Opponents of wind energy in West Grey want the municipality to back up its recent decision to not be a willing host for wind energy by refusing to co-operate with developer NextEra, which has plans to build a wind farm near Priceville.
West Grey resident Orah Randall told councillors they should put their money where their mouth is and refuse to have any dealings with NextEra.
Last month council passed a motion saying it was not a willing host for wind energy development. NextEra Energy is in the final stages of planning to build 14 wind turbines east of Durham and wants to hold its consultation meeting with council on Dec. 3.
“If we’re saying no we don’t want wind turbines, then I encourage council to stand by its no. Don’t consult or co-operate with NextEra,” Randall said during a presentation to council this week.
Grant Pattullo said the 14 wind turbines near Priceville are just the start of what will eventually be many more in other parts of the municipality.
He wants council to refuse to provide any services to NextEra such as renting municipal facilities for the company’s public meetings, or providing police protection for NextEra workers who have been threatened.
“We’re suggesting that council refuse to consult any further with NextEra, so that when NextEra goes to make an appearance just say they are not welcome. We’re also suggesting that they refuse NextEra the use of municipal facilities to conduct any further public consultation meeting. We’re asking them to refuse to allow NextEra to hire the local police as they have been doing to provide protection to their survey crews and workers. And finally we’re asking them to refuse to issue Next Era building permits,” Pattullo said. Coun. Bev Cutting suggested sending the council’s recent decision to refuse to be a willing host to all of the Liberal leadership hopefuls “to find out where they stand and whether they would give back power to the municipalities.”
Pattullo appealed directly to Mayor Kevin Eccles to use his influence as a Liberal government supporter to get a commitment from the Liberal leadership candidates to modify the Green Energy Act to restore municipal planning powers.
Eccles suggested that Pattullo take out a Liberal party membership and speak at the leadership convention in January.
Randall and Pattullo are holding a public meeting with speakers about the effects of wind turbines Dec 1. in the Durham town hall starting at 10 a.m.
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