April 20, 2015
Hon. Glen Murray
77 Wellesley St W
Toronto ON M7A2T5
I am writing you today in the wake of the Ontario Court of Appeals ruling as it pertains to the case of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists and Ostrander Point GP Inc. Today, the Court of Appeals upheld the original decision by the Environmental Review Tribunal to deny approval to the project proposed by Ostrander Point GP Inc. In doing so, the Court held that the tribunal was right in its assessment that the project will cause serious and irreversible harm to the environment along the South shore of Prince Edward County :
“For the reasons that follow, I would allow the appeal in part. It would restore the Tribunal’s conclusion
that the project will cause serious and irreversible harm to the Blanding’s Turtle.”
Having served in the Legislature with the Minister for nearly four years, I am aware that the Minister views matters of the Environment as articles of personal faith. For that reason, I am appealing to the Minister’s environmental sensibilities in requesting that the Ministry no longer lend aid to Ostrander Point GP Inc. in its further attempts at appeal either through the Environmental Review Tribunal or through the courts. The court summed up the potential environmental impact of this project in its ruling:
“When considered in light of all the evidence, I am satisfied the Tribunal could reasonably accept the evidence of Ms. Gunson and Dr. Beaudry that the project would cause serious and irreversible harm without having specific numerical data on the turtle’s population size, the volume of traffic and the rate of mortality. I am also satisfied that the Tribunal’s reasons for accepting the opinions of these experts are intelligible, and its conclusion there would serious and irreversible harm falls within range of reasonable outcomes and should not be disturbed.”
I have written your predecessor, the Honourable Member from St. Catherines many times on this issue and was routinely ignored in my attempts to gain recognition for the efforts of the people of Prince Edward County to protect the environment and their homes from a project whose construction can only be considered destructive and damaging.
While the Minister and I may differ on our particular feelings about the Green Energy Act, surely we can agree that the placement of nine turbines is hardly worth the long term environmental damage it will cause to the ecosystem in Southern Prince Edward County.
Once again, Minister, I am not asking for preferential treatment or for you to exert whatever influence you have over potential further hearings before the Environmental Review Tribunal. I am asking that you remove Ministry assistance or aid in further appeals made by Ostrander Point GP Inc. The Ministry should not be aiding in the construction of a project that the overwhelming body of scientific evidence suggests will do serious and irreversible harm to the environment.
I know that were the Minister to look to his own deeply held beliefs, he would agree that the fight against climate change can succeed and thrive without this one particular nine turbine project that will likely do more harm to the environment than it can ever hope to mitigate.
Todd Smith, MPP