July 17, 2015
Hon. Glen Murray
77 Wellesley St W
Toronto ON M7A 2T5
I am writing you today to express considerable distress with the decision of your Ministry yesterday as it pertains to the White Pines wind turbine development that is planned for the South Shore of Prince Edward County.
You’ll recall that earlier in the year, I wrote to you about the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeals regarding another project planned for the same ecosystem and almost the exact same location in Prince Edward County. At that time, the Ontario Court of Appeals had ruled that the Environmental Review Tribunal was right to state that the project would cause serious and irreversible harm to the ecosystem.
During our exchange in the House you stated that you had an interest in protecting the biodiversity of the County and, when you said that, I took you at your word. Therefore, I find it hypocritical that the Ministry of Environment would grant approval to this project with one hand while, through another branch of the Ministry, convening an ERT to determine whether there is a potential remedy available to the serious and irreversible harm that it has already been acknowledged to be caused by these projects.
Given that the Environmental Review Tribunal may choose to set a precedent by ruling that there is no remedy available for the environmental harm that will be caused, it would therefore seem premature for the Ministry to grant yet another approval to a project in the same location.
The Ministry, in granting approval to White Pines has, outlined twenty-one conditions for approval. One of those conditions is for White Pines to follow avoidance techniques for the Blandings Turtle. However, until the Environmental Review Tribunal rules on whether a remedy to address irreversible harm is even possible on the South Shore of Prince Edward County, it is impossible for White Pines to know what those avoidance techniques are.
Therefore, I am requesting that the Ministry rescind approval for White Pines until such time as the Environmental Review Tribunal currently scheduled to review whether remedy is possible in the Gilead appeal, announces its findings. Because the ERT will establish a precedent this will allow both the people of the County and White Pines to know what measures, if any, are possible to protect the ecosystem on the South Shore.
Thank you for your attention in this matter.
Todd Smith, MPP