Catherine Mitchell, Welland Tribune
How much time, money, and energy are you willing to invest in the protection of your democratic rights? My democratic rights are not for sale, but it does require an investment to protect them. Elected officials have an ethical duty and a legal obligation to protect the health, safety, quality of life and well-being of citizens and their properties. When these fundamental legal entitlements are ignored, compromised or denied elected officials are obligated to take action.
The Municipality of Wainfleet may be one of the smallest in Ontario with a population of 6500 people but they have been a powerhouse in the struggle over the renewable energy initiative and the Green Energy Act. Wainfleet council is one of the ninety-one (91 ) municipal councils in Ontario that asked for a moratorium on renewable energy initiatives until risk assessments were conducted by the province. They declared themselves “Not a Willing Host” to industrial wind turbines, they had their 2 km by-law declared “invalid” not illegal. A creative ruling that acknowledges that municipalities have an obligation to protect the health, safety, quality of life and well-being of citizens and their properties, but “property” was poorly defined! And now they find citizens of their municipality engaged in an Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) Hearing. Some consider the ERT hearings nothing more than a kangaroo court rigged by the provincial government. Others consider them the municipality’s last defence before the invasion of industrial wind turbines. The $40,000 that has been budgeted for legal fees in this battle is an investment in the health, safety, quality of life and well-being of all citizens and their properties in Wainfleet. Read article