Ottawa City Council has endorsed a motion put forward by the Chair of the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC), Councillor Scott Moffatt, requesting that the province make municipal support a mandatory requirement of any bids for wind power contracts.

Ottawa is the second largest city in the province of Ontario.

Council previously passed a motion in 2013, asking for more meaningful input to the power contracting process; this followed a citizen “referendum” by a majority of residents in North Gower and Richmond, stating they were unwilling hosts to a proposed wind power development, that would have resulted in hundreds of families being within a few kilometres of huge wind turbines.

As of May 11, 45 Ontario municipalities have passed resolutions at Council, requesting that municipal support be a mandatory requirement in any new wind power contract bids. In the last round of contract bids, three of the five communities where power developers obtained contracts had designated themselves unwilling hosts to wind power projects. That includes Dutton Dunwich, near London, Ontario, which held a formal referendum — 84% of residents said “no” to a proposed power project.

In March of this year, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said it would be “virtually impossible” for any company to get a contract in a community that did not support the proposed power project.

The Ottawa motion is as follows. An unofficial record of the vote is posted here.

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

That Council:

1.         Ask the Province of Ontario to make the necessary legislative and/or regulatory changes to provide municipalities with a substantive and meaningful role in siting wind power projects and that the “Municipal Support Resolution” becomes a mandatory requirement in the IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) process.
2.            Forward this resolution to the Chair of the Board and President of IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator), the Minister of Energy, AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario), ROMA (Rural Ontario Municipal Association) and all municipalities, within the Province.

 

 

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