STRATFORD – Perth County rejected a North Perth initiative Thursday and called for a moratorium on wind turbines until further impact studies have been completed.
County leaders still have questions about the provincially controlled wind turbines despite meeting with Environment Minister John Wilkinson earlier this month.
Warden Julie Behrns voted with the majority of council in opposing North Perth’s stand after council debated the issue yesterday.
Behrns’ position reflected the Western Wardens’ view that municipalities don’t want to get involved in hiring experts to deal with technical and health issues associated with turbines or assume liability in the event of mistakes.
Approvals and enforcement of turbine regulations should be in the hands of the province rather than municipalities, she suggested.
Councillors Meredith Schneider, Vince Judge and Bill French spoke in favour of a moratorium. Backing for North Perth’s resolution also came from Coun. Walter McKenzie.
“I feel we should have a lot more input in this field of planning,” said Schneider.
French acknowledged no projects have been approved as yet under the province’s latest regulations. Still, he supported putting a hold on projects until various issues are resolved.
“Let’s make sure they’ve got all their T’s crossed and I’s dotted so we aren’t left with the burden in our local municipalities,” he said.
Judge called on council to support North Perth’s appeal to the province, which he said would “put it on hold until at least we know what’s going on.”
“There’s too much confusion out there,” he said.
He cited projects in Arthur and in the Saugeen area.
Judge was not present for the presentation on wind turbines a couple of weeks ago by Wilkinson and a senior official from the MOE’s approvals office.
Councillors Ian Forrest and Bob McMillan expressed an opposing view.
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