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Town Hall wind turbine meeting attendees encouraged

turbine-mascot

All the wind turbine protests need now is a mascot, noted Gary Mooney, of CCSAGE. He offered P.O. Bird, a gnatcatcher suggested by naturalist Terry Sprague. Photo by Greg Barteluk, at Point Traverse, PEC.

Two men received standing ovations from several hundred people attending a Town Hall meeting on the impact of wind turbines in the County, last week.

The first was for County councillor Robert Quaiff, who last week sought support to declare the County is “Not a Willing Host’ for turbines. About 90 Ontario municipalities have passed or are reviewing the resolution. Last week he also spoke at Queen’s Park in support of the defeated Bill 39 “Ensuring Affordable Energy Act”.

The second ovation followed a presentation by Eric Gillespie, Ostrander Point Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) legal counsel for the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) and the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC).

There are just two grounds for an ERT appeal of an approved wind project – proving serious and irreversible harm to plants, animals or the environment and proving seriousharm to human health. The PECFN has been supporting the former, APPEC, in phase two, the latter. Each group is fundraising to gain about $125,000 to fund its phase of the appeal.

Gillespie updated last week’s events and noted nine experts have testified for the PECFN. Gillespie said the ERT panel has accepted their presentations on the serious and irreversible harm of turbines to bats, birds, butterflies, turtles and the environment as “expert testimony” while noting a few of Gilead Power’s witnesses have “limited expertise” and the Ministry of Environment’s presentation “experienced” in reviewing reports.

The next phase of the ERT involves 21 witnesses who will explain how they are suffering “serious harm” to their health by living near turbines.

There is a government-imposed six-month limit on the appeal, meaning July 3 is the last date the two member panel has to render their decision.

Gillespie also spoke to legal challenges outside the ERT process, in the court system, relating to concerns about property values.

He told the audience of an Ontario court decision Monday in relation to the claim, from residents of Clearview Township, near Collingwood, that announced projects affect property values.

“On Monday a decision came out from that court agreeing with the position of our clients that property values in that community, based on the expert appraisal evidence, had already dropped by somewhere between 20 and 50 per cent. That’s the evidence the court has accepted for that community and knowing the expert involved it’s fair to say there’s at least a reasonable chance the same type of impacts are occurring in other communities, and could well be occurring already here in the County,” Gillespie said. “For years, wind companies and government agencies have been saying ‘that doesn’t happen, that will never happen’ and that is no longer correct. A judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has said otherwise as of this week.”

Garth Manning, lawyer and chair of the evening’s host, the County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy (CCSAGE), welcomed the audience, outlined the evening and also reported on property devaluation of 20 to 50 per cent for nearby homes.

Master of Ceremonies, Steve Campbell, journalist, author and humourist, introduced all the evening’s speakers.
Gary Mooney, of CCSAGE, mapped the extent of development – 850+ turbines – planned for both the County and eastern Lake Ontario.
“Our primary concern about turbines,” he said, “Is that if we get any, we’ll likely get many.”

Cheryl Anderson, of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, described the natural environment and species threatened at Ostrander Point.
Alan Whiteley, lawyer, described a possible class action relating to damages caused by wind turbine construction.
Carlyn Moulton addressed losses for the County’s creative and tourist economy.
Dr. Robert McMurtry listed adverse health effects and outlined worldwide delay and denial of health research by the wind industry and governments.

The evening closed with Ian Hanna, the plaintiff in the 2011 judicial review of the Green Energy Act, who praised the determination and generosity the County has shown, and urged the audience to ensure the ERT appeal has all the funding it needs for success. He said the Ostrander Point ERT is going to “inflict serious and irreversible harm on the wind industry.”

Following the presentations, questions to the speakers were followed by a showing of the documentary ‘Wind Rush’, originally aired in February on the CBC’s Doc Zone program.

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  1. Mike Barnard says:

    Thanks for sharing, Bob. It’s nice to be remembered, even if only semi-accurately.

    Have all the emotional angst you want, but rural economies depend upon the jobs and specialization that come with increasing numbers of revenue streams for the properties in them. Sometimes they are in conflict, but service and tourism economy jobs are always trumped by more productive forms of labour, including wind farm construction, operation and maintenance. Better paying, more rewarding and with more spinoff benefits.

    Don’t want the dystopic hollowing out of the rural economy that you remember me describing? Get behind wind farms and similar highly productive forms of rural revenue generation.

  2. Bob Smith says:

    Ahhh… MIkey! For a busy Systems Architect with IBM who never seems to be able to stay in one city for very long, he does seem to have a lot of time on his hands. My favourite Barnardism was during his original argument with Margaret Atwood on her personal blog where he took the position that rural areas would eventually have to be depopulated anyways. Mike contended that because us country folk were inherently inefficient consumers of energy on a per capita basis, and given the coming energy/GHG apocalypse, we all needed to urbanize and allow the automation and industrialization of farming without all this emotional angst. Mike has a singular and myopic view of the world. Nothing will ever move him away from his belief system and that’s why he so enjoys his online life as a provocateur.
    We all know – as with Chapman, Leventhall and others – their primary propaganda technique is through the use of omission in their arguments. Science and evidence that doesn’t agree with the belief is simply ignored, denied, or never mentioned. But literature reviews and poorly designed, agenda driven correlations are cited as facts. That’s why Mikey is able to believe that low-frequency vibrations have no effect on us living breathing organisms.
    I’ve got to believe he’s never been to a really raucous rock concert.
    He’s best ignored.

  3. Henri Garand says:

    Perched in Singapore, safe from Canada’s libel laws, Mike Barnard tries to spread his avian flu via internet defecations. Now he has extended his non-expert commentary to matters of law.

    Countylive readers should ask themselves what motivates Barnard’s interest in the welfare of the County. His pro-wind bias is a clue.

    The Ostrander Point appeal taking place now is an enormous threat to the wind industry. A victory will put a halt to wind development in Ontario and may trigger similar decisions worldwide.

    Of course self-appointed crusaders will defame opponents of wind and try to undermine support for this thoroughly damaging legal action undertaken by APPEC and PECFN.

    I am reposting this comment because Mike Barnard is trying to overwhelm countylive readers with his libelous statements.

  4. Mike Barnard says:

    Mr. Gillespie isn’t losing court cases because the province has stacked the deck, he’s losing because he’s fighting battles that aren’t supported by any evidence.

    Wind farms don’t harm property values: five major studies in the US and UK of 46,000 property transactions confirm this. As with health complaints, anti-wind campaigners whipping up fears are responsible for minor lulls before wind farms become operational, with properties often accruing value faster near operational wind farms. This makes sense: more jobs and more tax-revenue funded services make wind farm regions more attractive to people.

    As for the important bird area, I’m on record as agreeing that Ostrander Point is likely inappropriate although that’s mostly due to turtles. The same doesn’t apply to the rest of Prince Edward County.

    Regarding the Toronto Star article, a lazy reported accepted Gillespie’s press release instead of doing even minimal fact checking. Read the judgement and the analysis for yourselves.

    I’m just going to ignore the rabid, incoherent and defamatory paranoia about bribing judges.

  5. county steve says:

    I checked Mike’s blog, and I have determined that the battle will likely never end.

    Mr. Gillespie’s problem is not that he is wrong, it is because the provincial government deck has been supremely stacked against him.

    You accuse us of being dupes of Gillespie. I accuse you of being a dupe of a dictatorial provincial government, which institutes an Act designed to remove the right of County people to determine their own future.

    You can sing the praises of IWTs all you want, but this issue has more to do with Social Justice than energy production. Solar farms are burgeoning here … we’re not against green energy. IWTs are the wrong choice, in the wrong place. I’m a proponent of renewable energy, but IWTs are at the bottom of my list of excellent green energy choices. The only reason we face them? Because the government loves to make billion dollar deals with big corporations.

    Planting them in a designated Important Bird Area? Well, pat yourself on the back. You’re killing wildlife listed in the Endangered Species Act. I can’t do that without doing jail time, but your people can. With the government’s blessing.

    You are following in the very same tradition that Energy Producers have followed for decades – harm, harass and kill anything that stands in the way of producing electricity.
    It’s this very attitude that brought us to this crisis in the first place. It is you who stand alongside Big Oil … doing whatever it takes to get what you want.

    It’s like the old joke: Would you rather die by air pollution or by bulldozer and concrete? Hmmm, hard one to answer.

    The government won’t listen to County people, or our Council. They won’t listen to our MPP. Any wonder that we needed a lawyer, when we’ve already been tried, sentenced, convicted and hanged?

    Sad to see Don Ross give a big thumbs up to this tripe. I respect the man.

  6. Doris Lane says:

    Shellie , my husband was a judge ( retired) and my father inlaw was too. I have known many outstanding judges and for your information judges are not allowed to be political and to serve on any committees etc.
    They also do not make deals behind closed doors so to speak. They listen to the evidence as the chair of the trubinal does and then they make a decision on what they hear.

  7. Shellie Correia says:

    Doris…I didn`t mean that they were, I was merely stating that they couldn`t afford to do so, and that is the usual way for them to do business. And in the past, I am sure there have indeed been crooked judges, but I am also sure it would all take place behind doors, and not in front of everyone. When the wind industry is forced to stand alone and answer for their actions, there will be a successful outcome at the ERT. We shall hope for the best.

  8. Jack says:

    @Mike Barnard. Using your own words . When a “whole bunch of people” in a small area like South Marysburgh say they don,t want you. Why would you come ???. You are not hearing the message or you simply don,t care. Either way it just shows what regard you have for the people that live there. It is very obvious THEY DO NOT MATTER. Leaving me to wonder what else can we expect when and IF you move in? A ” whole bunch of people” are working very hard at considerable personal expense to make sure you don,t.

  9. Karen Empringham says:

    @ Mike Barnard – typical wind industry spin! The Toronto Star reports the court finding quite differently.

    http://www.thestar.com/business/2013/04/23/wind_turbines_have_reduced_property_values_court_says.html

  10. Doris Lane says:

    Shellie
    You cannot bribe judges and if the wind companies tried they would be found against
    If you went to th ERt at demorestville you would notice that no one goes near the chair and co chair of the tibunal

  11. Shellie Correia says:

    It was an awesome night! Don`t let the wind industry puppets fool you, they are scared as hell, because they know their days are numbered, and rightly so. The truth is coming on like a tsunami, and their lies are being exposed, and washed away. They can`t possibly afford to buy all of the judges, and that is the only way they know how to operate, through bribes and payoffs. Like the Vibrancy Fund, that they offer the towns, to sell out the surrounding rural areas. These people are not to be trusted. That means you too Barnard.

  12. Gary Mooney says:

    This photo was copied from the CCSAGE website, where it was displayed in a PowerPoint presentation with a photo credit on the slide, not on the photo. I have now added the photo credit to the photo itself so that, if the photo is copied, the credit will go with it.

    The photo was taken by Greg Barteluk at Point Traverse in Prince Edward County. It’s a blue-gray gnatcatcher, which nests at Prince Edward Point and also at Sandbanks Provincial Park. The photo is being used by CCSAGE with permission,

  13. This is the 2nd time this photo has shown up in a public forum with no credit to the photographer. This photo was taken by Greg Barteluk at Point Traverse, and credit must always be given whenever this photo is used, as per our agreement with this professional photographer.

  14. Mike Barnard says:

    Gillespie, to be generous to a fault, misrepresented the judgment almost completely.

    In fact, the judge and wPD did not accept his evidence and client’s claims at all, the judge kicked the case out of court as being completely without merit.

    His other claim to victory is just as strong. He claims they won the right to try again. What’s true is that the judge merely pointed out that this was already true, leaving the existing right in place. This isn’t a victory, this is being told not to let the door hit you in the butt on your way out of the courtroom.

    I would suggest everyone think carefully about what Mr. Gillespie gets out of a whole bunch of people paying him large fees for lawsuits which will not win. It’s not the people of Prince Edward County’s best interest he has at mind at all, and his misrepresentations of the truth should cause you considerable concern.

    http://www.pembina.org/blog/714

  15. Doris Lane says:

    Thank you County Live for your excellent article and for attaching the Wind Rush promo

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