The battle may have been won, but Simcoe-Grey’s member of provincial parliament intends to keep fighting a war to ensure wind turbines aren’t built in Clearview Township.
Jim Wilson is applauding the Environmental Review Tribunal’s Oct. 7 ruling which upheld the appeal against the approval of WPD Canada’s renewable energy application for its eight-turbine Fairview Wind project.
The ERT determined the location of the turbines would be harmful to human health, notably for pilots using the Collingwood Regional Airport and the privately-owned Clearview Aerodrome.
The ERT also ruled the wind turbines would be harmful to the local population of the little brown bat.
“I’ll never look at the little brown bat ever again in the same light. I love them. Thank God for the bat,” Wilson said with a laugh.
Wilson has been fighting WPD’s plans in the Ontario legislature since it was proposed in 2012, and has suggested on several occasions the project’s approval by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change was politically-motivated.
Wilson’s main point of criticism of the project has been its proximity to the local airport facilities.
“I’m quite angry that they put us – the municipalities, the taxpayers who had to pay for the legal bills, and the individual taxpayers and pilots – through what should never have happened in the first place,” he told Simcoe.com. “Common sense, from the very beginning, said this application should not have been approved by the government of Ontario, and it was the government that did the approval and then backed away saying they had nothing to do with it.
“Thank goodness the ERT came around to telling the government this wasn’t acceptable and there was a serious risk to human health.”
Wilson remains concerned the provincial cabinet could get involved, and overrule the decision of the ERT.
“Cabinet is supreme, they can do anything, so I will certainly be staying on top of it. We’re not out of the woods yet,” Wilson said. “It’s a shame that we had to spend a lot of money, and I think the Wynne government should stop ruining people’s lives, whether it’s wind turbines, or their hydro bills, or the whole mess with the electricity system – this is just one part of it.”
WPD has been given the opportunity to present the ERT with ways to remedy the potential impact on both the bats and the aerodromes. The hearing has been adjourned to an as-yet-to-be scheduled teleconference to determine the next steps.
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