Clearview Township officials are taking a wait-and-see approach on whether they’ll challenge the decision by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to approve a wind energy project west of Stayner.
Clearview Township mayor Chris Vanderkruys said the municipality does not have a lot of options of appeal available, unlike Collingwood, which launched its appeal of the approval of WPD Canada’s Renewable Energy Application (REA) for the Fairview Wind project.
The deadline to appeal the decision is Friday.
“When you look at the appeal process, the only way to appeal doesn’t really mesh with our concerns,” Vanderkruys said.
One of the avenues of appeal is the project’s potential threat to human safety, which is what the Town of Collingwood’s appeal is based on, given the proximity of the turbines to the regional airport.
Vanderkruys said that avenue isn’t open to the township, as it doesn’t have an ownership stake in the facility.
However, the mayor expressed his disappointment in the decision.
“I feel [the provincial government] really slammed us,” he said.
The township, and Collingwood, had both been granted intervenor status to a court proceeding between WPD and the MOECC over the latter not making a decision on the Fairview project.
A hearing was scheduled for the day after MOECC announced the company’s REA approval.
Vanderkruys said he felt the ministry strung the municipality along by agreeing to the two municipalities to have intervenor status.
“They said it would be good if we did,” the mayor said. “They just cost our taxpayers X amount of money.”
The Liberal government, he added, “just showed us exactly who they are,” with the decision.
Clearview Township representatives will be at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association annual conference this week, and have several meetings set up with provincial ministers – though not the environment minister. Vanderkruys, however, said the hint may be dropped to the ministers they do get to meet the disappointment felt by the municipality.
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