NO — 155 Ontario communities are “Unwilling Hosts” for new industrial wind power sites

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With no changes to regulations for setbacks or noise limits for wind turbines, and new bids possible, dozens of Ontario communities have taken the only step possible [Shutterstock image]

APRIL 30, 2024, Ottawa—

Ontario has 155 municipalities that have officially declared themselves as “Unwilling Hosts” to new industrial wind power sites, says Wind Concerns Ontario (WCO).

The municipalities either passed a resolution years ago during the first push for wind power in the province, or more recently as the possibility of new wind power proposals arose via procurement by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator.

Municipal support is now mandatory in Ontario for any power generation project to proceed.

“The “Unwilling Host” started in 2014 after Kathleen Wynne became Premier and she said she wouldn’t force wind power sites on municipalities that weren’t willing to host them,” WCO president Jane Wilson explains. “So, a number of them started passing the Unwilling Host resolution.”*

Within a few months, Wilson says, there were more than 100, equal to about one quarter of all the 444 municipalities in Ontario. Many took the step after the Township of Wainfleet passed a resolution.

“At that time, the gesture was symbolic as the Green Energy Act passed by the Liberal government in 2009, which altered 21 pieces of legislation including the Planning Act, removed municipal authority over energy projects. The Ford government repealed the Green Energy Act in 2019 and restored planning authority to municipalities, so a declaration of Unwilling Host is a statement. It means a community knows what the impact of industrial wind power could be, and they don’t want it.”

Why?

Nothing has changed, Wilson says. Despite thousands of complaints about wind turbine noise and reports of people becoming ill after long-term sleep disturbance, the environment ministry has made no changes to regulations for noise limits or setbacks between the huge wind turbines and homes. With no changes, and no acknowledgement of the need to protect health and safety, municipalities have no choice but to say no to new industrial wind power sites.

The Independent Electricity System Operator or IESO will have another Request for Proposals later this year which will include new wind and solar. 

It’s not 2009

“It’s not 2009,” Wilson says. “We know a lot more about wind turbines now, and the problems they can bring to municipalities and residents such as noise pollution; health problems for some residents linked to long-term sleep disturbance; risk to wildlife including raptors and bats which are crucial to the eco-system, especially agriculture; and disturbances to aquifers, such as in North Kent where dozens of families now have contaminated well water.”

The list of Unwilling Host communities effective April 2024 is here: Unwilling Hosts April 30

WIND CONCERNS ONTARIO

contact@windconcernsontario.ca

www.windconcernsontario.ca

*Premier Wynne did not live up to that promise. A number of contracts and approvals were granted after 2014 including the Nation Rise wind power project in North Stormont which was appealed by the community. North Stormont is an Unwilling Host.

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1 Comments

  • Carol Kauth
    Posted May 6, 2024 7:08 pm 0Likes

    I am glad that communities are seeing the light and opposing the wind turbines . If they want to put turbines up , pick somewhere else besides prime farmland . The community I live in decided several years ago not to be a willing host and they have stick to their commitment .

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