Georgian Bluffs is just saying no when it comes to wind turbines.
Wednesday night, council passed a motion saying it would not be a willing host to wind turbines.
“The premier has said we should not be forcing these things on municipalities that don’t want it, so it was her directive,” Mayor Alan Barfoot said. “She said if you’re not a willing host, then say so, and you won’t have to have them. That’s certainly different than what was originally portrayed through the Green Energy Act.”
The 2009 Green Energy Act effectively threw municipalities to the sidelines when it came to allowing or turning away wind turbines. Any municipal zoning control of green energy projects was circumvented.
Earlier this year, Premier Kathleen Wynne said her government would not step back from green energy. But she said the voices of towns and residents must be heard as new projects go forward.
Georgian Bluffs is taking her at her word.
“It gets to a point where, as a society, we should never be forcing stuff on people, and the way the Green Energy Act was developed, was basically it was forcing that onto us without having any local say,” Barfoot said. “And the premier has basically said if you don’t want them, tell us, and you won’t have to have them. So we’re exercising that right now by passing that motion that we’re an unwilling host.”
Barfoot said there are many reasons council passed the motion, including health, environmental and tourism concerns. He said in discussions with residents, “we have not heard of anybody who wants them.”
Barfoot said he hopes this week’s motion is enough to keep wind farm developers from knocking on the Bluffs’ door.
“My understanding is we have not had an application as of right now, so we should be ahead of the process, and in our opinion, we shouldn’t have them coming in.”
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