Trying to reach a settlement on wind turbines

Lawyer Eric Gillespie talks with residents at the Environmental Review Tribunal hearing on Wednesday.
Lawyer Eric Gillespie talks with residents at the Environmental Review Tribunal hearing on Wednesday.

A motion to adjourn an Environmental Review Tribunal hearing was dropped as lawyers for the two parties asked for time to resolve the issue of two wind turbines near a skydive facility in Wainfleet.
“Our client’s motion was to go ahead this morning,” said Skydive Burnaby lawyer Eric Gillespie Wednesday morning.
The hearing was convened after Skydive Burnaby owners Mike and Tara Pitt filed an appeal against Wainfleet Wind Energy Inc.’s project on Station Rd., which will see two wind turbines installed on land owned by the Loeffen family.
The Loeffens have partnered with Rankin Construction on the project, which will also see three more wind turbines installed to the northwest of Station Rd., off of Concession 1 in Wainfleet.
A stay was ordered on the two turbines on Station Rd. in late 2013, and construction halted until the hearing is completed. The two turbines are 1.5 kilometres to the west of the skydive facility, and Skydive Burnaby owners are worried the two will hurt their business.
Gillespie, of Eric K. Gillespie Corp., said before the hearing started, Scott Stoll, the lawyer from Aird & Berliss representing Wainfleet Wind Energy Inc., approached him.
The two lawyers were seen conferring in the back of the hearing room, the community room at Wainfleet’s fire hall on Park St.
When the hearing got underway, Stoll told hearing chair Dirk VanderBent he wanted the opportunity to spend a day trying to resolve the issue without the tribunal making a decision.
The hearing, in its sixth day, has already heard from expert witnesses for Skydive Burnaby, and witness testimony for Wainfleet Wind Energy was expected to start Wednesday.
VanderBent said he was glad to hear the two parties were going to explore avenues to put an end to the hearing.
“A number of new developments have taken place in the last day or two and as a result our client withdrew their motion,” said Gillespie, who was unable to say what those developments were due to confidentiality. “Our clients are open to having discussion … as is the wind company.”
Though the two parties were working to resolve the issue, the hearing will still reconvene Thursday (Jan. 16) at 10 a.m. with scheduled witnesses ready to testify. Witnesses are also scheduled for Friday if the lawyers are unable to reach a settlement.

A map of the wind turbine sites

Wainfleet Wind Energy Inc. maps by Dave Johnson

A copy of the stay motion

Environmental Review Tribunal decision regarding Wainfleet Wind Energy Inc.