Kingsville wants regional effort to combat offshore wind turbines

Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary, Kingsville

By L.G. Karry

After hearing a report from Town Planner, Danielle Truax regarding the limited and potentially costly remedies available to municipalities with regard to wind power, Kingsville Council has decided to make a concerted, cohesive, and collected effort to deal with matters concerning the potential impact of offshore wind turbines.

Kingsville has already partnered with the Town of Leamington in hiring the Jones Consulting Group. A report from Jones completed in September 2009, which coordinated technical peer reviews found “significant deficiencies and a lack of specific details to support the conclusions” reached by SouthPoint that “the project would not create a negative environmental impact”.

A more recent proposal by SouthPoint Wind to put up as many as 700 offshore turbines in Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair if their initial proposal for 15 turbines in Pigeon Bay is approved has alerted Council to the fact that they must keep abreast of the process and timelines.

At the request of the municipality, SouthPoint has changed the venue from the Kingsville Arena for their March 27th public meeting scheduled from Noon to 2 p.m. to the Lakeside Pavilion at the Park on Queen Street. SouthPoint has acquired the services of Daniel Cherrin to act as their public relations strategist to speak on its behalf. Cherrin was former Detroit Mayor, Ken Cockrel’s chief communications officer.

Ms. Truax provided Council with a recent review of legislation from the Jones Consulting Group, prepared by Ray Duhamel. In it he noted that the Green Energy Act enacted in May of 2009, removed “local planning authority’ for all renewable energy undertakings. According to his report, the role of the municipality was greatly reduced, and proponents only need to consult with municipal officials on a limited number of items. Municipal feedback as part of the Renewable Energy Approval process may include municipal services and infrastructure, the rehabilitation of areas disturbed or damaged during construction, safety protocol, and issues raised during municipal consultation.

Any issues raised after a decision has been made by the Ministry of Environment must prove that the project will cause serious harm to human health or serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment. The cost of the studies would be borne by the municipality.

Councillor Tamara Stomp said that the “whole thing is stacked against the municipality” and that the new legislation has taken away municipal and public voice. She said that the government is not providing information as to how the municipality can respond, and “won’t tell you until the report is out there”.

Mayor Nelson Santos agreed that the odds are stacked against the municipality, and he suggested that the municipality not only continue their partnership with Leamington, but also Union Water and the Essex Regional Conservation Authority. Deputy Mayor Katherine Gunning also suggested that the County of Essex be brought into the mix.

Three motions were passed by Council at the March 8th meeting. The first was made by Councillor Stomp to review the budget at the next budget deliberation meeting set for March 29th to accommodate future costs of the studies undertaken by the town with partners. The second was a Notice of Motion, which Councillor Stomp said was also being presented to Amherstburg. It called for local municipalities to have a voice in matters that affect local watershed planning, and the potential impact the offshore turbines may have on water quality, human health and animal and plant life, and that the resolution be forward to the MP and MPP, relevant ministries, all other municipalities in Essex and Windsor and Pelee Island.

The motion also asked that the County of Essex, together with all member municipalities, Pelee Island, the City of Windsor and the ERCA be asked to develop a joint regional position regarding offshore wind turbines proposed for the Essex Windsor Region.

Councillor Gord Queen reiterated in his motion, that because the Green Energy Act was in essence “taking away all our rights” he wanted a full environmental assessment to be conducted, and that the Premier of Ontario, the Ontario Power Authority and the Queen as represented by her Ministers be given notice to that affect.  All three motions were passed unanimously.

11 thoughts on “Kingsville wants regional effort to combat offshore wind turbines

  1. I agree. The mayor of Kingsville, Nelson Santos, is looking at running for Liberal federal candidate. He’s been all for wind development “on land”.

    Where was everyone when we were desperately trying to stop the GEA from passing? Day late and a dollar short.

  2. It is a sad commentary on the competence of these municipal politicians (and they are probably no different than most), if they are now just grasping the implications of the GEA.

  3. Exactly MA, That’s why I am not paying my taxes to a complacent council that let us down big time!

    A few months ago when I went in to inquire about the turbines that are slated to surround my property, the man behind the counter told me with a smile that if has been deemed that farm land is the most appropriate place for wind turbines!

    Now in case anyone thinks I am a bum and don’t pay taxes let me tell you that I own income properties in Toronto, Orillia & Clearview and I have never been late or even a dollar short on my property taxes.

    I am sticking out my neck, perhaps making a fool of myself by publicly ripping up my bill at the township meeting. I am trying to make a statement to our lobotomized council who wouldn’t even return our calls until we had 250 people at our meeting! Now they are falling all over themselves!

    Besides I have to make up for the fact that back in the sixties I was too shy to burn my bra….Oh wait…. I didn’t have one yet.

  4. correct.Santos and the rest of council were all for these machines on land,and I expect in the lake as well until a few brave souls cornered them at a council meeting.That was FOUR years ago!They played ignorant to the entire issue.Well,that was then.We now realize Santos and Bruce Crozier MPP,are both Liberal lackeys.Crozier trying to hold onto the trough,and Santos trying to reserve his place.They’ll both be surprised at election time.

  5. Pingback: Kingsville wants regional effort to combat offshore wind turbines … | Chi 90

  6. Both Crozier and Santos are hypocrites trying to play both sides of the fence. They both are very much pro-wind…don’t ever forget that.

  7. Obviously this has hit a nerve so to speak with Mr. “Thumbs Down” whoever they are.
    The Truth really hurts doesn’t it?
    Many more Councilors will have to face the music this coming October if they want OUR vote!

    The very first question to ask each “eager beaver municipal politician” should be:

    “Are you in favour of Wind Development?”

    Only a NO answer will qualify them to proceed any further with their campaign!

    THEN the next question should be: “Are you in favour of taking back our lost Planning Authority?”

    The answer again is a quick one… double speak, no psycho babble, just YES!

    Then the real hard work begins for these guys and gals who want access to our tax money!

    If they pass the answer test then they have to show us they have the guts to take on the Provincial Mandarins with By Laws and actions more representing of a group of people who know what the Province is doing is anti- democratic and close to “tyrannical” and act accordingly with our hard earned tax dollars. Refuse to send them to Queens Park until we get some value for our money…….not insults and destruction!

  8. Caught “thumbs down”! He is twelve… his daddy is on the take from a wind developer, wants to be Mayor. Said his Dad pays him to hit the thumbs down button. Piece work @ 25 cents a click!

  9. Twelve year olds can be pretty smart and they can figure out that industrial wind turbines are not in our best interest. It didn’t take long for my 12 year old to figure it out. He has even asked who pays for these things in 20 years? He knows. Why would anyone wish this kind of debt on their children? The kid with the contract to click should read before he clicks as he might learn the truth about wind turbines.

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