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.South Shore Appeal Fund

Preserving the County’s South Shore

Photo taken by Joe Crowley

“one of the worst possible places to construct a wind farm” (Ontario Nature)


The Appeal has been unending, but so is the fund raising.  We continue, especially since the fight to Save the South Shore has taken on a new dimension with the approval of the wpd White Pines project [currently in remedy stage].  You may have noticed that there is a new name to our fund raising activities.  Our legal team, led by Eric Gillespie has advised that all funds deposited by the fund raising committees of PECFN and APPEC will be combined.  As a result a new fund has been created: the South Shore Appeal Fund. 

There will be no industrial wind turbines built at Ostrander Point!

Kudos to PECFN. For at least six years, the leadership of PECFN, a 60-member NFP naturalist group, has fought Gilead Power and taxpayer-supported MOECC. PECFN’s fight cost County residents more than $200K in donations, plus countless volunteer hours by PECFN’s Executive and its unpaid expert witnesses. Gilead’s sunk costs (development and legal) have been in the millions, and MOECC’s internal expenses have been substantial. This huge waste of time and money could have been avoided if MOECC had paid attention pre-approval to expert advice that Ostrander Point is a completely unacceptable location for wind turbines.

Myrna Wood, President, has done an amazing job in conducting research, while Cheryl Anderson, a past President, has been untiring in fundraising efforts. They have been ably supported by PECFN’s Executive, currently Sue Banks, Elizabeth Cowan, Sandra Dowds, Gerry Jenkinson, Sheena Kennedy, Allan Kuja, Sheila Kuja and Agneta Sand. Let’s hear it for Myrna, Cheryl and all of PECFN’s Executive!

written by Gary Mooney – PEC resident


Ladies of Ostrander          photo by Nick Tardif

June 6, 2016

For immediate release

The Tribunal in the Ostrander Point ERT hearing has found that “the remedies proposed by Ostrander [Gilead] and the Director are not appropriate in the unique circumstances of this case.  The Tribunal finds that the appropriate remedy under s.145.2.1 (4) is to revoke the Director’s decision to issue the REA [Renewable energy Approval]”. (underlining mine)

The Tribunal decision says that no matter how important renewable energy is to our future it does not automatically override the public interest in protecting against other environmental harm such as the habitat of species at risk.  This was the basis of PECFN’s appeal.

This decision not only protects the Blanding’s turtle but also the staging area for millions of migrating birds and bats and the Monarch butterflies.

The Tribunal decision reminds the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change of its Statement of Environmental Values that “As our understanding of the way the natural world works and how our actions affect it is often incomplete, [government] staff should exercise caution and special concern for natural values in the face of such uncertainty.”


For information:

Myrna Wood

Cheryl Anderson

The Ostrander Point hearings ended November 26, 2015. Oral presentations were held in Toronto on January 15. ERT panel members Heather Gibbs and Robert Wright will take time before issuing a final decision regarding a proposed remedy by the developers that placing gates on some of the access roads would protect Blanding’s turtles from irreversible harm.

The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists are confident the Tribunal will uphold their original decision to deny the construction of industrial wind turbines at Ostrander Point — that the project will cause serious and irreversible harm to the Blanding’s turtle and its habitat.

Click on the YouTube window above to view a series of short videos of local area citizens speaking out to explain why Prince Edward County’s South Shore is an inappropriate location for industrial wind turbines.

Friday October 30 2015 was supposed to be the last day of the hearings in the Ostrander Point appeal, where a wind power project is planned (and approved by the province) for a location in habitat of the endangered Blandings turtle.

At issue up to this point has been the fact that the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources’ (MNR) own at-risk species expert, Joe Crowley, determined that there was significant risk to the turtle and that proposed mitigation strategies would not be successful. The MNR, headed by District manager Karen Bellamy, ignored Crowley’s advice and issued a permit for the wind power developer Gilead to proceed. The Tribunal demanded documentation be produced on the research and decision-making at the MNR. http://tinyurl.com/mnr-witness  

David Suzuki Foundation does not support wind turbines in IBA’s: Letter to the Minister of the Environment

Link to Countylive.ca article:  Ministry expert admits he advised not to allow initial ‘kill, harm and harass’ permit

Link to article from The Canadian Legal Information Institute: Turtle v Wind: When Environmental Concerns Collide


 The Court of Appeal for Ontario Hearings

 April 20, 2015

PECFN wins at the Ontario Court of Appeal

Scales of Justice copy


Important Press Release  –   April 14, 2014

PECFN Files for Leave to Appeal Divisional Court Ruling

Picton: PECFN has filed their submission to the Court of Appeal asking for leave to appeal the Divisional Court reversal of the decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal.  Last July the Tribunal revoked the approval of a Gilead Power wind turbine project at Ostrander Point Crown Land Block in the centre of the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird Area. There have been more than 20 appeals of Renewable Energy Approvals since the Green Energy Act came into effect in 2009. All but the PECFN appeal resulted in dismissals. In allowing PECFN’s appeal, the Tribunal rendered a landmark and precedent-setting decision. Soon after the Divisional Court decision Gilead Power announced its intention to start construction in April.  PECFN brought an urgent motion for a Stay of construction and leave to appeal the Divisional Court decision to the Court of Appeal.  In his decision submitted on March 25, Judge Blair of the Appeal Court held that he had “no hesitation in granting the Stay” because the issues raised on the proposed appeal are of “broad public implication in the field of environmental law”.  Further he found that the irreparable harm criterion had been satisfied on the basis that “once a habitat is destroyed, it is destroyed – for at least short-term purposes, in any event – and the species sought to be protected here is a vulnerable and endangered species.” Complete press release click here

Update (from countylive.ca) – February 20, 2014

Turbines take down turtles in divisional court

Turbines have toppled turtles in Ontario Divisional Court and Gilead Power has regained its go-ahead to build nine industrial wind turbines on the south shore of Prince Edward County. The court met for three days in Toronto at the end of January and delivered its 40-page report Thursday, Feb. 20.

Link to Article
Divisional Court Decision PDF

For Website

Update (from countylive.ca) – July 4 2013

The endangered Blanding’s turtle has helped the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists take down turbines. 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 the project by the Director, Ministry of the Environment.

The tribunal decision was announced Wednesday after 40 days, 185 exhibits and testimony of 31 expert witnesses appeared before the panel of lawyers Robert Wright and Heather Gibbs in Demorestville and Toronto.

The tribunal concluded “that engaging in the project in accordance with the REA will cause serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment. This is on the basis of findings that such harm will be caused to Blanding’s turtle.”


A Campaign led by Prince Edward County Field Naturalists

The County of Prince Edward – Municipal Council
Margaret Atwood
Nature Canada
Ontario Nature
Audubon Society (NY State and USA)
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (UK)
Ontario Road Ecology Group
The David Suzuki Foundation
Bird Studies Canada     
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper    
American Birding Association
Nature Conservancy Canada
US Fish and Wildlife Services
are all against industrial wind turbines at Ostrander Point


Link to pdf article

Watershed Magazine – Spring 2014

Radar Image of Migrating Birds Flying Over PEC South Shore

radar image


Birds pour into Prince Edward County from the east, while others are just beginning to cross Lake Ontario from New York state, in this radar image from May 2012. More migrating birds fly over Prince Edward County’s south shore than anywhere else on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario.







Monarch Butterflies

monarch butterfly2

monarch butterfly
This year, Monarch Butterfly numbers are down by a shocking 59%.
All the more reason to ensure that the International Monarch
Butterfly Reserve on the South Shore of Prince Edward County is
preserved in its entirety.
If the Gilead industrial wind factory goes ahead,
roads and turbine-related construction would devastate 50 hectares
of the habitat which the butterflies need to rest and feed during migration.
Monarch Butterflies are at grave risk. They need help —
not another nail in their coffin.
Photos courtesy www.Monarch-Butterfly.com

 Bats:  Farmers’ Best Friends

Bat with White-nose

A bat with white-nose syndrome. Photo courtesy New York Department of Environmental Conservation

When the environmental assessment was done for Ostrander Point, North America’s bat populations were healthy. In the past two years, bat populations have collapsed as drastically and suddenly as honey bee colonies. For bats, the problem is a fungus, white-nose syndrome, which disrupts hibernation, exhausting the bats’ food reserves before they can feed in the spring. Five and a half million bats have already died in eastern North America. Even the Little Brown Bat, once our most common bat, is now listed as endangered.

Bats provide pest-control services to farms, eating beetles and other insects that feed on crops. In Ontario alone, bats save farmers between $100 million and $1.6 billion per year. The loss of the bats will cost Canada between $1.1 and $15.3 billion dollars, according to Statistics Canada. We need to do everything we can to preserve bats, according to Dr. Robert Barclay, who testified recently at the Environmental Review Tribunal. The allowable limit of seven bats killed per turbine is far too high. With wind turbines proliferating across North America and white nose syndrome spreading unchecked, the wind turbine deaths, combined with the fungus, will affect overall bat populations. He said there are so many turbines planned for eastern Lake Ontario that the allowable kill rate was simply unacceptable.

What the Heck are Alvars?

We’ve heard a lot about alvars this week at the Environmental Review Tribunal. Most people don’t know what alvars are and that’s not surprising – they’re very rare. In North America, alvars are found only around the Great Lakes – and 90% of Great Lake area alvars have been already been destroyed.
An alvar is an ecosystem that has evolved on the thin soil over limestone bedrock. Wet in the spring, bone-dry in summer, alvars are challenging places to call home. The plants and insects which live on alvars have adapted to the tough conditions over centuries – some can be found only on alvars. Needless to say, these alvar-dwellers are also rare.
Gilead proposes to grind up the alvar limestone for use in construction. A Swedish study showed that some alvars which had been turned into farm fields still hadn’t reverted back to alvars after 50 years.

Migrating Raptors at Blade Sweep Height — Ostrander Point Fall 2009

Ostrander 2009 Migrating Raptors

We call Ostrander Point a “migratory stopover”, but the birds don’t just stop. They feed, rest and move around, sometime for weeks, waiting for favourable winds. This diagram shows the movement of migrating fall raptors at Ostrander Point in 2009.

arrow colors Lime green arrows are based on 350 observations; 21% – 50% of the hawks were at blade sweep height. Dark green: 131 – 350 observations, with 50% of birds at blade height. Gray: 50 – 150 observations with 20% at blade height. If the turbines had been built when this survey was done, there could be as many as 380 dead raptors.


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