Look at what can be lost: Ontario Landowners to farmers contemplating wind farm leases

OPINION: Is Ontario allowing nuisance to become lawful?

Ontario Farmer, July 21, 2015

Letter to the editor, excerpted

In the past few months, the Ontario Landowners Association has been asked to enter the fray regarding renewable energy projects, particularly wind turbines.

It is not the practice of the OLA to become involved with disagreements between neighbours. That is for one neighbor to  apply to the courts, launching a tort, if they feel their neighbor is harming them, or their property, in some way.

Recently, though, one gentleman, who does have turbines on his land, stated that he could do with his property as he saw fit. What was missing from his statement is that he is not to do harm to his neighbours, and this is found under common law.

With what is happening in Ontario, the province, and its mandate, is allowing trespass and nuisance to become lawful. This also includes allowing an expropriation to become lawful without compensation, considering the legislation is allowing trespass, nuisance, and set-backs to interfere with someone else’s property. …

…anyone who is contemplating leasing land for a renewable energy project should look to what any or all of his/her neighbours may do in future. There may be torts where the owner of the land may lose more than just his project, he may lose his property. They should also think about why the costs are going up and up, as well as the loss of “off-farm jobs” for family members. This all boils down to government interfering and causing neighbours to pit themselves against other neighbours, ensuring that rural economy is not sustainable.

Agree or not, one should not only look at the immediate financial gain, but should also look to what can be lost.

Elizabeth Marshall,

Director of Research

Ontario Landowners Association

 

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