Category Archives: Project: Gilead Ostrander Point
Gilead Power’s Ostrander Point wind project in South Marysburgh
Here is a brief synopsis of the 40-page decision by Ontario’s Divisional Court, in the Court’s own words as much as possible. It has been prepared by a non-lawyer, and is focused on what may be the most significant aspects of the decision as regards possible future actions by residents’ groups.
Gilead / MOE appeals re Blanding’s turtle: allowed
The Divisional Court has allowed the appeal by Gilead and the MOE of the ERT’s decision to revoke the approval of the Ostrander Point wind project, based on its finding that the Tribunal committed six errors of law: Read the rest of this entry
Rick Conroy, editor of The Times, had lots to say this past week about the bizarre situation of Prince Edward Field Naturalists’ having to fight the combined forces of Gilead Power Corporation, the Ministry of the Environment and now the Canadian Wind Energy Association, in order to protect its win on the Ostrander Point project. To describe PECFN as the underdog would be one of the great understatements of the year.
Gilead and its buddies MOE and CanWEA are making a desperate attempt to salvage the Ostrander Point project via an appeal to the Divisional Court which:
- Argues that the ERT exceeded its jurisdiction in second-guessing MNR’s approval to kill/harm/harass Blanding’s turtle;
- Attempts to introduce new evidence (normally not allowed in an appeal) — namely, to install a series of lockable gates to reduce road mortality;
- Introduces Big Brother CanWEA as an intervenor to help run up PECFN’s legal bills even further.
Most contemptible of all, Gilead is asking the court to make PECFN pay its (Gilead’s) legal costs for the appeal. Q: Have they no shame? A: Of course they don’t.
County residents and nature lovers from near and far have generously supported PECFN, and so far $117,463 has been raised to cover legal costs for the ERT appeal. The largest donation to date was from County government, which provided a grant of $20,000 following PECFN’s ERT win. Way to go, Shire Hall!
But most amounts received — donations and purchases — are modest. Many donations at $100, quite a few at $200 or $250, some larger, some smaller. PECFN’s latest fundraiser was the sale of custom-made winter floral arrangements at $15 to $50 each, which added about $2,000 to the legal fund.
This small group of intrepid fighters now needs tens of thousands dollars more to defend its win at the upcoming Divisional Court appeal, scheduled to be heard in Toronto on Jan 21-24, 2014.
We are nearing Christmas. Will you consider adding PECFN to your gift list? Are you able to donate a single amount of $52, equivalent to $1 per week for a year? Or maybe even $104? But any amount will be greatly appreciated.
You can send your Christmas gift to PECFN by clicking on the Donate to PECFN button on the right hand side of this page, or by mailing a cheque to Ostrander Point Appeal Fund, 59 King Street, Unit 2, Picton, ON K0K 2T0.
Lets all do our bit to ensure that PECFN has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Here’s a great opportunity to add a festive decoration to your home, inside or out. Prince Edward County Field Naturalists is offering attractive winter planter arrangements, all natural, in various sizes and prices. Makes a great gift as well. Click on the image to enlarge.
Proceeds will go to PECFN’s legal defence of its Ostrander Point ERT win. Both Gilead/OPSEU and the Ministry of the Environment have appealed to Ontario’s Divisional Court, and PECFN expects that it will need another $50K of funding to protect its win. The appeal will be heard on January 21-23, 2014 in Toronto.
[As you know, the Ostrander Point decision has been appealed by both Gilead / OPSEU and the Ministry of the Environment, so there's a chance that the revocation will itself be revoked, resulting in the project's going ahead.
Here is a request from County resident and dedicated naturalist Cheryl Anderson to sign a petition addressed to Premier Wynne. Please take a moment to add your name to those who want to save Ostrander Point.]
From: Cheryl Anderson
Subject: Avaaz petition
I have created a petition and I hope you can sign — it’s called: Save Ostrander Point In Prince Edward County.
We all know how important this issue is, and together we can do something about it!
Read more about it and sign it here: http://tinyurl.com/no4t2uo .
We have solid evidence that the County government is behind us – let’s move now to make sure the Premier knows how we feel about undemocratic actions by her government; the ERT decision must stand – please take a second right now to help out by signing and passing it on.
Thanks so much,
[Update: Council ratified the $20K donation to PECFN, but not unanimously. Councillors Forrester, Gale, MacDonald, Nowitski and Turpin opposed the motion.
Council did the right thing today (August 15) by voting to donate $20,000 to PEC Field Naturalists. This grant will help to cover legal expenses incurred in the group’s successful ERT appeal of the Ostrander Point wind project approval.
The vote (motion by Councillor Bev Campbell, seconded by Robert Quaiff), was near unanimous in favour. It needs to be confirmed at the Council meeting on August 27.
Both MOE and Gilead / OPSEU have now counter-appealed, so PECFN will be burdened with even more legal costs to defend its win.
There were several reasons voiced by Councillors for supporting this grant:
- Council had earlier passed a motion objecting to wind turbines in the South Shore Important Bird Area.
- Some Councillors were annoyed that MOE has appealed the decision of another provincial government body.
- Others were outraged that Gilead has asked to be awarded costs from PECFN if its counter-appeal is successful.
- Although unstated, there was a sense that Council admires and appreciates the dedication of this small group of naturalists.
Including the County’s contribution, PECFN has raised a total of $105K towards its original target of $125K. But due to the counter-appeal, PECFN will have to raise even more.
You can help PECFN reach its fundraising objective by making a donation yourself (or a second one!). Send a cheque made out to Ostrander Point Appeal Fund to OPAF, 59 King St., Unit 2, Picton, K0K 2T0, or donate online at www.saveostranderpoint.org .
[Following is a comment (slightly edited) submitted to the Whig Standard recently by Ian Dubin, who was qualified as a presenter and expert witness in the Ostrander Point ERT appeal. He is a civil / geotechnical engineer with additional qualifications in law and environmental impact assessment, and with decades of experience in the field of environmental protection.]
I was very pleased to see the Ostrander Point Environmental Review Tribunal Appeal decision. I am especially happy that my small contribution apparently helped the ERT to determine that the proposed Industrial Wind Energy project will cause unacceptable harm to the natural environment, in particular the Provincially threatened Blanding’s Turtle. This is a milestone decision – and I can only hope it helps open the door to more successful appeals against Industrial Wind Energy in Ontario.
However, this is a very narrow victory and I was less pleased that appeal evidence of other serious potential impacts was not allowed by the ERT.
Right at the August 2nd deadline, three appeals were launched against the recent decisions of the Environmental Review Tribunal relating to Ostrander Point. The first two were by Ostrander Point Wind Energy LP (alias Gilead Power) and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) respectively against the Tribunal’s decision, sought by Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN), to disallow 9 wind turbines on the grounds of serious and irreversible harm to Blanding’s Turtles, an endangered species. The third, by the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) appeals the Tribunal’s decision dismissing APPEC’s claim that the turbines would cause serious harm to human health.
Read the rest of this entry
The Environmental Review Tribunal has allowed the appeal of the Ostrander Point Project by PECFN on grounds of serious and irreversible harm to the natural environment, and has revoked the approval of this project by the Director, Ministry of the Environment. FANTASTIC!
Excerpts from the decision:
“ The Tribunal finds that mortality due to roads, brought by increased vehicle traffic, poachers and predators, directly in the habitat of Blanding‟s turtle, a species that is globally endangered and threatened in Ontario, is serious and irreversible harm to Blanding‟s turtle at Ostrander Point Crown Land Block that will not be effectively mitigated by the conditions in the REA.
“ The appeal of PECFN is allowed under s. 145.2.1(5) of the EPA.”
Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) deserves a huge amount of credit for pursuing this appeal against almost insurmountable odds. It has been truly a David vs Goliath situation. In particular, we owe Myrna Wood and Cheryl Anderson of PECFN our undying gratitude for their dedication and hard work.
This win has been very expensive for PECFN, which is a small citizens’ group of less than 50 members. The good news is that they have raised $59,307 to fund their appeal. The bad news is that their legal bill to date is double this amount. They are still short $60,000.
PLEASE recognize PECFN’s hard work and success (and desperate financial situation) by making a donation to their legal fund. Click on the Donate to PECFN button on this page, or send a cheque made out to Ostrander Point Appeal Fund to PECFN, 59 King Street, Unit 2, Picton, ON K0K 2T0.
You can read the full decision here .