THUNDER BAY – Updated – The big debate at City Council this evening is the Big Thunder Bay Wind Farm. Speaking on behalf of the Norwester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee, Council received a lesson in what the project entails.
“The resolution before Council tonight makes a mockery of the entire consultation process,” stated Mr. Beals.
NMEPC reported to Council that the resolution before Council including use of Loch Lomond Road, the larger wind turbines, and the size of the wind farm were not part of the consultation process.
They also reported to Council that the Ministry of the Environment has not yet approved the plan by Horizon for their project.
Councillor Ken Boshcoff raised questions about the scope of the environmental concerns.
The contention of the NMEPC is that the company has “tried to slip something past City Council,” according to Beals.
Councillor Rydholm sought to gain information on what the company has been told to do by the Ministry of the Environment. Horizon has booked three additional public meetings, on the project.
NMEPC has offered to share all of their information with Council.
Chairing the meeting, Councillor-at-Large Iain Angus offered City Manager Tim Commisso the opportunity to share information with Council and the public, regarding the memo from Administration on the possible settling of the law suit.
Mr. Commisso stated that in terms of many aspects of the project, it is not in the scope of Council’s mandate on the project to decide on many of the items related to the project as it is senior levels of government.
“A couple months before we moved forward with the process, recognizing that there would have to be questions raised in closed session,” stated Commisso, “It had to be addressed through a process”.
Commisso stated that “everything that could be shared with Council has been shared”.
The essence of the decision that Council can make is restricted by the scope of what legal authority the city has.
After a very long period behind closed doors, the Council returned to ratify the agreement to end the law suit with Horizon by an 8-4 vote.
Residents in the Neebing ward have expressed that they are now considering a law suit against the City over the proposed wind farm.