Community group fights back on wind farm court decision
A Prince Edward County community group seeking a Judicial Review of decisions made by government to push forward an unwanted and unneeded wind power project has had all motions dismissed by an Ottawa court. They’re not stopping …
February 13, 2018
The County Coalition for Safe Appropriate Green Energy (CCSAGE-Naturally Green Inc.) last year filed for a Judicial Review of decisions behind the White Pines power project in Prince Edward County, and on the relationship between government and wind power developers.
Here is the latest news, from John Hirsch, CCSAGE director.
Status of CCSAGE Judicial Review Application
As readers may recall, CCSAGE filed motions at the Superior Court in Ottawa last June 14 and 15 regarding their Judicial Review Application. The motions sought to protect CCSAGE from costs, and to compel the government agencies to produce the records of their decisions regarding the approval of wpd White Pines and the transmission lines. A motion was filed by OEB regarding their removal from the case.
In his decision on these Motions, issued on January 9, 2018, Justice Labrosse essentially denied all of CCSAGE’s requests but did allow OEB to be removed from the case.
CCSAGE has studied Justice Labrosse’s decisions and found them to contain numerous errors and misunderstandings.
Consequently, CCSAGE is appealing all the negative decisions to the Divisional court. The appeal is in the form of a “Notice of Motion to Vary”.
CCSAGE believes their arguments are sound and that the Judicial Review application is more important than ever.
Read the documents here:
Divisional Court decision 15-2162: https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onscdc/doc/2016/2016onsc8147/2016onsc8147.html?autocompleteStr=15-2162&autocompletePos=1
(Editor’s note: for some reason the decision posted on CanLii is truncated at paragraph 53. Read the whole document here: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/d95b2b359d6e0c1d4df0bb8f7/files/c7d16b85-9dfb-49a0-b9eb-e80db4b5cc0c/Labrosse.pdf)
No ‘significant opposition’?
Of special interest to Wind Concerns Ontario members, Ontario’s rural residents, and rural communities is the statement by Mr. Justice Marc Labrosse that the motion to have the case proceed as a matter of “general interest” was denied because — you won’t believe this — “It appears that the GEA and REA process have taken their place in this province without significant opposition throughout rural Ontario. I am left to infer that this is a local issue in Prince Edward County and that it is not of general importance.”
A “local issue”? The facts are:
- almost every single wind power project in Ontario since 2009 (and some before that) faced an appeal by members of the ‘host” community
- 116 Ontario municipalities, or about one-quarter of the total, have passed resolutions at Council demanding a return of the local land-use planning powers that were stripped by the Green Energy Act
- More than 90 Ontario municipalities have officially designated themselves “unwilling hosts” to wind power projects
- Several municipalities have engaged in legal battles with the government and wind power developers to retain rights under the Municipal Act, in order to protect their citizens
- Several academic articles appearing in peer-reviewed journals (Stewart Fast et al, 2016) have noted the Ontario government’s failure to respond to community concerns over wind power projects
- Wind Concerns Ontario is a coalition with about 30 member community groups and hundreds of individual and family members, that has been active since 2009
This decision, and the various machinations of the parties involved, can be seen in no other way but an attempt to see that once again, justice is denied to Ontario’s rural citizens.
Wind Concerns Ontario