Articles filed under Legal from Canada
Ontario's Environment Minister Jeff Yurek has responded to being named in charges regarding the Ontario Court of Justice determining there are reasonable grounds to believe environmental offenses were committed at several wind turbine projects in Chatham-Kent.
Burke’s lawyer, Eric Gillespie, says roughly 80 families have been impacted by the contamination, which he alleges occurred when deposits of black shale in the soil were disturbed during construction of the project. “When you put up very large wind turbines that are 100 metres high, they require very large foundations,” he said. “Once they started developing these projects it became clear they were interfering with the drinking water supplies for many of the residents.”
An Ontario Justice of the Peace has determined on July 12 that there are reasonable and probable grounds to lay charges under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) against Jeff Yurek, Ontario’s minister of the environment, the Environment Ministry and the three industrial wind companies — Pattern Energy Group, Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. and Engie Canada Inc.
In a decision dated late last week, the Ontario's Environmental Review Tribunal said the group's evidence was not strong enough. "We were not surprised by the tribunal's ruling, but we were disappointed by the outcome," said Margaret Benke, who lives near the wind farm site and was involved in organizing the appeal. ...Benke said the group is considering a lawsuit, though it may be too costly.
The U.S. requested a committal for extradition from the Attorney General of Canada following the indictment and included a record of the case saying nine people would testify against him, six of whom said they dealt with Enviro-Energies. A Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench judge approved the extradition order in August 2017, and the appeal was heard last May.
“It is a clear example of sovereign risk. It is certainly not unique, but it is a reminder of how the government can pass legislation that deprives a party of contractual rights or remedies,” says O’Neill. “You are not dealing with a private counter-party. You are dealing with an entity that has statute-making power.”
“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.”
A Notice of Application for Judicial Review was filed by DDOWT in the Divisional Court in Toronto on Tuesday against the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change alleging the ministry has allowed companies promoting at least five large-scale wind projects to ignore new government guidelines with respect to limiting the amount of noise any residence in the area should have to tolerate.
Ontario’s already lost a related case on very different legal grounds. Last year an international tribunal agreed the government violated the North American Free Trade Agreement with its moratorium on wind farms, which killed a project next to the one Trillium was working on run by an American-backed company. The people of Ontario are out $28 million in damages and legal costs for that.
The Environmental Review Tribunal has ruled the approval for a 500-foot-tall wind turbines in an area near the Collingwood Regional Airport should be revoked.
There may not be eight wind turbines spinning in Clearview Township after all. In a decision released Wednesday, the Environmental Review Tribunal revoked the renewable energy approval for the project, saying the danger to human life and safety was too great.
“The Tribunal decision has made it clear that this wind power project was never about protecting the environment,” said Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, the coalition of community groups concerned about wind power projects. “The wind power project was always about money. The citizens of Prince Edward County fought hard to protect the environment and wildlife against our own Ministry of the Environment.”
Ontario’s government signed an electricity deal with an American company to build a wind farm at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, froze the project, and then wanted to treat its own decision like an uncontrollable act of God to get out of the contract it signed, an international panel found in a ruling saying such behaviour is not OK.
In an 87-page decision, ERT hearing officers Dirk Vanderbent and Hugh Wilkins stated the appeal of the renewable energy application for WPD Canada’s Fairview Wind project met the test for potential harm to human health with respect to the operations at the Collingwood Regional Airport and Clearview Aerodrome.
Under the terms of the mediation, property owners will be given baseline testing before the construction of any turbines and will receive groundwater and ground vibration monitoring in each of the first three years of operation.
Rural landowners who are approached to permit a wind turbine or turbines or associated equipment on their acreage badly need sophisticated legal advice on these complex agreements.
The City of Kawartha Lakes has been ordered to pay $30,000 in legal costs after the Court of Appeal upheld a 2015 court decision allowing wpd Canada to use a City road to access its Sumac Ridge wind turbine project. The Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision on Wednesday (June 22).
In essence, the tribunal ruled that whatever the benefits of renewable energy — and whatever a government’s policy interest in promoting it — they do not override the public interest in protecting against environmental harm. (Migratory birds, bats and monarch butterflies were also said to be at risk under the wind turbine proposal.)
A tribunal hearing an appeal of the province’s decision to approve an wind turbine project in Clearview Township has moved on to the next phase of the process.
The Town of Collingwood has spent $187,000 to fight the wind turbine proposal in Clearview Township – and that number could rise by an additional $75,000.