London Free Press, Norman DeBono
A rural backlash against industrial wind farms is delaying urban Ontario hundreds of jobs promised under the province’s $7-billion deal with Samsung.
Angry residents opposed to wind turbines are filling rural meeting halls and politicians are demanding a moratorium on future wind farms until a recently announced federal health study on turbines is completed. The fight is keeping people from working the plant floor in three communities and delaying the opening of the Samsung plant for London promised a year ago by Premier Dalton McGuinty.
“I am anxious we move on this and I have made it clear I am anxious,” Energy Minister Chris Bentley said Friday. The agreement the McGuinty Liberals cut with Samsung calls for the Korean industrial giant to open four plants in Ontario. Plants in Tillsonburg, Toronto and Windsor have opened but they’re not operating at capacity. The London plant is delayed.
Each plant is being built to serve an Ontario wind farm or solar project. When the projects are approved, the plants will be humming, said Bentley, MPP for London West. “The manufacturing facilities are all designed to serve these (Ontario) projects first and foremost,” he said. “The jobs are coming because they are all tied to the projects.”
Bentley cited “procedural delays” such as environmental reviews and “various consultations and discussions” as slowing the process. Read article