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Huron East debates getting political over IWTs

Susan Hundertmark, Seaforth Huron Expositor — July 25,2012

Whether or not Huron East should join with other local municipalities in fighting the province over the Green Energy Act or if the municipality can be most effective making sure local wind projects follow the rules and regulations to the letter, was debated by Huron East councillors at their July 17 meeting.
Remarking on a Renewable Energy Approval Consultation form filled out by the municipality of Bluewater, Tuckersmith Coun. Les Falconer asked why if Bluewater is making political statements against industrial wind turbine (IWT) projects in its community, should Huron East join them.
“If Bluewater is doing this, why, at the county level, can’t we get together?” he said. “Fighting the Green Energy Act is what it’s coming down to and we have to decide if Huron East is taking on the province.”
But, Huron East CAO Brad Knight suggested that Huron East should find other avenues to get political other than the municipal consultation form. He compared Bluewater’s response to that of the County of Huron when responding to the St. Columban Energy project.
“The key difference between the two documents is that the county document does make the ‘political statement’ at the beginning of the form and I don’t believe the consultation form is the proper place to make that comment,” he said in a report to Huron East council.
Knight added that if Huron East has issues they “may wish to pursue,” they “be documented through the posting on the Environmental Registry.”
The Bluewater consultation form begins with general comments pointing out that the municipality has expressed “unanimous opposition to the installation of wind turbines” in Bluewater, adding that the form “should not be construed in any way as support for the project, and are only made in an effort to point out the shortfalls in the study work done to date, the issues that have not been fully examined and the requirements that the municipality will expect the proponent to fulfill should this application be approved.”

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