Round 2 goes to the Turbines

February 20, 2014 Borys Holowacz Latest Posts

PICTON Ontario.  On January 21-23, 2014, lawyers assembled in Osgoode Hall to hear the arguments of the Ministry of the Environment and Gilead Power against the ERT ruling that revoked the Minister’s approval of the wind turbine project at Ostrander Point.  The decision of the Divisional Court was received on Thursday February 20.

Justice Nordheimer reached the decision that the Tribunal erred in its ruling.  Unless appealed, this decision will result in the industrial development of Ostrander Point Crown Land Block on the South Shore of Prince Edward County (PEC).

Prince Edward County Field Naturalists are disappointed with the ruling of the Divisional Court and do not agree that the Environmental Review Tribunal was wrong.  The group will be seeking leave to appeal the Divisional Court ruling to the Court of Appeal of Ontario.

Ostrander Point is in the middle of the PEC South Shore Important Bird Area.  It is the home of the endangered Blanding’s Turtle and many other species at risk.  Millions of birds fly through and stage for migration from the south shore of PEC in the spring and fall.  The Crown Land Block is adjacent to the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area designated as an international Monarch butterfly reserve.  Ostrander Point includes significant areas of globally imperilled alvar habitat.  Gilead’s wind turbines project will expose migrating birds to lethal turbine blades at a time when they are most vulnerable.  At nearby Wolfe Island the turbines kill more birds than any other installation in Ontario because the eastern end of Lake Ontario is such an important migratory pathway.  The turbine pads and access roads will damage vast swaths of the Crown Land Block – and expose Blanding’s turtles to high road mortality and nest predation while destroying their habitat.  The south Shore of Prince Edward County is the last undeveloped natural habitat along the north shore of Lake Ontario.

For these reasons the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists opposed the development plans from the beginning.  Nature Canada, Ontario Nature, Environment Canada, the Suzuki Foundation, the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, Bird Life International and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds agree that Ostrander Point is the worst place for wind turbines.

The cost of the ERT appeal and subsequent defence of the ERT decision has been very expensive.  PECFN is a small club of mostly retired people.  People all through Ontario and in several other provinces have donated about $130,000 to the cost of this legal battle.  This amount is at least $100,000 short of the estimated final legal bill.  Fund raising continues through events and activities in the County and beyond. The small group is “girding their loins” and arming their slingshots to continue this David and Goliath struggle.

Please Donate. It is important.

For More Information Contact: Cheryl Anderson, Past President

613-471-1096    cherylanderson23@sympatico.ca

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