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Ava Baccari on the ill wind at City Hall - NOW Toronto

September 7, 2011
Ava Baccari
NOW Toronto

Can the city really be opposed to the mere collection of data on the breezes blowing across Lake Ontario? Yes, possibly.

At the Tuesday, September 6, executive committee meeting, Councillor Paul Ainslie asked, on behalf of his NIMBY-crying constituents, to remove a $1 million fridge-sized wind measuring device, called an anemometer, anchored in the water 1.2 kilometres off the Scarborough Bluffs.

Ainslie told the meeting that “no comprehensive study was done to see if turbines make sense,” and “Scarborough has not been asked” to become a site.

Currently, a Liberal-imposed moratorium on offshore wind projects is in place, and the federal and provincial governments have jurisdiction over the water where the gizmo sits. But there’s hope in the alt-energy community that resistance to windmills will ease with time, education and consultation.

As Toronto Hydro strategic initiatives director Joyce McLean pointed out, the permit for the device is up in October 2012, and completing the two-year info mission is critical. No wind data, no future turbine planning.

Which is why Toronto Wind Action founding director Sherri Lange was there to cheer on Ainslie and his motion to remove the device by November 30 of this year. “Wind turbines,” she told the room, are “bad technology” and “won’t save the planet.”

The only deputant in the room in favour of keeping the anemometer offshore was Franz Hartmann, executive director of Toronto Environmental Alliance, who argued that wind energy as a “good investment” in job creation and long-term enviro and health factors.

“It is a waste of the taxpayers’ dollars to stop data collecting,” he said, adding that doing so would play “into the hands of those wanting to gut green energy jobs.”

The executive made no move and is awaiting a report on the issue from the city manager for its November 1 meeting. Circle the date.

As originally published here:

2011-09-07 Ava Baccari on the ill wind at City Hall _NOW_.pdf15.45 KB