of business, Par.8 below, if the taxpayer is successful in a legal proceeding, the gross amount of the legal fees which are otherwise deductible must be reduced by any legal costs awarded by the court which are received by the taxpayer.

    Then see Para.8, p.3


    However, this information might not be up-to date.

    An issue to check out in this situation?

  5. The government of Ontario removed funding that used to be in place and available for ordinary citizens that had to fight big corporations. They knew this was coming and have looked after draining the population of strength and money. It is still available in other provinces.

  6. While I wouldn’t have counseled continuation of the appeals after the outcome was clear, still this is a travesty of justice. Especially disheartening are the typical comments from the G&M readers.

    K2 partner Samsung signed contracts with McGuinty for between $6-8B, and have enough cash to paper Ashfield ward with grants for everything from country-rock festivals to school ground equipment, but cannot afford to their legal expenses. This is simply a hardball tactic from K2 to prevent any dissent whatever from their planned revenue stream.

      • Like, for example:

        You were bribed and/or benefited,
        and didn’t want your accountant to know.
        And now you’re a Tax Evader.

        But – you are
        “not the police”….

    • These wind companies are gambling on the possibility that rural people will not be able to afford the legal fees. This is precisely why we must continue this challenge as far as we possibly can.
      The bonds of support that are developing among rural people in communities where this imposition is taking place are growing stronger as this nightmare continues.
      Learn as much as you can about the depth of this violation and why Julian Falconer made such a strong statement.
      Allow your sense of compassion to guide you toward lending your help to the victims affected in whatever way you can.

      • Rural Ontarians are learning more every day about their situation.

        It was a strong statement likely based on plenty of knowledge and experience?

  7. What’s more remarkable – municipal mayors’ smugness
    …..on the issue of wind turbines.
    It’s become popular –
    …..to ignore legitimate concerns!

    Let’s analyze the smugness – for a minute.

    • Right. Mr Drennan ran for reeve last fall and was defeated by the incumbent, who has a signed contract with K2. Worse another councilor in Ashfield was elected who also is a stake holder. This means any business concerning K2 and it is a $B development, which impacts many files, requires 2 of 3 Ashfield representatives to leave the table.

      Apart from being stuck with a crippling legal bill, He also has to pay his neighbours wind fall FIT tariffs through his taxes. This goes without serious objection in 21th century Ont.

      • Income taxes are so complicated that even experts can’t fully understand them.

        Income taxes can be used to drive government policies and buy the public’s votes.

      • Hey Martin,

        On the topic of smugness:

        Councillors in Ontario – in most municipalities
        gave away their rights……[to serve their community]
        – as a council member;
        and instead opted for –
        – the committee system.

        And that serves – the United Nations plan.

        That’s pretty smug of them.
        Or is it – just plain stupid?

        Finally – has this opened them up to certain kinds of lawsuits?

        p.s. they should have been a little more open – so the ordinary person
        attending council meetings – would have known –
        it wasn’t a council meeting –
        – in the traditional sense – @ all.

      • ‘[excerpt] Julian Falconer : wind companies “blood-sucking, intimidating bullies. It’s not just a bar to justice, it’s actually a terror tactic”’

        Municipal councils in Ontario – should pay the legal bill.
        They continue to take money from wind developers.

        Maybe there ought to be an investigation – because they say –
        they can do nothing – except take money from wind developers.

        Pay up!

      • Smugness!
        @ the local level of government!

        Using the Delphi Technique to Achieve Consensus
        How it is leading us away from representative government to an illusion of citizen participation

        How smart do you have to be – to figure out
        – you are being delph’d to death
        @ the local level of government?

        The committee – will see you now!

  8. Hey Barbara,

    Simple math:

    The feeling of being taxed to death – takes away from putting
    food on the table.
    Worse – less money to buy my – dream car.

    I’m trying to be frugal – to please my accountant.

  9. As a demonstration of the lack of legal ethics in Canada, this case needs to be exposed.
    People simply do not understand what this family is being forced to reckon with. I hope everyone in Ontario watches the TVO documentary ‘Big Wind’ when it is aired.It tells the raw truth. If one can sit through the whole documentary and not be flooded with compassion, then I would question their moral compass.
    The Drennans deserve our full support.

  10. Those who propose imposing IWTs upon rural Ontarians by using psychological tactics should spend a week meditating in a Holocost museum reflecting on what extreme psychological tactics can lead to, IMO.

    • And now these psychological tactics have shown their ugly heads again here in Ontario!

      How about those contracts for undisclosed amounts of money which employ psychological tactics which also include “shame” letters sent to Hydro customers?

    • Had a psychology course that was taught by an internationally noted psychologist who just happened to be Jewish.

      Psychological tactics can be very dangerous according to what he taught.

      So this is what I base my opinion on.

    • Contributions – from starving psychologists

      [excerpt] While psychology has been an international field since its origins in 1879, its place in the UN is unusual.’


      [excerpt] 7th Annual Psychology Day at the United Nations: Psychology’s Contributions to Sustainable Development: Challenges and Solutions for the Global Agenda
      April 24, 2014

      A complete webcast is available.’

  11. Big Wind will be shown on TVO on Wednesday, March 25 at 9:00 p.m., Sunday, March 29 at 9:00 p.m., and Tuesday, March 31st at 9:00 p.m.

    Please tell others.

  12. I saw this explanation somewhere:

    “If one person encourages two to watch this documentary, and each of those goes out to find two more, ten doublings gives us a thousand. If ten more doublings are accomplished we are at a million.”

    I don’t know about the math but the message behind it is that this is how we amplify support.

  13. Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, June 10, 2013

    “Wind Energy TechnoCentre receives funding from Government of Canada”

    Amount: $3,056,227 financial contribution.



    Wind energy TechnoCentre, Jan, 2015

    Is the only research facility in the world that studies the behaviour and performance of wind energy equipment in a cold climate and on complex terrain.


    See their client list.

    More information on wind industry support by government.

  14. The Ontario government has
    to regulate electricity contracts;

    Some of Mike Crawley’s victims
    are complaining

    In Australia….
    Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council
    CEO Warwick Anderson testifies before Senate Committee:

    Community Affairs Legislation Committee –


    From the transcript:
    [at 5:36] Prof. Anderson: Quite a lot of research was accessed that has been done on noise and distance as part of the report. You have mentioned a couple of studies, but there are quite a lot of others documented in our report as so-called parallel evidence. The overwhelming bulk of the evidence shows that, up to 500 metres, there are indeed effects on health of noise at the level that wind turbines do. From 500 to 1,500, the evidence is that there probably are, although they are probably modest. And the bulk of evidence shows that, after 1,500 metres, although some people may indeed individually attribute their sleep to the wind turbine noise, the likelihood is low. I want to assure you that the research we are going to call for is not going to restrict people from any of those conclusions. We will be looking for the very best research we can.

  15. “We’re all just trying not to pee our pants with excitement.”
    [sorry, can’t remember who said that]

    Hydro One – privatization!

    ‘[excerpt] The cash-strapped Ontario government is taking further steps toward the selling off of assets as recommended by Premier Kathleen Wynne’s privatization czar Ed Clark.

    Clark, the former TD Bank chair, leads a blue-ribbon panel examining ways to find money for an administration struggling with a $12.5 billion budget deficit.

    On Friday, his advisory council on government assets announced it is “now interested in receiving written ideas related to encouraging consolidation and Hydro One Brampton and the distribution business within Hydro One Networks.”

    Alan Hibben, a retired RBC Capital Markets senior investment banker, has volunteered to work with Clark’s council to ensure the utilities fetch a decent price from potential buyers.

    Clark has said liquidating Hydro One Brampton and Hydro One Networks’ distribution arm, which are parts of Hydro One, the provincial transmission company, would bring in between $2 billion and $3 billion in one-time money.

    That windfall would go toward Wynne’s pledge to build $29 billion of transit and transportation infrastructure over the next decade — $15 billion for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and $14 billion for the rest of Ontario.

    Along with selling the hydro assets, Clark’s panel urged a revamp of booze sales in Ontario.

    While cautioning against selling off the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, the council said the privately owned Beer Store monopoly should be forced to pay a “franchise fee” to the province.

    If the parent companies of Labatt, Molson, and Sleeman, which own the 448-outlet beer retailer, balk — or try to hike prices to cover that fee — then the government has threatened to take away the monopoly.

    “Their position is that they can’t afford to absorb a tax,” Clark said last month.

    “If we do decide to charge a franchise fee of some sort (and they say) they don’t have any room, they’re just right up against the wall here and they don’t have a dollar to give . . . we’re saying, ‘Well, then that means you’re really saying is that this franchise that you have is worthless. Would you then give it up?’” said Clark.

    “And then they say they don’t want to, but they don’t want to pay for it. We don’t think that’s a reasonable position. If you really think this thing is valueless, then give it up and we’ll auction it off and see if people would pay something for it.”

    Canada’s National Brewers, which operates the Beer Store, has argued that such a levy is unaffordable.’

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