Asphodel-Norwood – Council here wants Queen’s Park to put in place a one-year moratorium on the construction of industrial wind turbines in the province.
Council last week joined a growing list of municipalities supporting the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie’s resolution calling on the province to “invoke an immediate moratorium” until concerns about the impact of wind farms on human health, property values, the rural landscape and wildlife habitats have been addressed.
Township resident Debbie Lynch presented the resolution to council and asked for the municipality’s support. “It’s imperative to act immediately because of the upcoming ROMA (Rural Ontario Municipal Association) conference,” she said, reading a list of about 10 municipalities that have already supported Arran-Elderslie’s Jan. 23 resolution.
Lynch said she asked for council’s support knowing the municipality has in the past supported “the call for a moratorium on the construction of industrial wind turbines until questions such as health concerns of people living in proximity to the industrial wind turbines, proper setbacks of industrial wind turbines, devaluation of neighbouring properties, decimation of the rural landscape, and destruction of wildlife habitats are properly studied and addressed.”
In 2010 Asphodel-Norwood council passed its own symbolic moratorium on the construction of wind turbines in the municipality. “We just wanted to make a statement that we are not happy about what’s going on,” Mayor Doug Pearcy said at the time.
Now Arran-Elderslie, Asphodel-Norwood and other municipalities concerned about “the damaging and devastating repercussions” of wind turbines in their communities are increasing the pressure on the province to reconsider its wind energy policies.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), while supporting the intentions of the province’s Green Energy Act, is also calling the spread of industrial wind turbines across rural Ontario “untenable,” and arguing that their proliferation “has seriously polarized our rural communities.”
An OFA position paper said “the expansion of Ontario’s dependence on wind turbines as a source of energy has been shown to be inefficient” and costly.
The OFA is also siding with municipalities and arguing that amendments to the Planning Act under the authority of the Green Energy Act have not resulted in good planning. “Removal of municipal input into industrial wind turbine projects has alienated the rural population and ignored competing community needs and policies. It is not appropriate to take the decision role entirely outside the hands of municipalities.”
Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal told council that concerns about industrial wind turbines are being considered in a mandatory review of the the Green Energy Act that will be completed by the end of February or the beginning of March.
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