“I have received information from other groups in South Western Ontario that proponents have been revisiting councils who have wind turbine projects proposed for their areas in an effort to gain their approval,” said Bruce Albers, president of the South Branch Wind Opposition Group.
Concerned by the information, Albers and the opposition group sent a letter to several governmental representatives including council members for both South Dundas and Edwardsburgh/Cardinal townships as well as local members of parliament and members of provincial parliament.
“The letter was to remind both South Dundas and Edwardsburgh/Cardinal councils that there is a significant number of residents who oppose these projects,” said Albers, “meaning councils should not assume the community is in favour of such projects.”
In the letter, the group stated: “We sincerely hope that if the Ontario government initiates any call to municipalities, townships or counties soliciting support that the broader public, including groups such as ours, will be consulted and included in the determination of any assignment of ‘points’.”
Premier Dalton McGuinty’s recent changes to the Green Energy Act outline a points system whereby a community’s interest in wind projects is determined. The initiative is meant to help those communities who want the projects to get them more quickly.
There is not, as of yet, a system or device by which a community can outright refuse projects.
The South Branch Wind Opposition Group’s letter ended with a plea: “Your assistance in ensuring that all voices of affected residents are considered and heard in this divisive debate is appreciated.”
On June 4th, South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds reported that council has not been approached by any wind company proponents other than Prowind Canada.
He also confirmed that council has not been approached by any provincial governmental body in relation to the points system.
“We will follow whatever the protocol is,” said Byvelds, in reference to dealing with any future contact from possible wind company proponents.