By Barb McKay
Kincardine council has made it clear that the Municipality will not be a willing host community to industrial wind turbine projects.
Council passed a motion stating exactly that at its meeting last Wednesday. The motion cites Grey Bruce Health Unit Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hazel Lynn and Dr. Ian Arra’s recent study which found that industrial wind turbines “have a definite human annoyance on residents living around and near these structures.” The motion also made mention of the fact that the Municipality has acknowledged that some citizens are suffering side effects attributed to the proximity of turbines to where they live and work.
Kincardine passed another motion recently stating that it would not support the construction of industrial turbines that are not in compliance with the Municipality’s wind policy. Last week’s motion was prompted in part by Premier Kathleen Wynne’s reported desire to focus on locating industrial wind turbine developments in willing host communities.
“It’s really a motion that responds to the new premier’s strategy to try and restore local authority for wind projects,” said councillor Jacqueline Faubert.
She added that similar motions have been passed by nearly 20 other municipalities.
Councillor Maureen Couture questioned if the motion would have any teeth. She said words are easy, but the legislation is in the hands of the province and if the government wanted to change it, it could.
“This isn’t a motion against wind (power),” said councillor Ron Coristine, “this is motion for people’s health.”
He added that he hopes in the future wind energy companies will improve their practices.
Councillor Ken Craig, however, said he could not support the motion. He said passing a motion that says the Municipality is firmly against wind energy developments in its backyard sends a contradictory message.
“We passed a motion that says if you follow these policies you are free to go ahead,” he said, referring to the Municipality’s wind policy.
Council voted 7-1 in favour of the motion.