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Thursday, March 17, 2011

No Wind Permits in Georgian Bluffs

Georgian Bluffs | by Jonathon Jackson  

Township will not issue permits for any wind turbine developments.

Georgian Bluffs will not be issuing any kind of permits that would lead to the construction of industrial wind turbines.

But it remains to be seen whether the resolution passed by council Wednesday night has any teeth.

Deputy Mayor Dwight Burley introduced the motion, with Councillor Tom Wiley seconding it.

The recorded vote passed by a slim 4-3 margin.

Mayor Alan Barfoot and Councillor Ryan Thompson also supported it.

Councillors Carol Barfoot, Judy Gay and Bob Lennox voted against it.

The mayor says the motion's effectiveness will only be determined for sure if someone steps up to challenge it.

Barfoot agrees the township may not even have the authority or jurisdiction to refuse to issue a permit that would lead to turbine construction.

But Barfoot says this move is necessary because the province needs to be more aware of turbine-related issues being raised at the local level of government.

This all follows a recent report to the local Board of Health by Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hazel Lynn, who has called for the province to pay for a study on how people may suffer negative health effects from turbines near their homes.

There are currently no industrial wind turbines in Georgian Bluffs, nor do there seem to be any proposals for wind energy there, so this could be seen as a preemptive strike against developers who may be considering the township as a location for that type of development.

Mayor Barfoot says the resolution does not reflect any official position or attitude regarding wind turbines.

He says the goal is simply to advocate for a study which would have to be funded by the province simply because the board of health can't afford to do it.

If and when the study is done, the township would move forward based on Dr. Lynn's assessment of the results.


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