A group of La-Salle residents has launched a $10-million lawsuit against a local business that plans to install industrial wind turbines near their properties.
The lawsuit also seeks $1 million in punitive damages and an injunction to stop the project from moving forward, one of the plaintiffs, Tim Parent, said.
Parent said there are two others who are “considering joining the lawsuit,” and if they do, he expects “it will increase the amount sought by the lawsuit.”
The group’s Toronto-based lawyer Eric Gillespie filed the lawsuit against wind company River Canard Energy Inc. and Pajot Farms Ltd., the landowner, claiming residents fear their property values will decrease or they will be unable to sell because of the turbines’ proximity. Gillespie said in a news release the lawsuit follows “total frustration with River Canard Energy Inc. failing to respond to residents’ concerns regarding the projects.
“The expert evidence that will be presented clearly appears to support the conclusion that these and other homes within at minimum (two kilometres) of the proposed turbines will suffer significant losses,” Gillespie said.
The lawsuit’s claims have not been proven in court.
River Canard Energy is in the process of getting final approval from the province to install two 500kW turbines on property off Disputed Road. They would be the first industrial wind turbines in the municipality.
Officials with River Canard Energy have said the first proposed turbine could be approved as early as January 2013 and the second by February or March 2013 and that installation would begin shortly thereafter.
The company has hosted several public meetings since planning for the project began.
The lawsuit also takes aim at the provincial government’s handling of industrial wind turbine (IWT) proposals.
Gillespie said the claim follows “years of submitting comments and clear evidence to Ontario’s Liberal government. This includes the latest report by the auditor general, which heavily criticizes many aspects of the government’s approach to IWTs.
“The claim also responds to the Liberal government’s decision to ignore expert evidence.”
Spokesperson Micah Jarvis, an energy services manager for project consultants Mindscape Innovations, could not be reached for comment.
Earlier version published as: LaSalle residents seek $11 million, injunction against wind company
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