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Thursday, December 12, 2019

TC Energy Hosts First Public Meeting in Meaford

Meaford | by Cody Misner  

Well over 300 people attended the meeting at the Meaford Community Centre.

Signs from community members unhappy with the proposed facility 

TC Energy held an Open House on Wednesday night to provide information on the proposed Pumped Storage Facility that might be built on Meaford Base over the next 7 years.


Well over 300 people attended the meeting at the Meaford Community Centre.


TC Energy tried to run a tight ship with two presentations, one from the Department of National Defence and another from TC Energy with randomly drawn community questions at the end of each presentation.


This quickly fell apart as speakers were interrupted with questions from passionate community members or shouts calling for the whole project to be scrapped.


TC Energy Spokesperson Jennifer Link says that being so early in the feasibility stage can make answering community concerns difficult at times.

"Because it's so early on we don't have much information to share, which we know can be frustrating," Link says, "but we will share what we have and continue to share it when available."


Some new information brought up is that this facility would be the first Pumped Storage Facility ever built by TC Energy.


This new revelation did not ease the worries of Tom Buck, head of the anti facility group Save Georgian Bay.


"It causes me a concern relative to them putting something like this together," Buck says, "we are getting the picture they want the community to see but we need to look at their history."


Link spoke about the sentiment around the project in some parts of the community saying "we know we aren't going to have a bunch of new allies after this meeting but we are hoping to get out and communicate the new information when it's available."  


She says that building trust will take time.  


Link also addresses the misconception that the Meaford facility would use the same technology as a Michigan facility that caused massive environmental damage.

"The technology is similar in nature to that in Michigan in that it pumps water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir," Link states, "what's different is 50 years of time has lapsed and new technology is available."


Two more public meetings are set for January 16th and 23rd.


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