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Wind hearing hears turtle expert testimony

One of the top Blanding’s Turtle experts in the world is on the stand speaking about the impacts an industrial wind farm at Ostrander Point could have on the endangered species.

Dr. Frederic Beaudry is expressing his professional opinion in front of a packed Environmental Review Tribunal hearing in Demorestville that there is no solution other than to build the nine turbine farm away from the County’s south shore.

Four months ago the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned a provincial court decision on the Renewable Energy Approval of Gilead Power’s project stating it would harm the Blanding’s Turtle.

Gilead then chose to try and make its case for a wind farm back in front on the Environmental Review Tribunal.

Gilead is proposing is proposing two main elements. One would see land near but not directly adjoining the site to use that as potential habitat for the turtles.

The second is for the turtles that remain in the site boundaries, a gate would be built so people don’t drive on the new five kilometers of road that are being built throughout the site.

Speaking during a break Wednesday afternoon, Lawyer Eric Gillespie who represents the Field Naturalists says Dr. Beaudry has tried to present a balanced understanding of the issues.

Eric Gillespie

Gillespie expects to call Kari Gunson to the stand tomorrow. She has 17 years experience as a contract road ecologist on road mitigation projects throughout North America.

On Friday, Gilead Power and the Ministry of Environment will call expert witnesses.

Future hearing dates are likely and have been moved up to 9am.