Posted Mar 3, 2011 By Bill Hutchins
EMC News – Kingston mayor Mark Gerretsen is fuming over the provincial government’s recent decision to suspend all off-shore wind turbine projects in Ontario.
“I’m really ticked off,” he told reporters. “It’s shameful.”
Premier Dalton McGuinty says no off-shore projects will be approved until studies can examine the environmental impact of giant spinning turbines, such as migrating birds. There’s no decision on when, or if, the projects will be allowed to proceed.
The mayor says the surprise moratorium has more to do with politics than science.
“I think this is a political decision by the provincial government because they’re worried about upsetting some activists and how that translates into votes for them in the fall election,” Gerretsen said in an interview.
He says most of the political opposition to off-shore turbines is coming from southwestern Ontario, where the environment minister’s home riding is located.
“I think it’s absolutely disgusting that this form of politics is being played by a government that has prided themselves on being so respectful and aware of the need to protect the environment and get us off coal (power plants).
Gerretsen says a proposed $700 million privately-built wind farm off the western tip of Wolfe Island would have been a huge economic investment for the city’s renewable energy sector and St. Lawrence College, which offers turbine technician courses.