Adelaide-Metcalfe Candidates talk Wind Turbines

Election day is coming up on October 25th, 2010.  We asked the candidates for Adelaide-Metcalfe council to answer some questions on Wind Turbine development, along with a couple of questions on public involvement with our township council.

Here are some of the more thoughtful responses received by some candidates:

“I am against industrial wind turbines.” —Putts Strybosch (Deputy Mayor candidate)

“I strongly believe that constituents have the right to voice their concerns. A 30 minute open discussion would be a good tool for council to better address the concerns. After all shouldn’t your council be there to fight for their constituents?” —Randy Campbell (Councillor candidate)

“…townships need to push back against the province to answer the townships questions and concerns.” —Kurtis Smith (Councillor candidate)

“If scientists can detect objects light years away, or measure items below the earth’s surface to great accuracy, surely similar technology can scientifically answer the question, if there is a will to answer it.” —Nick Stokman (Councillor candidate)


Although many current council members in Ontario will say that the municipality doesn’t have any say about wind turbines anymore because of the Green Energy Act, I don’t think that’s  true. Since the GEA came into play, council still has had to make decisions that were wind turbine related. One was on February 2nd (no, it wasn’t on the agenda, yes it was voted on) when council gave the wind company TCI Renewables a 90 free pass, ” “Mr. Mark Gallagher of TCI also requested that Council by resolution and letter to the Ministry of the Environment and Energy acknowledge the community consultation that has taken place for this project and waive a further 90 day notice.”  Wind turbine related items do come up, they do get discussed and they do get voted on.

Another reason this election matters is that as citizens we want to have a voice, we want to be heard. We do not want to be mocked and ignored. And most importantly we want our council to stand up for us and tell the provincial government that we do not want our community steam-rolled with Industrial Wind Turbines.

A common council line  is “our hands are tied”. But are their mouths taped shut? They can still support us and speak for us.

Early this year I was told by our current mayor that the council supported health studies for other areas, but not for this township. Is this what you expect from your local elected officials? A bit of concern would have been nice to see, especially since our local school would be surrounded with wind turbines.

We all need to know where our candidates stand, and below are their answers, so please read through carefully.

The Questions:

  1. What are your views on the proposed, large-scale, industrial wind turbine projects to be situated in Adelaide-Metcalfe township?
  2. On Dec. 22nd, 2009 Adelaide-Metcalfe council supported a resolution, forwarded by the Township of Manvers and Grey County, asking for a moratorium on wind turbine construction until proper health, economic impact, environmental and property studies are completed (see document  here). Would you support this resolution as well?
  3. Other municipalities in Ontario have a 10-30 minute open question/comment period available at each council meeting for any member of the public not on the agenda to speak to council. Is this an initiative you would support having available to help your constituent’s concerns be heard?
  4. Would you support having an agenda available, before a council meeting, that includes digital copies of correspondence/background reports/pertinent links so the public can access this information before it is discussed and voted on?
    Please compare the agendas below:
    Adelaide-Metcalfe’s Agenda
    Southwest Middlesex’s Agenda
    Strathroy-Caradoc’s Agenda
    Middlesex County’s Agenda
  5. Do you have any other comments we can share with our members?

The answers varied from no reply to full support. It was very refreshing to hear some new voices support our request of a moratorium on wind turbines until appropriate tests on health, economic impact, environmental and property studies are complete. You do have a choice this election, so be sure to vote!

Candidate for Mayor (acclaimed)

-David Bolton
519-247-3734

*[No reply or response to questions]*

 

Candidates for Deputy Mayor (choose 1)

-Adrian DeBruyn
519-247-3220

*[No reply or response to questions]*

 

-Putts Strybosch
519-245-3060 

Q.   What are your views on the proposed, large-scale, industrial wind turbine projects to be situated in Adelaide-Metcalfe township?
A.   I am against industrial wind turbines.

 Q.   On Dec. 22nd, 2009 Adelaide-Metcalfe council supported a resolution, forwarded by the Township of Manvers and Grey County, asking for a moratorium on wind turbine construction until proper health, economic impact, environmental and property studies are completed. Would you support this resolution as well?
A.   Yes.

 Q.   Other municipalities in Ontario have a 10-30 minute open question/comment period available at each council meeting for any member of the public not on the agenda to speak to council. Is this an initiative you would support having available to help your constituent’s concerns be heard?
A.   Yes.

 Q.  Would you support having an agenda available, before a council meeting, that includes digital copies of correspondence/background reports/pertinent links so the public can access this information before it is discussed and voted on?
A.   Yes.
 

Candidates for Councillor (choose 3)

-Randy Campbell
519-247-9850

Q.   What are your views on the proposed, large-scale, industrial wind turbine projects to be situated in Adelaide-Metcalfe township?
A.   It is my opinion that any turbine project for Adelaide/Metcalfe township (or anywhere else for that matter), should not move forward until proper studies have been made on the effects of Health, Environment and Economic effects of such a project.

 Q.   On Dec. 22nd, 2009 Adelaide-Metcalfe council supported a resolution, forwarded by the Township of Manvers and Grey County, asking for a moratorium on wind turbine construction until proper health, economic impact, environmental and property studies are completed. Would you support this resolution as well?
A.   Yes.

 Q.   Other municipalities in Ontario have a 10-30 minute open question/comment period available at each council meeting for any member of the public not on the agenda to speak to council. Is this an initiative you would support having available to help your constituent’s concerns be heard?
A.   I strongly believe that constituents have the right to voice their concerns. A 30 minute open discussion would be a good tool for council to better address the concerns. After all shouldn’t your council be there to fight for their constituents?

Q.  Would you support having an agenda available, before a council meeting, that includes digital copies of correspondence/background reports/pertinent links so the public can access this information before it is discussed and voted on?
A.   I see no problem with having an agenda available before a council meeting. I think that everything discussed in council should be a matter of public record.

 

-Richard Copp
519-3287

*[No reply or response to questions]*

 

-Mary Ann Hendrikx
519-247-3623

Q.   What are your views on the proposed, large-scale, industrial wind turbine projects to be situated in Adelaide-Metcalfe township?
A.   I’ve heard from several people that the sight of windmills covering the township is overwhelming.  I have also travelled through the Alliston area, and along Highway 21, and can appreciate that view.As I understand it, any project here would feed into a transmission line that will be unable to take more power once the Bornish project feeds into it.  The Bornish project is scheduled to be completed in the next year or so, which would delay anything in Adelaide-Metcalfe until the transmission line has more capacity.  That certainly gives us time to play more of the dueling-studies game, plus get the feedback from our neighbours to the north about all of their reactions, positive or negative.
If this project still continues, and I see lots of reasons why it won’t, I think it needs to be handled by one company, so that the best site selection can be done, rather than wherever a person has signed up with the right company.
In the end, the responsibility for this issue lies with the province (Green Energy Act), and with laws about the rights of property ownership.

 Q.   On Dec. 22nd, 2009 Adelaide-Metcalfe council supported a resolution, forwarded by the Township of Manvers and Grey County, asking for a moratorium on wind turbine construction until proper health, economic impact, environmental and property studies are completed. Would you support this resolution as well?
A.   In December I probably would have supported that resolution.  Since that time, more studies in Ontario have been done.  At some point, the studies done here and elsewhere in the world have to be compiled and reviewed, and the results accepted.

 Q.   Other municipalities in Ontario have a 10-30 minute open question/comment period available at each council meeting for any member of the public not on the agenda to speak to council. Is this an initiative you would support having available to help your constituent’s concerns be heard?
A.   Constituents can email, call or speak to me at any time with their views and concerns.  If an issue is worthy of being on the agenda, it should be heard at an open meeting, with notice to all who might share an interest in the issue, so that council can hear all sides of the issue.

Q.  Would you support having an agenda available, before a council meeting, that includes digital copies of correspondence/background reports/pertinent links so the public can access this information before it is discussed and voted on?
A.   I could support upgrading the agenda, provided the cost was reasonable.  We are a fairly small municipality.  At the present time, if there are requests for a change pertaining to a property, the abutting properties are notified.  Some of the other links serve little value to those outside council, in my opinion, and others would have a limited following.  While being interested in the community is an admirable trait,  the primary interest should be in electing people we can trust to work on our behalf.

Other comments:   I’m usually most swayed by positive arguments, and I was disappointed in the negativity of many of the pieces on the wind action website.  Demonizing others (like being revolted by sharing a timbit box with a wind developer) is offensive. 

 

-Betty Ann MacKinnon
519-287-2699

Q.   What are your views on the proposed, large-scale, industrial wind turbine projects to be situated in Adelaide-Metcalfe township?
A.   I’m in favour of green energy but would like to see independent health studies completed.

 Q.   On Dec. 22nd, 2009 Adelaide-Metcalfe council supported a resolution, forwarded by the Township of Manvers and Grey County, asking for a moratorium on wind turbine construction until proper health, economic impact, environmental and property studies are completed. Would you support this resolution as well?
A.   The municipality has no control over the Green Energy Act; the Ministry of the Environment is responsible for approval of these projects.

 Q.   Other municipalities in Ontario have a 10-30 minute open question/comment period available at each council meeting for any member of the public not on the agenda to speak to council. Is this an initiative you would support having available to help your constituent’s concerns be heard?
A.   Delegations have the opportunity now under the municipality’s procedural By-law to make an appointment to speak to council.

Q.  Would you support having an agenda available, before a council meeting, that includes digital copies of correspondence/background reports/pertinent links so the public can access this information before it is discussed and voted on?
A.   All agendas are available via the website or by going into the municipal office and obtaining a hard copy of the agenda and copies of any report constituent’s maybe interested in.

Other comments:  If you are asking that information be returned by a specified time in the future please give consideration to time constraints we may have. Give more than  three days to get the information back to you.

 

-Kurtis Smith
519-847-5640
ksmithforCouncillor@hotmail.com

Q.   What are your views on the proposed, large-scale, industrial wind turbine projects to be situated in Adelaide-Metcalfe township?
A.   Before any proposed large scale industrial wind turbine project are erected in Adelaide Metcalfe, there needs to be more health studies to ensure there are no health risks. Looking twenty years out and farther do we know that these wind turbines will be sustainable. Given the mandate of the Ontario Power Authority and the Green Energy Act, wind turbines are more of a provincial matter and townships need to push back against the province to answer the townships questions and concerns.

 Q.   On Dec. 22nd, 2009 Adelaide-Metcalfe council supported a resolution, forwarded by the Township of Manvers and Grey County, asking for a moratorium on wind turbine construction until proper health, economic impact, environmental and property studies are completed. Would you support this resolution as well?
A.   Yes, I would support this resolution. More questions need to be answered before constructing these wind turbines throughout the province.

Q.   Other municipalities in Ontario have a 10-30 minute open question/comment period available at each council meeting for any member of the public not on the agenda to speak to council. Is this an initiative you would support having available to help your constituent’s concerns be heard?
A.  Having a 10-30 minute open question/comment period available at each meeting would be beneficial to allow for public input. But, given my answer below regarding a detailed agenda with background information, the questions and comments would then have to be brought forward in a future agenda for the above reasons. Having this open question period will allow the council to have a better understanding of the matter, for the future meeting and allows the public to know as well, with the detailed agenda.

Q.  Would you support having an agenda available, before a council meeting, that includes digital copies of correspondence/background reports/pertinent links so the public can access this information before it is discussed and voted on?
A.   I fully support the idea of having a full, detailed agenda well before the meeting. This allows the public to have the same knowledge coming into the meeting as the municipal council.

Other comments:  The provincial Policy Statement is currently being reviewed and I would suggest bringing your concerns regarding wind turbines to the province.
I would also like to thank you for contacting myself and the other candidates. As soon as I learn of any all candidates meetings, I will notify you and encourage your attendance.

 

-Nick Stokman
519-245-0250

Q.   What are your views on the proposed, large-scale, industrial wind turbine projects to be situated in Adelaide-Metcalfe township?
A.  Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback on a number of questions that you have raised. 
Wind has provided energy in various forms to generations of civilizations, be it power to pump water, grind food, saw lumber, sail the oceans, etc.  However, it is not  constant, and therefore if reliability is required, may not be suitable for everyone.  If we look at older pasture farms with a windmill to pump water, there is always a large tank to hold sufficient water for the livestock for a number of days.  If the wind does not blow often enough, water needed to brought in for the animals.
Batteries can store electricity, but not to the extent that present day civilizations need or demand.  I question the ability of wind powered generation facilities to provide a reliable source of electricity for our society.  Would it be better to invest similar dollars into available and new technology to clean up fossil fuel fired generation plants?

 Q.   On Dec. 22nd, 2009 Adelaide-Metcalfe council supported a resolution, forwarded by the Township of Manvers and Grey County, asking for a moratorium on wind turbine construction until proper health, economic impact, environmental and property studies are completed. Would you support this resolution as well?
A.  While it would not hurt my feelings if proposed wind powered generation facilities failed to receive all the necessary approvals from various provincial government agencies under the Green Energy Act, there are many fellow citizens in this and other municipalities that have made a conscientious business decision to be involved with wind powered generation projects.  That is their right, and I respect their decisions. 
In discussions with both proponents and opponents of wind powered generation facilities, the topic of impacts on health has often been raised.  Several times I have suggested that an independent third party, probably a university, funded equally by government and wind powered generation companies, be given the mandate to use all available technology to scientifically study real and perceived impacts.  Choose a wind farm, turn off the turbines for x number of months, do a full range of tests, then turn on the turbines for the same x number of months, do the same tests at the same locations and on the same people, and then report the findings.  If scientists can detect objects light years away, or measure items below the earth’s surface to great accuracy, surely similar technology can scientifically answer the question, if there is a will to answer it.

Q.   Other municipalities in Ontario have a 10-30 minute open question/comment period available at each council meeting for any member of the public not on the agenda to speak to council. Is this an initiative you would support having available to help your constituent’s concerns be heard?
A.   Information technology today such as Blackberries, iPhones, Facebook, Twitter, etc. almost allows people to know the news before it happens.  Is this advantageous?  Do we need to know everything all the time?  Are we able to make better decisions, or do we get paralyzed with information overload? 

Q.  Would you support having an agenda available, before a council meeting, that includes digital copies of correspondence/background reports/pertinent links so the public can access this information before it is discussed and voted on?
A.   I do not have sufficient knowledge of the applicable legislation governing municipal governance activities to make informed comments with regards to the questions posed on agendas and open question/comment sessions.

Other comments:    The term of office for municipal councils is four years.  During that time frame, many items and issues will be discussed and acted upon.  It would be unwise to let a single issue dominate the discussion for an extended period of time.  We need to have the discussion in a reasoned and civilized manner, make a decision based on the available and applicable information, and then move on.  If we expect respect for our position on an issue, we must also respect the opinion of the people with the opposing view on that same issue.

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Posted on October 4, 2010, in Adelaide Project- NextEra, Adelaide Project- Suncor, Napier Project, Take Action, Uncategorized, Wind Project Proposals. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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