TORONTO, Sept. 8, 2015 /CNW/ - Ontario's Environmental Review Tribunal heard Friday for the first time that critical evidence concerning threatened or endangered species appears to have been concealed. Testifying at hearings, Joe Crowley, Provincial Species at Risk Specialist who reviews all reptile and amphibian recovery strategies, stated he raised concerns regarding a proposed industrial scale wind project. He advised no permit should be granted because the project roads would prove a risk to indigenous Blanding's Turtles. It appears this advice was ignored, as the government issued a permit allowing the developer to "kill, harm or harass" the threatened species. "Why did the McGuinty and later Premier Wynne's government apparently overrule their senior environmental reviewer?" asked Myrna Wood, Prince Edward County Field Naturalists' President. "How was this information concealed for so long?" asked Eric Gillespie, legal counsel. "This case went through Tribunal hearings, then appeals up to the Court of Appeal. The government must immediately explain why critical information seems to have been hidden." The ERT has halted the hearings and ordered certain Ministry witnesses to produce additional relevant records.
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