David v Goliath – Week One: Kent Breeze Legal Action « Wind Concerns Ontario

Remember 2009, when the McGuinty Government (John Gerretsen)  Banned Legally Registered, Scientifically Safe to use Pesticides in Ontario and promoted untested green alternatives at 3 times the cost, that failed in effectiveness and did not contribute to the protection of our Heath or the Environment.

Ontario’s lawns, gardens, school yards and parks are a lot healthier since the province’s cosmetic pesticides ban came into effect on Earth Day, April 22, 2009.

The McGuinty government believes the use of pesticides to control weeds and insects for purely cosmetic reasons presents an unnecessary risk to our families and pets, especially when we can have healthier lawns and gardens without chemicals.

We have listened to medical experts like the Canadian Cancer Society – who have made a convincing case for reducing our exposure to pesticides, particularly children who are generally more susceptible to the potential toxic effects of pesticides.

The ban is part of the McGuinty government’s commitment to protect families, especially children from pollution and toxic chemicals through tough new environmental laws.

The provincial ban overrides municipal pesticide bylaws, protecting all Ontarians, not just those in some communities. It also establishes one clear set of rules, which makes it easier for Ontario businesses to follow.


Guess What?

The Ontario Ministry of Environment supports Non-Science again.


David v Goliath – Week One: Kent Breeze Legal Action « Wind Concerns Ontario

The optics said it all.

On one side, lawyer Eric Gillespie for the appellants Katie Erickson and Chatham-Kent Wind Action and his assistant.

On the other side two lawyers for the Ministry of Environment, Fredericka Rotter and Andrea Huckins along with MOE Director for Renewable Energy Approvals (REA) Mr. Mansoor Mahmood and alternately Brian Howe of HGC Engineering. Next to them were Suncor lawyer Albert Engel of Fogler, Rubinoff with Jay Headrick and Brad West of Suncor. Next to them sat Stantec Consulting representative, Chris Scott. 

Following some important legal jousting over motions to dismiss, confidentiality and the role of advocate, the proceedings began with Mr. Gillespie’s opening remarks.  He stated that the appellants case is based on science and will establish that the Kent-Breezes wind project ‘will’ cause serious harm to human health if permitted to operate as approved.

Ms. Rotter for the MOE argued that the nature of this legal action relates to matters outside the jurisdiction of the Environmental Review Tribunal; that there is no precedent for this so therefore it should not be heard- presumably because it would set a precedent. Ms. Rotter also advanced the case that because some of the expert witnesses were a part of The Society for Wind Vigilance they were advocates and biased. Therefore they did not qualify as experts. They had co-authored reports and as Ms. Rotter stated, our witnesses were “fear mongering” with an “anti-wind agenda” and appeared to be affiliated with a group of “rabble-rousers’ called Wind Concerns Ontario, an anti-wind activist group who had a “link” to The Society on the WCO website.

Mr. Gillespie countered by submitting that if the appellants’ expert witnesses did not qualify, it would also be necessary to exclude all the CanWEA members on the other side of the aisle as well as the expert medical witnesses who co-authored the AWEA/CanWEA Dec. 2009 paper and the Dr. Arlene King report of May 2010 called “The Potential Health Impacts of Industrial Wind Turbines”. These submissions seemed to resolve the issue.

The appellants’ first witness was Mr. Richard James of E-coustic Solutions, Michigan. In spite of lengthy attempts to discredit Mr. James’ expertise by both MOE and Suncor legal teams, the ERT Panel decided to allow Mr. James his status as “expert”.

Mr. James’ testimony lived up to his billing as expert. His presentation was seamless, clear and challenging for the other side. He told the Tribunal that in his opinion the MOE guidelines were not authoritative. He described the elements that were excluded in measuring sound from industrial-scale wind turbines. In particular James demonstrated that by adding c-weighting to a graph measuring sound on the a-weighted scale there was a significantly higher level of low frequency infra-sound. When asked by the Suncor lawyer where he got the input for the noise graph Mr. James stated he used the data from the Hatch Consulting noise impact assessment report for the approved Kent-Breeze project.

Both legal teams opposing the appeal stated that there would have to be a very high level of proof in order to stop this wind development. Mr. James’ testimony has launched a historic event which will demonstrate in no uncertain terms that high level proof not only exists but will prevail.

Please donate to this action which could alter the future of industrial wind project approvals permanently. The tribunal convenes in Toronto, February 9 with testimony from Dr. Michael Nissenbaum, Dr. Bob Thorne and Dr. Daniel Shepherd.   Your support is needed now. Please help out by clicking on the DONATE button.

via David v Goliath – Week One: Kent Breeze Legal Action « Wind Concerns Ontario.