d.a.c.e.s. matter
For years, the citizens and the municipality of West Grey have opposed the installation of Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs) in their residential neighbourhoods and on valuable agricultural land.

Organized under the name “D.A.C.E.S. (DURHAM AREA CITIZENS FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES)”, these citizens, with the support of the municipality (which is a declared “non-willing host” for IWTs) have challenged a wind company from industrializing their community.

Casualties of industrial wind projects include endangered species of plants and wildlife.

West Grey is host to many such species and their habitat. Specifically, it is home to the habitat of an endangered fish species called Redside Dace (RSD).

When it came time for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to order NextEra to study the fish and its habitat, they told the company not to bother.

The citizens lost their Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT), just like 32 of the 33 other cases in Ontario.

The DACES filed for a Judicial Review, of the MNRF and its failure to force NextEra to comply with the requirements of the Endangered Species Act, as is required by law. (Judicial Review (JR) document)

The judicial review alleged that the MNRF failed to protect sensitive endangered species habitat from wind turbine construction in a protected area of Ontario.

• Primarily at issue was whether the Ontario Government, through its Ministry, allowed a for-profit corporation to “self-regulate” with regards to determining whether its construction activities would harm the habitat of an endangered species, the Redside Dace.

• Judgment was handed down on March 25, 2015. The Court dismissed the DACES Inc. application, on the grounds that the decision made by the MNRF did not constitute a “statutory power of decision,” which the Court could review judicially.

• DACES Inc. disagrees with this finding, as in our view, amongst other concerns, it appears to contradict the Mandate of the MNRF as stated by Premier Kathleen Wynne.

• Premier Kathleen Wynne, in her September 2014 Mandate Letter to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, wrote: Implementing the Endangered Species Act. I ask that you continue to implement the act in a way that protects and promotes the recovery of species at risk in Ontario.

• Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario (COSSARO) listed the Redside Dace as endangered in 2009 under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007. Redside Dace was assessed as endangered in Canada by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in April of 2007. The Redside Dace is currently being considered for listing as endangered under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA).

DACES is being forced to litigate against it’s own provincial Government because of their refusal to follow their own laws and listen to the voices of their own citizens.

Read Premier Kathleen Wynne Mandate Letter to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on September 2014, included the following directive: Implementing the Endangered Species Act