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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Fostering Opportunity and Growth in Niagara: A Presentation to West Lincoln Town Council – CEO Remarks

Good evening Mayor Joyner, members of Town Council and Staff and members of the public. My name is Walter Sendzik, CEO of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, and I am joined by Kithio Mwanzia, Director of Policy and Government Relations for the Chamber.

The Greater Niagara Chamber is dedicated to working on behalf of our members to foster an environment in Niagara that is open for business. With over 1,300 members representing more than 30,000 employees across Niagara – we are here tonight to urge Council to not support a proposed motion regarding setbacks for wind machines.

While we appreciate the passion and conviction of those who are here tonight to speak against the development of a wind energy grid in West Lincoln, it is important to remind Council that a decision to pass a motion on a 2 km setback will expose the Town of West Lincoln to a considerable court challenge – and based on past attempts in Ontario – it will not be successful. This act alone will cost the township – and taxpayers – a significant amount of money.

Let me be clear – we are not here to change the minds of those opposed to the development of wind energy in West Lincoln. But, as a council – we would ask that you undertake due diligence in your legal obligations as a council when confronted with issues that are fraught with passion.

The businesses that are involved in the development of wind energy in West Lincoln (and Wainfleet) – have undertaken every effort to conform to the legal obligations as outlined in the Green Energy Act. They have been held to the standards set by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of the Environment – too name only a few of the ministries that have been involved during the lengthy approval process. They have provided the required documentation, site studies, plans – and everything else that has been asked. No matter what side you stand on this issue – the businesses involved have acted in a professional manner and followed the regulations that govern these developments.

All the is being asked today, is for you as council members to set aside the emotions of this debate – and consider the consequences of accepting the proposed motion.

  • It has no legal standing
  • It exposes the township to significant legal challenges
  • And it will divert much needed city finances to legal fees and court ruled awards based on recent cases.

Thank you