Wellington County changes mind and backs wind farm moratorium

Scott Tracey  Guelph Mercury

WELLINGTON COUNTY — One week after a county committee refused to support a request for a provincial moratorium on wind farms, county council has decided to do so.

Guelph-Eramosa Township Mayor Chris White, who chairs the administration, finance and personnel committee, said since his committee met a week ago there has been a suggestion “some people might want to revisit this.”

On Feb. 17, the committee voted simply to receive a letter from Peterborough expressing support for a moratorium and urging other municipalities to do the same. The initiative began with Mapleton Township council, which passed a resolution in December asking the province to put the brakes on new wind-energy projects until an independent third party could study the health impacts of the developments.

Mapleton Mayor John Green, who sits on the administration, finance and personnel committee, said during the committee meeting he would “report back to my council there’s no support from the county.”

More than 100 other municipalities have already supported Mapleton’s resolution.

“Whatever happened at AF and P (administration, finance and personnel) didn’t happen, and I think they’re trying to correct that,” Green said during Thursday’s county council meeting.

Coun. Lynda White said Wellington County should get behind the effort of one of its own local councils.

“There needs to be more study on health impacts, setbacks and so on,” White said.

The Mapleton request for a moratorium was based on significant outcry from the public over two proposed wind farms in the Drayton area that would see a total of 90 massive turbines.

But that’s not the only potential wind farm on the horizon for Wellington County.

Two public meetings will be held in early March to rally opposition to a proposal that would see 25 to 35 turbines installed in Belwood.

There is a meeting at the Belwood Hall on March 9, from 5 to 8 p.m. and the next night, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Marsville Community Hall.

stracey@guelphmercury.com

10 thoughts on “Wellington County changes mind and backs wind farm moratorium

  1. While this decision is a move in the right direction it just highlights how slow and indecisive actions by our Municipal Councils have allowed the Province to take such a stranglehold on this Province and reduce it to a “have-not” Province without any real fight from grass roots politicians to protect their township residents.

    McGuinty doesn’t have to even reply to any resolution NOW by Municipalities when it comes to Planning Authority issues regarding electric generation.

    The GEA has basically re-written all Laws that used to protect us from destructive practices of unscrupulous investors playing Roulette with our tax money!

  2. McGuinty has dismissed rural discussion of policies and practises as trivial. He does not consider their citizen numbers as significant.

  3. I have gotten to the point that I wish we Canadians could have a “Boston Tea Party” to end all Boston Tea Parties! For you younger folks that’s what the Americans did when they refused to pay England taxes. They threw all the tea that was shipped from England into the Boston Harbour! It sure made a point!

    Perhaps if we all sent back our property tax invoice WITHOUT a cheque and instead sent a note that said ” The Ontario Government has basically declared war on our rural lands so we have decided to separate from this illegal government of Ontario and we will not pay taxes. They could take our houses but that takes a long time. and in the mean time our action would cause the general public to think about it and do some real research.

    Losing our farm to the township is the same as losing it to the turbines, so what is the difference. At least we get to make ourselves heard. Please feel free to expand or modify this idea, I’m at my wits end with feeling helpless. If a foreign country was invading our lands we would go to war but this is different because it is our own government that has stacked the deck against us because “they know best whats good for us!”

    What if we declared that we were putting all of our tax dollars into a fund to help us level the playing field to oppose the Ontario Government? I know what I am suggesting is a very big risk but it would be effective because it hits em where it hurts in the pocket books of small towns across Ontario. It would get their attention! As much as I hate to hurt our small town financially, I think it would make our council members fight harder for us. They were supposed to in the first place! Our council of Clearview won’t give us the time of day. They have swallowed the scam hook line and sinker and won’t even attend our up and coming information meeting! Wimps!

  4. Wow! I live in West Garfraxa and thought I was alone in my hate for large scale windfarms. I will attend public meetings March 9, and 10 2010

  5. Regarding municipal taxes and the predictable devaluation of Belwood and area property, I hope Wellington County is prepared to receive 25% to 40% fewer tax revenues from the Belwood area if this industrial project goes ahead.

  6. Keep in mind, Niel, that the McGuinty Liberals have stripped all power away from the municipalities and County Councils. It won’t be Wellington County who will be responsible for approving these things. Wellington Council needs to stand up against this undemocratic removal of rights from McGuinty.

  7. You maybe right, however McGuinty can’t stop the counties and municipalities from imposing and setting up enough by-laws and levies to keep the wind turbine companies away or at bay for years to come. Maybe the landowners could be taxed by the municipalities and counties to the point that it wouldn’t be worth while to farm wind in southern Ontario? Maybe McGuinty should re-think and have these wind farms set up in less populated areas in Ontario. It would take a year of Sundays to convince me, that the wind, only blows in Ontario, where a populous can be found?

    Wind blows all over Ontario, hydro lines run all over Ontario build these w-turbine farms up in the bush where only the bears can be found. One thing everyone has to remember is the only reason the energy companies want Southern Ontario is because it’s easier to get around, i.e. service roads to these turbines only have to be from existing side and concession roads, roads that they never have to pay for, roads they do not have to service. Roads that have to be re-surfaced will be paid for by the local taxpayers, as well the local taxpayers have pay to have their roads clean via their taxes in the winter, these energy producers will have you pay for everything if they can get away with it. There only interest is profit. If the McGuinty government had any respect for the people of Ontario then he should have these wind turbines erected on existing Hydro Line property that runs through out Ontario. The land was allocated years ago its been keep clean of brush and trees since. Then the power generate from turbines doesn’t have run for klms/miles to be put into the grid. Other areas may have existing tower lines run under ground to accommodate these wind turbines. Why isn’t this being looked into. There are alternatives, if McGuinty doesn’t investigate these alternatives then he really doesn’t care about the citizens of Ontario, does he?

  8. Actually, James the province CAN stop the municipalities from setting up bylaws. The Green Energy Act stripped municipalies of all their power when it comes to renewable energy. As of Sept/09, it is illegal for the municipalities to enforce their own bylaws. McGuinty has basically given full control of rural Ontario to the wind corporations. He even assigned a Czar to assist them in the rape.

  9. When and if these wind turbines go up, all residents in the area should have their homes re-appraised. Our taxes should then be based on our decreased home values. I know I am willing to fight to have my taxes reduced. I will not continue to pay the taxes when my property value has decreased, and will no doubt become less enjoyable for me.

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