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Public meeting on wind farm

THUNDER BAY – At last night’s public meeting over the wind park, Videographer Alan Auld covered the event for NetNewsledger.com.

Both opponents and proponents of the project were on hand.

Auld’s report offers you a glimpse into the meeting.

Horizon Wind’s held their eighth Renewable Energy Application (REA) meeting at the Fort William Country Club Wednesday. The format to the open house was similar to Monday’s open house at the Blake Hall. There was no open forum however, people were allowed to speak one on one with Horizon staff. Many residents were surprised and frustrated with the format noting that the voice of one would not be heard. They felt their questions would be scattered and not answered in an official manner.

In attendance along with mostly opposers to the project were FWFN Chief Peter Collins, councillors and members of Fort William First Nation. Collins was not impressed with the new turbine locations telling project manager Nhung Nguyen some turbine locations on the new map are on FWFN property. He cited that although Horizon has been in contact with FWFN it doesn’t mean they’ve been consulted with. Horizon president Anthony Zwig has met with council on a few occasions however, Collins says the consultation process needs to be done directly with the members as well. A fifty year agreement signed in 2000 with the City of Thunder Bay gave FWFN the first right of refusal to purchase the land that is now being leased to Horizon.

Band councillor Leo Bannon Sr. told Netnewsledger that Horizon needs to meet with all 1,800 FWFN members not just the council. He also added “If they want to meet, we’ll meet. But, it’s never to late to protest”.

Zwig is planning to have a meeting between Horizon and FWFN in the near future. Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee members were told they would also have a meeting set up with Horizon officials. NMEPC officials are not holding their breath after Horizon cancelled their meeting the same day Windconcerns Ontario President John Laforet announced his visit to the city.

Horizon states that they are willing to meet with NMEPC but the last meeting was never confirmed. The company is seeking to get together at a time both parties can agree to.

Residents now have a few weeks to voice their concerns to the province regarding Horizon’s Renewable Energy Application.

For more information visit, Big Thunder Wind Power and Norwester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee.