Prince Edward County vows to fight on

Ostrander Point Appeal Fund 

Preserving critical natural habitats

turtle
“one of the worst possible places to construct a wind farm” (Ontario Nature)
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Press Release   –  February 24, 2014

Round 2 goes to the Turbines

PICTON Ontario.  On January 21-23, 2014, lawyers assembled in Osgoode Hall to hear the arguments of the Ministry of the Environment and Gilead Power against the ERT ruling that revoked the Minister’s approval of the wind turbine project at Ostrander Point.  The decision of the Divisional Court was received on Thursday February 20.
Justice Nordheimer reached the decision that the Tribunal erred in its ruling.  Unless appealed, this decision will result in the industrial development of Ostrander Point Crown Land Block on the South Shore of Prince Edward County (PEC).
Prince Edward County Field Naturalists are disappointed with the ruling of the Divisional Court and do not agree that the Environmental Review Tribunal was wrong.  The group will be seeking leave to appeal the Divisional Court ruling to the Court of Appeal of Ontario.
Ostrander Point is in the middle of the PEC South Shore Important Bird Area.  It is the home of the endangered Blanding’s Turtle and many other species at risk.  Millions of birds fly through and stage for migration from the south shore of PEC in the spring and fall.  The Crown Land Block is adjacent to the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area designated as an international Monarch butterfly reserve.  Ostrander Point includes significant areas of globally imperilled alvar habitat.  Gilead’s wind turbines project will expose migrating birds to lethal turbine blades at a time when they are most vulnerable.  At nearby Wolfe Island the turbines kill more birds than any other installation in Ontario because the eastern end of Lake Ontario is such an important migratory pathway.  The turbine pads and access roads will damage vast swaths of the Crown Land Block – and expose Blanding’s turtles to high road mortality and nest predation while destroying their habitat.  The south Shore of Prince Edward County is the last undeveloped natural habitat along the north shore of Lake Ontario.
For these reasons the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists opposed the development plans from the beginning.  Nature Canada, Ontario Nature, Environment Canada, the Suzuki Foundation, the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, Bird Life International and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds agree that Ostrander Point is the worst place for wind turbines.
The cost of the ERT appeal and subsequent defence of the ERT decision has been very expensive.  PECFN is a small club of mostly retired people.  People all through Ontario and in several other provinces have donated about $130,000 to the cost of this legal battle.  This amount is at least $100,000 short of the estimated final legal bill.  Fund raising continues through events and activities in the County and beyond. The small group is “girding their loins” and arming their slingshots to continue this David and Goliath struggle.

Please Donate. It is important.

For More Information Contact: Cheryl Anderson, Past President
  cherylanderson23@sympatico.ca

When is harming animals not “cruelty”? When it’s for wind power


Turtles and birds: factors in the coming election?

When is animal cruelty OK? When it’s for wind power
On the same day that a 19-year old in Toronto was charged with cruelty to animals for shooting a cat with a pellet gun, the Ontario Divisional Court actually blessed the killing of many other animals.   That includes the endangered Blanding’s Turtle and numerous birds and bats, at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County, where a wind power developer now seemingly has the green light to build on a fragile environment that is home to many forms of wildlife.  
The cruelty to a cat should not be taken lightly, of course, but neither should the granting of licence to kill turtles, birds, and bats or to damage rare plant life to erect industrial wind turbines on Crown land.   The licence granted to the developer, Gilead Power was simply because this Liberal provincial government has decided they “know best”! 
The Ontario Divisional Court ruling released last Thursday upset the onlysuccessful Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) decision in Ontario that ruled against a developer and against the government’s approval of its project.  It is now apparent that the Green Energy Act is supreme in its ability to set the rules on the skills of bureaucrats to issue licences to “kill, harm and harass” any species in Ontario, even though designated as being at-risk or even endangered.   The GEA was obviously a well crafted act that cannot be found in error; the lawyers who crafted it must be proud. 
It must also make the current Liberal Government happy that they have set the bar* so low that no matter what evidence is presented to the ERT or the Ontario courts, they are able to stand up and proclaim that the GEA is an act without equal. 
Maybe when Premier Wynne is running on roads in the tranquil Ontario countryside, depicted in the turbine-free ads for the Liberal Party, she will see a magnificent eagle, or a red-tailed hawk, or if she is lucky, a Blanding’s turtle and she will consider the fate of her own at-risk species: a government no longer acting in the best interests of its people. 
©Parker Gallant
February 21, 2014
*Editor’s note: the Green Energy Act has made the grounds on which Ontario citizens can appeal a renewable power project approval extremely narrow: serious harm to human health, and serious and irreversible harm to the environment. As the lawyer for the industry lobby group, the Canadian Wind Energy Association, stated at the appeal of the Ostrander Point ERT decision, no one was ever supposed to be successful at stopping an approval.
We shall see about that.
A sampling of other projects where wildlife and the environment are endangered by wind power projects:
Algoma: Bow Lake and Goulais Bay
McLean’s Mountain, Manitoulin “Great Spirit” Island
Oak Ridges Moraine
Luther Marsh
Bluewater area, Huron Coast
North shore of Lake Erie
Amherst Island

Ostrander Point appeal:the MoE will go to any lengths to aid wind power

Here from Rick Conroy of the independent Wellington Times, his wrap of the appeal of the Environmental Review Tribunal decision to rescind approval of a wind power project on Ostrander Point.

The Times

To harm, harass and kill

Blanding-Small

Appeal hearing considers who shall condemn endangered species in the name of green energy
By the time Heather Gibbs and Robert Wright concluded that the risk, posed by a proposed industrial wind project at Ostrander Point upon the Blanding’s turtle, was simply too great, and the damage likely permanent, the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT or Tribunal) panel had heard more than 40 days of testimony. More than 188 exhibits had been entered into evidence. Their decision ran 140 pages.
That decision, to revoke the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) granted to Gilead Power by the Ministry of Environment (MOE), rocked the wind energy sector in this country. It sent government bureaucrats scurrying for cover.
If the fate of a turtle could block the development of an industrial wind project—the precedent could be a formidable roadblock to similar projects across the province and Canada. There are other turtles and endangered species that deserve the protection this panel afforded the Blanding’s turtle of Ostrander Point. The implications are profound.
Wright and Gibbs must have known their words, their actions, and their decision would be attacked, pulled apart and recast as naïve or simply mistaken.
An appeal to the Ontario Superior Court was the only door left open to the developer, Gilead Power Corporation, the wind energy lobby and their large team of lawyers.
So it was that the latest battle, played out in a courtroom over three days last week at Osgoode Hall in Toronto, was fought over what Wright and Gibbs said. What they wrote. What they did. And what they didn’t do.
Did Wright and Gibbs make an error in law? Or procedure? This was the narrow lens with which the three justices—Maria Linhares de Sousa, Ian Nordheimer and Kevin Whitaker—heard arguments in courtroom number three last week.
NEW EVIDENCE DENIED
Even before the appeal began, the developer’s attorneys attempted to change the ground rules by urging the justices to hear new evidence. The talented and able lawyers from McCarthy Tetrault argued that their client, in the intervening months since the Wright and Gibbs had delivered their decision, had undertaken steps it believed would address the Tribunal’s concerns.
Their argument failed to persuade the appeal court. The justices refused to widen its scope beyond whether or not the Tribunal had conducted themselves correctly and in accordance with the rules by which they are governed.
THE SETTING
Courtroom 3 is located on the west side of the ornate and grandly decorated centre square of Osgoode Hall. Ceilings soar to about 40 feet. The length and width are only a few feet greater—forming a giant cube. The three justices, cloaked in floor-length robes are perched upon a raised platform before a thick hewnwood bench. The only marker of the current century is the laptop computer each judge keeps before them—though scarcely used.
Arrayed below them are rows of lawyers. Eric Gillespie and Nathalie Smith argued the bulk of the appeal for the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) and the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC).

Read the full article here.

Dufferin County still fighting wind power project: “we have a gun to our head”

UPDATED: Dufferin County, Dufferin Wind return to negotiating table

Wind wars

Dufferin County will return to the negotiating table with Dufferin Wind Power Inc. in hopes of avoiding expropriation. On Thursday (Jan. 23), county council directed staff to continue negotiations to finalize an agreement to grant an easement along the county-owned rail corridor. The agreement will be presented to county council at their Feb. 13 meeting.

Orangeville Banner

Dufferin County will return to the negotiating table with Dufferin Wind Power Inc. in hopes of avoiding expropriation.
On Thursday (Jan. 23), county council directed staff to continue negotiations to finalize an agreement to grant an easement along the county-owned rail corridor. The agreement will be presented to county council at their Feb. 13 meeting.
“It is different from what we’ve been doing,” said county Warden Bill Hill. “But when every avenue we’ve explored – and everyone else has explored – has been ignored and shut down by the province, the only option left for the county was to be faced with expropriation.”
According to the motion, Dufferin County has an opportunity to receive additional compensation and improved terms from Dufferin Wind over what would be granted through expropriation.
The warden explained the county was presented with a new offer from Dufferin Wind.
“There was a meeting with Dufferin Wind,” Hill said, adding details are not publicly available yet. “When the (Feb. 13) agenda is put out, you’ll see what has been negotiated, vs. what will be rammed down our throat by the energy board.”
Dufferin Wind spokesperson Connie Roberts said the company is pleased the county is returning to the negotiating table.
“Until an agreement is reached however, DWPI must continue to pursue expropriation to ensure the project is not delayed,” Roberts said in an email to The Banner. “This being said, everyone with Dufferin Wind is feeling optimistic that a positive outcome will allow DWPI to cease expropriation proceedings after the February 13th Dufferin County Council meeting.”
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has approved a leave to construct application from Dufferin Wind to build a 230 kV transmission line from Melancthon to the Orangeville transmission station in Amaranth.
The line will be above ground with the exception of sections in Shelburne and near the south end of the line.
Dufferin Wind has filed an application to expropriate the lands needed for the line. Approval of that application is immanent, according to the recent county motion.
“It’s not a matter of if this is going to go ahead or not. It’s a matter of what are the terms of it going ahead,” Hill said. “We have a gun to our head that says this deal is going ahead.”

Read the full story here.

Save The Oak Ridges Moraine (STORM) Coalition to be Participant at ERT


STORM Coalition (Save the Oak Ridges Moraine)

NEWS RELEASE January 24, 2014

For Immediate Release
STORM Granted Power at First Wind ERT Hearing on the Oak Ridges Moraine
Save The Oak Ridges Moraine (STORM) has been granted participant status at the Sumac Ridge Tribunal Hearing, Tribunal Case Nos. 13-140/13-141/13-142.  This is the first wind turbine project to be approved under the Renewable Energy Approval on the Oak Ridges Moraine.
The opposition to this project spans people from across the Oak Ridges Moraine, local citizens, municipal governments, First Nations, Buddhists, and STORM.  STORM Chairperson, Cindy Sutch will be participating in the hearing on behalf of STORM Coalition.  Sutch states, “the spirit of the Oak Ridges Moraine was certainly felt by everyone at the Preliminary Hearing today.” 
Since 2009, STORM has been expressing concerns with proposed large-scale energy projects being sited on the Oak Ridges Moraine to the Province. Aside from the fact the Oak Ridges Moraine contains a diversity of woodlands, wetlands, watercourses, kettle lakes, kettle bogs, and significant flora and fauna, it is one of the few remaining continuous green corridors in southern Ontario. The remnants of tallgrass prairie and oak-pine savanna in the eastern portion of this ancient landform are globally threatened ecosystems and will be impacted by wind development.
The Oak Ridges Moraine is environmentally sensitive, geological landforms that contains the headwaters of 65 rivers and streams and whose deep aquifer systems provide clean drinking water directly to 250,000 and indirectly to millions more. Due to the topography of the Oak Ridges Moraine, wind developers are attracted to this landscape to install their energy infrastructure projects.
To date, there are six wind turbine power plant installations that have received Feed-in Tariff (FIT) contracts all within the eastern portion of the moraine (east of the Region of Durham). This portion of the moraine provides both terrestrial core and corridor habitat and is a critical refuge for birds, bats, threatened and/or endangered plants and animals, and numerous species at risk.   Sutch added “the trade offs in terms of environmental protection for development is unacceptable and contravenes the spirit of established Provincial Policies.”
STORM was established in 1989 to raise awareness of the sensitivity of the moraine’s ecology to impacts from urban development and other land and resource uses such as aggregate mining, forest destruction and infrastructure projects.  STORM was represented on the two provincial initiatives charged with developing long term management strategies for the moraine, the second which provided advice to the government that formed the basis of the current legislation and policy framework.  The core of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (ORMCP) is the recognition of how important the moraine is to the ecological and hydrological integrity of south central Ontario.
The Environmental Tribunal Hearing will commence on February 24, 2014 in the City of Kawartha Lakes.
Contact: Debbie Gordon
Senior Campaign Manager
Save The Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition
Phone: 905.841.9200

Appeal dismissals mean more $$$ for Ontario ratepayers

Appeals were dismissed yesterday for two wind turbine projects meaning that they will proceed unless they are appealed to the courts. 

 
The South Kent Project approved today for Samsung/Pattern in Chatham-Kent is huge— 270 MW.  The Adelaide project approved today for Suncor in Middlesex County is  40 MW.
 
Here are the costs from these projects for Ontario electricity users:
 
                                        South Kent        Adelaide        Total
Annual Cost in $ Millions      $    92.6              13.7         $106.3
20 year Cost  in $ Millions    $1,852.0          $274.4        2,126.3
 
The annual cost for these two projects alone works out to $22.15 per household for 20 years.
 
The decision on the 270-MW K2 project appeal is expected by the end of January.  
 
This has been (another) costly week for Ontario ratepayers.

Platinum ERT decision expected today

WIND ENERGY

Decision by Environmental Review Tribunal expected Monday 158

By Ellwood Shreve, Chatham Daily News

Tim Verbeek, an owner of Platinum Produce greenhouse, pictured on right, believes a concerted was made to get two turbines constructed, which are part of the South Kent Wind project, that his family business has an appeal over with the Environmental Review Tribunal. A decison from the ERT is expected on Monday. Diana Martin/Chatham Daily News/QMI Agency
Tim Verbeek, an owner of Platinum Produce greenhouse, pictured on right, believes a concerted was made to get two turbines constructed, which are part of the South Kent Wind project, that his family business has an appeal over with the Environmental Review Tribunal. A decison from the ERT is expected on Monday. Diana Martin/Chatham Daily News/QMI Agency 

Tim Verbeek has grown increasingly frustrated watching two wind turbines be constructed, despite the fact his family business has an appeal concerning the structures before the Environmental Review Tribunal.
A decision is expected Monday over the turbines, and Verbeek, whose family owns Platinum Produce greenhouse located south of Highway 401 on Communications Road, said it appears a concerted effort was made to get the two turbines erected before the decision is handed down.
The turbines in question are part of the South Kent Wind Project, a joint venture of Pattern Energy Group and Samsung Renewable Energy Inc.
Verbeek told The Chatham Daily News he findings it “coincidental” the two turbines that are in the appeal were built before others in the area.
However, Pattern and Samsung are well within their rights to construct the turbines, said environmental lawyer Eric Gillespie, who is representing Platinum Produce in its appeal to the ERT.
Gillespie said sometimes when an ERT appeal is launched, there is an automatic stop of the permit.
“In this case, the Ontario government decided to let them go ahead anyway, even if there is an appeal,” he added.
But this isn’t the first time the lawyer has seen this happen.
Gillespie, who represented the appellants that challenged the approval of the Kent Breeze Wind Farm near Thamesville in 2011, said Suncor Energy continued with construction of the project despite the matter being before the ERT.
“This is where many people would say there is a major disconnect between the government and the people living where these projects are moving ahead,” he said.
“The government has given an appeal right, but still allows wind companies to proceed as if there is no appeal,” Gillespie added. “That has been very difficult for many people to understand.”
The Daily News covered the Platinum Produce issue in December when Verbeek raised concerns then about construction of the turbines proceeding.
The location of the two turbines near the greenhouse was amended, because they were located inside the minimum setback of 550 metres of a bunkhouse used by workers at the greenhouse.
Pattern Energy previously told The Daily News it’s reason for proceeding with construction is it has Ministry of Environment approval to proceed on the amended layout for the project.
Platinum Produce is still objecting to the two turbines being located near the greenhouse, with one being within 240 metres. The model of turbine being used in the South Kent Wind Project can hurl chunks of ice that can buildup on the blades, up to 275 metres.

Read the entire story here.

St. Columban appeal dismissed; power project to cost Ontario millions

The appeal of the St. Columban wind power project has been dismissed, in a decision released by the Environmental Review Tribunal. The Tribunal said the appellants had failed to demonstrate any risk of serious harm to human health. The decision is here.
The 33-MW power project is being developed by Veresen Inc., and is located in the Municipality of Huron East.
The cost to the people of Ontario for this one wind power project will be $11.3 million, annually.

Dufferin Wind appeal is dismissed

DECISION
[523] The Tribunal finds that the Appellants have not established that engaging in the Project as approved will cause serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment.
[524] The Tribunal finds that the Appellants have not established that engaging in the Project as approved will cause serious harm to human health.
[525] The Tribunal finds that the Appellants have not established, on the facts of this case, that the renewable energy approval process violated the Appellants’ right to security of the person under section 7 of the Charter.
Appeals Dismissed 
Good afternoon,
 
The decision with respect to the above noted file is issued on December 23, 2013.
 
The Tribunal will not be mailing a copy of the decision to the parties.
 
The decision will be available on the Tribunal’s website: http://www.ert.gov.on.ca

Community undaunted: Manvers community to file appeal today

Storm or no storm, wind opponents will file an appeal by Dec. 24  

Credit:  Storm or no storm, wind opponents will file an appeal by Dec. 24; Manvers Wind Concerns is leading the charge against the decision for wpd Canada to build five wind turbines | Kawartha Lakes This Week | December 23, 2013 | www.mykawartha.com ~~
Manvers Township residents opposed to a recently approved wind energy project near Bethany are determined to meet the Dec. 24 deadline to file an appeal to the Province.
Ward 16 Councillor Heather Stauble said there is a team in place working hard to prepare the appeal, and much of that work was already done “because the community was prepared for the possibility the project would be approved.”
Coun. Stauble said when wpd Canada’s Sumac Ridge five wind turbines were approved earlier this month, the Province virtually ignored the 2,874 comments from the public opposing the project.
She said the deadline to appeal changed to Dec. 24, and the weekend’s severe ice storm that hammered the region has made filing its appeal in Toronto “challenging,” but confirmed it will be done.
The councillor added that given the number of people who submitted comments to the Province, “it would not look good at all if they don’t grant the appeal.”
Following the filing a request for an appeal, a Notice of a Preliminary Hearing date will be sent to every individual or organization who filed a comment with the Environmental Registry, Coun. Stauble said.
“Any individual or organization may then apply for status as a party, participant or presenter at the environmental tribunal anytime up to four days before the preliminary hearing date.”
In an email sent to her constituents, Coun. Stauble advised residents who live in the area and any individuals or organizations who have an interest can express their concerns at the tribunal. A lawyer is not necessary for this process.
She said there is no guarantee the group — headed by Manvers Wind Concerns — will win the appeal, but remains hopeful the multi-million dollar Cham Shan Buddhist Temple planned for the City may carry some weight.
The four temples, one in Cavan-Monaghan (almost completed) and three more planned in the City, is overseen by the Buddhist Association of Canada and represents a meditational pilgrimage that mirrors the same in China.
Coun. Stauble, noting the project could represent an investment of up to $100 million and is in jeopardy, as the Buddhists feel the wind turbines would have a negative impact on a temple promoting peaceful meditation.
“They have made it clear they will not build the remaining three temples” if the wind project goes forward, she said.
Coun. Stauble recalled a recent meeting with Minister Bob Chiarelli, also attended by local MPP Laurie Scott “where we were told there would be more discussion” before wind projects for the City were approved. Pointing to current legislation protecting the environmentally sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine, Coun. Stauble said by approving wind energy projects, the Province “is overriding its own legislation.”
She added this will be “a Christmas [the community] will never forget.”
For those who would like to know more about the legal Appeal or would like to make a financial contribution, contact manverswindconcern@gmail.com or visit http://manverswindconcerns.wordpress.com.

Source:  Storm or no storm, wind opponents will file an appeal by Dec. 24; Manvers Wind Concerns is leading the charge against the decision for wpd Canada to build five wind turbines | Kawartha Lakes This Week | December 23, 2013 | www.mykawartha.com