By Rideau-Jock Councillor David Brown
Earlier this week, I submitted a notice of motion to Council regarding energy generation.
At issue is the Independent Energy System Operator – or IESO – and it’s ongoing efforts to procure energy projects across the province. Though energy projects generally receive support from municipal councils before proceeding, the authority is unclear; IESO could attempt to work with a project proponent without the approval of Council. This means that an LNG power plant, a wind turbine, a solar farm, or any other project could arise without the support of the community.
Additionally, Ottawa is in the process of updating its by-laws. Once completed, these updated by-laws will help future development better conform to the objectives of the City’s official plan. This includes energy infrastructure in general, and wind turbines in particular. It is essential that new by-laws be finalized and approved before wind turbines are brought to Council’s attention for consideration and approval.
These are the issues that my motion seeks to address. The goals of this motion are to ensure that Council is able to act as the final authority on energy generation in our City and that new generating infrastructure respects our City’s soon-to-be updated by-laws.
As new energy generation capacity is likely to be placed in the rural areas of Ottawa, it is vital that new facilities be well-considered and respect residents’ needs and our communities’ interests. No project should be advanced without being in the clear interests of those who live close to it. By advancing this motion, I am hoping to better protect our communities against potentially harmful overreach.
Of course, there is much more work to be done on this and many other issues to ensure that our communities’ interests are protected. Residents with ideas about how to do that can reach me and my office any time by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.