Wpd Sumac Ridge Wind Inc. (wpd) obtained a Renewable Energy
Approval (REA) for the construction of five industrial wind turbines and associated
infrastructure in the City. The roadway was the
"spine" of the project. Wpd brought an application for
judicial review the City's resolution arguing that the
City's conduct of the previous few years, culminating in and
evidenced by the resolution, left no doubt of the City's
opposition to and intention to prevent the construction of the
project. Wpd claimed that the City had deliberately frustrated the
REA and acted in bad faith in denying wpd the use of a roadway.
The City had participated throughout the REA process, vocalizing
its position against the project. Despite the City's knowledge
regarding the project's reliance on the road, the City did not
raise issue with its use until after the Province approved the
The court determined that the City's refusal was not a
"legitimate exercise of municipal jurisdiction over
roadways", and amounted to a collateral attack on the project.
Effectively, the City's refusal was intended to
"accomplish indirectly that which the City had been unable to
achieve directly through the [project approval] process". As a
result, the court quashed the City's decision, and ordered the
City to reconsider, in good faith, wpd's application to use the
road, as well as any future applications for municipal permits that
may arise relating to the project.
Municipalities have a right to voice the concerns of their
residents with regards to wind turbine projects, but they may not
frustrate approved projects when exercising their powers.
* Co-authored by Michael McDonald, an articling student at
Aird & Berlis LLP.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).