The Association to Protect Amherst Island (APAI) is fighting back against the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
The ministry announced Aug. 24 that the Amherst Island Wind Energy Project received renewable energy approval with more than two dozen conditions.
The project, to be build by Windlectric Inc., is to include up to 26 wind turbine generators and one substation transformer.
“This is a landmark decision that ignores the importance of biodiversity and shames both Canada and Ontario,” a release from the APAI said. “Amherst Island is a very special natural refuge and turbines will create a very real risk to human and environmental safety.”
In its release, the APAI cites concerns over toxic emissions from having such a massive industrial project with a cement plant adjacent to the Island’s public school.
“The Liberal government cancelled a gas plant in the GTA ostensibly because of the human impact but is quite prepared to locate a cement plant beside a small rural school,” the release said.
Standing with the APAI is Randy Hillier, MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington.
“I admire their resolve and respect the character of the people on that island, without a doubt,” Hillier said. “They have done a marvelous job presenting good arguments why these wind turbines ought not to be there, and there has been thousands of comments and good sound arguments.”
Hillier admits the APAI’s fight is far from over, but they aren’t giving up.
“APAI intends to continue its commitment to preserve the cultural and natural heritage of the Island for future generations,” the release said. “The Association has a strong legal position and fact-based evidence and will file an appeal of the decision to the Environmental Review Tribunal in the near future.”
APAI said the project is unwanted because it will bring down property values, hurt the climate of the island, and Windelectric Inc. has not provided an emergency response plan.
“The essence of a democracy is to listen to people and to have policies that are consistent with the desire of people,” Hillier said. “There is ample evidence that this development would be harmful to Amherst Island.”
— With files from Elliot Ferguson
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