Brighton is throwing open an internal review of windmill policy to the public in a bid to test the attitudes of residents and stakeholders.
The municipality will host an open house session on June 11 to foster discussion about wind power.
The move follows public criticism of the municipality’s decision to place a moratorium on turbines.
Councillor Chuck Ward said the meeting would provide a cue to look at the potential for other “renewable energy” sources such as solar power.
A report issued last week said Ontario lags behind other jurisdictions in seeking to turn vanishing “blue collar jobs” into innovative “green collar” employment.
The study by labour groups concerned about layoffs and factory closures said: “Government has a leadership role to play providing policy frameworks, incentives and direct supports for the development of new green manufacturing and services.” Brighton is also expected to be able to draw on the experience of Niagara on the Lake after it emerged the western Ontario municipality once also had a moratorium in place.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association had singled out Brighton as the only municipality known to have a ban on small windmills.
But an official at the Niagara municipality confirmed that while they had passed a moratorium in response to a “large scale wind project” and made allowances for small turbines, the letter of the ban was very similar to Brightons.
Niagara has since given the green light to micro turbines in urban areas, small windmills with minimum setbacks, and requires permits for large projects.
by Eoin Callan
15 May 2008
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