When is harming animals not “cruelty”? When it’s for wind power

Turtles and birds: factors in the coming election?

When is animal cruelty OK? When it’s for wind power
On the same day that a 19-year old in Toronto was charged with cruelty to animals for shooting a cat with a pellet gun, the Ontario Divisional Court actually blessed the killing of many other animals.   That includes the endangered Blanding’s Turtle and numerous birds and bats, at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County, where a wind power developer now seemingly has the green light to build on a fragile environment that is home to many forms of wildlife.  
The cruelty to a cat should not be taken lightly, of course, but neither should the granting of licence to kill turtles, birds, and bats or to damage rare plant life to erect industrial wind turbines on Crown land.   The licence granted to the developer, Gilead Power was simply because this Liberal provincial government has decided they “know best”! 
The Ontario Divisional Court ruling released last Thursday upset the onlysuccessful Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) decision in Ontario that ruled against a developer and against the government’s approval of its project.  It is now apparent that the Green Energy Act is supreme in its ability to set the rules on the skills of bureaucrats to issue licences to “kill, harm and harass” any species in Ontario, even though designated as being at-risk or even endangered.   The GEA was obviously a well crafted act that cannot be found in error; the lawyers who crafted it must be proud. 
It must also make the current Liberal Government happy that they have set the bar* so low that no matter what evidence is presented to the ERT or the Ontario courts, they are able to stand up and proclaim that the GEA is an act without equal. 
Maybe when Premier Wynne is running on roads in the tranquil Ontario countryside, depicted in the turbine-free ads for the Liberal Party, she will see a magnificent eagle, or a red-tailed hawk, or if she is lucky, a Blanding’s turtle and she will consider the fate of her own at-risk species: a government no longer acting in the best interests of its people. 
©Parker Gallant
February 21, 2014
*Editor’s note: the Green Energy Act has made the grounds on which Ontario citizens can appeal a renewable power project approval extremely narrow: serious harm to human health, and serious and irreversible harm to the environment. As the lawyer for the industry lobby group, the Canadian Wind Energy Association, stated at the appeal of the Ostrander Point ERT decision, no one was ever supposed to be successful at stopping an approval.
We shall see about that.
A sampling of other projects where wildlife and the environment are endangered by wind power projects:
Algoma: Bow Lake and Goulais Bay
McLean’s Mountain, Manitoulin “Great Spirit” Island
Oak Ridges Moraine
Luther Marsh
Bluewater area, Huron Coast
North shore of Lake Erie
Amherst Island


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