Michele Le Lay says Loyalist Township may want to join a coalition of communities that have declared themselves unwilling hosts of wind turbines.
But first she said it has to be decided what an unwilling host is.
“I guess the definition of unwilling host depends on who is defining it,” said Le Lay, a member of the Association to Protect Amherst Island and who lives on the outskirts of the village of Stella.
“You would think that an unwilling host is a community that does not want to have a massive industrial energy project within their sight.”
While that may sound like a logical definition, and has been adopted by dozens of municipalities opposed to having wind turbines built in their boundaries, the concept has yet to be properly defined, Le Lay said.
The growing Ontario’s Unwilling Host movement was present at this week’s annual meeting of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario in Ottawa.
So far, 64 municipal councils across Ontario, including Prince Edward County, have passed resolutions declaring themselves unwilling hosts for wind energy projects.
Le Lay said the resolutions are good in that they show a sentiment of opposition to wind energy projects, but the motions hold no real weight.
“There is a coalition being formed now of communities that are unwilling hosts,” she said.
“They are certainly going to press the government to define it, because although they have resolutions saying they are unwilling hosts, they don’t know what they have signed for, because it has not been defined by the Ontario government,” she said.
At the AMO conference, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said local municipalities would have some say in the siting of turbine projects but would not have a veto.
Chiarelli promised new rules for the siting of turbines will likely be released in October.
In April, in letters to Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Ministry of the Environment, Loyalist Township expressed concern about the impact the proposed project would have on the area.
“The township is concerned that the various studies provided lack the level of detail needed on a number of substantive issues to adequately assess the potential impact on municipal infrastructure and natural heritage and cultural assets on Amherst lsland,” the letter stated.
— With files from QMI Agency
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