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Council unanimously supports legal challenge of Green Energy Act

Activity at one of the turbine sites earlier this month. Photo submitted

Before a full gallery at its Committee of the Whole meeting Thursday, council unanimously showed support to CCSAGE (Concerned Citizens for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy) in its early stages of legal proceedings.

CCSAGE seeks a Judicial Review in Divisional Court to challenge the Green Energy Act and how it relates to the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) issued for wpd’s project in South Marysburgh.

Steve Ferguson, the ward’s councillor, brought the motion to council, adding that he is receiving regular telephone calls and emails from constituents complaining of gravel and aggregate trucks on County Road 13.

“The recent turbine activity in South Marysburgh has escalated and as have reports to the OPP, the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change concerning construction activities at the sites, concerning possible/probable violations of the Road Use Agreement that we entered into with wpd (Canada)” he said.

The resistance to the project itself, he said, should be directed at the legislation that allowed it to happen.

“It has created extensive divisiveness, certainly in South Marysburgh, and other parts of Prince Edward County,” said Ferguson.

“Their initiative, like that of many of the other groups who have invested in excess of $1.5 million plus, the amount of time, is all being funded on their own dime. That number is going to keep going up.”

Ferguson noted council also supported legal battles by APPEC (Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County) and PECFN (Prince Edward County Field Naturalists).

“Their activities resulted in the elimination of 27 turbines, so I’m asking for support of CCSAGE’s initiate to take this to the next step.”

Council’s support comes in the form of a letter.

CCSAGE has received support of their application so far from about 44 municipalities and other community groups so far, noting their public interest case affects more than 100 municipalities that have declared themselves “unwilling hosts” to turbines.

CCSAGE is challenging the GEA, acts and omissions of the ministry official who issued the REA for the County project, the ministry permit to kill endangered species and the Ontario Energy Board’s approval of the 28 km transmission line.

The application’s purpose is to ask the Supreme Court of Ontario if the REA shows institutional, procedural or operational bias by various ministries; is it fair to place the burden entirely on rural areas.

The GEA removes powers from municipalities and CCSAGE notes it takes no meaningful account of the impact on health, endangered species, or local economy, tourism or property and business values.

The application is likely to be heard next year, by a panel of three justices, in Ottawa. CCSAGE began the action in 2016 and says the delay is due to provincial refusal to produce relevant documents, thus causing a delay in the process.

Council will also hear from APPEC (Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County) as its hearing nears, on an application that, if successful, would stop construction.

Citizens Liz Driver and Edwin Rowse were also seeking a Heritage Judicial Review for enforcement of existing policies and regulations to protect the cultural heritage buildings and landscapes in South Marysburgh from industrial wind turbines. Their initial application was withdrawn in 2015, then resubmitted when the REA and appeals were completed.

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  1. Gary says:

    “Taxpayers have no interest in them”. Just on our bills! Lol

  2. hockeynan says:

    What about the extra 400 million they have to spend on the nuclear power plant they are rebuilding. Don’t suppose that is costing us money.Wind turbines won’t cost us any more for the next twenty years as the taxpayer does not have any interest in them.If they break they fix them ,not us.

  3. Gary says:

    I believe the blackout was a result of issues in Ohio.

  4. Dennis Fox says:

    Thank you for the explanation outlining the importance of this letter. As far as the hydro scam goes – you are right. But let’s be clear, no party can reverse the approvals already given and to date neither the NDP nor the Conservatives have outlined their energy plan. What we do know is that under the Mike Harris Tories, Ontario had a shortage, resulting in constant “Brown Outs” and at one point a total “Black Out” lasting for days. While energy is an important portfolio, there are other important matters to consider. If the Conservatives were still in power, Picton would have lost its hospital a long time ago and no doubt many of our schools too. Our problem in Ontario is that we have no party worth their weight in salt.

  5. Garth Manning says:

    Committee of the Whole supported the CCSAGE NATURALLT GREEN Judicial Review in principle. No financial or any other implication. This merely adds to the documented support of eight other municipalities and ten community groups. Underlying reason? To convince the court that support for the Judicial Review allegations of discrimination against rural Ontario (turbines will never be built in urban Ontario)contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is widespread among Ontario municipalities inflicted with or threatened by turbines and that the undemocratic Green Energy Act should be demolished. And have readers read the recent Special Report of the Ontario Auditor-General explaining in trenchant terms why the so called Fair Hydro Plan is a scam?

  6. Dennis Fox says:

    My first involvement against IWTs dates back to around 2004 -and I know others were involve prior to that. The problem with this issue is that it has dragged on for so long that many who were involved have “moved on” in a variety of ways. Our current council, over the past few years, have fortunately come out on the side of the people – to my recollection they are the first council to do so. There was a time, not too long ago, where we had a council that had several councillors who made deals with developers to have IWTs on their farms. In fact, about 8-9 years ago, one councillor organized a community meeting in Milford to give the developer the opportunity to prove how wonderful these IWTs are! Let’s not make any mistake about this – it has been the people of PEC who have kept the opposition to these machines alive – not politicians at any level. So my question is a good one – other than a letter, what support is our current council offering? Financial support to fight the legal battle?

  7. Chris Keen says:

    It doesn’t cost much to write a letter. I think you should be more concerned about the tens of millions of your tax dollars the government is spending fighting those opposed to the undemocratic Green Energy Act, and protecting endangered species, and the billions it continues to spend on power it is essentially giving to the US.

  8. Andre says:

    It is obvious the Council is supporting of not having this project going forward. sadly the piece of legislation that supports the building of these absolutely useless forms of energy is going to be an elephant to turn around given the existing government who was originally responsible for creating and implementing it, and then signing amazing contracts with various firms. These firms are “guaranteed” certain fees for obtaining this energy, but no where in the legislation were the savings going to be passed along to the consumer. In fact the recent reduction is simply a stall tactic by the Liberal government and has mortgaged these increased fees for 4 years out….then watch out hydro bill. All of Ontario is going to be paying dearly for this. The County Council and it’s residents have been fighting a long hard battle and good one them and all should be commended. Because there are a number of local County residents who couldn’t care less and don’t see the longer term implications of having these horrific useless towers installed. So to those who have not been involved you need to keep your comments to yourselves and then live with the consequences. Pointing fingers to those who have been working hard to stop these is not constructive .

  9. Dennis Fox says:

    I’m not sure just what kind of support Council is offering. This article only describes “Council’s support as coming in the form of a letter.” If that is the extent of their support, then I’m not sure how this benefits the cause. Can anyone clarify this matter?

  10. Gary says:

    Our group of Councillors are fighting their battle.

  11. hockeynan says:

    If your group doesn’t want turbines fight your own battle

  12. Chuck says:

    While government ministries stall and the forever slow judicial system crawls along, they will be towering above Milford .

  13. hockeynan says:

    I hope council doesn’t use my tax dollar to fight this.

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