Community group demands halt to wind farm construction over endangered species

little brown bat

Photo: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

NEWS RELEASE

WOODSTOCK, ON, July 18, 2016 /CNW/ – The East Oxford Alliance has filed an urgent request to halt a wind power project with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and the Environmental Review Tribunal. The group has also asked that its appeal of the Gunn’s Hill wind power project be reopened.

Although the endangered Little Brown Bat was acknowledged at the original appeal, the appeal was dismissed. “The Tribunal did not have the opportunity to examine the danger to these animals in light of the need for precaution,” says Joan Morris, East Oxford chair. “In the recent successful White Pines appeal, the Tribunal determined that because only five to ten percent of the original population of Little Brown Bat remains in Ontario, even a small number of deaths constitutes serious impact.

It was confirmed at the Gunn’s Hill appeal that bats will be killed in this wind power project.”

The Environmental Review Tribunal also noted in its decision on Ostrander Point that approvals of renewable energy projects must seek balance between the government policy of encouraging clean power generation and protecting the environment.

SOURCE Wind Concerns Ontario

For further information: morrisj99@gmail.com, kdmckay@execulink.com, president@windconcernsontario.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

For more information (though outdated) on the Gunn’s Hill wind power project, developed by Prowind of Germany, see the company website here. The project is financed in part by the Oxford Community Energy Co-op; information here.

Comments

notinduttondunwich
Reply

This is an interesting situation for the GEA and the liberals…..now we will find out the truth… the whole truth and nothing but the truth!!!! Is the GEA here to save Mother Nature or for a bunch of greedy bastards waiting to line their pockets with the citizens of Ontarios hard earned cash!!!! Kinda like having a “no cookies today” sign up but the liberals get caught with the perverbial hand in the cookie jar!!!!
GEA is laced with fraud and deception… it strips away basic rights as humans to have clean water to drink and safety from industrial polluters! !!
Watch as the liberals have the brown bat declassified as an endangered species so they can keep the big TO GEA steamroller the rest of the citizens of Ontario! !!
I got a newer lighter model of an unregistered pitchfork so I’m gonna go practice…….

bluewaters
Reply

No need to declassify – ERT Rules kick in – wish that reconsideration requests were as simple as sending a letter requesting a review of a Decision. Oxford Alliance will be off to judicial review. Check out ERT Rule 243: Rule 243 Rules 235 to 242 (rules that govern review/reconsideration of a Decision) are not applicable to proceedings under the Environmental Assessment Act, section 142.1 of the Environmental Protection Act, the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001 or the Greenbelt Act, 2005. Decisions made under the Environmental Assessment Act can only be reconsidered in accordance with section 11.4 of that Act.
NOTICE OF APPEAL/JUDICIAL REVIEW
Rule 245 A person appealing a decision of the Tribunal shall file a copy of the Notice of Appeal with the assigned Case Coordinator at the time the appeal is filed with the court or the Minister. A Notice of Application for judicial review shall be served on the assigned Case Coordinator at the time the application is filed with the court. This is the only avenue open to them. The ERT Decision was that Oxford Alliance had presented no expert evidence, just expressions of concern, wheras the wind company had an expert (Charlton) testify that bats will be killed but, no irreversible harm will occur because of mitigations required, so the appeal on environmental harm was denied. Please, if you know a little brown bat expert, share with Joan Morris. Let’s win another one!!!

Barbara
Reply

David Charlton, Stantec?

David Charlton, Sr. biologist at AECOM?

Lynda
Reply

Stantec assessment consultation history is riddled with questionable reports. Google them and read about the Caribbean bridge fiasco…they will tell their clients what they want to hear. Have they ever told the truth?

bluewaters
Reply

sorry for the delay – from the Decision document:
[82] David Charlton is a Senior Principal, Environmental Management at Stantec, and certified as a Professional Agrologist. He has participated in environmental assessments for many proposed wind energy generating facilities across Ontario and has helped develop, implement, and monitor mitigation measures to minimize environmental impacts of wind power projects. Mr. Charlton was qualified by the Tribunal to provide expert opinion evidence as an ecologist with expertise in conducting environmental assessments including natural heritage assessments and species at risk assessments for wind energy projects.

T3..Tracy from Turbine Town
Reply

The government does not care about the Blandings turtle or it’s habitat. Was the same consideration taken for the bald eqgles a few years back? The strategy of the government in the ERT process is to keep the focus away from human health issues. It will be quite a while before you see another ERTsuccess based on the account of an endangered species. We are wasting time and money; in doing so, we are enabling opportunity for the government to continue plastering iwts all over rural Ontario.
Get serious here. Focus on human health and the precautionary principle, and greater success will be achieved in a shorter period of time. There has been great advances globally regarding research and proof concerning negative health impacts.

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

NO effort is “wasted”: it all leads to questioning of the assertion that wind power is good for the environment, i.e, the natural environment and the environment in which people live.

Lynda
Reply

Appeals based on human health have been quashed perfunctorily. The appellants could not even get to first base. Windy Wynne and her annointed ones will not listen to anyone claiming to have proof of any new research and they certainly won’t go looking for it. The appeal based on an endangered species however was different, certainly not a waste of time nor money. The truth is, the Liberals do not care about anyone or anything living in Ontario except for their ‘feathered’ friends and I’m not speaking about birds. Big wind is feathering their nests nicely (read about the ‘special’ evenings that can be arranged with Katy and Bob, for a price of course).

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/for-6000-donors-get-face-time-with-kathleen-wynne-and-energy-minister/article29045039/

All we can hope for are early retirements now that they have more chump change and for constituents to engage some serious grey matter when deciding who will be the next Ontario premier. Please oh please let the next rule makers have a modicum of sanity and a hefty helping of class unlike the buffoons we are dealing with presently.

Barbara
Reply

RE: Ostrander Point

1. This is an alvar which are rare around the world. Project should never have been approved.

2. Blanding’s turtles.
A. Should have consulted with Parks Canada on this species. Not done?
B. Should have consulted with other places that also have this species. Not done?

Whole affair not based on factual information? Who made these decisions?

No.1 should have ruled this project out to begin with. And the other points were not done as well? Any documents they can show that consultations were done with other places that have Blanding’s turtles?

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

If you read the news accounts of Ostrander Point you will see that the MNR’s own herpetology staffer, Joe Crowley, recommended that a permit NOT be granted for the power project there. Mr Crowley’s report was ignored and how that happened was the subject of many questions. His testimony actually halted Ostrander Point hearings dramatically at one point, and they were on hold until the MNR could fulfill an order from the Tribunal to produce relevant documents.

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

The Crowley information, BTW, was revealed as the result of citizen sleuthing and FOI requests.

Barbara
Reply

If no outside of Ontario consultations were done, then this leaves only Ontario information to be considered.

Not the proper way to conduct scientific investigations/inquiries.

Leaves the situation information under the control of Ontario government agencies.

Are there any outside of Ontario consultation documents?

Lynda
Reply

At one of the meetings we were informed that the manager of MNR made the decision…the same person who declared PUBLICLY that she didn’t even know there were birds on the south shore of PEC (REALLY? DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE MOST IMPORTANT FLYWAY IN NA?), and she HAS THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE DECISIONS about something she knows nothing about?)…the same manager whos emails with wpd were questioned. This is not above board anyway one looks at it.

notinduttondunwich
Reply

I agree with Tracy…. liberals and the GEA do not wish to hear from the people poisoned by IWT… even if you presented a bulletproof case against them they will still manage to weasel their way out of amending any projects….. as the sick and weary voices of the IWT projects start voicing their degrading health issues more publicly then we shall catch the momentum we need to stop these IWT projects….

T3..Tracy from Turbine Town
Reply

Lots of stuff here folks; not intended to make argument.
The slightest effort is not effort  wasted. My point is, time is of the essence; therefore we need to be smart, and  work towards a permanent complete stop to building iwts.   
Okay, turbines will not be sited in Ostrander Point. I expect the wind company will go down the road and carry on their business.  The turbines will not be in the back yards of the people of Ostrander Point but will continue to be built in their neighbors’ back yards.  
It is a fact, that low frequency sound can travel for miles. So, is Ostrander Point really out of the woods, out of harms way?
A decision made that is not applicable to all living species and most importantly the human species, is a temporary band aid solution. This buys time for the wind companies to build more turbines while we trudge along and keep busy with the tribunals.
 The more time passes, the more turbines will be built in Ontario. More people will become sick and our deficit will continue to increase. Will we get to a point of no return?
A bone of contention for me: we are concerned about particular species, usually those more rare, and not so much for others. This is comparable to favoring males over females, black over white, etc. In the human race we know it as discrimination, racism, and so on.
Based on whether it is a Blanding’s turtle or a painted turtle, a bat or a bird, should it make a difference?
We carry on with the tribunals, like a game: playing on words, twisting phrases, hoping to gain a shred of material that can be used to move forward in another situation, when in the big picture, we gain no momentum as turbines continue to go up.
There is much real science, peer reviewed published research, globally, supporting the fact that infrasound causes negative health impacts. Take the bull by the horns and give it; don’t stop until you have pounded it home and stopped this insanity.
Our government is not listening to rural Ontario at all. They have their own agenda that favors the development of urbanized areas. Building “infrastructure”..I am sick of hearing it. Sure, infrastructure growing Toronto; connecting pubic transit between Kitchener-Waterloo and the big smoke! 
I had to laugh, a friend recently told me about his interest in a company that creates natural environments with playground equipment and activities for the children so they may experience the outdoors, nature..in the city! Again, money playing a factor.
I am very sad that, at the rate things are going. I will, I must sooner or later move away from turbine development in Ontario in order to survive. I dont want to leave my home. It is a decision, a necessity of life for me. 
It is the people of Ontario: the city folk, the big teachers’ union, that can’t see past the money and continue to support our Liberal government…that have failed people like me. Such is life. Immigration is not a new concept. It’s a big world out there. I cant change things. I must take responsibility and do the best I can. 
I will not give up, but will continue my fight from where I must go.
Never give up.

Sommer
Reply

Tracy, I’m so glad to hear the strength of your resolve not to give up!

Your truth and the way you tell it is powerful. I wish everyone in Ontario could hear it.

T3..Tracy from Turbine Town
Reply

SHAME ON YOU KATHLEEN WYNNE. SHAME ON YOU JUSTIN TRUDEAU. You should both step down.
Where are your ethics? Why do you act as puppets, abuse your authority to carry on the tragic crimal legacy of Dalton McGuinty and his band of thieves?
Remember when Dalton prorogued the government and flew the coop? He may he gone but he’s guilty as hell and not out of the woods.

notinduttondunwich
Reply

We here in DD are preparing as more and more upsetting stories from residents of the IWT projects collateral damage roll in…
bad water… sickness…. environmental tragedies. …
we are basically on death row here in DD … or that’s how it feels….. there is a common rumble amongst the locals at what will happen when the equipment starts showing up….. DD can’t afford to hope a tribunal will stop the construction process at any level….
I know for a fact that the liberals know that there is rumbling in the township…… most people are so insulted that their vote in the referendum was baically used as shat paper. ….. they are tired of being Toronto trash dumping ground (central Elgin and soon Ingersoll ((fight hard friends)) ….. they are tired of having their hospitals down sized…. they are tired of not getting help for their kids in their schools…… they are tired of not being listened to and respected….. the older folks are being gouged by the very democracy they sacrificed dearly for…. The fact that there is not a moritorium on all IWT projects immediately when the WHO mentioned they had better recalibrate setbacks due to health complaints is an absolute insult to the people of Ontario!!! I don’t give a damm who is in charge!!!! Liberals are in clear violation of the health and safety of ALL LIVING THINGS! !!!! We’ll do whatever it takes here in DD cause as we see it…. our lives are on the line here ….it’s about self preservation…. of the environment. … all living species…. our livelihoods. ….. our future. …

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

Your project has a contract but not a Renewable Energy Approval yet. This is the time to be gathering the facts.

notinduttondunwich
Reply

Thanks Jane. … we are gathering everything possible to throw at them!!!!

Country Gal
Reply

notinduttondunwich —- to date there has not been an injunction filed against a wind developer. Under Common Law this injunction halts the construction and in court the onus falls on the developer to PROVE that no harm will result from the project where up to now the burden of proof has been on the people affected to prove harm which is so heavily biased in favour of the wind developer.
If ten families join in this law suit then it qualifies as a class action and application is then made by their counsel to ” The Law of the Future ” to have their legal expenses paid for. A prerequisite is that one must have applied for and received their Crown Letters Patent and that is the connection with the Common Law. No law supersedes the Common Law.
Under Common Law which dates back to the late 17 hundreds a neighbour cannot do anything on his property that will cause harm to his neighbour.
Not all lawyers are familiar with Crown Letters Patent and it’s relation to the Common Law. I had asked Eric Gillespie whether he was familiar with it and he said that he wasn’t and I would assume that is why he has never tried it. There must have been approximately 35 ERT’s to date and with only 1 win. As Dr. Phil would say ,” How’s that working for you?” We did it and we were denied the appeal. The only good thing that came out of it was that now we can use all that credible science and evidence of harm in a class action where all evidence can be presented and not struck out as the ERT panel did. That is so twisted that one is not able to present flawless evidence.
ERT’s are a waste of time,energy and money.
Oh, yes, and there is the problem with the transmission lines. How many families have researched the harm coming from electrical pollution, radiation and EMF’s? Rates of cancer increase with these exposures.
A family here moved from an electrically polluted area because their child had died from the electrical pollution only now to have these huge transmission lines close to them here where they thought it would be safe.
T 3 Tracey, my heart goes out to you. No one should ever be so victimized. It is criminal what our Ontario government has created with their agenda.
At some point I feel that the rural people will revolt just as the blacks have done from the needless police killings of black males.
RURAL PEOPLE LIVES MATTER just as black lives matter.

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

We must respectfully take issue with several comments here.
First, the appeals before the Environmental Review Tribunal are not “a waste of time”; certainly there has been a lot of learning over the years but even though the test is almost impossible to meet (it was constructed that way) there have been THREE successful appeals. And, with the decisions at Ostrander Point (PECFN) and White Pines (Hirsch) there have been considerable advances in the thinking on how the Tribunals approach these appeals.
As regards the Crown Patent Letters, these are simply documents given to the original settlers, and do not affect the current property owner’s relationship with the state. In short, and to be blunt, the idea that possession of a copy of a piece of paper between the Crown and a long-dead predecessor on title for a property brings any special rights is without foundation.
Class action suits take a very long time and although you can certainly get a group of people together to launch one, there is absolutely NO GUARANTEE that the court will hear you.
Wind Concerns Ontario has been working very hard on every means possible to achieve justice for rural Ontario communities; it is not helpful, especially to all those who worked hard and spent their hard-earned money on the only legal avenue open to them under this government, to be told now by a fellow citizen, ‘you wasted your time and money.’ EVERY appeal has brought forward new learning.

Every step, every action, helps move us toward our goal.

Lynda
Reply

It seems the whitepines ert believes that it has the power to change its own prior rulings (at will) without consultation with the appellants. It is incredulous that they could take this upon themselves when clearly they are favouring one side over the other. This latest decision has nothing to do with environmental law. Surely they are breaking the law of ethics? Hopefully they will recuse themselves. We need honesty and ethics in these ongoing processes if the people of Ontario are to believe anything the government says or does..

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