Manvers Township residents opposed to a recently approved wind energy project near Bethany filed an appeal to the Province on Monday (Dec. 23), hours before the Dec. 24 deadline.
In an email on Tuesday morning, the group advised they and the Cham Shan Buddhist Temple filed the appeal in Toronto at 4 p.m. Monday.
Ward 16 Councillor Heather Stauble said there is a team that worked hard over the last few weeks to prepare the appeal, and much of that work was already done “because the community was prepared for the possibility the project would be approved.”
Coun. Stauble said when wpd Canada’s Sumac Ridge five wind turbines were approved earlier this month, the Province virtually ignored the 2,874 comments from the public opposing the project.
She said the deadline to appeal changed to Dec. 24, and the weekend’s severe ice storm that hammered the region has made filing its appeal in Toronto “challenging,” but confirmed it will be done.
The councillor added that given the number of people who submitted comments to the Province, “it would not look good at all if they don’t grant the appeal.”
Following the filing a request for an appeal, a Notice of a Preliminary Hearing date will be sent to every individual or organization who filed a comment with the Environmental Registry, Coun. Stauble said.
“Any individual or organization may then apply for status as a party, participant or presenter at the environmental tribunal anytime up to four days before the preliminary hearing date.”
In an email sent to her constituents, Coun. Stauble advised residents who live in the area and any individuals or organizations who have an interest can express their concerns at the tribunal. A lawyer is not necessary for this process.
She said there is no guarantee the group – headed by Manvers Wind Concerns – will win the appeal, but remains hopeful the multi-million dollar Cham Shan Buddhist Temple planned for the City may carry some weight.
The four temples, one in Cavan-Monaghan (almost completed) and three more planned in the City, is overseen by the Buddhist Association of Canada and represents a meditational pilgrimage that mirrors the same in China.
Coun. Stauble, noting the project could represent an investment of up to $100 million and is in jeopardy, as the Buddhists feel the wind turbines would have a negative impact on a temple promoting peaceful meditation.
“They have made it clear they will not build the remaining three temples” if the wind project goes forward, she said.
Coun. Stauble recalled a recent meeting with Minister Bob Chiarelli, also attended by local MPP Laurie Scott “where we were told there would be more discussion” before wind projects for the City were approved. Pointing to current legislation protecting the environmentally sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine, Coun. Stauble said by approving wind energy projects, the Province “is overriding its own legislation.”
She added this will be “a Christmas [the community] will never forget.”
In the email, Manvers Wind Concerns thanked everyone who interrupted their Christmas preparations and gave of their time to work on the appeal, saying, “We must stop this project…”
For those who would like to know more about the legal Appeal or would like to make a financial contribution, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://manverswindconcerns.wordpress.com.
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