Category Archives: ERT Appeal

Fairness for the people

turbine tallOP ED: Who deserves fairness and equity?

 

By Gary Mooney|The Times|July 25, 2018

Since 2007, County groups and individuals have been fighting wind turbine projects in PEC on environmental, human health, cultural heritage and economic grounds. We are grateful that the PC government has taken decisive action to cancel wpd Canada’s White Pines wind project.
In a recent open letter to Premier Ford, Dr. Hartmut Brosamle, CEO of wpd AG, asks for reconsideration of the government’s decision to cancel White Pines, because the cancellation is causing the company “serious damage through no fault of its own”. Some comments are appropriate regarding fault.

wpd Canada and, by extension, its German parent wpd AG, have exhibited major failings or faults with regard to their pursuit of the White Pines wind project:

WRONG LOCATION
wpd originally chose a location that is the last stretch of undeveloped land on Lake Ontario, on a major bird migration route, much of it within an Important Bird Area. This area is home to multiple endangered species, including Blanding’s turtle and little brown bat. As well, the South Shore is an area of significant cultural heritage value, dating back to UEL days.

SECRET DEALS
wpd instructed its sales agents to sign up landowners to host wind turbines secretly, with no notice to the community, and required those landowners to agree to nondisclosure of contract terms.

BIASED CONSULTANTS
wpd hired consultants who provided it with incomplete and flawed reports to legitimize the project, especially with regard to environmental issues and cultural heritage concerns. Citizens’ groups and individuals had to hire their own lawyers and consultants and launch appeals costing about $700,000 to present the other side.

PLEBISCITE
wpd ignored the results of a 2012 plebiscite in South Marysburgh Ward, where the project is located. Ninety per cent of those who voted (turnout similar to that for municipal elections) rejected wind turbines in their ward.

NO ENGAGEMENT
wpd never engaged in a real two-way dialogue with the community; instead it proceeded most of the time as if the County was unpopulated.

COUNTY COUNCIL
wpd ignored the position of PEC Council, which declared itself in 2013 to be an unwilling host to wind turbines.

BREACH OF CONTRACT
wpd failed to deliver 75 per cent of the contracted capacity required by its FIT contract, and failed to meet contract deadlines.

UNDERESTIMATION
wpd underestimated the resolve of local groups to protect County residents, the natural environment and cultural heritage, and the many County residents who funded their efforts.

PROVINCIAL ELECTION
wpd ignored the fact of a coming provincial election and an anticipated change of government to one opposing the Green Energy Act and wind turbine projects.

RECKLESS DECISION
wpd made a reckless decision to proceed with construction of the downsized project without final approval by IESO. Wpd is the author of its own misfortune.

Via the Green Energy Act, the Liberal government suspended democracy as regards renewable energy development and, for nine years, completely ignored the wishes of citizens and municipalities. The PC government was elected in part because of its willingness to listen to the people.

Despite all of the failings listed above, Dr. Brosalme asks for “fairness and equity” for wpd. How many such failings are necessary to disqualify wpd from reconsideration of the government’s decision: only one? maybe three? even all ten?

We in the County have been seeking fairness and equity regarding wind turbine projects for more than a decade, involving many thousands of hours of volunteer time. It’s the government’s choice, and we are grateful that it has made a choice “for the people”.

Finally, it is important to acknowledge the strong support that Todd Smith has provided to our community and our cause since he became MPP in 2011. It’s been good to know that he’s had our back at Queen’s Park.

READ ARTICLE

Turbine Project Terminated

turbine WPD.jpg
Residents may see be seeing turbine sections leaving the County aftetr Bill 2, Urgent Priorities Act received Royal Assent in the Ontario Legislature Wednesday. –  Irv Collier photo

Country Live|Turbine project terminated in Prince Edward County|July 25,2018

With Royal Assent received Wednesday for Bill 2, Urgent Priorities Act 2018, wpd’s nine industrial wind turbine project in Prince Edward County is terminated.

“If members opposite wonder why I don’t fear contractual chill, it’s because the proponent in this case has never honoured its agreements with the government of Ontario,” said Todd Smith, Bay of Quinte MPP and Minister of Government Affairs, in the legislature. “This project deserves to die. It deserves to die exactly as it should die today – publicly and in front of the whole province.”

Smith told thte legislature the company has been building non-stop since the middle of June, even after the government announced its intentions to legislatively terminate the project on July 10.

“They’ve had construction crews working over the weekend and trucks heading into the county at all hours to try and complete construction before this Legislature can conclude its work on Bill 2…. And they are nine white elephants. They will do nothing to help this province fight climate change—absolutely nothing. Their total capacity now, after previously being 60 megawatts, is down to about 18 megawatts of power.”

He also noted recent ministry charges over violations. “Finally, it was just a couple of weeks ago that the major multinational corporation developing the project was charged not once, not twice, but three times by the province’s Ministry of Environment for multiple violations. That’s because, under the renewable energy approval, to protect endangered species in the area, they’re not supposed to be constructing after May 1.”

The act, retroactive to July 10, terminates permits and revokes approvals, including the Feed-in-Tarriff contract and Renewable Energy Approval issued in July 2015. It requires decommissioning and to “maintain the lands in a clean and safe condition”.

Smith said it’s been seven long years, but he’s glad to be able to have accomplished this feat.

“It certainly seemed like the deck was stacked against us at times,” he said. “Apparently, construction has now stopped. The legislation requires the company to dismantle and return the property to its original state.”

READ ARTICLE

Fight to Save Endangered Turtles from Wind Turbines

blandings-turtle 3Residents fight to protect endangered Blanding’s turtles as unwanted construction of industrial wind proceeds  with the invasion of Amherst Island.  Ontario meanwhile fails to enforce its own rules and ruling of the Environmental Review Tribunal.

[325] Additionally, the Tribunal finds that the mitigation measures incorporated as conditions of the REA have all but eliminated the potential for turtle mortality and have minimized the potential for indirect impacts to habitat during the construction phase. The construction window of November 1 to March 31 for those portions of the Project closest to the coastal wetlands, and the window of September 1 to March 31 for the remainder of the Project, will ensure that construction takes place outside the period during which turtles are active outside of their resident wetlands.

Extraction from ERT Ruling:15-068 HIRSCH V. ONTARIO (MOECC)  

Global News April 25, 2018:
https://globalnews.ca/video/embed/4168160/

Political manipulated law is a slippery slope

slippery slope

Published: March 29, 2018|The Creemore Echo|Letters & Opinion By 

Editor:

It pains me to find that my faith in Ontario’s judicial system has turned into cynicism.

In the matter of appealing the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change approval for WPD Corporation to erect eight 475-ft high wind turbines bordering County Rd. 91, west of the 4th line, (Fairview Wind Farm) a long, thorough and expensive Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) Hearing was held in the summer of 2016

Two issues were addressed:

• Endangerment to human health, citing their proximity to the Collingwood Regional Airport and Kevin Elwood’s aerodrome.

• Irreparable harm to an endangered species, citing the impact on the habitat of little brown myotis bats.

The ERT found in favour of the appellants on both issues! That should have been the end of it, with the MOE approval revoked.

Notwithstanding WPD having every opportunity to present remedial arguments during the hearing, the MOE, being unhappy with the results of the hearing, provided WPD an additional month to provide a remedial argument. WPD failed to do so. The MOE then allowed WPD another week, with WPD failing again.

However, WPD did concede the ‘Danger to human health’ issue. Again, that should have been the end of it, with the MOE approval revoked.

In complete disregard of the Tribunal’s ruling and WPD’s conceding the health issue, the MOE invoked the necessity of a remedial hearing. In other words, give us the ruling we want. Since the MOE appoints the ERT and pays their salaries (a conflict of interest) they applied unusual pressure on the Tribunal.

In spite of MOE’s meddling, the ERT rose to the occasion and again found in favour of the appellants. The MOE’s approval was revoked. There will be no Fairview Wind Farm… YEA!

If this is a sample of what we can expect of government manipulating the wheels of justice to further their agendas, we can only become more cynical.

It’s a slippery slope!

John Wiggins,

Collingwood.

Taxpayers pay proving government compromised safety

“As the community proved at the ERT hearing, this project should not have been approved in the first place,” he said. “It’s outrageous the government could be so negligent, making it necessary for the citizens to protect the public, then hide behind flawed legislation that robs the tribunal appointed by them in overlooking their bad decisions to award costs to the citizens who successfully proved the government compromised people’s safety.”

STA_winddecision02_au24_ia_Super_Portrait
Clearview Township councillor Kevin Elwood. – Metroland file photo

ERT rules no cost relief to challenge Clearview wind turbine decision

By Ian Adams|Wasaga Sun | Feb 27, 2018

Local taxpayers will be on the hook for the successful challenge to a plan to erect eight turbines in Clearview Township.

The same goes for Kevin and Gail Elwood, John Wiggins, and the residents’ group Preserve Clearview, after the Environmental Review Tribunal dismissed an application for costs related to their appeal of a decision to grant WPD a renewable energy application for the Fairview Wind Project.

The tribunal ultimately ruled last August to revoke that approval on the basis the planned 500-foot-tall turbines presented a serious risk to human health because of the proximity of the project to the Collingwood Regional Airport and the Clearview Aerodrome owned by the Elwoods.

Read article

White Pines ERT & The People vs IESO & WPD

A call to action!

Your presence is requested in the seats at the upcoming Environmental Review Tribunal hearing against White Pines Wind and circumstances surrounding the IESO contract for the renewable energy approval.

Upcoming Court and ERT dates/times/locations:

APPEC legal action against the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and WPD White Pines Wind Inc. will be heard on January 29, 2018 at the Belleville Court House starting at 2:00 pm.

Additionally, the hearing dates for the APPEC appeal to the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) have been confirmed as follows:

Pre-hearing Conference
January 24, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at the Sophiasburgh Town Hall, 2771 County Road 5, Demorestville.

The purpose of the Pre-hearing Conference is for interested persons who would like speak at the hearing to apply for status either as a Party, a Participant or a Presenter. Please click here if you are interested in finding out more about seeking status at the hearing and click here to view the ERT Notice of Pre-Hearing Conference.

ERT Main Hearing
February 12, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at the Sophiasburgh Town Hall.

The most effective way of showing the Superior Court and the Tribunal of the level of community concern with the White Pines wind project is with your presence.

Source: Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County

*To confirm dates and venue locations for any changes please contact the Environmental Review Tribunal *

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Planes and wind turbines don’t mix.

STA_YIRturbines_de31_ia_Super_Portrait
Kevin Elwood was one of several challengers to a decision to award a renewable-energy approval for a wind turbine project in Clearview Township. – Ian Adams/Metroland

Wasaga Sun|Jan 02, 2018|by Ian Adam

Clearview decision on wind turbines set precedent: pilot

Planes and wind turbines don’t mix.

In August, the Environmental Review Tribunal upended the renewable energy approvals for a proposed eight-tower wind turbine project in Clearview after nearly a decade of protests by neighbours, and the objections of both township council and Collingwood because of the turbines’ proximity to the regional airport.

In February 2016, the director of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change approved the REA for WPD Canada’s Fairview Wind project. Resident John Wiggins was first to file an objection, and was followed by Kevin and Gail Elwood, whose aerodrome off County Road 91 would also be adversely affected by the proposed locations of the towers.

Both Collingwood and Clearview — along with the County of Simcoe — would follow suit in appealing the decision on the basis the location of the towers near the regional airport represented a threat to human health.

“It was worth it, but the worth was in making a change to a government policy that didn’t respect a huge sector of the community … the aviation community,” said Elwood, a Clearview councillor and pilot who also has a hangar at the Collingwood Regional Airport.

Elwood said the tribunal’s decision was one that could have been arrived at 10 years earlier by the provincial government when they implemented the Green Energy Act.

At that time, Elwood said, the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association testified at the committee level there could be conflict between turbines, aerodromes and flight procedures, and “the province ignored it at that stage.”

“It took them 10 years to recognize there were safety risks and that irreversible harm to human health existed,” he said. “The government made a decision that green energy was … above everything, above all other interests.”

Read rest of article

Citizen Group Gearing Up to Fight

Wallaceburg and area have formed a wind action group and are actively fundraising to appeal at the Environmental Review Tribunal if the anticipated approval for the Otter Creek wind project being developed by Boralex and Walpole Island First Nation is issued.  Water well contamination is a hot issue as they learn from reports of dirty well water in other areas such as Chatham Kent and the North Kent wind project.

no_wind_400x400

Citizen wind group prepares for fight

By David Gough
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Wallaceburg and Area Wind Concerns group is prepared for a fight.

The group held their first public meeting last week at the UAW Hall where they outlined their concerns, as well presenting their plan on fighting the proposed Otter Creek wind project.

The group is currently raising money so they can try and stop the wind turbine project. The group has set up an account at Wallaceburg’s TD bank, and estimates that a legal fight will cost at least $10,000 and possibly much more, depending on a number of variables.

Read Article

Rally Draws Hundreds

Picton rally 1

By Tim Miller, The Intelligencer
Sunday, October 15, 2017

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY — On Sunday opponents of wind turbine development in the County took to the streets to show that their concerns over a proposed wind energy project are about more than just a lot of air.

Hundreds of sign-waving and chanting residents marched down Main Street Picton shortly after the noon hour to kick off an anti-wind rally.

Upon reaching The Regent Theatre, marchers doffed their signs and settled in for the nearly three-hour town hall meeting to begin.

While people took their seats a video montage of anti-wind messages written by County residents in black marker on a stark white scroll of paper played on the big screen, followed by aerial drone footage of levelled and torn up fields. Over the montage played the melodic version of Dee Snider’s We’re Not Going to Take It.

Sunday’s town hall was in regards to the ongoing wpd Canada’s White Pines Wind Project which initially called for the erection of 29 wind turbines in the County.

The County has declared itself an unwilling host to industrial wind turbine projects that disrupt the lives and livelihoods of County residents and destroy the County’s historic landscapes while causing irreparable harm to the County’s wildlife and natural environment.

Because of challenges by local government and groups the initial plan of 29 turbines has been scaled back to nine — to be built near the south shore of Milford.

On stage activists sat beside entrepreneurs, doctors and local politicians. Their reasons for opposing the project was as varied as their backgrounds.

Dr Robert McMurtry, former Dean of Medicine at Western University and a member of the Order of Canada, spoke about the health impact turbines can have when placed too close to residential homes.

Read rest of article