Legal action: rural Ontario takes an interest
The town of Listowel, population 6,600, in Perth County, was the location last evening of a public event on the legal options open to residents of rural and small urban communities, facing invasion by predatory, subsidy-seeking wind power developers.
More than 120 local residents gathered to hear Toronto-based lawyer Eric Gillespie. The community is facing a wind power project by U.S.-based Invenergy, who sent a representative to the meeting last evening.
Gillespie and his firm were counsel for WCO member group APPEC during the recent Environmental Review Tribunal hearing the appeal of the approval of the Gilead Power wind power project at Ostrander Point, and for a group of residents near Clearview, among many other cases.
The Clearview case is noteworthy because previously, it was thought one had to wait for a project to be built (such as cellphone towers) before suing for nuisance and property value loss; in the Wiggins et al case, the decision was that legal action can be taken at the time of approval.
The province has approved a wind power project a week during the summer of 2013, but that is being met with opposition throughout the province. Currently, there are at least five appeals of approvals ongoing in Ontario plus other actions pending, or being contemplated.
Eric Gillespie at the Listowel Agricultural Hall, August 13, 2013.