WAINFLEET – Industrial wind turbines and the Green Energy Act could be a provincial election issue in rural municipalities – and the New Democrats need figure out where they stand, says Betty Konc.
The Wainfleet alderman said the NDP really to “get their heads out of their butts.”
She said she expressed that during a recent meeting with Welland MPP Cindy Forster.
Konc, and Cam Pritchard, co-chair of West Lincoln Wind Action Group, recently met with Forster to talk about turbines.
Wainfleet and West Lincoln are both facing industrial wind turbine farms through Niagara Region Wind Corp. and IPC Energy and residents in both communities have expressed concerns that include possible property devaluation and health effects caused by the giant windmills.
Konc told Forster her party’s environment critic, Peter Taubuns, needs to do more research into wind turbines before making comments in the provincial legislature.
Earlier this year, Konc, with Wainfleet Mayor April and Jeffs and Ald. Ted Hessels, made a trip to Queen’s Park to hear a reading of a private member’s bill to give back municipalities decision-making control that was lost because of the Green Energy Act when it comes to green projects.
She said the meeting with Forster was good, as she relayed her concerns about the NDP and its stance, and felt that at the end of the conversation tthe MPP knew where she stood and why Wainfleet has done what it’s done.
Wainfleet council has passed a moratorium on industrial wind turbines in the township, although the Green Energy Act overrides that moratorium. Council also passed a bylaw calling for turbines to have a two-kilometre setback from residential properties. That bylaw is being challenged in court and the township is facing a lawsuit because of it.
Konc was hopeful Forster would take concerns to the NDP caucus.
Pritchard said he’s spoken with provincial Conservative leader Tim Hudak on the wind turbine issue, but it was the first time he’d met with an NDP MPP.
“I found her (Forster) to be very open to what we had to say. It sounded like she had concerns of her own about where the NDP was going with the Green Energy Act. I think she was going to do more research and investigation into what is happening.”
Pritchard stressed to Forster concerns over the environmental impact the “supposed green energy” projects would have on future generations. He said no one has looked into whether wind turbines can be recycled or how they would be.
He believes all three political parties in the province need to come together and work on the Green Energy Act together for the good of Ontario.
“There’s too much divide across the province over this.”
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