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Legal challenge against wind turbines moves forward with appeal  

Credit:  Don Crosby, Sun Times correspondent, www.owensoundsuntimes.com 20 March 2011 ~~

Lawyers for Prince Edward County resident Ian Hanna will seek leave to appeal the recent Divisional Court decision in his application for judicial review of provisions of the Green Energy Act.

Hanna is behind one of Ontario’s most important legal challenges to the Canadian wind industry. The challenge revolves around the lack of scientific evidence that the legislated 550 metre setback between industrial wind turbines and residences protects human health.

Recently the Divisional Court of Ontario ruled against Hanna arguing that people concerned about the effects of wind turbines should take their case to the province’s Environmental Review Tribunal

Hanna’s decision to seek leave to appeal is based on a fundamental concern that the standard of proof and adequacy of evidence submitted by the minister of the environment is the issue, said Hanna’s lawyer in a recent media release.

The review of the evidence of the environment minister shows a complete absence of reports from any medical experts. Although the minister included scientific references, no actual medical advice was sought and none was accepted.

Gillespie will argue that the minister failed to show precaution or evidence that human health issues were assessed prior to the setbacks being established.

As part of his application, Hanna has filed evidence of medical doctors from Canada, the United States and England who have identified numerous risks to human health when wind turbines are located too close to human habitation.

The Ian Hanna case has been a rallying cry for communities who believe that the process introduced by the Ontario government surrounding industrial wind turbines is broken.

It is expected that the Ontario Court of Appeal will rule on the motion for leave to appeal later this year.

Meanwhile Wind Concerns Meaford, a grass roots group, is organizing a speaking engagement with Hanna, his lawyer Eric Gillespie, University of Toronto professor Michael Trebilcock as well as realtor Mike McMurray and Tom Adams.

Hanna will talk about what led him to challenge the processes involved in determining the setbacks of wind turbines. Gillespie will discuss the legal issues and options available to municipalities with regard to the Green Energy Act.

Trebilcock, who is chairman of law and economics at the University of Toronto, will speak about the effect of renewable energy policies on electricity prices in Ontario, employment in Ontario and the environment.

As well Tom Adams an independent energy advisor and former executive director of Energy Probe will review the impact of renewable energy on power systems, reliability and the consumer.

McMurray, a realtor from Flesherton, will discuss the effects of wind turbines on property values.

The speaking event is on April 9 at Meaford Hall starting at 3 p.m. Tickets are $5.65 and available at the hall.

[rest of article available at source]

Source:  Don Crosby, Sun Times correspondent, www.owensoundsuntimes.com 20 March 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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