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Turbine decision reaffirms respectful processes in place

A key aspect of the Ontario Divisional Court decision that has not received much attention in media reports is how the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) issued by the Ministry of Environment did, in fact, take careful account of protected animal species and plants.

The REA relied on rigorous scientific evidence that the proposed Ostrander Point wind project would produce no serious and irreversible harm to people, plants and animals. The Divisional Court also cites inconsistences in the Tribunal decision to revoke the Environment Ministry’s REA; chiefly that the Tribunal failed to give due consideration to environmental protection conditions that had been met by the developer including an Endangered Species Act (ESA) permit and an environmental management plan that has provisions for Ministry of Natural Resources oversight.

It also is important to note that the Divisional Court upheld the Tribunal’s denial of the appeals of groups opposed to the project. The Court agreed the Tribunal had determined that opposition groups had not presented solid evidence of irreversible harm to human and habitat health.

The Court’s decision reaffirms that processes are in place to ensure that wind energy projects are developed in a manner respectful of the environment and human health. This is good news for communities across Ontario who are realizing both economic and environmental benefits from wind energy development.

Robert Hornung, President
Canadian Wind Energy Association
Ottawa, Ontario

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. Ray Hobson says:

    Mr. Hornung’s Press release is boilerplate as per his position and his view has no local relevance.

    A debate goes to those who control the definitions. The current Provincial Government defines IWTs as beneficial to Ontario thereby making it difficult to win the debate on merit, logic, or apparently even legal. The GEA has basically gutted local democracy. The “only” way to stop the IWT invasion is Political (change of Government energy policy, modification of GEA). Now, is prime time for political action;
    1) Big urban media is currently against the GEA, basically characterizing the Ontario Liberal’s Energy Policy to be a boondoggle of epic proportions.
    2) There are 70 plus communities who have declared themselves “Not a Willing Host”.
    3) There will be an election sooner than later.

    Since Ontario has a demographic imbalance (rural vs. urban) with urban votes holding the majority, we rural constituents must convince some of our urban neighbours that:
    “Renewable Energy Policy With Local Planning is in Our Mutual Best Interests”

    I recommend:
    1) We compel relatives, friends, and business associates to communicate with their urban MPPs via letters, emails, and telephone (to get issue on the urban riding agendas)
    2) We collect a concise information package as support, available on demand, for the action above

  2. David Norman says:

    When I read Ron Hart’s comment in this thread; “Anti-wind proponents have to realize that the science simply does not support their position as demonstrated by hundreds of court cases worldwide” I recalled a statement by “Environmental” lawyer Dianne Saxe. Saxe is often featured on Ron Hart’s apocalyptic “Eradicating Ecocide” and “Ecocidealert” web sites. She states in relation to environmental law, “I could also spend my time bewailing the lack of scientific literacy and interest among judges. We have come a long way from the “frogs and logs brigade” comments I used to get, but most of the judges I appear before still did not like science in high school, and struggle with scientific evidence.” Beyond the clearly disingenuous and false “hundreds of court cases worldwide” assertion, apparently for Ron Hart, Saxe’s reflection does not pertain to the absence or rigor of scientific proof of environmental harm associated with Industrial Wind Turbine development, or Anthropogenic Climate Change.

  3. Sue3 says:

    As Marie mentioned earlier, the webcast from Queen’s Park is quite an eye-opener, especially question period – 10:30 a.m. Mon. thru Thurs.:

    http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/go2.jsp?Page=/webcast/webcast_main&locale=en&menuItem=dandp_webcast

    As you watch, be sure to take note of the strengths/weaknesses of the MPPs behind the party leaders.

  4. County Boy says:

    One of the most poignant observations that cave made concerning the Divisional Court’s decision is Nordheimer J.’s conclusion that the Tribunal ought to have assumed that the MNR would properly and adequately adequately monitor compliance with the ESA permit. Effectively, this means that the Tribunal should have dismissed the complaint or not even agreed to hear it on the grounds that it could be deemed to not have any merit, simply because the MNR should be assumed to have already adequately established compliance with the requirements of the permit. As a practical matter, this means that getting through the MNR hurdle should be sufficient for developers, who should not then have to fight subsequent battles over issues that have already been determined.

    In my view, this just confirms that the government is no longer interested in hearing from constituents, and instead the bureaucracy is in place solely to serve corporations whose sole aim is the creation of value for shareholders. And make no mistake about that last point – it is against the law for a company to do anything that does not promote the creation of value for shareholders, so any nonsense about companies having a green agenda are complete and utter falsities. Directors of a company that sacrificed profit for the environment would be guilt of negligence.

    So, to belabour my initial comments, at this point you’ll have to decide for yourselves how important this issue really is for you. What exactly are you willing to risk? And don’t waste time talking about how you’ll sit in front of the bulldozers, or picket outside the worksite, because we all know that those actions might make you feel warm and fuzzy inside but won’t actually stop anything – so what next??

  5. Mark says:

    I agree about human health and nature. Tim has put nothing realistic forward. He craves power and it is his last kick at the can. Voters are very torn between the present Liberal mess and the similar Conservatives who brought us amalgamation of municipal governments and hospitals and deregulation of Ontario Hydro. A great choice we have! Perhaps it is time for a citizens coalition.

  6. BH says:

    Mark,

    Tim Hudak is telling you ahead of time what he would do. So he is advising us.

    If you do not agree, don’t vote for him when elections come.

    The protection of human health and nature are paramount.

  7. Mark says:

    So our provincial government can sign away our debt an additional 20 Billion without advising the taxpayer. Utterly madness! I have stated before and will again. Our provincial debt is nearing the point of crisis. When the hard times come to pay that debt ($400 interest per second) it will be fiscal pain like most none of us ever have seen. You will then see a mass exodus of citizens with any modest wealth.

  8. Marie says:

    The transcripts or webcast from Queen’s Park goes pretty far into the green energy act and the Conservative stance. The Liberals Bob Chiarelli stated that the cost to cancel all projects in Ontario would be around 20 billion. He then questioned Tim Hudak as to where Tim would find the money for this, and Tim responded with the obvious “from cancelling energy contracts” IE: at least partially, the money saved by not paying the US to take away our power, or paying turbine companies to NOT produce power could be used to finance the expected lawsuits. There was also much ado about the supposed 31,000 jobs the GEA created (from the liberal stance) and losing 3 good jobs for every one of those or -124,000 from the conservative stance. read/view at ontla.on.ca

  9. Jim McMillan says:

    I hope that everyone who supports keeping Industrial Wind Terminals off Ostrander Point has been able to make another contribution to the Field Naturalists.

    Waiting for a response from the Conservatives as to whether they are going to make this a major issue in the Spring? Election.z

    Not sure where I picked this up but it resonates here….Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.o

  10. Dayton Johnson says:

    I guess what I was trying to imply was that we all need to get the thinking caps on, stop the in fighting and throw something out there,,something no one else has thought about that might be an angle. There are a lot of smart people out there that perhaps can offer a suggestion. Court is expensive and obviously no guarantees. A change in government might see results and might not. “Uh sorry, these contracts are written in stone”
    Just picked this off the wall… and something I have no clue about, What about radio frequencies as in AM, FM, distress signals,marine,UHF,etc. Can we expect interference?

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