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Legal fight to stop an Ontario wind farm begins in court

By Amanda Brodhagen,

The first round of a major court battle aimed at halting one of Ontario’s largest industrial wind farms began on Monday [Sept. 22].

A farm family near Goderich, Ont., Shawn and Tricia Drennan are asking the provincial court to stop the construction of a 140-turbine K2 wind project near their home. The Drennan’s want the court to grant an injunction against the ongoing construction of the turbines.

They make mention that Health Canada is currently conducting a study to examine the impact industrial wind turbine farms have on communities, specifically residents who live close to wind projects. The Drennan’s argue that the provincial government is treating rural communities like “guinea pigs” for the sake of creating green energy.

And other families agree with that sentiment. The Dixon and Ryan families, who are fighting another wind project near St. Columban, close to Seaforth, Ont., worry that  industrial turbines will harm their eight-year-old daughter who struggles with hearing hypersensitivity.

But the wind companies disagree, noting that stopping construction would cause serious financial woes, arguing that the projects underwent two years of planning and environmental assessment processes.

The Ontario Liberal government has been touting green energy since the Dalton McGuinty days, with Premier Kathleen Wynne championing the policy. But it’s a policy that isn’t well liked in rural Ontario, where the projects are being erected. Farmers and rural folk often picket and / or protest events where the Premier is present to vocalize their opposition to wind turbines. Recently, during the opening ceremonies of the International Plowing Match in Ivy, Ont., plowing match goers heckled the Liberal caucus during the parade portion of the event.

In an unrelated court case, the nine-turbine wind project near Picton, Ont., is being challenged in an Ontario court come December.

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