Members of Grey County council are divided on whether or not to send Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty a message by walking out of one of his upcoming speeches.
County council at its regular meeting on February 7 endorsed a resolution from Bruce County municipality Arran-Elderslie that calls on rural representatives to walk out on the Premier when he ascends the stage to address the annual Good Roads Conference at the end of February at the Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto.
The resolution from Arran-Elderslie was circulated to municipalities around the province recently. It calls for a moratorium on industrial wind turbine development until the health effects can be studied independently.
If the Premier doesn’t grant the moratorium, the resolution calls for supportive members of local councils to walk out on the Premier at Good Roads.
Not surprisingly, the resolution was controversial at county council. It passed in a very tight 47-43 vote.
After the resolution passed, Owen Sound Mayor Deborah Haswell immediately declared that she would not participate in any mass walk out on the Premier.
“I will not participate. To solve our issues we need to stay in the room and discuss them,” said Haswell.
Warden Duncan McKinlay pointed out the obvious, when he noted that despite the resolution passing, members of county council were not compelled to walk out on the Premier.
“I think it’s outside the realm of county council to govern the actions of any individual members in a public place,” said the Warden.
After the meeting Grey Highlands Deputy Mayor Paul McQueen said the walkout on the Premier was meant to show the Premier rural Ontario is upset. Grey Highlands council supported the resolution.
“It’s to send a message. In rural Ontario, how do you get his attention?” McQueen said.
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