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Politicians band together to fight wind farms

The 62 Ontario municipalities identified as “unwilling hosts” to wind turbines met for the first time to share ideas Tuesday.

The delegates – councillors, reeves and mayors – were in Ottawa for the ongoing Association of Municipalities of Ontario meetings at the downtown Westin hotel.

There were about 50 representatives of the municipalities present for the afternoon meeting. It was designed to allow politicians who are more active in the fight against wind farms and turbines to teach other politicians some of their tricks.

“Because of the Green Energy Act, we can’t prohibit them – but we can severely regulate them,” said Warren Howard of North Perth, near Stratford.

Ideas which fall under this category include municipalities passing strict noise bylaws or other bylaws which force turbine companies to pay large deactivation fees.

Essentially, the group is trying tighten its coalition and was generally pleased with the turn-out, and the number of municipalities which have made “unwilling host” declarations. In addition to the 62 of those – out of a possible 444 – an additional 35 have supported the decisions of other municipalities which have make such declarations.

“So really, the number is closer to 100,” said Howard.

The meeting was attended by local representative Jane Wilson, who speaks on behalf of angry residents in the North Gower and Richmond areas.

She’s also head of Wind Concerns Ontario.

One of the group’s main objectives is to put a stop to new wind projects. It also seeks to halt those currently in the approval process. or at least force them to be two kilometres away from the nearest property line, instead of the current 550 metres.