Arran-Elderslie Bylaw to control turbines in effect

Posted By MARY GOWAN, Owen Sun Times

Arran-Elderslie has passed a bylaw to control wind turbine development based on health concerns and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Council unanimously approved final reading to the bylaw Monday, although there was disagreement about using taxpayers’ money to defend it if it should be challenged.

Elderslie ward Coun. Mark Davis and the municipality’s former clerk-administrator Joan Albright worked on the bylaw, which calls for “the protection of life, liberty and security of person” under Section 7 of the Charter, claiming wind turbines cause serious health effects.

“We owe it to our people to maintain their health and wellbeing,” Davis said when he first presented the bylaw to council two weeks ago.

Council also passed a motion that the bylaw “be applicable law for the purposes of issuing a building permit, designed to ensure that the health and safety needs of the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie are being met.”

While Davis is prepared to continue fighting against wind energy projects in the municipality, some members of council believe this latest action is as far as they should go.

At council’s last meeting, Davis urged Mayor Ron Oswald to seek Bruce County Council’s support and to use money from its “rainy day account” should the bylaw need to be defended.

“We might need $100,000 from both Bruce and Grey counties to defend this, if it ever gets that far,” Davis said at the meeting two weeks ago. “We will not give up the fight.”

But Oswald has not yet asked Bruce County council for support and on Monday said he personally “cannot support spending taxpayers’ dollars to fight this.”

“I’m concerned about the health effects of these things on our people,” Tara ward Coun. Paul Eagleson said, but said he thinks any further fight “is too expensive, too rich for Arran- Elderslie to pursue. I’m all for green energy and for conservation, but I think we’ve pushed this issue as far as we can . . . when the government brought in the Green Energy Act they stripped us (local municipalities) of our rights. I can’t support taking the fight any further.”

Davis admits any further fight “could be expensive” but added “Arran-Elderslie has taken the lead on this and we can’t stop now. Someone has to lead the way and this appears to be our strongest route. I just hope other municipalities will follow suit,” Davis said, adding “if everyone works together, it would be affordable.”

Davis later admitted wind energy projects “could become an issue” in this fall’s municipal election campaign.

“If I decide to run and if I lose on this one issue, that will be OK because I’ll go down knowing I did what is best for the total municipality . . . the negative effect of these things on this municipality is huge and I’m prepared to spend Arran-Elderslie dollars to fight it if we have to.”

Chesley ward Coun. Stacy Charlton expressed concern that supporting the bylaw and fighting wind energy projects would hurt the municipality’s chances of getting provincial grant money. He claims MPP Carol Mitchell told him at an event in Chesley last fall “that those who don’t support green energy projects must not need government money either.”

“Well, the government hasn’t done too good of a job giving Arran-Elderslie money in the past so I can’t see how this is going to make things worse,” Davis replied.

Arran-Elderslie will circulate the bylaw to all municipalities in Ontario seeking support.

Grey County Council passed a motion last week to direct county staff to investigate preparing a similar wind turbine control bylaw.

Grey’s motion cited the possibility that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms could trump the provincial Green Energy Act, which replaced local control with uniform provincial rules and vested the province with the sole power of approval over wind power generation.

10 thoughts on “Arran-Elderslie Bylaw to control turbines in effect

  1. “MPP Carol Mitchell told him at an event in Chesley last fall ‘that those who don’t support green energy projects must not need government money either’.”

    MPP Carol Mitchell should be asked for her immediate resignation and the local Crown Attorney should be investigating charges under the Criminal Code of Canada (Sections 120…121… – corruption, bribery and municipal officials)

  2. Refreshing to see a set of councillors who are willing to stand up for their residents for a change despite the threat from Carol Mitchell. I agree that an investigation should be launched into the corruption and bribery that has been going on.

  3. I Hope Clearview Township and EVERY other Township follows this lead! We do have the right to peaceable living under the protection of the Canadian Charter of rights and freedoms- And many wind turbines have been sited in very inappropriate places causing much suffering and illness to the point of people having to vacate their homes and this cannot be denied- Living in constant annoyance , being aggravated non stop is recognized by World Health- Yet Ontario Health minister refuses to admit this!

  4. Did you ever think to see such a thing in Ontario? Where we have to take legal action against our government simply to ensure protection of our health?

  5. “Did you ever think to see such a thing in Ontario?”

    Hate to sound cynical and all, but me thinks we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

  6. Well put!….when the citizens of a Province have to hire lawyers to protect them from their very own elected officials then I would suggest we no longer live in a Democratic Society and the words, “Tyranny, Treason, Dictatorship” aptly describe the leadership!

  7. We as citizens matter at every level. We are the watchdogs of this province, not the MPP’s holding crumbs out for us.
    Dalton McGuinty is taxing the hell out of us to fund his schemes and over charging us for electricity that is produced by means of torturing it’s own residents of this province. Why doesn’t this government just say it runs as a marketing board for Wind Turbine companies?

  8. Carol Mitchell….How does she keep getting away with this kind of crap? That sounds like a threat to the municipality’s pocketbook to me. I wonder if other councils have been spoken to in this fashion. Even if they haven’t I’ll bet they are worried about their funds being cut off.

    Thanks for keeping it going Mark. You’re the kind of councillor everyones deserves. People cannot cave to hurting their constituents because our provincial government says that it’s OK. That is just 100% morally wrong. I hope all Ontario councillors understand the importance of what you are doing and get over their fear of reprisal from our cowardly provincial gov.

    The municipality is the last hope for the current victims and the future ones too. Every other level of gov. have completely abandoned them.
    Sad and frightening days in Ontario.

  9. Any chance of contacting a “high profile”lawyer known for taking on cases about persons in need who have been unfairly treated by the government?

    I think Clayton Ruby, and/or Eddie Greenspon-types? It’s worth a thought. They are well-known to the media.

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