Liberal MPP says his government isn’t forcing any community to do anything

By Leith Dunick,

MPP Bill Mauro says he’s met with opponents of Horizon Wind’s proposed turbine farm slated for the Nor’Wester Mountain Range, but when push comes to shove, it’s the city’s decision whether or not to let the project go ahead.

The Liberal MPP, who represents Thunder Bay-Atikokan, on Thursday said he thinks the Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee are aware that the only role the province has in the decision is co-ordinating the environmental assessment process and nothing more.

“Like any project of this scope, that’s the province’s role, the environmental assessment, no more, no less,” Mauro said. “At the end of the day what’s occurred is that a private developer has a contractual arrangement with the City of Thunder Bay as a landholder, and it will be up to the City of Thunder Bay to decide how they want to move forward with this company.”

Horizon Wind, which will hold the third and fourth of four planned open houses on Monday and Tuesday, is seeking permission to place 18 turbines on top of the mountain, a move that have many in the Neebing ward neighbourhood up in arms.

Opponents have cited everything from decreased property values to environmental impact and increased power costs as reasons why they don’t want the $75-million project to go ahead, and earlier this month questioned why Mauro and his Thunder Bay-Superior North counterpart Michael Gravelle were not at either of the first two open houses held.

Mauro said while his government is trying to establish a green-energy industry in Ontario, it’s not pushing the technology on any community.

“Anybody who is a private landowner, who wishes to engage in a contractual relationship with a green-energy provider, that’s entirely up to them. Nothing that the province has done forces anybody as a private landowner to do anything,” Mauro said.

“It’s entirely up to them if they so choose to enter into an agreement contractually with any developer, whether it’s wind energy, solar energy or anything else.”

Gravelle, who said he won’t be in attendance Monday or Tuesday night, said he supports renewable energy and the opportunities that might be available for wind turbine development, and that while he knows the Nor’Wester proposal has been a controversial one, efforts have been made to work with the community as a whole.

It seems to have worked in his riding, he added, where wind farms in Dorion and Shuniah have begun with little or no fanfare.

Gravelle said wind farms provide tremendous economic activity in hard-hit communities and brings about clean, green, renewable energy.

“I will continue to work with my communities in the best possible way, and if issues arise, I’ll be working with those as well.”

Monday’s open house is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Nor’Wester Resort Hotel. Tuesday’s meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Blake Community Hall.

9 thoughts on “Liberal MPP says his government isn’t forcing any community to do anything

  1. Pretty hard to say no when developers are now providing landowners $20,000 per turbine especially when you’re a farmer or a struggling municipality trying to make ends meet. Also, the wind industry has been very adept in promoting wind energy because it pushes all the right buttons people want to hear, clean, grean, free, save the world from GHG’s emissions. How can anyone turn that down unless they take inordinate amounts or time efforts to investigate. The dark side of renewables is not easy to understand and is very convoluded with all of it’s aspects of unreliable, intermittent, inefficient, poor quality, environmentally harmful, and dangerous contractual issues. This takes time and people today have lost their critical thinking skills including our politicians who will do anything to save the world except take a science course in thermodynamics.

  2. “Anybody who is a private landowner, who wishes to engage in a contractual relationship with a green-energy provider, that’s entirely up to them. Nothing that the province has done forces anybody as a private landowner to do anything,” Mauro said.

    Problem is folks that too many of these private contracts with landowners affect OTHER peoples health, property value and quality of life. I don’t think these guys think before they speak. And this guy is supposed to be looking out for us… about frustrating..

  3. Robin Whore…Ontario Liberals Policy…Take from the poor (and bankrupt) & give to the rich (who donate to their campaigns)….

  4. Playing “dumb” and stating absolute Lies won’t protect these idiots from what’s coming at them!

    There IS a “political awakening” happening across our Province and the backlash will eventually become furious!

    We have a moral and honourable DUTY to make sure this Municipal Election on October 25th sends the first salvo of discontent across the Good Ship McGuinty!

  5. Wind Action has at Aug. 18 2010:,

    “Saginaw County farmers learn benefits,pitfalls of wind farm leasing” follow links & filed under Michigan/General.

    Denis Stein, District Management Educator MSU Extension said “You’re giving up selling rights to property for the life of the contract” Stein said and contracts typically last a minimum of 20 years.

    For more information on wind farm leasing call Michigan State University Extension at (989) 758-2800.

    All property owners should know this before agreeing to leases for wind turbines. So it is possible land owners could lose their land under these leases if anyting should go wrong in the future.

  6. The governments hand in this is to allow rural farm land to be designated industrial. They have absolutely facilitated in the widespread sprawl of Industrial Wind Turbines.

  7. Anyone who leases their land have not idea of the value of their land prior to the lease being placed on their deed. Land with a deed is of less value if it can be sold at all as it is nothing more than land with a large piece of industrial toxic junk.

  8. For most people their real property is the biggest asset they own. Making this asset/property illiquid for ~ 20 years is indeed very risky.

    No one can forsee that far into the future in regards to their financial needs.

    Illiquid means you can’t sell any given real or personal property.

    Wind farm operators don’t want to keep making new leases on the same real property. So no sale of property is in the original lease.

    Benefits the wind farm operators and not the land owners.

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