As you may have seen in the news media Ian Hanna and his legal team have decided to ask leave to appeal the divisional court decision on Ontario’s Green Energy Act; the judges’ decision was that citizens concerned about setbacks (Ontario claims 550 meter setbacks are adequate) should take their case to the Environmental Review Tribunal. While in fact this decision then granted the tribunals more power than it is thought they had before, the decision also ignored key points of the challenge, the Hanna team says, particularly the fact that Ontario did not have proper medical or scientific evidence in determining the setback.
A decision on whether the appeal will be allowed, will come later this year. (Probably after the election.)
In other news, a Liberal Cabinet minister appears to have “blinked.” As you may have read here and elsewere, now more than 70 Ontario municipalities have passed a motion, a resolution or a bylaw related to the Green Energy Act, ranging from requesting independent health and economic studies to requesting a moratorium on industrial wind turbine development until more information is available, to an outright statement that building permits will NOT be issued for turbine projects that do not meet the municipality’s own requirements.
In a report in the Seaforth Expositor Huron East Against Turbines member Gerry Ryan says that in a meeting with MPP Carol Mitchell (long known for toeing the party line on “coal is killing people” and “jobs jobs jobs”) told him in a meeting that municipalities have the power to ask for setbacks, as Ashfield Colborne Wawanosh did in asking for a 2,000 meter setback.
This is a surprise.
Up to now, many councillors across the province have refused to act, saying there was no point when the Green Energy Act would overrule them anyway. And the municipalites’ own counsel was advising them of that.
So, who’s right? Allowing municipalities some say in controlling development for their own citizens would be…democracy!!!!
The full news story is worth a read especially because of the account of some games being played by the wind developers—in one instance they claimed that a meeting with Kristi Ross, environmental lawyer with Fogler Rubinoff and acting for the community wind opposition group, actually constituted a “public” meeting.