Paul Morden – Sarnia Observer – April 22, 2014
Noted Canadian lawyer Julian Falconer is set to speak at a May 5 town hall meeting a Plympton-Wyoming citizens group is organizing to rally support for its fight against Suncor Energy’s proposed 46-turbine Cedar Point Wind Power Project.
Falconer, known for his human rights advocacy and involvement in high profile cases like the Ipperwash Inquiry, along with lawyer Asha James from Falconer’s firm, are set to speak at the meeting about Charter of Rights and Freedom challenges of wind energy projects.
“He knows how to make things happen and has quite a reputation,” said Ingrid Willemsen, with the group We’re Against Industrial Turbines – Plympton-Wyoming.
“We’re quite excited he’ll be there.”
The meeting is set for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Camlachie Community Centre. Willemsen said group members hope to fill the hall and attract more residents to their cause.
“I think it’s about the only thing the community has left to hope for,” she said.
Suncor has a contract to sell power from its Cedar Point project to Ontario’s electricity grid, and has submitted an application for provincial environmental approval for turbines it plans to build in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.
Also scheduled to address the town hall meeting are Ben Lansink, a real estate appraiser and consultant, who will speak about the impact of turbines on property values, and Carmen Krogh, one of the authors of an article published in the Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine on the health impacts of wind farms.
Willemsen said the view of turbines going up along Highway 402, just east of Lambton County, is showing local residents what’s on the way to their communities, and may spur more opposition to wind projects.
“A lot of people have not involved themselves because they don’t know how it’s going to affect them,” she said. “They haven’t seen them, right close.”
As well as awaiting provincial environmental approval for its Cedar Point project, Suncor has taken the Town of Plympton-Wyoming to court over several of its bylaws aimed at wind turbines.
Earlier this month, Suncor officials met with town council after the judge hearing the case asked the two sides to explore the possibility of a settlement.
Mayor Lonny Napper said Tuesday councillors were still waiting to hear back from the town’s lawyer before responding to Suncor.
Willemsen said she remains hopeful Suncor’s wind project can be stopped.
“They need to jump through the hoops, just like any other project, and the longer it’s delayed, the better our chances,” she said.