Ostrander Point Hearing Begins – March 4 Update for Donors and Friends

March 4, 2013 admin Latest Posts

The hearing finally started today.  Approximately 150 people crowded into Sophiasburgh Town hall in Demorestville for the 11 pm starting time.  The tribunal members were revealed:  Mr. Robert Wright, who we are familiar with from the preliminary hearing, and Ms. Heather Gibbs.  Present were lawyers for the Ministry of the Environment and Gilead Power along with parties to the appeal Prince Edward County Field Naturalists and Alliance for the Protection of Prince Edward County and their legal representatives Eric Gillespie and Natalie Smith.

Because of a previous commitment Eric Gillespie had to leave Demorestville by 12:30 pm.  It was decided to take care of some preliminary business and then have Eric Gillespie do his opening statement.  It was noted that the hearing has been designated fragrance free.


The site visit requested by Gilead was set up for Tuesday March 5.  Individuals will arrive in their own vehicles at the corner of Babylon and Helmer Roads for a 2 pm start.  Only the Tribunal, the parties, presenters, participants and their lawyers are invited to the site visit.


On Wednesday March 6 the hearing will commence at 9:30 am at Sophiasburgh Town Hall.  Expert witness for PECFN, Dr. Paul Catling will be heard. Paul Catling holds a Ph.D. and is a Research Scientist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. He specializes in a number of areas including plant taxonomy, native germplasm, berry crops, medicinal plants, and invading alien plants.  Mr. Catling has numerous affiliations including being on the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, the Board of Directors of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Chair of Biodiversity Publications Committee and Chair of the Ecology Canadian Botanical Association. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa and has numerous scientific research publications.


On Thursday March 7 the hearing will move back to Toronto to hear evidence from witnesses by video conference.  Mr. Ian Dubbin and Dr. Robert Barclay will be heard. Dr. Barclay is a Professor and the Head of the Biological Sciences Department at the University of Calgary. He teaches in the areas of biology, ecology, conservation biology, field biology and mammalogy. In his career he has supervised over 35 graduate students and has been the recipient of numerous prestigious research grants including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (“NSERC”) Operating and Equipment Grants. He also has a substantial publication record which includes a long list of peer reviewed articles.  Ian Dubbin has presenter status in the hearing.  Mr. Dubbin is a retired engineer from Kingston.

Friday March 8 has been left unscheduled at this point.  Still to be determined is the schedule for presentations from Wind Concerns Ontario vice-president Parker Gallant, County Sustainability Group representatives, Don Chisholm and Deborah Hudson.  Ms. Kari Gunson may be scheduled for Friday as well.  Ms. Gunson is a Principal Road Ecologist for Eco-Kare International. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Zoology and Ecology from the University of Calgary, a Master of Science in Conservation Biology from the University of Cape Town, and a Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies from New York State University. For the past 13 years she has worked as a contract road ecologist on Road Mitigation Projects throughout North America, including Banff National Park, Montana, New York, Vermont, and Ontario.

Eric Gillespie’s opening statement outlined the reasons for the PECFN appeal of the project approval.  He mentioned that Ostrander Point was recognized by local, provincial and national and international organizations as the worst site for wind turbines.  Because of that and also since this is the first multiple witness appeal on environmental grounds, the case is precedent setting.  Ostrander Point is in the middle of the PEC South Shore Important Bird Area. Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner has recommended against using IBA’s for wind turbines development. It is a breeding area for 14 priority species as recognized by Partners in Flight and 19 Species at Risk.  Mr. Gillespie went over the list of  expert witnesses that he will call and gave a brief description of each of their area of expertise.

The public is invited to rejoin the hearing on Wednesday March 6 at 9:30 am in Sophiasburgh Town Hall, in Demorestville.

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