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Gilead project wind turbine appeal hearings continue

Gilead hearing first day: Full house at Sophiasburgh Town Hall in Demorestville

Jam-packed Sophiasburgh Town Hall for the first day of the Ostrander Point Environmental Review Tribunal appealing the Ministry of the Environment approval of Gilead Power’s Ostrander Point industrial wind turbine project on the south shore of Prince Edward County.

Vehicles lined Demorestville’s main street as about 150 people travelled to the Sophiasburgh Town Hall for the first day of the Ostrander Point Environmental Review Tribunal, appealing the Ministry of the Environment approval of Gilead Power’s Ostrander Point industrial wind turbine project on the south shore of Prince Edward County.

Tribunal members Robert Wright and Heather Gibbs, lawyers for the Ministry of the Environment and Gilead Power were present along with parties to the appeal, the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) and the Alliance for the Protection of Prince Edward County (APPEC) and their legal representatives Eric Gillespie and Natalie Smith. Appeals are to be heard by PECFN, on grounds of harm to plants, animals or the natural environment; and the APPEC, on grounds of harm to human health.

“Gillespie’s opening statement outlined the reasons for the PECFN appeal of the project approval.  He noted Ostrander Point was recognized by local, provincial and national and international organizations as the worst site for wind turbines and that Ostrander Point is in the middle of the PEC South Shore Important Bird Area.

“Because of that and also since this is the first multiple witness appeal on environmental grounds, the case is precedent setting,” said Cheryl Anderson, of the PECFN.

Gillespie reminded that Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner has recommended against using IBAs for wind turbines development. He noted the point is a breeding area for 14 priority species as recognized by Partners in Flight and 19 Species at Risk.

Gillespie went over the list of expert witnesses he will call and gave a brief description of  their area of expertise.

“The site visit requested by Gilead was set up for Tuesday, March 5,” said Anderson. “Individuals are to arrive in their own vehicles at the corner of Babylon and Helmer Roads for a 2 p.m. start.  Only the tribunal, the parties, presenters, participants and their lawyers are invited to the site visit. ”
On Wednesday, March 6 the hearing is to begin at 9:30 a.m. at Sophiasburgh Town Hall.  Expert witness for PECFN, Dr. Paul Catling will be heard. Paul Catling holds a Ph.D. and is a Research Scientist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. He specializes in a number of areas including plant taxonomy, native germplasm, berry crops, medicinal plants, and invading alien plants. Catling has numerous affiliations, including being on the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, the Board of Directors of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Chair of Biodiversity Publications Committee and Chair of the Ecology Canadian Botanical Association. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa and has numerous scientific research publications.

On Thursday, March 7 the hearing will move back to Toronto to hear evidence from witnesses by video conference.   Ian Dubbin and Dr. Robert Barclay are to be heard. Dr. Barclay is a Professor and the Head of the Biological Sciences Department at the University of Calgary. He teaches in the areas of biology, ecology, conservation biology, field biology and mammalogy. In his career he has supervised more than 35 graduate students and has been the recipient of numerous prestigious research grants including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (“NSERC”) Operating and Equipment Grants. He also has a substantial publication
record which includes a long list of peer reviewed articles. Dubbin has presenter status in the hearing. He is a retired engineer from Kingston.

Friday, March 8 has been left unscheduled.  Still to be determined is the schedule for presentations from Wind Concerns Ontario vice-president Parker Gallant, County Sustainability Group representatives, Don Chisholm and Deborah Hudson. Kari Gunson may be scheduled for Friday as well. Gunson is a Principal Road Ecologist for Eco-Kare International. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Ecology from the University of Calgary, a Master of Science in Conservation Biology from the University of Cape Town, and a Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies from New York State University. For the past 13 years she has worked as a contract road ecologist on Road Mitigation Projects throughout North America, including Banff National Park, Montana, New York, Vermont, and Ontario.

The public is invited to rejoin the hearing on Wednesday, March 6 at 9:30 a.m. in Sophiasburgh Town Hall, in Demorestville.

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  1. Doris Lane says:

    Marnie I was referring to Robert Quaiff’s history on council which Jim had wrong–where did Terry Short come into this?

  2. Marnie says:

    I believe you are correct in regards to Terry Shortt’s history in municipal life. I have always perceived him as being one of our better councillors. No matter how annoyed we become with our members of council at times I think we should remember that they have their jobs because few other people were willing to step up to the plate. Kudos to Terry for seeking a seat on council. Jim could do the same if he wished.

  3. Doris Lane says:

    Hi Marnie, I agree it is good to have a few jokes now and then like when someone spells something wrong. ( I always do that) But it is not good when we smear someones name. Memo to Jim:
    Robert Quaiff is a hard working councillor and I have it on good authority that he ran for council and was elected
    and served from 2000 to 2003. He ran again and was defeated by Ron Everal. Ron passed away during his term of office and Robert completd that term at the request of council. He did not run in 2006. He ran in the last elction and was elected. He has been chair of the Police Commision since 2001. To date he has never run for Mayor.
    When we comment on someones history we must know the facts.

  4. Marnie says:

    I know many of us sincerely appreciate the efforts of those who have launched the appeal, Doris. Having said that, no harm is done if we digress briefly for a bit of levity now and then.

  5. Doris Lane says:

    Hello Everyone lets get back to the orginal reason for this post. The PECFN and APPEC are spending a lot of time and money trying to protect PEC from the horrors of IWT’s. We should thank them for their efforts and hope that they are sucessful in their appeal to keep Ostrander Point as a nature reserve for so many of our endangered species and migrating birds.
    A lot of people have put a lot of effort into this and it is for the good of all of PEC.

  6. Marnie says:

    Tom – Not to make too fine a point of it, but you just misspelled “hillarious”. That is no laughing matter.

  7. Jim says:

    Tom—- I congratulated the councillors for not supporting you.sorry about the typing error. I am not perfect like you and glad I am not

  8. Tom says:

    @ Cheering Jim,
    You just congratulated councillors for not doing their job or caring , and misspelled I.W.T at the same time ! Please comment more, you’re hillarious !
    @ Matt , please , go ahead with that !

  9. Jim says:

    Just to clear things up Doris,Mr Quaiff was never previosly elected to council.He took over after Mr. Everall passed away.Then he ran for mayor and lost out.You people should get your facts straight. As for Mr Quaiff driving 800 km to a meeting is that he is paid as a councillor and also milage and expences which comes from my hard earned tax dollar and what did it accomplish?

  10. Doris Lane says:

    Jim–this is not a site to be used to take a poke at an individual. I just wanted to say that I lived in North Marysburgh back when Mr Quaiff was first elected to council and I think he was always there for all of us. I resent your comment about not doing anything for the so called normal people in NM. Robert always goes out of his way to respond to any questions which he receives.
    I think Jim that you were one of the people who wanted IWT’s on your property and Robert has never been in favour of them and with good reason. They are a waste of money–right now there are IWT’s in Ontario producing electricity that we are paying the US to take off our hands. Really efficient way to do business, while the ratepayers pay more and more on their hydro bills each month.

  11. Chris Keen says:

    @ Matt – you’re angry at the wrong people. Prior to the last election McGuinty et.al. cancelled two gas-powered hydro plants in the GTA (where power is in great demand) in a cyncial attempt to win the relection of two colleagues. It worked. At the time he denied these actions were politically motivated.

    He decided to relocate one of the cancelled plants to a site near Napanee next to an exisiting plant that now only operates infrequently – hundreds of kilometres from the GTA! The cost – $200 million to $1 billion – depending upon who you believe.

    Now Premier Wynne acknowledges that the cancellations were politically motivated. Tens of thousands of documents are being released, oh so reluctantly, that support this.

    Bribing a voter is illegal and yet this is clearly what happened. Have there been any charges for bribery, or theft of taxpayers dollars – any arrests, any trials? Has anybody been sacked for lying or financial misappropriation? Of course not. The former dictator has skulked to the back benches in silence and lets others clean up his mess.

    So forgive many of the residents of the County who find the dictatorial nature of the “Green” Energy Act abhorrent, who are concerned over the huge impact these proposed developments will have on the environment, who worry about the potential effects on their health and who are concerned that the value of their homes will plummet substantially.

    Though the Act and its processes are clearly stacked against them, and the Ministries charged with protecting us are felt by many to be willfully looking the other way while spending untold tax dollars to fight it’s citizens, this appeal – the last vestige of democracy in this process – is the appellants’ and their supporters right – whether they use electricity or not!

    You should be angry with Queen’s Park for causing this mess not with citizens trying to stop it from getting worse.

  12. Jim says:

    It,s definatly a click. I am glad Mr Quaiff is doing something for you as he hasn’t done a thing for the rest of us normal people in North Marysburgh

  13. m york says:

    Mr Quaiff indeed has been a force behind trying to stop all this madness and he deserves to be congratulated on many fronts. I’m sure not a big fan of some at Shire Hall but at least he seems to be honest and is looking out for the people and our town. In other words he’s not afraid to shit on someone’s shoes or fit into the horeshoe click.

  14. Gary Mooney says:

    Councillors who deserve our thanks for being most attentive to the wind turbine issue are Heather Campbell, Alec Lunn, Robert Quaiff and (I think) Bev Campbell. Plus Mayor Mertens.

    In particular, Robert Quaiff has been tireless in addressing this issue. As Doris points out, Robert drove 800 km round trip to partipate in the Wainfleet municipal symposium as the Mayor’s representative.

  15. m york says:

    Has anyone had the opportunity to get the Wellington Times yet? Well, you should….
    PULLING BACK an article that clearly states that we have been overcharged for sometime and now due to no building booms and people not using the water due to the cost The COUNTY has decided to recommend a 50% discount to its development charges. As well as lower the cost of water and wastewater hook-ups.
    Well firstly the County had no alternative the people are sick of being hosed and therefore quit spending here in PEC. No money spent, no revenue plain and simple. So Mr.Mayor don’t pretend that you did us any favour here. YOU WERE FORCED to go this route. Just like the hospital and the windmills these issues will surely be part of of Council/Mayor/CAO demise. All these BIG ideas sounded great at first but we have paid dearly for your mistakes. I was really sickened two weeks ago when I attended a funeral and the (side) of the roads were packed with snow and some of the elderly could barely get over the banks to reach the sidewalks. I overheard one resident say,”Well as long as the Mayor has a cleared out lot, to hell with everyone else”. So in closing the PEOPLE are finally spekaing up and saying enough is enough. Maybe its time to move on… Also recommended reading in the Wellington Time is, Your Slogan Here”!!!!

  16. m york says:

    Has anyone had the opportunity to get the Wellington Times yet? Well, you should….
    PULLING BACK an article that clearly states that we have been overcharged for sometime and now due to no building booms and people not using the water due to the cost The COUNTY has decided to recommend a 50% discount to its development charges. As well as lower the cost of water and wastewater hook-ups.
    Well firstly the County had no alternative the people are sick of being hosed and therefore quit spending here in PEC. No money spent, no revenue plain and simple. So Mr.Mayor don’t pretend that you did us any favour here. YOU WERE FORCED to go this route. Just like the hospital and the windmills these issues will surely be part of of Council/Mayor/CAO demise. All these BIG ideas sounded great at first but we have paid dearly for your mistakes. I was really sickened two weeks ago when I attended a funeral and the (side) of the roads were packed with snow and some of the elderly could barely get over the banks to reach the sidewalks. I overheard one resident say,”Well as long as the Mayor has a cleared out lot, to hell with everyone else”. So in closing the PEOPLE are finally spekaing up and saying enough is enough. Maybe its time to move on… Also recommended reading in the Wellington Time is, Your Slogan Here”

  17. Jim says:

    Cheers to the 10 councillors who didn’t show up.If you people don’t want ITW’s don’t be asking for money from my tax dollar.

  18. Doris Lane says:

    Gary, Robert Quaiff went to Wainflet to a meeting with over 30 other municipalities. There are 91 municipalities
    across Ontario that have placed a moratorium motion on turbines.
    They are forming a working committee in an effort to approach the new premier.
    I don’t know if PEC is one of them, but I imagine you know.

  19. Marnie says:

    You induce a little nausea yourself Matt.
    “All we people” don’t want to see the face of this county forever changed.

  20. Gary Mooney says:

    An addendum to the first day report. We were pleased to see that five Councillors attended: Heather Campbell (Hallowell Ward), Alec Lunn (Hillier), Bev Campbell (Picton), Robert Quaiff (N. Marysburgh)and Barb Proctor (S. Marysburgh).

    But we were disappointed that ten other Councillors didn’t show up “to show the flag” for the start of this very important hearing into the future of the County.

    Council as a whole hasn’t shown any leadership, or even significant engagement, on this issue. They have left it to County residents to fight for their neighbours’ health and property rights, the local economy and the natural environment.

    These groups have no sources of revenue other than donations. Each of APPEC and PECFN has to raise $125K to pursue their appeals. County has refused to contribute even one dollar to the fight.

    Quite frankly, I’m embarrassed on behalf of Council.

  21. Lori Cairns says:

    Wrong, Matt. Many of us want our power to be produced in our own backyards, and rooftops, too.

    The short term answer to our power problems is to have every building produce its own power from sun and wind. It won’t happen. There’s not enough money in this for the bankers. Right now, they want the money from IWTs. They don’t care who they harm or what they kill to get those $$$.

    I say short term answer because I feel that climate change is going to decide things for us sooner rather than later. No IWT is going to stop that.

  22. Matt says:

    You people make me sick you want to use power but don’t want it produced in your back yard. I hope all these people complaining are not people that are on the grid paying for hydro.

  23. Gary Mooney says:

    The first day was a clear win for PECFN. Eric Gillespie’s opening statement was compelling and generated spontaneous applause when he finished.

    It is estimated that more than 90% of the attendees on Day 1 were supporters of PECFN and/or APPEC.

    PECFN has clearly recruited the A-list of expert witnesses, and Gilead will have to make do with the B- or C-list.

    Please attend the Wednesday session in Demorestville if you can — starting time 09:30.

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