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Windmill concerns take centre stage at Lambton Shores council; Council agree to moratorium  

Credit:  By Lynda Hillman-Rapley, www.lakeshoreadvance.com 16 August 2011 ~~

Michael Mahood and Marcelle Brooks attended council last week to discuss the concerns of Lambton Shores wind farms. In their delegation they said two significant industrial wind projects have recently been approved by the provincial government for Lambton Shores: the Jericho Wind Energy Centre by NextEra Energy Canada ULC, and the Cedar Point Wind Project – Phase II by Suncor Energy Products Inc.

“Combined, these projects will see approximately 250 industrial wind turbines erected within our municipal boundaries, and hundreds more just beyond,” said Brooks.

“We represent a group of concerned Lambton Shores residents who are asking for support from this council in way of a resolution,” she said. They are asking two requests of the Ontario government;

“1. That the province place a moratorium on further development of wind projects until independent third party health studies have been conducted; and 2. The restoration of local planning powers to all municipalities.”

Brooks said that over the past 12 months they have sought to become more educated about the benefits and the negative aspects of these developments by attending several proponents’ open houses, attending information meetings with highly qualified guest speakers, and undertaking many

hours of personal research. They have also spoken with several people who are experiencing

the adverse effects from the turbines currently operating in this community.

“More and more, people are concerned about the long term affects these installations will have

and are seeking to become better informed of the true costs to the environment, tourism,

agricultural land, property values, and the health and safety of both our livestock and ourselves.

In an effort to bring to council the most up-to-date information on these issues, we have

included several significant documents for your reference,” said information in a letter from this group adding,

“Although the Green Energy Act, 2009 has removed land use regulatory powers such as Official Plans, Zoning and other related instruments which were granted to the municipalities by the

Province by way of the Ontario Planning Act, wind energy proponents must still consult with

Municipalities on matters related to servicing and infrastructure provisions.”

Brooks said currently, over 76 municipal councils in Ontario have enacted by-laws, passed resolutions and formed alliances to protect the municipality from the liabilities associated with the installation of

these projects such as fire protection services, including high angle rescue and the decommissioning of the turbines. Many of our neighbouring municipalities are included in this number: Adelaide-Metcalf, Bluewater, North Middlesex, Plympton-Wyoming, St. Clair Township, Warwick-Watford, Dawn-Euphemia, Huron East, and Huron county.”

Councilor John Russell said he would like to see this come to a resolution. I support green power- but do not support the way the Liberals have taken away the power.” He said they (present government) were fine with rescinding towers on the water because of the esthetics but won’t do anything about getting rid of them when there are health issues. He said many politicians; once they get to Toronto forget where they came from. “We need to support this in principle and get a further report to see how we can deal with these issues.

Councilor Martin Underwood said it is unreasonable to ask for moratoriums on green energy. “Are we yelling a clouds—are we are talking about everyone-some people are okay with it as this is an income. Our rights were taken away as to where they are placed but to take away incomes-that is irresponsible,” he said.

Councilor Doug Cook said the moratorium is for the health issues.

Councilor Lorie Scott said Green energy is a good thing but “I don’t think they know what they are doing and what about the consequences. What if we have 200- and then something goes wrong? They can’t just look beautiful –we can’t put vines on them to hide them- if there is a problem-who will take them down and I am hearing they are only good for 20 years.”

Councilor Doug Bonesteel feels this is not even about windmills-but rather economics. “I am in full support of a moratorium. Without a moratorium- we are being foolish. We are not banning them – we just need more info.”

Russell explained that the former council had passed a policy to support economic development- for farms. “That is not the issue –the issue is the health and where they are and how we live.”

Underwood said the issue before them is not the moratorium. This is not the first place that will have windmills… it is not a moratorium we want. What we should be asking for is more control. It is reasonable to get back our power not a moratorium. ”

The resolution states:

“A resolution requesting that the province of Ontario declare a moratorium on the construction of industrial wind turbines (iwt’s) until science-based and peer reviewed regulations that ensure public health and well-being have been implemented and that the province restore local planning powers to the municipality regarding renewable energy projects.”

The motion did pass in a recorded vote; Martin Underwood voted against, Ruth Illman was not present and Deputy Mayor Elizabeth Davis Dagg declared a conflict of interest due the fact her family has windmills.

[rest of article available at source]
Source:  By Lynda Hillman-Rapley, www.lakeshoreadvance.com 16 August 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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