MLA files citizens' petition in Province House over Greenfield wind turbine project concerns

Harry Sullivan hsullivan@trurodaily.com
Published on April 25, 2014

HALIFAX - A petition has been filed in the provincial legislature in opposition to a proposed wind turbine project for the Greenfield area.

The petition was filed on Thursday by Larry Harrison, the Progressive Conservative MLA for Colchester/Musquodoboit Valley, on behalf of about 700 area residents who had signed the document because of opposition to the perceived negative impact a planned two-turbine wind farm by Affinity Wind could have on their community.

"I am fighting for the people of Colchester County," Harrison said in a news release, after meeting with about 16 area-residents at Province House on Thursday. "Whether the project is under COMFIT or another program, it doesn't change the fact that these people would have to share their backyard with a wind turbine."

In speaking with the Truro Daily News on Friday, Harrison said the group that brought the petition to him also had about a three-hour meeting with Environment Minister Randy Delorey and Energy Minister Andrew Younger.

"I think they felt like they were heard and certainly had more information when they left then when they came in," he said.

Harrison said he does not have any "strong feelings ... one way or the other..." regarding industrial windmills, but based on the concerns expressed to him about the lack of timely communication regarding the turbines proposed for the Greenfield/Harmony area, he would like to see changes made to the process when such projects are being proposed.

"As lay people, we had 30 days to process the more-than-500 unnumbered page document," an excerpt from the petition reads. "In response we wrote a 39-page document with the concerns of the community outlining the errors, omissions and misrepresentations. One of which was the fact the Environmental Assessment was written by the developer, Reuben Burge, himself. Burge is the president of Affinity Wind LP and is also a president of RMS Energy."

Harrison said his "main involvement" with the group has to do with the procedures involved when wind farms are proposed in a given community "because the process seemed a little flawed as far as communication was concerned," he said.

"They would find out things after the fact instead of before the fact."

Instead, Harrison said, "I would like to have communities have a say in what happens to them and for whatever decisions that are made to have community in mind, how the residents feel on any given issue."

hsullivan@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @tdnharry