Members of the Haida Nation have strongly rejected a proposed business partnership with the company wanting to build an offshore wind farm in Hecate Strait.
In balloting conducted over the past two weekend, Haida citizens voted 505 to 181 against entering a partnership with Naikun Wind Energy, according to results posted on the Council of the Haida Nation website.
The Haida Development Corporation announced a memorandum of understanding back in 2009 for involvement in the project, contingent on a number of conditions, including an environmental review conducted by the Haida.
An independent review was generally favourable toward the project, suggesting it would have limited environmental effects and would create jobs and provide Haida Gwaii with greener electricity than that now produced by diesel generators.
However, many Haida remain concerned about the effect of offshore wind turbines on marine life and birds, as well as the financial risks of the huge project.
Although the wind farm plan has received federal and provincial government environmental approvals, Naikun has failed to win a contract with B.C. Hydro for the sale of electricity. As a result, in the past year or so, the company has been downsizing its operations and recently announced a move to smaller corporate offices in Vancouver.