The following was an APPEC News posting that occurred last April 23, 2013.
APPEC News: County Not a Willing Host
This evening Council declared the County “Not a Willing Host” of wind energy projects. Councillor Quaiff’s motion passed 11 to 5 in a recorded vote.
Those in favour were councillors Bev Campbell, Heather Campbell, Jim Dunlop, Alec Lunn, Janice Maynard, Nick Nowitski, Dianne O’Brien, Robert Quaiff, Terry Shortt, Barry Turpin, and Mayor Peter Mertens.
Of the five councillors opposed, two felt no need to justify themselves: Brian Marisett and Keith MacDonald. The others either took a doctrinaire position or delivered rationalizations.
Jamie Forrester argued that (1) Athol voters had not told him clearly they were opposed to wind projects; (2) he personally felt wind turbines wouldn’t harm tourism, wildlife, or people; and (3) wind energy would ensure a bright future for the world.
Kevin Gale said he had heard from both sides on the issue and therefore couldn’t say that Sophiasburgh as a whole was unwilling. Apparently, he didn’t notice the many Sophiasburgh voters present, and he had forgotten the Big Island petition, with its overwhelming majority opposed to a wind project.
Barb Proctor said she knew South Marysburgh residents opposed wind development, but she wasn’t sure about the rest of the County. She also worried about the unknown consequences of the motion. But ultimately, she felt no obligation to represent SM voters. Those present had to endure her remarks in silence.
When the motion was passed, however, the crowd applauded loud and long. Over 100 people had filled the main council chamber as well as an overflow room with a closed circuit telecast, and some stood in the hall and on the staircase to listen. Nearly all were supporters of the motion.
My great thanks to fellow APPEC members for a fantastic show of support. In five years of council meetings I have never seen anything like this powerful display of County feelings.
If you weren’t able to do so personally, please congratulate councillor Quaiff on this triumph.