A 115-megawatt wind farm project in Arran-Elderslie “is going ahead,” the developer said, although one councillor called the turbines unwelcome “floppy monuments to government stupidity.”
Charles Edey, president of Leader Resources Services Corp., told council at a meeting in Chesley Monday that not only is Leader proceeding with the 46-turbine project near Arran Lake, it has also pooled $250,000 among seven other developers and manufacturers to fight an Arran-Elderslie bylaw – which uses a section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in a bid to control turbine development – and the municipality “all the way to the Supreme Court.”
“We will build resources, including capital and marketing materials, to challenge this bylaw and any similar bylaws passed in other municipalities including funds to support any legal challenge as a result of delayed issuance of building permits,” Edey said.
“That is not to be looked at as a threat, because it is not,” Edey told council and about a dozen wind energy opponents at the meeting. “We don’t believe going to court is a good use of resources, but if that’s what it takes to move the project forward, well . . .”
Edey said he believes council’s bylaw “is designed to be insurmountable.”
The bylaw, passed in May, calls for “the protection of life, liberty and security of person” under Section 7 of the Charter, claiming wind turbines cause serious health effects. The bylaw, circulated to all Ontario municipalities, has received the support of more than 40 municipalities to date.