Lambton Shores council has joined the list of municipalities asking for a moratorium on new wind farms in Ontario until an independent study is commissioned to determine their impact on human health. Council voted Monday in favour of resolutions from Lambton Shores Concerned Citizens, a group formed earlier this year in opposition to plans to substantially increase the number of wind turbines in the municipality.
“We’re pleased that we got the support,” said group member Mike Mahood, “and really pleased that the council members have informed themselves.”
Lambton Shore is home to the only 10 wind turbines in Lambton County but in July the province announced contracts for the Jericho Wind Energy Centre, a 150-turbine farm proposed for the Thedford area, and the 75 to 100-MW Cedar Point project Suncor wants to build in Lambton Shores and Plympton-Wyoming near Forest.
“At the very least,” Mahood said, “we hope that it slows the development of these things down and gives time for the community to develop it’s own plan, its own made-in-Lambton-Shores strategy to deal with so-called renewable energy.”
Municipal councils in neighbouring Plympton-Wyoming and Dawn-Euphemia Township have also passed resolutions calling for a provincial moratorium and independent health study.
A second resolution, also supported by Lambton Shores council Monday, calls on the provincial government to restore local planning approval power for renewable energy projects Ontario’s Green Energy Act took away from municipalities.
“There was a fair bit of debate,” said Mayor Bill Weber, “but it was supported fairly well by council.”
Mahood said the vote was six to one in favour of the resolutions, a high level of support that surprised him.
“There’s no one opposed to green energy,” Weber said. “They’re just opposed to the way the process has been handled.”
Mahood said he doesn’t expect the resolutions will change the mind of the current provincial government leaders.
“(Premier Dalton) McGuinty is too far gone,” Mahood said.
“I don’t think it will make any difference to him.”
A change in government in the fall provincial election is “probably the only way we’re going to get this slowed down,” Mahood said.
Lambton Shores Concerned Citizens hasn’t decided what step the group will take next, he said.
“I think we’ll just wait and see . . . and put our voice wherever we can.”