Turbines and the shrinking population on the mind of students

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It seems there are few places politicians can go without being asked about industrial wind turbines.

Take Dawn-Euphemia Councilors for example, who held their municipal council meeting at Dawn-Euphemia Public School Monday for Local Government Week.

Students from three classes observed a council meeting for about an hour before they had an opportunity to ask questions. And the first question? “Are there plans for windmills in Dawn-Euphemia? If so, how many and where and what is council’s position on them?”
Mayor Bill Bilton, who always declares a conflict of interest when council talks about industrial windmills because he signed a wind lease on his land, smiled and began to explain what is happening.

“There was a windmill project proposed a number of years ago, but the company hasn’t proceeded with anything yet,” says Bilton. Mainstream plans to put up 63 turbines on the east side of the township. RP Global also proposed a 48-turbine project which would have seen turbines erected around the school property, according to Deputy Mayor Leslie Williams.

Williams added the municipality has said is not a willing host to anymore projects.

But wind turbines weren’t the only things on the children’s minds.  “Do you have plans or programs to encourage students to return to the community after college or university, asked one student.

Bilton suggested students would return to the area if there are jobs for them. “We don’t have many private employers outside of farmers…and Union Gas.

And the Dawn-Euphemia students wanted to know what the councilors most important job was – setting the budget according to Councilor Al Broad.

Dawn-Euphemia is one of three local councils to involve elementary school students in their meetings. The others are Brooke-Alvinston and Petrolia.