NextEra Energy Canada is suing Middlesex County wind activist Esther Wrightman over altered company logos that appeared online and in videos posted to YouTube.
The Canadian subsidiary of Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources filed a statement of claim in the Ontario Superior Court in Toronto against Wrightman who has been actively opposing wind turbine projects in Middlesex and Lambton counties.
They include NextEra’s Adelaide wind farm near Wrightman’s home, as well as the company’s nearby Bornish and Jericho projects.
“Our policy is not to comment on pending legal action,” NextEra spokesperson Josie Hernandez said when contacted Monday. “We look forward to sharing our view on the matter with the court.”
The statement of claim says any damages NextEra recovers from the court action will be donated to United Way Canada.
According to NextEra’s statement of claim, a company logo was altered to say “Nexterror,” and appeared on a province anti-wind website, as well as videos posted online.
The allegations have not been proven in court.
“The offending material is deliberately used to adversely affect NextEra’s reputation and goodwill in the community, to generate opposition to NextEra’s projects and to other clean energy projects in Ontario and to increase the amounts of donations obtained through the websites,” the claim alleges.
Wrightman said no court dates have been set at this point, and she is defending herself.
“There’s enough people behind me that I can ask for help,” she said.
Wrightman, who received a cease and desist order from NextEra in March, said she was surprised the company decided to go to court.
“It really wasn’t that big of a deal, but now they’ve made it into one,” she said.
“I get upset because it is an attack on my freedom of expression, my freedom of speech.”
The company’s statement of claim says NextEra supports Wrightman’s speech rights, but describes her actions as “malicious and willful.”
“The defendant is able, and always has been able, to bring this proceeding to an end by ceasing to mutilate NextEra’s registered intellectual property and by ceasing to describe NextEra as a terrorist organization,” it states.
“In such case, she will remain able to advocate against NextEra’s projects based on her belief that they are damaging to her community.
“It is plain and obvious that NextEra’s approach is not that of a ‘terrorist’ organization.”
Click here to download Wrightman’s “Statement of Defence”. Examples of altered logo:
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