Re It’s Not Over Yet; Group Prepares New Wind Farm Battle Tactics, C-J. April 5:
City councillors who voted for this so-called “compromise” have set Thunder Bay up for decades of problems.
By voting for an open-ended 45-year contract with a proven problem-child developer we can expect to be dealing with financial, environmental, planning and construction woes at every turn. This developer’s record with the city speaks for itself.
What is in the new agreement is shocking. It gives Horizon more towers than it ever asked, of unlimited heights, greater leased land and private access over a supposed easement.
But what is most worrying is what wasn’t in the City Solicitor Memorandum and proposed changes to the agreement.
The chronological history left out any mention of any of the public deputations, NMEPC open houses (councillors attended) or significant community concerns.
The financial implications was the smallest section in the memorandum and only spoke to the lawsuit. It failed to discuss liabilities for decommissioning, liability for construction before the renewable energy approval, possible lawsuits over improper land-taking (Loch Lomond Road) and loss of enjoyment.
The city as landowner will be responsible ultimately for activities on its land and should noise be greater than “modelled,” or blasting cause problems outside its property, it will be financially (and morally) liable.
There was no mention of how the city can justify taking a road easement across private property for the purpose of this private development. Easements are provided for specific purposes, not so the city can facilitate its own projects for its own gain.
There was no mention of a clear and well-defined dispute-resolution process. Given the problems so far, that should have been the first item in this agreement.
So the city has given Horizon complete and total control of up to 20,000 acres for up to 45 years to build turbines of unlimited height without any ability for the city to comment or influence the design.
Those councillors who voted yes should hang their heads in shame. The people of Thunder Bay deserve better – a better deal, a real compromise, a say in decisions.
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