A local group against wind turbines in Prince Edward County is fighting back in a new way.
The County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy (CCSAGE) held a rally at Milford Town Hall Saturday to get citizens and business owners involved in their latest tactic to fight turbines.
Garth Manning, who serves as a director for CCSAGE, said the rally was a follow-up to the group’s Antrim campaign, launched last week.
Antrim, he said, refers to the Antrim Truck Centre that won damages of almost $400,000 from the Ontario government when its business suffered after the province built the new Highway 416 to Ottawa, which bypassed Antrim.
Manning said the Expropriation Act of Ontario provides, in these circumstances, if such losses can be proved before the Ontario Municipal Board, compensation can be awarded. The province fought this all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada which, in March of 2013, upheld the award.
Saturday’s rally saw a full house of residents and business owners plus speakers including Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith, Mayor Peter Mertens and mayoral candidate Coun. Robert Quaiff.
CCSAGE believes loss of property value due to turbines will immediately affect property owners in South Marysburgh and Athol with a ripple effect to property owners throughout the County.
“Our campaign invites business and property owners to sign up; in the short time since it started, almost 300 have done so,” Manning wrote in an e-mail to The Intelligencer.
The online petition can be signed at www.tiny.cc/whawex .
“This information is then provided to the Premier, the Ministers of Energy and Environment and the Presidents of Gilead Power and WPD Canada, telling them that they will be held accountable if turbines are built here, with the possibility of hundreds of applications to the OMB and the award cumulatively of millions of dollars,” he stated in his corresponence.
In addition, Manning stated, realtors will suffer and the property tax base will decrease as assessments are inevitably reduced.
The group is hoping the letters will be a significant deterrent to wind companies and Queen’s Park proceeding with turbines in Prince Edward County.
“I think it will cause some consternation on the part of investors in those companies and at Queen’s Park,” said ratepayer Bill Wightman, who attended the event. “What the outcome will be, I don’t know but these people will know they’re in for a fight.”
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