Category Archives: Ian Hanna Lawsuit
There are two cases going on right now in which municipalities or private citizens are trying to challenge the placement of wind turbines in Ontario. Both centre around health issues potentially caused by turbines, safe setback distances, and so on. In both cases, there are studies put forward that seem to suggest it is possible to be harmed by being too close to a wind turbine over a period of time. This is apart from the reams of anecdotal evidence from across Ontario suggesting the same thing.
What has the response been from the province? Firstly, they tried to make it impossible to challenge any turbine placement or the Green Energy Act, suggesting it was simply outside the jurisdiction of any individual or court. Perhaps McGuinty received some advice from Mubarak about how to “legally” ignore popular discontent.
Secondly, when faced with expert testimony, lawyers from the Ministry of the Environment and Suncor (aren’t those very strange bedfellows) tried to argue that experts were too biased to testify. In one case, this was because the expert was on the board of directors of a group that monitors wind turbine operations and questions whether they are safe. If a scientist finds that a particular technology is potentially unsafe and therefore joins a group dedicated to making sure it is only used in a safe fashion, I call that taking action based on the facts. If only more scientists did the same.
Those two arguments by the Ministry and Suncor completely ignore any possible health impacts of windmills . These efforts to stifle opposing viewpoints are typical of the McGuinty government, but they have no place in a democratic society.
Adam Shirley, London
February 3, 2011
By Jonathan Sher The London Free Press
Jan. 25, 2011
TORONTO – The fate of the billion-dollar wind industry and the future of green energy in Ontario may now rest in the hands of three divisional-court judges.
The province’s Green Energy Act was put to the test Monday before a panel of three Superior Court justices over a clash that has played out in many Ontario communities — are wind turbines a savior of the environment or a risk to human health to those who live in their shadow?
The stakes are huge: Dalton McGuinty has staked his political fortunes and the province’s economic future largely on building a green-energy industry.
But in court Monday. the case likely turned on fine points of law that left non-lawyers with glazed eye in the packed courtroom at Osgoode Hall.
The sum of those points is this: Did then-Environment Minister John Gerretsen over-step his authority when he recommended how far turbines should be from homes?
Lawyer Eric Gillespie, who is representing a Prince Edward County man challenging the Minister, laid out his case:
The Minister didn’t rely on medical advisors, instead using exerts in unrelated fields such as land use planning and acoustics.
The failure to consult doctors was a critical defect because medical professional are not sure if wind turbines cause harm to health. Read the rest of this entry
by Jonathan Sher, London Free Press
January 24th, 2011
A burgeoning billion-dollar industry and the political fortunes of Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals may turn on a legal challenge by a single man whose day in court arrives Monday.
Ian Hanna lives far away from the corridors of power in Queens Park and Bay Street in a century-old farmhouse on Big Island in Prince Edward County. But Monday he finds himself in the epicentre of a debate that could shape the economic future of the province and the political fate of the ruling Liberals.
It’s a fight over wind turbines that have been rising across Ontario with ever greater frequency, an industry the Liberal government has subsidized with plans to double its energy capacity in this year alone.
But those plans in Queens Park — really the heart of the Green Energy Act — were placed in judicial crosshairs 15 months ago. That’s when Hanna, 58, challenged a provision that creates a buffer of only 550 metres between turbines and homes. Read the rest of this entry
by Jonathan Sher, London Free Press
January 24th, 2011
Last week Free Press Reporter Jonathan Sher spoke with the Prince Edward County man who sought the judicial review, Ian Hanna, and his Toronto lawyer, Eric Gillespie. Below are excerpts of their conversation:
Q Prior to getting involved with wind turbines had you been involved with environmental issues or activism?
Hanna: No to both questions.
Q You never led petitions before, subscribed to newsletters on environmental issues or tried to interject yourself into public debate?
That’s absolutely correct.
Q What things attracted you to move to Big Island from the GTA?
The idea of a more rural atmosphere appealed to us. The openness, the stars, the birds. You have to come here sometime and walk outside on a summer’s afternoon. It’s just unbelievable.
Q What about adverse health effects of wind turbines?
People appear to be emotionally drained, unable to really function on a calm, natural basis. We know people can’t sleep properly at all when they are close to industrial wind turbines . . . They appeared to be very tortured by the effects.
Q Why did you continue to pursue the case even though your home and Big Island no longer in harm’s way?
Because it’s the right thing to do. I have three children who if I gave them nothing else . . . I think I at least gave them the strength or assisted them with gaining the strength to stand up for what they believe in and for what’s right. Read the rest of this entry
Sarnia Observer Sept 03, 2010
Sir: Re: The article “Opinion split on wind farms, mayor says” (The Observer, Aug. 28, 2010)
I attended the Green Breeze Energy public information meeting for the Brooke- Alvinston Wind Farm. Of the half-dozen or so wind proponent meetings I have been to, I would have to say that this was the worst meeting for actual information available.
Both the representatives from the wind company and the consultants (Stantec) were unable to answer very basic questions about their project, such as what the road setback distance was, what the noise levels would be or where the shadow flicker would fall. In fact, when they were questioned about the shadow flicker, the consultants response was, “We don’t have to give that information under the GEA anymore.” Comforting, eh? Read the rest of this entry
The real liability of industrial wind turbines has never been proven. Using comparables, here is a simple analysis of the situation:
If we become injured or ill we all look for a reason. If we can find a cause, then the owner of the cause becomes responsible (liable). That seems to be simple reasoning in law. In those cases, case law exists and will prevail.
But here is where the problem starts with industrial wind turbines, because of the new fangled term “green” that has been given to them. We do not look at the real problem here, and I don’t mean whether those things are really green or not. This is not the point at this time. We are discussing what happens if someone gets injured or becomes ill due to wind turbines. Then the question becomes, who is liable?
Currently, it seems to be fashionable to call anyone who claims illness from industrial turbines “a lunatic or crazy”. That can and will not last. It used to be fine to use DDT or asbestos. It used to be safe and fine to smoke in the presence of non-smokers. The court will decide otherwise regarding the health effects of industrial wind.
The industrial turbines that are being built are for the most part built by companies who lease the land from the landowner. The landowner has a contract in place with the industrial wind turbine company to lease the land to these companies to build turbines. If I get injured or ill because of turbines, then I have the right to start legal proceedings. My question is, why would I sue the industrial wind turbine company? After all, the wind turbine is only a tenant. It could be that proceedings should start against the landowner. Let him deal with his tenants. The landowner is liable for property taxes. We know that the wind company will compensate the landowner for property taxes, but the landowner has to make sure that they get paid. Therefore, it could be reasoned out that any legal proceedings should start with the landowner. Read the rest of this entry
Ian Hanna explains his legal challenge against the Ontario Government to a large group in Clinton, Ontario. This lawsuit challenges the fact that the Ontario government did not follow the precautionary principal when implementing the Green Energy Act’s wind turbine setbacks to rural homes. If successful it will stop current planned projects and force proper medical studies which we are confident will lead to set-backs of a minimum of 1.5 – 2KM. This will kill many projects plus perhaps force rectification/compensation for built projects.
Dr. Robert McMurtry MD FRCSC FACS speaks to a large gathering in Clinton, Ontario about the health issues that are arising in Ontario homes that are close to wind turbine developments. He stresses that a full independent epidemiological study is needed before these developments are installed, but unfortunately the Ontario government is trying not to listen, and people continue to become ill. The only recourse left is to take the provincial government to court: Support the Ian Hanna Lawsuit.
Last night we went to the Green Breeze Energy public info meeting for Zephyr Farm’s “Brooke-Alvinston Wind Farm”. It only takes a minute to acclimatized to a room full of wind reps… and make my blood boil. This company was only giving out Timbits at this event, which wasn’t very appetizing (do I really want to eat out of the same little box as them?!).
This project proposes 4 Samsung 2.5MW wind turbines (made in S. Korea), on property owned by one family. It is a fairly sparse populated block that it is located on, BUT, there are neighbours to it.
The project already has it’s OPA agreement under the old 11 cents/KWh agreement. They decided to keep this contract with the lower rate, because if they would have tried for the higher GEA rate, they would have lost their transmission line space….which is maxed out right now, hence no other projects moving forward just yet in this area.
Consultants were Stantec, and they didn’t want to talk about the ‘liens’ in Prince Edward County…at all. He wanted to talk about it later…somewhere else…where others wouldn’t hear, I presume. This Stantec rep was not very helpful, unfortunately. There was a poster on Noise- it had 3 paragraphs, and none of them made sense. First I thought maybe I just wasn’t ‘getting it’, and re-read it. Then I asked him, and his answers were “well, that’s a difficult question’, ‘well…it’s not really that number’, ‘I’m not really sure what the real number is’……*sigh*, this gets boring real fast. Read the rest of this entry
Public Information meeting in Clinton
Date: Thursday, Sept. 16
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Reach Centre, 169 Beech St., Clinton
Sponsored by CHAT and HEAT Wind Concerns Ontario groups. Read the rest of this entry
**(July 20, 2010 – Update)**
(Also see: Ontario Government: Fighting You – North Gower)
Tuesday July 13th saw our legal team assembled for another very important hearing in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice located at Osgoode Hall, in Toronto.
Convened for 10:00 AM in front of Madame Justice Swinton, three parties were represented at a Motion to Strike the evidence of Dr. Robert McMurtry, brought by the Attorney General of Ontario (AGO).
The AGO was represented by their attorney, The Canadian Wind Energy Association, as intervenors, were represented by their attorney and we were skillfully represented by our attorneys, Eric Gillespie and Julia Croome.
The Attorney General filed this motion to strike the affidavits provided by Dr. McMurtry on the basis that they were “irrelevant and inadmissible in a challenge to the validity of a regulation; they contain material that post-dates the public consultation process; Dr. McMurtry is not qualified to give expert advice; and the affidavits contain hearsay evidence.”
The outcome of this hearing was obviously extremely important to our case as a large part of it is built on evidence provided by Dr. Robert McMurtry. Eric Gillespie handled the arguments masterfully, citing a long list of case law in support of our positions in each of the arguments put forward by the Attorney General.
As requested by our team, Madame Justice Swinton declined to rule Dr. McMurtry’s evidence irrelevant or inadmissible. She declined to rule Dr. McMurtry unqualified as an expert witness and she also declined to strike any evidence due to hearsay considerations. Read the rest of this entry
Lawyer Eric Gillespie was one of the speakers in Alvinston last night. Please take a moment and watch the movie of him below- he clearly describes what the Ian Hanna lawsuit is, how it is progressing and what you can do to help.
Download the Ian Hanna Lawsuit- donation form
Below is a list of events that you may want to go to or tell others about. The Sydenham Wind Information Meeting should be very good, so please spread the word: all are welcome. It happens to be on the same day as the NextEra meeting in Forest, so unless you can coordinate really good, you may have to pick one or the other. Read the rest of this entry
A ‘cluster’? Yep…nice word, isn’t it, something like ‘receptor‘. Unfortunately, we are the ‘receptors‘ that will be surrounded by ‘clusters’ of wind turbines. That’s basically what it all sums up to. If you want a definition of a cluster and how it ties in with Wind turbines, check out this OPA presentation from May 19th, 2010. Or a more simplified explanation (I’m quoting a local resident here): Cluster: the OPA’s term for the wind companies getting all together – like snakes in a mating frenzy.
Now for some news on clusters. Lets take a look at FPL or NextEra or whatever you want to call them. The quiet kings of clusters. They are sneak attackers, and the sales reps are what I call cold fish. They are experts at giving zero information and caring just as much. They hurt people, force them out of their homes, and just turn and walk the other way with a ‘tough luck!’ attitude. Not exactly the type of people you want as your neighbours. Read the rest of this entry
How much would you pay to see the Green Energy Act struck down and wind development stopped in Ontario?
We are all waiting and wondering when we will be bombarded with wind turbines. Will the OPA approve the local projects? How quick and easy will it be for developers to get other approvals? We keep on hearing how the Green Energy Act will ‘streamline’ and ‘quicken’ the approvals process. And we sigh every time we dodge a bullet. So how many times can we make it through unscathed? Well, when I see wind farms (such as Harrow) going up as I write, it makes me worried…half a year ago these projects were in the same spot in approvals as us here in Adelaide. I can’t help but wonder how much longer we have before this ‘quick’ process takes us over.
SO…. this is what it boils downs to: the MOE is being dragged to court. How much would you pay to see the Green Energy Act struck down, and all wind projects stopped in their tracks? Please take that amount, print off the form below, write a cheque and send it to support the Ian Hanna Legal Fund. Better than that, print off 10 copies and hand it to other people who are looking for some way out of this mess.
*NOTE:* The Ian Hanna Lawsuit will STOP current planned projects and FORCE proper medical studies which we are confident will lead to set-backs of a minimum of 1.5 – 2KM. This will kill many projects plus perhaps force rectification/ compensation for built projects for ALL OF ONTARIO.