by Scott Nixon, Exeter Times-Advocate
SOUTH HURON — Members of South Huron council were among a group of municipal representatives who in protest walked out of an address by Premier Dalton McGuinty in Toronto last week. Mayor George Robertson, Deputy Mayor Jim Dietrich and Coun. David Frayne left the room Feb. 27 during McGuinty’s address at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association/Ontario Good Roads Association conference.
There was talk before the conference of municipal politicians walking out during McGuinty’s address to protest wind energy and the province’s Green Energy Act.
Asked last week why he decided to walk out in protest, Robertson cited a number of reasons, including the unanswered questions surrounding the impact industrial wind turbines have on humans and animals like migratory birds.
He said he would like to see an independent health study done on the turbines.
Another concern for Robertson is that municipalities “have no say in the matter” of industrial wind turbine projects.
“It’s tearing the community apart,” he said, adding that when a farmer allows turbines on his property, the neighbours can see them.
“We have families fighting with one another over it because they don’t want to see (the turbines) there.”
Referring to the Green Energy Act, Robertson said it is “being shoved down the communities’ throat without any say in the matter.”
He noted he supports Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson’s private member’s bill that calls for a moratorium on further wind turbine development until a health effects study is completed.
Robertson also expressed concern about what will happen to the turbines in 25 or 30 years.
“For all the unanswered questions I think I need to support the people that live here,” he said.
There have been reports that more than 100 councillors walked out during McGuinty’s address. Robertson said quite a few Huron County councilors joined them.