Norfolk Councilors question wind developers

Council was lied to about BSC consultation

An open house with Capital Power officials will be held at the Jarvis Community Centre on Mon., Jan. 31 and at the Port Dover Community Centre on Tues., Feb. 1, 4 p.m.-7 p.m. both days.

By Daniel Pearce, Brantford Expositor
Norfolk’s elected officials put the developers of a proposed wind farm east of Port Dover on the hot seat last night, raising questions about the impact the turbines will have on the environment and the people who live nearby.

Simcoe Coun. Peter Black asked representatives of Capital Power, the Canadian company that wants to build a 58-turbine site that would straddle Norfolk and Haldimand counties, if they had consulted Bird Studies Canada about the impact the project would have on birds in the area.

“At this point, we’re not certain (if we’ve contacted them),” replied project manager Todd Josifovski.

“I suggest that you do,” Black shot back, explaining council had been told years ago BSC was consulted during the planning process for the wind farm at the other end of the county and later found out that wasn’t true.

Houghton Coun. Betty Chanyi pointed to a map showing the 13 turbines proposed for the Norfolk side and noted one was surrounded by woodlot.

“Is that a good spot for a turbine?” she asked.

Company officials said the woodlots have been examined for the type of wildlife they house and the turbines have been pushed far enough back “so there will be no blades sweeping overhead the woodlot.”

Councillors questioned company officials in a back and forth session, but ultimately they can do nothing to stop the project.

The province, the meeting was reminded, has taken over the approval process for green energy projects and has already given the initial OK for the one east of Port Dover.

Last May, council joined a number of town halls in Ontario in calling for a moratorium on the construction of any new wind farms given the growing wave of health complaints from residents who live near them — including residents next to the turbines in the Houghton area.

“It makes me wonder why we are even discussing this,” remarked Waterford Coun. Harold Sonnenberg, who was chairing last night’s council-in-committee meeting.

Councillors also objected to a staff report they were asked to vote on that said the county had “endorsed” a “municipal consultation form” related to the project.

In the end, elected officials agreed “to accept” the report from planning staff.

“We have to go through the process whether we want to or not,” said Simcoe Coun. Charlie Luke, noting council has an “obligation” to deal with the staff report.

In the past couple of years, council has heard numerous deputations from people who live in the west end of the county and insist the turbines there have sickened them. Some residents have moved out of their homes.

“I feel a great deal of consideration should be given to the residents who live nearby,” said Chanyi.

Company officials said they have held open houses for the Port Dover project and the reception from the public so far has been favourable.

The turbines of the Capital Power project will be one kilometer away from the nearest homes in a proposed new subdivision — farther than the minimum 550 metres the province has stipulated in its new regulations, the meeting was told.

As well, a golf course is slated to go in between the subdivision and the turbines.

If the project makes it through the final level of approvals, construction will start at the end of this year and the first electricity is expected to be generated by the end of 2012, said Josifovski. Enough power would come from the turbines to light up 22,000 Ontario homes, he added.

An open house with Capital Power officials will be held at the Jarvis Community Centre on Mon., Jan. 31 and at the Port Dover Community Centre on Tues., Feb. 1, 4 p.m.-7 p.m. both days.

7 thoughts on “Norfolk Councilors question wind developers

  1. “Enough power would come from the turbines to light up 22,000 Ontario homes, he added”

    Q) How can you tell if an Industrial Wind Company official is lying?

    A) Their lips are moving.

  2. “Councillors questioned company officials in a back and forth session, but ultimately they can do nothing to stop the project.”

    MALE BOVINE EXCREMENT!

    It matters not the level of a government. ALL HAVE A FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY
    TO THE PEOPLE THEY REPRESENT! Should one level of government or another ignore or subvert this responsibility, other levels be they higher or lower, are obligated to act to protect their citizens!

    Any duly elected government has the legal right and authority to FORBID ANY ACTIVITY THAT MAY HARM ITS CITIZENS!

    So says The Supreme Court of Canada!

    These wimpy councils HAD BETTER WAKE UP!

    B.B.W.

  3. Al:

    Under our vaunted constitution, the responsibility to protect “us” is OUR and OURS ALONE!

    The constitution is NOT POLICED! If a citizen feels his/hers rights are being violated
    he/she must sue the offender at his/heR OWN EXPENSE!

    People in this country desperately need to WAKE UP!

    B.B.W.

  4. BBW

    You’re right on the mark.

    I hope to speak to the councillor who said they are “helpless”

    He and the others need to become MORE CREATIVE in protecting the residents of their county instead of hiding behind the province’s skirts.

  5. If wind power was so good why did McGuinty have to by pass all the rules of the government. I spell a rat, do you.
    It is a way to siphon money from rich Countries to poor, distribute the wealth. Read the Cloak of Green,Elaine Dewar-google it on google and read it on line.

  6. I LIVE IN HALDMAND COUNTY. (SUMMERHAVEN PROJECT) I HAVE A GREAT HORNED OWL ON MY PROPERTY. THERE IS VERY FEW OF THESE IN HALDIMAND COUNTY. THE BIRD REPORTS DON’T HAVE SHOW THEM, OR HALF THE OTHER RARE BIRDS I HAVE SEEN. I THINK A NEW BIRD REPORT SHOULD BE DONE. BY SOMEONE NOT FUNDEED BY THE WIND TURBINES. THE BIRDS ARE AT A GREAT DANGER, TO THE TURBINES.

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