Horizon Wind, First Nation remain at odds over wind farm project

An Ontario court has declined to intervene in the Big Thunder wind farm project, after Horizon Wind applied for a judicial review, saying court applications by Fort William First Nation against various government ministries had created confusion.
Fort William First Nation says an Ontario judge said in a Friday hearing that "Horizon Wind and the Ministry of Environment should not be asking the court to assess sufficiency of consultation when in dispute and that the ... consultations should resolve matters between the parties." (CBC)

An Ontario court has declined to intervene in the Big Thunder wind farm project, after Horizon Wind applied for a judicial review, saying court applications by Fort William First Nation against various government ministries had created confusion.

Horizon wanted the province to approve the project, but company director of Community and Public Affairs Kathleen MacKenzie said a judge on Friday decided not to issue any instructions to the Ministry of the Environment.

“The court didn't think it was appropriate for it to … step in at this point,” she said.

"The court elected not to order any action from the MOE — not further consultations, not an end to consultations. It just said it was not going to substitute its judgement for that of the ministry."

But Fort William First Nation said in a recent press release the divisional court judge in Toronto denied Horizon's request for immediate approval of the wind farm.

Fort William Chief Georjann Morriseau was not available Tuesday night for an interview with CBC News, and the MOE could not immediately be reached for comment.

The First Nation will be in court next month seeking an injunction to stop the project, pending consultations with the community.

But Horizon remains undeterred.

"We are going to continue to wait for the MOE to make a decision ... And we are expecting ultimate approval of the Big Thunder Wind Park,” MacKenzie said.

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