South Dundas council is not willing to declare this municipality as ‘not a willing host’ to industrial wind turbine projects.
A year and a half ago, South Dundas was asked to consider the designation, but the request was shelved at that time, as it did not have sufficient council support to even bring the resolution to the table.
A couple of months ago, the South Branch Wind Opposition Group again asked South Dundas council to pass a resolution to declare South Dundas as ‘not a willing host.’
Finally, at the July 16 council meeting, the proposed motion from the SBWOG made it to the table, only to be defeated.
South Dundas councillor Evonne Delegarde brought the motion forward, “We’ve been sitting on this request a couple of years. I think we should deal with it,” she said.
South Dundas deputy mayor Jim Locke seconded the motion.
“I’m only seconding it to get it to the table,” said Locke.
Once put to a vote, Locke voted against the motion.
“I do not support the resolution and a will not support or deny any potential future project until the time comes,” said Locke.
“In my view, the South Branch wind project is already going ahead. I think council will be in a better position to understand the pros and cons of wind farms after is project is completed.
“We won’t stop the South Branch wind project. I’d rather work with them than fight with them,” said South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds, who also opposed the resolution. “Will find out within a year what these things are all about,” he said, and added, “The province approved this project, so if there are problems, the province will have to deal with those problems.
South Dundas councillor Jim Graham stated that he would not second the motion, nor support the resolution because he of his strong opinions about the Green Energy Act.
“My problem is with the Green Energy Act. I don’t agree with it. I think the Ontario government should pull back on all of this. It’s almost criminal what they are doing to the taxpayers of this province,” said Graham.
“This resolution is moot. It’s a waste of our time.”
The motion was defeated.
South Dundas councillor Archie Mellan did not vote on it as he had declared conflict of interest.
Leslie Disheau, president of the South Branch Wind Opposition Group, released a statement regarding council’s decision, saying she was not surprised by the outcome. She does not believe working out any potential issues that may arise with the wind developer is a viable option. “Council should have read the complaint process written on this wind project, and read the documentation given to them on how flawed the complaint process is in this province. I’m not sure how they think there is a different process for our area,” said Disheau.