Defending Human Rights to Ensure Wind Turbines DO NOT CAUSE HARM. WAIT-PW Heading to Ontario Superior Court of Justice on April 19th 2016


WAIT-PW members and Supporters Update:

We are scheduled to go to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on April 19th in London, Ontario.

Our lawyers at Falconers represent one of the top law firms in Canada on defending Human Rights. We are presenting a unique legal argument with the potential to affect the operations of the Suncor/Nextera industrial wind project, past industrial wind project approvals and future project approvals. We do not know if we will be successful; however, if we do nothing, we are accepting the status quo and sending the message to wind developers and our provincial government that we are ok the decisions they make on behalf of our local communities. The provincial government is set to release more industrial wind project approvals in March. Suncor and Nextera have submitted bids to the provincial government for additional wind projects in our County. We have an opportunity to make a difference on April 19th in London.  

Legal Update:

In December 2014, The Ontario Superior Court of Justice (higher Court) in a ruling indicated that the Environmental Review Tribunal is required to engage in a two step analysis on appeals of wind turbine projects. While an appellant is required to show that the project will cause harm (step 1), the Tribunal must also be satisfied that the project will NOT CAUSE harm (step 2). Recent evidence that came out of the appeal of Gary Fohr showed that while the scientific evidence has been unable to conclusively demonstrate harm, the experts for the wind company and the government agreed that there is NO SCIENTIFIC DATA available to demonstrate that wind turbines do NOT CAUSE harm. The Fohr appeal is going to be joined with our appeal. We, as well as the court, will have the benefit of the Fohr evidence at our appeal.

More details:

On March 4 2015, the Environmental Review Tribunal dismissed our own Suncor Cedar Point appeal and confirmed (upheld) the provincial government’s decision to allow the project to be built. Given the December 2014 ruling by the higher court, our Tribunal was to explain how it arrived at the decision that the project WILL NOT cause serious harm.

We appealed our Tribunal’s decision based on several arguments including the argument that the Tribunal did not explain, as directed by the higher court, how the Tribunal arrived at the decision the project WILL NOT cause serious harm.

Our legal team is working to join our own WAIT-PW appeal with Gary Fohr’s appeal and it appears this will be a successful effort. This is another rural Ontarian citizen’s appeal supported by a concerned citizens’ group in the Grey Highlands area. We believe the adjoining appeals in April will make both appeals and arguments stronger.

The Fohr tribunal hearing occurred after our hearing and built on our own appeal and the 2014 Superior Court decision. The Fohr hearing was similar to ours; however, in the Fohr tribunal hearing, an expert witness who has testified repeatedly in Ontario for years on behalf of wind developers admitted that, indeed – No appropriately designed epidemiological study exists that can prove wind turbines DO NOT CAUSE harm. We think this is important. Do you?

If the court agrees with our argument the effect would be that the project can’t be “confirmed”. This could open other avenues to us for for fighting the project.

The provincial government is set to make decisions on more turbines this spring. Suncor and Nextera have submitted bids for additional projects in our County.  If we do not proceed to our Superior Court appeal in April, we send a message to our provincial government, the wind industry and Tribunals that we are ok with the decisions they make about our rural communities – decisions that seem to be unsupported by any scientific evidence.

We estimate we will require $20,000 for our April hearing. We need your financial support to continue fighting for the rights of our citizens. We can’t go to this next step without your financial support. Please contribute today.

Your donations can be made:
1.     Online using Paypal or Credit Card
2.     Cheque made to WAIT-PW and mail to P.O. Box 219 Plympton-Wyoming, ON, N0N 1TO
3.     Deposit directly with Southwest Credit Union in Wyoming or Sarnia, ON

We appreciate your support.

WAIT-PW volunteers continue to work on your behalf.  We have:

  • assisted with monitoring baseline acoustical measurements at select homes in the project area; this is now complete.
  • prepared and distributed an information kit to households based on the science that tells us who are most vulnerable to turbine noise
  • organized and attended meetings with like-minded groups
  • made presentations, provided media with letters of concern, written submissions on key topics
  • raised various concerns about Suncor/Nextera’s Cedar Point Industrial Wind Project start up at Community Liaison Committee meetings; next meeting Forest Legion March 22 @ 6:30 p.m. – Open to public – please attend.
  • See including a recent submission requesting year round monitoring of bird/bat deaths. See just below Feb 4.

Reported effects of exposure to industrial wind turbines: sleep disturbance, excessive tiredness, headache, migraines, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), ear pressure, dizziness, visual blurring, nausea, heart palpitations, tachycardia (rapid heart rate), anxiety, panic episodes associated with sensations of internal pulsation or quivering when awake or asleep, irritability, problems with concentration and memory[1] .

[1]   Canadian Family Physician Adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines May 2013 vol. 59 no. 5 473-475

6 thoughts on “Defending Human Rights to Ensure Wind Turbines DO NOT CAUSE HARM. WAIT-PW Heading to Ontario Superior Court of Justice on April 19th 2016”

  1. Could someone explain to me if winning this case will have any positive effects on the communities where the turbines are currently operating and real people are on an almost daily basis being exposed to both noise and infrasound and having to deal with the frightening health effects and the ramifications of property value loss?

  2. Short answer is yes. A “win” could be applicable for projects already in operation. It would strengthen legal arguments for compensation and strengthen grounds for remedy for those adversely impacted. It adds pressure to change course on those who create and enact policy..

  3. I just found this:

    Article 12 of the ICESCR establishes “the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.” The Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO), adopted in 1946, first enunciated a right to health and mandated WHO to promote that right.105 The language of Article 12 mirrors the language of WHO’s constitution:
    The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social conditions.
    While Article 12 is often referred to conveniently as the “right to health,” the “word ‘attainable’ makes clear that States Parties are not required to guarantee that all citizens be healthy — an absurd proposition.”106 Instead, Article 12 has been interpreted as an obligation on governments to take specific steps to protect and promote health.107 The right to health can be viewed both as a “positive” right to government action or services necessary to maximize health and as a “negative” right to protection against unhealthy or dangerous conditions.108 As described by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESC) in General Comment 14:
    The right to health contains both freedoms and entitlements. The freedoms include the right to control one’s health and body, including sexual and reproductive freedom, and the right to be free from interference such as the right to be free from torture, non- consensual treatment and experimentation. By contrast, the entitlements include the right to a system of health protection which provides equality of opportunity for people to enjoy the highest attainable level of health.1

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