The Municipality of Meaford has declared itself an unwilling host of industrial wind turbines.
Meaford council passed a resolution saying no to wind turbines at its regular meeting on June 24. The resolution passed in a 5-2 vote with councillors Deborah Young and Lynda Stephens voting against the motion.
Deputy Mayor Harley Greenfield brought forward the resolution at the meeting, but didn’t say much about the matter the night of the vote.
The resolution stated: “Whereas the Premier of Ontario has recently conveyed the provincial government’s desire to limit industrial wind turbine (IWT) projects to communities that are willing hosts. Whereas municipalities have been denied adequate planning decision-making powers by the Green Energy Act; and research done by the Grey Bruce Health Unit Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hazel Lynn and Dr. Ian Arra indicates that industrial wind turbines have a definite human annoyance on residents living around and near these structures.”
Greenfield’s resolution didn’t inspire much debate around the council table.
“It re-iterates our position,” commented councillor Mike Poetker.
Councillor Deborah Young defended turbines and said they are being built all over the world. Young said she didn’t understand Canada’s unwillingness to embrace the turbine movement and voted against the resolution.
After the meeting Deputy Mayor Greenfield explained that Meaford has previously passed two turbine related resolutions. One requested a moratorium on turbine development until human health effects of living near turbines are studied fully and the other requested that turbine companies not apply for projects in Meaford.
The Deputy Mayor said recent changes to the Green Energy Act by the government are opening up a voice for municipalities.
“I felt the unwilling host’ motion will ‘nail down the lid’ on our municipality’s opposition to any wind farms locating here. It should present a very definite statement to developers, the FIT administration and hopefully to Premier Wynn that our corporation, on behalf of the overwhelming sentiments of our residents, does not want wind turbine development to locate here,” Greenfield explained. “This motion will not likely deter the present IPC application from being considered, and potentially accepted. But it will send a message forward that this type of project is not desired,” he said.
Greenfield said there are a number of reasons for council to oppose the development of wind turbines in the local area.
“Wind turbines have proven to be grossly expensive, unreliable sources of electrical power. There are many ill health effects documented as a cause of their presence. Property values are depreciating in their midst. But most importantly to me is the quality of life that many are losing because of their existence. The provincial government has continuously subsidized giant international companies (Samsung) to develop these unsightly ventures. In my opinion, Samsung International has financial assets greater than our province. Why are we financing their works with taxpayers’ dollars?” said Greenfield.
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