Meaford council has passed a resolution calling for a one-year moratorium on further industrial wind turbine development across Ontario.
Deputy Mayor Harley Greenfield brought the resolution forward to council at its regular meeting on February 27. The Deputy Mayor said the resolution originated from recent resolutions passed by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie.
Greenfield said he brought forward his own version of the industrial turbine resolution, because he didn’t support some elements of the versions circulated by the other entities.
The resolution stated: “The Council of The Municipality of Meaford does hereby support the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie and the other many municipalities across the province who share these concerns regarding the damaging and devastating repercussions within our communities, and hereby request the Premier to invoke an immediate moratorium of one year, with yearly extensions as required on the construction of Industrial Wind Turbines within the Province of Ontario until the concerns noted above are properly studied and addressed.”
The Deputy Mayor said there are numerous reasons to question the placement of industrial wind turbines in rural areas across Ontario. He cited issues like: insufficient setbacks from neighbouring homes, devaluation of properties near turbines and the destruction of precious wildlife habitats when the massive industrial towers are installed in sensitive areas.
The Deputy Mayor also referred to the “decimation of the rural landscape” and said the draconian Green Energy Act passed by the McGuinty government at Queen’s Park took away all municipal planning powers on industrial wind turbines.
“The province has unilaterally taken away the planning abilities of local municipalities. That is something I consider to be undemocratic,” said Greenfield.
The Deputy Mayor did note that he did not support the walk out on Premier McGuinty that occurred earlier in the day on February 27. At the Good Roads/ROMA convention at the Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto dozens of municipal representatives and local MPPs walked out on Premier McGuinty as he prepared to deliver a speech to the delegates at the convention. The walk out made headlines locally. The Premier announced later in the day on February 27 that his government is considering giving municipalities some say in where turbines are located in their communities.
“This resolution has nothing to do with the walk-out. That’s not something I agree with. I don’t agree with walking out on people or on issues,” said Greenfield.
Council passed the resolution unanimously with virtually no further debate. The resolution passed in a 5-0 vote. Councillors Deborah Young and Lynda Stephens were at the Good Roads/ROMA convention at the time of the meeting.
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