Court of Appeal to hear Prince Edward County turtle case

The Ontario Court of Appeal has granted leave to hear the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists’ case for Blanding’s Turtles threatened by a wind energy project . This is the latest update from an ongoing legal battle over Prince Edward County’s south shore. The Court of Appeal will be deciding whether Ostrander Point GP can put a wind farm in endangered turtle habitat. This case will represent a landmark decision in Ontario environmental law.

“It’s unfortunate that this even needs to be an issue,” says Stephen Hazell, the executive director of Nature Canada. “It is of course laudable that the Ontario government is pushing for renewable energy development. But the fact is, these projects simply cannot be green if companies are destroying sensitive habitat and threatening endangered species in the process.”

Prince Edward County’s south shore is considered a “hot spot” for wildlife in the Eastern Lake Ontario Basin, and not just because of Blanding’s Turtle. The windy peninsula acts as a highway for migratory birds and bats. Naturalist groups are worried that wind development at this site will pose a major threat to migrating species, many of which are already at-risk.

“Developers need to be sent a message about listening to communities and siting wind farms responsibly,” says Hazell. “We are very pleased to hear that the Court of Appeal will give this case its day in court.”