Government lawyer derails citizen appeal to protect environment, endangered wildlife

Ministry of the Environment lawyer steps in as Prince Edward County citizens appealed for a stay of unauthorized construction activities in endangered turtle habitat

Massive clearing of vegetation in Prince Edward County wetland area. This project is still under appeal, but the developer has gone ahead
Massive clearing of vegetation in Prince Edward County wetland area. This project is still under appeal, but the developer has gone ahead [Photo: APPEC]
April 6, 2016, Picton, Ontario —

STATEMENT FROM ALLIANCE TO PROTECT PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY (APPEC)

First and foremost our great thanks to everyone who responded to our call to attend the Court of Appeal hearing.  The courtroom was filled to capacity with no seats left empty.  The numbers left an impression on all present from the judge to the security guards who were curious about what case all the commotion was about.  It was a packed courtroom by anyones’ standards and we thank all of you who made this possible.  Our special thanks to Mayor Quaiff and Warren Howard of Wind Concerns Ontario. 
 
However the outcome of today’s hearing is not what we had hoped for.  On our arrival we had hoped that Justice Katherine van Rensburg would hear our appeal and our new evidence including aerial photography of the destruction that has occurred at the White Pines project site since WPD began clearing vegetation two days ago, as depicted in one photograph attached. 
 
Instead Sylvia Davis, lawyer for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, cited a ruling from over fifty years ago that only a panel of three judges could hear an appeal of this nature.  It became clear at that point that the motion would not be heard until after the legal matter of whether this was properly before the court had been dealt with, with a potentially unfavourable decision. Rather than spend considerable time and money on legal wrangling the decision was made to withdraw our motion for a stay on all physical activity at the White Pines project site.  The motion was withdrawn on consent of all parties and without costs.
We have received the written reasons from the Environmental Review Tribunal for its original refusal of our stay motion.  We will immediately be going to the Tribunal to once again request a stay.  As the saying goes when one door closes, another opens.  More information will follow soon.
 
Lastly, there is a short article on the Wind Concerns website with another photograph of the after-effects of vegetation clearing at www.windconcernsontario.ca
  
Regards,
Orville Walsh
President, APPEC

Comments

Pat Cusack
Reply

Interesting that we know that trees help the environment so much more than wind turbines. Unfortunately this is not the only place in the world where greed takes precedence. Fortunately dastardly deeds are being
uncovered and fought against.

Anne
Reply

And this “vegetation clearing” is for only one turbine. The citizen group won the ERT – what a farce.
I wonder how many government dinners wpd attended?

Mike
Reply

This photo reminds me, sadly, that too often, when developers are looking for a name for their new residential subdivision or industrial park, they often choose a name that reflects what they bulldozed/destroyed in order to build. Deerfield, Cheery Hill, White Pine, ect. ” Well, there USED to be pines trees on this bare piece of land!”
The bureaucrat that dug up that old ruling must be feeling quite smug I would guess! But who knows what other ruling / precedent is laying around waiting to be discovered.
As for the developer pushing ahead with this clearing and the government that is allowing it; do they have any concern at all of the consequence’s and liability if the project is denied? I’m sure the astounding arrogance of both parties shields them from that type of thinking.

Mike Rowe, Dutton/Dunwich (home of Invenergy’s Strong Breeze proposed project and where there is barely a breath of wind at the moment)

Sommer
Reply

This needs to become a headline story in as many papers and with as many news outlets as possible.

This is disgusting! Direct your rage into effective proaction.

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