No means no, when it comes to municipalities and wind farm projects, according to Grey County Council.
County councillors recently agreed the county would throw its support behind local municipalities declaring themselves unwilling or willing hosts to wind turbines and other Green Energy Act projects.
Councillors went a step further at the suggestion of Councillor Bob White (Hanover), who said municipalities should have authority from the province to enact bylaws prohibiting wind farms.
At least, said White, municipal councils should have veto power for wind turbine projects within their municipality.
The original motion before Grey County council was to support municipalities that declared themselves unwilling hosts for wind farm projects.
Councillor Paul McQueen (Grey Highlands) was the author of the motion, and said there were already seven of Grey County’s nine municipalities that had declared themselves unwilling hosts.
He further added there were 55 municipalities in the province also making similar declarations.
Council agreed to further open up the motion to support all municipal decisions on Green Energy Act projects after Councillor Brian Milne (Southgate) said he didn’t want to exclude municipalities who were willing to host wind farm projects.
“We shouldn’t influence or make decisions uncomfortable,” said Meaford Mayor Francis Richardson.
He was the only County councillor who voted against the motion. He said it represented obvious interference by the county, and was not objective and impartial, as he wished the county would remain.
With this motion, which will be circulated to local municipalities and provincial and federal politicians, is a request to the Ontario government to “grant authority to municipalities to deny wind turbines through the passage of bylaws or by power of veto.”
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