In an unusual move, a motion presented by Deputy Mayor Luke Charbonneau in Committee of the Whole at Monday night’s Council meeting, was immediately moved on to the Regular Council portion of the meeting for immediate voting. “I see no point in postponing this for another two weeks,” said Charbonneau.
The motion presented states:
Section 123 of the Municipal Act 2001 states that “Without limiting sections 9, 10 and 11, a local municipality may, for the purpose of public safety, regulate with respect to cliffs, pits, deep waters and other dangerous places. 2001, c. 25, s. 123; 2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 64.”
the Saugeen Shores Wind Turbine Development Policy defines a Large Wind Energy Conversion System (LWECS) as “one or more mechanical power generating devices or turbines which convert wind to electrical power, singly or collectively producing more than nameplate capacity rating of 50 kilowatts kW.”
all industrial wind turbines currently proposed or under constructions within the Town of Saugeen Shores qualify as LWECS under the Policy.
it has been established that within the area immediately surrounding an operating LWECS there is the potential for dangers to the public caused by icing, shadow flicker, the effects of extreme weather and catastrophic mechanical failure.
Now Therefore be it Resolved
that the Council of the Town of Saugeen Shores asserts that the area immediately surrounding an operating LWECS is a dangerous place as identified in Section 123 of the Muncipal Act.
that, for the purpose of public safety, the Council of the Town of Saugeen Shores directs municipal staff to draft, for Council’s consideration, a by law prohibiting public access to the area immediately surrounding any operating LWECS within the Town of Saugeen Shores.“
In other words, under the Municipal Act, councils have a responsibility and authority to protect the public they are elected to serve. The motion tabled by Deputy Mayor Luke Charbonneau was unanimously supported by Council.
The contentious issue of the wind turbine under construction at the CAW in Port Elgin is part of the area that comes under the new motion. When asked if the new By-law would prohibit the public from accessing the parking lot or soccer fields adjacent to the new CAW wind turbine, Charbonneau replied that “… yes, it will.”
Under the new By-Law, owners of wind turbines will be asked to provide a physical barricade to prevent the public from wandering into the immediate areas. In addition, the public may face a penalty if they contravene the By-law and wander into the area surrounding a turbine. Charbonneau approximated that distance would be a radius of 150 to 300 meters.