Day 38 of Ostrander Point — Procedural arguments re medical testimony
Report on May 31st ERT Hearing on Human Health Appeal
By Henri Garand, Chair, APPEC
The Environmental Review Tribunal heard discussion and a motion on the status of APPEC’s case.
Outstanding Issues in APPEC’s Case
APPEC Lawyer Eric Gillespie confirmed that due to technical difficulties expert witness Dr. Sarah Laurie would not be testifying from Australia.
The issue now before the Tribunal was the “agreed statement of fact” on the medical records of APPEC witnesses. This would enable the “truth of the opinions” in the medical records to be accepted without the need to call physicians to testify as to their accuracy.
All counsel are in agreement that the medical records are acceptable for post-turbine witnesses up to the time that wind projects started operation. Gilead Power lawyer Darrel Cruz said that Gilead was prepared to consider the post-operational records of five witnesses but declined to consider those of the other four.
Co-chair Robert Wright directed counsel to undertake further discussions on the understanding that an extension of the hearing had already been given and APPEC’s case was supposed to close on May 30.
After a lunch-hour adjournment Mr. Gillespie reported that he wished to call a doctor and social worker to testify on the medical records of one APPEC witness, whom he considered representative of psychological harm. Both Mr. Cruz and Ministry of Environment lawyer Sylvia Davis objected on the grounds that APPEC’s case had closed and further delay would prejudice their own cases.
Mr. Gillespie presented a motion asking for leave to call two expert witnesses who would testify Monday morning by videoconference.
Mr. Cruz objected that APPEC’s case did not rest on the testimony of treating physicians but on Dr. McMurtry’s review of witness statements. Ms. Davis emphasized the timelines in the Renewable Energy Approval process.
The ERT panel adjourned to weigh the arguments. Then Mr. Wright and co-chair Heather Gibbs dismissed the motion because it had not been demonstrated that the new expert testimony was sufficiently important to APPEC’s case and that the prejudice to APPEC’s case was sufficient to offset the prejudice to Gilead’s and the MOE’s due to the time constraints.
Scheduling of ERT Hearings
The ERT panel confirmed that the hearings would return to Prince Edward County for the final week, June 3-7.