FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2015
(QUEEN’S PARK) – Two weeks after a Ministry of Natural Resources expert’s testimony made waves at the ERT hearing in Demorestville, the ripples finally made it to Queen’s Park. Joe Crowley’s testimony that, as the expert herpetologist employed by the Ministry of Natural Resources, he recommended against issuing a Kill, Harm and Harass Permit for Ostrander point was raised by Prince Edward-Hastings MPP, Todd Smith.
“Joe Crowley is your species-at-risk expert who testified less than two weeks ago at an Environmental Review Tribunal that he recommended against issuing a permit for wind turbines to kill, harm and harass endangered turtles on the South Shore of Prince Edward County.” Smith charged to the Minister. “You issued the permit anyway.”
Smith has long believed that the Ministry was making the decision about what wind turbine projects were built on a pure political basis but says that Crowley’s testimony confirms that the government has intentionally made political rather than scientific decisions with regard to species-at-risk when it comes to wind turbines. The Ministry killed a project in the riding of the current Natural Resources Minister that faced similar scientific obstacles as the one planned for the South Shore.
“Will the Minister, overturn the anti-scientific decision that was made in spite of the advice of his Ministry’s own species-at-risk expert and revoke the permit it gave to Gilead Power for the Ostrander Point project?” Smith demanded.
The project is currently before the Environmental Review Tribunal after an Ontario Court of Appeal ruled this year that the project would cause serious and irreversible harm to the ecosystem on the County’s South Shore.
“The County doesn’t want this project. Conservation and environmental groups don’t want it and the Ministry’s own expert recommended against it ever being approved.” Smith concluded. “Apparently, no one outside the Liberal Cabinet Office thinks this project is a good idea.”
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