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ERT: This isn’t a hearing

ERT: This isn’t a hearing

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Published by windactiongroup7801
Environemtnal Review Tribunal Hearing
Environemtnal Review Tribunal Hearing

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Published by: windactiongroup7801 on Oct 17, 2013
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05/15/2014

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OpeningStatementEstherWrightmanERTCase#13-102to13-104NextEraAdelaideWindProjectOct152013Thisisn’tahearing.Literally,theword“
hear
–ing.”Itmeans“listening.”IfIwastoldthatmytestimonywasnottobe‘heard,’2monthsago,Iwouldn’tbestandinghere.Diligently,Ibroughttogether11witnessesfortheEnvironmentalReviewTribunaltohear.Thiswasmyduty–todemonstratetothepanelhowthewindturbineswouldaffectthehealthandsafetyofmycommunity.Overhalfofthewitnesseswereexperts...Doctors,engineers,acousticians,appraisers...fromOntario,Michigan,NewYork,Chicago,Australia....Essentiallyallbut2ofthe11havebeen,orwillbe,eliminatedorseverelyrestrictedinwhattheyspeakto,bythislegalsystem.Andsoitisnolongera“hearing,”fortheobviousreasonthatthereisnownothingtohear.Ican’twrapmymindaroundhowthiscanbeagoodthingfordemocracy.After2andhalfmonthsoforganizingthisappeal,witnesses,schedules,statements,motionsetc.,Iamhavingtheseexpertschoppedofffrommyappeal,likealeghereandarmthere—removed,forreasonsnotgiven.OftheremainingmotionsthattheMOEandNextErahaveonme,Idon’texpecttobeabletowinthemeither,forthesame“ERTundisclosedreasons.”Fromhereon,Iwon’tparticipateinthe“motion”partofthishearinganymore.I’mdonewithit;it’safarce.Iwon’tforcemyremainingwitnessestobedegradedandhumiliatedinthismanner.Actually,I’mhandingoverthisboxofmotionstotheERT.Idon’twanttheminmyhome;Iamshockedbywhattheyrepresent.Almosttoopersonally,IrealizethatlikeaSLAPPsuit,thisishowtheproponentandthegovernmentchoosetowinanappeal:withintimidationandoverwhelmingactionsagainsttheappellants.Thatiswhatmostwouldcall“belowthebelt.”Whynotfaceme,it’sonlyme,andthecaseI’vebroughtforward?Whynotjustsitdownandlisten,ifthereasonistomakesure
allinformation
isheardsoaninformeddecisioncanbemade?Ihaven’tthetime,resourcesorwilltodothesameagainsttheMOEandNextEra.Icouldripaparttheirwitnessesjustthesame,butwhatsolutionwouldthatbetothis
 
problem–howwouldthatprotectmycommunityandwildlifeinmyhabitat?Mygoalwasn’tto
limit 
testimony;it’stohavetestimonyHEARD.WhatthishasshownmeisthatthereisnowayanaverageOntarioresidentcanfileanappealsuccessfully.Eveniftheyjumpthroughthemonthsofobstaclesplacedbeforethem,theywillstillbebroughtdownatthelasthurdle,whichwasformelastFriday.InordertoputallmyenergiesintothisappealIhadtostopworkingforthemonthsneeded.Ithoughtthiswouldbedo-able,worthwhile.Imean,thisismyhomeandmyfamily,it'swortheverything.Ithought,“Esther,youknowthisprojectinsideoutafterover4years.Youcandothis.Youhavetodothis.”Theburdenofproofwaslaidonme,toshow95%certaintythatthisprojectwillseriouslyharmsomeoneinthetownshipofAdelaideMetcalfe—proofbeforeithappens.SoItried,withwhatIbelievewasaverygoodshotatit.Wonderfulprofessionalsrecognizedmylackoffundsandofferedtohelp—helpnotjustme,buthelpthecommunityandhelptheERTpanelgraspthesituation.Butthenmotionswerethrownatme,equallybytheMOEandNextEra.(Amazingly,nonewerethesame!Howdidyouguysdothat,withoutoverlapping,withoutduplicating--withoutcollusion?SurelyyoubothhadthesameissueaboutMr.LansinkandMr.McCann.OraboutDr.Pierpont?OrWilliamPalmerandRickJames!)TothinkthatthewinddeveloperandtheMinistryofEnvironmentaresocloselylinked,beddedtogether,soastostrategicallydesignmotionstogether,againstcitizensfilingappeals,begsthequestion:Howlegalisthisforourgovernmenttodo?Asaresidentbringingforwardthisappeal,itappearedtosomethatmyapproachwaslike“sandinthewheelsofjustice.”IlaughedwhenIheardthis.“Maybe”,Ithought.Myun-lawyerlyconductcouldseemlikethegritofsandinsuchasmoothlyfunctioningsystem.WakinguponSundaymorningitoccurredtomethat,no,thisisn’tsoatall.Justiceisdefinedas“thequalityofbeingfairandreasonable.”Thisisn’tjusticethatIdisturbed!Notatall!Actually,it’stheopposite!Iwasaskingforjustice–wishingthattheERTwould“honorandrespectthequalityofbeingfairandreasonable.”Myobjections—whatwasperceivedtobemy“grit”—weredirectedatthemotionsandordersthatwereunjust.
 
“Ifalawisunjust,”wroteThomasJefferson,“amanisnotonlyrighttodisobey;heisobligatedtodoso.”Itwasn’tonlymewhofeltthestingfromthesemotions.Theexpertwitnesseswereappalled;theyhadneverknowngovernmentandlegislatorstoactinthisway.IquotefromChicagoAppraiserMr.MikeMcCann:“Thisisafirstforme.Ihavetestifiedatwellover100hearings,trials,depositions,committees,etc.,andhaveneverbeenbarred(orfailedtoqualify)...noteven1time.Denialoftherighttopresentexperttestimonyisimproperanddisturbingonmanylevels,notleastofwhichisthedeviationfromfundamentalprinciplesofdemocracy.”Mikewastospeaktohumanhabitatdestruction—somethinghecouldquantifybythestudiesheandBenLansinkhaveundertakeninWindprojectareas.ButtheERTcontinuedtorefertothistestimonyas“lossofpropertyvalue.”Idon’tevenOWNproperty!SohowcouldIbeappealingonpropertyvalueloss?Iwasspeakingto
humanhabitatloss
–Idon’tbelievethisisacomplicatedconcept–thathumanbeings,Homosapiens,haveahabitat.Thatpeoplearebeingforcedfromtheirhomes–theirhabitat.HowisthisanydifferentfromTURTLEhabitatloss?TheERTaccepts
that 
asareasontohaltaproject,buttheywon’tevenlistentoitforhumans?Mr.McGuintyseemedtounderstandthiswhenitcametogasplants,admitting,"InOakvilleandMississauga,wewerefacedwithacircumstancewheregasplantsweresitedrightnexttoschools,condominiumtowers,familyhomesandahospital.Thatwasn'tright."Wow!LetmerewordthisandseeifKathleenWynnecouldsayitthisway:"InAdelaide-Metcalfe,wearefacedwithacircumstancewherewindturbinesaretobesitedrightnexttoschools,farms,familyhomesandworkplaces.Thatisn’tright."It’sthesamehabitatdestruction.Infacttherewillbe11windturbineswithin2kmofmykids’school.Doesanyonewanttohearaboutthat?Ican’tbelievethenumberofbacksIhaveseenwhenaskingforhelpinprotectingthissensitiveenvironmentwhereourchildrenspendahugeportionoftheirdevelopingyears.I’llreadanexcerptfromaletterfromBillTucker,waybackin2009.“InmypositionasDirectorofEducationfortheThamesValleyDistrictSchoolBoardmymainresponsibilityisthesafetyofourstudents.TheproximityofAdelaideW.G.MacDonaldSchooltothisproposedprojectmakesitverymuchmyconcern.”AndsoitshouldbetheMOE’s,NextEra’sandtheERT’sconcernaswell.

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