TORONTO, May 14, 2020 /CNW/ - Ontario's Divisional Court has ruled the Minister of the Environment has no ability to raise further issues when rulings made by the province's Environmental Review Tribunal ("ERT") contain alleged factual mistakes.
The Court decision reviews the Nation Rise industrial wind project located in North Stormont, near Ottawa. In December the Minister of the Environment set aside an ERT ruling based on serious concerns for endangered bat species identified by the Minister. Local residents had appealed the ERT ruling. The Minister identified further serious errors by the ERT. The Divisional Court has ruled the Minister has no authority to add issues not identified by private residents.
"This appears to leave the entire Province highly vulnerable. The Minister and Ministry of Environment with all of their resources can't protect our natural resources and species at risk. The only protection against these kinds of mistakes by the ERT is now in the hands of private citizens. We will very respectfully be asking the Court of Appeal to reconsider what seems to be a tremendous step backwards for environmental protection in Ontario", said Margaret Benke of the appellant Concerned Citizens of North Stormont ("CCNS").
In 2014, the Divisional Court made a similar ruling, allowing another major industrial wind project to proceed. That decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal and the project was ultimately denied on environmental grounds. "Our client will be requesting the Court of Appeal stop construction of this project, as it has previously done, based on the precedent already in place", said Eric Gillespie, legal counsel for CCNS.
SOURCE Eric K. Gillespie Professional Corporation
Renseignements: Eric Gillespie, Eric K. Gillespie Professional Corporation, Tel: 416-436-7473 (voice/text), Email: [email protected]