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With wind power could come fibre optic cable

McDOUGALL TWP. – McDougall says “yes” to fibre optic cable.
At a regular meeting of council on December 16, Lis McWalter, chair of the West Parry Sound Smart Community, provided a deputation requesting the support of council to attach fibre optic cables to the transmission poles erected by the Henvey Inlet Wind Project.
The project approved transmission line route B earlier in October, which will see the installation of transmission poles from Henvey Inlet First Nation up Highway 69 south to the Parry Sound Transformer Station in Seguin Township.
The attachment of fibre optic cables to the transmission poles would provide fast and reliable internet services to the communities in which the poles will pass through, as was noted in the correspondence from the Smart Community to the township.
“It certainly presents a pretty good opportunity if it could be realized,” said councillor Kim Dixon. “And it is an opportunity to get something for our ratepayers that may be shoved down our throats whether we like it or not. For that reason, it’s certainly worth supporting.”
McDougall mayor, Dale Robinson, expressed his concerns in supporting the initiative, citing the location of the transmission line and the township’s stance on not supporting transmission line route B.
“When I look at where the route’s going, which is why part of our opposition is it’s going through some pristine, undeveloped areas, but there’s no one there…” said mayor Robinson. “The nature of their design, which is to stay away from populated areas, almost hurts what you’re trying to do to service more people. You’re really going to be servicing a very limited amount of people.”
McWalter agreed that from direct connection few people would be serviced; however, hop offs from the direct connection leave future opportunities.
“My concern is that we’ve officially opposed it and part of that process we said that if it is going to come through here we want the environmental assessment. But then we say if it does go through here we want to benefit from it. So I’m just not sure how the different bodies react to the mixed messages coming from McDougall,” said mayor Robinson, after having stepped down and giving the chair to councillor Dixon. “My answer would be no. I’m not supporting any application to put fibre optics on these poles because I’m in opposition to the pole line to start with. So I’m going to take the high road and say it’s black and white and you’re not going to buy me off to say that you can put this on these poles. Straight out, I don’t want these lines, period.”
With mayor Robinson the only member of council against supporting the Smart initiative, council moved forward to support the WPS Smart initiative.