An endangered species has won the power struggle over Ostrander Point as Ontario’s top court has ruled in favour of the Blanding’s turtle over turbines.
In a historic ruling the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned a provincial court decision in relation to the Renewable Energy Approval of Gilead Power’s nine turbine project.
Prince Edward County Field Naturalist President Myrna Wood.
Lawyer Eric Gillespie says this case represents the first time ever that the Environmental Review Tribunal said that their would be serious and irreversible harm to the Blanding’s Turtle and the Ontario Court of Appeal chose appropriately to uphold that decision.
Gillespie says Gilead now has a couple of options going forward one of them being to ask the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa to hear the case. He says there’s no automatic right to do that you need leave or permission from the Supreme Court.
Gillespie says the other way that this is definitely going to play out is the Environmental Review Tribunal has been asked by the Ontario Court of Appeal to hear some further submissions on what the solution to this situation should be.
Gillespie chuckled anyone who has ever been to Ostrander Point knows there’s all kinds of ways to get into the point and a a simple gate across a road isn’t going to stop people visiting that site. He says unless there is something completely new that nobody has heard of yet it would be somewhat certainly surprising to our clients if the ERT does anything different than what they originally decided.
PECFN member Cheryl Anderson says the naturalists are more than willing to show the Tribunal how putting gates on the very access roads, which will cause the irreversible harm, is no remedy at all.
The Ministry of Environment says it hasn’t decided how to proceed as of yet.
Gilead Power hasn’t responded to our requests for comment on whether or not they plan to ask for permission to escalate this to the Supreme Court of Canada.
To read the full judgement click here.