The Municipality of Kincardine voted against the formation of an ad hoc committee to consider creating a mitigation reserve fund to address adverse impacts from wind turbines.
The controversial proposal was defeated at the June 6 meeting of council.
Councillor Jacqueline Faubert said the proposal was left intentionally vague so that councillors might decide on a course of action together.
That wasn’t enough for councillor Ken Craig, who said he disagreed with the idea.
“I do not believe the municipality is responsible for the economic impact of any development on the municipality,” he said. “I will not be supporting this because I think it is in the wrong spirit.”
Councillor Ron Coristine countered that “the wind industry is lacking in spirit,” and said he worried people have been misinformed about the effects of the energy source.
“The fact that it’s wind, we have this funny notion the turbines are green, and that’s wrong.”
Council members Maureen Couture and mayor Larry Kraemer took issue the proposal’s mention of “adverse effects.”
“That is really so wide open to me,” said Couture. “What adverse effects? I don’t support this at all.”
Kraemer said claims the wind turbines have had a negative impact have yet to be proven scientifically, and the proposal for an ad hoc committee suggests the municipality has more power over the wind industry than is actually true.
“It pre-supposes we have control over taxation of wind turbines, and we don’t,” Kraemer said.
Corisitine was not swayed by Kraemer’s reasoning.
“On one level, you might say we don’t have responsibility, but where are permits issued? Here,” he said. “I’m sorry for the argument this hasn’t been proven to the Nth degree. A lot of things haven’t been proven to the Nth degree. People are suffering.”
Faubert made a final plea for the idea of an ad hoc committee, and said simply forming one did not mean the municipality would be required to take any kind of action.
“Nothing is being decided here,” she said. “It’s the formation of a committee. In no way does it propose responsibility.”
The motion was ultimately defeated by council.
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