Environmental Review Tribunal exercises discretionary remedial power in Ostrander wind farm case

OslerOf interest to many people within Prince Edward County is the recent Ostrander Point wind project case Remedy Hearing decision. Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP is a legal firm that has followed this ERT Appeal throughout the course of the appeal and has provided articles on the decisions made by the Ostrander Point Wind Project Environmental Review Tribunal, the Ontario Division Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal.

They have provided a crisp summary of the Remedy Hearing decisions with background information and came to some conclusions. By going to the enclosed link, APPEC members might find it very helpful in reviewing a summary of the decision with some of their conclusions:

In its June 6, 2016 decision, the Environmental Review Tribunal (Tribunal) revoked the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) that had been granted to Ostrander Point GP Inc. (Ostrander) to develop a nine turbine wind farm. This decision is relevant for stakeholders in Ontario’s renewable energy industry because it is the first case to provide insight into how the Tribunal will exercise its discretionary remedial powers where a REA is found to meet the “harm test” in section 145.2.1(2)(b) of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA).   Click here to read the full article.

Additionally, here are some related articles Osler has published on the Ostrander Point and the White Pines wind projects.

Related Canada articles

  1. Ostrander Point wind project returns to the Environmental Review Tribunal
  2. Ostrander Point wind project gets green light from Ontario Divisional Court
  3. Ontario Court of Appeal decides Ostrander wind farm project and sends dispute back to the ERT
  4. Environmental Review Tribunal rejects first renewable energy approval
  5. ERT Allows Another Appeal of a Wind Farm Approval

 

Posted in Ostrander ERT, Uncategorized

DID YOU VOTE “No” ON JULY 14, 2012?

If you did please consider giving to the South Shore Appeal Fund

Vote NOFour years ago this July, over 540 residents of South Marysburgh came out to vote at Milford Town Hall in a referendum arranged by The South Marysburgh Mirror. The referendum was restricted to residents and property owners of South Marysburgh, with proof of eligibility required. Voting was in person or by proxy.

Residents voted on a straightforward question: “Do you want industrial wind turbines installed in South Marysburgh like the ones proposed by wpd Canada and Gilead Power for their projects near Milford and on the south shore?”

The results were decisive with 90.2% of residents saying “NO”. The vote may have done nothing to stop the wind developers but the message from South Marysburgh residents was loud and clear: “No to turbines on the County’s south shore”.

The Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) is working hard to ensure that this historic referendum comes to a successful end. Our efforts are focused on taking legal action against wpd’s 27- turbine wind project through the Environmental Review Tribunal. These efforts are costly but effective: without them this project would be up and running by now, or close to it, and the County’s south shore would just be another notch under the provincial government’s belt.

To mark the occasion of the South Marysburgh referendum we are asking all residents who voted NO in 2012 to make a special donation of $100 or more to the South Shore Appeal Fund on or before July 14, 2016. All funds raised will be used to help pay for the upcoming ERT “remedy hearing” in July, where wpd will propose further mitigations for the Little Brown Bat and for Blanding’s turtles.

If you were one of the 540 residents who voted NO in 2012 please consider marking this occasion with a donation. Donations can be made by cheque or by PayPal on our website. Please write cheques to the South Shore Appeal Fund and mail to APPEC, P. O. Box 173, Milford, ON K0K 2P0. Please write “July 14, 2012” on the back of your cheque so we will know what your donation is specifically for. If donating by PayPal be sure to include a note with the date “July 14, 2012” or send a short message to contactus@appec.ca to let us know what your donation is for.

Donations for this special fundraising initiative will be kept separate and the total amount of donations raised will be announced in the August issue of The South Marysburgh Mirror.

The 2012 referendum was the first time citizens of this province who stood to be most impacted by industrial wind development were given an opportunity to decide for themselves, a right that was stripped from them in 2009 with the passing of the Green Energy Act. The results sent a strong message to wind developers, to County Council and to the provincial government. Make your vote count again by donating to the South Shore Appeal Fund.

Regards,
Janna McCarthy
APPEC Fundraising Director

Posted in Uncategorized

VICTORY FOR OSTRANDER POINT

VictoryBy now many of you will have heard about the ERT finding in favour of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN). In a written decision issued on June 6 the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) revoked the Renewable Energy Approval issued to Gilead Power for its Ostrander Point wind project. The ERT concluded that a wind project at Ostrander Point will cause irreversible harm to the local population of Blanding’s turtles and will lead to the eventual loss of the population.

This day has been a long time coming. A successful appeal by PECFN to the ERT in 2013 was followed by two provincial court appeals and another long remedy hearing before the ERT in 2015. The appeal has now come full circle with the Tribunal once again finding that the only appropriate remedy under s.145.2.1(4) of the Environmental Protection Act is to revoke the Director’s decision to issue a Renewable Energy Approval to Gilead Power:

In this remedy hearing under s.145.2.1(4), the Tribunal has found that Ostrander and the Director have not proven, on a balance of probabilities, that the remedy they propose, consisting of mitigation measures. . .will protect Blanding’s turtle from serious and irreversible harm that would be caused by the Project due to road mortalities, predation and poaching.

The decision is not only a win for Blanding’s turtles but for all the wildlife on the County’s south shore. As noted by PECFN: “This decision not only protects the Blanding’s turtle but also the staging area for millions of migrating birds and bats and the Monarch butterflies.”
Our hearty congratulations to PECFN’s legal counsel Eric Gillespie and his associates Priya Vital and Graham Andrews on this decisive victory. The win was hard-fought and is well-deserved.

Posted in Ostrander ERT, Uncategorized

Yard Sale – FUNDRAISER FOR South Shore Appeal Fund

Save the South Shore Yard Sale

Save the South Shore Yard Sale

When: MAY 28 (rain date May 29) – 8 am to 2 pm
Where: 14011 Highway #33, near corner of County Rd 32

This is a reminder that the Yard Sale is Saturday May 28 from 8 am to 2 pm (rain date May 29). The Yard Sale will be at its usual location at the big barn on 14011 Highway #33 (Loyalist Parkway near corner of County Road #32).

Come out on Saturday to browse!  There will be lots of interesting items at reasonable prices and who knows, you might just find a treasure or two. All funds from sales of items go to the South Shore Appeal Fund, to help pay off APPEC’s and PECFN’s legal bill for the ERTs.

Donations of items are accepted with appreciation. Large and small items can be dropped off at the site of the Yard Sale anytime after 6:30 am on the day of the sale.  Small items may be dropped off at Royal LePage, 104 Main Street Picton, on Friday May 27 between 10 am and 7 pm.  It would be most helpful if you could price items beforehand.  If these dates and times do not work for you please send an email to contactus@appec.ca and another arrangement can be made for dropping off your items.

Unfortunately we cannot accept: bedding, large appliances, baby equipment (toys are okay), safety helmets, or clothing. All other donations are appreciated. 

A big thanks to all the volunteers from APPEC, CCSAGE and PECFN who are donating their time on Saturday. We are looking forward to another successful Yard Sale and hope to see you there!

Posted in Uncategorized

RIVERWALK: A fundraising event helping to Save The South Shore

riverwalkposterspring201-1Saturday May 21 from 10 am until 1 pm is the date and time for the Spring Riverwalk at Mill Falls House B&B, 745 Crowes Rd, Milford.  You are invited to spend some time exploring the Mill Falls meadow and riverside property in all its spring finery.  Guides will be available to show the way and describe what you are seeing.  After your walk join us for coffee or juice and some light brunch goodies.

Recently these pictures in words came from proprietor Sacha Warunkiw: Two days ago I sat at the edge of the brook sipping orange juice and had a lovely surprise. . .there on the other side of the river was an Otter bounding alone to the upper pond.  It was a beautiful sight, mind you I hope he or she didn’t devour the eggs of the ducks that nest there every spring!  Then yesterday I saw three Golden Eagles flying high overhead and then one came down with a swoop across the land.  Its wings were very wide.

We are so lucky that Sacha invites us into his own little paradise in the spring and fall to raise funds for Save the South Shore.  Only 100 tickets will be issued.  Admission is by donation and you will have the opportunity to purchase your own “Blandy” T shirt or hat.

To register please go to:
http://www.riverwalk.eventbrite.ca

For more information about the Save the South Shore go to:
http://www.savethesouthshore.org or http://www.facebook.com/savethesouthshore

 

Posted in Events, Uncategorized

Council Meeting on Road Users Agreement with WPD White Pines Wind Inc

April 26, 2016
by Paula Peel, APPEC

By the 7 pm start time Council Chambers were packed full and the adjoining Committee  Room was standing room only. Despite the strong show of opposition from members of the community Council approved a Road Users Agreement (RUA) for the White Pines Wind Project.  Acting on the advice of County solicitor Wayne Fairbrother, the RUA was approved in a recorded vote of 11 in favour and 4 opposed.  In favour: Jamie Forrester, Gordon Fox, Kevin Gale, Steve Graham, Treat Hull, Janice Maynard, Brad Nieman, Roy Pennell, Bill Roberts, Barry Turpin, Jim Dunlop.  Opposed: Dianne O’Brien, Lenny Epstein, South Marysburgh Councillor Steve Ferguson and Mayor Robert Quaiff.

Mr. Fairbrother urged Council to approve the RUA, suggesting Council had little choice on this matter.  Mr. Fairbrother opined that approval was the only course of action that gave the County some control over the use of its roads and compensation for damage.  Mr. Fairbrother also informed Council that time had run out as WPD recently went back to the Ontario Energy Board to restart the process to sidestep the RUA and proceed without municipal approval.  He warned that if approval was not given at this Council meeting the opportunity for a RUA would likely be lost for good.

County residents including respected lawyers Garth Manning and Alan Whiteley of CCSAGE-Naturally Green as well as John Hirsch, an appellant in the ERT proceedings, proposed a number of preferable alternatives to entering into a road users agreement with WPD.  However Mr. Fairbrother argued that none had merit.  Mr. Fairbrother also spoke against proposals from councillors, including a proposal to approve the RUA but to post-date when it would come into effect, a proposal to request an extension from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change in order to take into account the extended ERT hearing and a motion to defer the RUA (defeated in a recorded vote of 11 to 4).

APPEC Chair Gord Gibbins took to the podium to point out the serious issues with laying underground collector and high voltage transmission lines on Maypul Layn Road, a designated heritage landscape.  Mr. Fairbrother dismissed those concerns as well, noting that property owners could take up any issues they might have with WPD and that the County would not need to get involved.  Apparently the County solicitors’ work is done as long as WPD abides by the terms of the RUA and does not attempt to do any blasting.

Based on our experience with WPD we are concerned about the possible consequences of the County signing on with this firm, which has exhibited such disrespect for the community.

APPEC and John Hirsch continue to fight WPD head on, often on a daily basis with motions, affidavits and evidence, most recently to stop WPD from clearing vegetation at its proposed project site.  APPEC and its supporters to Save the South Shore are fighting through the Environmental Review Tribunal and the Courts to stop this ill-conceived project from being constructed.  Your continued support is essential to continue this fight and to our ultimate victory.

Posted in PEC Council, Uncategorized

PECFN explains why there should be no construction on the South Shore in April and May

WhipPoorWillLMD (1)Media release
April 14, 2016

PECFN explains why there should be no construction on the South Shore in April and May
For immediate release

There will be a full moon on Friday April 22 which could be the first fledging of Whip-poor-will chicks on the South Shore in 2016. Whip-poor-wills use the long hours of light during the full moon to gather insects to feed their young. They nest on open ground near woodlands in order that soon after fledging the young can move into the woods for protection. The parents hunt for prey insects by flying along the open spaces of country roads. Whip-poor-wills return to the same nesting sites every year on Ostrander Point and throughout the South Shore. Their arrival on our South Shore is a forerunner of the Chimney Swifts, the Meadowlarks and the Bobolinks, all species at risk who will start nesting around May 20.

As we have learned from the emergence of Blanding’s turtle one month early, these birds may be arriving and beginning to nest earlier this year. The early emergence of the turtle gave us an incentive to keep fighting for a Stay on the construction clearing that wpd started in April. Now we need to watch for earlier arrivals of other species to their traditional breeding grounds on PEC’s South Shore.

This is why it is so important for us to support Lawyer Eric Gillespie and APPEC in the struggle to convince the Environmental Review Tribunal to stop all construction in wpd’s White Pines project areas similar to the Stay that was imposed on the Gilead project at Ostrander Point. The survival of these species at risk is at stake in the fight to Save the South Shore. In addition to the species that stay in PEC to breed and raise young, there are millions of birds and bats migrating through to the Boreal forest in April and May that depend on our South Shore for rest and food.

Both the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory and the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) celebrate international events in May. The 100th anniversary of the International Migratory Bird Treaty will be celebrated on May 14, the opening day of the Spring Birding Festival. Special displays and events at the Bird Observatory and the Picton Library will mark this important anniversary.

PECFN is inviting dignitaries as well as birders and naturalists to join us for International Day of Biodiversity on May 22 as we tour the South Shore to enjoy the spring birds and plants. We will meet at 9:00 am at the Elizabeth St parking lot in Picton to carpool and at 9:30 at Point Petre to start the tour. We will travel to the Miller Family Nature Reserve on Hill Top Rd, Ostrander Point, and end up at the Bird Observatory for lunch.

When we are not out enjoying wildlife on the South Shore we will be relaxing at the PECFN Fourth Annual Dinner and Silent Auction April 23 at the Curling Club and Riverwalk May 21 at Millfalls House B&B in Milford as we raise funds to will help Eric’s legal team stop the habitat destruction on the South Shore. Please join us.

And, if you have a moment, write to Premier Kathleen Wynne  at premier@ontario.ca  and ask her to use her influence to protect and conserve our South Shore home for the birds and turtles.

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Posted in Uncategorized, White Pines ERT