By Cathy Pelletier, Dunnville Chronicle
Until it can be determined whether wind turbines adversely affect the health of its citizens or not, Haldimand will join forces with 67 Ontario municipalities that are asking for a moratorium on wind turbines.
Councillor Buck Sloat asked that a resolution be drafted stating Council members have input into site erection. “Previously, they made it very clear that you had to be a willing host,” said Sloat. “But now that has gone out the door and I think we need to get that back on the agenda. I think we want to be concerned more from a planning perspective than a health perspective,” he added.
Councillor Craig Grice agreed. “I don’t think any of us are doctors. Our residents need to have input and be aware. The main concern I have is that the public seems to have very little input. Our Council has virtually no say through the Green Energy Act and the province is turning a blind eye to it.”
“One of the big concerns is the appearance of the province approving these without the approval of municipalities,” said Councillor Lorne Boyko.
“Have some regard, be it yay, nay, or maybe, but they are not doing that right now. Health may come into it but I think we’re dealing with it from a planning perspective. I don’t think we have that health expertise. There appears to be strong support for the fact that turbines should be erected in places where they are welcome. Why would you force them on municipalities that don’t want them? The province has to get that.”
Councillor Toby Barrett said in some cases, turbines are “pitting neighbour against neighbour. Let the health experts look after that. We’re supposed to look at planning.”
He also wondered whether the lack of bedrock in South Walpole would affect the anchoring of turbines.
Councillor Don Ricker’s concerns stem from minimum distance standards and placement of turbines near Haldimand homes.
Sloat told Council the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (WOWC) is going to lobby the provincial government to give municipalities more input in the erection of wind turbines in their areas.
He and Boyko volunteered to represent the County on the WOWC.
“I have been representing Haldimand County on the WOWC since I’ve been a Councillor,” said Sloat.
“They have been a very influential group and I think it’s important that we participate.”