CCSAGE’s Town Hall event on the wind turbine issue was a huge success
The atmosphere at the Regent Theatre was positively electric on April 25, as hundreds of attendees, some from up to 400 km away, listened intently to excellent presentations at the CCSAGE Town Hall event on the wind turbine issue.
The evening was notable for the energy level of the attendees and their confidence about achieving a successful outcome in the Ostrander Point Appeal. In what must be unique in the annals of both municipal politics and the legal profession, Councillor Robert Quaiff and legal counsel Eric Gillespie received standing ovations for their stellar efforts on behalf of our community.
Many thanks to Steve Campbell for acting as M.C.; to Garth Manning and Duncan Fischer of CCSAGE for organizing the event; and to a dedicated team from CCSAGE, APPEC and PECFN for their work both before and during the event.
CCSAGE also acknowledges the co-operation of the Regent Theatre Foundation in providing a venue for this discussion. The theatre has been made available as a community service; the Directors of RTF do not advocate any position on this issue.
Report by Henri Garand, Chair, APPEC
The Regent Theatre was filled this evening by nearly 400 people eager to learn how to stop wind development in Prince Edward County.
A parade of speakers detailed the expected harms if wind projects proceed. Gary Mooney mapped the huge extent of development planned for both the County and eastern Lake Ontario. Cheryl Anderson described the natural environment and species threatened at Ostrander Point. Garth Manning reported property devaluation of 20 to 50 percent for nearby homes. Carlyn Moulton weighed the losses for the County’s creative and tourist economy. Dr. Robert McMurtry listed the adverse health effects and outlined the worldwide delay and denial of health research by the wind industry and governments.
But two speakers offered convincing hope that the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) on Ostrander Point is the best means of preventing wind projects.
Lawyer Eric Gillespie explained how the ERT is unfolding. Nine expert witnesses from Britain, Canada, and the United States have testified for the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN). The ERT panel has accepted their expert testimony on the serious and irreversible harm which will be caused by Gilead Power’s wind turbines to bats, breeding and migratory birds, Monarch butterflies, endangered species like the Blanding’s turtle, and the rare alvar environment.
In contrast, the ERT panel has qualified Gilead’s witnesses as having limited expertise, and the Ministry of Environment’s bureaucrats as only “experienced” in reviewing reports. The weight of evidence is therefore on PECFN’s side.
The second phase of the ERT appeal, said Gillespie, will present 21 witnesses who are suffering serious harm to their health by living near currently-operating turbines. Their testimony will discredit the Ministry of Environment’s noise and setback regulations. If these are invalidated, wind project approvals and construction cannot go ahead.
The evening closed with a rousing speech by Ian Hanna, the plaintiff in the 2011 judicial review of the Green Energy Act. Hanna praised the determination and generosity the County has already shown, and he urged the audience to ensure the ERT appeal has all the funding it needs for success. He said the Ostrander Point ERT is going to “inflict serious and irreversible harm on the wind industry.”
Why an ERT Health Appeal is Winnable is the handout APPEC distributed at the Regent. Please pass it on to everyone you know.
Posted on April 26, 2013, in Advocacy / politics / legal, Human health, Local economy, Natural environment, Ostrander Point, Property values, White Pines, Wind turbines. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.