As many are aware, in October 2009, with the support of a great many people, a major legal challenge was launched under my name to the Green Energy Act – specifically to the parts that deal with siting and setbacks of Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs) in relation to people’s homes.
This “Application for Judicial Review” seeks to have IWT development close to people placed on hold across Ontario until independent, epidemiological studies are completed to determine safe setbacks from places where people live.
As announced on April 28th by my attorney, Eric Gillespie, a hearing date of September 30, 2010 has now been confirmed with the Ontario Divisional Court.
On May 4th, we attended a very important hearing in the Divisional Court where a motion to allow the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) to be admitted to this application as a party was argued before Her Honour Madame Justice Swinton. CanWEA was seeking to be able to file evidence in this case and to be entitled to cross-examine witnesses etc. as a full party.
In response to such motions, the Court may grant full party status, deny it completely, or accept someone as a “Friend of the Court” (a “Friend of the Court” may make oral and written submissions at the hearing, but may not introduce any new evidence or cross-examine any witnesses).
We are pleased to report that CANWEA was not granted full party status. They were accepted as a “Friend of the Court”, a decision fully in accordance with our submission to the Court, meaning at the main hearing they will only have the ability to file a brief written argument and make brief oral submissions. They will not be permitted to file any evidence or cross examine any witnesses. This means that the schedule, which is in place, will not require alteration and should proceed as planned with the hearing on September 30th.
All in all, we are very pleased with the way things are unfolding and we consider the outcome of this past week’s hearing to be very much in our favour.
The overall significance of this case was also indicated by the presiding Judge who wrote “If the application succeeds, the members (of CanWEA) will no longer have an opportunity to obtain regulatory approval for the construction of new wind energy projects in Ontario, and the development of utility-scale wind projects in Ontario will be effectively halted for an indeterminate period of time.” This illustrates the importance of this legal challenge.
I will keep you posted, as much as is possible, as we move ahead towards the finish line in September.
We appreciate all of your support and generosity.
All the best
To donate, mail cheque made out to Wind Concerns Ontario:
105 Guildwood Pky
PO Box 11059
Scarborough, ON M1E 1N0
cheque made out to APPEC Legal Fund or IWTB Legal Challenge Fund:
Ian Hanna Fund
Milford On K0K 2P0