Members of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh (ACW) Council have been left with “bad vibrations” following last-minute correspondence with the Ministry of the Environment (MOE).
After accepting an invitation to a focus group session to hear the latest findings in the wind turbine noise debate, councillors learned that the MOE has chosen to invite only 15 participants. Council was asked to select one member to attend the session, which left many members in the dark.
“I saw Carol Mitchell on The A Channel with [Energy Minister Dwight Duncan], and he said basically ‘We’re hands off, the local level can deal with it’,” said Coun. Barry Millian. “Now they say we can only send one representative? We’ve tried hard to be fair, honest and to understand all of this. It’s a very controversial issue and I don’t think just one person wants to be responsible.”
Coun. Doug Miller agreed with Millian, saying that it was “too big an issue for one person’s shoulders.”
In March 2007, the MOE initiated a review of its noise policy for wind turbines. To support the review, the ministry retained a noise expert to review recent findings relating to noise impacts, including a 2006 dissertation by Van den Berg. Attendees at this first session on Oct. 15 in Toronto will hear the first draft findings, as well as ask questions and offer feedback on the draft.
“We rely on experts to give us the information, and I think that it’s only fair we all be able to hear it,” said Millian. “I say all [of us go] or none.”
“I can see if they say only one person can take part in the forum part and ask questions, but we should all be able to be there to listen,” added Reeve Ben VanDiepenbeek.
Council agreed to contact the MOE stating that they are not at all pleased with the one-person limit, and ask for consideration to allow four councillors from the municipality to attend.
“It seems like they have a predetermined outcome in mind,” said Van Diepenbeek. “It’s the MOE. They very well may say no to four.”
As of Oct. 4, council learned that two members will be permitted to attend the session. councillors Millian and Carl Sloetjes will be in attendance on Oct. 15.
By Dominique Milburn
10 October 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding