MANVERS TWP. – The City of Kawartha Lakes is positioning itself for a possible appeal if three wind farms are approved in the former Manvers Township.
City solicitor Tony Sutcliffe tabled a report on appeal options for Sumac Ridge wind farm at Tuesday’s (Mar. 26) city council meeting.
It is proposed for the former Manvers Township as are two other wind farms, with a combined 15 industrial wind turbines.
Sutcliffe said that under Ontario’s Environmental Protection Act, anyone, including a municipality, may notify the Director of Environmental Review Tribunal that they wish to appeal the Ministry of the Environment’s (MOE) decision regarding a renewable energy application.
He said the municipality would have 15 days to lodge a written appeal and must describe how the project will cause serious harm to human health or serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment.
The report added there were other rights of appeal under a number of pieces of legislation, federally, provincially and municipally.
Sutcliffe could not provide a cost estimate on an appeal or appeals.
Ward 13 Coun. Pat Warren was happy to receive the report but did not want it sent to the MOE, the director of environmental assessments and approval branch, MPP Laurie Scott’s office, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario or proponent wpd Canada, citing some instances of heresay.
Sutcliffe got an opinion from a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada now living in Manvers, Ian Binnie, who attributed comments to Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Ward 16 Coun. Heather Stauble wanted the entire report referred back to the city solicitor for additional information.
She, seconded by Ward 2 Coun. Emmett Yeo, had called for the initial report and were also seeking clarification on possible court injunctions.
Stauble said there had been recent discussions at the provincial level about “willing hosts” to renewable energy projects. She wanted council to categorically state via a motion that it is not a willing host. That was passed by a vote of 9 to 5. Stauble said that motion may avoid the need for legal action in future.
However, Ward 9 Coun. Andy Luff said “I’m not opposed to wind turbines. We need to look our for the future of the planet.” He said a vocal majority in Manvers have opposed the three proposed wind farms but is opposed to saying the entire city is against them.
But Ward 15 Coun. Gerald McGregor said he believes wind turbines aren’t welcome in growth areas and Ward 1 Coun. John Macklem added people north of the canal don’t want them either.
Stauble emphasized she is only talking about the three former Manvers Township projects at this time, not an ‘unwilling host’ blanket designation for the entire City of Kawartha Lakes. Ward 10 Coun. Pat Dunn had been worried about a blanket ban.
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