The move to “Unite the Fight” has advanced another step. Three local wind

groups, SWEAR (Safe Wind Energy for All Residents), HEAT (Huron East

Against Turbines) and HALT (Huron-Kinloss Against Lakeside Turbines)

have announced that on Monday, June 9 , the Falconer law firm

successfully argued to have their Divisional Court appeals co-joined. The

groups have been fighting against the construction of wind farms near

Goderich, St. Columban and Kincardine respectively. Dates to hear this

appeal have been set for November 17, 18 and 19, 2014. Falconers LLP is

also seeking a date for a co-joined stay of the K2, St. Columban and Armow

wind projects prior to the appeal in November.

The question arose at the March 1, 2013 Superior Court SWEAR

(representing Shawn & Trish Drennan) hearing as to the ability of the

Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) to hear a question on the Canadian

Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”) and how the Green Energy

and Economy Act and “level of harm” apply. Justice Duncan Grace stayed

the proceeding until such time as a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) was

granted for the K2 Wind project and an opportunity to appeal to the ERT

presented itself. SWEAR was represented by Julian Falconer, a prominent

human rights and constitutional lawyer.

Project approvals were granted by the Ministry of the Environment for the

K2, St. Columban and Armow wind farms. As directed by Justice Grace,

ERT appeals for all three approvals were filed. They were each heard by the

tribunal and denied.

“It is important to note that not all of the constitutional issues were allowed

in at the hearings”, explains Dave Hemingway, president of SWEAR.

“Justice Grace gave us a right of appeal to the Divisional Court on a

question of law if there was not a proper airing of the constitutional issues at

the ERT level. We have followed that course of action and are happy to be

joining forces with HEAT and HALT as we move forward.”

“The work of putting this case together has been ongoing since May 2011.

A substantial record of evidence has been created to date. We are moving

forward.” states Shawn Drennan.

Gerry Ryan, president of HEAT, commented that “at the heart of the lawsuit

is a challenge under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If this

Charter Challenge is successful, it will set a precedent and will assist all

appeals and legal challenges going forward. Others can then raise the same

issues and seek the same relief. Communities which are dealing with

existing projects could also receive benefit.”

“This action has the potential to shift the burden of proof from the need to

prove direct serious harm to human health to the need to prove the

possibility of harm, a much lower and more reasonable threshold” says

Kevin McKee, president of HALT.

Hemingway adds that there is a broader public interest being served. “It has

taken time to educate the public to what is happening but the understanding

is now clearly there. This case is for the people of Ontario. The government

says that massive industrial wind turbine developments are safe. We, the

people, are holding them accountable. The Charter is the government’s

promise to every man, woman and child in Canada, guaranteeing that we

will have security to conduct our affairs and lives in relative peace. The

government of Ontario did not exercise due diligence when crafting the

Green Energy and Economy Act. A very heavy handed approach was used.

Ontario citizens should not take kindly to this type of governance.”

Groups from across the province have and continue to come together to

support this Charter Challenge. SWEAR, HALT & HEAT report that they

have been successful in their fundraising to date. They note that they have

come a long way and they want to keep going – right to the Supreme Court

of Canada if necessary. The groups express thanks to all who have

supported them in the past. Members of the public can get more information

or donate to this action by contacting one of the following:

Dave Hemingway: 519-482-7005

Gerry Ryan: 519-345-2620

Kevin McKee: 519-396-8110


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