On May 28, 2015, the Court of Appeal for Ontario denied leave to appeal to the Drennans, Dixons, Ryans, and the Kroeplins, in respect of their Charter Challenge to the current legislation for the approval of wind turbine projects.
These farm families had been seeking the opportunity to argue that the Environmental Protection Act provisions approving renewable energy projects exposes them to a reasonable prospect of serious harm to their health and therefore does not comply with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Health Canada Study Summary Results released on November 6, 2014, showed an association between wind turbine noise and annoyance, and an association between wind turbine noise annoyance and sleep disturbances, migraines, tinnitus, dizziness, and measured blood pressure and hair cortisol.
Shawn Drennan commented on the Court of Appeal’s decision: “We are disappointed with the Court’s decision not to hear our case. No one has been able to tell us that the turbines are safe. We are being told that we have to wait to be harmed before we can do anything to stop them. The Court has given us two choices: leave the land my family has farmed for three generations, or be a guinea pig for the government and the wind companies.”
Lawyer for the farm families, Julian N. Falconer commented: “This decision will leave people like my clients, who face massive wind development projects across this Province, in an impossible position. The Health Canada Study has already shown an association between the turbines and serious health effects. My clients and other families in rural Ontario will now have to suffer these adverse health effects before they can seek any relief from our court system. It won’t surprise anyone that my clients are frustrated with a process that seems to be stacked against them.”
While this decision may restrict these farm families from pursuing Charter remedies for these harms, they are committed to exploring the other legal options available to them and to holding both the government and the wind turbine companies accountable for the failure to protect their health.
Concerned citizen groups throughout the Province remain committed to seeking justice for those in rural communities affected by industrial wind projects.
For further information, please contact Odi Dashsambuu of Falconers LLP at 416-964-0495, extension 248.