|Turtles and birds: factors in the coming election?|
McLean’s Mountain, Manitoulin “Great Spirit” Island
|Turtles and birds: factors in the coming election?|
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.
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.
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.
Read the full story here.
NEWS RELEASE January 24, 2014
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.
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
The appeal of one of two wind power projects in Ontario’s Algoma region has concluded; a ruling may not come down for months.
An Environmental Review Tribunal heard arguments for more than two days earlier this week from opponents who don’t want to see a wind farm created in Goulais.
The appeal was filed by Heyden resident Doug Moseley with the assistance of Lake Superior Action Research Conservation (LSARC) and the law offices of Eric Gillespie. The appeal was also supported by the Save Our Algoma Region (SOAR) groups.
In October, it was announced that the Goulais Wind Farm project had been approved by the provincial government.
The decision, posted on the Ontario Environmental Registry, said the renewable energy approval has been issued to SP Development Limited Partnership to engage in a renewable energy project for a Class 4 wind facility that will have a total capacity of 25 MW.
The 11-wind turbine facility must be built and operational within three years.
But opponents argued that the industrial wind turbines are harmful to human health and disruptive and destructive to the natural environment and wildlife habitat.
They also argued that the wind turbines contribute to the rising cost of electricity and are totally unnecessary to produce clean energy in Ontario.
Involved parties will file their final written submissions to the tribunal by Jan. 20 and a decision on the appeal is expected to be made before April 22.
Read the full story here.