By Mary Golem, Owen Sound Sun Times
“We can either stand up and be counted or sit back and pay the price,” Elderslie ward Coun. Mark Davis told members of Arran-Elderslie council Monday as he urged his fellow councillors “to do something” to stop wind energy projects in the municipality.
Although chief building official Stephen Walmsley said no applications have been made for building permits for turbine projects in Arran-Elderslie, Davis produced several pages of projects in the municipality either pending approval or already approved.
“What’s happening around us is not good,” Davis said, demanding Arran-Elderslie call another meeting of its neighbouring municipalities to discuss the issue further. Arran-Elderslie, West Grey, Grey Highlands, Brockton and Georgian Bluffs met once late last year to discuss the issue but no further meetings have been held.
“That really frustrates me,” Davis said, adding “rural Ontario as we know it will be destroyed forever if we sit back and do nothing.”
Four of the five municipalities have agreed to attend a meeting in the Arran-Elderslie council chambers on April 22 at 7 p.m. to further discuss the issue.
Meanwhile, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch sent out a news release in which he said he is throwing his support behind a private member’s bill introduced at Queen’s Park Monday intended to give municipalities back Planning Act powers to deal with renewable energy projects.
The bill, introduced by Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones, is the PC party’s latest response to the Liberals’ Green Energy Act.
“The Green Energy Act was one of the worst pieces of legislation to come out of Queen’s Park because it removed all rights from constituents and their locally elected representatives,” Murdoch said. “Municipalities need planning oversight, and I support any efforts to restore those powers.”
Murdoch introduced a motion at Queen’s Park last October that called on the government to bring in a moratorium and undertake a health study to determine the potential impacts of wind turbines on people’s health. It was defeated.