Category Archives: legal challenges

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 The MOE’s approval was revoked.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.

Public Information Event

Special Public Information Event:

UNDERSTANDING STRAY VOLTAGE & INDUSTRIAL WIND TURBINES

Saturday April 21st 2018
1pm to 5pm -doors open @ 12:00pm
Covenant Christian School, 6470 Regional Rd 14, Smithville L0R 2A0
Free Event – Donations Graciously Accepted

Dine-With-Us Option: A full course, pay-per-plate offering is available for the evening portion of this event. Alan Whiteley will be our featured speaker.
Time: 6pm
Dinner Cost: $20/plate
Dinner Includes: Salad, Chicken (pancetta cream sauce), roasted potatoes, vegetables, dessert and tea/coffee.

Please email strayvoltagedinner@gmail.com or 905-562-7159 (Mary) to confirm your attendance for the Dine-With-Us paid dinner event.
Please RSVP by April 11, 2018

Wind Turbines, Stray Voltage & Harm Reduction

Speakers:
David Stetzer:
IWT Fingerprint, Tuned Filters, IEEE Standards & Regulations, Hydro Regulations, How Stray Voltage Affects Us All.
Carmen Krogh: Preliminary Results: The Vacated Home Research Study
Interactive Panel Discussion with:
David Stetzer, Carmen Krogh, Alan Whiteley & Barb Ashbee
Dine-With-Us Option: A full course, pay-per-plate offering is available for the evening portion of this event. Lawyer Alan Whiteley will be our featured speaker.

More about:
David Stetzer
Dave Stetzer has been an electrician by training, education and experience for over 30 years. In 1975, Dave founded Stetzer Electric, Inc. and remains the president of the company to this day. Since the firm’s inception, Dave has specialized in power control in industry, municipalities, and motor control centers. For more than the past decade, Dave has focused more attention on power quality analysis and troubleshooting, which led to the founding of Stetzer Consulting. Dave Stetzer is a senior member of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical & Electrical Engineers), an expert witness in litigation suits in ground currents and power quality, co-author of peer reviewed papers in journals, producer of the documentary ‘Beyond Coincidence: The Perils of Electrical Pollution’, consultant for Ministers of Health in Kazakhstan, Middle East and Government Health Officials in Russia. He continues to be a sought after, integral contributor in research projects around the world.
Carmen Krogh
Carmen M Krogh is a full time volunteer and published researcher regarding health effects and industrial wind energy facilities. She shares information with communities; individuals; federal, provincial and public health authorities, wind energy developers; the industry; and others. An author and a co-author of peer reviewed articles and conference papers presented at wind turbine noise scientific conferences. A retired pharmacist whose career includes: senior executive positions at a teaching hospital (Director of Pharmacy); a drug information researcher at another teaching hospital; a Director of a professional organization; a Consultant at the Bureau of Human Prescription Drugs (Health Canada); and a Director (A) at Health Canada (PMRA). She is the former Director of Publications and Editor in Chief of the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS), the book used by physicians, nurses, and health professionals for prescribing information in Canada.
Alan Whiteley
Alan J Whiteley has been an attorney for over 30 years, is accredited by the Upper Canada Law Society, and has a consistently high rating with the Martindale-Hubbell Register of Preeminent Lawyers. He has been the Editor of University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review, negotiated government defence contracts, and served as counsel to the Security Intelligence Review Committee (Canada). His experience includes serving as counsel for the arbitration of international commercial disputes as well as having served as counsel for internationally-based aerospace and airport organizations. He is legal counsel for the County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy (CCSAGE) based in Prince Edward County, and in this capacity has undertaken to challenge various aspects of Ontario’s Green Energy Act via a Judicial Review. Mr Whiteley will be participating on the panel discussion and offering observations on the hurdles to be overcome to obtain legal remedy from experiencing negative effects of IWTs.
Barb Ashbee
Barb and her husband were happy and healthy before a wind turbine project started up around their home causing serious adverse health effects that drove them to leave. Testing in their home showed out of compliance noise, infrasound and electrical pollution. It was a battle to get any meaningful information or assistance from the government. After hiring a lawyer, they settled with the company, were able to relocate and their symptoms subsided after moving. Almost 10 years later, the anger and dismay at what the government is doing to citizens has not lessened as the toll rises. Barb continues to advocate for resolution for victims impacted by wind energy and has communicated with and attended countless government and community meetings over the years.

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Niagara Wind facing lawsuit

“Two families are taking legal action related to a plume of construction dust from a Niagara Region Wind Farm construction site in 2015 that they say has left them with physical and mental health issues, as well as property damage and monetary losses.”

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Dust spreading from the construction site in 2015 of one of  the 77 Enercon wind turbines that make up the Niagara Region Wind Farm. Photo: Stefanos Karatopis

Scott Rosts|Grimbsy Lincoln News|March 7, 2018

Local families take legal action after turbine construction incident

Claims relate to construction dust in summer of 2015

Two families are taking legal action related to a plume of construction dust from a Niagara Region Wind Farm construction site in 2015 that they say has left them with physical and mental health issues, as well as property damage and monetary losses.

Raymond Sherman and Alexandra Karatopis Sherman, along with their three children, and Stefanos Karatopis — the brother of Alexandra — are named as plaintiffs in court documents that were originally filed last summer, about two years after the July 23, 2015 incident. A list of 25 defendants, including 10 individuals whose identities are unknown, are named in the notice, ranging from stakeholders in the Niagara Region Wind Farm, to construction companies and employees to the Township of West Lincoln and Region of Niagara.

In court documents, the plaintiffs allege workers at the wind farm on Regional Road 20 in West Lincoln were discharging a construction dust which made its way into the house. While the parents were not home, the Sherman children were and the documents allege they had difficulty breathing and their eyes were burning.

Read Article

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.”

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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.

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Niagara Wind Being Sued

Construction dust from a wind turbine project in Niagara is behind a $10 million lawsuit

Newstalk 610 CKTB|Bonnie Heslop| January 31, 2018

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Photo Credit: Stephanos K.

Construction dust from a wind turbine project in Niagara is behind a $10 million lawsuit that is making its way through the court system.

St.Ann’s resident Stefanos Karatopis says he was visiting his sister back in 2015 when cement dust from a nearby Wind Farm project blew into the home sending 5 people to hospital.

Karatopis, who is also a member of the Niagara Land Owners Association says the dust was so bad it was hard to return home.

Lawyer Akradi Bouchelev represents Karatopis and says the dust contains very harmful chemicals that can impact a person’s health.

The $10 million dollar personal injury and damage claim has been filed against the Wind Farm, construction companies involved, the Niagara Region, and West Lincoln.

Bouchele says some have filed a statement of defence and some have asked for a delay.

He says the next stage is the examination of discovery.

Construction dust sends family fleeing to ER (Niagara This Week, July 31, 2015)

Ontario Environment Ministry Sued

Osage Nation Fights Wind Development

osage nation
“Standing Bear said the Osage Nation will continue to fight any infringement to the tribe’s mineral rights and environmental heath.”

“Rising over the treeless, rolling prairie and ranch lands, 15 miles west of this vibrant Osage County town, drivers along U.S. Highway 60 notice the sudden appearance of 84 wind farm towers, reaching hundreds of feet into the blue sky.

Instead of the sounds of birds singing a summer’s song or a south breeze sweeping the bluestem grass, travelers will hear a slow, steady whirring noise, as the giant blades rotate in the relentless wind on the prairie, attached to turbines to generate electricity.

At night, the slow, steady red blinking lights attached to the top of the turbine towers can be seen from a 30-mile radius.

The massive wind farm is part of Osage Wind, a project of Tradewind Energy and its parent company, Enel North America.”

Read article:  OSAGE NATION: Wind farm stirs legal battles

‘It’s David versus Goliath’

“The people in this region deserve better than what they’ve received. They didn’t have a say in what happened, yet it’s happening, and happening very close to the town of Wallaceburg,” Violet said.

The group is trying to make the community aware of the project, said Violet. Not only are there concerns about potential problems with water wells, but there are also concerns about noise and low frequency sound levels, due to their large size.

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ILLUSTRATION BY J.C. FRANCO

By David Gough, Postmedia Network
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Preparing for what they’re calling a ‘David versus Goliath battle’, a grassroots group is organizing opposition to the Otter Creek wind turbine project proposed for north of Wallaceburg.

But money is needed to fight a large wind company. Wallaceburg Area Wind Concerns has a GoFundMe account, which has brought in $1,325 of their $50,000 goal. As well, the organization is accepting donations at the TD bank branch on James Street in Wallaceburg.

Earl Towell, a member of the newly formed group, said donations are coming in to prepare for the fight.

“These things aren’t cheap. We’re up against a company with plenty of lawyer services. If we want to be able to put forward any kind of battle against this, we have to hire experts,” Towell said.

Along with lawyers, Wallaceburg Area Wind Concerns is looking at hiring expert witnesses.

The ministry is currently undertaking a technical review of the Renewable Energy Approval application for Otter Creek, which will include reviewing and considering all comments made about the company’s REA when it was posted to the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry earlier this year. Once the review is complete the REA can be appealed…

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Legal proceedings commenced

Press Release:  APPEC

October 11, 2017   Prince Edward County, Ontario

The Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) has commenced legal proceedings naming the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and WPD White Pines Wind Inc. (WPD) as respondents. APPEC alleges that the Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) contract between the IESO and WPD should have been terminated as soon as it became evident that WPD would be unable or incapable of fulfilling the FIT contract terms.  These FIT contract terms have been made publicly available and are well known.

In 2010, a FIT contract for 60MW wind energy project to be operational within three (3) years was offered by the Ontario Power Authority (now the IESO) to WPD.   The contract allowed for termination if the project was not able to deliver at least 75% of the contracted power. A Renewable Energy Approval (REA) was granted to WPD by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) five years later in 2015.   Immediately after the MOECC approval, an appeal was made by APPEC to the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT). In 2016 the ERT found that the project would cause serious and irreversible harm to the natural environment.  After allowing the proponent an opportunity to propose additional mitigation measures to prevent this harm, the ERT still found it necessary to remove 18 of the 27 wind turbines from the project.  As a result, the project is only permitted to erect nine (9) 2.05 MW turbines which can only fulfill approximately 30% of the original FIT contract requirement, far less than the 75% referred to under the contract.

APPEC has made an application to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice seeking a declaration that the FIT contract for the White Pines Wind Project is null and void and an injunction on any further work on the White Pines Wind project. A hearing on this matter is currently scheduled for November 17th, 2017 at 44 Union Street, Picton, Ontario K0K 2T0 at 10:00 a.m.

Samsung Files Legal Action Against Protesters

Has Samsung SLAPP’ ed  back at protesters of its North Kent Wind project?

“Strategic litigation against public participation (SLAPP) has been defined as a lawsuit started against one or more people or groups who speak out or take a position on an issue of public interest. The purpose of a SLAPP is to silence critics by redirecting their energy and finances into defending a lawsuit and away from their original public criticism. Concerns have been raised that SLAPPs also act as a warning to other potential critics. The effect of SLAPP suits is to discourage public debate.”

Read more about SLAPP lawsuits

Council of Canadians slams heavy-handed Samsung Energy legal tactics

Media Release
October 11, 2017

Chatham, ON – The Council of Canadians is condemning Samsung Energy for filing a million dollar plus statement of claim against Chatham area residents who blocked construction at one of 34 wind turbines the company is erecting as part of its North Kent One* wind power project.

Many of the people who took part in the 11 day blockade have filed well interference complaints against the developer, citing the vibrations from the company’s pile driving activity as the cause of the sudden influx of black silt in their wells. At least thirteen well interference complaints have been made since the company started pile driving for the turbine foundations last June.

According to the developer’s Statement of Claim, the impact of the construction delay caused by the blockade “amounts to costs ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 per day, covering only the current amount of labour and equipment idle.”

The Statement of Claim names Water Wells First spokesperson Kevin Jakubec and Cindy Soney as defendants. It also includes “other individuals who have been involved in the unlawful conduct….who have not yet been identified and have been named as John Doe and Jane Doe.”

The well water on the Jakubec family’s farm became polluted with black silt shortly after pile driving began nearby.

“Our well water was crystal clear for decades before the pile driving started,” said Jakubec. “Now, Samsung is claiming that we damaged them to the tune of millions of dollars. I wonder how they sleep at night because I sure can’t.”

In 2016, Kevin Jakubec challenged the government’s approval of the North Kent One project at the Environmental Review Tribunal where expert witnesses warned specifically that vibrations from pile driving could cause the pollution problems seen in the last few months.

“Million dollar lawsuits are usually meant to intimidate,” said Mark Calzavara, Ontario Organizer for The Council of Canadians. “But people don’t back down when it comes to protecting their water. The evidence clearly shows that the construction is causing the pollution. Samsung must stop this project now.”

* North Kent One Wind is owned and developed by Samsung Energy and Pattern Energy.

For more information or to arrange interviews:

Dylan Penner, Media Officer, Council of Canadians, 613-795-8685, dpenner@canadians.org. Twitter: @CouncilOfCDNs