Anyone who has gone through a Tribunal Hearing such as the Environmental Review Tribunal or Ontario Municipal Board or any other Provincially created gaggle of legal degenerates all out to make loads of money off the “plight of the citizen due to anti-human legislation” will all agree they come out of these proceedings “not quite the same” as when they arrived!
To describe this “not quite the same” feeling they get may be called “jaded” or even worse, “violated” by the very people they pay hard earned tax dollars to support!
Here in all it’s gory details is the heartfelt description of what it’s like to sit inside a room filled with some of the worst individuals of humanity who feel that “doing their job is righteous” and above reproach.
How DEVOLVED have these “humans” become?………………….. you decide!
Our first presentation today at the NextEra Adelaide ERT hearing is Stephana Johnston. Stephana is 83. Just five years ago she spent 35 straight days campaigning as a Green Party candidate. Now, after a few years exposure to IWTs (Industrial Wind Turbines), she uses a walker and has virtually abandoned her home. She is present most days at this hearing and has testified at other hearings. She is to be a Presenter at this appeal.
Before we can start, NextEra’s John Terry voices a concern that a reporter has told him that Stephana has said that when the tribunal cuts her off… (and listening to this nonsense, I want to yell out – “Objecton! Hearsay!) and Esther cuts in, she’s angry, “I am sick and tired of people being shut down. Her story needs to be heard!”
And Stephana comes in – “That’s NOT what I said.”
The Chair says he will rethink what he said Friday – that perhaps he was not clear… the objection is not that you bring up health, but according to established practice, you must provide 10 years of medical records, and you haven’t.
She points out that she provided the records to the Ostrander Point ERT. They don’t share information so that doesn’t count.
Later, Esther realizes that Stephana could have had the records if the other side had askedfor it – but they never did, until now. It’s still a lawyer game played by lawyer rules and they aren’t going to cut us that much slack – especially on a presenter that they don’t want to hear.
And so it goes. And so it goes.
I don’t know how to deal with this. In one day we have three women giving three very different, meaningful and excellent presentations. I don’t have the skills to do them justice in a summary and I doubt many would read the long versions.
I can’t judge their legal significance, but as human documents, the stories need to be heard. Unfortunately, our stories are being told in a ‘legal’ setting. It isn’t about justice and it isn’t about human concerns. Their rhetoric to the contrary, It is really only about legalities. We are asking for some human respect but we are in the wrong place. We are dealing with lawyers – the Ministry of the Environment (what a joke!)lawyers, the NextEra lawyers and the lawyers who sit on the tribunal. Do they give up their humanity when they become lawyers? The other day, Stephana asked one of them during a break, “How can you do this?” and he replied, “It’s just a case.”
Exactly. For ALL of them, it’s just another case. It’s a game that pays well. Win, lose or draw – they still get paid.
There are rules. They get frustrated because we don’t follow the rules. We don’t even really know or understand the rules and we don’t really care. For us, it isn’t a game. For us, it’s our lives – ours and our families and friends and neighbours.
We challenge some of their witnesses – like NextEra Project Manager Ben Greenhouse: he has signed the witness statement saying that he has no interest in the outcome. Really. And he defends that position. If this project goes down, he’ll just move on to the next one. He doesn’t care. He works hard to make the project happen – he misleads landowners, but he doesn’t CARE… it’s just a job.
IT’S JUST A JOB.
IT’S JUST ANOTHER CASE.
AND JESUS WEPT…
And I’m holding back my own tears.
I try to cling to my humanity, but I feel it slipping away in the presence of these people. I am trying not to become filled with hatred. Some of these people have families and children. Do they really believe they can spend their days doing this and then go home and be decent parents – raise little humans? Should they be allowed to have children? Seriously? They don’t care about OUR children.
I come home after watching this all day – day after day – and I write these snotty reports about their shenanigans – and then I actually start to feel badly for them. I feel like a bully picking on fools – showing them up in their inhumanity.
I am spending my days in the presence of evil and I am trying to cling to my shredded humanity. I look for inspiration to people like today’s witnesses, like Harvey and Esther, like Bill Palmer. All these people give up their time to work for something that they actually believe in. Countless unpaid hours. In some cases it’s years of unpaid hours.
Witnesses like the Michaud family and Nikki Horton – people who are willing to stand up in public, repeatedly, and let a bunch of scumbag lawyers dissect their entire medical history in public – imply that they are just out for money in a lawsuit, or perhaps they are just out for the publicity.
But nothing personal, you understand. It’s just another case.
I watch these appeals unfold – I watch the lies and manipulation – I watch the tribunal throw us crumbs of fairness so that when our case is thrown out they can at least point to these crumbs and say, “But we bent over backwards to let them make their case.”
Then I come home and read that the ‘Harper’ government wants to spend $35 billion on fighter jets, and $2 billion on 100 tanks, and a few more billion on drones – and that’s just what I’ve heard about – and the schools and hospitals are doing fundraisers and bake sales due to funding shortages.
As evil goes, wind turbines are small potatoes, but we have to draw the line somewhere. At some point we have to fight back.
IWTs are important because this is the point where ordinary people are starting to fight back. IWTs are a rallying point.
One of Thursday’s witnesses made it clear (and I believe him) that the eagles are doing really well and probably won’t be much impacted by the turbines. I don’t care. The eagles are a symbol and a rallying point.
I don’t care about their stupid statistics and legalities. I want to live in a human world, not a corporate world, not a ‘legal’ world, not a political world.
OUR immediate fight is the turbines, but that is just the beginning. IWTs are just a symptom of a much bigger problem. NextEra and Kathleen Wynne and the Liberal Party and the lawyers are all just symptoms of the real problem.
The real problem is that our entire civilization is broken. Irrevocably. This is huge. We aren’t going to fix it with an election or a demonstration. There are interests out there that have all the power, all the money, and absolutely no humanity at all. They would rather take us all down than give up their wealth and power.
It’s almost too frightening to think about, isn’t it.
It’s 6am. I’ve been working on this for 3 hours now and I haven’t even started on Stephana’s testimony.
I’m going back to bed. I’ll try again later today.