Nextera lawyer says that the company has“An unquestionable right to locate distribution facilities within this community without the consent of the municipality, yet these proposed amendments eliminate that right.”
The Hanover Post
WEST GREY - An external lawyer working for NextEra Energy told West Grey council Monday evening during question period that imposing large fees for bonds associated with the construction of wind turbines is, in his opinion, unlawful. West Grey was served a letter on Friday describing lawyer Justin Necpal’s argument against a bylaw passed Monday evening outlining amendments to include fees associated with the construction of wind turbines.
Councillors John Eccles and Don Marshall were the only councillors that voted against the bylaw.
“This is, respectively, unlawful for three reasons,” said Necpal. He explained the bylaw conflicts with “provincial regulatory regimes for the development of green energy and renewable energy projects in Ontario.” Necpal said the Green Energy Act, passed by the province in 2009, has the “predominate purpose” of promoting renewable energy sources and green energy. He added that the Ministry of Environment is the sole authority for approving green energy projects in Ontario.
He said, in his opinion, one of the fundamental aspects of the act is that municipalities cannot pass bylaws that frustrate the provincial legislation. He called the amendments “unlawful interference” to the province’s regulatory regime.
“As states in the letter, … the municipality does not have the authority to pass this bylaw,” Necpal stated. “It also violates the Municipality Act, under which the municipalities in Ontario are only permitted to pass fees that are reasonable and connected to the cost they incur in providing services. The consultation fees, the performance bond, and security requirements in bylaw 26 are unrelated and unconnected to the services this municipality will provide.” Read article