“They’re not listening to us at all,” Congdon said. “It’s an agenda put forward by the Ontario Liberal government, to circumvent all our rights when it comes to what we fought for ... 84 per cent of our municipality voted against the project. Our municipality is deemed an unwilling host. And it doesn’t matter.”
The Invenergy meeting in Dutton was little more than a formality.
The final community meeting between the Chicago-based wind company and residents of Dutton-Dunwich likely will not stop the Strong Breeze wind farm project.
Anti-turbine community members gathered en masse before and during the event to voice their displeasure.
“This is the last time they’re going to give us any indication what their intentions are,” said Dave Congdon, a member of Dutton Dunwich Opponents of Wind Turbines. “It’s our last opportunity to continue to express our opposition to the project.”
Other people at the meeting were more blunt.
Residents also sited environmental and infrastructure concerns, concerns they say have not been addressed.
The meeting is the second in the Renewable Energy Approval process, a requirement for turbine farm projects in Ontario. The province instituted the meetings to give residents insight into the projects and a chance to comment.
Dutton-Dunwich council met earlier in the day Wednesday so they could all attend the meeting. Councillors have been uniformly against the project and have declared the municipality an “unwilling host” for wind turbines.
Mayor Cameron McWilliam has specifically expressed his frustration with the report.
“They’re just basically going through the motions,” McWilliam said. “There are some things in the [environmental assessment] that we’re concerned about, that they haven’t even looked at … the residents in the area have expressed concern that nothing seems to have been addressed properly.”
Invenergy representatives said they are confident in the proposal – and their community. They still fully intend to submit a final report to the Ministry of the Environment later this year.
“We’ll be logging all the questions we receive … and working to file responses,” said James Murphy, vice president of renewable development with Invenergy. “We’ve tried our best to be as dilligent in our responses [as possible].
“But there are a group of individuals, no matter the answer we provide … who aren’t really interested in the response,” he added.
Residents in Dutton-Dunwich say the opposite.
“They’re not listening to us at all,” Congdon said. “It’s an agenda put forward by the Ontario Liberal government, to circumvent all our rights when it comes to what we fought for … 84 per cent of our municipality voted against the project. Our municipality is deemed an unwilling host. And it doesn’t matter.”
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