CAW Welcomes Wind Turbine as Step Towards Environmental Sustainability

November 18, 2011, 10:00 AM EST

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The CAW welcomes the recent Ontario Municipal Board decision to allow the union to go ahead with the construction of a small wind turbine on its property at the union's Family Education Centre in Port Elgin, Ontario.

"This project is an exciting educational opportunity to understand renewable energy resources that will help reduce our carbon footprint, while meeting our energy needs," said CAW National President Ken Lewenza. "It's an also an important chance to support local procurement policies that will ensure good jobs in an emerging green economy."

The union recognizes though that there are some within the community that are troubled by the project and the CAW has been working to allay concerns and meet with community representatives to create a more open dialogue around the wind turbine.

CAW national representative Kim Yardy will be available for interview today in her office at the Family Education Centre during the public demonstration.

CAW representatives met on November 15 with Deputy Mayor Luke Charbonneau and John Kyles, President of the Port Elgin & Saugeen Township Beachers' Organization to discuss the previous Ontario Municipal Board ruling which stated that, the "single use, 800 kilowatt 100 metre turbine wouldn't have a significant impact on the surrounding residents or area."

At a meeting this week of the national executive board of the union, the CAW reaffirmed the importance of the wind turbine project.

 "This project began seven years ago as an initiative by our environmental activists within the union," said Lewenza. "It represents our commitment to environmental sustainability and a desire to move to clean energy sources."

While the technical and legal issues of this project have long been resolved, the CAW has committed to do the following going forward:

  • coordinate the formation of a committee comprised of CAW officials, municipal officials and community representatives to share information and concerns.
  • set up an email address that people can send questions to at:
  • develop safe operating policies and procedures that will be strictly adhered to and available for staff and public review.

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