Ontario Environment Minister Jim Bradley didn’t make it to a Lake Huron conference he was scheduled to speak at Friday in Grand Bend, but wind turbine protesters were there.
Marcelle Brooks, a member of the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group, said it was “unfortunate” Bradley cancelled his appearance at the event the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation held at the Oakwood Conference Centre.
A dozen or more people held signs and banners at the conference centre’s main entrance road.
“I’m sure he’ll get the message, either way,” Brooks said.
“We want to make darn sure they know we’re not going away. This issue is not a dead issue.”
Organizers of the conference said Bradley wasn’t able to attend because of a scheduling issue. That was confirmed by the Minister’s office.
Several wind projects are being built in the region, including NextEra Energy’s 92-turbine Jericho wind project in Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.
Brooks is assisting Bob Lewis in an appeal of the Ontario Environment Ministry’s approval of the Jericho project, with hearings before the province’s Environmental Review Tribunal scheduled to begin next week in Parkhill.
“We’ve summoned a witness that has settled an agreement with NextEra and Suncor because her family’s at risk,” Brooks said.
She added they’re scheduled to argue before the tribunal Tuesday that the witness should be allowed to testify at the hearings scheduled to begin Thursday.
“We have a very good case, on this,” she said.
Brooks said wind opponents hope testimony by the witness will show “that the wind proponents also agree that harm can occur, in certain situations.”
Construction of the Jericho wind project began shortly after the environmental approval was issued in April.