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Field Naturalists willing to go another round in turtles vs turbines

Prince Edward County Field Naturalists will go another round in court seeking leave to appeal the Divisional Court ruling to the Court of Appeal of Ontario.

“We have to ask the court if it will allow us to appeal,” said Cheryl Anderson, past president of the PECFN group. “In order to do this we will have to present our reasons for believing that Justice Nordheimer was in error in his judgement.”

Lawyers assembled in Osgoode Hall Jan. 21-23 to hear the arguments of the Ministry of the Environment and Gilead Power against the Environmental Review Tribunal ruling that revoked the minister’s approval of the nine turbine project planned for Ostrander Point, on the south shore of Prince Edward County.

The decision of the Divisional Court received Thursday Feb. 20 was that the tribunal erred in its ruling.

“Unless appealed, this decision will result in the industrial development of Ostrander Point Crown Land Block on the South Shore of Prince Edward County,” said Anderson. “Prince Edward County Field Naturalists are disappointed with the ruling of the Divisional Court and do not agree that the Environmental Review Tribunal was wrong.  The group will be seeking leave to appeal the Divisional Court ruling to the Court of Appeal of Ontario.”

The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists have opposed the development plans at Ostrander Point from the beginning.  Nature Canada, Ontario Nature, Environment Canada, the Suzuki Foundation, the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, Bird Life International and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds have all since agreed that Ostrander Point is the worst place for wind turbines.

The groups continue to stress that:
-Ostrander Point is in the middle of the PEC South Shore Important Bird Area – the home of the endangered Blanding’s Turtle and many other species at risk.  Millions of birds fly through and stage for migration from the south shore of PEC in the spring and fall.

-The Crown land block is adjacent to the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area designated as an international Monarch butterfly reserve.

-Ostrander Point includes significant areas of globally imperilled alvar habitat.

“Gilead’s wind turbines project will expose migrating birds to lethal turbine blades at a time when they are most vulnerable,” said the Field Naturalists in a press statement. “At nearby Wolfe Island, the turbines kill more birds than any other installation in Ontario because the eastern end of Lake Ontario is such an important migratory pathway.  The turbine pads and access roads will damage vast swaths of the Crown land block – and expose Blanding’s turtles to high road mortality and nest predation while destroying their habitat.”

The south Shore of Prince Edward County is the last undeveloped natural habitat along the north shore of Lake Ontario.

The cost of the ERT appeal and subsequent defence of the ERT decision has been expensive, said Anderson.

“The Field Naturalists is a small club of mostly retired people.  People all through Ontario and in several other provinces have donated about $130,000 to the cost of this legal battle.  This amount is at least $100,000 short of the estimated final legal bill. Fund raising continues through events and activities in the County and beyond. The small group is girding their loins and arming their slingshots to continue this David and Goliath struggle.”

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Click here for previous story: Turbines take down turtles in divisional court

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  1. Loretta says:

    We know the government has the right to cancel agreements when and if they want to. We’ve seen it from helicopter acquisitions to a natural gas generating plant. That governments can and do cancel contracts, is why these companies have now insisted on the very large termination clauses like the one for the gas generating plant that is costing Ontarians $Millions.

  2. BH says:

    According to some, the government has the right to cancel agreements with financial penalty.

    “Jane Wilson, the President of Wind Concerns Ontario says the Ontario government has the power to cancel contracts with wind turbine operators even though Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli says it doesn’t.”


  3. Jim McMillan says:

    Reading Hansard daily.

    Conservatives holding Wynne and her minions feet to the fire over their disastrous Industrial Wind Terminal initiative.
    Seems that to unwind this mess that their dictatorship rammed down our throats will cost a ton of money.
    Because the cost will be so high Wynne says we will have to live with the madness.

    Let them eat cake, she might have said.

  4. IM Messenger says:

    To me, the Judge was telling the Tribunal what and how to do an appeal hearing. His report says things like
    “tribunal should have accepted …
    should have assumed ….
    did not do ….
    could have extended the time line … etc. ”

    The Judge is undermining the rights of the Tribunal to be autonomous in its own system. Understanding that the REA and EPA has a conflict unto the policy makers who put it together leaves the Judge looking for blame of interpretation and application. The Tribunal process was the victim here. PECFN and other groups must take this to a higher court to clarity. And one must remember who owns the courts and sets the laws of the land. The Gov’t. What the Gov’t says and it must get done somehow to shut things down. Find a loop hole. “Peek through the loop hole” > the decision handed down. This is what it’s all about money, people in debt, new world order and raping the land for it. Whatever it takes.

    Further an eye opener as posted in monthly newsletter.

    WHO OWNS GILEAD? by Myrna Wood
    Two weeks after the Tribunal decision was announced against Gilead, its owner Jovian Capital was bought by Industrial Alliance Insurance. Mike Lord had a busy summer. Was it worrisome or not?

    I have learned three new bits:
    1. Gary Litwack, Jovian Board member, is a Partner with McCarthy Tetrault! So he is their direct connection to the legal firm.

    2. John Ross Moses, Board member, previously served as an Executive Officer with both the Ontario Ministry of Industry and Tourism and the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing; and is the Chairman and Past President of The Nicholson’s Island Club (off PEC)

    3. Murray Edwards, 30% owner of Jovian Capital, has a long time relationship with Industrial Alliance so the ownership change is not a big issue.

    The previous board members of Jovian made shareholders angry in 2012 by giving themselves a big payout after they sold pieces of the company to Koreans. So this move may have been Edwards’ and others’ assurance to shareholders that the company was under control.

    How much the Tribunal decision would have upset these big money boys is hard for us to know.

    There’s a history of the environmental destruction of Edwards’ tar sands operation, including the one ongoing at Cold Lake. The Northern Journal is by local people in the Wood Buffalo region where Alberta is leasing to tar sands operations hand over fist. The breeding grounds of the Whooping Crane and the larder of First Nations.

  5. Jim McMillan says:

    I think the tribunal decision was troubling to say the least for the big money that wants to pillage Ostrander point.
    In their world crown land means low hanging fruit.
    It certainly must have unsettled them when a core group of environmentalists came to the meetings in DEMORESTVILLE with their army of experts.
    The presentation by a professor from Queens on the irreparable damage done to alvar by a project like Ostrander sealed the deal for my wife and I.
    The industrialists had no answer for this and we knew that the Industrial Wind Terminal Factory on Ostrander Point was finished.
    Happy ending.
    Hell no.
    The industrialists. just counteratteacked with the backing of the Government agencies tasked with protecting things like the alvar where the Blandings Turtles live.
    More money, more lawyers and a courtroom in Toronto.

    Was justice served?
    I don’t think so and there was definitely no room for goodness there.

  6. Olmanonthemtn says:

    excuse me “thank goodness” goodness had nothing to do with this!

  7. Jim says:

    The Divisional Court decision made sense and was right. The Environmental Review Tribunal decision was troubling to say the least. Thank goodness it was corrected.

  8. Sam says:

    Marc, as you can clearly see, I have made no comment regarding the MOE and their decision making policy. But I suppose that it is unfounded accusations and snap judgments based upon personal bias that makes this the wonderful place that it is…

  9. BH says:

    I would not suggest judges are corrupt.
    However, if the judges are working behind the veil of the Green Energy Act, it is impossible for them to protect threatened species within the rules of the Environmental Protection Act.

    The Green Energy Act subverts the EPA and renders it useless.

    I was hoping the Divisional Court could have adopted a broader vision.

    A wise man would say wind turbines should be placed in a more appropriate location than at Ostrander Point.

  10. Doris Lane says:

    because the judge did not find in favour of the PECFN that does not mean he is corrupt. Judges base their opinions on the facts of law. lawyers have to present facts so that the judge does not have a reasonable doubt as that what he believes the outcome should be.

    I am sorry that some of you feel that there is so much corruption in our society.
    I was a teacher in a large city and I doubt that there was corruption in my profession
    Some people are better at their job than others but that does not mean they are corrupt

  11. Mark says:

    Well Sam I would suggest that if the Ministry of Environment wasn’t being totally funded by us the taxpayers they would be much further delinquent in legal fees!

    You obviously see no issue or conflict with the MOE legally fighting to harm, harass and kill species they are entrusted to protect. Hmmm.

  12. Sam says:

    It is interesting that some of us can imply that the judge is corrupt just because we don’t agree with his ruling. Have we all read the decisions of the ERT and the recent court ruling? Personal opinions on wind power aside, the judge’s ruling appears to be based upon the law (or at least a reasonable interpretation of it). It also clarifies some of the evidentiary guidelines for future ERTs, so maybe the next ERT will not have to be 40 days of evidence.

    If PECFN feel that the judge made an error then they will have the opportunity to make that arguments when they request an appeal. I look forward to reading their reasons.

    I would usually suggest that the only ones likely to win after all of this is concluded is the lawyers, but I see that PECFN is about $100,000 behind on their lawyer’s fees, so maybe even Eric Gillespie is not doing as well as he would like.

    Interesting times.

  13. Mark says:

    Doris, this is obviously a sensitive subject for you. But you must realize that corruption can infiltrate any profession,i.e teachers, business, police, clergy, accountants, doctors and yes judges as well.

  14. Doris Lane says:

    Jim are you familiar with the work of a lot of judges.
    If you knew many of them as well as I do you would not be making such statements

  15. Mark says:

    I am relieved that others can accept that our judicial system can at times be influenced.We are speaking about human beings and all are susceptible to error either by fault or intent.

  16. Jim Wiegand says:

    Sad but in this day and age I see Judges making bad decisions on a regular basis. Some of these decisions are because of bias, some from pompous ignorance, and some of these decisions are due to corrupt influences.

    The thing that really needs to be looked at here is the decades old pattern of the wind industry rigging their studies. Just about anyone can see this from looking at the Wolfe Island studies, which were approved by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).

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