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Council denies support for proposed hydroelectric project
by Sandy Lindsay

November 28, 2016
www.saugeentimes.com

Town Council

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With the exception of Councilor Dave Myette, Saugeen Shores Council voted against lending its support to Kinet, a California based subsidiary company, that was proposing a hydro-electric dam at Denny's Dam on the Saugeen River.

Kinet Ontario, a subsidiary of Natel Energy Inc. of Almeda, California, presented the proposal at the last Council meeting, to construct a 500 kW hydro generating facility at the Denny's Dam site under the Ontario 'Feed in Tariff' (FIT) program by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR).

 

Councilor John Rich

Councilor John Rich said that he felt Council was being rushed into making a decision and "...didn't see a lot of benefit for the community."

Councilor Neil Menage also added that he wanted to see the socio-economic impacts as part of any memorandum of agreement.  "I  would like to see an intent that would benefit the other players such as Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority (SVCA), First Nations and Saugeen Shores

"This resolution to support is required on a tight time line for the FIT program," said Councilor Myette. "Kinet has agreed to add further suggestions about joint financial benefit, to engage with local fish clubs and to address the concerns around the water use and the environment, therefore I think the resolution should be amended around those issues.

"This application by Kinet will proceed anyway and all our support does is add points in order to gain support of the Ministry of the Environment," said Deputy Mayor Luke Charbonneau. "We do not have to be pressured and we have to be more informed of the benefit of this to the community.  They (Kinet) can make an application with or without municipal support."

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CAO David Smith added that in his experience, Council should not make decisions that it is uncomfortable with and he cautioned Council that  "... it may be something that feels like a significant leap of faith."

Councilor Cheryl Grace also expressed concern over Council's possible future obligations.  "With free trade, there have been examples where companies have sued a government for not meeting obligations that it agreed to and, if we go ahead, how does that affect our ability to change in the future?"

 

Patrick Gillette of Kinet Ontario
(subsidiary of Natel Energy Inc.)

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016