Monday, January 14, 2013

A new twist on anti-wind litigation: the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Interesting article by Diane Saxe on anti-wind litigation at http://envirolaw.com/twist-antiwind-litigation-charter/.

Because of the social, environmental, and political importance of reducing carbon emissions and switching to renewable sources of energy, the Environmental Protection Act  in the Canadian province of Ontario requires wind opponents to show that a renewable energy project will cause serious harm to human health, or serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment. Every case to date in Ontario has failed to meet this threshold and one can sense desperation by anti-wind groups.

Accordingly, the latest anti-wind tactic is to claim that the threshold itself is unconstitutional, i.e. that anti-wind proponents have a right, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to stop all wind turbines within 2 km of their home, without having to prove the probability of harm. Diane Saxe, on her blog has provided a link to a Statement of Claim Filed November 14. 2012 between Drennan and K2 Wind - http://envirolaw.com/wp-content/uploads/Statement-of-Claim-Nov-14.-2012.pdf.

In the claim, Shawn and Trisha Drennan have requested $4 million CAD in damages plus an injunction to prevent K2 Wind Ontario Inc. from obtaining a renewable energy approval from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for its proposed wind farm in the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, Ontario. 90 local landowners have leased their land for the project. Mr. and Mrs. Drennan claim that constructing a wind farm within 2 km of their home will create a nuisance, make them ill, and reduce their property values.

An interlocutory injunction is scheduled to be heard on February 6, 2013 in Goderich, Ontario. Meanwhile, the province of Ontario is seeking summary judgment to dismiss the action.

Source: Diane Saxe, envirolaw.com

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