Those who attended the March 17 South Huron council meeting got more than they bargained for when a loud argument broke out during a break in the meeting.
Members of the public opposed to the industrial wind turbine projects coming to South Huron filled the council chambers gallery to listen to two speakers – South Huron residents James Corcoran and Randy Yearley – give separate presentations voicing their concerns about wind turbines.
After their presentations, Mayor George Robertson called for a recess. As the public spilled out into the hallway an argument broke out on the stairway. Obscene language was used and tempers escalated while Robertson – a retired police officer – and three security members with Municipal Enforcement Unit, who were in attendance for another matter, escorted those involved outside.
Also in attendance at the meeting was a representative of NextEra Energy Canada, the company overseeing two wind turbine projects in the area. As she was trying to descend the stairs at town hall, she was blocked by the anti-wind turbine protestors, some of whom used obscene language. She asked to be allowed to leave the building, but a few protestors continued to block her way and yell at her.
She was eventually helped outside by security.
“We understand that there are differing points of views as it pertains to wind power and we have encouraged those various points of views over the years as we’ve developed projects in Ontario, but we don’t condone violence, be that verbal or physical,” Nextera Energy Canada spokesman Steve Stengel told the Exeter Times-Advocate.
Asked whether or not NextEra is pressing charges against those involved, Stengel said, “The proper authorities are well aware of what occurred that evening.”
The matter is being investigated by the OPP.