Stephana Johnston, the grandmother of our wind resistance, has passed away at age 88. Somehow I still think she will post a comment here about that, she seems that eternal.
I said she was the ‘grandmother,’ though in the way that spoke to her intellect, her thoughtfulness, courage and determination. We watched her lead this last fight while she was well into her 80’s – how many of us can even dream of accomplishing what she did, at that age, while evicted from her home and suffering debilitating health effects from the wind turbines that surrounded her? Do a search for her name on this site and the results are endless. She was at nearly every ERT hearing – not just in the audience, but participating, which means she had to prepare for each of the appeals as well! In-between, she was at as many protests as I can even remember. Even if it was in downtown Toronto. Did someone drive her? Nope, she could do it herself.
I have so many fond memories of her, every time she arrived our spirits were lifted. Some were humorous as she had a wry wit, many were touching, but most were teaching moments. You couldn’t help but watch her deliberate movements, and listen to her well chosen words, and know that everything she did and said had meaning and purpose. When we were banned from handing out papers at a Pembina meeting on wind turbines, she turned her walker around and sat there by the entrance door, continuing to hand those banished papers to attendees. I remember glancing at the police officer, noting he wouldn’t touch her, and she knew it – because she was in the right. She was the perfect quiet protestor.
I know many of you will have memories as well – do share them – she’d enjoy it so much.
Here are some bits from the archives that describe her personality, her struggle and work over the years:
Fisherville ERT: In the Land of All Day Breakfast
… Mr. Adamson (Ministry of Environment Lawyer) chafed at the very idea of the individual post-turbine witness testimony saying that,”…they (post-turbine witnesses) should not be allowed to testify about their medical issues.”
The arguments reflect an “archaic-modernist” view that the peasants are in the way – they don’t deserve even the semblance of judicial fairness if they cannot afford the demands put upon them. Clear Creek resident, and witness, Stephana Johnston was seated beside me. A tear came to her eye when he said this.
Haldimand Appeal – May 4th
…NextEra was of much the same mind, though counsel John Terry, took a bit less time to spew the same blather and nonsense. He took pains to explain that he must have the extensive medical records so that he may have them competently reviewed and so “test” the case evidence for verity. Why he needs 10 years worth of records was not explained, nor did Ms. Harris offer any rationale either.
There were a couple of questions from the ERT panel members. One asked Mr.Terry how he would view the call for extensive evidence if this case is viewed as a “public interest” case. Mr. Terry replied that in the interests of fairness to defendants, a “robust process” is needed with appropriate expert testimony.
Another question to him was: Is a family doctor’s opinion (diagnosis) sufficient (evidence). Mr. Terry said that the G.P.’s notes need expert evaluation. Stephana Johnson turned to me and softly said, “There are no doctors expert in this medical problem.” – that from someone who can offer expert (though unofficial) opinion. Continue reading