“Alea iacta est” Wainfleet Town Council Passes Setback By-law

“Alea iacta est”: the words spoken to Julius Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon are translated as, “The die is cast”.

Wainfleet Town Council last night, April 10, 2012, passed the Setback by-law on third reading, after a forceful commentary by Mayor April Jeffs on the need to protect the citizens of Wainfleet Township. At the same meeting the Wind Developer IPC was denied permission to bury cable under an unused road allowance in the Township.

The words said to Julius Caesar are therefore most appropriate: the die IS cast. And the future will tell.

The Developer will likely challenge the issue of the cable across the road allowance before the appropriate tribunal. The issue of the Setback By-law 13-2012, however, may present a problem for the Developer who has always claimed the by-law was “illegal” under the GEA. The by-law does not prohibit anything mandated in the GEA and therefore is not illegal.

It does, however, relate to the Environmental Protection Act and Reg.359/09 thereto which specifies that setbacks shall be “at least” 550 meters; it does not say, “shall be no more than 550 meters”. But the relevant government ministries and tribunals overseeing green energy development in Ontario tend to have a heavy rubber stamp.

By-law 13-2012 of the Township of Wainfleet, specifying a setback distance of 2km and a maximum noise level of 32dB, with 100% indemnification by the developer for any party who suffers adverse health effects or property devaluation as a result of an IWT over 90 meters in Wainfleet, is a legal by-law and is not in contravention of the GEA.

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4 comments on ““Alea iacta est” Wainfleet Town Council Passes Setback By-law

  1. andrew watts on said:

    With ‘friends’ like that, who needs enemies.
    What a sad night for West Lincoln!

  2. andrew watts on said:

    A rare event when local citizens can unreservedly applaud their politicians for standing up publicly and declaring that the good of their community and its residents are their only and prime responsibility.
    Mayor April’s comments, endorsed by her Council by their unanimous support in approving the 3rd Reading of the Setback Bylaw, should be circulated to any and all interested parties in Ontario.
    As the comment above states ‘..the die is(indeed)cast…’
    Wainfleet Council have had the courage to go where few politicians dare venture today and put the interests of their community above all other considerations. Their decision was based on over 12 months of research, soul searching, and many discussion with both proponents and opponents of Industrial Wind Energy. To take this step indicates that all the available evidence shows that the Ontario government’s Green Energy Act is fundamentally flawed.
    This Council now needs support from everyone in every rural community under threat from these private for profit companies who only ever claim they are complying with the GEA.
    This grassroots opposition is growing daily and it’s now time for those 80 municipalities who asked the province to impose a moratorium to become an active part of this group. Mayors and Councilors should pick up a ‘phone and call those in other communities and become the leading ‘Wind Action Group’ in Ontario. Pool information, pool resources and become a focal point for opposition to the Green Energy Act and the disruption and harm it is bringing to more and more rural communities in Ontario.
    All the Ontario wind energy industry needs do is what they have refused to do so far.
    They only need to come out in the open and prove beyond doubt that with a setback distance of 550mtrs no single resident can any suffer negative health impacts. To prove beyond doubt that at a noise level of 40dBs no single resident will suffer any sleep disruption. To prove that there have been no genuine complaints lodged with the MoE in Ontario in the past few years. To prove that no homes have been left derelict and unsaleable anywhere in Ontario where IWTs have been operating?
    If they can do that then they should have no problem in actively welcoming a Liability Clause intended to protect the ordinary citizen in the event adverse effects do occur.
    If property prices are not affected as they claim then the same also applies.
    Without answering the above and continuing to claim all they have to do is comply with the GEA is no longer good enough.
    Wainfleet Council have asked for a 2km setback, a 32dB noise level and for the Ontario wind energy industry to demonstrate due diligence and accountability by accepting liability as any other private company in any other industry in Ontario accepts as merely ‘the price of doing business’.
    So many congratulations to Wainfleet Township. They have shown their commitment to protecting their own rural community, time for that community to stand up and support them.
    And all those other Municipal Councils and their communities.
    It is going to be a hard fight to win as we all well know. If we are to win and make this provincial government amend the GEA so their citizens are protected it will take all of us, elected Councils and those who elected them to offer help and support to any Council brave enough to stand against this continuing exploitation of our rural communities by the Ontario Wind Industry.
    It’s a good feeling to feel really proud of those you voted for! Now is the time for all of us to do far more than that! Rural Ontario needs to actively support Wainfleet Township!

    .

    • Neil Switzer on said:

      Congratulations to a most informed and courageous Council. Ironically on that same night our West Lincoln Council passed a resolution directing the CAO to enter into discussions with the very same companies that Wainfleet is battling regarding the establishment of a “Vibrancy Fund” based on the Haldimand model.

  3. JUDY ATKINSON on said:

    What a wonderful group our council is, courageous and deserving of our respect and appreciation.
    Let’s hope this provokes appropriate reaction, and resolution.
    The legality of the by-law seems sound.
    I would love to see an article in major papers re this momentous by-law, any ideas who we contact. This should not limited to local media.
    I will notify the Haldimand Press, Bob published Betty Ort’s (Ott?) letter front page last week, good on him and Betty.
    Judy Atkinson