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Naturalists win stay of construction at Ostrander Point

The Ontario Appeal Court has granted an order to stay construction at Ostrander Point.

A great cheer went up at the announcement Tuesday evening from the crowd gathered to hear naturalist Terry Sprague speak at the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists’ monthly meeting.

“Now, Gilead Power will not be able to destroy any habitat before we can ask for leave to appeal,” said Myrna Wood, PECFN president and leader in the Save Ostrander Point campaign. “We are relieved, as early migration has begun and spring melt is starting to create the conditions needed by all the wildlife at Ostrander Point including Blanding’s turtle.

The order was granted Tuesday, staying February’s decision of the Divisional Court, pending the PECFN’s motions for leave to appeal. In its decision, the Divisional Court overturned an order of the Environmental Review Tribunal that had, in turn, allowed an appeal by the PECFN from a Renewable Energy Approval issued by the Minister of the Environment in relation to the wind turbine project. The order of the ERT stayed the operation of the REA – subject to terms, as related to Blanding’s turtle.

Ostrander Point Wind Energy argued there is insufficient evidence to establish “irreparable” harm to Blanding’s turtle if the stay was not granted.  On March 10, counsel for Ostrander had advised counsel for PECFN that Ostrander intended to proceed with construction work that would include staking out limits of the construction; vegetation removal, dealing with unexploded ordinance clearance requirements and road construction, time permitted.

When asked for further details, Ostrander stated “it was not in a position to provide this information”.

On March 12, PECFN delivered its notices of motion for leave to appeal. This motion for a stay followed. Under the terms of the reinstated REA, Ostrander is prohibited from engaging in construction on the wind power site between May and October 15 – the time of year when Blanding’s turtle wanders from the ponds and lives and nests on the terrain.

“Justice Blair’s comments in his decision are particularly interesting.  He said that he had no hesitation in granting the stay as “the issues raised on the proposed appeal are issues of broad public implication in the field of environmental law.”

“The Justice went on to point out that ‘Once habitat is destroyed, it is destroyed – for at least short term purposes’.  While that comment may seem self evident to the vast numbers of citizens protesting the development plans at Ostrander Point, hearing it from a justice of the Appeal Court is particularly gratifying.”

Wood said the the task ahead is to prepare submissions for leave to appeal the Divisional Court decision.  PECFN’s legal arguments are to be filed with the Ontario Court of Appeal on April 11. Gilead Power and the MOE would respond with their legal arguments.

“Judges of the Court of Appeal will take some weeks to decide whether to grant us leave to appeal,” said Wood. “Other organizations will consider whether to apply for intervenor status given the importance of this first appeal of a Renewable Energy approval on environmental issues.”

Meanwhile, fundraising to pay for legal issues continues with $148,358 raised of an estimated $220,000 needed.

A Gala dinner and Art Auction sold out in two weeks – much to the delight of the organizers.
In events to come, supporters are invited to see Mamma Mia and The African Queen for $15 at the Regent Theatre on April 30.
On Saturday May 3, music and sound aficionados have an opportunity to hear Tenor Audio’s 175 S Pre amp with 350M Mono Blocks driving Tetra’s flagship 606 “listening instrument” as it is used in the screening of the Bruce Cockburn documentary “Pacing the Cage” at Active Arts Studio in Rednersville.  The evening includes County wine, canapés and sweets – and a performance by the Frere Bothers. Tickets are $50 at www.saveostranderpoint.org
And, on Saturday, May 9, Sandbanks Vacations and Terry Sprague join to provide an intimate and exceptional opportunity to tour the natural areas of the County in a comfortable coach.  This is a limited offering – only 12 places are available.  The cost for this day long excursion is $100 including a picnic lunch.

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  1. Jim Wiegand says:

    Everyone should read the ugly truth behind this terrible industry …………………………. “Exposing the wind industry genocide”

  2. IM Messenger says:

    Jim,
    you know Amherst Island is in dire need of more help with their fight to save the Island from industrial wind turbines. I’m sure your work could offer another perspective to be used or to be brain-stormed for a tangent direction by lawyer’s. Credible evidence of this nature is worth a shift in mind set to doing the right thing.

  3. BH says:

    IM Messenger,
    Yes you are correct, mostly on the same page.

  4. Jim Wiegand says:

    At Barney……..The stats I have provided are outstanding and I have a lot more to share with people. I even have a video demonstration lined up for the right court case. The main theme of my comments is that if people end the rigging process and the fraudulent studies, they will shut down these projects. Any communities that require that wind farm approval based upon accurate current population studies, yearly mortality studies (search intervals every day and not rigged with tiny search areas) for the life of the project, accurate (not rigged) cumulative impacts studies with absolute mortality thresholds, will not have to worry about wind projects being built in their communities.

  5. IM Messenger says:

    Looks to me like we all on the same page.

  6. BH says:

    Reasonable people should agree more and not argue.

    Wind turbines should not be placed on environmentally sensitive areas, like Ostrander Point and Amherst Island.

    Wind turbines should be constructed a minimum of 1.5km from people’s homes. This will safeguard people’s health.

    This minimum setback could resolve other issues, like heritage preservation, aesthetics, home values, tourism economics and more.

    A prudent wind energy policy would help in the fight against global warming.

  7. barney rubble says:

    Wow Jim, good stats. Gotta remind my kids to DUCK when in South Marysburg. Lotta stuff gonna be flying into my neighborhood. My parents don’t want this crap so I guess we should move,

  8. Jim Wiegand says:

    Here is an interesting statistic for those that have the mistaken belief they are better qualified than me to speak about this industry. I have over several thousand carcass distance records from turbine blade strikes. These records are from the years 1990 -2010 and none were taken from industry studies conducted with grossly undersized search areas. Search areas for these studies ranged from 50-105 meters.
    From these carcass records it can be seen that most carcasses upon impact are launched beyond a turbines blade tip length. In fact this number is about 60% -70% depending on the study and this does not take into consideration that search areas some of these records came from were too small for the size of turbine being studied. Several of the studies even mention this.

    The average carcass distance from turbine towers recorded in these studies ranges from about 1 1/2 – 3 times the blade length of these turbines. Many of these turbines were only about 100 feet tall when including blades of about 8.5 meters in length. Hundreds of the other turbines I analyzed were 300-400 feet at the tip of the rotor sweep.

    The average carcass distance reported by Stantec from Wolfe island and the wind projects Northeastern US, is about the same distance that was reported from the smallest turbines I looked at. But there are huge differences between small turbines and the turbines studied by Stantec. The turbines they searched in their studies reach 250-350 feet higher into the sky, the blades reach out 50 meters or more, and their blade tip speeds are much faster.

    All of these factors add up to a greater impact force, more drift from the higher altitudes, and an impact point in some cases as much 47 meters further away from turbine towers. The in some cases where turbines are located on ridge lines, the carcasses thrown towards the downward slopes will to drift even further.

    Everyone of these Stantec’s mortality studies, defy the Laws of Motion and Gravity because any thrown by a turbine has better than 50/50 or a 1 out of 2 chance of this carcass landing past a turbines blade length.
    For the hundreds of carcasses reported by Stantec studies, only a handful have been reported past the turbine blade length; the odds of this reported carcass distribution to have actually occurred around all these turbines is so high that it can not be calculated. The numbers are impossible and it is time for people to take note and to start asking the hard questions.

    Anyway you want to look at it the Stantec studies are worthless because their reported carcass distribution is not what really happened around these turbines. All their reported carcass came from search areas that were many times too small and they did not account for or even acknowledge the many thousands of carcasses that landed beyond their tiny little search areas.

  9. Wolf Braun says:

    Very good news ! We will continue to support the Field Naturalists to the end. We purchase 2 tickets to the ball. And will continue to give.

    This is so much more than just some wind turbines and Mother Nature, albeit that’s important. This is also about who does democracy belong to. The people? Or our politicians? If it still belongs to us, then the Green Energy Act is a farce.

  10. IM Messenger says:

    sorry to hear you “can hardly afford to live in PEC now.” Wait till your next hydro bill comes in! You should grab yerself some of that free energy out there.

  11. barney rubble says:

    Right on KJB , now we are on track. How about an on-line poll to see if PEC residents want to have taxes raised to compensate costs incurred by the bird watchers to fight turbines. How about council vote to lower the tax rate for those millionaires on the southern shore of PEC fighting to protect their bogus property values. I am sure with some brainstorming we can come up with many more opportunities to keep the sparks flying.

  12. Calvin Johnston says:

    I agree with Gary @ Marie , any councillors who support PECFN and their fight against the Industrial Turbines will get my support as well ! I’d even throw in a couple extra tax dollars to cover Barney’s share …

  13. IM Messenger says:

    It’s really quite imperative to read the decision of the ERT hearing. All evidence from the experts is therein and the legal arguments, summations, facts, reasons why and why not are there. 140 pgs.

    http://envirolaw.com/wp-content/uploads/Alliance-to-protect-PE-County-v-Director-MOE-ERT-July-3-2013.pdf

    And also, the appeal decisions by the Divisional Court, Toronto.
    http://www.saveostranderpoint.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Decision-by-Divisional-Court.pdf

    Do not lose sight of why these appeals are happening. Even if they lead to the steps of the supreme court. Justice Blair plainly states it and until this is finished all is speculation and people’s innuendos of such to make controversial conversation. Now, isn’t this what we should be talking about, defending?

    [Justice Blair’s comments in his decision are particularly interesting. He said that “he had no hesitation in granting the stay as the issues raised on the proposed appeal are issues of broad public implication in the field of environmental law.”]

    Wow! Look at the size of this white-tailed eagle found dead at turbine site.
    http://www.saveostranderpoint.org/overview-of-issues/
    Surgical strikes? Not to mention that bats lungs explode when near the back side of turbines, and on and on the gore goes.

    Be interesting what Council will tell us about how restricted the municipality is regarding OMB rules of governance and the legislation from on high.

    I see Harper is even changing the rules/laws about voting. This is truly tampering with the rights of the people to have a powerful voice. The gov’t must be afraid of its people. Soon its going to be too late to undo this stuff, best prevent it.

  14. KJB says:

    New or present councilors have their right to support or not support the Industrial Turbines, but with their own money not that of the tax payers….We can hardly afford to live in PEC now

  15. Doris Lane says:

    Congrats to the PECFN who have worked such long hours to protect our natural heritage. Great shame on the government of Ontario for allowing this to happen in the first Hopefully someone can get rid of the GEA.

  16. Gary says:

    Well the timing certainly lines up perfectly with the municipal election. All candidates will be asked to declare where they stand on the Industrial Turbines. There will be no room for fence sitters this time.

  17. Sam says:

    It will be interesting to see Jim’s “facts”. If they are as good as he claims then they would have been useful to PECFN at the ERT. As it was, PECFN and their council and experts were unable to convince the panel that the turbines would significantly harm the birds and bats. The only thing that they could convince the panel of was that if access roads were constructed then the motoring public would pose a risk to the turtles. (And I would suggest that says more about the people of PEC than it does says about wind turbines.)

    Using Altamont Pass wind farm in California as an example of the impacts of modern wind energy on birds is kinda like pointing out the handling flaws of a first generation Chevy Corvair as evidence that Tesla Sedans are dangerous and should be banned from the roads.

    Finally, an investigation into the application of statistical analysis may assist Jim in his understanding of why it is not necessary to count every bird collision to develop an understanding of the relative impact of an installation.

  18. Marie says:

    Totally agree to support councilors who support PECFN on this one. They got my vote too.

  19. baysider says:

    I am with Barney all the way. Sick and tired of all the bull from these people.How many of there facts are misrepresented .Hope the IWT’s come and maybe they will all move away

  20. Gary says:

    Well Barney, Councilors who are prepared to state that they will support further financial support to the PECFN’s battle will get my vote.

  21. Jim Wiegand says:

    For Barney……A rant sort of, but a justified rant that can all be backed up with data and facts. Today I am particularly upset because I have recently uncovered even more fraud within the wind industry that has to do with bat mitigation. You will be reading a lot more about it.

  22. barney rubble says:

    Whoaaaaa Jim-bo
    Quite the hysterical rant. You must have been preparing the text for weeks waiting for the moment to hit submit. No more money should be wasted by either side to preserve some dead carcasses.
    PECFN can eat their debt and not assume another red cent comes from the tax payers of PEC who are fed up with this ridiculous farce. Just my 2 cents, let the fanatics attack.

  23. Jim Wiegand says:

    I can not count the number of misrepresented facts, omissions, ridiculous conclusions, and false discussions I have seen with wind industry studies……… This is the garbage being presented to Judges and community planners. For this reason anything presented by the wind industry should be considered to be no better than taking word of a drug dealer or a convicted felon. Maybe Justice Blair took all this into consideration.

    None of this is a matter of ignorance or gross stupidity; there is clear pattern of deception that has gone on for decades. So when taking the Blanding’s turtle and other species into consideration, I want everyone to understand the wind industry that I know.

    First everyone should to take a sobering look at “Another eagle killed-gory pictures”….. This is the real uncensored character of the wind industry that is being hidden from the public. This is the story of one eagle but there are thousands of these dead eagle stories and millions of other stories like it that have not been told because of the ongoing industry fraud.

    Here is another eagle meets wind turbine story. On 03/13/09 the severed wing from a golden eagle was found near a turbine. The severed wing was not fresh. I know it was several days old because I have the image. Nearly thirty days after a wind turbine severed off the wing, the eagle was found alive wandering around the wind farm April 9, 2009.

    In the eyes of this fraudulent industry these eagles are not a fatality but are called “incidental”. The reason is that one eagle was still alive and that it was also found far from the industry’s tiny designated search areas. The other eagle was also launched far beyond industry designated search areas. According to them, the birds found outside search areas do not count. The industry would like us to believe with their fraudulent research that blade strike impacts from huge turbines are like a juggling act where carcasses just float to ground around turbine bases. The truth is that these massive blades with tips moving at 200 mph, smash carcasses from hundreds of feet up in the air and send them flying with great force. Add the highs winds at the location and/or the steep slopes running off the ridges to the equation and they will travel even further.

    Look close at the dead eagle images. The carcass was launched into the trees. The monstrous turbines of 2014 are now launching carcasses far outside the industry’s puny search areas. Then for the few carcasses the industry does claim, they are being processed with contrived formulas and ridiculous scavenger removal trials that further hide the truth.

    Folks this is Fraud.

    The fact is that search areas today are so small that most wind turbine carcasses now land outside industry search areas. Anyone that says otherwise should probably be arrested.

    In 1998-2003 mortality studies Altamont had search area radius of 50 meters on very small turbines, carcasses outside search areas were accounted for at a rate of approximately 15% with a small percentage added for wandering cripples. There was no such thing as the “incidental carcass” which allows studies to pull carcasses from the data.

    Now dozens of dead eagles are being culled from the data at Altamont and other studies are pulling a hundreds of carcasses from the data by calling them “incidental”..

    Today the rigging of mortality studies game has regressed to a level of complete absurdity. Now a massive 3 MW wind turbine, with 44 – 60 times the square footage in rotor sweep, and 350 feet taller, has a smaller search area than those used on thousands of 40-100 kW turbines at Altamont.

    Here is another astonishing fact that is over looked; birds and bats are killed in a 3 dimensional plane and when one considers the deadly rotor sweep in terms of cubic feet, a 3 MW turbine is over 600 times larger than a single Altamont turbines that was studied with a 50 meter search radius .

    I believe that if the public were made aware of the extinction of species coming from these turbines and the mountain of fraudulent studies the industry has produced, they would want nothing to do with these turbines, this industry, or wasting one more of their tax dollars on this industry.

    I want people to know that when they invest in wind, they invest in species extinction and 1st degree fraud. They also need to be told the truth by our leaders that wind will never be a primary source of energy. It can not even offset the world’s yearly increase in energy usage from other sources.

  24. Betty says:

    Isn’t Gilead’s feed-in-tariff contract with the Ontario Power Authority up by now? http://fit.powerauthority.on.ca/what-feed-tariff-program

    There are ‘some’ rules, regulations and limitations involved with this 2010 energy contract. How many are being adhered to? Or…

    Will the Ontario government keep on adapting the rules to accommodate Ostrander Point Wind Park until the cows come home or the turtles disappear?

    This is getting tiresome.

  25. IM Messenger says:

    renee:
    Gilead-Mr.Lord using the scare tactic once again to appease ego; flaunting his strut as his lawyer’s cheer, yay, more money. Assume now the legal costs are up into the $10 million plus area with $25 million to go. And surely they will spend it all!

    . . . more legal wrangling because they can. And I expect they need to be doing something to show power and control in effort to use the win from the court. All semantics. The effort is and always has been to run PECFN into big debt re: legal costs. Keeps the Gilead lawyer’s jingling with money as they approach the doors of their brand new BMW’s.

    PECFN has points of law to pursue. This case proving to be an interesting precedent setting case in many ways, either way as it goes to quote judges talking behind the scenes. Money is the shift-shaper.

    We all gain some power added to our rights & freedoms as this unfolds. Are we willing to pay our share? Are we thankful enough to take a bite out of the debts incurred by PECFN? Or just sit back and watch what happens as this group of women take on Goliath once more.

    The vision entraps and leads to sitting on the fence; like it’s a daily event happening to someone distant from out door. And yet, dare not let it be connected to us, not us silent, nimble by-standers of Gov’t rules with trusting etiquette.

    The “Let George Do It” mentality is to be an historical witness to the strangling of Canadian democracy after the fact.

  26. Cheryl Anderson says:

    Thank you to Countylive for spreading the good news about the stay. But let’s not take the $$ amounts too seriously. This fight is taking and will continue to take a lot of money. We really do not have any idea how much it will all cost. In fact PECFN has not had a bill from our legal firm for the Divisional Court hearing yet – 5 months of work! And we have not yet paid the total bill of the ERT hearing, but we are getting there! Thank you to all our supporters, donors and friends. Let’s all work hard to Save Ostrander Point.

  27. Renee says:

    Great news! Particularly when Gilead’s Mike Lord was boasting about starting as soon as possible.
    http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/03/13/turtle_tussle_continues_over_wind_farm.html

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