Windmill Project Quashed

Aviation advocates won a windmill victory in Collingwood.
Aviation advocates won a windmill victory in Collingwood.

Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal has ruled against a plan to build eight wind turbines within the operations area of two southern Ontario airports.

The tribunal, which was the last jurisdiction that could prevent the project, agreed wholeheartedly with submissions from aviation experts that the windmills would “endanger human health” if an airplane hit one.

The tribunal also found the windmills would kill some endangered bats that live in the area of Collingwood and Stayner Airports.

The objections were made by expert witnesses who were funded through the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association’s (COPA) Freedom to Fly Fund and the fight cost the organization $175,000.

COPA CEO Bernard Gervais said it’s fights like this that the fund was created for but the windmill battle cut deeply into its reserves.

Nevertheless the organization is happy with the result, which should mean that the windmill project cannot go ahead.

The project, by wpd Fairview Wind Incorporated, was approved by the Ontario government under the Green Energy Act, which contains clauses that protect such developments from being rejected at the local level. All the local governments in the area opposed the windmills and also took part in the environmental review.

Transport Canada also declined to act, even though it could have used its federal clout to quash the project.