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Wind farm developer cancels meetings

The developer of a proposed wind farm in St. Cyprien de Napierville cancelled two public meetings scheduled for yesterday, citing the possibility of violence.

“We would have preferred to meet the residents and present our project in a fully transparent way, but we have heard that certain people, who may not even be from St. Cyprien de Napierville, have decided to be present only to provoke others, and even engage in racist acts, furthering the potential for violence,” John Bud Morris, president of Kahnawake Sustainable Energies (KES), said in a statement.

Morris said the company, owned by the Kahnawake Economic Development Commission, made the decision after the municipality warned that tensions could get out of hand at the meeting.

St. Cyprien Mayor André Tremblay confirmed that he told organizers that emotions are running high over the project. “Sometimes people can get carried away,” he said.

KES has submitted a bid to Hydro-Québec for a $68-million wind farm in the community 45 kilometres south of Montreal. The project, which has not been approved by the utility, calls for eight 125-metre turbines to produce 24 megawatts of energy.

The mayor and the council are firmly opposed to the proposed wind farm. Opponents said the giant turbines would disfigure the landscape, lower real-estate values and disrupt wildlife.

In an email, Morris complained that a Gazette article inaccurately identified Continent 8, which would finance the wind project, as an online gaming company based on the Isle of Man. In fact, Continent 8 is an Internet gaming hosting service.

Morris added that the company plans to lay a complaint with the Quebec Press Council over a series of articles on the project in the Journal de Montréal, which he charged “were tainted with sensationalism that contains misleading and discriminatory information.”