In 2011, Ms. Sarah Laurie attempted to testify at an ERD proceeding in Australia. During the testimony, Laurie admitted she was not an expert in the subject matter she was called to testify on, and qualified experts in additional testimony discredited her submission. But, this did not stop Laurie from submitting future testimony.

In a judgment released in December 2013 from an ERT in Ontario, Bovaird v. Director, Ministry of the Environment, Laurie’s evidence was rejected almost entirely. The remaining evidence was deemed biased and of low reliability.

Five pages in the judgment devoted to Laurie’s background determined:

  1. Ms. Laurie is not a doctor and must stop referring to herself as one, as part of an agreement with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), based on the outcome of an ethics complaint.
  2. She is not licensed or permitted to diagnose patients because she is deregistered and non-practicing. However, she has continued to diagnose people.
  3. Most of her planned testimony required her to diagnose patients.
  4. Ms. Laurie has no training in research methodology and design.
  5. Ms. Laurie is not a trained acoustician.
  6. Ms. Laurie has not performed a comprehensive literature review related to wind farms.

In summary, the Ontario ERT considered her a biased witness, and gave less weight to the evidence she submitted.

Also in 2013, the Ontario ERT prohibited Laurie as an expert witness in a case regarding the Adelaide project proposed by NextEra Energy Resources. She was rejected as a witness very early in the proceedings, after she admitted that she could no longer call herself a doctor.

Months later, Laurie was allowed to testify in a hearing for the BullCreek Wind Project in Alberta, Canada. Despite her earlier admission, she portrayed herself as a doctor. However, the commission gave its opinion on her competence, skills, and testimony, stating:

Dr. Laurie’s written evidence also included her interpretation and discussion of numerous published and unpublished epidemiological and acoustical reports and studies. In the Commission’s view, Dr. Laurie lacks the necessary skills, experience and training to comment on the interpretation of epidemiologic studies or the interpretation of acoustical studies and reports. The Commission gave little weight to this aspect of Dr. Laurie’s evidence.

Posted by Energy and Policy Institute