Wind farm opponents in Plympton-Wyoming are going beyond holding signs and signing petitions.
They’ve begun taking out their wallets and cheque books to help the town defend its wind turbine bylaws in court.
About $3,000 in donations were collected by the group We’re Against Industrial Turbines – Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PW) when it held its own event Tuesday at a Suncor Energy Products public open house in Camlachie.
Suncor is seeking provincial approval to build as many as 46 wind turbines as part of its Cedar Point Wind Power project in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.
At the same time, Suncor is suing Plympton-Wyoming over several of its bylaws, including a requirement that turbines be built at least 2 kilometres away from neighbouring homes.
Ontario’s rules only require a 550-metre setback.
Elizabeth Bellavance, with WAIT-PW, said some of Tuesday’s donations were for the group itself, but some were also designated for the town’s legal fight.
“I think it speaks volumes about the people and their opinion.”
Bellavance said she didn’t know exactly how much was collected for the legal fund, but added she expects the donations will continue.
She said cheques can be made out to the Town of Plympton-Wyoming and mailed to WAIT-PW at Box 219, Plympton-Wyoming, N0N 1T0.
Donations should include a note that they’re for the town’s legal fund.
Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonny Napper said no court dates have been set in the lawsuit yet but the town has hired environmental lawyer Eric Gillespie to defend it.
Napper said the donations to the town’s legal costs are welcome.
“It shows support for the council, that we are heading in the right direction and people believe in what we’re doing.”
Napper estimated $250,000 is the upper limit of what the town might end up spending in its legal battle with Suncor.
“It depends on where it goes, or how long it goes on,” Napper said.
But, he added, town council is prepared to defend its bylaws.
Bellavance said she was pleased with the turnout at WAIT-PW’s demonstration Tuesday, adding nearly 400 people signed rejection letters that evening.
She said WAIT-PW members would be out collecting letters, and signatures on its petition, at Suncor’s meeting in Thedford Wednesday and the one set for Thursday, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Centennial Hall in Watford.
The group plans to deliver copies of the objection letters to Suncor officials Thursday.
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