West Grey Council passed a resolution at Monday night’s meeting that they hope will stop the construction of NextEra’s wind energy farm and any other wind turbines that could be constructed within the municipality.
The resolution said that West Grey will not be a willing host to any further developments of wind turbines within West Grey. Two turbines, hooked up to the power grid and also providing energy for residences, have already been constructed within West Grey. The resolution demonstrated that council is concerned with the health issues, economic prosperity and quality of life for the residents of the municipality.
A group of those who are not in favour of the turbines, neighbours and residents, attended the meeting to hear the verdict that council would pass.
Before the motion was passed, councillor Don Marshall said future should hold some type of change to the way people are living with energy. He said that those who “sit back and just look at land values” are shortsighted. He said something needs to be done for the children of today and the future generations.
“I think throwing (this motion) into the gears and slowing green energy down will affect the kids,” he said.
Councillor Rob Thompson commented on Marshall’s statement saying that “Maybe it’s good in some places but not here for the quality of life within West Grey.”
Councillor Carol Lawrence asked for a recorded vote. In the end, council voted unanimously to pass the motion.
Following the passing, the audience members breathed a sight of relief and clapped in celebration of the motion.
“I said before how proud I am of our council and I am even more so right now at this moment in time,” said Martina Heyward, a neighbour to a proposed three turbines. “It’s fantastic. This is democracy. Finally.”
She said that she hoped that the motion would be an obstacle for the production. “Maybe we can be an example and we can reach out to other communities that are in the same position that are looking for the same resolution.”
Grant Patullo, a residence owner who will be affected by the turbines if they are constructed, said that he isn’t sure whether the motion will stop the production or not but he hopes that it will.
“It’s snowballing. Municipality after municipality is passing a similar resolution saying they are not willing hosts, that they don’t want them. I don’t’ see how the province can ignore rural Ontario any longer,” he said. “There’s further work to be done. We’re not going to stop working just because of this resolution, just in case the provincial government doesn’t take it seriously. So we’re going to continue to work with the landowners who have signed leases to assist them to help themselves free themselves of the leases.”
Councillor Carol Lawrence said that NextEra has had “no consultation with the municipality.” She said they haven’t received any information with NextEra and that all NextEra has is a FIT contract, a Feed-in Tariff approval.
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